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I should coco

OK like so many people I watched the Great British Sewing Bee back in 2013 and was so inspired. I even blogged about buying a pattern back in July 2013 but didn't show the final result until January 2014. My first effort was fine, was wearable but I so lacked confidence. BUT I continued to read the sensational Tilly and the Button's blog  who brought out a paper pattern called Coco. Now if you don't know who Tilly is but interested in starting dressmaking then check out her blog NOW!! She was in the Great British Sewing Bee (first series) and is self taught. And her pattern is fantastic. So user friendly and very versatile. So enough here are the first of my Coco pieces. Trust me, it addictive.... 

So this is a dress, the first I made using the pattern. Sorry about the electric socket - I'm still trying to find somewhere in the flat that I can take a picture against a plain wall with no features.  
 I had a little bit of fabric left over from another project (see below) and couldn't resist using it for the pocket detail.

 And here is a top using wonderful fabric I picked up in Brixton Market. 3 metres for £7 which has given me two tops! Bargain. 
 Whenever I wear this people always comment on it  though I fear it's the material rather than my dress making skills! Annoyingly I've never seen the fabric again but at least that means not many other people will have it either! 
 And finally another starry dress. 
 I wore this when I went out to celebrate my recent birthday
It was so liberating to literally wear this the day before going out to wear it. 

I love, love, love being able to make my own clothes. I'm not a massive fashionista but almost every piece I've made has had someone comment on how nice it is. I'm slowly getting used to say 'thanks, I made it myself'. Am still a novice but hopefully will improve with time. Though finding the time is proving difficult. 


Festival of World Archaeology or the place where I work

 By day I'm not a craft obsessive photographing maniac but a mild mannered administrator at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Every year we hold an archaeology festival where we throw open the doors of both the Institute itself and the wonderful Gordon Square which is opposite and put on a variety of activities for both old and young. Listen to me, I sound as if I was involved in setting it up which I wasn't but I did volunteer to photograph the event. Here's what I saw
 First up the bone lab. This is a sheep's head which I love to photograph (I know, I need to get out more....). The activity was guess which bone belonged to which animal. 
 Next is the conservation lab with one of the current MSc students showing people recent restoration work carried out by the students as part of  their degree. 
 Now we're onto Egypt, making little votive status. 
Outside we were lucky with the weather. There was a little bit of drizzle at first but it soon cleared up. Here you could have a go at surveying. Or as I like to call it experimenting with depth of field to get an arty shot....
This is current student Robert explaining to young Tabitha what to do. 
 Cave painting was a sure fire hit with many. 
As you can see it was great to photograph. 
One more for good luck.... 
 Moving onto flint knapping which always amazes me. Ashley (in the front) is using a deer antler to hammer the flint. 
  For  the more artistic you could have a go at pottery making 
 Overseen by Ben who has a hat in the same colour to match his glasses would you believe. 
And finally if you are squeamish stop reading now ....
Because next up is the wonderful Matt Pope showing you how to skin a deer with a bit of flint neolithic (or should that be palaeolithic, I did say I was  the administrator right?) style
This is the end result. The deer turned up to work in a cardboard box on Friday so I found myself carrying it downstairs to the cold store. I was quite surprised it actually fit in the box to be honest! Last year I was incredibly squeamish about this sort of thing but watching Matt at work was so enthralling I am no longer squeamish, after all it's part of life. This year I found myself dashing over to watch him do his thang. 
 Final shot is of the deer skin starting to be treated. Takes a lot to get it to being wearable. 

So these are just a few of the people I work with. Happy days. 


Let's go fly a kite

Every year O.H. attends a 'family day' where his dad and uncle with their children (i.e.. his sisters and cousins) meet up for a picnic, activity and then dinner. This year we met up in Russell Park in Bedford where there was a kite festival to keep us entertained after a rather filling picnic.
 So we did have a few kites but they took a little tempting to get off the ground 
So we left it to the professionals who had a lot more space to show off
 These saucy can can dancers apparently started off as footballers but were adapted to be a little bit more risqué
 Was great watching this aeroplane rise up to reveal that it was carrying Snoopy! Talk about a blast from the past 
 There were what you could have bought if you were lured in by the professionals showing off their skills
 Not quite sure what the flags were for though.... 
 Every festival should have a merry go round 
I love them... 

 So here is a footballer complete with football 
 And possibly the most bonkers of all the kites, a giant squid.... told you it was bonkers
I think this was a parrot
And finally couldn't resist these balloons - had to stop myself from buying one!