Sunday, 22 September 2013


In this second Post Series about where the fabric I use comes from, I am taking you to ......
  • Country - Japan
  • Area      - Kyoto

  • ·         Toji Temple & Flea Market              

     Toji Temple or "East Temple", was founded just after the capital was moved to Kyoto in the late 700s.

    The large temple, together with it's now defunct sister temple Saiji or "West Temple", flanked the south entrance Temple to the city, and served as the capitol's guardian temples. Toji Temple is one of Kyoto's UNESCO world heritage sites.
    On the 21st of each month, there is a flea market in the grounds of the temple from early morning until late afternoon. There are a wide variety of stalls selling new and second hand goods, including clothes, tools, sculptures, kimono, antiques, pottery, toys, plants and food.


    • Story
    Well it was raining heavily when we arrived at the Temple and there were very few people around. It didn't look as though the flea market was set up and I was really disappointed. I mean, to come all the way to Japan and hope to buy a secondhand kimono and be lucky enough to visit on the day that the monthly flea market is held and then for the weather to be so bad that no stalls are set up!!
    We had a look around and were just heading back to the entrance when I saw 2 stalls in the distance. I persuaded Mr F that we should go and check them out, even in the pouring rain, and lo and behold one of them was the kimono stall!!
    I couldn't believe my luck, and started rummaging through the boxes to find something suitable. I bargained for a good price but didn't bargain too hard as the poor man who owned the stall had set up in the appalling rain. However, I did purchase this beautiful kimono and obi sash. I would love to know the history behind these kimonos. Where were they made and by whom, at what cost .... and who was lucky to own and wear them?

    What I Was Hoping To See!!

    Beautiful Obi Sash

    And this wonderful fabric was used in the following bags ...
    Teamed with soft black leather.

    What do you think?


    Thursday, 19 September 2013



    These Carpet Bags are extremely roomy and close securely with a large frame. Open them up and you have a roomy bag with the addition of a large zippered pocket and also 2 other pockets! Oh, and the knowledge that you are the only person with this bag!!

    More on their way .....

    Saturday, 14 September 2013


    When I talk about my work at the hospice, many people either change the subject or pull one of those faces and say how sad that must be.
    Whilst people don't like to talk about death, the reality is that death is the one certainty in life for all of us. With the approach of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on the 12th of October, I would like to take the opportunity to describe a typical day at my workplace, a Hospice.

    First off, the Hospice is not just a place for patients with palliative illness to come and die.
    The staff work together as a multidisciplinary team and provide physical and emotional care to patients and their families, understanding and dignity.

    The patients coming to the Daycare unit arrive and it's smiles all around as we give them a cheery welcome. Chatting is done over a cup of something warm with hopefully a good choice of biscuits! I think it is important to see them as individuals first and foremost and their illness second. For some patients, this is the only day in their week that they are able to leave the confines of their homes and mix with other people. I like to give them all nicknames which they like and it makes relationships more personal.
    Some will enjoy aromatherapy massage treatments and they chatter away and tell me about their week, things they have done, people they have seen etc. But above all, we just have a good laugh, tease each other, share stories .... normal things.
    When its time for afternoon tea, it's common practise for me to go around them saying that they can't possibly be hungry and won't want a piece of that yummy looking cake. We all know that this is a ruse so that there will be cake left over for me! Oh they all know what my weaknesses are!!
    They leave for home feeling happier, more relaxed after having had a lovely day outside of their normal routine and already looking forward to their next visit.

    I will maybe treat outpatients who just come for complementary therapy and also go and see patients who are on the inpatient unit. They all want to know what I have been up to since they last saw me, what plans I have for holidays just as friends are with each other.

    Having lost my mum to lung cancer 17 years ago at the age of just 60, from a disease that took her away from her loved ones within 6 weeks of diagnosis, I thank God for Hospices and the care given to people who stay in them. My mum was able to die with comfort and dignity, with a feeling of security whilst surrounded by her family. I wish that for anyone who is dying.

    The flip side of the coin is what we as people who work in Hospices get out of working in such a setting. Sometimes it can be very sad as you do form attachments to patients but above all else, I get back what I put in ten times over. Yes I really do!
    I feel immensely privileged, humbled and lucky, to get to know so many of these patients. They come from all sorts of backgrounds and careers, and share their journeys with me. They are courageous, brave and dignified and make me feel so so proud of them. I love hearing about their lives, their families, their hobbies and what is important to them. They tease me, joke with me and I really don't mind in fact I love it! They are truly inspiring!!

    I hope that I have raised awareness and understanding of hospices and palliative care.
    I also hope that I have shown how rewarding the work is and maybe encouraged some of you to volunteer at your local Hospice in the future.

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    FRIDAY ....


    What do you have planned for the weekend?

    Mr F and I are going to look at a Nissan Micra to maybe lease as a second car, and it's my birthday on Sunday ...... hopefully breakfast in bed and lunch at a lovely restaurant for me!!

    And another Friday Fascinating Fact for you :

    Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact! Is this something that you suffer from?

    IT'S BEEN A WHILE ....

    Hello..... I am back!

    Well my sewing machine took a LONG time to be repaired and I have felt bereft without it. I have though, managed to catch up on some jobs around the house, like painting all the outside window frames etc. We hired a cherry picker lift for 3 days and this was a great help reaching the highest areas as neither Mr F or myself fancied getting up a ladder at that height.
    I am busy catching up on my sewing and have completed 3 Doctor Style Bags, which should be in the shop by the end of the week!
    In the meantime, here are some pictures of zipper clutches that I promised way back when!!!

    More on where I purchased this beautiful fabric ....