I recently received three gifts, which I thought I would share with you.
Magnetic, extendable, pin retriever, with light
Need I say more? I use a lot of pins. And I drop a lot of pins. And usually they get vacuumed or swept up and due to the bother of picking them out of the stitching and trimming rubble I often lose them. Maybe 50 per cent of my pins (especially if someone else is doing the sweeping or vacuuming) are collateral damage. We have small kids crawling around and all of us take our shoes off in the house so economy plays second fiddle to safety. This wonderful item extends fully so you don’t have to bend down. It has a strong magnet at the end which ensure you only pick up the pin or needle rather than fluff and thread. And it has a powerful light! A little torch that comes on through a screwing action. I love this item, and am so indebted to my husband who gave it to me. Thanks Nick!
Handmade, William Morris, Liberty print, Bias binding
This thoughtful, beautiful bias binding was made by Linde and given to me for my birthday. What a delight! Isn’t it beautiful? I do make a bit of bias binding from time to time, but it is a fag, and I don’t have any special equipment – just a ruler, a washable felt tip, some sharp scissors and an iron. I didn’t ask Linde how she did it, but it is completely even, soft, and just a gorgeous piece of work. Not every one would appreciate the thought and work that went in to a gift like this. The William Morris design is around 150 years old. The fabric is cotton lawn – a really luxurious, stable, close weave cotton. And the colour is so pretty. I will have to think about how to use this binding to really show it off.
You know when so many people across lots of different lives mention something to you that you realise it must be good? This is what happened with Serial.
I have never listened to a podcast, or an audio book. I associated audio cassettes with my old Dad who listen to books when driving (I don’t have a car) and, as he aged, increasingly at home, in bed. I am afraid I put being read to, or listening to something more demanding that the usual bland radio chit-chat, with being old or disabled. But actually, being read to is an interesting and quite delightful idea when you are busy with your hands but your mind is relaxed. So my third gift is having something riveting to listen to when sewing. Prompted by so many people I listened to Seriel and really enjoyed it. And then it finished, I tried something else which I will also recommend to you.
A couple of years ago my son Gus and I did an evening class in writing short stories. He was a lot better than me, but we had some fun, with a wonderful teacher called Katy Darby.
A published author she also runs a club in London called Liars’ League. (There is also a LL in Hong Kong and NYC). You go to the event (once a month) where new, unpublished short stories are read out by actors. Of course not everyone can get to live events, but the readings are recorded and then uploaded for everyone to enjoy. Why not try listening when you are attaching your silk underlining to your silk dress? Or basting in that sleeve?