Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Thank you, and crochet

I want to say a huge thank you to Melmel. She's lovely, isn't she. She's also very norty. She recently bought a whole lot of gorgeous fabric - the most I think she's ever had in one go, and should have settled down to play with it. Instead she gave lots away, to lots of her blogging friends. She sent me the fabric above, which I adore, and I've been stroking ever since. It's an early print - it's photographed in a clipping I have about Cath Kidston just four years after she set up her first shop. I really think you should have kept all this for yourself Melmel, but it's making me smile a lot. So big hugs and big thank yous. xxx

I want to say a big thank you for the awards I've been given recently. Firstly for the Kreative Blogger Award. Thank you Happy Loves Rosie and Vintage Girl.

and then for the cute lemonade award - thank you Vintage Girl and Mummyboobear

The lemonade award is for showing great attitude and/or gratitude.

And for this lovely award from Beki
I love them all. Thank you. I've done the Kreativ Blogger before, so won't repeat myself, and I think everyone I visit has had these awards, but if you visit and leave a comment, and haven't had them, please feel free to pinch 'em. LOL.

Anybody come across this book?

It's so fab, and laid out really well.

and I've been inspired to start using better wool

since I started to feel more confident, and begin making up my own flowers...

Have a good week all. x

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Earth Hour tonight 8.30 - 9.30 pm

Don't forget about Earth Hour tonight ...


It's amazing how this has grown into a global concern in just two years. If you can, do switch off your lights for an hour ... don't have to switch off anything else, just your lights.

Fun and very very very worthwhile.

Thank you for all your birthday wishes for my dd yesterday - she read them all, and was thrilled with them. Thank you Angel and Beki for mentioning the sock monster... eldest was thrilled someone spotted it. Extra thank you Angel for mentioning the special rocks. He was even more thrilled to get a mention... he knew they were special. xxx

Friday, 27 March 2009



Opening your cards first thing...

Into breakfast...

We had a fab brekkie... even opened the new mats for you!

Pressies to open later...

The cake you chose and how we adapted it, making it yesterday...

with a dinosaur sitting on a pebble nest...

Boy does time go quickly. You are a fabulous, funny, beautiful child, and we are blessed. You're at school at the mo. I'm spending 65 hours tidying up your room for you.


Getting there... almost. So an after pic, with your new birthday rug.

And another...

Remember that when I'm old and feeble and need treats! I now have to go and find a new home for the bookcase and all the books, which are scattered everywhere. ;-)

And finally, the lovely mother's day treats I got from my other daughter (we've called her creature... the sock monster, not the daughter, LOL), and shiny rocks from my son. Smashing. Thank you both.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Make a fabric bucket!

I'm sure lots of you have made one of these. But the wonderful Mitmot did me a huge favour recently, and asked that I did a tutorial for how I make mine. I'd also promised diydeb a long time back to do a tute, so here it is. They are simple, and useful for all sorts of things. You can make them any size you want, but this is a basic one to start you off. There are lovely ones I've seen in shops, which use binding around the top, but I'm not confident with using binding yet, so haven't made it this way. There are loads of tutorials for fabric buckets on the web, and I'm a learner at sewing, so mine's not necessarily the right way, but hopefully it will help someone (plus, I've been nagged for it so many times, diydeb ;-))

First, you will need to make a pattern... the one shown used a circle with a 16 cm diameter, and a long rectangle, measuring 52 cm by 24 cm. Use both patterns to cut a circle and rectangle out of your lining, outer fabric and a fusible interfacing, which you need to make the bucket stiff enough to stand (unless your fabric is very stiff).

Now iron the interfacing to the lining. Then pin the two together against one long edge, ensuring if there is a right way up, the right way is up towards the pins if you see what I mean. And sew this long edge - allowing about a 7 mm seam. In the pic, I've got to this point, and ironed open the seam.

And a pic from the right side...

Now you bring the left edge (speaking as looking at the pic above) to join the right edge, to form a tube and with the right side inside. Hope that makes sense as I haven't got a pic of this stage, cos it came out badly blurred... make sure you match the centre seam together. Pin and stitch. In the pic below, I've put on the outer fabric circle, by pinning it in place, but you can see the long seam stitched, so hopefully that will make it clear.

So now you have a tube, and as shown in the pic above you pin the circle in... don't worry too much if the fabric rucks up, because it doesn't seem to matter. See below pic for this from another angle...

Now machine sew around that edge. And then pin the other circle on, the lining circle, right side in. You machine stitch this in place too, but leave a gap because you need to turn it the right way out through this gap. I've left a large gap to show you what I mean, but I usually leave enough room just to get my fist through to pull back the fabric. So around 4 inches, I guess.

Now pull your bucket through the gap you have left...

Pin your gap closed, folding in the seam allowance, and slip stitch it closed. That ensures it's invisible, especially as this is your lining.

Push your lining inside the bucket, and arrange it.

Depending on the pattern you've chosen, you can fold down the top and find something to pop into your bucket! The pattern of the geese meant I didn't fold this one down.

The beauty of these is that they are reversible.
So, Mitmot and Diydeb, pictures soon please! ;-)

Thursday, 19 March 2009

My first quilt!

I just had to post a picture of my brussels sprouts, because they looked so lovely this morning. And no, sadly, I didn't grow them. As if I could!

I wanted to show you my sewing...

Today I'm joining an online sewalong to make a quilted needlecase, under the fab direction of Mitmot. It's my first time machine quilting, and it's much easier than I'd thought...

Putting the bias binding on...

However, it's gone a bit wrong. I've never used binding before, and I didn't realize there was a whole heap of difference between shiny binding and cotton binding, so it kept slipping...

Messy edges, see?!

But I'm not put off easily... Finished picture will be added later. Sorry it's a short post, but got a little one at home not very well at all today. Hope you are all enjoying the sun.

Edited to add finished pic:

It was fun... even though I made a lot of mistakes, but I'll definitely be doing another. :)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Frugal eating and Domesticity

I have a sacrosanct holiday fund. Like lots of people, we love holidays. And I'm aware of how quickly my children are growing, so it's dead important to me, because it's a brief period of my lifetime in which I will holiday with children, with all their verve and energy. So I save a lot in my holiday fund, and pull back the money in other ways. I spend very little on clothes, I don't smoke, I go out little in terms of eating out - I don't really need to go out, because I love being home best of all. But nothing will make me touch that holiday fund. As I see it, it's money already spent, so it's not there.

So, we are eating a little frugally at the mo, to help the holiday fund along. And it's proving great fun to sort out recipes. I have piles of mince in the freezer (as you know!) and I'm always looking for different ways to use it. The latest proved great fun as an after school activity. We made saucer pies... each pie worked out at 30 pence, and that was only because I was too tired to set to and make pastry so bought pastry instead.

We lined the saucer with pastry. And added a pre-cooked mince filling. On top of which there was cheese to scatter or potatoes.

I showed the children how to trim off the edges, which they loved doing - this is my eldest doing her pie. And then how to crimp the edges with a fork.

And into the oven they went...

They were yummy, and for 30 pence each, there was enough for half for the meal, and half cold for the packed lunches in the morning, which proved a popular alternative to sandwiches. So we're now trying to think about alternative fillings.

Then, last night we made pizzas... always a popular choice.

So the frugal eating is going well. Treating them tonight, though, to fillet steak, but my excuse is it was ever so cheap! And we need lots and lots of vitamins at the moment, with all the colds around.

And I just had to share this. I'm now the proud owner of a lovely hardback copy of...

The Gentle Art of Domesticity. I've wanted this book for some time, and couldn't believe my luck when I saw a copy in TK Maxx.

The pictures are gorgeous, and cover everything domestic you could possibly want

Wonderful stuff.

Finally, just musing... how many prints do you have on your bed? Am I abnormal in loving variety... This is the top of mine at the moment (and you can't even see my bottom flat sheet, which is yet another printed floral!):

My crochet blanket is on the bottom. So that's 10 prints at least. And that's fairly normal for me. I'd love to see other beds...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Patchwork progress

The patchwork is making great progress.

That's because it turned out a couple of other people ... Mitmot and Mary_Poppins and Little Gem wanted to make a patchwork... always more fun with more than one! So I'm progressing. I've stitched the squares into horizontal rows - thank you so much for all your encouragement and tips... and am in the process of stitching these rows together.

I had to pop out shopping and treated myself to new teatowels from Wilkos... £2 for 5 of these beauties.

Worth it for the fabric alone, and they'll cheer up the kitchen no end.

and then I happened across some lovely pillowshams...

because I popped into TK Maxx and found quilted pillowshams, which I've been after for ever such a long time. I was stunned to find how pretty the fabric underneath was (they were in a sealed pack) and that they had cute ties.

I'm thrilled with them, and they suit my collection of bed linen perfectly.

And then I was very very lucky indeed....

These are for a very special person who lives locally to me and who has given me a lot of help recently and pushed me to doing things I didn't realize I had the confidence to do. I can't wait to give them to her.