Great British Winter arrives at last!

Leather Ladies at Samuel Barlow Pub, Alvecote

Yesterday found the Leather Ladies at Alvecote Marina for the Floating Market.  We weren’t floating but all the recent rain meant the lawn was muddy and we couldn’t put up our gazebo.  So instead we tucked ourselves under the Samuel Barlow pub shelter.

I’m not sure where our Spring has got to, what with all the hail, snow etc. we’ve had this week.  Temperatures yesterday felt freezing with the wind off the water too and it definitely wasn’t encouraging the visitors.

Here we are!

Hazel with one of her beautiful new blue leather cushions
Jane and handbags - trying not to look too cold!

At midday the pub opened its doors, which was a Great Relief in more ways than one.  We decided that as a survival strategy to maintain our core temperatures and avoid frostbite, a large plate of chips was essential.

Chips and Dips!

Followed shortly afterwards with a tot of brandy each in our coffees! (We know ‘ow to live!)

Hazel maintaining core temperature

In spite of the cold we met some old friends, made some new ones and had fun.  Boaters and crafters are lovely friendly people; floating traders especially so. Many thanks to all.


My Colleagues

My mobile phone rang this morning.  It was the delivery company checking our address on a parcel.  The first twenty seconds of the call were made awkward by the loud and persistent howling from the floor beside my feet.

Caller :  Sorry, I can’t hear you very well.  What’s that noise?

Me:  Oh, it’s just my Jack Russell.

C:  Is he alright?

M:  Oh yes.  He always howls when the phone rings.  I think he worries about us missing calls.

Jack waiting for the phone to ring

Not only is Jack a wonderful phone and front door alarm, he’s also amazingly good company.  Doesn’t say a lot or answer back but is always reassuring in times of trauma, when a project isn’t going to plan or the sewing machine has a wobbly.  Not just that, he makes me get up and take him out for walks and stuff.  As a work colleague, he’s pretty cool.

Jack and Oz – best mates

It’s not long since we had to say goodbye to Jack’s best friend and another of my colleagues, the beautiful Ozzie. The workroom feels a lot more empty now Oz is not in his usual place in front of the gas fire.   Jack has really missed him but he seems to be perking up again gradually.

Jack paying attention

Jack and I have another colleague – the lovely Willow cat.  More on her soon.

Colleagues – note Jack has all the cushions!


Blue Leather Bag Commission

I collected this commission last Sunday at Middleton Hall.  The customer wanted one of my smaller bags with gold chain but in the sky blue leather.  Luckily I had a piece of the blue leather just large enough to make one.  I’ve finished it today and here it is.

Sky blue leather bag commission

The customer asked for it to be trimmed in pale tan leather and have a dark green lining.  I made the internal pocket in the pale tan leather as well as it looked well against the dark green.

Blue bag interior close up
Blue bag interior

I threaded a continuous strip of blue leather through the chain as I really like the “Chanel style” feel and extra substance it gives to the strap.  It’s not a speedy process, mind you, as the strap is a metre and a half long.  I persevered and have perfected the knack of joining the strips of leather together within the chain and also the fiddle of rejoining the chain links after the chain has been threaded through the eyelets.

Blue bag chain

Here’s the back of the bag.

Bag reverse

Now there’s just the cloth storage bag to make and we’re done!

Blue bag close up