Saturday, 19 May 2012

What I did last Saturday

This time last Saturday I was getting ready to travel to London, leaving hubby to look after our three tinys, to spend Saturday night awake not clubbing or partying but standing up being a route marshal at zone 13.  At this point I did not know what this would mean or what was expected of me.  What I was about to be part of is an amazing event held once a year at Hyde park by the incredible people of walk the walk I was to be part of the moonwalk, (they hold other moonwalks in Edinburgh & Iceland, plus a sunwalk in Hyde park in the summer).

This is an important charity to me as I lost my aunt/god mother to breast cancer some years ago, earlier this year I had a conversation with a friend that we all dread to have, yes my friend phoned to say she had found a lump in her breast and it was cancer.  After spending sometime crying and thinking why me again, I did not want to lose someone else to cancer, I gave myself a good firm talking to, that I was not suffering from cancer and yes I know my friend had a hard road ahead of her to walk, I could not help her by crying or thinking of what if’s, what I could do in my small way was to walk the moonwalk and raise some money for this amazing charity.  Unfortunately by this time both the full and half moonwalks where full, so I decided to support those that were walking by becoming a volunteer and making a pact with myself to walk the three land challenge next year (the three land challenge involves walking a full moonwalk in London, Edinburgh and Iceland), if my friend Mrs R could undergo her treatment then I could train for three moonwalks.  

So Saturday evening saw me in Bedford train station, with my backpack packed with all the items recommended in the volunteer’s handbook, looking around the station I started to spot white (full moonwalk) and pink (half moonwalk) caps being worn or carried by other ladies also waiting to travel to Hyde park.   Little did I know at that moment of the sight I would see once on the bus from St Pancras station up to Hyde park, hundreds of woman and men walking along happily heading to Hyde park.  Then I spotted the big and I mean huge pink walk the walk marquee, I found where us volunteers where to sign in and get our bright green t-shirts’ with a black bra mortify printed on the front and out bright green caps with “the crew – moonwalk” printed on the front. 

I grabbed the first of many cups of coffee I would drink though out the night, and then went to wait by zone 13’s marshalling point.  Soon enough I was joined by other ladies who would be marshalling alongside me (out team had only one man in it, our team leader, who would spend that Saturday evening walking between each of the marshalling points in our zone making sure we were all right and doing our job).  We had a bit of a wait till our coach would take us it turns out to our zone, so a group of us went off to explore the huge pink marquee, I was amazed by the amount of woman and men that was inside the marquee listening to a rock and roll band, eating supper, getting temporary tattoos, generally relaxing before the night of walking ahead of them.  Hundreds no thousands (17,000 in fact) woman and men mainly wearing bra’s, it is a sight I will remember forever, it was just incredible.  After some of my group got a tattoo each, we went in search of more coffee and see who else would be in our team.  When we got back, we found out team leader Mark and Lucy where waiting for us, we had a safety talk and what our night ahead would entail, we then had a comfort break and supper.  Supper for us volunteers was potato soup and bread, sandwiches, biscuits and fruit and lots of tea and coffee.  We where then lead off to our coach pick up point. 

The coach was to take us to Chelsea Bridge and Battersea park,  I was stationed with Doreen, lynn and Jane our job for the night was to man a pedestrian crossing, making sure no walkers walked out into the oncoming traffic and to direct them into Battersea park, where the route continued and they would also find water and loos.  We were in zone 13 which equalled mile 13, our first walker power walked passed up at 1.15am, first the walkers came in 1’s and 2’s then in slightly larger groups then oh my, in their hundreds, we clapped each walker as they came across the crossing, congratulating them on doing so well getting this far, half way and directed them through to the park, telling them that water and loos would be found in the park.  At 6am our last walker came passed us, by this time the sun was well and truly risen and all had to do now was make sure no litter was left behind and wait for the coach back to Hyde park.  We got on the talking about the night we had, did we spot any celebrities, and the answer to that ....... no but I did get heckled for saying “well done ladies if you go though the park you will find loos and water!” and they reply I got “so you are taking us for a walk in the park!”  Yes that stopped me in my tracks and I did laugh and so did the ladies in that group and my only reply was “yes!”

Once off the coach we all said our “goodbyes” and made our way off in different directions, me to my train and home, thinking next year 3LC.

Was in an amazing night yes, was in worth it, yes.  All I can say is either try and do a moonwalk or help those that are walking, the volunteers don’t get a medal for volunteering, it just feels like you do every time someone walks passed you and says “thank you”.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Jean Challange

Miss Lizzie of set a challenge to remake things out of an old pair of jeans.  This challenged appealed to me for two reasons, 1) I like a challenge, particularly a crafting one and 2) I have some pairs of jeans that no longer fit me, waiting to either go to the charity shop or to be upcycled. 
So I took a pair of jeans into my workshop; after sitting for a while wondering if I should turn them into a skirt and then realising their would be no point as the jeans don't fit as jeans they would not fit as a skirt.  I decided a teddy bear would be a good use, so I went through my collection of vintage patterns and found a make do and mend pattern for a teddy bear.

This is the result of that pattern and my first ever attempt at a soft toy. 

I then made a crayon roll:-

As you can see, I added a patch of fabric from my scraps stash to give a bit of colour rather then having all blue crayon roll.  The inside of the crayon roll, I've used felt as I find this better for crayons and pencils.

Then I moved on to:-

A zipped cosmetic purse, with flower applique for a bit of extra colour.  I also lined the cosmetic purse in the fabric I cut the flowers from.  Alas my flash was not strong enough in the evening light to pick this out.

I then made:-

A little pocket money purse, using the zip from the jeans and freehand machine embroidered the words on.

And finally:-

A little girls tote bag made from the bottom part of one leg of the jeans.  Which I embellished with a little cotton flower I made and the cotton tape I had in my cupboard.

In the end I managed to make five items from one pair of jeans, which I think is not to bad considering I was using my own jeans and I am only five foot tall. 

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A week of Weeks!!!

The week before Christmas I took part in four craft fairs in one week.  I did not get a chance to blog about this at the time as I then went straight into 5th Birthday party organising for tiny2 & Christmas prep for my family; making Christmas presents and baking.  After baking a mountain of mince pies and the general madness of that time of year I have finally had a moment to sit down and write about my week of weeks!
      Well it was a week of weeks, one week four craft markets to sell at.  What did I learn from   this week:- many things; firstly my hubby seems to think sewing is a form of alchemy he has no understanding of what I do or how it is made.  Secondly I was amazed at how pleased I was if someone I didn't know brought something off me and said how nice it looked and how they liked my choice of fabrics and products.  Thirdly I found that parents at preschool/school events do not feel comfortable buying off other parents, they seem to be more comfortable buying off totally strangers then someone they meet at school everyday.  May be they are concerned about being judged?  Who knows!  This is something I noticed happening not just at my stall but at other fellow parents stalls.    And finally people will say the strangest things.  One comment I remember someone saying was "It looks so real!"  As if something made by someone at home at not in a factory is not real, I assure you readers my products are real and I take a long time to perfect the patterns and products.  I am also amazed at the amount of people that would look at my items and say "Oh that's an idea, I think I will copy that idea! Clever you!"  And then either tell me what they are going to do or walk off to the next stall.
One of the mayor things I did learn was don't sew late into the night.  I don't care to count the number of pins I knocked on the floor or the amount of times I stuck a pin in my finger.  Luckily everything was pre cut so no costly fabric mistakes where made.  Will I do four fairs in one week again ....... possibly with a lot more planning and time to prepare. 
Now on to planning products for 2012.  January is going to be the month for planning and prototype production for sewlovecraft.  So watch this space!