Saturday, 31 December 2011

Make do and Mend...

Maybe it's my old age, but I am finding I am more eager to darn holes in socks and tights more than ever before, perhaps it's the need to practise what I preach at school, what with the emphasis on sustainability. Also tights are expensive so it makes sense to save a few pennies, and making and mending does seem to be the fashion of late...

So imagine my excitement when I opened up these on Christmas day, at first I thought they were plasters with like shoes and t-shirts on, then I thought maybe they were plasters shaped like particular items of clothing, having been the recipient of plasters of a similar ilk previously. But no, they are in fact, plasters for clothes, what an awesome idea?!

Even better, they are bird themed, very cool, now the real question is, to use them as plasters for my clothes, or to use them as decoration???

Cross Stitching for the first time in years...

So the really rubbish thing about having flu over Christmas, you are stuck to the sofa and miss out on catching up with family and friends, especially those who are only in town for a few days.

Good things however, getting those mock papers marked, watching lots of films you're never able to make time for and doing a little crafting...

Whilst at the Clothes Show this year I got the chance to re-aquaint myself with cross stitch at the Mollie Makes stand, where I made this cute little button badge, something I used to really enjoy but haven't had chance to do since I was about 11...

I bought the issue of Mollie Makes from the stand... well, it's Mollie Makes isn't it, has to be done, but also it had a cute little cross-stitch project that came with it for FREE!

My little Royal Guard, affectionately known as 'little man'

I was planning on photographing the progress thoughout, but in my flu induced state I forgot, so here he is all finished, and I FINALLY mastered the french knot at last - HURRAH!
(It has only taken me 11 years and actually now I am ashamed as its really quite easy, thank you you tube!)

 So once he was finished, all there was left to do was stick him in the cute felt frame that was supplied! I think he will live in my classroom as of Monday!

However as my next project I think I might get a large sheet of aida and cross stitch a few in really funky colours to go somewhere in the house, yet another project for what seems to be a never ending list!

Also, I'm sure you've guessed by now as a result of the photos, I'm on Instagram, so please, if you find me, follow me!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Terrence and Watermelon...

One of the first requests I received was for 2 of my dinosaurs, they have been named Terrence and Watermelon by their two lovely owners. (who I hope don't mind me stealing their photos to use on the blog)

Anyway, in the spirit of Christmas I thought I would pop a couple of their adventures on my blog, although, I must say I am enjoying following their continued adventures via facebook!

Everyone knows it is Christmas time when they see the Coca-Cola advert for the first time, including Terrence!

Watermelon seems to have confused herself with a Christmas Decoration here, that or it must be a really good vantage point for something!

Terrence having a little snack...

Watermelon is clearly more talented than I ever anticipated! 

I love these images, every time I see a new one I smile, I'm glad they have gone to such good homes, and I hope the adventures continue!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

"Christmas Time....

....Mistletoe & Wine.... "

(No I am not a Cliff Richard fan, but whenever I think of Christmas I do end up with a classic Christmas tune in my head) The most popular choices this year have been 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland', and 'Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow', I wonder if this is what prompted my other half to choose this very sweet card for me this year...

Slightly more civilised than my choice I'm sure...

So it's not a sewing blog today, but a Christmas Decoration one instead, as I've been so busy completing orders, and there is a limit to how many personalised cushions a girls can show you, these two below are two of my favourites, I am possibly swayed however by the names slightly, Grace is a name I have shortlisted should I ever be fortunate enough to have a little girl.

I haven't got too excited with my decorations this year as we have decided to travel about and not use our house as the central hub for social events, we needed a year off! So we just have our tree, a few bits and our cards, it's making me feel festive enough, especially at one point I was certain this the entire celebration would pass me by... The Christmas Carol Concert at school soon put paid to that!

Every year I get super excited by our Christmas Tree, mainly because I forget what I have sale hunted the year before, but also because my Christmas tree is so fabulously kitsch! (One my friends who if she is reading this, I know will be cringing right now as she HATES that word, but there really is no other choice!) 

This is my absolute favourite decoration, it was from my parents first tree, and anyone who knows me will know that I have a little bird obsession, to the point where my friends call my house an aviary! Each year it gets pride of place near the top of tree...

I have a slight obsession with all things retro, hence the white tree, but also the reason for these what can only be described as fabulous glass decorations...

This is the latest decoration, it came back from New York for me this year with my brother, I have worn converse since I was about 15, so obviously this was deemed appropriate for me, I do think my brother and his girlfriend thought I wouldn't put it on the tree, but there it is, right slap bang in the middle, the glitter catches the fairy light twinkle beautifully :D

(I did tell her to look out for it in my blog as proof it would be there!)

Any crafter has got to be feeling some love for Cath Kidston, and my tree does pay homage to the woman, who lets face it, along with Kirsty Allsopp, played a huge part in making crafts cool again. How could I not?

The icing on any persons tree, has to be whatever they choose to adorn the top, I have a beautiful fairy, again taken from my parents first tree, I love her...

My latest obsession however has to be all things Scandi, if I win the lottery, Sweden would be my choice of residence for a while, I just loved it so much there! We visited Stockholm in October last year, and I just love the little trolls they sell there, we recently had this little lady hand delivered from Sweden, I have named her 'Tack', to go with my little boy trolls 'Ej' and 'Nej'.

I'm going to leave you with this Christmas card, it was made a few years ago by one of my super talented friends, her illustrations are just quite frankly AWESOME!
(You can see what else she does here



Monday, 5 December 2011

Feeling 5 again...

Ok, so todays post is going to be super quick, and not at all sewing related, but I've had a busy weekend making my house into a winter wonderland, I'll post some pictures soon. But after spending Sunday entertaining my gorgeous niece and nephew by playing with 'bricks' and stumbling across this super cool lego related blog post, I had to share my wonderful creations.... I did get a little obsessed with them... a few hours of my life gone!

I was quite limited on brick colour and sizes, thus thwarting my creativity somewhat, but I think I did a pretty good job with what I had, well, lets be honest here, if I didn't I wouldn't be sharing them with the whole online world!

The rabbit also had a cute little tail and one floppy ear....

Feeling festive!

Apologies for the poor photo quality, I was at my mums and all we had was a phone!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Kids sew stuff...

I am so snowed under at the moment, I am loving that! But I couldn't justify another blog post about a cushion so soon... well, not one that I had made anyway. I thought it would be nice to share the cushions that some of my students made for their 'pre-loved cushion' project. Now this is the students first time on a sewing machine, so it's a little wibbly wobbly at times, and the tension on some of my machines is skewy which doesn't help the overall appearance but I think they have done a great job overall.

Some of them however were just WOW!

This one used to be a baby blanket, and what a great job with the applique...  yes it was all her work!

I loved this one a girl made for her little sister using her favourite t-shirt that didn't fit anymore

So cute from an old pillowcase, was gutted about the tension on this one though!

But it's not always the girls! This boy did a great job, but was a bit scared of the machine so hand sewing a plenty!

I really enjoy teaching this project, its a good chance to teach the kids how to use the machine correctly, understand how patterns work, and develop their skills. It's also great for teaching sustainability which is becoming a massive part of the subject now. Most importantly though, the kids love it and have produced some pretty impressive results!

I forgot to include this little cutie... I just LOVE it!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Christmas Robin Cushion Giveaway

I have recently been trying to create a wider Christmas range, however the ideas have had to remain in my head as I have been so snowed under with orders, not to mention a mass of deadlines at work that are hard to meet at the best of times.

However, I managed to create this little beauty, my cute christmas robin on a small cushion, perfect for adding that little bit of festive cheer to your home.

The cushion is made of polycotton, with acrylic felt applique design, yarn legs with 2 small plastic button eyes. It is stuffed with soft toy filling, brilliant for safety, and is approximately 20cm x 20cm. To be in with a chance of winning this item, just leave a comment somewhere on my blog letting me know what you think, follow and RT me on twitter, or add at least 10 people to my facebook group (If you do all 3 your name will go into the hat 3 times, and it's a super cute knitted bobble hat too if that makes you want to do it anymore). 

Go on, its free and easy enough just follow the links below:

Closing date 10th December 2011 Winner will be announced on Dec 11th, just in time for last Christmas post. 

Good Luck!

UK entries only please!

The first craft fair...

So I spent all day a week ago on Saturday sewing, I made cushions, I made decorations and I packed them all up into a washing basket to cart with me to Ticknall Village hall for my first craft fair, I went with my crafting friend Natalie of Bespoke Name Paintings and our products seemed to work really well together, although perhaps we could have done with a bigger table...

Bespoke Name Painting on facebook
on the web
Nat will be guest blogging for me very soon, so keep your eyes peeled folks!

I had no reason to be nervous, the people were really lovely and very complimentary on my items, the robins and hearts went down especially well. The small initial cushion was snapped up by a lovely little girl called Elise, who popped it straight into her dollies pushchair.

We were sat on a table next to a lady with lovely stuffed sock rabbits, cats and squirrels, amongst some of the creatures she had created, they were fab, but unfortunately cut into our takings somewhat as a few did end up coming home with us. They look great though so I really want to have a go myself. Apologies for the blurry photo, my computer took this one!

The only disappointment of the day was the low footfall for the venue, we had so few people coming in which was a real shame... We'll be back there early next year, so hopefully the weather will be brighter and more people will head on down to see us. Until then we have our next event at Bedworth Rugby Club on the 9th December from 7pm-9pm, it's going to be very festive and there is even talk of mulled wine, so if you're in the area, let me know!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Having SEW much fun!

Sorry its been a while folks, things are really taking off!

When I first started sewing stuff, I thought it would be a nice little hobby for me, I never had any idea how popular my items would be, with a full time job as well it's pretty frightening seeing my order book filling up, but mostly very exciting!

I originally just though the whole idea of this would be me sewing stuff, but when a friend asked me if I would be happy to show her how to sew it sparked a whole new angle to my hobby!

I asked my facebook group who would be interested in paying a small fee to come sew with me, four people opted in (just the right size for my house), so we had a little session on Thursday of this week making some of my Christmas decorations. I usually make my items by machine, however, this has its obvious limitations within a group, and lets be honest, my house is not my classroom!

So I put together a little goodie bag for each of my guests, containing the patterns and fabrics for a christmas heart, christmas tree and my lovely christmas robin. I also allowed them free access to my button box... crazy I know!

So with our materials ready, a fresh pot of tea and biscuits and mince pies (thanks Jules and Amy) we got into the christmas spirit and started to sew. 

First thing we had to do was cut out our pattern pieces... 

Jules cuts stuff

Once we had done this we could then cut out our little felt shapes, we started with the hearts as I felt this would be easiest, so 2 squares or red felt pinned together and with a white blanket stitch the two sides became one (did you get the retro christmas number one pun there!) 

Finish with some light stuffing, a star shaped button, a piece of gingham ribbon and voila! 
(Apparently the star at a jaunty angle is the way to do it!)

Charlotte and Amy sew stuff

Next item on the agenda was the robin by popular request, so we cut out our little red breasts and armed ourselves with 2 tiny black buttons and a length of yarn we got ready to make him! Using a small whip stitch with standard thread we attached his breast, before assembling the two sides together...

Katie sews stuff

3 hours later we each had 2 christmas decorations (well not me I was busy making sure my guests did) and we were all very pleased with the results, unfortunately we ran out of time to make the tree, but my guests were able to take away their bag of goodies and the skills to make them, and hopefully they will post the finished items on the group wall.

Charlotte, Jules, Amy & Katie sew stuff

Can't wait to see your trees when they are finished ladies, and I would like to take this opportunity to say well done on such a fab job, and also a huge thank you to my lovely guests for letting me make this happen, and for allowing me to photograph you through out and use these photographs here. It was a great night and I can't wait until we all get together again! 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A spot of window dressing...

This is an old post from the blog I no longer use 'Miss G Loves Tea', but I thought I would share it again, as it really reflects just how much I love felt, and I am pretty proud.... Have to continue to thank Design Sponge online for this one, I just love the DIY tutorials on there... 

So having moved into a new build house from an old victorian property, it was a bit of a shock and it never really felt like 'home' for the first few months. So over time I am aiming to use my powers of research to help me personalise my house so it becomes a home... as we don't have kids yet, there are 2 whole rooms going spare in our house, 1 of which is J's hideout where records are enjoyed and stories (and magazines) are read, the other is my room, dedicated to crafting and allegedly marking... although this tends to occur on the sofa in front of the telly.

Anyway, my craft room needed some personalisation and I felt inspired to get back onto the making things myself wagon after stumbling upon this websites DIY section , however I am sure you guys are already aware of this gem!

This blind design by Chela Edmunds inspired me to make my own! As this was a project I completed last summer, unfortunately I have only photos of it complete.

The first thing was deciding on a colour and after much consideration I felt pink was the right colour for me, despite not being a girly girl (debatable) I loved the vibrant shade of this pink the second I saw, although I did consider an array of multi coloured dots a la Damien hirsts drugs paintings and also the idea of assembling in lines to echo the op art of Bridget Riley. However as you can see I settled on bright pink with white thread to assemble as a nice contrast.

Step 2 was to measure up, math is certainly not my strong point so I randomly decided these would be 7cm in diameter and I would go from there as to how many I needed.

Step 3... the tricky part. I bought myself 2m of felt to allow plenty of room for mistakes and bad math. Then came the circles, so I tried drawing around a glass of about the right size and cutting, but after 4 circles realised I do not have the patience... so I turned to the laser cutter at school, programmed it to do 64 circles on a sheet each time and voila... well after various tests and speed changes anyway to ensure a smooth unburned cut!

Then step 4, thread up my machine and sew all 322 circles together, I used a small straight stitch as I though this would hold better and folded each circle in half before feeding it through the machine to find the centre of each circle...

5 1/2 hours later (no break either - I was in the zone) I had stictched every circle together and my machines motor breathed its last breath ( it was a £40 from aldi which had served me well so I felt I had gotten my moneys worth, oh and I could still fix it....

Anyway 5 1/2 hours later I had this....

...After all that sewing, I simply used a glue gun to affix the blind to a short piece of dowel and screwed some hooks into the wall to hold it up. The finishing touch was a short length of bobble trim to add a little detail and help let some light in.

If you want to make one yourself the best instructions are from the designer,

Christmas is almost here... Pt.1

I have been busy sat in my sewing room almost all weekend, singing christmas songs to my hearts content whilst working on some decorations to take to my first craft fair next weekend. 

Firstly, I can't quite believe how quickly christmas is coming, although I haven't yet seen the Coca-Cola advert yet, so in my world, there's still time to prepare. I'm thinking of getting a lot of my gifts from Folksy this year, support the local craft community, whilst getting some lovely one off gifts... but I better get my act in gear.

Secondly, I can't believe the fact that despite 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer', being my ultimate song choice for this weekend, I have not yet made any reindeers, and I have tons of red buttons just crying out to be privileged enough to be his nose... he will be here soon, I'm sure.... 

So here's a peek of what I have completed already... (some of you may have already seen it on my fb page

At first I was super excited about my wreath idea, but 5 hours later, I wasn't feeling it so much, however I am happy with the overall effect. How could I not be, look at all those buttons!

I love this little fella however, I had the idea of putting yarn legs onto birds ages ago, and am so glad it worked out well...

 The christmas tag that doubles up as a decoration, I'm a fan of anything that is 
dual purpose for prettiness!

Trying to be arty... it didn't succeed...

...but I do like the overall effect, I probably won't be stuffing the letters in future this one is a one off, but I love the snowflake sequins, they look so pretty when they catch the light. Am currently working on a 'merry christmas' version, but thought I would save that for part 2. 
I am currently making these to order, any colours catered for. If you want something that you don't have to take down in January, why not think of a word that means something to you?