Saturday, June 14, 2014

Queen's Birthday

8 Jun 2014 9:17 am

I think it's very ace of QEII to hold her faux birthday celebration on my actual birthday weekend. That extra day-off in June means our group of Glampers (Glamour Campers, absolutely no roughing it in this establishment) can escape to Craft Camp at Sewjourn for four whole blissful days.  And because my fellow Crafty Campers are such awesome and generous women, they treat a birthday girl very royally indeed. Much more than the boys at home would have.

Here's how they did it:

They gave me the Princess Room, ie the one with the big bed and no room-mates.

8 Jun 2014 9:31 am
(I don't have a picture of it, so here's one of Jenny and Kate discussing darning.)

They put up birthday decorations : streamers in the studio and balloons in the house.

6 Jun 2014 1:20 pm

They made me a birthday cake. I haven't not made my own birthday cake for many many years now.
 7 Jun 2014 4:31 pm

Not only that but they all chipped in for a massage voucher which I duly redeemed on Saturday afternoon.  After which I had a lovely, lovely bath in the Sewjourn clawfoot.  Bliss.

7 Jun 2014 3:51 pm

(My fluffy pink onesie was the perfect article of clothing for Crarf Camp; warm, comfortable, snuggly and tres chic. I don't care what Susan M. says! She said No. And she shook her head at me.)

The gels also entertained me with their witty, erudite and frankly hilarious company.

6 Jun 2014 8:56 pm

They only required me to cook once for the entire weekend. (I made poached quince and pear, with raspberries for added tang, and a delish golden syrup pudding.) The rest of the time they took turns at whipping up delightful meals and desserts.  That's when they weren't offering up tea, wine, G&Ts or delicious snacks.

7 Jun 2014 8:59 pm

They inspired me with the things they created. Jenny and Susan M. definitely took the prize for the most prolific crafters, but everyone was making wonderful and clever stuff.

They encouraged me with my own endeavours, which were:

(1) A Merchant & Mills shirt-dress in some light blue linen given to me by my Mum in a recent de-stash.  I felt a little like Wee Willy Winkie when I wore this, but have since washed it, and hope it may come to feel less night-shirtly. Possibly if I add a belt....

9 Jun 2014 2:59 pm

(2) A tunic that started life as Dress A from The Stylish Dress book.

I had made it up at home over summer but when I tried it on I was horrified.  The book illustration looks nice enough on this charming waif, but it made me look frumpy.  And like I was wearing a tropical sack. At first I toyed with putting darts in to shape the dress a bit more, but then I decided to make it tunic length.. 

I also decided to add pockets because: very useful things, pockets.  The purple batik came from a tap students who had also de-stashed in my direction.  I'm really pleased with how it came up in the end.

9 Jun 2014 1:50 pm

(3) A self-drafted skirt in a soft purple suede-like fabric.  I used the Sew What! Skirt book and designed my own pleats.

 8 Jun 2014 11:09 am

Such a good book, I think I've learned so much from it. The skirt is not quite right around the waist  & zip area, so could possibly benefit from a little topstitching to help it sit flat (it's been under-stitched but it's not quite enough) and a little bit of jiggering with the facings, which all got too complicated when sewing on the daisy ribbon.  But I love how the design came out and feel pretty pleased with the sense of accomplishment I have from having designed it myself within the guidelines.

9 Jun 2014 10:12 am

So our weekend was a lovely creative, productive and also relaxing time, and we were sad to say good-bye to each other on Monday.  Thanks again to all my fellow Campers: Susan, Susan M, Kate M and Kate C, Magda (who turns out I didn't get a photo of, sorry love), Julie and Jen. And love to Janet who couldn't join us, but who was in our thoughts the whole weekend.

 9 Jun 2014 3:08 pm

Thanks also to my boys for getting on with their game while I was away. Came home to a clean house and a cooked dinner, and lots of hugs.  A birthday weekend fit for a queen.


  1. Craft camp looks as fabulous as ever. Gerard just came into the study as I was reading your post and said, "Sorry you missed Craft Camp". But really, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy it. I am glad it keeps going in it's aceness so it will be there to enjoy in the future.

    I love all your sewing and I'm very impressed you drafted a pattern! That's an extra layer of accomplishment all of it's own.

  2. I'm sure you deserved every last treat!

  3. What a truly ace birthday. Akin to me spending my birthday in the Hunter Valley for Stallion Parade Weekend! Love all the photos. xxx

  4. It was a grand weekend, wasn't it?


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