29.6.12

customised camera bag

Dear Annie,




Following my last post, when I showed you my new camera strap, I have been busy customising a camera bag to match. As you know, since beginning the Capturing Childhood course, I have been taking my camera with me on a pretty much daily basis. My old, and rather flimsy, camera bag just wasn't giving my beloved DSLR the protection it needed. Having yearned after fancy (but very expensive) camera bags, I was pleased to come across some tutorials on Pinterest for adapting a handbag into a camera bag.


I bought a cheap Primark satchel, some foam and some velcro, dug out a large piece of Amy Butler fabric that I had stashed away, and set to work. I looked at a few different tutorials (you can find them on my Pinterest photography board, if you are interested) and amalgamated the different methods to suit myself and my bag. 







As you can see from the middle picture above, my finishing on the individual pieces wasn't the neatest- it was a bit of a learning curve- but luckily those edges can't be seen once the inserts are inside the bag.


Nevertheless, I am very pleased with the finished article. My camera is safe, there is room inside for my phone, wallet, keys, etc and the entire project cost less than £20. Oh, and if I should fancy a change, the insert can easily be moved into a different bag. Marvellous.




Love from,


Laura

27.6.12

Tentative Steps

Dear Laura,


As you might remember I fought a lot with the tea cup dress that I made. It totally knocked my confidence and I haven't felt like sewing since. Luckily after a little while I put it on again, and well I have come to really enjoy wearing it. The best thing was that at the weekend, during the supermarket shop, a lovely lady ran up to me and told me that she loved my dress. Now that made me burst with pride, there is nothing better than being able to answer the question "where did you get it?" with "I made it myself". 


So last weekend I peaked into my sewing box.



Checked my "favourites" stash, I order my material by how much I love it, what can you do!



and I made something really really easy with the same tea cup fabric. A simple draw string bag. 





I made sure that my seams were nice and neat and it definitely made me feel a whole lot better about the sewing thing again. I am in fact really excited about getting stuck into my stash and I have some more favours to make, any suggestions greatly appreciated as I am a little stuck for ideas this time.


Lots of love 
Annie

24.6.12

weekend projects

Dear Annie,


This weekend there have been a few pockets of crafting time, and I have managed a couple of small projects.




Firstly, a padded strap for my camera. This was one of those ten minute projects that make me wonder why on earth I haven't found the time before. I used a tutorial found on Pinterest. Since beginning the Capturing Childhood course, my DSLR camera has become my constant companion. I would love to buy a sling strap for it, but until then this will have to do. I also have plans for  a camera bag - I've bought a  cheapie Primark satchel which I am going to customise with the addition of some padded inserts. I have foam, fabric and velcro ready, I am just waiting for the arrival of a glue gun (about which I am unreasonably excited!)




Secondly, some fresh knitting. I have several friends expecting babies in the next few months so some baby knits are called for. This is quite possibly my favourite knitting pattern of all time, a Milo tank top. I knitted several for R when he was a baby and it is rather lovely to have one on my needles once more. I am making the newborn size, so this should be a speedy little knit.


Love from,


Laura

20.6.12

A Vague Idea

Dear laura,


I draw these two drawings for something rather special recently. 


 Some bees flying back to their hive
and some lily's


I rather like them but can't think of what to do with them now. I want to put the bees on something, a t-shirt, a pencil case? I just don't know, also I am not even sure how I would put them on anyway, still I am rather fond of them and have a vague idea that one day I might be able to use. I will save them for a rainy day.


Lots of love


Annie

18.6.12

cordial & cake

Dear Annie,


Having made several bottles of elderflower cordial, the perfect accompaniment to a refreshing cold glassful had to be a slice of cake. A Victoria Sponge, made with a tablespoon of cordial in place of the teaspoon of vanilla, and filled with a simple gooseberry fool. Unfortunately I am still not used to my new fan oven, and therefore have a new (and deeply irritating) tendency to slightly over bake cakes so it wasn't a perfect sponge. Nevertheless, this was a little slice of heaven.

Love from,

Laura

15.6.12

elderflowers and gooseberries

Dear Annie,

   
We have been out in the lush green countryside, picking the best that June has to offer us. Elderflowers and gooseberries. Perfect partners.

I feel some baking coming on (not to mention some cordial making)...

Love from,

Laura

13.6.12

Flowers

Dear Laura,


I recently discovered "Made" which is an ace blog with loads of patterns and ideas. I really liked her presidents day t-shirts as well as her giant flower tutorial.







Pretty awesome hey!


Lots of love


Annie

10.6.12

al fresco knitting

Dear Annie,


Stretching out my toes in the open air and knitting with the warmth of the sun on my face and fingers. One of my greatest holiday pleasures is a little outdoor knitting.


A cold glass of Kir always goes down nicely too.

Love from,

Laura

5.6.12

Bee News

Dear Laura,


I have some sad bee news. When we went to check on our four hives this weekend we found that two of them had died. We aren't 100% sure why they have died, we think that one was fairly weak anyway. It was the swarm we collected a couple of months ago, the queen never seemed strong and we replaced her three times. Unfortunately none of the queens took so the hive couldn't keep going. The other hive was one of our originals, the strongest hive last year, we think it swarmed this year and the left over bees just weren't strong enough to keep going. It was really sad to open the hives and see just a few slugish and disorientated bees. 
An empty hive
The remaining bees and old comb, a very sad sight. Those frames should be full of honey and brood and bees. 
Figuring out how to remove the frames from the roof to clean them up.


That is enough dwelling on the bad news, now for the good news. Luckily for us we have two hives which seem to be thriving. Opening those hives was a joy. All the bees busy at work, making honey and comb and seeing all the brood ready to hatch out. We are very excited for those hives. We have also got a new hive and set it up at the weekend. We are keeping our fingers crossed this one does well.
A good healthly frame, look at all those bees.
Our new hive, good luck ladies
A good strong one on its second year
I love the bees, they are endlessly fascinating and I am excited to see these hives grow and produce lots of honey for us this year.

Lots of love

Annie

2.6.12

A Military Parade

Dear Laura,


I have lived in the US for 3 and a half years now (where did that time go!) and I have never seen a parade, well that is not until last weekend. And what a parade, it was the memorial day parade in DC so I was imagining they were going to go full soviet style and bring out the tanks and the fighter planes and have a good show of military strength. This isn't really what this parade is about. It was to remember those who have died in all the military conflicts that the US has been involved in. 



This was surprisingly moving, luckily it was all interspersed with school marching bands, some of whom emitted a huge amount of energy and were really exciting. There were also a lot of drums, I love drumming.






This is rolling thunder, a gazillion motorbikes descend on DC for this weekend and parade through the city.



And most excitingly of all, Buzz Aldrin. It was such a surprise I wasn't expecting it at all and gave a shy little wave, I was so excited.






Lots of love


Annie
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