Monday, 14 June 2010

Bags, of gardening

I am so excited! I can hardly believe this, but I am going on one of Patti Culea’s cloth doll making workshops! It has all happened so fast it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but in October my friend Helen and I are off to sunny Torquay for a 3 day class. I’m such a huge fan of Patti’s work, and her books were a revelation to me when I began to make dolls. It will also be a chance to meet some other doll makers from around the UK, which is a pretty rare thing!
I’ve been trying to cut out a new doll all weekend, but have been side tracked by bags. And now for another life changing admission (ahem, embarrassed cough and much shuffling of feet) Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m so proud of myself. I designed a bag for my niece’s birthday, and for the first time ever, ever - I put in a zip, and to cap it all, not just a zip, but a zippered inside pocket!
Now, you must understand, I’m completely terrified of sewing zips; I’ve done anything and everything to avoid using them, but with the aid of this terrific tutorial from Lisa at U-handblog I have achieved the impossible, and it was actually, fine. I’m going to do it again. Whoo hoo!
Here is the bag, in lovely Amy Butler fabrics:
And here is another for Andy’s niece Sally, inspired by this pretty oriental fabric:
Sorry about the poor picture quality. There is a tiny bit of beading on this bag, if you look very hard, just to accentuate it a little.
I’m fast developing a fabric addiction I would not previously have thought possible!
On the home front, more excitement, our wildlife garden is really taking off this year and we were thrilled when female red mason bees moved in to lay their eggs in our newly put up nest site this week. My sugar snap peas have set their first pods, and I pulled the first radishes yesterday, which went into last night’s stir fry.
On Saturday we had a great time visiting Jekka MacVicker’s Herb Farm, which is only a short distance away but only opens to the public 4 times a year. Jekka is the doyenne of British herbs, and has written some fantastic books too. Of course I just had to buy some more herbs... so we have increased our bee friendly plants, and I bought a horseradish for Andy, which I have had trouble wrenching from his grasp to plant. He keeps asking how I will make the horseradish sauce, and appears not to listen when I tell him the plant will have to get established before we can dig up some of the roots,....hmmm, not sure he believes me......x

PS Sorry about the strange changing font, Blogger is very unhappy today and after the 4th failed attempt to re-do the post I'd had enough.....!


  1. Jules, what an interesting post! Oh, how lucky you are to be attending one of Patti Culea's classes! I just know you will be tremendously inspired by her. I love her books and her dolls are quite amazing.

    I will go back to your link to the bees and read in detail later. Another stroke of luck for you to have them arrive on your doorstep!

    Bags are wonderful and..I know your frustration with blogger. I had a hard time posting this morning too. Really zaps some time doesn't it? Your post came out wonderful anyway.

  2. It seems like just yesterday that you were reluctant to try a doll and now look at you! You will have so much fun!

  3. How fun going to Patti's class! I can't wait to see what you make!
    I have never put a zipper in either. I'm totally impressed because your bags turned out lovely! I wish I could grow plants. I have a black thumb :( That's why I just stitch them :)
    Hugs to you my friend!

  4. What a great post. I'm happy for your class:) The wedding looks wonderful and the purses are just great:) Sorry I have been MIA lately, off to 4-H Camp with 212 kids and 45 teen counselors...should be a great time. Take care, your friend Jenna Louise

  5. Congratulations on your new bag lady status, or perhaps I should re-phrase that! bag making would be better.

    Also, how wonderful that you have a wildlife garden and red mason bees.

    I hope you enjoy your doll making class, it is lovely to meet like minds.

  6. Hi Jules
    Patti Culea was an interesting teacher. Great to see you making dolls. I understand your obsession with fabric. I tell my husband it is not a stash it is a fabric collection. Calling it a stash implies that you are going to use it. Calling it a fabric collection means youare collecting fabric not necessarily to use just to have. I am spending the weekend making a leather bag. Photos next week.
    Zippers are one of those things you need to practice. Opshops often have lots you could practice with cheap ones and get more confidence. I love bees so lucky you having a nest of the rare ones.

  7. Congrats on the attending the class! YAY! Have a blast.

    I know we need bees. But I so hate it when they chase me. Must be my name, it means honeybee. They think I'm one of them. :)


  8. Hi Jules,
    It sounds like a great class and I bet you will have a lot fun!:)
    The bags in your photo's are very beautiful and I especially like the beading. That must of taken ages to do!
    It will be lovely to see what bags you create from the classes.

    I hope you are enjoying the sun and thank you for your kind messages.
    Lovely to hear from you!


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