William Morris

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William Morris Strawberry thief

William Morris Strawberry thief

Wow today is the birthday of William Morris. I love his designs though they are quite fussy they appeal to me and I know they have inspired some of my favourite textile designers today.

William Morris dedicated his life to creating beautiful and useful designs for textiles which proved that you could mass produce beauty.

He was driven to rise up against the ugliness and injustice of capitalist society. Definitely a Marxist but with a passion for beauty. Capitalism is the word he used, as opposed to “industrial society” or “the modern world”, after he read and embraced the writings of Karl Marx and became a Marxist in the 1880s. Much earlier though, what turned him into a rebel against Victorian Britain was the sheer ugliness and tackiness of the middle class luxuries that filled the Great Exhibition in 1851.

This colossal event, staged in the specially built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, was full of new-gothic, neo-Renaissance, neo-everything nightmares of bad design and ponderous art. Morris as a young man was horrified at the ugliness he saw & wanted to create beauty. I get that I totally do.

His strawberry thieving bird is just beautiful. He also created a tapestry design that I love William-Morris-Rabbitwith forest animals on & these fab animals are just so beautiful. I love the rabbits so much.

As a lover of beautiful fabric designs I applaud this visionary of the industrial age who helped created a textile design industry that let’s face it I spend much of my spare time immersed in. Thank you William Morris.


2015 Sewing Summary

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Wedding dress Memory Bear

Wedding dress Memory Bear

Attention to detail - buttons on a TOTZ Togz dress

Attention to detail – buttons on a TOTZ Togz dress

Phewwww  where do I start ? Well there was a Wedding Dress Memory Bear that was the last Bear of 2014 and first to be posted in 2015. From there on it was a lovely blur of sewing. There were dresses and tops and costumes and Bears galore.

I am incredibly fussy when it comes to attention to detail so at every step I have to have matching buttons and threads. I love ensuring that I take my time to make every project as perfect as possible & the research I do into my sewing is just part of that. I also love upcycling or recycling so I often hunt back through my Nana’s button tin for treasures like the 3 little heart buttons I used on this pink pinafore.

A dinosaur wedding garter

A dinosaur wedding garter

One of my Memory Bear customers asked me to make a bespoke wedding garter. I do love fun unusual projects. It was made from blue fabric with dinosaurs all over it. The bride is clearly a fan of dinosaurs. I was happy to help out and I am told she loved it.

In total I have no idea how many bears I actually made in 2015 but it was quite a few. Some were for customers others for friends and family. They all go on my little list and I make each one with as much loving care and attention as possible. Oh and matching threads of course.

Giraffe

Giraffe

I do also give myself some personal sewing time to just sew clothing or fun things. One of my fun projects in 2015 was this cute giraffe. It was made for a school prize and was modelled from a picture drawn by one of the school children. There was a competition for school mascot and the giraffe picture won so he was made into a special toy as a school mascot. I loved how he turned out and I do hope I get to make another giraffe to keep at home one day.


2015 Summary

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Littlest TOTZ - A happy soul

Littlest TOTZ

Zachary O'Donnell - An amazing brain. Different is Brilliant

Zachary – An amazing brain. Different is Brilliant

Well 2016 is running away with me and I am realising that life has been so busy I have not posted a Blog article for simply ages. How does time fly that fast. Well my eldest is entering his last two years at Primary and now we have his official ASD diagnosis I am officially an Autism Mum and ASD Advocate. That feels good. It feels good to be able to be bold & celebrate that being different is brilliant. The smallest TOTZ family member has just had her 4th birthday and I realised reading about Olivia Grace & her cat Thula this week that my son’s cat is his sister. She is the one who has helped him do things he might not otherwise choose to do. She is his comfort and strength and support at all sorts of interesting times.

So where did 2015 go. Well there were days out and a couple of holidays and a family wedding plus tons and tons of sewing. We visited Castles, Stately Homes, walked hills and mountains, discovered Geocaches galore, went on trains and aeroplanes and finally even visited Mickey Mouse. Phewwwwww…. I shall do a roll call of sewing projects but suffice to say that inbetween all that school, preschool, mummy stuff we discovered how precious life is and we lived it as well as possible. I discovered how fragile your health can be and that mummy really really sometimes has to put her own health & wellbeing on the list of important things too. That hasn’t been easy these last few years and that’s fine. I discovered a less selfish me when I had children and I think I became a better person because of that. But maybe sometimes a little bit of selfish time is needed too & you shouldn’t feel guilty for that. I realised I don’t always have to be rushing about in fact sometimes just doing nothing is not a bad thing at all.