Saturday, 20 July 2013

52 Weeks of Happy...40/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Thank you so much for your kind, supportive and wise comments on my last post. I was quite moved by all of them and were so many words of wisdom and generosity in there too. Time marches on, whether we like it or not, so it's another reason to enjoy the moment and what we have as much as possible. We are all quite upbeat here. It just feels like a normal Saturday. The weather has been much cooler and overcast and it's been a bit of a relief actually as it meant I could finish the playhouse and the kids could spend some time in it without everyone overheating! So, joining in with the lovely Jen at little birdiehere are my happy moments from the last week:

1. This sweet little rabbit-covered dress was worn by my very good friend Abigail's youngest daughter for her christening last Sunday. We travelled down to London for the weekend to attend the christening and it was extra special as I am her godmother. It's an honour.

2. Around Easter time Angus brought a little sunflower plant home from nursery. We've watered it and watched it grow ever since and this week it flowered. Angus is pleased as punch and drags all visitors into the garden to admire his handiwork. And it's nearly as tall as he is!

3. Strawberry picking with Angus and my friends. It was hot but there was so much fruit and we quickly filled a huge punnet. I wasn't sure how Angus was going to cope with the heat and if he'd be bored, but he loved the whole experience. And we have jam and pavlova and a bowl of strawberries in the fridge which appears to be breeding, it never seems to go down.

4. I've been attending sewing classes these last five weeks in an effort to try to learn how to use my sewing machine properly. It's been a revelation - I've learnt why it's important to do certain things in a certain way and how to change the needle (I've been using the same needle these last two years - apparently that's not good) and to press your seams (the difference between "handmade and homemade"). And I made a bag. I did bias binding and french seams and everything!


  1. You are invited to follow my Christian blog

  2. Such a sweet dress - I am going to hunt out some rabbit fabric for my wee girl! Sounds like a super happy week and I have loved the cooler weather today (shouldn't complain but it has been a relief) Here's to an even happier next week xxx

  3. Gorgeous happies as always ... I love the little rabbit dress and would love to go to sewing classes ... I can't find any near here but I really need some ... I will have to keep searching ... and yum to all those strawberries ... Bee xx

  4. I'm scared of a sewing machine, like I'll try to use it and all will back fire!!! So I do a lot by hand...
    I need to look into a class like you did, It would be nice to hang out with other sewing women as well.
    Lovely photos... The sun flowers reminds me of something you might see in Texas...
    Tammy x

  5. Well done you on making the lovely bag! I just love taking classes - I always learn little tips that a book can never teach, and I feel much more confident to try things on my own after! What's next for the machine then? Chrissie x PS Congrats on being a godmother, the dress will be treasured!

  6. Hi Gillian, love your happy things . The bag you made is super. I would love to attend sewing classes. I used to make a lot of clothes and I've just ordered a dress / skirt pattern inspired by Tilly from the great British sewing bee , do you read her blog ?
    Not sure when I will get enough time to do any sewing though....I'm so slow at it.
    Jacquie x

  7. Well done Gillian, on the sewing. Next we'll have you quilting! The photos are lovely and I'm glad Angus is proud of his sunflower. Everyone of my blogging pals seem to be talking of strawberries. The wildlife always eat most of mine, so I'm jealous. Enjoy your Sunday.

  8. Dear, lovely Gillian,

    I am feeling a little sad I missed your important post last week. I can completely relate, like many others have, to each and every word you wrote. My husband suffered an unfair dismissal three years ago (he won the court case) and moved on to a completely different Professional field which he finds very fulfilling. It's all about turning the not so good into something positive, isn't it? You certainly are, it is clear to us all, a very positive person and I just know you will all be fine. Baby steps to start off with, right?

    Hugs form sweltering France,


    ps That little baby dress is ADORABLE!

  9. Lovely happies. The baby's dress is adorable, I just love baby clothes. I'm glad you're having a nice weekend. Your bag is beautiful and you did a great job with it. You're really learning a lot in that class!

  10. I'm of an age when we did needlework as an 'O' level, I had an excellent teacher who was a stickler for doing everything correctly - a real pain at the time but now I'm so glad of the skills she taught me.
    A few tips:
    Always iron/press as you go, it makes such a difference.
    Keep your hands well moisturised to stop snagging and keep them clean and cool when working.
    I still tack (not pin) before machining as it keeps the work in place better.
    After watching and really enjoying 'The Great British Sewing Bee' I've just replaced my 25 year old sewing machine with a newer model - what a difference - my new machine is a delight to use and has inspired me to start sewing again.
    Good luck with your future projects!

  11. oh that sweet dress! and good on you for the sewing lessons :)

  12. I was glad of the respite from the heat yesterday too, and today looks like we might get more of the same. The sewing lessons sound like such a good idea. I'd like to try making clothes but it always seems so complicated and I know my finishing skills are lacking. Something else to add to my list of things to do! x

  13. Lovely strawberries. What a great bag to make at your classes.

  14. Hi Gillian,I love your "difference between handmade and homemade" because there really is a very big difference!!!There are just small little bits like pressing seams or a straight stitch line that can make or break an article!!!Attention to detail can also be the "difference between handmade or homemade!!!"Have a great week!!!

  15. I love bag - it looks great! Have you been inspired to do more sewing? I did a curtain making course a couple of years ago and made a sample curtain (Wendy House sized!) but haven't made anything thing since. I think I'm going to need some more cushions for my classroom so will have to get the machine out over the summer.

    That sunflower is amazing! I hope Angus is enjoying it! x

  16. Gorgeous bag and very pretty fabric....well done you!
    Love that sunflower....such a happy flower, don't you think? I remember when my daughter bought her small sunflower plant home from nursery many moons ago and she planted in the garden and it grew to twice her size! She was very proud of it :) Very well done to Angus x
    Have a wonderful Sunday.
    Love Caroline xx

  17. Being a Godmother is super special isn't it? Such a sweet little dress. Hello Abigail if you are reading :-)

    I really need to do your number 4 - I'm a bit intimidated of my machine and can't bear the thought of sitting down and looking through the manual (yawn!) so lessons would be great for me. x

  18. Lovely happies Gillian and love that very gorgeous dress! Our sunflowers have failed this year and one little person doesn't seem to be very happy about it at the moment. I am sure Angus must be loving it and feel very proud of it! Well done for making that lovely bag and for doing your sewing course. I can't wait to start mine in September. Enjoy your weekend xoxo

  19. Yay re. the sewing, and the sunflower :D

    I keep thinking about you after your last post, having travelled the road you're on I know how exciting and trepidatious it is, all rolled into one!

    (I miss Abigail's blog.)

  20. Well done on your sewing class, your bag looks great!! And how cute is that little rabbit dress!!!
    Planning to go berry picking next week, hope there'll be strawberries left for us!

  21. Hi, I missed your post about the redundancy. We were where you are a couple of years ago, and it's a scary, and we were in the position of having my income too... It actually presented opportunities, once the initial worry had subsided.
    I was very proud of our sunflower till I saw yours...

  22. I am in love with the bunny dress. It's a bit like Mini Boden - I wish they'd do all the girl clothes in grown up sizes.

    Leanne xx

  23. The Rabbit print dress is so cute! My daughter would love that. Your bag is beautiful...must remember to press my seams in future hehe x

  24. Gillian, I love your positive outlook on life... it's very refreshing! Your week looks happy and lovely. Congrats on being a godmother. It really is such an honor. Your bag is beautiful! I plan to take sewing classes later this year. I am very excited about it!

  25. Sweet Angus and his sunflower, I love the wonder of little people when they watch plants they planted grow. i guess this stays with us as adults as i get so excited when something i plant grows:o)
    Gorgeous bag Gillian, I can't say i ever change my sewing machine needle unless it snaps and breaks in two when I sew over something too thick ! Have a great week ahead xox Penny
    ps. I want that bunny dress, man that's just too cute for words.

  26. What a beautiful rabbit patterned dress.
    Good luck with the rest of your sewing classes, do I foresee a future with more sewing?
    Lisa x

  27. These are lovely happy moments and very inspiring words :) You really are making the best of everything! I'm having similar problems with dwelling on things that cannot be changed. I might start the happy series to help me put things into perspective.


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