DIY Sunday

On Saturday my Blue Eggs and Tea fat quarters arrived in the post and on Sunday I decided it was high-time I moved my sewing skills on beyond square cushions with no buttons or zips, so that I could do something nice with my trial fabrics. As it is, I plan to get help from my IG friend Emma to help me realise the more complicated plan of boxy bags with flat bottoms, but I wanted to see if I could also make a little something myself too. 

So I searched for a bit of style inspiration on Pinterest and decided on a small fold over pouch. But me being me, I wanted to shake it up a bit so I went off piste and didn't use a pattern - I decided I wanted to use three different fabric scraps to practice on - a bird print, a navy stripe cotton and a navy corduroy - so I simply decided on the size and went from there, sketching out some plans on paper. The zipper I had was 8 inches and I thought it was 7 so I didn't get off to a great start by cutting the fabric too small. But no matter: I found a YouTube tutorial on cutting down zips so that worked out fine in the end. 

After cutting the fabrics and sewing bits together based on intuition (always a bit dodgy) I searched online for a mix of tutorials that would help me make sure I sewed everything in the right order. You will be horrified to know it took me 4 hours to make this tiny pouch, but I got it right first time with no unpicking and no trauma. At the end I added on some of my spare clay beads from necklace trials. I quite like them on the zip! 

I'm pretty proud. I doubt I'll ever get more advanced than this but it was nice to do a practice run so that maybe I can have a stab at making something out of my own material. I hope you like it! 

Fold-over pouch by Blue Eggs and Tea 2014

xo

What to do with a Problem like Christmas?

It's genuinely difficult to be part of the retail/luxury sector and take a moral stand point on consumerism. I'll be damned if I know the solution to an age old problem that needles me as a shopper, but more so as a retailer (of sorts) these last two years.

The problem is, I believe, that Christmas has got too commerical. I worry that too much pressure is put on people to spend money they don't have, on things they and others don't need, in order to satisfy an industry agenda. 

Here's the confession: I don't really like promoting my work on social media. I don't enjoy sending out links. I'd rather not do it, and I feel no small amount of guilt for luring you to my site. But if I don't, how will Blue Eggs and Tea avoid going under (to use that delightful euphemism, bringing to mind little birds sinking to the bottom of the cold sea....shiver!). It is not an easy balance to strike - ethical considerations be they environmental, or people-centric make this one of my biggest dilemmas at the moment. It is probably just as well that even if I were assured in my position, I don't have enough time to make a dedicated christmas range anyway ;)

Don't get me wrong I love a bit of shopping - I'm the first person to covet something new and shiny - but I won't overstretch myself for it, and these days I will ask myself will I still love this next month, next year etc. I want to make better choices. I'm not a shopping automaton, and I don't want to promote this ethos through my bird-brand either. There has to be a better way.

So I suppose this is my Christmas Statement from me and Blue Eggs and Tea:

Christmas is a wonderful time, it's a chance to share gifts of meaning with those you love, and most importantly to spend time in their company, or with them in your thoughts. It is not about cost, about status, or about guilt. You shouldn't need a loan, to get overdrawn, or to spend your food money. So please shop moderately and wisely. Consider independent shops who value the trade, but don't go crazy there either. If you shop Blue Eggs and Tea then I thank you enormously - it is valued so deeply - but if you don't no matter, let's share a happy story together in the new year and be thankful for the bigger joys of health and happiness. 

blue eggs and tea

In my family we're doing a secret santa this year where we each only buy one person a present with a set value, and whilst it will be strange not to be part of the annual ripping of paper festival, I am feeling a whole lot less pressured about Christmas present buying, and I will get back more time to spend a whole lot more thought on my one recipient. 

5 things for the mid-week

1. This photo from the weekend. It just makes my heart sing in a quiet, gentle way. 

Snowdonia, North Wales

 

2. This book 'Feral' by George Monbiot. A culmination of thinking on rewilding our planet and importantly ourselves, with a welcome focus on the UK and Europe. It may change your game.

3. This quote

Hilary Quote

4. This TED talk on embracing vulnerability to create deeper connections that help us feel worthy and able

 

5. This joke (I think I made up*): Why was the wardrobe happy? Because it went for hanger management

 

 

*Mr S and I have a curious habit, when out, of making-up stupid jokes no one but us would laugh at. One of us starts, and the other continues on a related theme. This built on his joke of why was the aeroplane happy, but I thought I could do better...