Thursday, 17 December 2009

another bag

Christmas presents

I made these "rainy day" gingham bags for two sisters who are friends of ours. The bags are fully lined with some furnishing fabric which has given the bags a bit more weight and hopefully strength. I appliqued the initials and hearts from old jeans. They are called rainy day bags

because they are going to have scissors, crayons and paper dolls in them - and maybe some drawing paper too. I have added paper houses from Anna at twelve22 and a book of vintage paper dolls from Chez Beeper Bebe

The bags tie up with grosgrain ribbon. Now I have posted one image twice and cannot remove it....oops

Fab Freegle Wicker Chest

I was lucky to be given this wicker storage chest by a kind lady on my local freegle site (what was freecycle- I don't quite understand the internal politics of the change). We have received a few things from this family and have managed to give stuff to them, which I realy like. It fitted in my car boot (hurray) and now has pride of place in T's bedroom. I filled it very quickly with his spare and summer school uniform and jumpers too big for his bedroom drawers. It was quite heavy which made me think it was well made - I like its slightly tatty look, "It's vintage chic" I reassured Mr Minnado, though he didn't mind me bringing it into our house as it was (a) Free (b) a Storage item. Our house seems to be full and there is no room for more stuff so I have to sneak some things in.... I am slightly worried about Christmas and the onslaught of presents for the kids from well meaning relatives - this morning I took two bags to the charity shop. To make it even better I found a Paul Smith dress in green velvet there for £8.00. (with tags still on!!) It was a no brainer. I bought it with a view to resale but once I got it home and tried it on, I was in love! It fits and is a Real Lady Dress. I will upload pic soon. I now need to find a party to wear it to.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Felt Picture

We made this a few weeks ago - I did the cutting under direction from T - he drew shapes on paper which I used as templates for the felt. Then he did arranging and glueing. There was some overly enthusiastic use of glue.
This was the first thing we made with our craft felt pack from Ebay. I will definitely used craft felt again as I love the bright colours and it is so simple and easy to use. T enjoyed it so much that two more are under construction....I am trying to persuade him it would be a good idea to give one to Grandma for Christmas - he doesn't like to part with his masterpieces! Cue the conversation about how Christmas is about giving to others, thinking of others not just ourselves.... One great thing though , while making it he uttered the amazing words, "This is better than playing on the computer" Hallelujah!!

Christmas Cards

I set those children to work...inspired by the Kids Craft Newletter http:// We bought a pack of craft felt on Ebay and it is really gorgeous stuff. I cut and stuck the tree shapes, then T decorated them with shapes we already had in the craft box. This was the first batch, I was mean enought to make him do it all again! I really like the simplicity of these and the brightness!

Then little sister had a go, her cards were made with some craft punches. One has a label shape and then we have a small Christmas tree shape and lots of pearlescent white glitter. She enjoyed using the craft punch, we used it on sugar paper and then on some of her gold and red finger paintings.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Apple day

We went to the Annual Apple Day at the Greenwood trust in early October- loads for kids and a celebration of apples...
There was a local potter there and kids could throw a pot on the wheel. They also made dragonflies from sticks and UHT paper coloured in with felt tips. These can be seen in an earlier post surrounding my Amy Butler top. They hang in our hallway brightening it up. There was the giant Millenium apple press in action making juice and we came away with our 4 litres. We had taken in bags of apples earlier in the week and so got free juice! It was so nice to have day when we could be outside doing things.

slack blogger

I feel so slack - it is almost a month since the last post. I have THOUGHT about posts a lot butnot got round to actual posting - in my defence we have had half term holiday which necessitated a trip down to the south west to visit family, then on our return I had a throat infection which slowed us down. Now I am gearing up to get ready for December and Christmas...feeling virtous having just stitched some bags for presents for some of T's friends...just need to finish them. I planned to put in some art materials and some paper dolls from here ( I love paper dolls and always had some in my stocking every Christmas as a child.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

It took so long....Simplicity 2599

This top has taken me almost two months to sew - not because it is esepcially tricky but because it was so hard to find the time. I made it as a birthday gift for my friend and so worked to a higher standard of finish than I probably would have done if it was for me!
I bought the Amy Butler fabric at the Quilts UK expo at the NEC in August. All I can say now is."Phew..."

Next challenge is to post it before the postal strike. This is more of a challenge as my daughter currently refuses her pram and insists on walking to the local post office. She also refuses hand holding. Problem is we have a major building site at the end of our road and a burgeoning tesco store with heavy traffic. I have to bribe her into the pram with food. She can (and does) climb out once strapped in - when the food runs out!

The surrounding dragonflies were made by the kids at Apple Day( More on that later.

Friday, 9 October 2009

A bad pic of a good cushion

I made this initial cushion for my friend's daughter's 2nd birthday. I used Bondaweb and zig-zagged the cushion onto a blue cotton. Very simple to do. I am planning on some more for Christmas presents... but have been very busy making two tunic tops recently and must finish them before anything else is started. I haven't blogged recently with the return to school. My son has started at a new school and I now have to drive down country lanes, avoiding tractors. I am finding it very tiring, especially as my two year old keeps starting the day at 4 or 5am.

Monday, 14 September 2009


I tried papermaking with T and I. Here is T mixing up the pulp. His little sister aged 2 helped too. They both formed sheets. We all ended up soaked! But we have made some nice sheets of paper to use in collages.

Interesting to find that a two years and 4 month old can make paper sheets just fine - her main issue was taking turns with the frame. We used dyed bamboo based pulp from Papershed and mixed it with some white linters. We piled the wet sheets onto wet cloths lying in a large baking tray. When finished I took the pile of wet cloths and placed them between two sheets of hardboard in the garden and stood on it to squeeze out excess water. I did this bit without kids! We were able to then peg the couching cloths up on a clothes rack and the paper dried overnight.

Monday, 17 August 2009

house plans

I initially planned this blog to be about rebuilding our house and living in the country BUT the plans are still with the planning commmittee so nothing has happened. We seem to be constantly saying "When we move.." or "when we are in the new house..." Nothing much happens in August so we are still in our old house with a major building site at the end of the road. The building site has provided much entertainment as we walk down and check out the progress of the diggers and bulldozers. They have knocked down the old shops and are making the pile of rubble into a new road. They also knocked down some offices where I worked for about a year and a half when T was a baby. Strange to see a place where I used to sit and work just gone. bUt we still have no building site of our own...I am having trouble at th emoment believing it will ever happen.

Anyway the next pic here is of T'S Seascape. We went to the fabulous Spacex gallery ( in Exeter and went to one of their children's DIY workshops. Cleverly these start at 8am and we were the only ones there (does no one elses kids get up at 6am?) There was coffee for me and lots of project s for T to choose from. He enjoyed himself - he think he would have stayed all day if possible. He took some more projects with him. This seascape was from a project that told you to Collect a series of objects, then take them from one place to another, rearrange them and record them however you want. We went to the beach and he collected these objects - then spent a long time rearranging them back at Grandma's house. Grandma was not so impressed with the small creatures that crept out of the collectiona nd across her kitchen table. We then packed the collection up and have brought it home with us. Not sure what to do with it now. He was so engaged with this process - it was lovely to watch.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

charity shop #2

Here is the second pattern. Great dungarees.... I don't think I will get my son to wear these anymore, but maybe would suit my 2 year old.

Charity shop finds #1

I found two patterns in our local charity shop and hope to try them out...they are so old that they are vintage! Just need to find the right fabric.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Amy Butler Anna Tunic

Hurray! I have finished my Amy Butler Anna Tunic. It has taken ages - mainly as I can only do a tiny bit of sewing at a time while children sleep and I keep getting sidetracked by other projects. I really like this tunic - it is very comfortable to wear and covers a multitude of cake eating. I am not sure if I look like a demented 1960s housewife in it though. I want to make it again but have a hankering to make it in white or a tiny weeny stripe.
I feel proud because I learnt several new skills using this pattern - making and fitting button loops, and gathering the fabric to fit the yoke. I am now in the middle of making applique cushion covers for presents..but thinking about sewing clothes!

Monday, 6 July 2009

ABC picture

I made a couple of pictures to go by I's cot. I used bondaweb and the iron to fix this abc fabric onto an old canvas. I found this fabric last summer and I love this fabric and my little girl likes to point out and name all the animals and objects on it. I wanted to make the picture again but bigger showing all of the alphabet, so I went back to the shop but they didn't have any more of this fabric.

Friday, 5 June 2009

traffic jam/car park skirt

I love this new skirt! I made it from a kit by Clothkits.( I remember my mum making clothkits toys and clothesin the '70s and now they have been relaunched by a new owner. This skirt was designed by People Need Plates - I was calling it a traffic jam skirt but my son pointed out it is a car park pictured on the skirt. I proudly wore it last friday while driving on the M6 - felt very apt.
It was really easy to make as the skirt pattern comes ready printed on the fabric and the kit contains thread and zip. You just select your size and get going!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

fairy dress

I made my daughter this fairy dress for her 2nd birthday - I knitted the bodice with circular needles and then kind of cobbled together the skirt with some gauzy fabric and elastic. I used some polka dot ribbon for straps. You can't see in this phot but the skirt fabric is shot through with gold. It is very very pink but looks cute. The original pattern was in a knittingbook from the library but I lost the pattern after I did the bodice and so I made the rest up! She still seems to prefer wearign her firefighter outfit though!


We have bought a run down bungalow on the edge of a village and are rebuilding it. Happily we now have chickens there, an old climbing frame and monkey bars. The chickens are great - there are four and they are laying every day - result is I am constantly thinking up egg recipes.... went to visit friends yesterday and we turned up with a quiche and a cake!
Plans for our new house are almost complete - it feels exciting and scary too, a big project and I can't quite believe we will be living there one day....