Saturday, 20 October 2012

Little Snowman

Today's Christmas decoration is a little snowman.  I've had the "Crafting Christmas Gifts" book by Tilda for a long time, and have never made anything from it.  It's very simple to do, and I'm now tempted to do the larger ones as shown on the cover of the book.

Mine's just a little baby.  I made mine in white felt, and it works. As it is tiny, the thick felt was a bit tricky to turn.  Still quick to do, though in retrospect it would have been easier to use an ordinary cotton or linen.  No idea what I shall do with this one.  If I add a hanger for the tree it will look like he's been lynched.  Perhaps do another two and stick them in those tiny ceramic pots to go on a shelf?

I can't share the pattern for this little make, as it's not my own.  Even if you're not a Tilda fan (like what I am), if you love all things Christmas, you will adore this book.  It's quite an old book now, but if you haven't come across it, all the makes are quite lovely, reasonably simple, with good instructions, all full of the usual Tilda charm.  Currently £6.74 with free delivery from Amazon UK which I think is a fair buy, and less than the RRP on the back of my 6 year old copy.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Gingham Tree Decoration

Another day, another decoration.  

This time a cheery gingham tree.... complete with felt heart, ric-rac hanger and star button topper.


I like the way this has turned out, but it took a lot longer than yesterday's Shabby Heart decoration.  In fact, and bearing in mind it's the same size - it took as long to make one of these as all of the others.

Do I want to make another 5 of them?  erm..... don't know!  It may be a one off.  

Despite being fiddly, it was still an easy make.   Fancy making one of your own?  Here's what to do....

You'll need a small scrap of check fabric.  I've used (yet again) a piece cut from a sleeve of one of hubby's old shirts.  It's a brushed cotton, and extremely well washed.

I drew a vague looking Christmas tree on a piece of card, and used it as my template.  Folding my fabric with right sides together, I drew around the template to give me my sewing line.  I then machined all the way around using a small stitch length, taking care to over sew the join.  Don't leave a gap!

Next step was to cut around the tree close to the seam, nipping in slightly on an inside corner, and trimming edges on the outside corners.

Next I snipped a vertical cut down the middle of the front of the tree.  Only about an inch,  just enough to enable me to turn it to the right side.  This took me quite a while, due to the odd angles to manoeuvre about. 

Once all turned through, I wondered why I'd bothered.  As trees go, this one looked mightily pathetic.  At this point I very nearly chucked it in the scrap basket.  Seeing as the stuffing was staring right at me I decided to persevere.  You need something with a blunt edge to poke the stuffing into the "branches", and you need to pack quite a lot in or it just droops.  Once happy with the shape, it's time to do a bit of open tree surgery and sew up the cut.  Don't worry about it looking pretty, a few zig zags to tie it together is fine, as it won't be seen.

Finally I cut out a felt heart to cover the seam, and blanket stitched in place.  I used a metallic thread, and big "rustic" blanket stitching.  With the thread that was left on the needle I did a few random cross stitches, carrying the needle along inside the tree.  There was just enough thread left to attach the ric-rac hanger and a wooden wonky star button at the top.


In real life, I think it looks better than the picture.  It looks very "country primitive" and the metallic silver thread glints nicely.  Darn it, may have to make some more to keep it company.  My aim is to make 6 of whatever decoration I do.  Bear with me, it could be a while until I get to the next one :) .

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Shabby Heart Tree Decorations

I'm determined to make some Christmas decorations this year.  Now..... I'm the least Christmassy person I know, but this year we are likely to be in a new home, in a new part of the Country (note to self) so I AM GOING TO MAKE AN EFFORT!

I'm thinking a shabby country theme, with a hint of red and blue.  I've started off by making some tinkly little tree hearts.  I'm rather pleased with how they've turned out.

So simple to make - only takes scraps - and you can run one up in 5 minutes.  Promise.  I timed myself, and though it took me over a minute and a half to thread the ribbon through the tinkerbell, the rest is a whizz.

Now.....  I know that nearly everyone who reads this will see instantly how to make them.  But.... just in case you are new to sewing.... this is what I did.....

Start off by drawing a heart on a piece of card to make a template.   You will need 4 squares of fabric for each heart, so simply lay heart on top and cut a rough square.  Draw around the heart shape lightly with a hard pencil.  This will be your sewing line.  (or use an air-erasable marker if you prefer).

Cut a snippet of ribbon and lay diagonally across the top two layers of fabric, and quickly machine down.   Thread a tinkerbell through a length of ribbon, (good luck with this.... mine were an absolute bitch to thread).

Now put all the layers together.  I've chosen to have a check back to my hearts, courtesy of one of my hubby's shirts.  Starting near to the bottom right of the heart, stitch around on top of your pencil line, making sure you do a few reverse stitches to strengthen the seam.


Whizz all the way around, remembering to hold your ribbon down on top, and leaving an opening of about an inch to allow for stuffing.  Again, remember to reverse a few stitches to secure.

Nearly done now.  

I did say it was quick!

Now cut around your heart shape, leaving a border of around a quarter of an inch.  No need to be too picky.  Lightly stuff with filling of your choice...... toy filling, old pillows, odd socks snipped up, tiny scraps from your scrap basket, cotton wool...... and machine opening shut.  


You may need to squige the stuffing sideways to give your machine foot room to sit on fabric.  It soon squiges back again.  (note... my spell-check is telling me that squige is not a word.  It is, as far as I'm concerned - and I'm darn sure you know what I mean by it.  As I hope you know full well what my other little made up words are.... only 6 in this post!).

To finish, trim the ribbon close to the stitching line, and then go around the heart making little snips.  

Do take care not to cut into your stitching! 

Plus, if you have any sense you won't use a pair of dressmaking shears, like what I am using here!  It looks as though I'm cutting the heart in half!  And quite honestly, knowing how clumsy I am, tis a miracle I didn't :)
Note to self.... please stop dropping pictures on your thumb, it does your nail no good at all
The final flourish is to scrubble the edges to make it look all full of shabbiness and charm.
I normally dampen things and throw them in the tumble dryer for raggy edges, but even I can see that these little mites would be a waste of electric.  I found a vigorous rub with a nail brush to be very effective.  
Then all that's left to do is to slide the tinkerbell (I know they're not called this, but I think it describes them perfectly) down the ribbon, and ta-da (or ting-a-ling) you're done.

I've done 4 of these so far, and think I will do another 2 before starting on another decoration.  

So quick to make, I'm thinking they would be great tied to presents, adding a length of string instead of ribbon.  Another time I would have placed a few cloves inside each for a festive smell too.  Or embroidering an initial on each to spell out Merry Christmas for bunting.  Oh dear.... now I've thought of that I may have to make one.

Back soon!

I've been away too long :)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Lacy Boho

Oh my goodness - it's been so long since I blogged!

A combination of things...... moving house, hubby working away and so living in limbo between two parts of the country..... and suffering badly with arthritis (to the point where I've had to give in and buy a walking stick).  I just haven't had the oomph to do any sewing.  I have dragged out some crochet I last touched about 5 years ago - a blanket I will probably be the rest of my life making- or a proper granny at the very least by the time it's finished.

Yesterday, I finally did a bit of sewing.  Very simple, very quick, and a bit quirky.  I've made a scarf that I can definitely describe as boho.... here modelled by Skinny Bitch.

Grabbing three different fabrics, I simply cut long narrow triangles of different sizes and whizzed them together.  No hems, no pinning (no idea what I was doing really until it was finished) - but the end result is my sort of weirdness and I'm rather pleased with it.

I measured the length of an existing scarf to ensure it would be the right size to wrap around my neck, and cut the largest triangle out of an old skirt using pinking shears.  (This 50p car boot sale bargain has come in handy before, when I re-vamped a denim jacket for my daughter.  So much material in a wrap-around skirt!

I found just enough trim to sew around the edges.  Next I hacked at the back of an old shirt of hubbys, again with pinking shears - this time adding an edge of blue ribbon.  The inside triangle was simply the corner of an old lace tablecloth...... ready trimmed!  In hindsight, I do wish I'd tea-dyed this piece before sewing it together - as it would have been a more subtle, vintage look.  Never mind.  There's still three corners left for another attempt.

After laying them one on top of another, I just whizzed along the edge with the machine, whilst holding down some vintage lace on top.  Then I simply snipped more pieces of lace and did another whizz along to attach them at random intervals.

Here I am doing my best stuffed hamster impression (think hope desperately I went a bit wrong with the cropping function on my phone).  Oh - and the hair's changed colour too - I am now in the midst of a blonde phase.

I'm definitely going to be doing more of these scarves, as it was super-quick to do, costs next to nothing - and a great way of using up stash.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Simple Genius

Sometimes the simplest things really are the best aren't they?  Saw this image on Pinterest (where else!) and wondered why this hasn't been adopted en-mass as a way of storing threads of all sorts. 

So easy to wind around and secure the ends.  I'm already thinking embroidery threads and narrow ribbons.

Tracked the original source down to the Cozy Homemaking blog - where I may now be lost for some time.

(Re the blog, I seem to have been lost for some weeks - a combination of summer, circumstance and illness.  Where does time go?)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Shabby Chic? Definitely Shabby!

I did say I'd share my DIY disaster with you......

Brace yourselves - you may need sunglasses:

Snort!  When I started the makeover I can assure you this wasn't my intention.  I had a 70's dressing table that was a nice shape, but a vile wood.  I thought I would transform it by painting it fuchsia to match my bedroom.  10 hours later (2 coats undercoat, 3 topcoat) it was looking good.  Until the top coat starting to flake off before my eyes.  I could have cried - indeed I think I did.

Since then it's been sitting in the bedroom annoying me.  It's too heavy to lift out on my own, and anyways I've nothing else to replace it with.  The thought of starting to paint it again doesn't bear thinking about.  So in a DIY frenzy, I attacked it with wire wool.

I think I got a bit carried away!  The result is something that gives a whole new meaning to shabby chic.  However, at least it looks intentional and boldly scruffy.  Anyone that dares to question my designer paint effects will be met with my best defiant Paddington Bear stare.  In an effort to embrace it's individuality further, I may embark on adding some graffiti.  The thought of me let loose with a spray can is a bit giggly - I may just have to give it a go!

My wall sticker is still staying attached to the wall.  Loving it, and I think I will print out some more - hopefully in A3 size if I can get the computer paper that size.  You can do your own so easily.

Pleased with the bright bed, even if it does take a few moments to sort the pillows morning and night.  Plus it's given the cat a nice cosy place to cuddle in.

Not so pleased with my "chandelier".  Which ever bright spark thought it necessary to wrap each of the bottom crystals plastic in cellophane before attaching to the shade wants shooting.  So far I've broken two off in my attempt to get it off.  What numpties!  The wrapping is attached via the metal rings.  Grrr.  I suppose it was in an attempt to make it seem more luxurious, but at the princely sum of £7, I was just looking for a quick fix to shove up and forget about.

Wonder what my next DIY disaster will be.  Knowing me, it won't be long - and I may be brave enough to share!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect by cajame 

 Messing about with Polyvore again

This could be my perfect evening outfit, should I win the lottery - total cost of over £1500!!!  Yikes.

Pop of Red

Pop of Red

I've spent most of the morning putting up pictures, wandering around the place armed with hammer and nails.  I think I have a bit of a thing going on where pictures are concerned, as I have absolutely loads.  No particular style - as long as I like it.  I am left with two looking for a residence now - which is a huge improvement on the mahoosive pile I was staring at earlier.

What with that, and the washing just about up straight and nearly dry - I think I may have excelled myself today.

With a cuppa to keep me company, I've spent a happy hour in the world of Polyvore   This has to be the equivalent of colouring in for grown-ups.  I've had great fun putting my "style board" together.
This is of course the style I would like had I..... a) the figure   b) the bank balance  and c) a big toe that would let my feet bend into heels.  I can at least manage the make-up, though it's probably far too young for me.  No-ones started pointing at me in the street yet, so I may be able to get away with it for a year or two more.

I'm wondering if I dare share my DIY escapade of yesterday with you?  It's a bit zany!  Also a trifle embarrassing.  Perhaps tomorrow - have to steel myself for the shame first.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Purely Pets

My baby - a real life teddy bear
Quite possibly the scruffiest Bichon on the planet
The bane of my life
Sole purpose in life to fart himself (and everyone else) to sleep

Darling girl
Currently doing her best to decimate the mouse population
Scruffy, tiny sweetheart
My Sister-in-laws dog.  Bat like ears!
The in-laws old-timer
Adorable, utterly adorable
The in-laws latest family member - 8 weeks old
Unable to keep her eyes open after running around with the gang
My father-in-laws shadow
Incredibly fond of sitting on your head

Monday, 11 June 2012

How to make Word Art Pictures

It's so easy to do!

Word Art pictures seem to be taking over this season.  Everywhere is stocking them.  And for quite a while it's been really bugging me.....   How on earth do you do them?

I've found a few different apps, but nothing has been quite what I wanted.  Today I've found it!

Prepare to be lost in the world of TAGXEDO  - where you can make up a word picture out of just about anything.    There are a host of shapes to choose from, or you can upload your own.  You can even do words.  With a wide choice of text and a host of colour templates to pick from - you may be lost some time!  If you don't want a shape, you can have a word "cloud".  By jiggling around with the controls, you can totally change the appearance.  I have been lost there for most of the afternoon.

Best of all, as you create a picture you are happy with you can save as a jpg image in a variety of sizes - even big enough to print on an enormous canvas.  (I have plans!)

My sewing themed heart above has been printed onto movable wall sticker printer paper from Crafty Computer Paper   I've had it for ages, and finally got around to giving it a go.  Loving it!  Printed beautifully on auto setting, was easy to cut - and sticks to the wall perfectly.  And it's movable!  I know it said it was on the packet, but often these things are nothing like they should be.  This moved from one wall to another with no trouble whatsoever.  Brilliant for adding decor to a plain wall....  I'm already thinking a few pretty birds will look fab..... somewhere!

Here's how the images look when you download them.  This is another wall sticker that I have made for my bedroom.  Although it doesn't look that clear here, it has printed out perfectly - and looks great on the wall.

I can think of so many uses for this app.  Printing on fabric...... labels......  oh - I could keep myself busy wording around for quite some time!

In fact, I have to keep coming back to the post as I have made something else!  This time a (sort of) cupcake shaped wall sticker for the kitchen. I've cut around the shape, and I'm jolly pleased with how it looks on the wall.  I did take a photo of it on the wall, but the yellow would have blinded you!  It's not pleasant, and is on my list of things to be changed as soon as.

When you first go into the app. it's a bit confusing what to do.  I suggest starting with the control box on your left and working your way down, one at a time.  You'll soon get the hang of it.  The box that says load is where you type in your text - and then have fun creating. 

What are you going to make?

Dreaming in Pink

What can you do on a Sunday afternoon when it's chucking it down?  Aren't you just sick of it?

Yesterday I went for a wander around Dunelm.  I never come out of there with nothing (I think it's impossible), and this time was no exception.  I found some clip frames at rock bottom prices, and a few cushions that were just too nice to leave behind.  So, last evening was spent adding a bit of decoration to my bedroom.

The wall behind the bed is painted in Crown Euphoria.  It's the most wonderful warm and vibrant shade of cerise.  I love it.  It was the second colour I tried.  The first shade was a deep plum, which although it was a great shade, it made the room seem really cold.  The window faces west, and so doesn't get a great deal of sunlight.  It needs all the help it can get to zing it up.  This pink certainly does that!

The bedding was another bargain buy yesterday.  £11 for a king size set - how could I not?  I love the mix of red and hot pink, and the fabric isn't that rough horrid texture that you often get with cheap bedding.  It's so vibrant and happy.  My Sugar and Spice cupcake pillow in the middle now has some friends to keep it company.  The pillows were all £3.99, and are zip off covers.  Such a bargain.  A complete pillow for about the same price as just a cushion inner.  I know the bed is  a riot of colour, but it's so cheerful.  And I just know that my hubby will adore it all when he comes home, I can imagine his comments now.....   Are there enough bloody cushions on this bed.....   It's very pink....  Like the pictures....   In no particular order!

The wall sticker behind is from The Range - I think I paid about £3 for it.  It looks shiny from the camera flash, but looks good in reality.  In a deep grey print, it was much easier to apply than I thought it would be.

Note to self.......  I really must make a headboard!


My bedside lamp is starting to wear out.  The cat may be responsible (bless her little heart).  I found this at a car boot sale (the lamp, not the cat).  It was new in it's box at the time, and I fell in love with it on sight.  I wish it was a different colour - black would be perfect.  If you've seen one, let me know!


Okay then.....  a pile of clip frames and what to put in them?  I found a few images from magazines - now that's my idea of instant art.  I created the heart picture using the valentine text option on   You type whatever text you like in, and it prints it in a heart shape.  Cute!  The fabric heart at the bottom was a quick little bit of paper piecing.  I suppose I really should have sewn on a hanger.  Ah well.  Maybe nex time.  Basically, this one has been stabbed onto a nail.  Works!

I really need to do something with my jewellery hanger.  It needs to go on the wall, but I think that's beyond my capabilities.  I'm quite happy armed with hammer and nails, but anything else is so guaranteed to be a DIY disaster it's simply not worth starting.  I found this at a car boot sale (funny that!), and I have no idea what it's original purpose was.  All I know is it's jolly handy for jewellery.  Blimey - looking at this photo makes me realise that it's long overdue for a tidy up.  And the dressing table needs dusting!  That dust circle is really a light effect from the flash - honest it is......... muttering to self as she runs off to get the duster quick.

For my pictures, I want to focus on mainly black and white with the odd pop of red and fuchsia.  The wall behind is brilliant white, even if it does look like a mucky pink in the picture.  The hat is a mini topper that I wore one New Year's Eve.  The stockinged legs (if only they were mine..... though my arms could look like it I suppose) were a black and white image, that I opened in paint and used a brush to colour the small bow fuchsia.  The other images are from magazines.

I can't remember where I got this lips canvas from.  No doubt it was a car boot sale, as that's my favourite boutique :)   I think it goes rather well with the wooden Love sign below (2.99 Dunelm).  It hangs on two nails, and for me to get it at the angle I wanted first time is a DIY miracle.

coming up soon - Meows and Woofs

Friday, 8 June 2012

Embroidery Inspiration

DIY Embroidered Moth
This is fabulous - found on Pinterest, but sadly it doesn't link back

After doodling with thread last night, I'm thinking embroidery today.  I love embroidery, though I don't have much patience.  I really must start on a project.  Here's a few that have caught my eye....

These little brooches are darling.  Come across these from the LiliPopo blog.  Must explore what over little lovelies are there.

detail - looove

Fabulous detail on the corner of this blanket, and relatively simple and quick to do.  Love it.  By Green Kitchen on Flickr.


What a charming hoop picture.  Very modern.  From the Feeling Stitchy blog.

sweet house

Loving this little house by House Wren Studio  The roof is such a great way of showcasing different embroidery stitches.

crazy quilting

This beautiful butterfly.  Isn't it stunning?  It's from the Crazy Quilting International blog, and I absolutely adore it.

 My #embroidery Little Tweetheart Doodle heart
I'll end today's post with one of my own designs.  Very simple stitching, but they go together really well (I think).  I designed it for a kit.  It seems like forever ago I made this, but on looking back I realise it was only last year - Little Tweetheart

Are you inspired to get stitching?