Thursday, 29 May 2008

Pretty all in Pink....


Well, here it is at last... Sophie's Quilt.
It is not as complicated as many that I have seen on Flickr and other blogs but it is a major thing for me. I have never been to classes or been shown specifically how to do ptachwork and quilting, I have picked up ideas and advice from friends etc. Luckily you can not see up too close as there are a couple of wonky bits here and there but I think only I know where.
I hope the photos are clear enough, these are the second set as it is a bit of a funny old day again today. My hubby is holding it up for me.

This is a close up of some of the squares. The size of each square was dictated by the size of the some fabrics that I found on ebay, being Cath Kidston the quilt started from these samples and grew. Sophie was involved with the colours that she wanted and she chose the fabric that made up the dividing border and the backing.

Some of these pictures would make good Moo Cards at a later date. Sophie insisted on using the quilt last night and the first thing she said this morning was 'Mummy my quilt was very comfortable'. That is good enough for me, a success. In fact she likes it so much that a request (with a please) has been put in for one matching pillow case. I am going to cheat a bit here and buy a white /pink pillow case and decorate it with the left over fabric from the quilt.

Today I have also been working on one of the two tutorials that I have started and hope to post that before I go back to work.
Bye for now.
XX
PS Has anyone been watching Desparate Housewives? I am sure that the hour it is on goes more quickly that usual.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

What a Week!!

The weather definately can not make up its mind what it is going to do. One day is red hot the next it is bucketing down with rain ALL day!

(Many thanks to the tagged bloggers for replying so quickly, one got caught by two of us offering the same tag questions, opps. It is mazing how these get around so quickly.)

Well, on Monday we were booked in at the Minack Theatre to see The Slipper and the Rose. Well the rain was virtually horizontal due to the extreme wind. For those of you who do not know what the Minack is, it is a Roman threatre set into the cliff face. On a lovely day it looks like this..


I have misplaced the web link for this but it was found on google, opps.
My hubby bought me a proper sailing jacket, he is a boat designer, and I said yes but never thought that I would ever have the chance to wear it in extreme conditions. Well today I DID! It was dreadful poor Sophie was nearly swept off her feet. You could only just about stand upright, the wind was going in straight off the sea at full speed. Seeing as we had driven all the way down there we decided to at least have a quick look at it. That was about allwe could do then back to the car and in that time we were drenched right through!
Sophie looked like a drowned rat and could not complain because I do not think she could believe what was happening poor thing.

We decided to make the best of it by getting a takeaway and watching a DVD. back at home.
We are determind to try again in the future. I felt sorry for my friend who had gone to the trouble of arranging it all, but we all laughed at the state we were in!

Tomorrow we are going to a birthday B-B-Q! Oh great! Should we risk it seeing as we are still drying out? The boating coat will be put in the car, just in case.

Bye for now.
XX
PS Sophie's quilt is finished! Yippee pictures tomorrow.

Monday, 26 May 2008

My website demons have gone.. I hope!


I may have spent ages working on it but I think that I have worked out what I have been doing wrong for past few months. Doh! Anyway I have added a new section to my website and it is the above. Regular readers may remember a few months ago I made a travel sewing kit using one of these lovely silk covered glassess cases. I am doing more on those but at the moment I have listed tem as glasses cases, they could easily be made into kits by anyone who has the items to go in them. They caught alot of peoples eyes at the craft fair and I sold some. I have two myself and one ready for my Mum's birthday. Have a look. If there is interest then I intend getting some more.

I came home on Friday to find that 2 covered books had sold! Guess where they were, sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be listed! My Mum-in-Law had popped round and liked them.
Next I shall be listing the keyrings.

I seem to have a bit of a back log and I find the listing rather boring after a while which I suppose is really the only drawback to selling online. Never mind.

I am delighted that my favourite book cover is now on its way to Australia..

However I now have the fun of making another one. Each one is different though which is part of the fun.

Just need to put the binding on Sophie's quilt, I already have the next project cut out and started! Will post asap because I am really pleased with it and it is the first one tat I have actually planned with a specific idea in mind. Plus it is only the second one I have tackled.

See you soon
XX

Sunday, 25 May 2008

3 mishaps and 1 Tag!

Thanks for your nice comments about my friday film night. It was brilliant to watch the film in peace and my husband came in about 20mins from the end and left me to finish watching it, so thanks hubby!
I decided not to sew whilst watching the film but I made this..

It was requested by Sophie for her baby dolly that she has. It is a crochet blanket to go in her buggy for this little baby carrier that Sophie has. I decided to decorate it with some little flower looking bits. I never actually thought I would say this but my knitting is better than my crochet!! Anyway Sophie is delighted with it and has now put in an order for some clothes, oh help!

Saturday was a round of ballet lesson, weekly shop, gardening between the showers, amusing Sophie and stitching together some more of my knitted blanket, but more on that another day.


Got to today and well it just was not going to be my day... it went like this...
1).On my way to a fabric shop I stopped off to get some petrol other wise I would have had to have pushed the car home again and I did not realise that the unleaded cable was wrapped around the diesel so when I pulled on the extendable pipe the unleaded one flipped up in the air and covered me with the petrol left in the nozzle! It covered all of my right leg, new trousers, fav mules and I really stank so had to go home and have another wash. Eventaully we set off and when we got to the shop it started to rain and we had to park quite a way away. Got Sophie's coat out of the boot.

2) Been in the shop about half an hour when my mobile rang and it was my hubby saying that I had left my purse at home, so he brought it all the way in for me otherwise it could have been a little embrassing.

3). Sophie decided to get away from Jezabel (me) and went home with Dad. As I walked back to the car I found my boot lid up in the air for all to see the contents. Nothing was taken unless someone fancied a box load of paperwork!! Due to where it was parked I got away with that, must not have slammed it shut properly?


By the time I got home I was ready for a stiff drink and a lie down! Instead I watched the end of the Monaco Grand Prix. Thankfully the rest of the day has been ok until about 20 mins ago when I stood on the paint pot lid in my bare feet whilst rollering the hall! Brilliant, ever had days like that?


Joannabags has tagged me which is only the second time for me so here it is...

Rules first..
I need to answer 6 questions. I then tag 6 people and post their names here, then go to their blog and comment to tell them that they have been tagged and to visit here to find out the rules. I must then let the person who tagged me now when I have posted my answers. I did need to read it twice.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was organising my wedding for 11th April.

5 things that are on my to do list for today?
Well considering the day I have had planning anything could have been disasterous but,

* Help paint the house.

*Buy some fabric to make a bag for my friends 40th.

*Read some of my book as I want to finish it before I go back to work.

*Paint the letter box on Sophie's playhouse.

*Baking session with Sophie.

Snacks I enjoy.
Gosh, there is not enough blog space for this one. I will have to condense my answer to pringles, cucumber slices with cheese, fruit and nut choc, berries covered in belgium choc (new in Tesco) cheese on toast.

Things I would do if I was a billionaire.
I have to say that since having Sophie and the surprised effect it has had on me it would be to do something about exploited and abused children. I already give to the NSPCC and raise money for the Children's Society. Since Madeleine McCann, the issue of missing children has never before been so high profile and I would really like to have the financial clout to help organisations have what they needed to help find them whether it be manpower to physically search for these poor children or to help finance detective work.


Places I have lived.
Germany (Dad was in the army)
Kent
Cambridgeshire
Hampshire
Dorset
Cornwall

6 people that I want to know more about
I have decided to pick people who I have only just 'met' via my giveaway last month.
*Scottie Acres

*Anglesey Allsorts

*No Reason Needed

*The Home is where the heart is..

*Smirley World

* Turtle

Phew!!
Rather a long post today. Off for a special evening out tomorrow with family and friends, but more on that tomorrow.
Take care.
XX

Friday, 23 May 2008

The week has 'Gone with the Wind'


It is friday... it is offically the start of half-term ( oh yes yes, thank goodness !) I need to dis-engage my brain, vegetate , catch up on some sleep and feel more human. That process starts tonight..
Hubby is out, Sophie is in bed, I have a bubbly drink, some sewing and the chance to see the following from start to finish for the first time, (always a reason in the past why I could not) yipee!

Have a great evening.

XX

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Funky Felt Creations... & the pricing issue.


I was surprised at how well this photo came out and I think that it will certainly be a Moo Card in the future. Some of these key rings are left over from the craft fair and many more created for the fair and since. At the weekend they will be listed in my Etsy shop. Now I would like your opinion on pricing. I find this tricky, I know how long things take to make, the materials needed etc and all I am after is for things to tick over so my crafting is self funding, if that mkes sense. I have read that crafters often under price themseleves, but also that if items are not selling then perhaps they are priced too high. Sounds a bit like the chicken and the egg doesn't it?

So I am going to lay it on the line..
Here is one of my keyrings,

All hand cut, white metal heart brad in the centre, chain stitch in yellow embroidery thread, appliqued pink heart, lightly stuffed, snake chain attachment, approx 7cm (nearly 3inches) in length.

What price would you be prepared to pay? This is a genuine question because recently I have read many blogs which have set up Etsy and web shops and costing is a big issue. So I thought I would try a bit of market research.

When I buy it tends to be for presents, I know I make things but sometimes an item catches my eye. Sometimes I like to treat myself or find something that I can not make, for example crocheted items, or something unusual, and I am fed up with mass produced shop rubbish.


What catches your eye when it comes to hand made items?

It is often mis-understood that hand made items = cheap rubbish which is a pity. That was one area of feedback that I did get from the craft fair, that the time , skills, etc could be seen and were appreciated.


On a different subject.. I have started to sew the backing onto Sophie's quilt and I am determind to finish it over the next few days. Unfortunately I did seem to unpick more than I stitched as the backing kept being unco-operative but it is getting there. I am really pleased with the look of it and I shall post it hopefully over the weekend.

Well... 'Desparate Housewives' is about to start so I'm off.
See you tomorrow
:-)
P.S Remember to tell me what you think of the 'pricing issue'. I would love to hear what you think and others may benefit too.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Some of my Fav blogs 1... Joanna Bags

Recently I did some features on my sketch books and the kind responses were wonderful. It has given me a push to do more of my sketch books which have taken a back seat for some time. Now I would like to feature some of my fav blogs over the next few weeks. There are loads and loads and all in my side bar are my favourites but this particular blog was one of the reasons why I started blogging and it caught my eye.

Joanna Bags caught my eye because... guess what?.. yes because of my love of bags ( I have far too many) and my love of making them too.

Bags such as these:
Joanna makes different types of bags but her basket bags are particulalry nice and I would love to know how she stiffens them so well. Her choice of handles are also inspirational. I tend to make slightly more softer bags although I do have a stiffened shape bag waiting to be started but only after Sophie's quilt and I have summoned up the courage!

Also Joanna uses little details like this. I like making Yo Yo's for lots of things and clustering them adds an interesting touch.
Plus bright and bold fabrics such as the above are used in her designs. Joanna has recently moved from blogger to wordpress and has opened and Etsy shop.
Last week I was lucky enough to be a winner her give-away competition because this lady can also make items of jewellery too! I recieved a lovely ring in shades of blue which is featured a couple of posts back.
Joanna also has two lovely children who she often writes about which are fun to read at the end of a long day.
So do pop over to her blog, say I sent you and have a good look round and say Hi !
XXX

PS Just had to show you what I found .. Meet my new virtual pet Purl the sheep. Find this and more here for free. Bunny Hero.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Attic Conversion Phase 2


Attention was then turned to upstairs. Much work had already been done but due to tricky access prior to the stairs the number of photos reduced. Now is the time for the room itself to take shape.
The above photo I am stood in the attic, the doorway is where the black water tank was in yesterdays post. The frame for the door and walls at the top of the stairs has been started.


This photo shows part of the frame for the new wall and you can just about see the new slimmer water tank behind the wall which will be boxed in with a door for access. The photo next to it is on the other side of the door and you can see a part of one of the storage hatches which is where the christmas tree etc will end up. I have never seen how a wall is constructed before and it was amazing how quickly this went up. All of a sudden everything started to look like a room. There are velux windows in the ceiling but getting these on camera was tricky but will see if Hubby has any photos on his phone.

The new stairs were also boxed in which has left us with an unusal shape but we needed to make sure that there was plenty of headroom coming up the stairs below and anyway it is growing on us and the 'odd' shape sort of fits in with our family!
Plaster board has been added and you can see the base of the stairs. We like open ballistrading as it gives the feeling of open space, but there is quite alot of it to now paint!
The white section was already there and we have been able to match in the old with the new. More tomorrow once I have tracked down the photos as we seem to have them stored in three different places.


WIP progress:

I have finally finished all of the squares for Sophie's quilt and tonight I am going to start cutting up strips ready to sew it together at my sewing club on Wednesday. I am getting quite excited about this one and this quilt has gone together much faster than I thought it would. Today I have also been tinkering with my Etsy shop and added some book covers. I really like them but I will be pleased when they go to a new home as they will get loveingly used. I even braved it and had a little go at my website. I have added a new section and deleted some that I have changed my mind on. More on that tomorrow once I have downloaded some more photos. Plus a feature on one of my blog friends.
Enjoy the evening, a DVD and some wine with a little sewing I think for me.
LOL
XX

Friday, 16 May 2008

Attic Conversion Phase 1..

The day after the Easter weekend, Tuesday, and the first day of my much needed Easter holiday instead of getting the lie in I was looking forward to I had to get up at 6.30am and be presentable for the when the builders would arrive to start the conversion. During the weekend Hubby and I had been emptying the attic and airng cupboard, much of Sophie's room and the garage to put into storage.

Now, we live in a link detached 1970's house and due to the housing climate we can not afford to move and we have rather out-grown our house. There no spare room for visitors etc and it was cheaper to convert the attic.
The idea was to use some of the space above the existing stairs to gain acess to the attic.
So, the above photo shows me standing at the top of the stairs looking back along the landing. The white wall on the left as you look at the picture is the airing/linen cupboard that also contained the hot water tank.
This picture shows the door to the airing cupboard. The light above is the access hatch to the attic. Can you guess where the stairs are going to go? It was very difficult for us to imagine that my little old cupboard would be big enough to give us adequate room for stairs!
This picture shows the emtpy attic complete with TV arial and roof struts which will have to be removed and strengthening girders of steel put in so that the whole roof does not collaspe. Crikey, did we really think carefully about this?
This is the other end of the attic and on the floor you can see the attic hatch. The black thing in the picture is the cold and hot water tank which will need to be upgraded and moved.
At this point we both found it very hard to believe that this would work. We trusted the builder and the fact that he had completed many conversions.
Remember the airing cupboard door? Well there are now stairs there. We both thought that this was very clever. They are only slightly narrower than standard stairs with the same rise height. They were made in London and delivered to Cornwall in a couple of bits. We are very pleased with them. Before that, the only way to see the work in the attic was to climb up a ladder which at one point was over the existing stairs! There are no photos of that stage as there was not much to see and it was very difficult to see due to no light of any kind.
End of installment 1.
Sophie's quilt is coming along nicely and I am now going to do some more and should have some WIP pictures for you tomorrow.
Best wishes.
XX

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Funky Flower Book Covers


These are my latest book covers. They have been in the pipline since February but it was not until I got my new stock of felt, cotton etc that they really took off. I have been making re-usable book covers for years and often get commissions for these. I really needed a new medium and since getting a new embroidery machine I have been trying out different materials. Denium covers were very popular but have worn off slightly, but bright and clashing is here to stay for a while. The two covers with the flowery fabric I made whilst sitting hopefully at the Craft Fair a couple of weeks ago. My time was not completely wasted I suppose. These will be finding their way to the Etsy shop by Sunday. I have several more cut out ready but I really want to get on with Sophie's quilt. I have just two more squares to do then make it up. I think that she has fogetton about it and I have tried to keep it out of sight as it would be great just to surprise her with it.

For those of you who looked in last week when Ofsted were in, we found out yesterday that we officaly a 'GOOD' school. Thank goodness for that! Many thanks for your support and comments on that.

I am typing this to you on my dinky new little laptop and more on that at the weekend once I have gotten my camera out again. Despite the cost it did not come with a case!? Hummmm I feel a small tutorial coming on. Better take my trusty camera to my sewing group tonight.


The builders have now gone so starting at the weekend I shall start loading some photos, but hubby must have smoe of the before ones so I need to track them down or you will not get the full effect.

Well not much has happend this week and due to work load I have not finished anything since the book covers. Sad isn't it? However I shall return with WIP's and anything I can now lay my hands on as the house is no longer quite the tip it was a week ago.

Best wishes!!
XX
P.S Website has gone live and I am adding items. Not as straight forward as Etsy!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Madeleine....5th Birthday today..


My daughter's birthday 5th birthday (9/11/07), went a little like this....

Six invitations were carefully written out (by copying what I had written on a piece of paper, not bad for a little girl who only started reception in September 2008). These were taken to school and handed out with much excitement! All replied and plans were made. Sophie knew exactly which cake she wanted, Disney Cinderella fron Asda! She knew which games she wanted to play, she hoped that it would be nice enough outside for her and her friends to use her playhouse, she would like pink balloons Dad if you could find them for her please. This he managed to do.

A section of the kitchen was decorated by hanging down shiney pink and red hearts from the ceiling ( they were really for valentines but she liked them), a trip to Tesco got us kitted out with Cinderella tablecloth,cups etc with a budget which Sophie stuck to (good girl). Mummy found some calico bags for party bags and Sophie chose pictures for Mummy to draw on so that she and her friends could colour them in on the day. Cards and presents were bought and hidden carefully.

A party dress was found, chosen and firmly decided upon, (Sophie is very easy to shop with) and hung up in her room with pride and excitment! Her room was tidied so that her friends could get in her room and play. Sophie chose a kiddie CD with music on for musical statues and Dad had to check that he knew how to play the game! (Poor Dad). A very excited little girl reluctantly went to bed because she was worried that she would not get up in time in the morning even though we told her that her friends would not be arriving until 10.30am!
Teeth were brushed, face washed, story read and one last look at the party dress before snuggling under her duvet cover.

All childrens birthdays should be as happy as Sophie's!


http://www.karenmennie.spaces.live.com/
What a contrast in circumstances......
Could not let this pass without a post on it. Hope you all do not mind.
Take care and best wishes to you all.
:-)
XX
PS Click on Madeleine McCann website link in the side bar for more information.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Post surprise!!

This arrived in the post on Friday.....
A handmade box with large bead.
Can you guess what is inside?
Some lovely chocolate, some sweets (which Sophie spotted immediately!) and this...
A lovely custom made ring in shades of blue from Joanna Bags.
I won it in her latest giveaway!
You ought to visit her blog which has moved from blogger to wordpress. She has recently started up an Etsy shop and she has some lovely items. I really like the glasses case featured. Her bags are lovely. So pop over and say I sent you.

I have parceled up two of the four winners of my giveaway and just recieved the address for the third but the fourth winner has not replied! I will give it a couple more days then I may get another name form the random number picker.
The third winner will be sent off tomorrow.

Yesterday I did manage to add all of my purses to my Etsy Shop. So take a quick look and see if anything catches your eye.
More to add but I need to take more photos and I spent all day today at a friends house marking work. Got it done but it was a pity to be indoors on such a lovely day as today.
Back soon.
Take care.
:-) xx

Thursday, 8 May 2008

WOW, What a week!!!

Apologies for my absence but Ofsted are in this week.
Wish me luck for tomorrow, it will all be over by 3pm.

Many thanks for the words of encouragement over the craft fair issue. Get this weekend out of the way then Esty shop here I come.

Where have all my new blogging friends gone?

Be back over the weekend.
Take care
XX

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Craft Fair and Etsy Shop Up-date......

The craft Fair was rather disappointing. Not that many people came, the good weather may have been the main problem there. Those that did come picked things up so many times and then put them down. One couple came back 5 times and still left with nothing. Nothing was over £20.00! One person was shocked that a handmade, fully lined bag with handmade flower was £6.00! Anyway moan over, I did sell some items, the best sale took place in the last 5 mins and they said that they were surprised that I had done so badly and paid huge compliments and took one of my cards. In fact many Moo cards did go so perhaps something will come of it later. Will I do another?, well I do not like to be beaten and this was the first one organised by a company which tends to do more outdoor events so iImay give it another go in August or the one they are planning just before Christmas. I do, however have loads to put in my Etsy shop and I have already started to put some items in. I am going to plough my efforts into that and my on-going Nemesis the dreaded Website!



Due to the busy weekend I have not got any new completed pictures to show yet.

I do have this bag which I bought from a charity shop which I was going to re-fashion for the "I wanna new bag" challenge. I was thinking of using my flower design which are still my favourite at the moment.

What do you think?
More Etsy offerings next time after I have had a bit of a photo session.

Nannybird Crafts has just opened an Etsy shop for those of you who like recycled items. I have one of her bags which I won in a competition and it is very well made and lovely.
Pop back to view items and added blogs in side bar.
2 people still need to contact me with their address for the giveaway. Any problems getting in contact them leave me a message in the comments section and I will reply to it.
Take care
XX

Sunday, 4 May 2008

And the winners are........

This was astonishing!! Where did you all come from? Well I can tell much more easily since I put the map on my blog. The interest in this giveaway has been such a massive surprise to me, my husband could not beleive it either and has sat down to have a look as well.

Due to the interest and to say thank you for taking part and showing such massive support I am going to have a first prize of the purse and 3 runners up making 4 winners in all. Now I am taking part in a craft fair tomorrow and the additional prizes will come from my stock.

I used a random number picker (which I may use for my lottery numbers it is so easy to use) so we can blame that can't we? I did delete duplicate comments, one that had nothing to do with the competiton and Piciolio who request not to take part because she has won before and one that was submmitted too late (Sorry) . So the final number of comments was 55.

Winner of the Cath Kidston fabric purse is Number 18: Obsessed Scrapbooker! Congrats!

Three runners up are:
Number 51... Knit - R- Done.



Number 7... Lesha. Keyring from stock.
Number45...Ursula. Keyring from stock.
Could everyone please send me their snail mail address via my email which is in my profile and I shall send them on Tuesday.
I shall definatley have another giveaway in the future this was fun to do. I have also found some new blogs which I shall be adding to my list in the margin over the next few days.
Please, I do not want you all to disappear into blogland never to be seen again! Do pop back, after the craft fair I shall be adding to my Etsy shop, (which I have nearly emptied) with all of the new items I have made. Also popping by to say hello is what this is all about. I do have another tutorial in the pipeline. I am hitting a busy and crucial time at work so watch this space.
The attic conversion is nearly finished and I shall be posting photos to show the before and after effect as well. Sophie is up there with Dad helping to paint, so I think that I am safer down here!
Again, a massive thank you for taking part and comfirming to me that starting a blog was a good move and I shall continue to come up with more ideas etc.
Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday.
I am off to do some washing, pricing up for tomorrow and some ironing, all the fun things in life.
Take care
From 'still reeling with astonishment'
XX


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