Sunday, 30 May 2010

Fabric Swap Goodies and some makes!

I recently joined in a lovely fabric swap organised by CraftyHelen@Home and was lucky enough to be paired up with Clare from Button Patch. A few days ago this lovely package of parcels arrived all beautifully wrapped. I was VERY pleased with my goodies which included

Some gorgeous fabric. Clare was spot on with her choices...

Some of Clares lovely handmade cards. I've decided to save two to frame and will use the other two (but only to special friends!)

A lovely little lavender heart which has been claimed by Izzy

A little bits and bobs box (how cute is that?) with some more little scrabble tiles, some buttons and a little bracelet kit.

plus did i mention this beautiful ribbon??

All topped off with another lovely cupcake card and some of Clare's new Moo business cards (I have serious Moo card envy. They are lovely!)

I was seriously inspired by my new stash of goodies so a big thanks to both Clare and Helen. 

Motivated by my new fabric I finally got round to making Izzy a sunglasses case and purse for the holidays using Clare's lovely pink polka dot fabric as the lining. The purse was easy enough - I think I've cracked purses with linings now but the sunglass case was a bit of a nightmare. I wanted a little strap with poppers that Izzy could use to attach the case to her jeans or to a bag if she wanted. My sewing machine really struggles when I try and sew any thin straps though. It just won't feed the fabric through properly. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong? I eventually got it to work down the length of the strap but when i tried to do the short ends it just wasn't having it. I ended up bodging finishing it by hand. I wouldn't mind but this is a fairly expensive sewing machine and it should be able to handle thin straps surely?. I remember having the same problem when I tried to make a dress for Izzy last year. Any advice? Anyway here are the finished items...


and a lovely photo of Sam just because he is so cute at the moment

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A big pat on the back!

A big well done to Abby from Mutterings from the Moor who raised a fantastic £318 for cancer research with a raffle on her blog. There were some fantastic prizes all donated by fellow crafters. I donated a little handmade sewing kit which will be winging its way to the Isle of Wight. I hope they like it. I also won some cards so I am very excited about getting something nice in the post. Abby makes the most gorgeous bears and has a lovely blog so go and have a look if you haven't already....

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

bad news sandwich

Its been a funny old week with lots of highs and lows. I'll give you a bad news sandwich shall I? Isn't that what they did with Gordon Brown - start with some good news, drop in the bad news and then finish with some more good news!

The craft event at the Kite Festival is definitely happening and we can start contacting people this week. Woo hoo. I had a great meeting on Monday in Bristol (which I drove too!!) and we are all set to go. Only thing we need now is a snappy name for it. Craft market or craft marquee just doesn't do it for me. I want a name like Stitch and Bitch or Handmade Nation or my latest favourite Swine Club (sewing with wine). So come on guys I need you to come up with a name for me. I promise that if anyone comes up with a name that we end up using I will send them a little something to say thank you. It'll have to get past my 2 colleagues first though! Although the craft market will be a part of the Kite Festival I think that it needs a bit of its own identity too and as the Kite festival attracts lots of trendy 30 somethings it needs to be a bit funky. So get your thinking caps on - I know that you won't let me down! Jon suggested 'Make and Bake' - which might work if we could get a nice little stall selling cupcakes in the marquee??

The bad news is that my little local pre school that I love is really down on numbers for next September and we are having to think about making some of the staff redundant. Its so horrible. I thought being on the committee would be about running cake stalls not making people lose their jobs. Thats been pretty horrible this week. Any ideas on how we can get more children welcome. We are doing a leaflet drop at the week-end. Last year we were over subscribed!! Not sure what is going on but its not good.

On a lighter note Izzy is starting school in September and this evening we went for a visit. It was sooo exciting. Me and my fellow pre school mums spent the whole evening squealing with excitement. We've got all our dates now AND a uniform list! Its a catholic school which will be a bit strange for me as I am not religious in any way but it has an outstanding ofsted and a really lovely feel to it. Jon was bought up catholic so the religious aspect is much more familiar to him than me. Can't wait to tell Izzy all about it tomorrow.

Looking forward to hearing those names!!

Saturday, 15 May 2010


We have a fantastic shop near us called What! Its like a pound shop but bigger and nicer and sells lots of really cheap craft stuff (it also sells lots of cheap tat) but if you are happy to browse you can usually fill a trolley with stuff especially if like me you have a daughter who loves making cards and pictures and who uses glitter and glue by the gallon. Basically everything I buy in What! is 97p pretty much. So here are some of todays bargains. I'll spare you the pictures of glue sticks, gloopy glue, paper, card and blu tack and go straight to the good stuff



I love these gorgeous pegs. They are great for displaying the latest works of art from Izzy. I just blue tack them to the wall and peg the pictures up. I also use these at craft fairs to display my prices.

 Izzy chose various glitter pens, stickers and pens. You can't have too much glitter though can you?


These sewing kits were 97p. They have pins, needles, needle threader, tape measure, thimble, pin cusion, buttons, safety pins, 10 little coloured reels of cotton, black and white cotton and a pair of scissors. What a bargain. Perfect for my little sewing kits.


These childrens gardening kits were 97p too. A little trowel, spade and rake. I'm going to try and make a gardening belt/apron thing for these. Maybe add some little gardening gloves and a packet of seeds too.


These little jars were 6 for 97p so I bought them and filled them with my buttons. Very satisfying. They are now in my sewing room.

These boxes were Tesco. I've seen them on several blogs and admired them and today I actually found them so I'm really pleased.

A few people have asked how I make my bibs and what they are backed with. I use ordinary cream towelling material on the back which is really absorbent and good for milk spills. Its pretty cheap too. I tried other fabric like an organic cotton waffle fabric but too be honest the towelling does the job really well and washes well at hot temperatures. I basically drew around my favourite shaped bibs and used those as template tweaking them slightly until I was happy with the way they looked. Sam was my guinea pig and now funnily enough flatly refuses to wear ANY sort of bib at all!  I have a small baby size and a larger toddler size and use the snaps that you hammer on as the fastener. They look really professional but you could use velcro instead. Maybe I should do a tutorial? They are pretty straight forward to make.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Finally some sewing

Its been months - I don't know why but I just haven't been able to motivate myself to get sewing. I've bought plenty of fabric, reorganised my sewing room, bought lots of books for inspiration but I just couldn't get myself going. Anyway tonight I finally had a go as I had some presents I needed to make. Making presents for people is good. It gives you the kick you need to get started without the pressure you feel if you have to make lots of stuff for a craft fair. I really enjoyed it although felt a little rusty.

So heres one I made earlier....(please excuse the dark photos!)

I made 2 baby bibs for my new niece Tess who was born yesterday. Well done Liz!

2 bibs for a friends new baby - William

and a tooth fairy cushion for a friend of Izzy's who is having a party on Sunday. She has just lost her first tooth!

 I hope they like them!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

more photos!

Thanks for all your lovely comments about the new sewing room. I'm almost too scared to use it at the moment its so tidy and well organised (not at all like me!). Thought I'd bore you share some more photos

 Lots of lovely fabric that will NEVER look this tidy again!

Lots of lovely sewing related birthday presents

The lovely picture that I won from Patchwork Butterfly. I have finally had it framed.

My lovely birthday mannequin from my 2 sisters in law. Its from a shop called I Love Vintage Mannequins



Some cool boxes from Urban Outfitters and a lovely tea cup lavender bag made by my lovely friend Debi. 
I drink a LOT of tea!

More cheap storage from IKEA with various pretty brooches stuck on for decoration

This gorgeous jam jar wrap is from The Cotton Potter

More great storage from IKEA. These have holes in the back and will eventually hang from hooks to a bar on the wall (once that horrible green sink is removed!)

My cute little 50p car boot sale suitcases

 An old mug tree - perfect for displaying my bibs!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The big makeover!

I'm really lucky that I have a room to do my sewing in. Its basically the spare bedroom and although we have the odd family and friends staying over, most of the time its mine and I can use the space for my sewing things. It was always a bit of a mess as it didn't have much storage and I'm not the tidiest person in the world so as a present for my 40th Jon bought me some new furniture and I decided to re-organise it. There are a few things still to do but its pretty much finished so I thought I'd share some before and after photos.


and after...

The book shelf and sewing table were all from IKEA. The glass table top is really lovely and my photos don't do it justice. Its black with a flower and butterfly design all over it. I'm really pleased with it. The only annoying thing about the room is this

A really annoying avocado coloured sink in the space just where I want the sewing table to go. I've managed to persuade Jon that it has to go as nobody has used it for 3 years and its really in the way. Just need to get a plumber round now.

A couple of things I love in my room

This was my grandma's sewing box. I loved it when I was a child and was desperate to have it. It was left to me when she died and I'm sorry to say that as a teenager and in my 20's it was chucked in a cupboard somewhere and very unloved. Now I have reclaimed it and I love the fact my grandma used to use it on a regular basis. She was a great sewer and amazing knitter.

Wasn't sure what to do about ribbon storage. This is my home made attempt using an old embroidery hoop.

and this is the super duper 'ribbon ring' that I bought myself

Lots of lovely Cath Kidston birthday pressies and my lovely books all stacked up ready to inspire me!

More photos to follow soon.......