Wednesday, 17 June 2015

In Which I Look For Dormice, Give A Talk On Butterflies (and Moths) And Make Half A Dress At Sewing Club

I sometimes think I should entertain the thought of slowing down. But only fleetingly. Because I like Being Busy. I do not like Being Idle.

For example, in the last two days I have: spent four hours at sewing club, got up at the Crack Of Dawn in order to spend two hours walking round a wood surveying for Dormice, and given a talk on butterflies to a local residential care home's Open Day.

Tomorrow, the Doggy People have their hair cuts with Mrs Danning and I have a Glow Worm survey to do, and on Friday I'm off teaching school kids about Flutters and Moths.

This is all Good Stuff. Besides, I would be bored if I didn't have a chocker-block diary full of Stuff To Do. I think most Aries Folk like to meet life at full pelt. How about you?

The Sewing was the first of 7 weeks of classes ma and I have signed up for and we both Loved Every Minute of it. The other ladies were a scream. And talented. Tessa was making a new dress out of a linen one she'd found in a charity shop; Anne was making a summer dress from some lovely big-flower-print fabric; one of the other ladies whipped up a skirt while we were there and another lady was making ballroom dancing dresses for her daughters which looked amazingly complex and stunning.

We learnt about pattern cutting and how to put in invisible zips and sewing in sleeves and Over-Lockers. Of course, now we want to get our own Over-Locker so we can Over-Lock everything in sight (to get good value out of it, you understand). If my husband stands still long enough he might find himself getting Over-Locked. But then he rarely does stand still so he is Probably Safe. L on the other hand........

It has long been an ambition of mine to make my own clothes and (after spending three hours cutting out the fabric in line with the pattern) I now have half a dress made in some gorgeous fabric I found on the sale rail that I've been saving for just this eventuality. I bought the fabric telling myself its silently reproachful presence in my fabric cupboard would mean that I'd have to learn how to make it into a dress. It seems to have worked o)
 

If you look closely you'll even see darts! DARTS! The things I was most terrified of! And I've done them! And they look OK! And they fit the boobage without puckering/ bobbling/ sticking out oddly! Hooray!

I've still got the back to do and these two pieces (although I have no idea what they're for- templates for boomerangs, perchance?)...


We've got another class next week and I might just get the dress finished!!!! 

Dormice Surveying was Fun too. I met Cat and Des and Matthew in the woods at eight this morning and we checked fifty boxes for signs. 

There were No Signs. 

Not of Dormice anyway. 

Plenty of signs of birds,

and mice,

and squirrels. 

This is in aid of my Dormouse Licence (which is harder to get than finding hen's teeth).

Dormouse Box in Hazel sapling
Wood Mouse nest
Abandoned Blue Tit nest with ten eggs
Afterwards, I drove to Winchester to give a talk at a Retirement Home. They were having an Open Day based on a Butterfly Theme and I was asked whether I'd do a thirty minute talk on flutters for them, which I was very happy to.

And it was lovely. Such a great bunch of people. All enthusiastic, all listening, all interested, all coming up with suggestions to my questions, all surprised (as everyone always is) at the moths. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's funny how public speaking gives you a buzz. Funnier still, my old history lecturer from when I did my degree twenty years back was in the audience! They had little cakes with tiny butterflies on made from edible paper. How brilliant was that? And I had some lovely conversations during tea afterwards with some of the residents and their families.

I am now about to Complete My Busy Day (which started at 4.30 when my husband got up to do some work) by going for a Healthy Run. I can't remember whether I told you I have had to give up booze? It was giving me horrible headaches and I am feeling much better without it, but what it means is that I am now feeling horribly smug about my health and general booze-free approach to life. I am making sure I Tell Everyone about it. You have been warned! 

I'll leave you with some of last night's mothy people- two new ones for the garden this year (although I am getting increasingly concerned about the lack of Ellie Hawks. Where in heaven's name are they? I normally see them by mid May and so far this year NOTHING).
Anyhoo, these chaps (or chapesses) are a Green Pug and a Broken-Barred Carpet, which take the total of moth species in the garden so far this year to 97....



BTW, if you'd like to see a Really Spectacular moth, pop over to Mel's Blog.

Hope the week is progressing well for you all?

CT :o)

25 comments:

  1. I rather think they might be collar facings for round the neck rather than boomerangs!! To answer your question I can sew! Did it for O'Level!!
    I've been commissioned by the HG to make some fishing aprons!!!

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    1. Collar facings! Of Course! That makes much more sense than boomerangs, which would be floppy if made with fabric so probably wouldn't work anyway....

      Ooh, fishing aprons- to wear whilst fishing, or whilst gutting fish?

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    2. ps- I have visions of floral numbers edged all around with lace....HG will be thrilled! x

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  2. Busy is good, especially when it all sounds like so much fun, well maybe not the 4.30am bit or the giving up the booze bit...:)
    Your dress is gorgeous. I'm always plotting to set up my own group maybe this summer...xx

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    1. Yes! Set up your own sewing group- you won't regret it and you'll have SO MUCH FUN. Plus you need something to do now your course has completed.... :o)
      (I notice you don't mention the running....) xx

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  3. *fist bump* [fellow Aries} <--- all the coolest people are. you aren't left-handed by any chance? ;)

    i'm Mightily Impressed with your sewing!! a dress!!! with darts!!! i have such little patience for fiddly things, i must confess....i envision myself wearing a fabric version of the Turkey Tenement. :)

    and thank you for the moth-love --- i'm still thinking about that fellow...*sigh*

    xo

    ps. sorry you've had to give up the booze. i'd be lost without my nightly glass of wine. although i *have* given it up in the past, and probably could again...i'd really rather not. :) xo

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    1. Never thought I'd say it, but I don't miss the booze at all. Phew.

      Laughing at the thought of the Turkey Tenement Dress, but honestly, this sewing malarkey is easy peasy when you've got an expert on hand to explain it.

      LOVED your mothy lad- what a beauty, and how marvellous to see him au naturel too.

      Not left handed, but definitely an Aries in all ways :o) xx

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  4. Sewing club sounds brilliant, and what gorgeous fabric. You're making a good job of it, I shall look forward to seeing it when it's done. I like to be busy too. Sometimes it all seems a bit overwhelming, but I think I probably prefer it this way. No sign of my elephant hawk moth hatching yet either. CJ xx

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    1. I nearly fell over when I realised it actually looks OK and will fit! Not sure I'm at the stage where I could make one unsupervised yet, but that's what the lessons are for.

      Interesting your ellie hawk hasn't put in an appearance yet either. I am getting seriously worried about ours, by now I would usually have seen several but there's not a dickie bird. xx

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  5. Shame there were no Dormice, going on a small mammal hunt on Saturday at a reserve, there are hopefully some Dormice there, and they are leaving moth traps out over night so we can see what they have caught. Fingers crossed the weather is ok.
    Love the dress and I bet they all enjoyed you talks on flutters.
    Amanda xx

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    1. I'm going to another site on Sat which definitely has small furry ginger people in residence, so finger's crossed for that one :o)

      Your plans for Saturday sound fab! You're bound to see interesting things. I must get my longworth small mammal trap out in the garden and see what ventures in (humane, of course). It has a shrew hole in the back so there will be no shrews but maybe mice or voles...

      Flutter talk was huge fun and they were a great audience. Lovely folk. xx

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  6. I used to sew all the time, but it's been years since I've used my machine. Good for you for taking it up - and your dress looks lovely!

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    1. I find it very therapeutic. Same with knitting, although I save that for winter :o)

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  7. I am not an Aries (Scorpio - like to be in charge) but I do like to keep busy and fill my days with things to do. I never have a day with nothing in my diary and that is how I like it.
    I used to do quite a lot of machine embroidery but haven't done any lately (no time basically) - but making clothes is not my cup of tea at all.

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    1. I like to be in charge too :o) Being busy is great, you feel full of satisfaction at the end of a busy day. I haven't tried machine embroidery. Isn't it wonderful how many interesting things there are to learn about and do in the world?

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  8. yes pubic pseaking does give you a buzz. Glad it went so well adn that was a lovely idea of having edible butterflies on the buns. You giving up booze!! Wow! Didn't se tht one coming but glad your headaches have stopped and you are feeking healthier. Love the Moth shot.

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    1. I never thought anything could divorce me from my evening glass of wine and weekend G&T, but there you go, health is more important. I'm sure I'm better for it :o) xx

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  9. Your dress is (of course!!!!!!!) Fabulous!!!!!!! You are such a good sewist, I hope you enjoy the class! Hope too that T and P have enjoyed their haircuts today! I knew that you needed a license for doormice but didn't know that it was so hard to get one!! Good luck! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy :o) I am getting there with the sewing (under the tuition of a brilliant woman). T and P are looking (and smelling) very smart- Ted wants to do another post soon so he'll put some pictures up shortly :o) ). xx

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  10. I just call it midsummer madness. Everything seems to happen around now doesn't it. How lovely to have a brief respite by attending sewing classes. You are making stellar progress and you know we're going to want to see the dress modelled when it's finished. Saw my first garden dragonfly of the year today and there are lots of damselflies too. The robins and blackbirds gave been lying flat out in the garden today, you know when they spread their wings to keep cool I think. Interesting about drinking wine giving you headaches, it has the same effect on me so lately my tipple has been elderflower cordial with sparkling water, lovely!

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    1. Ecologists work flat out all summer long then slow down over the winter :o) I'd better make certain the dress works before I dare put up a piccy of it on! Birds also lying with wings extended here in the heat of the day. Pleased you're seeing odonata out and elderflower cordial is a lovely tipple for summer.

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  11. The dress is lovely, the fabric is so pretty, just what I like. I could never do such a thing, wish I could though. Good luck with the dormouse license, sounds like cause for celebration when you get it. Booze-free of course ;)

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    1. Thank you :o) I am so pleased the dress is (so far) actually looking like a dress :o) And a booze-free celebration is a very good idea, but will be at least next year, if not the one after- these things can takes AGES to get.

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  12. I love sewing but have fallen into the habit of making things only for the house and not to wear. I think I had one or two disappointments when making things for myself and the whole thing seemed a lot of work if you didn't like the end result! Curtains and cushions and things though - still doing that and love the process and the result. Maybe I should come back round to clothes again but how to fit it in with the garden and the baking and the walking and the family and the endless running up and down the country to see my dad? Maybe next year. I love the idea of joining a sewing group too. That might be just what I need to kick me into action again!

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    1. You should definitely think about a sewing club. Ma had nearly given up on the dress she's making several times, but June (teacher) knew exactly where she'd gone wrong and the mistakes were rectified in minutes and now she's talking about wearing it when it's finished :o) It does your confidence no end of good having someone there who can help. I think you'd love it.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x