Monday, 31 March 2008


I have been tagged by Purple and Paisley just before I went away so here goes...
1). Name and URL of person who tagged you.
2). Post the rules.
3). Write 7 things about yourself.
4). Name 7 fav blogs.
5). Send email to 7 blogs to say that they have been tagged.

So the 7 things about me are:

1). I love making anything but mainly in fabric, beads, felt etc.

2). I can not knit very well so i am trying to self teach myself .

3). I teach textiles.

4).I am a member of the Embroiderers Guild.

5). I have been on a teaching exchange to Kenya and loved it.

6). I am married with a cheeky 5 year old daughter.

7). Blogging has improved many skills such as using digital cameras, Photoshop, etc as I am fairly computer dumb.

My 7 Fav Blogs are:

1). Nannybird; For her friendliness and funny posts.

2). Picciolo: For producing very original designs and a frindly manner.

3). Purple and Paisley: For appearing out of no where and sticking around. Lovely blog too.

4). Inkberryblue: For her excellent crochet and fantastic photography.

5). Twiggypeasticks: For having one of the best blog names I think I have ever heard and for having and excellent blog.

6). Cake makes the world a better place: For cakes that make your mouth drool!

7). U-handbag: For fulfilling my handbag fetish and inspiring my bag making.
I would like to inlcude all of the blogs in my side bar. I have two new ones to add this week as well. If I like them I add them and visit them in turn during the week. I like loads to be honest.

Hope that was not too boring.

I shall not tag 7 people as this has been doing the rounds lately but I shall tag those who may not have done this before or I have only just got in contact with.
April 1st:
No this is not a joke I just missed this bit out when I was posting.
Forgot to say the other day that I am going to tag Twiggypeasticks and Cakes make the world a better place.

I have more news as well but I will post that when I have finished photographing it.
How many times have you been tagged? Do you find it hard to know what to say?
100th post is looming what shall I do to celebrate?
Any ideas?
Best wishes
Might be back later today.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

We're Back!!...Surprise in the post...

We have arrived back from our few days away and the weather was awful everyday! The holiday house that we stayed in was very cosy and everything was in walking distance so it was nice not to have to use the car all the time. My other half went off to sort out jobs etc as part of his new job role (made redundant and has decided to take the plunge and go self-employed) so Sophie and I occupied ourselves and had a look around with a very nice lady called Hillary. We even had the chance to go out for some nice meals and as a parent of a 5 year-old, it is possible to take children to restaurants and they can behave.
Went to a charity shop and found a nice pale blue leather bag for the summer for £3.50, I know I can make my own but not easily in leather, it can be a bit hard going with a domestic sewing machine.

The surprise in the post was this...
I happily won this bag as part of nannybird's blogaversary competions which have been running throughout March. I so rarely win anything that this is a major thing for me! Nan was worried that the bag was not very exciting and was concerned that I had missed out. Not at all I say, Nan has given me the go ahead to put in a lining and embellish if I wish. The fact that it has come all of those miles away and not gotten lost is a miracle in itself so I may give it the 'indigoblue' touch but I shall have a think about it first. Thanks again Nan and I look forward to your 222 competition in the near future.

I visited Inkberryblue a few weeks ago and she was looking at drawing and sketches and on other blogs questions have been asked about how the owner comes up with ideas etc. With my Btec, degree and City and Guilds background I went and had a look at my stuff. Well it is amazing how much had accumulated, but I also looked at how my ideas develop now that I do not have to satisfy a course tutor but just do it for myself.
So for April at least I am going to have "Sketchbook Sunday". I am going to feature some sections of my sketch books, where the ideas came from, why, what I did with them and the final item outcome. If anyone would like to join in email me with an attachment of a page or two and say a little about it and how it all turned out.. Feel free to add your blog or website so I am encouraging a bit of self promotiom here as well. This is purely for interests sake and not a chance to copy, also it may help those of you who have a fear of drawing or think that you can't! They can be sketchbook pages, doodles, scribbles, sqiggles, whatever. goes..

Bag Competition at the local Village Fayre..1997 (I think)
Decided to use the lovely hedgerows that I needed to go down to get to the heart of the village and my house at the time, it is only the width of one car in most places. Started off with taking some photos of my fav bits. Then with pens, pencils and paints etc I picked out the parts that I liked the most especially the colours. At this point I am not sure what stitch method I am going to yse or the bag shape/size.
Due to the type of flowers that were in the hedgerow I decided to use small stitching and as embroidery may have taken too long machine embroidery came to mind. To keep with the hedgerow theme a green bag seemed the obvious route. I looked for inspiration elsewhere and played around with some smaple stitching which you can see in the photo above. I love doing this bit and can get carried away with this.
I also looked at hand stitching to embellish further and a shape for the bag started to emerge. I do like making samples and even the mistakes are kept for future reference. I think that this is were my training has shaped my approach to this sort of thing. Notes help for future reference and tells me why I did a certain thing at the time.
This photo does not really show how bright the green and the embroidery is but it is quite densely stitched which helped to give the bag some firmness. I did use one stitch pattern that was programmed in the machine because at the time I had only just got it and I was itching to use the 'fancy stitches'.
This is the final bag and I hope that you can see how my idea went from photo to bag. I made the cord and the tassels on the ends. Not very well at the time and I have improved since!
This was my first machine embroidery project and since then I have been on a couple of courses, bought a proper machine foot and hoop. But we all have to start somewhere.... Now it is your turn, any contributions I will post throughout the week. Email is in my profile. I and everyone else looks forward to what happens. Can be a past or present idea.
PS. My bag did win first prize but I can not find the certificate.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Blogiversary Contest

This "blog bling" has been given to those who have participated in Nannybird's 1st anniversary blog contest. There is time to enter. If you pop over leave a comment to say that I sent you and enter yourself or help me by saying that you came from me. It has been fun to enter and in a few days time I will have some news concering the contest as well.

I was so pleased with the outcome of my felt embellished pouch that I am starting another and starting to work on an entry for reviving a bag for I Wanna new Bag contest.

It all started last year with this...

... which now covers a tube which holds my knitting needles.
Anyway, pop over and have a look, say I sent you and read the very straight forward rules. No prizes but the fun of joining in is still there. You could always raffle your entry to raise money for charity.
I have started a tutorial, taken several photos already and hope to post it after I have been away for a few days and I will not have internet access. It is really simple and you could make it without a sewing machine if you wanted to.
I have also been tagged by Purple and Paisley and I will also post that when I have sorted it out. I must apologise for taking so long with one as I forget that messages can also be left on your Flickr account and so only found it the other day. Doh!!
Lots to do including packing, so I will see you in a few days time.
Keep blogging, commenting and making folks.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Easter Saturday..

Sophie helped me to decorate this...

We found it at the local supermarket, it came with all the eggs and then we just added some wooden decorations that we already had. Cute.

I have spent the past evening or so doing this..

It was a freebie with a glossy magazine. Normally they are made of cheap and nasty fabric, but on this occasion it seems to be made of a medium cotton canvas. So I deocrated it with felt, buttons, embroidery and it was a chance to try out some lovely flower shaped brads that I had found. The inside is neatly finished but to hide the stitching I am going to line it. It is big enough to use as a make-up bag, a pencil case or for putting small sewing equipment in. Really had fun making this and I am going to have another go with some other fabric that I have.

Well we are pretty much ready for the builders to arrive on Tuesday. The boss came round thursday evening and we ironed out a few questions, so it is now all systems go!
Again I want to say hello to some new visitors!! The craftyblogs score is going down, the hit counter is going up, new visitors, I am not sure that I really understand how this all works, but really who cares as long we enjoy it, right?

Be back again for a few days then I shall be away for a few days, but "I shall be back".
Have a good evening, it is very windy here but at least the sun is shining!
Take care

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Hello Fishy Fishy !!

This is going to be my March/ April submission for the Pincushion Challenge. The theme is Underwater/ The Sea and hence my little fishy!! I am really pleased with this and Sophie likes it because it sparkles. It is made of felt and decorated with beads and sequins with hand embroidery. The back is yellow and decorated with a single sequin.

I would like to thank some new visitors who have left comments on indigo blue. It is much appreciated and I do try and reply, but I am having problems linking to Linda, so Hello Linda from me!
Last school day tomorrow and guess what. The builders can start sooner, yes that's right, next Tuesday during my precious Easter holiday! Can not grumble too much as due to a variety of reasons we have been waiting for over a year to have the conversion sorted out. So my other half will sent to take on-going photos which I will post here. Thought it might be intersting as I have never seen a conversion taking place, only when it is actually finished.

Sewing group tomorrow night, Sophie is coming as well to supervise the next stage of her quilt.
Have fun!

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Sophie and I made these lovely cupcakes today. They are much pinker in the flesh and the lady next door got some as well. I have not done any sewing this weekend, been too busy cleaning and tidying the house up. I have managed to take some more photos for the website which I will load this week before I forget again how to do it! I have just completed some work for the day job and Sophie is fast asleep so I think that I will go and pick up a needle for a bit and rustle up some Easter cards.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

At long last!!!

Yippee, I have finally succeeded in adding some items to my website. Indigo Blue There is a page where the correct title will not appear but at least everything else looks ok. Phew, because yesterday I had to upload a newer version of my internet provider and everything went completely wrong! I could not switch it on, then when it did it froze, then starting beeping at me and so on. Thought that I have mucked it up completely so do have a quick look and any advice or suggestions for items that you would like to see or would be useful to you to buy, then please let me now as I would be interested in all ideas. Much more will be added but every time I put it "under construction" it goes odd so I am going to leave it.
This is an example of what I have put on :
My own pin badges.
Will be a section on purses of different sizes etc.

Plus a range of craft related pin badges.
I think these would look great on a handmade card, especially if they are made detactable, it could then be truely personal for that crafty friend. I only have about 20 in all just to see how things go them I will get some more.
Eventually I want to offer a making up service or a UFO service where I finish the item for you if you are unable to etc. This is most likely to be soft furnishings or bags, but we shall see.
There are other ideas rattling around in my head (good job something is) and hopefully now I can move forward a little with it. This has been one of my aims for years then I changed tack for a while and started a family instead, and I if may say so Sophie is still the best thing I have made to date! Sorry, was that a bit corny? True though.
Well my eyes have just about had it and my other half has fallen asleep on the sofa, bless, so I think it is off to bed.
I gave in to my 'only use my stash' promise for Sophie's quilt. I knew that I would need to get some fabric to make strips the separate the squares but Sophie spotted some lovely fabric (this girl has good taste) and wants to help a little with the making. She is going to come to my sewing group on Wednesday as there is no school the next day.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Thank you Nannybird!!

Nannybird kindly gave me and several others this very colourful award. I like these and I wonder where people find them. They are not only fun to recieve and give but they really brighten up the blogs! Thank you Nannybird and hopefully I will be able to track down an award that I can give you instead...

Now this one is so cute!...

Nannybird Competiton Week 3!!

Nannybird is in week 3 of her blogaversary competition and you can win yet another fantastic bag that has been made by her own fair hand! The rules and instructions are all there and the deadline is midnight her time which can be seen in the side margin. As with last week enter yourself if you would like to or at least leave a comment saying you came from me to increase my chances, I would be very grateful. I am not much good at competitions so I need all the help I can get.

Nannybird also has numerous posts which will make you laugh when you read them, a real fun blog to visit.

Well this week has been a real "challenge"! I have had work coming out of my ears to the point where they are actually hurting!! Anyway, it is the weekend and no ballet tomorrow so hopefully a much wanted lie in for a while in the morning. Then I think I will need to tackle the sewing/office and take some stuff to the storage unit.
The plans have come through from the builder and things start after Easter. We are looking forward to it in a scared kind of way.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Bag Swap has arrived..

Actually it arrived about a week ago but work has been crazy this week. I have been looking at blogs and commenting but not posting.
The bag was made by Susanne from British Columbia. I have taken numerous pictures and the shiney fabric has such a back flash on it even with the flash off. Take my word for it though, it is lovely. I managed to get in touch with her and thank her by email which was nice. I have just asked if I can take part in another swap but more on that when I know if I have a place on it or not.
I have other items to post and hopefully over the weekend I will be able to post some more. My hit counter has soured again over the past week but WHO ARE YOU ALL who visit? Leave a comment as I like to click on links and visit your blog.
Anyway it has just gone midnight, I have finished my work for the day job, (more tomorrow to do) so I had better get some beauty sleep, and boy do I need it even though my other half says 'of course you don't love' ahh bless him!

PS Sophie's quilt is growing, when I showed her the 6 squares featured below she said, but mummy I am big now won't it be a bit small?' she htough that six squares was all she was getting!

Bye for now!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Sophie's Quilt: The beginning...

I recently posted about completing a blue log cabin square as part of the Sew Mama Sew Quilting Month. I have now completed several pink ones..
So far I have made three and I am trying to be very good by only using what is in my stash to start with. I then put them with the block-along squares and this is what I have so far..
The photo does not do it justice at all. I think it will need a strip of fabric between each of the squares, but I shall decide on that later. I want to try out a few other blocks as I go along, and my choices may be partly linked to the size and shape of my stash fabric. I want to get it finished so that when it gets warmer (Yes, optimistic, I know!) and Sophie does not want a full duvet to use at night, this quilt will be used instead. So it will not be made using alot of thick wadding, just enough to quilt and do the job. My deadline will be the end of April at the latest.
Well the attic is now empty, 2 cars and three trips did it. My other half started on the garage today and has nearly finished, there has also been a trip to the tip and then at least one trip to the charity shop this week. Then we will move on to the airing cupboard etc next weekend. It has not been too bad and we finished the bulk of it yesterday before the heavens opened, that was when we stopped for the day!
Enjoy the rest of the day.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Comment link contest: Yes! there is a prize!

Over at Nannybird (USA) she is running a blogversary contest to celebrate her first full year with blogger. The idea is that you read about the contest on her blog and the rules then leave a comment on her post saying you came from me. You can then post about the contest if you want and someone will comment and say that they were sent/came from you and so on. It is amazing how quickly things spread.

Would you be surprised to now that I was given this by Nannybi I passed it on and now I see this award everywhere!

The deadline is midnight her time and the clock is in her blog side margin. Nannybird is about 6 hours behind us. You will also be able to view the prizes on that post, so if you are curious and look then comment while you are there. If you are not worried about taking part personally then please leave a comment anyway and say I sent you then it would help me win (please, please, begging, grovel.) because she has a killer crochet bag that would make my day if it landed on my door mat!! I can not really crochet hence the green monster envy!

Nothing else to report and no photos either, sorry . Judging by the weekend weather forcast I would have better luck if I hand drew them for you! However, the three of us are emptying the attic and garage tomorrow (yippeee) so I am really hoping that it does not rain as we load it to take to a self store unit!!

Have a good weekend and remember Nannybird, comment, indigo blue, please.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I need to struggle with my laptop tonight and try to transfer documents to someone else's memory stick. Now I use memory sticks, computers etc alot at work but you what life is like when someone wants something done like yesterday! My laptop did not like the stick, then I got it to work but half of what was needed was on another stick so needed to tranfer that first...... I think you get the idea. so I have brought it home to sort out in peace so on to something much nicer.
Many thanks to Inkberry Blue for this..
I regularly visit this blog as her crocheting is to drool over. In one of the posts Inkberry blue has crocheted a lovely tea cosy that so wish that I could make. I have never been taught crochet and none of my family really do this craft. We can do some of the basics but never taken it any further. her blog also covers many other aspects of craft and artist which she visits in her home country of Australia.
Since starting my blog last September I have been surprised at how links spread, just how big the craft community is and I have gained alot if inspiration from others. As for my internet skills and being able to set up a blog has increased my confidence that I am not a complete thicky when it comes to this type of area.
I will learn how to crochet, tackle more quilt blocks and set up a website all of which I would not thought achieveable 6 months ago.
I have uploaded my bag entry on the U-handbag flickr pool and the deadline is the 17th so I shall wait and see. Hopfully more photos can be taken this weekend inbetween sorting out the attic!
Just a short post today.
Take care.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Summery Flowery Bag

This is my lastest effort for the U-Handbag Amy Butler monthly competition. I have not entered since October. I really like this fabric which is curtain material. It comes in a blue version and I am tempted to go back and get that as well. I have made the handbag before and this is the shoulder bag version. it is quite a bit bigger!
This is the lining...

This time I decided to use pink stain ribbon on the top edge and as piping just below the top panel where the straps are attached, that might be clearer on the photo above.
The lining is a cotton fabric with very tiny pink and blue flowers on it. Plus a magnetic fastening, further down is a dividing pocket and I used the outer fabric and put satin ribbon on the top edge.

I also made a matching purse. I have made several of these, but this time I made it wider and a bit deeper. There is a zip fastening and I added a press stud that comes in four bits and needs to be attached with the help if a plastic mould and a small hammer. (Great stress reliever).

After a bowl of soup I am off to my weekly sewing group then back to do a bit of work for tomorrow.
My other half has just walked through the door and said that the builder is not starting next Monday, which is actually a relief as it gives us more time to sort things out. So I shall be sticking around to blogg regularly for a while longer.
Take care and I shall be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

This is Sophie's handmade Mother's Day Card which she made at school and was secretly brought home in the infamous bookbag. reading the lovely comments (thank you) these book bags have been used all over the country for getting Mummy cards into the house. What would we do without them! Sophie also chose a lovely necklace in browns and golds to go with many tops that I have. The lunch out was lovely and the day started of gloomy but did perk up a bit then started raining, never mind.
I shall be stretching my posting out a bit this week as I have marking to do. Also Packing!! I found out today that our builder is able to start work on converting our attic, wait for it.... next Monday! So after the course I attended today as part of the day job I dashed off to book and hire a small container to self store much of the house which the builders need access to, so that will be *All of the attic
*All of the garage, as it is the only way of getting to the back of the house and the builders will want to put some stuff in there.
*Part of Sophie's room as she is having a new heating whatsit put in.
*Most of the cupboard under the stairs so that the fuse box can be updated for the fire/smoke alarms.
*All of the airing cupboard which will be where the new stairs will be.
*All of the office/sewing room (what am I going to do now!!) which we want to convert back to a bedroom.
Phew, and possibly more. We intend to have a good sort out. We may stay with my in-laws for a bit so I will need to work out what to store and what to take to work etc.
All I need now is for OSFTED to call for an inspection (we are waiting for it and have been since Sept 07) and my chaos will be complete. So after this coming Sunday I will certainly be able to browse and comment but actually to post may be difficult but we shall see. Just may not have any photos just text. So my poor website is going to be affected again, am I wasting my time with that? Well I have just recieved a very small introductory order from USA for a section of my webshop but I will show you once I have loaded them onto my site.
How do you test that all is ok with a webshop?
My biggest concern is that the payment set up will go wrong and I will have unhappy cross shoppers. I was thinking of getting my other half to 'buy' something to test it all out, particularly the checkout etc. What do you think?

Back tomorrow with U-handbag update. Have you entered this competiton? Click on the button in the margin and read the rules then have a go.
Bye for now.
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