Thursday, 27 December 2012

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree..

How lovely are your branches! This must be the best Christmas tree we have had for years! It is the perfect shape. I really will be sad when we have to take it down, the living room will look so bare. I will have to get something to keep the fairy lights on all year round!

After all the Christmas crafting I've been doing, I'm already planning my next project! I got a lovely layer cake of fabric for a gift, so can't wait to turn it into another quilt! After completing 3 quilts, one for each of the boys, I think I need one for me! I will be posting pictures of the finished quilts when I can get a nice bright day sometime!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dinosaur garden!

After an exhausting day shopping, visiting family, and watching Button in his first rugby match ( which led to him getting a bloody nose that he was extremely proud of! ) I desperately needed to entertain little bear so I could make a meal! The weather was fine for a change, but he was so tired that he didn't want to play outside. That was until I decided to make a dinosaur garden!

We had visited the library and got Gardening with Children by Kim Wilde ( yes the 80's pop singer). It has some great ideas on how to incorporate children's play into your garden.
We had an empty barrel that the husband had intended to grow lettuce in but never did. After adding pine cones, stones, and shells, along with some twigs of rosemary, we had our dinosaur garden! Little bear played in it until tea time, which was just what I needed.

If the rosemary doesn't take I will plant something more permanent. He really enjoyed placing the stones and twigs in sections then hiding each if his dinosaurs in the make-shift forest! He was so sweet pretending that they were having acorns and conkers for their tea until T-Rex came and ate them up!

Isn't he just too cute?

Monday, 24 September 2012

So little time!

In between this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

...I have very little time left!  Cannot believe I have taken on all of these projects for my home decor when I must get started on the holiday gifts!  It is September already, the new term is crazy at School and I am getting more and more frustrated as I don't have enough hours in the day.  I really could do with one of those watch things that Hermione had in the Harry Potter stories where she was able to fit in extra lesson, that would be my idea of heaven!

From top to bottom:
Willow Crochet Doily blanket - I just had to make one, it is so pretty!
Cranberry muffins - for the boys 
Wild Olive inspired zippered pouch - for me! - had to organise my thread before starting new projects!
Cross stitch bee - What Delilah Did pattern - this is for me and it is taking ages!
Crochet draught excluder - started a tapestry one and got fed up so am quickly using all my scrap cotton yarn and will stitch it together and stuff it!

Doing lots for me by the looks of it doesn't it, but hey my house needs pretty things in it too!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Autumn walk

What a surprise we had when we found these community project sculptures dotted throughout our favourite walk in Ellsemere!

The Sssh is my favourite. Found in the woodland clearing, it gave us a great opportunity to encourage the boys to listen to the sounds of the woods!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Finished quilt!

I finally finished the patchwork quilts for little bear!  Yippee! Must get it wrapped up now ready for Christmas or I will end up using it myself. 

I used fabric from Heather Ross's Far Far Away III collection for the front.  I particularly wanted the Playing with Horses print as Little bear is always playing with his toy horses (well he did much more last year when I bought all the fabric!)

I used the lovely Far Far Away 2 Roses for the back.  I couldn't bring myself to cut into the lovely grey rose print, so after taking it to my local quilting shop and begging for some advice, (I had already purchased all the fabric online, so felt a bit cheeky really)  this is what we came up with.  

The wonderful ladies at ZigZags in Newport were excited to help when I told them it was my first quilt.  They managed to convince me to add some more depth to the back by adding complimentary borders.  I wanted a single colour for the back as it would have been simpler to put together.  However they did the calculations for me and worked out how much fabric I would need and how to lay it out.  After I had finished the back I still wasn't convinced that I liked it.  But after I put it together and matched it up I am so pleased I had gone for a double sided look.   

As for the quilting, I didn't really know what to do so I just started in the middle and followed the fabric pattern and went round in a spiral.  This led to a bit of rucking up near the end but it was late and I didn't care by then!  If you ignore the mega crinkles I think it looks just fine. I will never do it that way again and will seek advice next time!

I know that the back is a bit girly for Little bear, but it means that I can use it too!  Perhaps he will give it to his children one day and it would be suitable for both boy or girl.  Or I will be able to keep it for myself as it looks so nice on my armchair in the study!

I hope you like it.  My pictures don't do the fabrics any justice.  Thank you to the lovely ladies at ZigZags for helping me with it!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Avengers cross stitch

Captain America, Iron man, The Hulk, and Thor. Hope my boy likes it. Just need to find a frame, Ikea trip maybe? : )

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Quick Quilt project.

Having been 'in the middle' of making a quilt for bear for nearly 7 months now and with no effort still no time to finish it I decided to make a really quick quilt.  Bear needed a simple lap quilt that was light enough for summer to sleep under.  He had an Ikea baby duvet and cover, but it kept rucking up to one end as he tossed and turned in the night.  The solution?  Quilt it!

I simply put the duvet into the cover and used the Purl bee lap duvet tutorial to piece them together.

After machine stitching at intervals throughout the quilt I decided the stripy side need a touch more colour.  So I stitched and knotted some wool that through the layers.  I love how the colours of the yarn match up with the front.  Purely a coincidence! 

I will, at some point pluck up the courage find the time to bind my patchwork quilt, but in the mean time, this was a quick and easy project!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cloud dough fun!

With all this rain lately we have had to have a lot of indoor playtime! Thankfully I came across an amazing site The Imagination Tree. A wonderful site filled with lots of fantastic sensory play based ideas to do with your babies and toddlers.

We had a go at making and playing with 'Cloud dough'. A quick and simple recipe using just flour and oil. Both boys spent a full 2 and a half hours making and playing with the stuff. Best thing was that it was so easy to clean up!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Camping, cowboys, and Cath Kidston

Just thought I would share this sweet pic of the little bear playing camping in the back garden. He is growing up so fast. No sippy cup for him anymore thanks to Cath Kidston's cowboy mugs!

Here is the link to the Cath Kidston shop if you want to check them out. - Sorry but I think the mugs have sold out :(   They have other enamel camping ware or melamine pieces.  Button and bear love the camping mugs and plates.  We end up using them all the time!

Chocolate cherry dairy free ice cream!

I made this amazing banana and cherry chocolate ice cream this weekend for us all to enjoy - bear is dairy and soya intolerant so dessert usually ends up being fruit for all of us.
I always try to have some banana pieces in the freezer after seeing this pin here. They are nice blended up on their own, but adding coconut milk makes a huge difference to how creamy it tastes. After all that's what you want with ice cream isn't it?

3 Frozen bananas - these should be sliced then frozen
Half can of black cherries - in natural juice
Half a can of coconut milk
Tablepspoon of cocoa powder

Place the bananas, cherries, and cocoa into a food processor and blend. You may need to stop and break up the banana with a spoon if it starts to clump together. Slowly add the coconut milk until it all becomes smooth and creamy. You may need to add more or less of the coconut milk. You don't want to make it too runny.
Eat immediately. You could scrape this mix into a Tupperware and freeze again until later (give it a quick whizz in the processor to break up any ice crystals before serving), but we always eat the lot in one go!


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Crochet shawl

I made this crochet shawl while watching the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations on TV last weekend. I have since been trying to get some good light in the house to take pictures but it has chucked it down all week. Typical for a half-term holiday!

The shawl is a present for my mum, no particular reason, just because I fancied having a go. It crochets up quickly and after blocking it hangs beautifully. I used Rowan Cocoon wool which I'm nearly all out of now :(

Thankfully I recently started an instagram account so that I can get fairly good pictures in poor light!  The weather is pretty rubbish for June.  This weekend was not too bad though, we went to the zoo again yesterday and the boys are currently playing camping in the back yard!  School tomorrow :(

I want to get some quilting time in this week. not sure how I will though, my big brother has asked me to make him an outfit for a punk festival he is going to! so I will be working on that this week.  I must ask him if I can show you the pictures of him in it!

Hope you have had a good weekend!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Friday, 1 June 2012


A little something for the weekend celebrations!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Floral book plates

Thought I would give you a close up of the little wall art that you may have spotted in this post. 

My Husband and I love books, old nature ones in particular.  We have a largish collect of old books displayed in a number of places around the house.  I stumbled across this beautiful book of wild flowers in our local vintage book shop and just fell in love with the plates.   The flowers are so detailed and pretty I just had to have them displayed.  
But you know how things go:
1 - Couldn't bring myself to cut up the book!
2 - Would like to display all of the plates in frames.
3 - Framing them all would cost loads, and I would have to do it in one go.

Then I saw the book sitting on my shelf and realised that I never get to see these gorgeous pictures and that is just a crime!  So I did it. I tore the pages out carefully, and used my seam ripper to cut the cotton binding so they all came out great after that.  The I just put them up with blutack!   

I love it! Husband loves it.  In fact he thinks it looks good without the frames and said "why didn't I do it sooner".  Just what I was thinking  :)

Have a great week!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Etsy Favourites

Mooshy belly bunny  - Holly at chezbeeperbebe, lots of cute ideas and patterns.
White rabbit embroidery pattern set - Mollie at Wild olive, she taught me how to embroider.
Cute crochet baby booties - Tara at Easymakesmehappy, lovely patterns great to learn to crochet with.
Burlap basket pattern - Maya at Mayamade, great for repurposing inspiration. Has a new book out!
Mallory cowl knitting pattern - Shannon at luvinthemommyhood, bet you know her already, fab blog!

I like to check in on lots of different blogs.  I first started searching through blogs a couple of years ago for tutorials and inspiration to help me get started at making things.  Then you kind of get hooked and start to feel like you get to know the people behind them a little more, and then it's not just about crafting but about other peoples lives.  There are a lot of really nice people out there that give so much on their blog. Ideas, tutorials, advice, and inspiration.  Many have shops or use their blog as a way to make a living.  Either way, what I have got from them, personally, in terms of learning new skills, and them giving me confidence in my creativity,  I couldn't put a price on it.  So I often like to purchase a little something that they make or provide.  whether it a pattern or an item.  I suppose it is just a way that I can show my gratitude for all the lovely things that they have given to me over the years for free.  So there is my Etsy Favourites from the shops of some of my favourite bloggers!

And, no I have not been endorsed by any one of them to promote their site or shop.  In fact I am pretty sure that none of them know who the heck I am! being just a small fry -  shame I would love to be friends with them all! :(

I also have many more favourite blogs that don't have Etsy shops and I am planning on posting about why I love them so much.  I would love to do one of those interview things with some of do you get to do that?  Anyone know?  Let me know? 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

New project bag!

Managed to make a couple of project bags this week.  I have been meaning to do this for ages to try to organise my projects.  I always seem to have so many things on the go at one time and they all just get stuffed into the same bag!   Anyway I feel much more organised, I have a bag for my tapestry draught excluder (that is taking me ages to do!), one for my current cross stitch project, and another for my mums crochet shawl.  Problem is I keep thinking of new projects to do!  (and I haven't even mentioned the patchwork quilt that I need to finish that is on my desk.  Eeek!)

Do you always start what you finish? or do you keep juggling many projects?  Any tips on how you manage them all?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Crochet lampshade

Whilst being ill with bad cold etc for the last week or more, I still wanted make something but didn't want the effort of having to concentrate.  This is where crochet comes in.  I hadn't done any crocheting since before christmas. After the rubbish cowl I had been attempting to make for myself, see this post, I had been put off!  Not by crochet itself but in my ability to adapt to make my own design for my needs.

However the best thing about crocheting is that it works up fast.  I love instant gratification.  It also doesn't take much concentration, so it is easy on the brain, and eyes.  So I went for it.  I frogged my rubbish cowl, and used the beautiful Rowan Cocoon wool to make this lampshade cover for our bedroom.

The light was bad, so please excuse the pictures.  It looks so much better up. See...

I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I adapted this pattern which is a beautiful shawl, to make the shade, working in the round and just basically winging it.  I am so pleased with the results.  I might actually get round to making a tutorial one day!  I will definitely make another one, probably in a brighter coloured yarn for the lounge.
I am hooked on crochet once more. In fact I have started a shawl for my mum as her birthday gift.  It's going to be quite big so it will take some time!

What projects are you doing?  Did you have a good weekend?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Finishing your embroidery - quick tutorial.


I am really loving these little cross stitch patterns!  I have purchased the PDF patterns from andwabisabi a cute Etsy shop that I cannot stop browsing!  Find it here.
I also decided to finish the back without using my glue gun.  I find it so messy and often get it stuck all over my work.  Here is how I do it:

- Cut out a circle of using the inside of the outer ring as a guide. 
- Place this on the back of your stitching.
- Put fabric glue on the outer edge of the inner ring, and place this on top of the felt and stitching.
- Put fabric glue of the inside edge of the outer ring.
- Carefully turn your piece over and line up the outer and inner rings, with your work sandwiched    between.
- Screw the fastener as tight as it will go.  I use a hair clip to finish tightening!
- As you have used fabric glue you can spend a little time lining the piece and the rings up. 
- Trim the excess fabric with scissors close to the edge of the rings.

 I always found that I didn't have enough time to line the piece up properly with a glue gun as it always set too quickly so making a fabric glue sandwich works much better for me!

Let me know your best ways to finish a piece.  I would love to hear your ideas.  Leave a message in the comments box :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

World zone

Finally finished a little gift for hubby. Should look good in his new office!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Work in progress

I am currently working on a tapestry piece inspired by the designs in Cath Kidstons book Stitch. It is full of lovely pieces for tapestry or cross stitch. I am adapting the rug pattern for a smaller project using the stitch techniques that she describes. I am also cheating by using wool from my stash instead of tapestry wool.

It is working well so far but I am going to have to have a break from it as I have 3 classes worth of exam papers to mark!

Etsy Favourites

Alice in Wonderland book phone charger
Embroidered Union Jack hoop art
Vintage typewriter - 1950's
Laundry time postcard
Spring 'hello sunshine' stationary set

The collection of postcards are really sweet. They would look great framed around the kitchen!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A little tapestry

My first attempt at tapestry. So much easier on the eyes when working in the evening!
I have no idea what I am going to do with this piece. Pincushion ?