Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Sophie's Tree and Decoration

Sophie's Pink tree and first handmade decoration.


Monday, 24 December 2007

Birthday fun...

This is the pretty bit of my supermarket birthday cake. Did not really have time to make one and my icing would never be as good as this.
A group of us went out for a posh restaurant meal, booking anywhere at this time of year is amazing. We were the only ones , it is a lovely small restaurant with oak beams etc. It was really good fun. Lots of laughing, eating and wine.
This was an unusal and cute present from Kirsty (Quilt)

This is HAPPY and there are more friends like this at http://www.momijishop.com/ would make a very unusual gift. There is a slot in the base for a secret message to be placed for the receiver to read.

My hubby gave me this which I think that I will take with me when we go and visit friends in Norfolk for New Year. Somthing nice and relaxing and hopefully improve my knitting as well.

Sophie chose a lovely flower necklace for me which I have not had a chance to photograph but I will next time.
During the afternoon we went for a walk at a National Trust property and in the gift shop I found this...

I think this will make for an interesting read and it will be good to see what methods could be applied to today's life but for environment/recycling reasons.
Happy Christmas Eve..
Take Care

Friday, 21 December 2007

Holiday begins here....

I have tried to make as many cards this year as I normally do and have not really managed it. I have given out about 10 and then had to rely on shop bought. I think that starting in August next year might not be such a bad idea. I am starting to think about ideas for early next year as well.
Anyway, I am now offically On Holiday... yippee. I am really going to try and catch up on some sewing over the next two weeks, I have a couple of birthdays in the New Year so little coin purses might be on the cards. Today we are going to take Sophie somewhere a little Christmasy.
22nd December... Too tired to finish this last night, sorry.
At the moment hubby is out scouring the area for my birthday card, big day is tomorrow. Going out in the evening with a small group of friends to a restaurant while Sophie sleeps at Grandparents. I am not sure what to do during the day itself, maybe get wrapped up warm and go out for a walk with my camera and Sophie's bike.
We have just been outside to finish decorating the playhouse...

The fairy lights are switched on even though they are not very clear. Had great fun doing this and Sophie is very pleased with the chimney that Daddy made for Santa.

I really like making things with felt and it is a good material for children to use. I noticed in a much earlier post that I was going to feature some felt ideas then promptly forgot. These are some of the ideas I have been thinking about. I saw this teddy in Crafts Beautiful magazine some time ago. I enlarged the pattern, added some embroidery and put Sophie's name on it. I think that I shall be making some more of these.

I have also had a little go at making some felt decorations. They did not turn out too badly so I took the idea to work and some of the younger students had a go.

I really like the dove and I want to make these bigger and in a range of colours.
Below are just some of the decorations that the youngsters made

Good aren't they? Will definately do this again next year.
Have a good day and happy cooking, wrapping or shopping...

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Farewell Gift

I thought this photo looked a bit Christmasy. Took it when I was getting to know my new camera a few weeks ago.
The Clothes Show photos are in the pipeline, but because sillybilly here left her camera on the coach I am relying on others and time has been chaotic this week.

I was astonished to see that it was nearly a week since I last wrote a post and delighted to see that the hit counter has suddenly shot up plus regular comments are left. I love getting these and thinking that others put time aside to write them. Thank you.

Right, what have I been doing? Well I finally gave in and went to the Doctor's who gave me some antibiotics and an inhaler (which threw me for a second, never had one of those before.) Due to records it is suggested that asthma is being triggered by bad colds which is why my chesty cold has lingered so long and why I feel completely shattered. Keeping an eye on that one. Damn nearly choked myself when I tried to use the inhaler the first time which resulted in my husband and I laughing, sounds odd but you really had to be there. Much better at it now and it is starting to clear.

The post title is related to this...

An order for a fabric book cover which is to be given as a leaving present for a collegue at work. These are becoming a bit of a tradition at work and I shall be making more to go on my website.

The covers are used to hide the dull diary covers that we are given. I handmade the cord and embellished it with beads which unfortunately do not show up very well in the picture. It is lined with lilac cotton fabric. It is all wrapped and ready to go.
I have added a tutorial link to the blog which I hope to add to in the New Year. I also have a website under construction which I have not touched in over a week due to felling rough but it is getting there. Stretching those grey cells a little bit too. Gave up with E-junkie which is a pity as I hate walking away from something.
Got a lovely email from Recycle2art, (see margin for link) and she has asked if I would like to feature some of my work on her site. Talk about grinning from ear to ear, that certainly cheered me up and I will be following this up. I will let you now when I have sent the details etc.
Also been trying the join craftyblogs but I am stumbling at the point when I have to enter in a username as it is saying that it does not look like the image? What image for goodness sake?... Anyway I have had two nice emails from a chap called Simon and I am going to try again tomorrow.
Well I seem to have rambled on a bit here so I shall sign off and head off to my bed.
Take care all
x x x
Hit counter is at 399!! Tell me if you are visitor 400.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Clothes Show Live

On Tuesday I got up at 2.30am and took a coach load of very excited girls to The Clothes Show Live. Luckily the excitement was controlled as many fell asleep on the way to Birmingham which was the aim.

The rest of the day flew by with out any real incident, even the missing handbag was found even though it will have to be sent back from the NEC. To find it in a venue of that size was a small miracle.. Will try and post some photos soon, but due to worrying about the tickets, the girls, the coach etc I managed to leave my camera on the coach. Great.. Got to bed that night just before midnight. A 22 hour day, a cold that will not go away and general tiredness has nearly finished me off. This afternoon was Sophie's Nativity which was brilliant, typically funny and got some good photos. So what am I going to do? yes that's right tomorrow night I am going to my work's do and staying over-night in the hotel when really I should be tucked up in bed with a Lemsip. Why oh Why does nothing happen for weeks if not months then everything happens in one week.

A Christmas Hat was suddenly needed for Sophie for school.. What do you think? Not bad for a very panic striken 20 mins is it?

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Christmas is coming...too fast..

The tree is up, the lights are in the garden, Sophie's playhouse has lights on it and a chimney, my hubby is busy writing cards and nearly all of the presents have been sorted out. Can't stop I'm on a roll back later. Like the wreath? Made it last year, taking it in to work hopefully someone will buy it as I have several more and they take up too much room..
If you have never seen the DVD 'Polar Express' do try to because it is a good film for Christmas, Sophie is watching it now and loving it.
Back tomorrow hopefully.
Clothes Show trip on Tuesday and have to leave at 4am heavens what was I thinking...
Bye for now.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

A Christmas Fayre, a lost voice and purses...

Well, where has the week gone?
Last Friday Sophie and I went to her school's Christmas Fayre in the early evening. it was raining and blowing a gale. Sophie's umberella kept collasping around her ears which was quite funny.

We found several nice little books including this one...

it is by Gail Mahan and was printed in 1967 by Hallmark Cards in USA. It has delightful pictures which are typical of the time it was printed and then little sentences such as this..

"A little book to open
when you're alone,
and nobody's looking...

Full of praise for all
you are and do,
when nobody's looking...."
thought that was cute.. We also saw Father Christmas and now have yet another small teddy bear to add to the collection.
The following day I had an Embroiderers' Guild Christmas party where I recieved my first card. We were all asked to embroider detail to various letters which will then be made into a title banner. I was given the letter 'i' which I finished and gave in on the day. Then I started the letter 'g' which I brought home just to finish off..
Poor light does not really show it off very well but I think you can get the general idea. Must send it in.
Then this week my ever lingering cold has jump on me again and I have succeeded in losing my voice for the second time in 6 weeks. Roll on Christmas, I could do with a rest...pleeeeease...

Today my students completed their little zipped coin purses which we only started the previous lesson. I am just waiting for the carabiner clasps to arrive just to finish them off. It is based on a tutorial featured on U-handbag. Link in margin.
I have made about seven variations of these coin purses including one in velvet which I am pleased with. I want to add another idea to the front pocket and the zip with the next one. I will post some of mine next time but I think the above have turned out well considering they had not made anything like this before.
Well I'm off to collaspse in front of the TV, write come Christmas cards and maybe some sewing if my eyes can focus on it.
Best wishes to you all.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Mermaid wall-hanging

Take a much loved Mermaid t-shirt which Sophie can not bear to give away and turn it into....

a wall-hanging. The dark evenings are making it tricky to take decent photos but the blue band has free- machined quilting on it and blue binding onthe outer edge. There are matching blue hanging loops at the top through which a wooden hanging rod can be passed through.
I just managed to finish this for the Recycling contest being run by nannybird, see link in margin.
I look forward to seeing all of the other entries. You can click on the link and once all of the entrys have been uploaded viewers to the blog can vote on their favourite so pop over and join in .
I have decided to hang onto this wall hanging until the last day of the school term so it will be a little pressie for Sophie to celebrate her first full school term.
It was a pleasant surprise to see comments on the blog from brand new visitors, welcome and I hope you will come back again another time.
Bye for now.

Monday, 26 November 2007

First card sale on Ebay...

One of my handmade cards sold as a 'buy it now' on Ebay and until I have either fathomed out how to use E-junkie or set up my on website I shall list items on ebay. I have packaged it up nicely and I am really hopeing it does not get damaged in the post. It has Indigo Blue stickers etc on it as these handmade items are separate to other items listed. I have loads of cards, bags, book covers etc to list but I do find that aspect tedious and get distracted easily but this week I will do it even if it is just a few each evening.
My keyrings and button badges have transformed into these...

I intend to give these away with bigger orders (hopefully one day that may happen). I have already given some to friends who have had items made to find out what they thought and the feedback was positive but then they are trying to encourage me. I like the button badges and so does Sophie, who is after all my biggest fan.

I have also finished my charity squares and will send them off, I would have done more but I ran out of wool..

I really enjoyed doing these in the evening, little thought needed but doing something useful at the same time.
My exam marking is nearly done then it is report time so sewing will be confined to my sewing group on Wednesday this week and another evening presentation on Thursday... how long is it to Christmas? Getting everything done in time this year is going to be a bit tight me thinks...

More fabric book covers and fun with felt coming up..

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Recycling Contest

Take a few coloured plastic bags (try to imagine the red and yellow ones) given to me by my students. Cut them up in a spiral then knit them into this..
strippy little handbag with crocheted handles. Then decorated it with a flower corsage. I have entered this into the recycle challenge organised by nannybird and if you are interested in taking part click on her link in the margin of this blog. Deadline is the 29th November.

Now that Picciolo has recieved her prize I can show how it was packaged. With tissue paper in lovely shades of blue, curley ribbon and my own stickers. I did mention in an earlier post that I wanted to follow this up with another variation for the Christmas raffle at the Embroiderers Guild branch that I am a member of. I shall not be taking jam this year..but these instead.

I changed the shape and size of the scissor case as I know that many of the members have quite small scissors. I did seem to mis-judge the positioning of the pincushion pattern on the fabric but more than made up for it with the case. I really love this fabric, it is a bit kath Kidston.

I have plans for these.. will show you tomorrow.
P.S Anyone tried using E-Junkie on their blog?
Have a cosy evening.. off to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix..
Bye x

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Party Bags and Competition Bags

This is my new entry into the U-handbag November Challenge. I used some soft furnishing fabric that I have had for far too long and decorated it with a brooch that I was given for Christmas a few years ago. Taking part in this contest does seem to be shortening the months as they whip round quick enough. I found out on the U-Handbag blog today that the new handbag patterns from Amy Butler have arrived so hopefully the Sophia bag pattern that I requested as my prize for last month will be here very soon. Oh yes.. many happy sewing hours ahead.

This photo does not do the colour any justice at all. Will have to have another go before submitting it.

I had enough fabric left over to make a little zipped coin purse with a front pocket for cards. The clip on the end enables it to...

be clipped to a 'D' ring on the inside of the bag. I also divided the internal pockets for a mobile phone and pen. I used a magnetic clip for the first time too which was easier to use than they look.
This one below looks better but not sure about the clutter in the background, but us bloggers are only interested in the bag...right?

My charity knitting is coming along well and I have nearly finished my third square.
I have exam papers to mark this weekend and yet another 5 year old party to go to.
Talking of kiddies parties what about this ..

Environmentally friendly bags. Fabric is very similar to lightweight calico. Pick a theme and draw a simple picture of that theme on the front using a black fabric pen. Piece of card inbetween.

Then ask the party guests to colour the designs in using fabric pens. They colour their own party bag and have fun at the same time. This went down very well with the parents and the girls loved it. The above bag is Sophie's which she coloured at her 5th party. Older children could draw on their own design.
I am going to start stocking these bags as they can be decorated in many ways in advance of the party and can be used for storage in a bedroom. Yes, you could make your own but not everyone has the time or a sewing machine. These can also be recycled when no longer wanted.
Once I have sorted out my shop area on here I shall be selling them here but until then I shall be listing them on Ebay. My ID is Andream 7813.
Hopefully back tomorrow.
Have a good evening.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Knitting and Moo Cards

This weekend I have been knitting 8 inch x 8 inch red squares for The Childrens Society. This year their Big Stitch involves creating the largest Christmas Stocking and all of the knitters getting sponsored. Hopefully they will also break the Guinness World Record and raise lots of money to help give children their childhood back.
If you are interested in getting involved click on the link.
www.childrenssociety.org.uk/get+involved/The+Big+Stitch or by calling 0845 600 8585.

I have come across several events like this over the year and as part of my job often get info sent to me. So I am going to set up a section in my margin for charity events as and when I find out about them.

Saturday afternoon saw the arrival of these cutes little Moo Cards:

I have been thinking about getting these for sometime but after having read a posting on Craftboom which is a sister blog of U-Handbag, click on the U-Handbag button for the link, I decided to get some. It is a pity that I had already posted Picciolo's parcel as I would have liked to have popped one in, never mind.. This cute little sample sticker book was also sent which is very tempting, isn't it? (Somehow I managed to drag AND copy this photo..opps, I actually recieved one set of stickers, not two..)

These MOO Cards now completes my packaging, coupled with designed and handmade items, all I need to do now is decide whether to use Ebay, Etsy or try E-Junkie to sell my work or a combination of all three.
I would also like to try more craft fairs, even though these can be rather hit and miss in terms of success. Does anyone now of any that take place in Cornwall?

My new bag for the Nov/Dec U-Hand bag Challenge is under way:
I need to stiffen the base and so bought some plastic grid for this very job, but the instructions are clearly talking about something else which can be stitched through. My plastic definately can not be stitched through, will have to solve that one somehow.. Will let you know how it goes. The pincushion and armchair bag is coming along nicely and I should hopefully have something to show you soon.
I have a very very busy week at work again so posting may be erratic but please keep coming to look.
Anyone tried the fleece juggle balls yet? I will have the flowery fleece example shown in the post available for sale, probably on Ebay until I have something else sorted out. My ID is Andream 7813 if you want to have a look.

Have a great week whatever you are doing...be back about Wednesday I think.
Take care...

Friday, 16 November 2007

Children in Need,a cuddle and some crafting...

Tonight Sophie and I are going to watch Children in Need tonight in our PJ's sat on the sofa with a fleece blanket have a cuddle and watch the fun on the television. Previous years she has not been able to stay awake long enough but '"now I'm five I can stay up can't I mummy?" Hence an earlier blog on a Friday night.
This week has been chaos so blogging has had to take a back seat.

The craft evening on Wednesday was unfortunately rather a quiet affair but a few items sold and I chatted to some people that I had not seen in ages. Plans for next year are being discussed and possibly a few changes will be made. Sophie's very first Parent's Evening was a success and that she likes to make things was brought up. Guess who she takes after in this area? A sore throat and a head that resembles a hang-over ( I should be so lucky) has been the order of the week so I am relieved that it is the weekend.

However, there is often a silver lining on the horizon because when I got home today I found a lovely email from Picciolo and I recieved a very nice blog from a lady in America who invited me to take a look at a competition on recycling an item into another product. She has said that I can put a link here directly to the competition rules etc.

I shall certainly give it a go. Her blog is fun to read and what I really liked was that she found me via a comment I had left elsewhere and decided to visit a new blog for the first time, and it is that kind of friendliness that made me set up a blog in the first place.

The speed at which time is slipping by has meant that my mystery pic was not followed up ( tut, tut).

These are close up shots of an organiser which hangs over the arm of your chair. Just need to find the full size pic.. hold on I will be back in a mo...

Found them...
This is a prototype of an integrated pincushion and bag which can go on or over the arm of a chair. I have made it so that it can be folded up and taken to classes or workshops. I have seen some that that have a rigid bag opening but I would find that a bit annoying. I am developing this idea further and I have started to make it. I would then like to list some on by ebay section and hopefully on this blog via E-junkie once I have figured out how to do it. I read the blurb yesterday but another go is required I think. I also have a party bag idea, so if you would like an environmentally friendly party bag and activity rolled into one the bag item is in the pipeline which I will post over the weekend and I hope to stock some of those too. I tried it out at Sophie's party and it went down well with both the children and the parents.

Has anyone had a go at the juggle balls yet? Please let me now if you have. I have just made a set for Sophie as a stocking filler.

Here is a fleece version...

Cut out and match up your 6 squares, but this time put the wrong sides of the fabric together and stitch on the outside using straight stitch.

Using a pair of pinking shears go around the three stitched edges.
Next, fill the juggle ball with beanie filling and stitch the opening shut as shown in the last tutorial. This time you do not need to turn in any raw edges and once sewn the edge can be pinked with the pinking shears to match the other seams. Easy.
These could also be made by hand using embroidery thread and blanket stitch set close together. Just check that the beanie filling can not escape.
Well I had better go and catch up with Pudsey.
Enjoy the evening.
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