What the Postman brought…

(Actually, the postie for my office is a very nice lady, but that doesn’t sound as good…) In any case, I received some very nice goodies in the post last week!

First up is the Sublime Stitching Ultimate embroidery kit that I ordered just before New Year’s (there was a weird problem with the post and it was presumed lost so they sent another… which turned up a day after the original one finally came, d’oh!)

It’s got pretty much everything you need to start embroidering stuff (including a half apron and my chosen designs, Tattoo Your Towels), and I’ve already assembled everything into a nice, pink, dedicated embroidery box, ready for transport! Maybe it will impove my very simplistic embroidery skills as seen on my mom and niece’s sleep masks!

The other parcel came from Cindy, my former uni housemate and now Amazon fairy!

She read how I’m not so well and decided to perk me up with the best gifts ever. It’s almost scary how well she knows me!! In the parcel was The Beautiful Fall (a book about Yves St Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld in 1970s Paris), The Art of Manipulating Fabric (more on that below), and Mad Men Season One dvd (which I’ve really been wanting to see but missed when it was shown on BBC4)!

The Art of Manipulating Fabric Book is new to me, and it’s absolutely gorgeous and chock full of inspiration. It’s a lot like Couture Sewing Techniques in that it highlights jaw-dropping photos of high end (and high concept) sewing and really gets the ideas flowing! I’m still slowly working my way through it to try and take everything in, but here are some great examples:

The gathering on this quilt block is just fantastic:

I love the alternating shirring patterns here:

Ever wonder how to form any type of pleat? Wonder no more:

There’s a whole chapter on the different types of smocking, but these two just blow my mind:

The best thing is that there are step-by-step instructions on how to recreate this stuff, too, so it’s not just for inspiration. It’s such a geeky book, both I love it!

And you’ll all be pleased to learn that my scoodie and long winter coat have been very appreciated today!

I made them just in time for the biggest snowfall London has seen in decades – we had one foot of snow on the deck this morning! (No, really, that’s no exaggeration – I grew up in PA and I know snow!) All the buses were cancelled, most of the tube lines were down, and all trains out of London Bridge were cancelled, too. So I walked for 90 minutes to get to a hospital appointment today (the two others were way too far to walk to and will have to be rescheduled). But seriously, the snow?!?!? It’s a big deal to even get a dusting here, and to even get an inch is remembered for years! So a foot of snow is pretty much a “once in a lifetime” deal. If you fancy filling the next few minutes with pretty London landmarks covered in the white stuff, James took his DSLR along on the walk this morning and we have a little snowy gallery here. (Maybe it’ll help the poor sweltering Aussies feel cooler?)

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