Friday, 24 October 2014

Reproducing a much-loved and much-used jewellery pouch.

My sister-in-law was one of those people who was always making something. For her girls. For her family. For her friends. And, at times, for herself. I have many things which she made me which I use and treasure. One is my much-loved and much-used jewellery pouch. 

It has travelled with me across the Australia and the globe on numerous occasions. It has been to Turkey and the Czech Republic, London, Paris, Portugal, Spain. It's had a very busy life.

I like it because it holds all my various pieces of jewellery. I put my earrings in its little pockets. My bracelets and necklaces in its belly, then tie it up securely and we're ready to go.

 It can be squashed into any little available space in my suitcase. The perfect travelling companion.

But it's worn out and in need of replacement and I had to get my head around how it was made.

After some thought, I came up with a plan and started cutting away.

I knew I wanted my new pouch to be a little bigger, so I cut my fabric into 45cm and 35 cm diameter circles. One of main fabric, brought home from France by my friend a few years ago, and one of lining for each size.

The first thing that needed to be done was a small button hole to allow my draw thread to operate. So, I folded my 45cm main fabric circle in half, ironed it to create a centre line. Then, around 5cm in from each edge of the centre line, I made a small button hole.

Then, with wrong sides together, I basted the outer edge of my two larger circles.

I set up a guideline with wash tape to stitch the channel for my draw string.

Then stitched the top line for my draw string channel.

The second stitching line for the draw string channel needs to be about 1.5 cm from the first.

I know this because I used the width of my sewing foot as a guide for the width of my channel and then had to unpick and resew because I couldn't get my cord through the channel

Don't make this mistake.

Now I moved onto my smaller 35cm diameter circles of fabric, placed them right sides together and sewed a small seam around the edge of the circle, leaving an 8cm gap to allow me to turn the circles right side out.

I trimmed the seam like my mother taught me, clipping out small triangles of fabric so that when I turned the circles right side out, they would sit flat.

I hand stitched the 8 cm gap closed.

I folded this smaller circled in half and ironed a nice crease and repeated, so my circle had four equal tart-like slices. Then placed my smaller circle in the centre of my larger circle.

Using my iron lines as a guide, I stitched my smaller circle to my larger circle. I then stitched two further diameter lines, so my smaller circle was now divided into 8 tart-like slices.

One problem I had with my original much-loved jewellery pouch was that my earrings would disappear into the points of the slices which made them hard to retrieve. So, in my reproduction, I decided to stitch an inner circle, 8cm from the smaller circle's edge, to stop this happening.

Now I was almost finished. Yay!

Some bias tape around the larger circle's edge.

Hand stitched the bias tape on the other side.

Cord threaded though the channel. One from each side. Secured with a knot.

I decided to reuse the cords from my original jewellery pouch so that I still have a memory of my sister-in-law in this new pouch.

And, ta-da! I am done.

A new jewellery pouch for my next adventure.

Plenty of room for my bracelets and necklaces.

My earrings won't disappear into the depths.

A part of the original jewellery pouch is still with me.

I'm a happy traveller.

Well, I will be … when I book the next adventure.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Photography … deer, oh dear.

As we cruised down the road in the direction of the Sackville ferry, my sister and her man cried excitedly, "A little deer! Oh, but it's gone." And then there were more. Cute, timid deer. Staring at us. 

Not sure about what we were up to, they scampered off into the safety of their bush.

Staring, cautiously … at us … staring at them.

But, then, just a little further on, there were more, not quite so timid and relatively happy to be the focus of my lens.

A young buck with his harem.

A very lucky young man.

One thought she was a sheep. Maybe.

We were fascinated. We don't see a lot of deer.

These were so cute.

I don't know what breed of deer they are.

Maybe fallow or sitka or sika?

Anyone know?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Paris … secret passages and hidden treasures..

Who can not love Paris? This was not my first trip to this wondrous city and I am determined to return, yet this time I found some beauty I had not explored before. Yes, we did the icons. MLP's first trip to Europe, you see.

Le Tour Eiffel, lacework and engineering. Yes, we went to the top. Does anyone not go to the top?

A hazy day, but that view.

Napolean's Tomb and its golden dome, proud and majestic.

And a few days later we wandered back at night to see her.

And then she sparkled.

It's not possible, surely, to go to Paris without visiting her.

But outside our airbnb apartment we found a secret passage.

I didn't know about Les Passages … Passage des Panoramas, Passage Vivienne, Passage Jouf-froy … until I read Delicious Days In Paris by Jane Peach and I had no idea they were right on the doorstep, virtually, of our airbnb apartment.

My brother led us through a shortcut he had found and I was gobsmacked. This was one of them.
"One of what?"
"Les Passages!"
"I've read about them. This is one!"
And it was.
They were designed in the 1800s as glass-roofed structures to protect the strolling women from the rain. They were able to stroll, promenade, shop at their leisure and to pass from one passage to the next with very little time at the whims of the weather.

And they are graceful, elegant, stunning. Everything an 1880s shopper could want. Some are restored and populated by up market boutiques; some are home to antique book and postcard shops; others are not so well tended, but just as fascinating.

Add Les Passages to your must-see list in Paris.

Another secret near our airbnb was Marché Montorgueil. A local market street filled with sellers of all things wonderful: fruit, cheese, mushrooms, fish, flowers and, of course, coffee and meals.

A foodie's heaven. Well worth a visit, even if it's only for a coffee and a stroll.

And, after many visits to Paris, I finally went to Opéra Garnier. What a masterpiece. Previously I have merely wandered past, but this time we ventured in. Wow!

It's decoration is so OTT. I was overwhelmed. No wonder it is world renowned.

The gold. The chandeliers. The Chagall painted ceiling.

And the Phantom in the basement. That Phantom … of the Opera … THAT phantom … in the basement.

How amazing would it be to attend an opera here?!?

Mmmm, add to to-do list for next visit.

Have you any secret passages

or hidden treasures

of Paris to share?