Friday, 31 December 2010

My Last blog post of 2010

Wow, I can't believe that 2010 is almost over - where has the time gone?  Think I must be getting old as when I was young a year seemed to last forever, now its over before I've really gotten my teeth into it!  So to that end I was determined to cram a couple of last minute crafts into the final hours of the year.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to find a copy of this book in the Works bookshop in Salisbury for a bargain £2.99 (sorry it was the last copy before you all rush down there to buy one)

Some of the projects in it were not to my taste, however they did have an idea for a felt pincushion.  As a pincushion has been on my to do list for ages, I made one.  I only followed their basic pattern for making the shape, I just decided to add my own design onto it.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
It's still a little bit fluffy, but I've now filled it with pins and it works well.  This is the other side of the cushion, just in case there was any doubt as to what its for!
The other project I've managed to fit in is to make some new cushions for our living room.  They were desperately needed as the ones we had were not washable and they were so dirty I resorted to washing them, only for them to fall apart!  Anyway these are the cushions I've made:

They're lovely and cheerful, and go with the wallpaper on our walls, which you can't see in this photo.  They are just envelope type backs, and I've just added a strip of the front fabric to break up the plain cream colour.
Hmm its now 4.40pm, and there are just over 7 hours left to this year, I wonder what else I can make before 2011!

Happy New Year to you all, its been lovely having your company since I started this blog at the end of August.  Here's to a crafty and fun 2011.


Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas

What a lovely start to Christmas.  I'd signed up for the secret Santa swap at It's all about the Fabric and yesterday I received a wonderful package from Bonnie at Fat Chick Design. (Great Blog, if you've not visited I'd recommend it)

I'm determined to put them under the tree and wait until Christmas day before opening them, but surely opening one little one wouldn't hurt?

Some gorgeous fabric - how exciting - beautiful colours which will fit in perfectly with other bits already in my stash.  Hmm maybe I'll just open one more...
Ooh yummy, some chocolate to nibble on while I'm sewing.  I wonder what the soft squishy one is, maybe I'll just have a peak...
A gorgeous felt decoration - perfect for my tree, but equally as lovely after Christmas.  Oh, I seemed to have opened most of the presents now, I guess there's no point in keeping the others wrapped...

And the last book shaped one in the lovely Christmassy paper:

Wow, what a fantastic santa swap.  So thank you to Bonnie & thank you to Emma for arranging the swap, and thank you to all my lovely readers for your comments since I've started this blog.

Just want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope that your New Year brings you everything you wish for.


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Yay it's back!

I would just like to announce that my darling sewing machine has been restored to full working order and has now returned to its rightful place on my kitchen table. 

My wonderful delivery man battled through snow & ice, and even resorted to pulling on his walking boots and making the last part of the journey by foot - but he made it.  As you can imagine I was more excited than my six year old on Christmas morning!

So hopefully normal (chaotic) service will now be resumed on my blog!

I'm going to have a lovely crafty Christmas now!


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Teachers gifts and Sizzix Dies

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my two youngest, and its that time of year when thoughts turn to teachers gifts.  This year I've bought the two teachers bulbs in a basket to grow.  It looked a bit plain and boring so I thought I'd jazz it up a bit.  This is how one of them looked before (forgot to take a photo of the other one before I'd done it)

And this is how they look afterwards. 

I weaved (wove?) a length of red gingham through the basket and then tied a knot at the front with another length of red gingham.  A bit more festive than they were before.  For the teaching assistants I've made small Christmas purses (like the ones I made here) and filled two with chocolate coins, and the other one with a felt flower brooch, as one of the TA's loved the one I made for my daughter.

Last weekend I treated myself to a Sizzix Big Shot cutter and some dies (my treat for working every Saturday for the last 3 months!)  I've been playing with it and these are the things I've made.

A cupcake or three!

Some horses.

The detail is just added with some fabric paint I've had knocking around for ages.  As I am sewing machine-less at the moment I haven't yet decided what to make from them, perhaps the horses may turn into a pencil case and the single cupcake into a bag (yes that is the leg of a pair of jeans that I cut off for my son when it was hot and he needed shorts!)  Am thinking of making a frilled apron with a cupcake on the pocket, but that is most definitely a project for after the holidays.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A Mad Week!

After a bit of a disastrous week which involved amongst other things, a sick bug (& an accompanying sleepless night), a sore throat/temperature bug, 2 school plays, 2 days of working, a carol concert, a hospital trip to check on my sons broken thumb and NO SEWING MACHINE - I've finally managed to get my secret Santa swap organised, wrapped and parcelled up. 

I'm quite relieved as for once I'd been a smidgen more organised than usual, and had already finished making and collecting the gifts before my machine broke and before the usual Christmas school madness began.

I have as yet not made it to the post office to post it, but that is a job for the morning - it should then be winging its way with lots of handmade love to the recipient, who I'm hoping will enjoy the things I've put in there.

Good luck to everyone else with your last minute Christmas madness


Friday, 10 December 2010

Granny Squares

As I am still without a sewing machine, I've decided to try to finish the blanket I'm crocheting for a certain person in my family who loves anything a bit kitsch and retro (& who I don't think reads this blog).

It's not a great photo, and there's nothing to scale it, but each of the big squares are made up of 9 6" granny squares, sewn together.  I need to make at least another 2 big squares, plus then I've got to edge it, I was hoping I'd finish it before Christmas, but I think maybe that is a bit ambitious :)

Before this I hadn't crocheted for years, I think I learned when a child, but had to turn to the internet for a reminder of how to make granny squares.  I must say I'd forgotten how relaxing it is to sit in front of the TV and just make something you don't really have to think about.  They make up fairly quickly too, I usually get a couple of the smaller squares made in an evening.

Anyway better go & get on with it.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My Sewing machine is poorly

Am feeling rather sad tonight as my sewing machine has succumed to the cold & has refused to work. 

It was merrily chugging along making a lovely skirt for Elisabeth at Sewciety, when it made a horrible grinding noise & froze solid.  I can't move the needle at all (although if I want to wind a bobbin then I can).

Luckily its within the guarantee period, so am going to contact Sewing Machines Direct where I bought it from in the hope that they will come & collect it. 

Am not quite sure what I'm going to do with myself in the meantime, although my husband did cheer when I told him & said that now he's going to get his wife back!  I doubt that very much, not while I have hand sewing needles and a crochet hook!


Monday, 6 December 2010

Finished Christmas Wreath

Here is the finished wreath.

I'm still not sure about it.  But I've hung it up on our living room door and am going to live with it for a few days before deciding whether to keep it up or not.

Has anyone else made one? 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Break from Crafting

I haven't had too much time for crafting over the last few days, yesterday was our village Christmas festivities and I was working in the gift shop.  It was lovely, the Anonymous Travelling Market was in the high street, with food and gift stalls.  There were carol singers and Father Christmas even put in an appearance.  Luckily the snow and ice had pretty much defrosted so lots of people ventured out and there was a really festive atmosphere. 

This morning I'd planned a lazy day with a spot of crafting thrown in, but unfortunately my 10 year old was out sledging yesterday, making the most of the tiny bit of snow we had left, and he managed to run his thumb over with the sledge & then to make matters worse he fell on it!  So my relaxing morning was spent sitting in Salisbury A&E.  To cut a long story short, his thumb is broken, so he now has a splint and a sling and instructions to be careful.  Luckily for him its his right thumb, so he's hoping he gets away without writing at school tomorrow.

I did manage to steal half an hour this afternoon to do a tiny bit of crafting - I've decided to make a rag wreath to put on our front door.  I haven't had a chance to finish it, but here it is half made:
I'm reserving judgement on it until its finished - I don't know if its going to look shabby chic or just shabby.  Am hoping to finish it tomorrow & then make a decision on whether to hang it up or not.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Preparing For Christmas

Yesterday the Wiltshire scrapstore came to our school.  They collect waste from manufacturing companies, and then go round schools and childrens groups selling it.  They have lots of offcuts of felt, plastics, fabric, corks, you name it they have it at some point.  The only thing is that you cannot sell anything made from it.  Its so cheap that we often fill a large carrier bag with "stuff", come home & make and do for hours.  This time they had a lot of felt cut into strips and were selling it as felt chains for £1.50.  So I bought some and made it into these paper felt chains.
Obviously they will not be living permanently on my kitchen cupboards, I'm going to find a bare corner for it to live in.  I really love the way its turned out though, may try to remember this idea for next year and make some more. 

I've also been making some lavender bags to sell at the country market on Saturday. 

I made a few more Christmas Puddings to give to my friends.  This time I needle-felted the white and leaves on & used a tiny red pompom which I stuck on with fabric glue.
Procrastination over, tomorrow I really must get down to doing at least one of the huge list of things I've got on my to-do-before-Christmas list. 


Monday, 29 November 2010

My Favourite Christmas Decorations

As it's too cold for me to sit at my kitchen table and sew (don't ask - storage heaters & a door that doesn't fit properly!), I thought today I'd share my favourite Christmas decorations with you.  These have all been with me for about 10 years, and I love each and every one of them.

This one was made for me by my aunt.  The triangles are filled with stuffing and its edged with ribbon.  She also made this one for me too:
It's not a brilliant photo I'm afraid, but the bells are made up from panels of fabric.  Plastic bells and ribbons hang down from each one & the fabric bells get larger as they go down.

This next decoration is from a kit by Bucilla.  I bought it years ago, and started making it, but it was one of those things that never get finished.  Luckily my mum-in-law came to the rescue and spent many hours hand stitching every sequin and felt piece together. 
Don't you think she is very clever?

Finally this is the only decoration I can lay claim to making.  Again it's a kit from Bucilla, and again I bought it years ago when my eldest was tiny.  Only this time I did finish it.  Every sequin, every stitch was hand sewn by me, a complete labour of love and every year I get it out and am amazed I actually had the patience to make it.
Let me know if you've got favourite decorations, I'd love to see them and hear the stories behind them.


Sunday, 28 November 2010


Thought I'd show you the scene we woke up to yesterday morning, very pretty don't you think.

The children loved it as you can imagine, and luckily this year I'd put by a sledge in the shop I work in, so I could pick it up and they could go out and play. Sadly I was working all day yesterday so I didn't get a chance to try it out myself, but they loved it.

I do like seeing an odd day of snow, but the cold does make me grumpy.  I'd rather curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and look out of the window at it.

No such luck tonight, I'd booked a stall at a local pub's craft fair, and so had to venture forth across Salisbury plain to get to it.  Due to the weather it was quite quiet, but luckily I managed to sell a few bits, and that coupled with the fact that I'd taken my mum with me for company meant that it was quite a fun evening.  I did feel sorry for the people selling Christmas trees though who were standing outside in the -2 degree weather!

My mum was actually organised and took her camera, so here is my stall.

Enjoy the snow if you have any.


Friday, 26 November 2010

More Christmas Decorations

I'm really really trying to get myself in the Christmas mood, so I made some more felt decorations today. 

Firstly I finished the snowman I started a few days back:

I used black seed beads for his eyes and buttons, and used clear ones on his hat.

I also found a fantastic tutorial for felt Christmas puddings over at the wonderful Crafty Helen @ Home blog(click here for the tutorial) and decided to make some small ones to hang on my tree. 

This tiny one is made from a circle the size of a candle votive, and I used seed beads to make the holly berries.  I've used a 10p piece so that you can get an idea of how tiny the pudding worked out!  I then made a slightly bigger one from the base of a candle holder, and this time used larger beads to make the holly berries.

They were really good fun to make, and so simple.  All I need now is some glittery thread to make hangers from and I think they'll really look good on my tree.

Finally I found a new use for the felt balls I made the other day:
A teeny tiny snowman.  A very colourful chap wouldn't you say!


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Giveaway Winner

And the winner is:  Sarah@Pingsandneedles.  Who said:

ooh I'm first! Yay! I'm already a follower :) and I think your little scrappy purse is fab and I'd love to win it - how lovely to include a little 'kit' too - very kind!

Sarah, if you want to email me your address I'll pop your parcel in the post.  Thanks to everyone who entered, and welcome to my new followers.


Oops, nearly forgot, my email address is sally(at)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Felt making & Oops!

Firstly the "Oops".

In one post I said I'd draw the winner of my giveaway on 25th & then in the next post I said I'd draw it on Wednesday (more evidence if any was needed of how my blog/shop name came about!) - so in the interests of fairness, I will draw it now on THURSDAY 25th November at 8pm!

(If you've missed it and want to enter, click here and leave a comment for me)

Now on to the exciting stuff, today I went on a felt making course and it was fab!  It was run by Elizabeth at Sewciety.  She runs course by appointment, all you need is a friend or two and she'll run a course just for you.  This is what I made:

My first attempt at wet felting with a sushi type mat.  I'm really looking forward to making something from it - am not sure what yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something to turn it into.

Next we had a try at making felt balls:
I just love the way the colours all blend together.  They're each about the size of a marble.  Again I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, but they're so tactile I just want to roll them round in my hand all day!

Finally we had a try at needle felting.  I managed to make this flower:

and then I made this heart:
I sewed brooch backings & beads on when I got home and what a surprise, my daughter has already claimed the heart for her own!

Think I've found another new hobby!


Monday, 22 November 2010

Christmas Decorations and Don't Forget My Giveaway

Had a really fun day at the market on Saturday, it was very busy and I met lots of lovely people, but didn't sell as much as I'd hoped.  All of the stallholders said the same, lots of people looking but very few buying.  Sadly a sign of the times I think!  I did make a small profit after paying for the stall and petrol, so all was not lost, and as I say I met some lovely people so it was worth going just for that.

After all of the rushing about last week, I thought I'd reward myself today with a day to make something for myself.  I decided to hand-stitch some new decorations for my tree.  This is the angel I made:

I just printed out a colouring page that I found on the internet & cut out the pieces, before sewing it together and stuffing it with some toy stuffing.  I'm also part way through making a snowman, here he is all cut out but not yet sewn:
Will give me something to do tonight while watching I'm a Celebrity!

Don't forget there's still time to enter my giveaway just click here and leave a comment, I'll be drawing a winner on Wednesday evening.


PS did you notice the new banner for my shop at the top of this post?  Had several people stumble on my site while looking for lunch bags, but no new orders.  Hopefully this will help them get to where they want to be.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

My First Giveaway

Yippee, Christmas is coming and I thought it was time to do my first giveaway.  You could win (fanfare please):

One of my Christmas purses, but as if that wasn't good enough (!) I will fill it with lots of scraps of cotton Christmas fabric, enough to make another crazy patchwork purse of your own.  I will also add 2 pieces of white cotton lining, two of interfacing and one zip, plus instructions on how to put it all together. 

Please note that the fabric scraps are only small bits, of weird and wonderful shapes, but there is plenty there to make at least one (and possibly two) crazy patchwork purses.

To win:

Just become a follower and comment below.  If you are already one of my lovely followers, then leave me a comment too. 

I will draw a winner in a weeks time - 25th November, a month before the big day, hopefully giving you time to make another purse and put it in somebody elses stocking.

Good Luck

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Had a busy few days getting things ready and organised for the Christmas market I'm selling at on Saturday.  I've decided to go for a plain white tablecloth as my bags are all pretty colourful in their own rights.  The only thing I didn't have was any way of showing who I was, so yesterday I started making some bunting with my company name on it.  I finished it this afternoon, and here it is:

and here is a close up of one of the flags

The letters are cut out of felt and bondawebbed to the flag, and then I stitched around the outside of the letters to make sure they stayed in place. A cheap and cheerful way to make sure any customers know who I am.

If anyone is in the Wimborne area on Saturday, then come and say hello, I'll be at Honeybrook Farm from 11am - 4pm.  Have a look at the website for The Anonymous Travelling Market for more details.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Saturday Night and time to Party!

Have had a busy couple of days making more stockings and then adding them to my shop.  I've only got a limited number of them as I've now run out of fabric, so I thought I'd try them online before taking them to the craft fair on Saturday.

I've also made a few more Christmas purses:
 So they will also be added to my shop tomorrow. 

I've also been to Fabricland again today (I know, I know, its an addiction!) and this time I bought some white fabric to cover my table at the craft fair. I also got some pink and red ginghams to make some bunting for the stall.  I may have a practice run of arranging the table and see what works.  I've never done a craft fair before so its going to be a learning experience, if anyone has any tips of things to do or take, then I'd love to know.

Right off for some birthday cake as it my husband's birthday today.  One of my children made it and another of them iced it, so am looking forward to a slice with a nice cup of tea.  Another exciting Saturday night in the country!!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

6 Degrees of Separation and Christmas Purses

Had quite a fun day today playing 6 degrees of separation with Emma over at It's all about The Fabric, small world that it is, we managed it in much less than 6 people - 1 to be precise!

Other than that I've finished the tutorial for Sew Hip, and emailed it off.  Then this afternoon I decided to make some crazy patchwork purses, but this time I thought that instead of making them flat, I'd give them each a bottom!

I made this one first:

Then I made this one:
and then because I cannot bear to waste even a scrap of fabric, no matter how small I made this one:

When does crazy patchwork tip over into insanity? I think I may be nearing that point now!