Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas & hope 2012 brings you all everything that you wish for.



Friday, 16 December 2011

Help … there’s a sock monster in my Christmas tree

You know when you find a pair of socks that just cries out to be made into something else?  I found some socks just like that today. They are the kind with separate toes, just perfect for making a monster with a mohican & mouth tentacles.


This is my first attempt at making any sock creatures & I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be hooked on it.

Have a good weekend everyone



Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Lots and Lots of Crafting

Right back to crafting!  I have a few bits and bobs that I’ve saved up to show you.

Firstly, the latest issue of Simply Homemade has some New Year projects that I designed.


There is a wall hanging, notepad cover, fabric covered canvas and a purse time-capsule.  They all use freezer paper to print from the computer.  These were the first things I’d made using freezer paper, and I was really surprised how easy it was to do. I like it for adding lettering to fabric as my handwriting isn’t always the neatest.

On Saturday we had a Christmas celebration in our village.  There was festive music, a street market and also (I was very excited about this one!) Santa arrived, walking down the high street accompanied by his elves.  I was lucky enough to be offered space in a local shop (the carpet shop where I work part-time) to set up my stall, so I didn’t have to spend the evening freezing on an outdoor market stall.


It was a great evening.  My lovely mum came to help & we spent the evening socialising as well as selling a few bits and bobs.

Before I went I spent a bit of time making some gift bags to give away with purchases.

DSCF8932I used some decorative papers that I had got free with a couple of different crafting magazines, and just cut & glued them into small bags.  I then put a thank you note inside each bag, with my contact details.  I also used the embellishments from the paper books to add to some plain white boxes, and again stuck the same little notes inside the top cover.


Everyone seemed pleased with the little boxes and bags, and hopefully some will lead to repeat business.

And finally last night I braved the horrendous weather & went to a wreath making workshop.  Please bear in mind that I am not a flower arranger – my attempts at arranging the odd bouquet I get consist of snipping the binding and throwing the flowers as they are into a vase.  But I did however manage to create this from various foliage that grows locally, plus a few artificial berries and some cinnamon sticks.


I’m very proud of myself as it actually looks like its supposed to, and for once, I’m not embarrassed to show you what I’ve done!

Right off for a lie down after all this creativity! 



Sunday, 11 December 2011

We have a winner….

The winner of the My Memories Scrapbooking software is

Number 2 -  Quiltin’ Sandy who said…

What a lovely giveaway! I have never tried scrapbooking. There are so many beautiful designs, it is so hard to choose just one, but Life Love is very pretty. :) Sandy.


Thanks to those who entered and I hope Sandy enjoys the software as much as I did.

Normal craft blogging will resume in the next couple of days, as I have lots of pretty things to share with you all.



Saturday, 10 December 2011

Last chance to enter my giveaway

Only 24 hours left to enter the giveaway for the brilliant My Memories scrapbooking software.  I haven’t had too many comments on this so you are in with a good chance of winning if you pop over here and enter.

I will draw the winner tomorrow evening at 7pm.

Good luck



Wednesday, 7 December 2011

New Banner & Don’t forget my giveaway

What do you think?  I created my new banner with the My Memories scrapbooking software that I was given. 

Once I’d figured out how big the banner should be (1200 pixels in my case), it was fairly easy to design a banner by adding the elements that are contained in the software.  It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to save it as a jpg file, but once I’d found the right menu option, it was easy to do.  Then of course I couldn’t resist tinkering with the rest of my blog! 

If you are interested in winning a copy of the My Memories software for yourself, click here, and leave me a comment. 



Monday, 5 December 2011

My Memories–Scrapbooking Software Giveaway


The lovely people at MyMemories offered me the chance to have a copy of their My Memories Suite Scrapbook software to have a play with and the best bit, a copy for me to giveaway to one of my followers.

Prior to this the extent of my scrapbooking experience had been to just throw a couple of photos and a scattering of stickers onto a piece of patterned paper, so I was interested as to whether I’d be able to make anything that actually looked half decent.  The answer is YES!!!

This was made using one of their template layouts (nice and easy for a beginner to use), just drag and drop photos into it.


And this one was created from scratch by me – and I’m very proud of it!


There are loads and loads of different designs, embellishments and papers to choose from, so I think I’m going to be playing with this software for ages. 

Anyway back to the giveaway – to enter, all you have to do is to visit the My Memories website (click here) and leave me a comment to tell me which is your favourite kit.

I will draw the winner on Sunday 11th December at 7pm, which should give you time to create a couple of last minute cards or scrapbooking pages for Christmas pressies.



Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Little Gallery is finished.

Hooray, I’ve finally finished my free motion embroidery gallery, with the addition of my last picture:


Daisy has now joined her brothers.

Here is a close up of the picture:


Again I think it looks better from a distance.

My family is now complete – and I promise to put my sewing machine away and do some organising for Christmas … but then again I do quite have a fancy to make a map of the world in the same way, or perhaps a picture of the front of my house … watch this space!



Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My embroidery gallery grows


Help, I’m completely addicted to free motion embroidery!  My wall is now sporting 4 pictures and I have another one half made, but not yet ready to be put on display.


This is my fabric image of my eldest son:


Like the previous fabric image I did, looking at it close up it seems a bit weird & I did get complaints from him that I’d used flowery fabric and its a bit girly!  

This picture was my attempt at being romantic for Mr D&D’s birthday last week. 


It’s the words and music for ‘our’ song, the first one we danced to, many years ago. (22 to be precise!)  It was a bit fiddly to make, and the machine sewed writing did turn out to be a bit like a young child’s scrawl, but he appreciated all the work that went into it.  I was dreading cutting out all the circles by hand as they’re pretty small, but then I realised I had just the thing – Sizzix die cutter, with the Hello Kitty die – her eyes and nose shapes were just the perfect size and shape.

What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever made or received?



Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Free motion Embroidery

I’ve been going through a bit of a machine embroidery phase at the moment and as I have so many freshly painted white walls in my new room, I’ve been making some bright pictures that will eventually get hung on the walls.


See the one on top of the piano?  It’s a photo of my son, but I’ve cut the shapes out from fabric.  It’s supposed to be viewed from a distance, hence the far away photo, but here’s a close-up view of it:


You can probably now see why I put the distance photo up first as it looks a bit odd close up!  It’s not clear from the photo, but its made up of 3 different fabrics, and then I’ve used free motion embroidery to outline each piece.

The jury is still out on whether its going to make it up onto the wall as I’m not sure that I like the effect.  I think I’ll just leave it on the piano for a few more days & see if it grows on me.



Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Magazines & a sneak peak of a Christmas Present.

A little bit of excitement this week, firstly my reindeer project appeared in Simply Homemade.  A cushion, Santa sack, card holder & tree decoration, all based on my Rudolf template.  Very quick and easy projects using fleece and felt so no need for lots of fiddly hems!


They were great fun to make, although I did make them in August so I feel like Christmas has been and gone!!!

Second piece of news is that my banana basques (click here for pattern) were featured on the Mollie Makes blog & Facebook page in their Monday Moodboard.  I must admit I did wonder why the number of visitors to my visitors shot up!

Right, time for a sneak peak of one of the Christmas presents I’ve been making – I wrote last year about how my family set a small price limit on what we can buy for each adult, and every year we have a theme.  Last year was a challenge as we set the price at £0!!!   A big challenge, but one that we all embraced and had great fun with (see this post).  This year we have a limit of £2 but for that we must buy a pressie starting with the same letter as the name of the recipient.  My younger brother Dan & I have a bit of a joke going about Duct tape & how it can solve anything, so this year I have created his present from the same stuff:


Voila, a waterproof messenger/laptop bag made completely from duct tape.

Now I’ve got to think of £2 gifts starting with the following letters:

M – female, P – male, C – female, another female C, S – male, D – female.

Any suggestions??



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Crochet a banana cosy pattern /Banana Basque for beginners


Taking inspiration from the apple cosies in Mollie Makes magazine, (and with tongue firmly in cheek) here is my pattern for crocheting a banana basque!  If you hate bruised bananas then this is the pattern for you – protect your banana whilst also making it look beautiful! 

Please bear with me on this pattern as I’m a novice at crochet and I’ve never written a crochet pattern before – I hope it makes some sense!

Row 1 – Chain 30

Round 2 – ch2, dc into 3rd ch from hook, dc into each stitch until the end of the row, 5dc into the end stitch, and then turn the row so you are working into the bottom of each chain. dc into each stitch until the end chain & 5dc into the end chain.  Slip stitch the round together.  This should surround the whole of your chain with double crochets.

Round 3 – ch2 *2dc into next stitch, dc into next 2 stitches* repeat from * to * until you reach the beginning of the round again. Slip stitch into beginning chain of round.

Round 4– ch3 & then 1tr into each stitch all the way round.  Slip stitch into beginning chain of round.

Rounds 5 & 6 ch 2 & then dc into each stitch, Slip stitch into beginning chain of round.

Round 7 – *ch 3, miss one stitch and slip stitch into next stitch. dc into next 5 stitches* Repeat until you have made 5 loops in total along the edge, dc into next 23 stitches  repeat* to * until you have 5 loops on the second side.  Dc around the end until you reach the start of the round.  Slip stitch together and cast off.

Thread ribbon through the loops you created with your chains, place your banana in its basque – and voila, a cheeky but cosy banana!!!



I’d love to know if anybody makes them – please feel free to let me know if I’ve written the pattern wrong – as I say its the first one I’ve made!

Enjoy your bananas.



Sunday, 30 October 2011

A months worth of crafting in one post!

I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve posted – I don’t think I’ve ever had such a long break from here.  I wish I could say that something exciting has happened to stop me from posting, but I can’t – I’ve just been really busy with life!

Anyway I have been crafting during my absence & I thought today I’d post some of the projects I’ve been working on, so without further ado, settle down for a long-ish post, with lots of photos. (well 5 actually, but it seems a lot as I’ve not been here for so long!)

Firstly, I have a couple of projects in the latest issue of Sew Hip:



A whole page photo for to each of them – I’m really excited.

I also made a picture for my new lounge:


Mr D&D still has his obsession with VW vans and he requested a fabric VW for the wall.

I found a packet of large coloured wooden beads for £1 – bargain, and used them to decorate the plain mirror in our downstairs loo:


and added them to the light pull too – I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many beads or too much colour!

I’ve also made a simple peg bag for a friend:


I think perhaps that is enough posting & photos for today, but I do have another couple of projects to share – and one tutorial which I’m hoping to take photos of while making – want a clue? I was inspired by the apple cosy crochet pattern in Mollie Makes … say no more, but anyone who likes crocheting for all the fruit in their life should check back soon!!!!!

Have a great Sunday



Monday, 3 October 2011

Carnival Costumes

It was our village carnival on 24th September, and my children all wanted to join in.  Luckily the primary school had the theme of Where’s Wally, so all we had to do was find costumes in red and white stripes with bobble hats – easy.

Sadly the theme my sons chose was a bit more challenging.


Batman Villains – Jack (my eldest) is the Riddler and Harry is the Joker.  Luckily I found a couple of pairs of light jeans in the charity shop, and made the jackets from an old bedsheet.  We then dyed them, and along with 2 old green t-shirts (converted into waistcoats) and a couple of bright t-shirts for underneath, their costumes were complete.  We couldn’t find any green hairspray for Harry’s hair, but we discovered that by covering it in gel, we could then add green face-paint to colour it.

They came second in the afternoon parade (beaten by some VERY cute 4 year old smurfs!)  But in the evening they won 1st place.  Yippeeeeee!

Made it all worth while really.



Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fame … ish!

Has anyone seen the latest issue of Craftseller?  A couple of months ago they asked me for a true story about sewing and my business, and this month it was published.  How very exciting. 


There are some lovely photos of things I sell too, so hopefully it’ll lead to more people visiting my little shop.

Sewing-wise I’ve made this cushion for a friends daughter who was 13 a couple of weeks ago.


She asked me for a cushion with a horse on it, in light blue or light pink.  She loved it, and as she’s such a sweet girl, it gave me a lot of pleasure to make it for her.  Sadly as you will see from the creases, my ironing board was hidden away in the kitchen, right where the builders were working (that’s my excuse anyway!)  but she didn’t even mind the creases.



Friday, 23 September 2011

Mix and Match Corsages

I just wanted to share with you the latest products I’m selling on my website.


These are mix and match flower corsages – just choose your button badge, choose the flower sizes and colours you want, add some leaves and wear them with pride. 


The petals and leaves simply hook around the button, allowing you to change the layers and colours easily.  There are 3 sizes of petals to choose from, in lots of pretty colours, so you can make a single colour or multi-coloured flower.

I have also added lots of fabric covered button badges to finish your flower off.



Why not add them to hats, scarves, coats, bags, purses, slippers … the list is endless.

I also have crochet flowers which are made to order to the colours you want.  Again these fit around the buttons I sell.


Hope you like them



Thursday, 15 September 2011

VW Doorstop

At the moment we have builders in.  We are having our garage converted to a living room, so everything is in a bit of a muddle.  As I was stuck indoors today waiting for a couple of deliveries, I needed to find something to do that would be quick and easy.  So I dug out the templates I made for Simply Homemade and made this doorstop.


I’ve used velcro to make an opening so that I can post it unfilled, saving on postage.

I’ve put it up for sale on The Fabric Market Place, along with a couple of pumpkin Halloween bags.  So hop on over there if you are interested,



Monday, 12 September 2011

Crochet string bag from T-shirt

I’ve had a few old t-shirts hanging around for a while and I didn’t know what to do with them.  They were too faded and stretched out to go to the charity shop, but as they’re fabric, I just couldn’t part with them.  But then I discovered that you could cut them up to make a ball of yarn & there was no stopping me:


I just made up the pattern as I went along & I now have a lovely string bag, made in just one evening, that looks just like an ice-cream.  I would love to say I’d planned it to come out like this, just so I could look clever, but honesty forces me to say it was completely unplanned and random.

If anyone is interested in the pattern and method, leave me a comment & I’ll try to do a tutorial on here.



Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A missing couple of weeks


What have I been up to while I’ve been missing?  Well short answer, I’m not sure.  I’ve had a couple of weeks of seeming to run round madly while getting nowhere fast!

We did go to see Batman Live at the O2 in London, an end of holidays treat for the children. 

I did manage to get them all kitted out for school.

I managed to crochet a string bag (but haven’t got as far as taking a photo of it!)

and I have managed to fulfil a couple of magazine commissions (more of that when the magazines in question appear in the shops!)

Well looking at that list, I guess I have actually managed to get somewhere – I’m off for a well earned lie down!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Not such a lucky break & Magazines for sale

Poor Mr D&D – he’s still having a bad time with his broken finger.  The hospital have told him he needs an operation on it and so tomorrow we’ve got to be up at the crack of dawn to go to the hospital for him to have the bone wired back together.  The most annoying thing for him is that he’s on a weeks holiday from work & has spent most of it going backwards and forwards to the hospital!  In hindsight it would have been much easier to just go out and buy a go-kart!

I’ve just added a few of my old copies of Sew Hip onto The Fabric Market Place.  They’re all priced at £1.50 with £1.50 P&P.  I’m trying to get organised and need to make some room so I can buy new magazines!

I’ve put the following issues on there:

Issue 22SewHip22

Issue 23

sewhip 23

Issue 24

Sew Hip 24

and Issue 26

sew hip 26

Not quite sure where I’ve hidden issue 25 – but when I find it I’ll probably add it to the website too.  I’m fairly sure I’ve got some really old issues of the magazine hidden around the house somewhere too.  Wish I was a tidy person!



Monday, 22 August 2011

The 2nd A&E trip of the holidays, a go kart & vehicle doorstops.

Right, I’m back from the second trip to A&E of the holidays, this time for Mr D&D, who was building this rather cool go-kart for the children and managed to break his finger when the saw hit a knot in the wood and kicked the wood back at him.


Tomorrow’s day out is to the plastic surgery trauma clinic!  And there was me thinking that it was the riding of go-karts that was dangerous!

In between providing sympathy, I did manage to get out & buy the latest copy of Simply Homemade magazine.


Which has these patterns I designed in it:



In case you can’t tell from the photos, they are a series of 4 doorstops, each with a vehicle appliqued onto them.  I like the London bus best, but my second favourite is the VW van.  They’re quite time-consuming to make, but the finished doorstops are really worth it.



Sunday, 21 August 2011

Best Dressed Tea Pot

I am just back from a lovely week in Wales.  After 6 years of camping, this year we went slightly upmarket & booked ourselves a caravan.  What a revelation – no more walking across damp fields to use the loo, no more having to wrap up with 10 layers as no matter what time of year it is, the nights are always freezing, and best of all, when it rained, the caravan didn’t spring a leak!

As I say we haven’t been in a caravan for a long time, but did you know they now have central heating? They are also much taller, which is a bonus for my hubby who at 6ft 4 & who only managed to bang his head a couple of times in the whole week.

As I couldn’t live a week without crafting, this year I took some wool, some crochet hooks and continued my love affair with crochet.




Have you guessed that I’m completely addicted to making tea cosies? The bottom one is my favourite, but I do love the bright acid colours of the granny style ones. 

Oh yes, a bit more excitement before I go – I made my first sale on The Fabric Market Place.  I’d put a couple of unwanted sewing magazines on there, and they sold.  If you haven’t visited, then its well worth a look, an online site just dedicated to all things fabric.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend