Sewing, craft and other musings

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Going to the chapel... Finally!

So, as I wrote in a previous post, my sister is finally getting married in August after being with her fella for going on eight years... And I have just finished their wedding present...

My sister doesn't know that I write a blog so I thought it would be ok to show off her wedding gift...

My sister likes everything very modern and chic so she can be a bit of a nightmare to buy for because if it isn't 'just so' then you know about it! However, her fiancé has no problem with most things so they balance each other out!

I wanted to make them something that was unique but also timeless that, hopefully, they would keep for years and years. So, I came up with the idea of using a box frame and tiles to create their initials and the date of the wedding...

For the backing I went through my huge collection of papers I have got from magazines... My collection is HUGE because I don't really make cards but you never know when they could come in handy...

I chose a very simple and classy paper, cut it to the right size and stuck it to the back of the frame. The tiles were bought from Etsy from a shop called Button Lane (who were super quick and easy to buy through). The letters were from my stash!

And here we are... A present fit for a wedding? I hope so!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Not just chocolate...

Easter is quite a big deal in my family. Other than Christmas it is the only time of the year that all the family get together for a big meal and catch up. Most of my family are based five hours away from me with one of my cousins having to travel just as far to get to see her family too...

At Easter when I was a kid chocolate was always exchanged and everybody, young to old, got an Easter egg. However, as the years have passed, and our waistlines have expanded we have become more aware that chocolate from all members of the family seems far too much so we usually find a little gift instead.

This year I wanted to make a little something for everyone...

My husband bought me a cross stitch kit from Hobbycraft as I had expressed an interest in trying out the art of cross stitch that he had excelled in. However, the kit lay dormant for sometime as it seemed very daunting.

After completing the duck and chick cross stitches (as covered in previous posts) I had a bit more confidence to work at the design for each person.

I decided to give personalised keyrings - all with a letter corresponding to their name.

I had ten to do.

I bought the acrylic keyrings from amazon (link below)...

When you unfold a huge piece of aida it feels so daunting... So I folded it into quarters making it smaller and easier to work with.

Following the pattern in the kit I started doing the letters... Some were harder than others... 's' was particularly difficult for me...

My other problem was that I needed to do something to hide the back of the keyring which was thin to fit with the aida... So I had at look in my box of crafts (an aladdins cave of craft odds and ends) and found some scraps of decoupage paper and thought this would work wonderfully.

These were trimmed down and fitted nicely into the keyrings... The aida had to be trimmed carefully as it was quite difficult to get it flat in the keyrings...

And here they are....



I am pleased with the results... And a few less calories than chocolate!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Quilting the family tree - part 1


One of my other New Years resolutions was to finish my craft list... A list I made of all the projects I wish to do... I capped it on 31st December 2014 and it totals 49 projects... I am not allowed to add anymore to it until I have finished everything else... So many of these things will end up here I hope!

Project 1 - Bird Family Tree Panel ... A work in progress...

One of my local sewing shops in a place called The Viking Loom in York which has friendly and knowledgeable staff and the most amazing range of quilting materials and fat quarters... I could spend most of my monthly wage in there...

They also have a few kits that they have put together for those people who just need a bit of inspiration...

And this is where my latest project comes in...

As with previous posts I am a bit daughter-centric at the moment so when I saw the family tree panel in the Viking Loom I simply had to do it.

The main panel is printed with easy to follow instructions and it was accompanied by a backing fabric and something to frame the main picture which was helpful.

I did buy another panel of the birds as we have a lot of extended family - you'll see what a feat it was in the end!

The first, and probably the most timely job was the embroidery  of the names. I did try and write on the fabric but it bled too much so I went for the more time consuming option...

This option is still going... This is another work-in- progress... I hope to complete it in a couple of days... Unless I get distracted!
For those of you that don't live in York look at the Viking Loom website which is one of my favourite links to the right...



Sunday, 1 February 2015

A personal A to Z!

At the moment my mind is very much turned towards my daughter and things that she might enjoy or help her learn about the world around her - so I apologise for there being a second post that is baby-related!

Although she is only 16 months she loves reading and letters of all kinds so this is how I came up with this latest little project : Sophia's Alphabet

The first of all I made the list of everything for each letter and picked out her grandparents and pets and then added other familiar items from around the house to fill up the other letters.

I then took photos of the items and printed them off.

These were then trimmed and stuck to some coloured card (cut to size to fit in a card storage box I had found!)

Carefully I wrote the corresponding letter on the front next to the photo and then wrote the name in full in the back (in my best writing!)

The cards were then covered in sticky back plastic to make them last a bit longer as my daughter is definitely at her most destructive at the moment!

And here is the complete set...

A Sunday with a difference!

One of my many New Years resolutions was to make use of the stacks of recipe books that adorn my kitchen shelves especially as I now have a bit more time at home to actually cook proper meals for me and my husband... My daughter usually has the leftovers for her lunch the next day so doesn't miss out...

Sunday supper has always been something we have always had traditionally as something big and bold. It harks back to the days when me and my husband worked at a school together and, because it was a boarding school, we used to frequently be on duty over the weekend meaning that we wouldn't see one another until Sunday evening... So a tradition was born.

I usually do a roast - something that has taken many years to perfect (something my husband can vouch for!) but for this Sunday I was asked by my husband to do something that resembled a fry up ... But slightly healthier!

So, the books came out and after a merry hour of scouring the shelves I came across The hairy bikers Perfect Pies book (see link below!) I love Si and Dave and they had a sausage and bean pie topped with potatoes... So I took it one step further...

You need:  an onion, sausages, a tin of baked beans, potatoes... (I added mushrooms, chopped bacon, black pudding)

I boiled the potatoes until they were cooked but still firm. I cooked everything else (bar the beans) on the grill and, once cooked, put it all in an oven proof dish, added the beans and covered the top with potato.

It then baked in the oven for 20 mins until the beans bubbled...

And then....

It was delicious... And serves three... And look at the rest of the book... Whoever said that cooking wasn't an art form obviously had never tried doing it!
The link to the book: The Hairy Bikers' Perfect Pies: The Ultimate Pie Bible from the Kings of Pies