Saturday, 12 November 2016

Christmas is coming. . .

I've been doing a bit of prep. I love this butterfly fabric. The picture really doesn't do it justice.
This Liberty fabric is so luxurious, I hope there is enough left to make a bag. Just a small everyday tote would be perfect. The piping on this cushion was a challenge. A piping foot might be on the wishlist this year.

And I have had a little play with an embroidery design. I bought it last year but never made it what with one thing and another. I rather like the little chap. I'll try him on some felt next. Maybe in red.

Oh and I almost forgot my snowman. He's clearly having a lot of fun out in the snow. You can't see but under my fingers is a hole for threading ribbon. Again I might pop him on some felt next time.

That's all this week. What have you been up to?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

I've got my eye on you

I decided to try my hand at something new and made this little fabric tray. A treasure tray made with eye fabric and some plain black for the backing. I loved it and apparently so did my friend who asked me if she could have it. So off it went. And I tried a bigger size. I think I actually prefer the smaller size but the elephants are fun too. 
Also with a plain black backing. Ideal for oddments that have no home.
I also made this cute apron for my sons school fete. And followed it up with some scrap busting fabric bookmarks. 
I really enjoyed making these again for the school fete. I hope people like them as much as I liked making them.

So what have you all been up to?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

A quick hello and some memory covers.

I have been absent for a while, though still popping by other blogs but with my husband away and what feels like a million things to do on the never ending job list I've not had much time to think.
However I thought I would pop on and share a picture I took tonight of 15 memory cushion covers I made for a friend from her late step mothers clothes. It was a bit of a challenge and there were times I wondered what possessed me to offer to do it but finishing up tonight it wasn't so bad.
She has seen a picture and is coming to collect them over the weekend. They are for the grand children and brothers and sisters of her step mother.
I was a little hesitant when I realised it was all t.shirt fabric, but a week and a half later I decided t.shirting isn't so bad. And even my machine didn't get in too much of a tizz.
I have found myself offering to do a shift at preschool tomorrow as one of the staff is ill and they need another body to keep it open for the day. (Small village preschool). So I am off to get a good night sleep before the onslaught but I promise to try and be less slack with my next post. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A real quilt.

While in the past I have made lots of patchwork and backed it with fleece or soft fabric for blankets for my family or friends and I have even sewn a few 'quilts' with batting but just backed them and turned them right way out like a cushion cover with a bit of top stitching to close the gap I have never actually quilted before. Until now.
On Monday I had the crazy idea it would be good to sew a quilt for my father who has been a bit under the weather and needing to rest. I thought a lap quilt for the living room would be a nice gift to take home when we visit later today. I found a picture on Pinterest that I quite liked, raided the stash with the help of my three year old and cut 5" squares until the sight of my rotary cutter made me shudder. The white was no problem as I could just cut strips and then cut them up. After that to my daughters confusion I cut all the squares into triangles and proceeded to sew them back together again. And press all the seams. When the little people were in bed I laid them all out on the floor to make my design and carefully pinned them row by row in neat piles to tackle later. I managed to get all the rows sewn and the seams pressed and then three of the rows attached by the end of the first day. On Tuesday I completed sewing the rows then I had a date with my eight year old to spend his birthday money so I had to take a break. After our successful escapade I added a surround to the top and pressed it all. I found a piece of fabric big enough to back it and my batting and discovered my batting was three inches too small. Hubby insisted I didn't botch it by sewing an extra cut off on and took me over to Hobbycraft to get some new batting. We left with some FQ's my five year old bought for me, some play doh my oldest the eight year old bought for his sister and a glitter pen on top of the batting. Not too bad for a quick trip out, we also drove around looking for grey grout for my kitchen floor only to find it had been discontinued and our floor will be two shades of grout.
I spent what felt like forever pinning the three layers together and trying to ensure both sides were fairly smooth, the only place big enough while renovating was our bed so it wasn't perfect but I managed. So glad I always keep safety pins. ;) I wish I had taken a photo at this point but I didn't.
After putting the small people to bed I dug out the walking foot I had been gifted and started to play. Wow I can see why people use long arm quilting machines. My little Brother has guts and it managed but it was a tight squeeze at times. By the time I had finished I had gone off the idea of adding my own bias and luckily had some wide ish in my drawer, (it was getting late and I needed to get it finished) which I was able to use on this occasion. I had meant to make a label and I forgot. It is full of little flaws but it's my first attempt and I am pretty pleased with it.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Quick refashion on a stay at home day.

If you have young children of your own you will be all to aware that it's the holidays. After a day out at friends yesterday we had a stay at home day today. I had mountains of washing, some washing up and mountains of clothes to put away so we needed a day to catch up, not to mention the ironing. . . 
I grabbed a bit of time this afternoon to refashion a Good Deed dress made with some fabric from our trip last year, the bodice was getting too small but the skirt looked new still. Rather than adding another skirt to the mass of skirts already in her possession I decided to turn it into a loose tunic for the summer heat we have been having. I am well aware that in doing this I am probably cursing us to a month of rain but you can't blame a girl for trying right?!
Rather than unpick the bodice as I had also top stitched and sewn on ribbon as an afterthought I cut the skirt as close to the bodice as possible. I then cut two J shapes on either side of the top of the skirt. I used the cover stitch foot and hemmed the top of the back and front then I switched out to my normal foot and did a rolled hem along the new armholes. Finally I sewed a channel along the back and front top to thread my ribbon ties. As an after thought I stitched my ties not just in the middle to stop them slipping out but also at both ends as the width was a little too much to just scrunch when tying up the ribbons. I have found it can unscrunch in wear and then there would be far too much across the top in this case. If I had been making from scratch I would have made it slightly a..line but the idea was to make it as quick and easy as possible with the least sewing as it will probably only last until the end of summer anyway.
It doesn't look fantastic on a hanger but it didn't look too bad on when she tried it briefly in between wrecking her brothers room and trying to see how easy it would be to bounce through the ceiling. Only six weeks to go hey!
Happy holidays everyone.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Monday Madness

It's getting towards the end of term and everyday seems busy and full of things to do. We had a very busy weekend with a party for our soon to be 8 year old and his friends at an outdoor Forest School center. It was in the words of the children EPIC. Then we had three of them sleepover so six children in the house and bed time was ongoing. I think I gave up at about 11.45 and there were still odd mumbles from the boys room. Then we had a gathering to go to on Sunday afternoon which with our sleepy children went surprisingly well. I also managed to squeeze in an MRI on Saturday.
I have been busy with leaving gifts and cards the last few days so I thought I would share a few of my latest makes with you today.
A puppy bandanna for a friend who was entering a show. They came second!

A birthday present ordered by son for a friend.

This was for a friends son. Lining up the tartan was fun. I really like this little fellow.

A thank you gift for an above and beyond pastoral carer at the school.

A retirement card and bracelet for sons reception teacher.

A retirement card and partly done hoop frame for the receptionist at school.
I am about to back the second hoop. The first I had to ad lib a bit as the fabric wasn't quite the right size so I glued it in place. This one has enough fabric to try and finish it properly. I hope it works.
I have done the preschool drop and collect and popped to HobbyCraft for a hoop. I would rather have bought an old one but I need it for tomorrow so I didn't have time to do a charity shop hunt.
The weather is beautiful on this side of the country today. Lets hope summer is finally here.
Enjoy your week.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

A home coming and some new embroidery machine projects.

We are a family again. After several weeks of being in Kenya Daddy is back and the children are loving having him home. It has been rather noisy I have to say but noisy happy children are 100 times better than noisy unhappy children.
No 1 son made a banner for the door. The door desperately need sanding and re varnishing but that's another post I think. Renovation never ends.
I have recently rediscovered the joy of the embroidery function on my machine. I have been having a bit of a play. It started when I saw someones 5x7 Three Wishes by Titania Creations and commented on it. I only have a 4x4 hoop and was a little disappointed but by that evening there was a 4x4 download on the freebie page. It's a lovely website with some beautiful patterns if you have an embroidery machine I highly recommend popping over for a look. Here is my practice piece, it stitches out really well.
This was just a trial on an old pillowcase but I think it's headed for a cushion or possibly a bag.
The dandelion is the symbol of the military child so this one is particularly poignant.
After getting my embroidery juices flowing again I went on the hunt for some more patterns to play with. Here are the results of a few evenings playing about.
This elephant was a freebie from Ann the Gran. I posted his progress on my personal Facebook page and my friends were going mad for him. He became this cushion, I thought the fabric was quite complimentary to the stitching. I love him and he has already marched off to live at a friends house.

These bunnies I actually bought from an American site, it was probably EmbLibrary but it might not have been. I should really have made a note of it. This picture does not do them justice at all. They stitch out very well but the silvery grey thread is impossible to photograph, I paired it up with this beautiful sparkly star fabric which is also very hard to photograph well and a friend of mine has requested it for her daughter who is bunny mad.
I have also been playing with some cows but that's another blog post and hopefully one I will get finished and sharing with you very soon.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Monday, 13 June 2016

The end of MMM#16 AND The Everyday's a Party dress because when you're three every day is.

I never got around to finishing off the post about Me Made May mainly because my sons helped me tidy one day and I haven't found the laptop charger since. I have managed to resurrect the old one until we find it though and it is very slow but it works.
So I found that I didn't wear as much Me Made as perhaps I could have but I then realised that I had worn Me Made pyjama bottoms and underwear in the last week, so I didn't feel so bad.
I did find there were a few warmer days in June that I wore some dresses and skirts but May was a bit of a flop really.
The downside of the laptop situation is I can't see my photos so I have to hope I have the right one. For that reason I am not sharing pictures of the outfits worn but I am adding a picture of this little beauty I made over the weekend. I am calling it the 'Everyday's a Party' dress.
In the spirit of  'Buying Nothing New' I didn't buy the cute cow fabric my daughter loved and I went through my stash and found this organic cotton from Birch Fabric, there is now none left. It came in a bundle I bought last year. The lining for the bodice was gifted to me and the sash and band are form a set of pillow cases we bought but turned out to be the wrong colour. I knew they would come in handy for something. I love it.

Monday, 16 May 2016

MMM#16 catch up and a little bit of sunshine

So I have to admit to not doing very well on the MMM challenge since last time I checked in with you all. I have been wearing my owl pj bottoms last week.
This material was left over from a dress my husband made me for a bet in Germany, (It's actually a great dress and has been worn on more than one occasion), it had been waiting for a project to come to me. I finally decided after sewing pyjamas for everyone else in the household I would make some for me. I used Lauren's pattern from her Learn to Sew book and was pleased with my contrasting pockets, I am the first of us to have pockets in my homemade sleepwear. I could have made the elastic an inch longer but it's OK and I love them anyway.
I have also pulled out a top which while I didn't sew it I did refashion it from a dress that didn't fit anymore. I don't have any pictures, I will have to work on that. It was a dress I bought for a wedding years ago and then I had children and it never really fitted again but I liked the fabric so I chopped it up a bit. I am not sure it entirely counts but it's all I've got this week. Now the sun seems to be out I will try and be a bit more MM next week.
As the sun has graced us this weekend we did a spot of den building in the garden.
It's not quite finished but everyone was feeling a bit tired, we had to clear around the base of the tree before hauling the branches over from the uncut log pile. But it was a lot of fun and the three smalls enjoyed it a lot.
Enjoy the sunshine. I'll see you soon.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Procrastination. . . and some MMM#16

Today is all about not doing the washing up. I washed the same dishes every day for the last week, it's really boring! So instead I have sorted out a present for madam to take to her first pre school party tomorrow and wrapped it and also wrapped a present for oldest son to take to his sleep over tomorrow. I have played on Pinterest and watched some crafting TV. I know I really ought to do the house work but it's such a nice day.
I thought I would also mention my second MMM day which was yesterday when I wore a tunic I made with fabric I bought in London last year at Knit and Stitch, well actually I think it may have been on Goldhawk Rd after Knit and Stitch I can't quite remember now.
It was my first (and only) invisible zip and I used the Willow Tunic from Serendipity. I LOVE her patterns. I own three but there are many more I would like to add to my pattern library at some point.
As I mentioned before I don't have a mirror to show you the outfit but I wore the tunic with some dark grey skinny jeans my MIL bought me last year from Monsoon, black ballet shoes and a bracelet I made several years ago which happened to match the fabric perfectly.
This is an old picture I took when I made the tunic. It's not the best picture.
I was pleasantly surprised in the playground as I had lots of compliments from people and I did enjoy being able to say I made it when they asked where it came from.
How is your sunny Friday going?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

MMM 16

I hesitantly joined in with Me Made May last year and it was a lot of fun. I haven't made an official MMM pledge this year but I am going to attempt a two to three times a week goal. I say this as most of my made clothes are summery and the weather just hasn't been playing ball recently.
The other issue is we don't have a mirror, last year we had a full length mirror in the bedroom and I used this for pictures but since moving we just have one small bathroom mirror. This doesn't effect the wearability but it does mean I won't be able to share the challenge with you pictorially.
Today I am wearing the skirt I made last year from the bags of fabric I was gifted by a school Mum with a long length purple jumper with 3/4 sleevs, faux fur body warmer and a necklace that was a free gift from Amazon for messing up on an order.
The skirt is this one.
This was from last years MMM. It's quite a heavy fabric that was I understand used as tunics for some costumes made by the mother of the lady who gave me the fabric. I loosely used the Tilly and the Buttons pattern from her book but just in shape, I scrapped the waistband and put in a lapped zip on the side. It is one of my successful hash ups, I decided in an afternoon I was going to make it and wore it on the school pick up, I had lots of compliments and I still love it now.
So that's me for today. I'll be back later in the week with another update.
I look forward to reading about what you have all been up to.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Renovation in progress. . .

I haven't been about much recently as we are mid mess. Renovating is time consuming and really dusty. I should of course know this from my childhood as lots of it was spent playing in the dust with putty and off cuts of wood. However after spending almost six months with a cooker, sink and one half cupboard I am quite excited at this.

It's all a bit chaotic still as I am not sure where to put things in my new found space, and I envisage things will be moved more than once, I need handles and tiles, paint and a floor but you know I am just happy with cupboards for now. At one point I did actually open and shut my friends cupboards in her kitchen just because I hadn't had any for so long I felt the urge to.
All this work means I haven't done much crafting, also the fact that we had to move all the kitchen stuff out into the living room so the new units could be stored in the yellow room while we fitted them gradually means I can't actually reach my table but it's getting better.
So that's what I have been up to. How about you?

Friday, 25 March 2016

RAOK - March

I was thinking of what I would do this month for my RAOK as nothing had really sprung to mind so far. We had a big a clear out and I boxed up lots of bits for Fiji as a work mate of my husband is collecting items to send to friends and family put there but that didn't seem quite right as this was something we would have done anyway and my challenge was to do something we may not have done normally. I made a cushion, bag, skirt, bracelet and necklace for the PTA but again it didn't seem quite enough. Then while we were out today I managed to slip it in.
We were at a National Trust property completing the Easter Trail and had popped in the shop for ice cream. A man was asking about getting cashback or a cashpoint so he could get some money for his son to do the trail but he was told their was no cashpoint and no cashback option.
On a whim I gave him the money, he tried to protest but I just asked him to please take it but to do something nice for someone else when he could. He said he would, thanked me and took his son off to the start of the trail. Both the shop managed and cashier were taken aback by this but hopefully it might make them think of doing something for someone else one day.
I don't usually have a lot of change so this is not something I would normally be able to do but I am pleased that today on such a beautiful day I was able to complete my RAOK this month and make a little boy happy.
I hope everyone is enjoying the lovey weather this weekend. We certainly are.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Frozen fever

As the handful of you who visit on a regular basis will remember we went to America last summer to see some of my husbands family. And of course to shop for fabric. And I have slowly been working through our haul, various pj's for children and husband, skirts and dresses for madam and shirts for the boys. There is still a fair bit left and all the stuff for me that hasn't been used yet.
Yesterday during preschool I traced off the pattern for another free pdf dress, this is a cross over dress I found on Craftsy which goes from age 2-6. I traced off age 4 and hoped it would suffice. During naptime I got cutting, I decided after months of wondering what was the perfect pattern for Anna and Elsa I would just cut and hope. As it's reversible I choose a fabric I wasn't sure I was going to use that came in a bundle for the reverse, it's Michael Miller print. I actually really like it now. The pattern I had was very easy to make, similar to the Squashed Peas and Carrots one if you have seen that. And it didn't take long at all. I top stitched all around when closing and the thread ran out, luckily I had some very, very similar to finish off with. It doesn't photograph that well flat but she wanted to wear her 'Skellington' skirt today. (Which you may have read about before).
The front of the dress, looks like any A.line dress front really.
The back cross over part of the dress. Here you can see our Michael Miller lining, the Kams on this side are a matt green to coordinate with the fabric. 
She is very happy with the dress and so am I. More stash used not that you seem to see the difference in the pile. I may need a sewing marathon to get through it all.
How is your week progressing?

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Labour of Love

When our friends asked us to be the only Godparents to their son we couldn't have been more flattered. And on a crazy whim I suggested that they asked all their guests to bring a piece of fabric and I would make a blanket for him as a memory of the day.
I went home with lots of fabric and no plan at all. A year and a half later and I have finally finished. It's by no means perfect, I have a lot to learn, but it was made with love.

So on to the next project. :)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Sewing for Summer

I haven't had the urge to do much recently, the weather, the amount of work to do on the house, the constant stream of expensive problems we have encountered. It's all been a bit much. But this week I had the inspiration to get going again. I joined a group on Facebook called Buy Nothing New. Now while I don't think I will actually BNN, I have been trying to find ways to spend less, well when the account is empty already you don't have a lot of choice really! I have made some incredibly tasty meals from what we had lying around while waiting for payday if I do say so myself. The challenge was actually kind of fun at times. And seeing the food disappear when you were a bit worried at the reception is always good. I have also been on a bit of a sewing spree for Madam's summer wardrobe, she has grown considerably since last year so while some of her things will still be useable more will be required, (supposing the sun ever starts shining, is it just me or is the grey and the wind and rain starting to outstay it's welcome).
My first make was a reversible flutter sleeve dress/tunic top. I traced off the 4-5 age as she is already in age 4 so 2-3 didn't seem a sensible option, it was a free PDF, forgive me I have looked at so many I am not 100% but I think it was from Craftiness is not Optional. The instructions were really easy to follow. The butterflies were from an unseen bundle I bought, a lady was selling on her bits and I took a gamble. I was lucky most of the fabric I received was lovely, I sold on two pieces I knew I would never use. The flowers were a length I had bought for another project years ago in a Rooftop Fabrics sale, but I never got around to using it. So many projects! The ribbon was in a bundle I was given sometime ago. As you can see it needs a good press but I was really happy with the end result and will definitely use this pattern again. It was admired by Madam but is a little big still.

 The second project was another free PDF, I believe this one was from I Sew, You Sew, again I found it via Pinterest. The simplicity appealed to me. It's a lovely A.line dress which looks so effective when completed. Four pattern pieces make it a super quick and easy sew which is great when in a stash busting mood. This fabric was also in a bundle I bought, though from another lady clearing out, again unseen, I love it, I was so pleased there was enough for this dress. The lining was a piece I was gifted and the KAM snaps were from the original purchase maybe 4 years ago now. I am in love with this dress. I plan on her wearing it with layers until the sun comes out to play. 
 My final make is again a free PDF, from It's Always Autumn, also to be found on Pinterest, (I have a board here full of sewing for girls. Pop over and take a look). It was my first attempt of pleats. Two pattern pieces, again a fairly simple sew but made more complex with the pleating and bias binding finish. It needs pressing now it's finished but I was pleased with the overall result. I hand covered a button for the closure as you can see on the second photo. The fabric was left from a skirt I made, the ribbon button hole was a gift, the self cover buttons a free gift a long time ago and the bias was from a roll I bought about 3 years ago, it's nearing the end now, I will have to start making my own. This pattern came with the option to make a top and instructions for an elasticated neckline as an alternative. I think I shall try the shorter elasticated version next.

 So that's what I have been up to this week.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

RAOK - Was a hit!

I promised an update on the scarf recipient from yesterday. 
This morning the lady I gave the scarf gave me this. Inside she says I made her day.
Happy Thursday everyone.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

RAOK 2016

I saw lots of blurb online last week for RAOK day. I had to admit I didn't realise there was a specific day for Random Acts Of Kindness, I always took it as something you did as and when. However I was thinking about it some more today and I thought I might set myself a RAOK a month challenge this year. Nothing huge, nothing momentous and it certainly wont be changing the world but hopefully it will brighten up someone's day now and again.
I didn't just want to donate a bag to charity, books to a book sale, etc. I do that regularly anyway. When things are grown out of they go on to someone else in a variety of ways, some are sent to Gambia to the village of a child my friend sponsors, some are given to friends who can use them, some are taken to charity shops, etc, etc. No I wanted these to be other acts, something I had to think about doing rather than something I did from habit.
Last month, January, I gave a gift to a friend to say thank you for being a friend, it was nothing amazing, she happens to love elephants and so I gave her an elephant teddy and a card just to say thanks for being you. She was telling me today that it sits in her living room and the flowers on the card match her wedding bouquet. Act 1 complete!
I am attempting Act 2, February today, I made my daughter an infinity scarf and the fabric of which there was a tiny scrap left was much admired by a school mum. Today I have created an infinity scarf from a fleece scarf I had bought to try embroidering on at Christmas but hadn't gotten around to then I used the scrap of fabric to applique hearts on to the scarf. Again it's nothing super amazing and it wont change the world but I hope she will like it when I give it to her at pick up today.
This is a terrible picture but you get the idea. I didn't have enough fabric left to cover the scarf so I put it on and looped it with the seam at the back and tried to work out the best places for sewing so that they were visible. In theory whichever way she loops it she will have at least one heart showing.
I will let you know her reaction next time.
Happy Wednesday everyone.

Monday, 22 February 2016

First day of school

So half term is over and the small boys are back at school. Madam and I had an empty day ahead. Then Madam was gifted a bag of new story cd's and DVD's by a school mum at the drop off so she was set up for some fun. I had to let her watch a couple it would have been cruel not to, besides Sylvanian Families on DVD! Even I was a little curious.
And I decided to have a go with the Hama beads. We had a huge tub from of IKEA like beads and then we were gifted a tub of 10,000 Hama beads. I haven't used them since I was a small person and it was so much fun.
Rapunzel has since been joined by Ariel, my sons after school wanted in on the action too and made a Minecraft pickaxe, a Minecraft creeper and have started on a TMNT. I have added a panda to the collection for number 2 son and Madam has made a heart of multicolours, even the Mr had a go after work with his own version of a horror movie mask. Addictive little things.
I did stop to make a meal which was also great fun as I had a go at making chicken slices from scratch. They were absolutely delicious, plates were wiped clean and the leftover meat that didn't fit in the parcel vanished too. It's satisfying when that happens.
I hope you all had a good day too.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday sewing and a bit of a trim.

Today we finally cut the last of the tiles for the bathroom floor. It looks fantastic, just need adhering and grouting now. It's starting to take shape. I keep having d├ęcor ideas but we need to get the bulk work done first.
Here is a picture of it last night, it wasn't finished then but you get the idea.
This evening we trimmed no 2 sons hair and Daddy's hair, no 1 son had his cut at the hairdresser earlier. So little miss thought she would give her Anna doll a trim, luckily we caught her before too much had come off and we can give it a brush and the short bits get caught up in the long bits. Just as well it wasn't Barbie, she would be bald!

I decided to try my hand at a scarf for little miss after she asked very nicely if she could have a scarf like Mummy yesterday. This was my first attempt. The fabric, originally from Rooftop Fabrics, was left from a top I made her when she was still in the sitting still stages. I have been holding on to this bit waiting for a project to come along and this was it. She knew as soon as it was done what it was and we had to put it straight on. Her grin and giddy thank you Mummy said it all.
So after she went to bed I dug out this treasure I had been holding onto, a remnant from the stickered shelf at Walmart last summer. I couldn't resist but I was never quite sure what to do with it. Until tonight. I can't wait to see her face tomorrow. I hope it makes up a little for the revelation that Anna's hair isn't like ours and wont grow back after cutting. 
I am tempted to have a go at making some for me too. I admit I did try hers and they just fit me.
How was your Sunday?

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Send a little love - blog swap

This year when I saw Tracy at Mad About Bags was running the Send a Little Love swap again I didn't have to think twice about signing up. I had such fun last year getting to know my partner and we have kept in touch via email over the year.
This year I was partnered up with Debi at Busy Little Chicken. We sent a few emails back and forth and I tried to get some ideas of what to post out. I completely forgot to take any photos but you can pop over to her blog to see what her parcel contained.
I wasn't well prepared when opening and forgot to get the camera to photograph the packages themselves but they were wrapped very prettily, in fact I think there is a picture over at her blog too.
But I did remember to take a photo of the contents before they were too depleted.
We have a pack of nail files, some blue patterned fabric, a heart tea light holder, three fun little pegs and paperclips, a pin wheel, a scented key ring, a bookmark, a little sachet that was full of chocolate mini eggs but is picture containing all the ribbon and thread used to tie up the packages. There was also a chocolate heart lollipop and a box of Maltesers. The photo is a card with a little swap day message inside, it had the book mark in it too.
It was a lot of fun taking part again this year. I shall have to keep my eye out for more fun swaps to take part in. After all who doesn't enjoy receiving snail mail now and again that isn't a bill.
Thank you to Tracy and Debi for a lovely swap day.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

What a month!

They say it never rains but it pours and this last month I couldn't agree more. And I am not just talking about our visit from storm Imogen or the rest of the blustery wet weather we have been on the receiving end of down in Dorset.
First our boiler went, so we called had to get that sorted, then husbands car broke down on his way home from a week away, we paid to get the fixed and a week later his car died in quite spectacular fashion, billowing smoke and leaking oil, luckily our lovely garage is not far from his work so he was able to get it there before it finally spluttered it's last burst of steam. He was loaned the loan car of our friend at the garage and we ended up buying it from him as we have no choice with school and work but to have two cars, then I had to tax the new car. The following week I was sandwiched between a truck carrying a crane and a high bank on the way home from school, the crane foot got stuck in our wheel arch as he passed us and 30 minutes and some nerve crunching later we were on our way home. You would think that should be about enough for one month but just to make it really end with a bang I was parked up at school on the home run and some one caught the back end of our car. I think I just laughed much to the confusion of those other parents who were not aware of how our month had been going.
I also had a birthday this month, it was a little overshadowed with the other events and was pretty much of a nothingness if I am honest but I was made a cake.
I have sent off my packet for the Heart Swap and am looking forward to receiving mine and to a better month. Well lets be honest it can't really get any worse.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Making for Mermaids.

My daughter spent the week before Christmas walking around with a pad, writing her list for Ho ho and the Mermaid. On asking who the mermaid was I was told she was a friend, she was coming to tea, we didn't have a name or an address. Our friend the mermaid has popped up a few times since Christmas and friends of ours found a mermaid bath toy which went down a treat.
So with an upcoming birthday this weekend I thought I would tackle the free pattern for a mermaids tail blanket on Made for Mermaids. She has other things that look fun too but that's for another day.
I had a nice spotty fleece I had bought from MyFabrics a few years back with the intention of using it for a blanket, only I ended up using a lilac fleece instead. This I decided would be good for the main body piece. The left over lilac would be the tail and the top. However when I came to it I found I didn't have the required amount of lilac so I decided to wing it. I had enough for the width but I had to make the cuff thinner, as for the tail end I folded the fabric to allow the biggest piece possible and cut a tail shape free hand. I used the suggested amount of fleece for the main section and trimmed it down to fit the tail in a similar fashion to the pattern but again I winged it. ;)
It's too long to get a good picture of here but she is in the other room.

Sewing it together was really easy and fuss free. I opted not to sew the scale effect on mine as the lilac fleece is quite thin and I didn't want to wreck it but I topstitched around the tail and also around the cuff to main body just because I could really.
It turns out the suggested amount of fabric makes a massive blanket and this is the small size however that just means lots of growing room. All in all as a mostly winged but based on pattern I was really pleased with this project and it didn't take too long at all to sew. I just hope the little mermaid fan is happy when she opens it this weekend.