Friday, 25 September 2009

Recent makes... !

Thanks so much for popping by. And for all your lovely comments on my last couple of posts. More about the above pic in a minute, but first I've got a few things to share...

First of all: coat hangers! I've wanted to make a padded coat hanger for ages, but just couldn't understand the instructions I found. They were too complicated, or depended on an odd shape being cut as a pattern. I simply couldn't get my head around them. I often have this problem with patterns, which is probably why I initially found sewing so scary. Anyway, I decided I was being a bit pathetic in not just trying... the more I do, the more confident I get at just doing my own thing and not worrying about following instructions (which often seem to miss a crucial bit out).

So, I got my tatty old wooden hanger and cut a bit of thick wadding...

I loosely stictched the wadding in place...

Then cut a rough shape around the hanger - I didn't cut a pattern... and sewed the ends and around the top.

I'm struggling now with getting a ribbon around the wire hanger... any tips gratefully received. Cos it just doesn't want to wrap and stay in place.

So, nearly finished my first ever padded coat hanger. Remember, you saw it here first! Finished picture to come next week, I hope.

Now, on the forum I visit there's a great thread on what makes us proud, started by the lovely MaryPoppins. I've really struggled with this one. I love what I make, and I'm getting more confident all the time, but I can't honestly say I'm proud of anything. Silly, really, huh! But it's got me thinking a lot. Because at first I really panicked... how could I not be proud of anything?

But then my 12 year old produced this for her science homework this morning, having spent a couple of weeks planning and cutting the bits out:

I wish my camera were better. It's an amazing model, and I'm blown away proud that I've produced and nurtured a child with such an original approach to life. The brief was to produced a model of a favourite predator, within its home environment, and what it likes to eat and how it eats. She was the only one to produce a setting for a human... the teacher asked where was the predator and she told him to look in the mirror! He did, and said 'me! That's good.' How cool, I thought! And how proud I am. Bursting in fact. So, I had to share.

I've also been busy making stock for restocking my blogshop, Sew Happy...

this time it's glasses cases. These have been great fun to make. Thank you to all who have ordered from my shop. I really do appreciate it.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Felting adventures Part 2! Going better!

Well, not one to easily give up, and buoyed up by your wonderful comments - thank you so much for those everyone - I tried felting again, largely because I found this wonderful jumper in a charity shop for £6, which was labelled as 100 % wool.

I didn't actually show a picture of how the felting went before... on the right, in the pic below, is the mohair, which felted beautifully. The scarf behind it was so good.

So, I decided to boil the jumper, as I figured that must work this time! Don't tell hubs but I borrowed his preserving pan for the purpose...

Now, I have to admit, I'm very lazy in terms of looking up the right way to do something. I've heard that boiling felts, so I thought I'd try it. I shoved it into boiling water...

gave it a good stir...

and left it while I made the all important bacon sandwich...

Notice it is cheap white bread. Not wholemeal, not homemade. Just cheap white plastic bread!

It was very very very tasty, thank you. And I finished it before the felting.

Well, the jumper boiled for half an hour and I could have sobbed. The dye had run, but otherwise... zilch. What a waste of effort thought me.

So I shoved it half-heartedly in the machine on a 95 degree wash.
So this jumper has cost £6, then say, what, £2 of gas, then £358 of electricity. It's not climate friendly, this stuff. Anyhow, you should have heard my gasp of excitement...

So, I have a terrific piece of felt. A large piece. Mine. All mine! More anon in terms of what I do with it. Actually, the jumper was originally so big, it would make a gorgeous felted jacket. But I have smaller things in mind.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Felting disasters and Lego Houses!

A blogger has missed me! Just one, but it's enough to inspire me to post again. You have been warned! LOL.

So, here we go... my felting adventures. Cue huge titter.

A local cs was selling scarves at £1.50. I got a few beauties, including the spotty Gap one, which is double sided, and brand new and I can't bear to felt (though it would as it is wool). I've wanted to try felting for so long... years in fact, but never got around to it. Well, I judged what I thought was wool - not easy, cos some acrylics are so soft. But I got a gorgeous handmade in Ireland mohair scarf (the blue one on the left) which I knew would felt. I popped them in the machine, and only the mohair one felted good and proper. So I boiled the others.

Wow-wee, what a whiff! There was definitely wool in there. But obviously acrylic as well so the results are not brilliant. I may give up on this felting lark!

On the subject of better successes... this weekend we went to see James Mays' Lego House, which was fantastic. What a boys' toy! It even had subsidence problems! So authentic. DS, who's eight, loved it to bits and wants to build his own.

It was busy, but we walked up the hill behind it and had that bit to ourselves.
It does look fun in the setting (the largest vineyard in England apparently), with the Surrey Hills behind it.

We then went on to a local pick your own, where we were incredulous at the pumpkin field....

And came home to bake. Now, we often make things for the packed lunches, cos it's interesting for the kids, and we enjoy baking. I made these:

while hubs made these:

I popped over to a friends late in the afternoon, for an exciting proposition about my sewn items (more at some time soon I hope!) , and a glass or two of wine, and the gals there were incredulous we made stuff for packed lunches. I felt I'd landed from another planet. Please tell me we're not alone in making stuff?! I thought lots of peeps did.

And there's gotta be a bit about fabric... I got some wonderful Rose & Hubble fabric recently. What to do?

Why, make birdies of course! I made them up as I went along, but I'm really pleased with them. Going to do some Christmas ones next.

There, I'm back. Kind of. :-)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A happy, slightly spotty post!

More about the tree in a minute!

We've had a terrific summer, as I hope all of you have as well. Little crafting, but lots of exciting things to do, so no time to miss the crafting.

On Thursday and Friday, I had my eldest all to myself as the others had gone back. With three children, it's unusual to have one to one time, so I made the most of it. Thanks to a suggestion from my 8 yr old, who's already done it for a party treat, we decided to go on the Duck tour. I'd wanted a way to show her several of London's sights but we only had a limited time. The Duck tour was brilliant for that and fun as well. It sets off just beneath the London eye...

We had Desdemona. We chose a good time - an early trip, so it wasn't completely full, which was a bonus as we wanted to sit on the raised seats at the back. Here's a shot of another Duck we passed on the Thames bit of the trip.

Afterwards we strolled along South Bank, where there are always lots of mime artists and this entertainers. I love street entertainers, as they are often terrific, but never usually get the chance to stop and watch. If you see this guy if you are ever there, he is well worth stopping and watching. He is extremely funny. He was getting notes from the audience in the collection, he was that good.

As for the spotty trees.

We saw more and more of them. 25 in fact. They are nearly finished with now, and lots of grafitti on them, but they look stunning from a distance, and even close up still. They are an art installation promoting a exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, which we spotted because we spied another spot thing on the Hayward's Terrace and thought we'd investigate.

We had an hour before we needed to get the train, so decided to rush in and see it. I'm so glad I took her. It was a perfect exhibition for children (bar one exhibit which we could have avoided if we wished!).

We both loved it.

Now, I rarely post pics of myself, but I just have to post this one. It sums up everything about my trying to find quiet corners to read this summer (reading being an obsession of mine... always very difficult with littleys who will always seek you out. I've read this one over the past week, and have found it an amazing book - really loved this one, and so sorry I've now read all five books she's produced... can't wait for another. She's an incredible writer.

Anyway, in this pic, my little darlings have gone to extremes to be near me. I love being a mum!

Hate wearing glasses though!!!!! ;-)