Sewing, craft and other musings

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Penguins on parade!

It would seem that recently we have gone a little penguin mad in our house!

My husband has been working on another wooden kit and this time it is a pair of penguins.

The instructions were easy to follow (but not to be guessed at!) and it was quite clearly a quick evening project.

The only disadvantage that we have found is that the adult penguin doesn't stand straight because of its design but could be quickly rectified with a hacksaw!

The penguin duo now look on over the living room with the wooden owl from many posts ago!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Quilting the memories - part ii

It's not often that I take on a project that seems to take ages to complete.

Ok, maybe I should scrap that statement.

I am over ambitious when it comes to my work and I love ideas that are big, brash and bold as I am an eternal optimist who thinks that nothing is impossible - you just need to look at things in another way!

After completing my first memory quilt, you may remember from many posts back, my husband asked me to make one for him out of old university t shirts and the like...

When I last posted about it I think I had done the planning, the cutting and was about to pin.

I sewed all the rows together and then ended up with the front panel complete and it only dawned on me then just how enormous this quilt would really be!

Instead of buying backing fabric I bought a flat bed sheet in my husbands desired colour (always blue!) and also bought some 2oz wadding as I knew my sewing machine would not cope with anything more bulky.

That was all then pinned together and then the long process of feeding it though my machine began... And it was quite an epic task ... My machine was not happy at all especially when, in the entire process, I broke no less than 6 sewing machine needles! Admittedly my machine is not the most expensive on the market but is also not the cheapest, but I had never envisaged ever quilting anything so it can't be to blame! Next time I actually look up the proper settings and the proper needles (to be fair, though, the needles did say 'quilting' on them!)

Once the main bulk was done my husband had picked out some lemon coloured ribbon to act as the edge... And what a pain that was to pin! It wasn't really thick enough for the job but I had nothing else so persevered....

And then it was fed through the machine again... With a few needle fatalities along the way!

I had to neaten up the edges where the material hadn't quite caught.

I am so pleased that I have finally managed to finish it!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Picking up a 3d penguin!

My husband gave me a little craft kit for Christmas a number of years ago and it has sat in the cupboard since then (and even survived a house move!)

This weekend I thought I would finally assemble the kit - a penguin made out of corrugated cardboard strips.

The instructions were clearly translated into English as some of steps were a bit unclear. Thankfully there was a lot good pictures to give you the gist of things.

Surprisingly, the glue that came with the kit was very good and stuck the cardboard coils together well.

I suppose this project was a bit like quilling - the rolling up of strips of paper and making things from them... This was a bit more 3d!

The project in all was finished in a day - I think it is rather cute... I am desperately trying to find others in the set to no avail... Any ideas?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Something with feathers...

I love having leftovers from my craft projects and then trying to create something from them.

And this time it was another fascinator!

And this time it is not for me but for my Etsy shop as it was looking a bit sad for itself.

The felt was left over from the mug cosy I made a couple of months ago and the feathers and metal heart were left over from some earrings I took apart to make the fascinator for my daughters naming ceremony...

I then experimented with how I wanted it to look... And then glued it all in place with silicone glue (something I have only recently discovered and now I can't get enough of it!) and then left it to dry.

And this is it!

Now on my etsy page!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bunnies and chicks...


The last week has been turmoil.

Not only did we have the onslaught of family and a naming ceremony to survive but we all came down with the lurgy meaning it wasn't possible for me to post on my blog... This upset me greatly but I am now back with many posts to follow.

Easter has always been a family occasion in my house and for the first time simply ages me and my husband will not be travelling down to Herefordshire where my folks live as I need to be back to work quite soon after the Easter holidays...

Instead my father is travelling up to Yorkshire to spend time with me, my husband and his granddaughter along with his girlfriend and their two dogs so I am the host for the Easter feast...

I am not one to do things by halves so I have made sure that there is an Easter theme to our dinner and have made everyone a place card...

The cards themselves came from hobbycraft (although I think any chick card might do!) along with goggley eyes, some Easter paper from my stash and some red for the beak... And then just writing the names of each if the guests across them.

My husband made some little origami bunnies too... They were from www.origami-fun.com...

I think they are very cute and will make a nice addition to the Easter table...

I am rubbish at origami - I certainly feel there is an art to it... My husband has been paper folding since I met him as it keeps his hands busy when not making something or doing a cross stitch or two!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Micro bunting... Finally!

It has been a long time since I posted my two adventures into bunting and I promised that I would try to make some even smaller than the last one.

So I have.

This time though it is not sewn as I am sure that neither my sewing machine or my fingers would have come out of it in a good way!

This time I used a strip of my huge stash of paper craft papers and a length of thread from my sewing box.

I cut out a template from some paper of two folded triangles and then transferred them onto a piece of folded patterned paper and cut them out.

They were then glued and then folded around the thread.

Very simple but very effective.... Perfect for a dolls house maybe?

Monday, 7 April 2014

'In Control' for Parkinson's disease - please help!

This week is Parkinson's Awareness week. And Parkinson's Uk is a cause which I raise funds for whenever I can.

My grandfather, for as long as I can remember, had Parkinson's. He always had the shakes. He found it difficult to talk and drink and be 'in control' of himself. And, because he had Parkinson's it meant that dementia also caught up with him too.

I ran the London marathon in 2010 (something which was a lifetime ambition of mine) and raised money for the charity. Now, four years down the line I want to raise some more money for them.

In my etsy shop I have a number of items but the one that I think is most apt is the felt hearts...

So, for every felt heart that I sell the proceeds will go to Parkinson's uk. Here is a link for the charity and the great work they do...http://www.parkinsons.org.uk

So please give a little to this wonderful cause and I will post how much I raise on here in a fortnights time...

Link to my felt hearts for Parkinson's ...Felt heart for Parkinson's

Thank you in advance... H x


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Feet first...

The final touches towards my daughters naming ceremony are coming together.

I want the guests to be able to take away something from the day as they are all close family. I think it is important to have something that can remind you of such a special day.

So I have made some 'favours' for each guest much as you would at a wedding.

And they are all unique!

My daughter and I love doing crafty things together (though I very much doubt she understands what it is all about!) so I thought we could make something together for the guests.

I cut out squares of card which would amply fit one of her feet. I then painted the bottom of her foot (with water based paint) and printed it on the card... Surprisingly enough she found this quite fun though did not enjoy the cleaning up afterwards...

After the square had been left to dry I dated them and stuck them to cards...

There is now a batch of 15 of them, written and put in envelopes, ready for a week tomorrow...

Who knew there was so much to do for a 20 minute service!?


Friday, 4 April 2014

In a flutter....

Avid readers of my blog will know that my daughters naming ceremony is looming (I promise there is only one more post with me harping on about it!) and I realised that it was the perfect excuse to get a fascinator...

This time of year is prime fascinator time and I spend a lot of time trying them on as I am one of the very few people who love hats and fascinators but also look okay in them... My husband despairs when he knows I have found a hat stand as he knows I will generally try on every one including the most elaborate ones... I love it!

Anyway, I have already decided what I am going to wear (I am still trying to loose my pregnancy weight so I have very few dresses to choose from anyway!) and have settled on one I bought in a sale which is dusky pink, knee length with hints of deep green and emerald green... So those are the colours I wanted to aim for.

Fascinators are expensive... So I thought - why not make one?!

I saw one of the local high street stores had a sale on and generally they have a lot of jewellery which is easy to take apart and upcycle into a head piece.

My hardest choice is usually what I want to use as the base to fix it to my head as my hair is very thick so hairpins are not a good choice. This time I went for a comb (different to the bases of my previous two fascinators!) with a butterfly on it. It was then just down to choosing some jewellery in my colour scheme and I settled with some feather earrings and a pair of correlated heart earrings as an embellishment.

When I got home I disassembled  my jewellery and started piecing together the head piece...

In previous projects of this kind I have used superglue to fuse the headpiece together but this time I thought I would use silicone glue to see if it didn't dry white which is the problem with superglue!

The silicone glue dried clear... And seemed the keep the rather heavy embellishment of the heart which needed to be glued twice as the feathers needed to be more sturdy!

The project (once I had tried out different ways to arrange the feathers) didn't take long to do although silicone glue takes 12 hours to dry fully...

So, I now have my fascinator and the elements of the afternoon tea are now coming together nicely... I now can't wait!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

When's a jar not a jar?

When it is a vase!

Again, today I have been neck deep in trying to sort out the stuff for my daughters naming ceremony and I had my first panic when sitting discussing the arrangements for the day.

So? Have you decided on the table decoration?
Yes. Giraffe themed tags to go on the tea cups and brown and yellow table gems.
And centre pieces? What about the flowers?

Damn, I thought. I hadn't thought of those!

At this time of year the roads and gardens are filled with daffodils so at least that would make things easier... It was just finding something for them to stand in.

After raiding my garden cupboard I found three jam jars that were all the same and gave them a quick rinse (who knows what kind of insects and bugs had been living in them!)

I then measured a length of giraffe print felt which fitted around the circumference of the jar and cut it to size. I also took a length of giraffe print ribbon (the same as the ones on the name tags!) and stuck that to the felt.

I then stuck the felt to the jar and stuck a fimo giraffe to it.

I can't wait for the ceremony now... A giraffe themed afternoon tea - what more could a 7 month old wish for?!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Time for tea?

My daughters naming ceremony is in a couple of weeks time and I am slowly realising that there is a lot to do and not a lot of time in which to do it!

I also have very little money on which to spend it on as the ceremony has cost a lot more than I had hoped for so the ideas need to be quick, simple and cheap.

After the ceremony there will be an afternoon tea and I wanted to make it personal to my daughter.

A few weeks ago I made some name tags that I wanted to tie to the handles of the teacups. After making them I came back to them and I wasn't happy. So I would have to do them again.

This time I used some rubber stamp letters to spell out the names - taking time to make sure that they all fitted but instead of the names as I know them I did them from my daughters point of view. The black ink worked well against the tags I had bought.

On the other side I used letter outlines to have 'with love' in gold and stuck a giraffe that I had painstakingly made a couple of weeks ago (they were going to be used!!!)

The ribbon I bought was then threaded through the label.

I am much happier with the result ... So happy that the guests get to have a keepsake from, what I hope to be, a very special day!