LastMinuteLucie and the search for time

Archive for April, 2013

sunshine and swishy hair streamers

There’s somehing about sunshine that makes me want to see ribbons on a ponytail.

Somehow the flash of colour, the knot in a bow, the tails flapping in a girl’s hair lightens my mood – makes me think of gingham and picnics and the smell of cut grass.

Of course the thing about tying a bow in a ponytail is that, invariably, it slips and undoes and sometimes gets lost altogether. So I made some that won’t.

Based on some of the cheerleader style hair streamer ribbons I’ve seen I made these multi layered hair ribbons for my girls. They are attached to hair elastics – so no losing these!

gingham and picnics and cut grass

gingham and picnics and cut grass

polka dot bow clips

I’m so pleased with them I made a co-ordinated hair streamers/clips combo as a gift for someone and I am considering adding a selection to my first foray into Etsy proper under Buntyboo. Watch this space!

Dyeing for a change

unloved items

unloved items

I am not a lover of white or pastel colours and they don’t love me. My smallest daughter also bypassed some lovely passed down items because of the colour so, instead of consigning them to the charity bin or trying to sell them on Ebay, I thought I’d give them a makeover.

Trusty Dylon washing machine fabric dye came to our rescue. I chose Tulip Red because I enjoy a good blue-red and, following the very simple instructions, I dyed the four items above plus three very boring cream hand towels, a couple of white pillowcases and (ridiculously) one old shoelace from a discarded pair of trainers.

I am very pleased with the results and my washing machine has not suffered from the glorious colour that washed around it for two hours or more.

What was interesting was that although all the items were cotton, they took the dye in entirely different ways. The towels got the truest colour I think and look lovely in my downstairs bathroom, but the rest have come out in varying shades of pinky reddish coralish that I am enjoying.

The shirt retained its white stitching, the vest gained a light pink edge and the little halterneck now has white embroidery on the chest that looks lovely on the coloured background. Best of all the cardigan’s stains have disappeared and my daughter has now claimed the two items for her wardrobe.

sporting my new matching vest and shirt

a more attractive addition to smallest daughter's wardrobe

a more attractive addition to smallest daughter’s wardrobe

Not bad for just over £5 on dye and some water  rates.

We will try very hard not to do the matching mother and daughter thing though 😀

A wandering I did go

I am rested and renewed after a splendid two-centre holiday in this second half of the Easter holidays.The first half was spent in the company of two of my oldest friends and their families in Lancashire, where we whiled away the time reminiscing, eating, laughing, eating, singing along to Grease, eating and doing a little life coaching for each other – you’ll be pleased to know I fitted in a little creativity with a veritable pop up nail salon going on one morning. I painted six sets of nails with different designs.

'zebra' aka siberian tiger...

‘zebra’ aka siberian tiger…

tiger stripe

tiger stripe

owl's head and feather nails

owl’s head and feather nails

music inspired

music inspired

spring daisies

spring daisies

pretty pearls on scarlet

pretty pearls on scarlet

There was also a Bake Off but you’ll have to see my daughters cake blog for that!

We stayed in Hornby and took a day trip to Morecombe. We posed alongside Eric and danced down the steps singing ‘Bring me Sunshine’ in true tourist fashion. The statue to him is really lovely and so much more appropriate than many memorials. In front there is an ever decreasing circle of quotes from the shows – my favourite: ‘Tea, Ern?’ – and lists of show guests. Too cool.

I took some photos and my favourite is this view of the bay – I love the series of S shapes in it, created by this insert in the boardwalk.

the sweep of the bay

the sweep of the bay

inspired by nature

inspired by nature

Another day we walked the Ingleton Waterfall trail – absolutely stunning. You travel through the sound of water and woods to the whipping of the wind over the tops and then back through the trees. It batters the senses and challenges your knees with it’s steep ups and downs but it’s worth it. Amongst the trees are trunks embedded with coins. Pennies, twopences, fivepences banged in on their sides, creating an extra bark so subtle that you double take as you get close enough to recognise it. The first one seems like a deliberate art piece but there are several more spontaneous looking additions scattered throughout the walk. I love to come across art like that. To be taken by surprise. Art is everywhere and everything; subtle intervention is a joy.

I was too busy walking to photograph this myself but this image is from Gorgeous.

We also went to Norfolk. It’s so open there. The sky goes on forever and it still feels wild. I spent my time looking at the art that it inspires and trying to relate that to my own home town and my own work. It would be interesting to create some work based on where I live. Perhaps that will be a challenge for the next long holiday period…

Easter ‘make’ a day – Day Seven: now I really need a lie down!

So, today was the Spot’s Birthday Party workshop at the theatre – 25 children aged 2-6 which is enough to strike terror into the stoutest of hearts.

Luckily my friend Emma has a small child magic about her and can control large swathes of them with just her voice and a selection of songs and games. In between we got them to handprint Spot, make bunting and party hats, decorate tin cans with sunflowers and plant seeds in them as well as decorate and eat a cupcake. We also painted their faces as lions, snakes or penguins and in true Spot tradition searched for his friends around the theatre for a ‘bingo’ game.

As always it was a noisy, happy, messy two hours.

I only have a couple of pictures to show for it, but if you are in the South East Essex area and want to see the show ‘Spot’s Birthday Party’ I’ve added the link at the bottom of the blog page.

the sunflower pot filled with compost and sunflower seed

the sunflower pot filled with compost and sunflower seed

Our Spot set ready for children to have their photos taken – apologies for terrible picture!

My challenge week is officially over! Thanks for your encouragements.

I truly went for ‘making time to create’ this week. While it was harder some days than others and a real test of my resolve I am happy with the outcome.

It’s not a standard working week for me,though essentially all that means is that I didn’t go out to work and I didn’t have Guides – everything else stayed the same. Its good to know it’s possible to fit in creativity in any form every day.

Honestly though, once or twice a week would be enough!

Easter ‘make’ a day – Day Six: updates and downsides

Before I begin on todays ‘make’ I thought I’d update those who are kind enough to follow my exploits regarding my revamped swimming costume. I took it up and down the pool tonight and it survived and supported me superbly for 28 lengths! I’m very pleased with it.

Yesterday I couldn’t upload my Spot drawing, but today I have the wherewithal:

Spot the Dog-supersized.

Spot the Dog-supersized.

I also drew some of his friends for a game:

spot's birthday friends

Today though I got my sewing machine out and my daughter and I tried to make her a vest top from a piece of chiffon she bought a few weeks ago. It is flourescent pink!

As you can see from the pics below we used another vest as a pattern:

laying out our 'pattern' and cutting out

laying out our ‘pattern’ and cutting out

The front and back with slightly different necklines

The front and back with slightly different necklines

I was foiled however by the sewing – I tried my overlocker and managed 2/3 of the picot edging before it stopped working. My daughter tried her machine and it wouldn’t sew without knotting up and then my machine decided that it would zigzag, but not straight stitch and then it wouldn’t do anything!

I felt like perhaps today wasn’t supposed to be about creating…..

I nearly gave up, but in the end I hand sewed it sufficiently to allow my daughter to try it on. It needs more stitching so, if anyone knows anything about sewing chiffon that they think I should know, PLEASE pass that knowledge on 😀

modelled beautifully!

I think, when it’s done it will be a great summer wear. I’ll let you know if we solve it!


Easter ‘make’ a day – Day Five: a Spot for the workshop

Easter ‘make’ a day – Day Five: a Spot for the workshop

Not wanting to miss a day in my challenge, but with the internet connection on my phone being dodgy and not being able to find a camera, I am afraid I have to give you the cover of a book  –  for now.

the cover of ‘Spot’s Birthday Party’ by Eric Hill. Found on

On Thursday my friend and I are running a pre-school workshop for the children’s show ‘Spot’s Birthday Party’. We have all sorts of creative things planned for 2-6 year olds and one of those is a large Spot drawing that they colour in with their painted hand prints.

The Spot I have drawn is almost as big as my youngest daughter and he will be part of a final scene set with birthday bunting (made by the children) in which each child can be photographed for posterity by their parent.

Hopefully I will have a photo of the finished product for you later this week!

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I am getting the sewing machine out. Watch this space…

Easter ‘make’ a day – Day Four: the red car and the blue car had a race

As a student of the eighties I had a large number of headline t-shirts with slogans like ‘Cats against Vivisection’ and ‘Mad Car Disease’. My opinions matched those slogans and, although my opinions have mostly stood the test of time, the t-shirts haven’t.


The one on the right of this picture I wore all the time – it was comfy (and huge)!  I took it out of my drawer today after a prolonged absence in my life and noticed the paint stains and the holes and thought, ‘I know, I’ll take that fab Milky Way ad car off the front and add it to a t-shirt I will wear’.

The t-shirt I had in mind for transformation was a black marl number from Primark that had also been a wardrobe staple for some time. (I don’t shop very often) but when I looked closely, it had torn just above the elbow of the left sleeve. Undeterred I just cut both sleeves off at that point. The fabric will roll, giving me a cap sleeve of sorts.

I cut out the car and ironed it onto some Bondaweb before ironing it onto the front of the shirt. As you may have read I made a t-shirt in a similar way for my daughter’s birthday and with that experience in mind I sewed all round the motif with running stitch in a complimentary colour. Now I have a t-shirt I will love to wear – there will be a brag label going on at the hem in the very near future!


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