Saturday, 28 January 2012

Swapping skills

I don't knit or crochet, but as soon as I saw the gorgeous mug cosies in issue 7 of Mollie Makes magazine, I knew I *had* to have one!

My cold, bare mug was just crying out for one of these....

So after having a little moan on Twitter that I needed one of these, but couldn't knit or crochet, one of my Twitter buddies @MrsDG (aka Kelli) who also blogs here, offered to make me one! 

After giving her my favourite mug's vital statistics, Kelli let me choose the wool and she knitted me this fabulous mug cosy -

AND she added a pretty pink flower to the front which just finishes it of beautifully! 

As a little thank you to Kelli, I made her a shabby rose brooch -

These are the kinds of thing I'll be making at the workshop I'm running next week, and I'll also make a few more to put in my Folksy shop. 

There are all kinds of craft swaps going on at the moment, crochet for sewing, cross-stitch for embroidery, you name it, people are willing to swap something for it! I love it, I just wish I'd thought of doing my Christmas 'shopping' this way! 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Meet and make

Well, I'm very pleased to say that one of my little 'personal goals' is actually going to be met very soon! 

Along with a group of other like-minded crafty folk, I am going to be hosting a little crafty/sewing workshop!! We have decided to call the workshops 'Meet and Make' and you can see our Facebook page here.  The sessions will be friendly and informal, teaching/sharing crafts and cups of tea and cake.  We will also try to meet up every now and then just to craft and maybe have a little swap shop of crafting supplies we no longer need. 

My first workshop will be on Wednesday 1st February and I will be teaching participants how to make a variety of (handsewn) fabric flowers.  These are some I've made as examples -

The brown/cream spotty one will definitely become a brooch for my new black coat!  I'll also be making the rest into brooches and hairslides (eventually going into my Folksy shop).  I just love how shabby-chic they all are, especially the ones with the frayed edges. 

As time goes on I will eventually (hopefully!) be able to teach participants how to use sewing machines and make little projects using them.  I am so excited about the thought of this!

Each of the members of the Meet and Make group have different crafting skills, and Laurie taught the first of the crochet workshops last week.

I can't believe that someone who didn't know how to crochet took this fabulous mug cosy home!  The crocheting continued and a crochet teapot cosy was also produced!

I can't wait to go along to the next crochet workshop - unfortunately I couldn't make this one as the OH was away. 

Jules from The Awkward Niche is also making plans to teach a session, sharing some of her amazing embroidery skills.  Another member, Lee will be making some fab shabby chic home accessories, using some up-cycled objects. 

If you live in the Fife area and would like to come along to my workshop (or any of the others mentioned) please feel free to contact me via the 'Contact Me' button at the top right of my blog or come on over and join our Facebook page to be kept up to date with our exciting future events. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Needs must....

This week I put my sewing skills to really good use and made something I've been meaning to do for ages.  Anyone with a toddler/small child will know just how messy mealtimes become once they deem themselves too big for a highchair and insist on joining you at the dining table!  We have some shop bought, regular cork-backed placemats but they just didn't seem up for the job of keeping the table clean. 

Off we went to the fabric store (which I knew had fun, wipe clean fabric at £2.99 per metre) to buy some supplies.  However...I didn't like any of these 'novelty' pvc, I was drawn to the ones that weren't £2.99 per metre, but the lovely grown-up dots that were £9.99 per metre... 

I used this tutorial at Jaybird Quilts to make my placemats.  For some reason, I 'forgot' that I'd need enough fabric for both sides of my placemats, so I only had enough fabric to make 2!  And here's how they look (hot off the sewing machine!) -

I *love* this fabric!  There was also a fabric in the same range with cupcakes on I might have to back and buy some more fabric so we get a mat each!  They're also a bit wrinkly after turning out etc but they seem to be flatening out a bit with more use. 

They're nice and big too, approx 18 x 12".  Perfect for containing sticky toddler hands and any spills. 

As soon as I'd made them of course I had to test them out, a cup of coffee and a cupcake did the trick ;)

I must admit, I don't really enjoy sewing with these types of fabrics as they are quite 'sticky' going through the sewing machine, I don't have a teflon foot so I covered my normal food with masking tape -

It seemed to do the trick!  When I did the topstitching I also had to guide the fabric through quite a lot as the machine just wouldn't grip it enough. 

But overall, I'm very pleased with my new placemats (and the 2 year old is fair chuffed with them too!)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Mollie Makes giveaway winner!

Thanks to all of you who took part in the little giveaway which I've been running for the past week - to win a copy of Mollie Makes magazine. 

I did the draw in the old fashioned way - and wrote down everyones names on a piece of paper.  I put all of the bits of folded paper into my little thread catcher....

closed my eyes, swirled the paper around, and drew a winner....

And the winner is.....

Congratulations Indianna!  You should have an email from me, as soon as you reply with your address the copy of Mollie Makes magazine will be on it's way to you :)

Sunday, 15 January 2012


After having so much time off over Christmas and New Year I needed to ease myself into 2012 gently - I hadn't used my beloved sewing machine for almost 2 weeks!!

I decided that in order to start the New Year with a fresh brain full of fresh ideas and inspiration a 'tidy up' was in order.  My fabric has gone from being stored in only a plastic storage box, eventually spilling into a dining room cupboard (because I use the dining table to sew) and now I'm also using a cupboard in the IKEA unit in the living room (which is now full)!  After sewing frantically for the end part of last year my fabrics were beginning to resemble a crumpled mess.  So...I pulled them all out of their hiding places and got armed with the iron and ironing board to tackle this little lot -

Eek!  All that beautiful fabric doesn't look so appealing in a big mess like this does it?! 

So I sorted it into piles - solids, children's prints, bright and funky, pastel and vintage, gingham, heavier weight and so on and so on.  Then I spent a good few afternoons ironing and folding, ironing and folding..... until eventually my fabrics started to look appealing again.  I stored some in a lovely big wooden box and fitted the rest into the living room cupboard -

These are the well known IKEA storage units that almost ALL quilters/sewers seem to have!  In the pile above, from the bottom up there's children's, funky, vintage, and 'grown up'!  Luckily I could fit another neat pile in front of this one, so we also have -

The solids and the gingham.  Ahhh...tidy fabric = a fresh new start to the sewing of 2012!

I also received some lovely new fabric at Christmas.  My sister-in-law is visiting from America so I cheekily placed an order from Fat Quarter Shop and had it shipped to her house in America so she could bring it with her.  I now have the fabric for Joshua's quilt!  I've chosen to use Ready Set Go! by Ann Kelle.

I also added in a couple of fabrics (the bottom 2) that were also nice and bright and will match the other fabrics.  I wanted to go for something that had all the primary colours in it and eventually decided to go with a transport theme.  Hopefully this isn't too babyish and will last him for a very long time.  I've shown him these fabrics and he loves them and is very happy about getting a 'blanket' of his very own!  - He uses my quilt every day, and somehow seems to think that it's 'his'!

I'm not entirely sure what pattern I'll use for Joshua's quilt but I'd like something similar to mine so that it can show off all the lovely things within each piece of fabric. 

I didn't just order the fabric for Joshua's quilt, I also got a few nice little pieces for myself -

Lots for me to play with!  These aren't necessarily pieces of fabric I have plans for, but at the prices charged in the USA it made sense to fill up my virtual shopping basket! 

This week I also ordered a little fabric from Fabric Rehab.  I haven't ordered from them before, so was really pleased to receive my fabric a couple of days later. 

A cute girly mini bundle and a large piece of fabric from the Sunkissed range by Sweetwater.  (It was on sale!)

I also managed to order some sale fabric from Cath Kidston but it seems to be taking an awfully long time to arrive! 

I just need to catch up on all the laundry that seems to keep piling up in the basket and then I can get all of my new fabrics washed so I can finally make something with them!!

Don't forget - if you haven't already done so, there's still (just) time to enter my little giveaway to win a copy of Mollie Makes magazine.  You can enter here

Friday, 13 January 2012

Mini monster

What better way to start a mid-week January morning than receiving a lovely little surprise in the post?  Yesterday, I was delighted to receive this package through my letterbox -

I was sent this from Georgina Giles, she decided to thank those who commented most often on her blog (who knew I had so much to say?!), by giving each of us (5 in total) a sweet little monster. 

As you can see from the photo above - the parcel was all wrapped up in a piece of pattern sheet! What a great idea, and so fitting for the purpose :)

This little monster was not was accompanied by some lovely stickers that Georgina made - out of maps! 

Aren't they great?!

You can see Georgina's blog post here showing you which other monsters went to new homes this week. 

Georgina is a very lucky lady who works in a tea room which sells her wonderful creations (some of which you can see here, and as if that's not cool enough, she also teaches some great crafty workshops there!  Sounds like my dream job :)

Thank you for my lovely little gift Georgina! - It's these random acts of kindness that make me love being part of such a friendly online community :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Craft Mags...and one for you!

I was lucky enough to receive some Hobbycraft vouchers recently which were beginning to burn a hole in my pocket!  Last week the 2 year old went to spend some quality time with Grandma while we had a trip up to Dundee to visit the new Hobbycraft that just opened before Christmas. 

Its quite a smaller shop than I'm used to - I've visited the Glasgow and Aberdeen stores (Aberdeen in particular is HUGE!).  I had thought about putting my vouchers towards a Big Shot cutting machine....but then changed my mind... and thought I'd spend them on lots of little things instead.

Here's what I got -

A cute little selection of lacy ribbons/trims.  I love how these have a vintage/shabby chic look to them.  I'm thinking of adding them to some new notebook covers to make them extra pretty.

A sweet little stamp.  If I'd had more time last year I would have made my own Christmas present tags, so maybe this year......  I also saw a great idea on City Girl Gone Costal's blog for using stamps like this to make embroidery patterns.... this heart would make a lovely scandi type embroidery - I'm thinking red thread on white fabric...?

I also got some of this -

Any idea what I'm going to (try) to make with it?? 

Buttons of course!  The 2 on the right are actually really nice and shimmery so will hopefully look lovely.  The white one on the left will be more to use to practice with and also with it being plain I can paint/varnish the buttons when finished.

I also got myself some magazines.  Handmade Living is one that I found a while back but is a little harder to come across at my local shops, luckily my mum got me a subscription to it for Christmas so I won't have to try to source it any longer.  (This issue is an older one so I know I'm not going to receive it as part of the subscription!)  This magazine has a lovely mixture of crafts, recipes, outdoors etc and it promotes a more handmade and sustainable way of living. 

If you fancy subscribing you can do so by clicking here.  As a special treat for you I can also give you a code to give you 10% off your subscription!  Simply enter '1UWXB017'.  The publishing group also publishes titles such as 'Sew Hip' and 'Inside Crochet' and you can use the discount code on these too! 

There's a new magazine coming out by this group in February - Modern Quilting.  I managed to drop a big enough hint to my other half and he got me this subscription for Christmas too!  (If you'd like to try this mag, the discount code will also work for this subscription). 

Now,  I didn't show you the best bit of my Hobbycraft goodies - look closely -

That's right, they were in the bargain bin at only £1 each!!  It's because it's an older issue, but luckily one I hadn't already bought...and hadn't paid £4.99 for (otherwise I'd have been really annoyed!).  AND I got 2 copies....I for me, and 1 for you.  I thought it would be nice to bring a little cheer into January and offer you the chance to win a copy of Issue 7 of Mollie Makes.  The free gift is also included.  This is the issue these lovely mug cosies were featured in -

Luckily, one of my Twitter friends has offered to knit me one (since I don't knit).  Aren't I a lucky girl??

So, all you have to do to win the copy of Mollie Makes is leave me a comment...why not let me know if you have any big projects planned this year?  Please, please make sure your email address is visible in your profile otherwise I can't notify you if you've won.  (Just to make sure you could leave your email address in your comment).  I'll draw a winner next Monday (16th January).  Good luck!

16/01/12 - Edited to add - Giveaway is now CLOSED.

Linking up to -

Sew Happy Geek Creative Itch

Friday, 6 January 2012

Christmas makes (part 2)

Firstly, thank you to all of you who have left such lovely comments on my last post.  It's so nice to hear that you like the other gifts that I made!

Now...on to a few more...

I have a couple of uncles so I decided to make them practical gifts - potholders!  Everyone needs those right?  I managed to get hold of some insulated batting so that they'd be heatproof.  I used this tutorial and added some fabulous kitchen-y fabric I got from a scrap bundle at The Fabric Loft a while ago, and made these -

Isn't the fabric great?  And this was such a great project for using up just a tiny piece.  And they're not too girly either.  I also got out my alphabet stamps and made a little tag for them using some freebie labels from a recent issue of Simply Homemade magazine -

Following on from all of the fabric covered notebooks I've been making lately I decided to do a little one for my mum.  She loves Russian Dolls so I decided to do an applique and made a cover for a little A6 sized notebook -

I love the wavy effect of the ric-rac teamed with ribbon! 

I had planned on making a few more things, but what with keeping up with orders, spending time with family and being ill I just simply didn't have the time.  Lesson learned will be to start Christmas preparation in April this year!!

Once Christmas had passed and I did have plenty of time, I decided it was time to make a little something for myself.  Well, the Christmas tree.  We had no angel.... so, using one of my Christmas presents - this book -

I made a very small Tilda Angel.  She's so tiny and cute and only about 8" tall (so took no time at all to make!).  Here she is sat on top of the tree -

She doesn't have wings, partly because a) I forgot and b) I wanted to finish her off quickly while the tree was still up!  This one was really easy to make, but the hair was a little tricky, hopefully next time I'll find it a bit easier.  My Tilda angel was inspired by some that I saw on one of my favourite blogs - Country Kitty.  Federica made some beautiful Angels for her tree and showed them off in this blog post.  I will definitely be making some more of these pretty little Angels, but I'll give them pastel dresses so they're not just for Christmas.  I think I need one in my bedroom...!

I also had a go at making a button heart decoration, these were in the Christmas edition of Mollie Makes magazine and obviously I couldn't resist having a go -

I also had a go at making one in a different colour scheme - a natural background with red buttons -

I had lots of fun spending a couple of evenings with my button collection!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Christmas makes (part 1)

As promised, I can now show you some of the things I made before Christmas that I gave as gifts. 

I can now show you what I sent to my partner in the Advent Swap that I took part in.  Here are all the gifts before I wrapped them -

Some 'foodie' themed gifts

Some smellies and a little handmade needlecase at the top, a jumper tree decoration, some button magnets, keyring, lavender sachets and buttons/habdash.

This was the gift for Christmas day - a beautiful quilted, patchwork cosmetic bag (made by me) which I filled with lots of little pampering treats. 

I loved this cosmetic bag so much that I decided to make similar ones for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

A pastel patchwork version and for my sister-in-law (who's tastes I wasn't sure of) I just chose a pretty, modern piece of Riley Blake fabric and quilted down the wavy lines...

For each of the recipients I also made some pretty face cloths -

I did a little quicky tutorial on how to make these a while ago. 

I also made a few more Christmas presents but my computer is going rather slow at the moment and editing all of these photos is slowing it down even more!  I'll do another post soon showing you what else I made, including a cute Russian Doll embellished notebook and some lovely pot-holders! 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Our Christmas

Happy 2012! (I know it's a little bit late to be doing a 'Christmas' post but this is the first chance I've had to blog :)

Did you all have a good Christmas??  Mine was.....different!  Both myself and the OH ended up with a stomach bug from Christmas Eve until around Tuesday 27th December! We missed out on our Christmas lunch at my mums (Christmas lunch for us was a tin of Heinz Tomato Soup!!).  I felt particularly bad since it was the first Christmas our 2 year old son was really aware of, he knew presents were coming so he was excited. 

Once the tree was up, he had to touch EVERY decoration!
Luckily I didn't have to wrap the majority of Joshua's Christmas presents as we set out his train set and a few other bits and pieces in the living room (he gets bored of opening too many presents!).  All 3 of us opened our stockings (in bed) on Christmas morning and I lay on the sofa as Joshua discovered his presents downstairs. 

For us, it felt awful, but for Joshua it was probably the best day ever as he got to play with his new toys all day long and he didn't get dragged away from them to go Grandma's house!

I don't know who had more fun with this - the 2 year old or his Daddy!
We finally made it to my mums house on Wednesday 28th for our 'fake' Christmas!  This, of course, meant more presents :))

I also got some lovely crafty gifts, but I'll save those for another post.  I'll also do another post later this week showing you all of the gifts that I made in the run up to Christmas.  It's taking me absolutely ages to sort/crop all of our photos!