Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Sun, Sea, Award, Tag and no internet access for my laptop....

Hubby and Sophie.

In the evenings we have been cycling along the prom and watching the sun setting, which has been glorious!

Well our holiday in Seaford is brilliant and just what all three of us needed. the sun has been out everyday so far and the temp has been between 27 and 34 degrees! A bit too hot on Tuesday but we managed (ha ha). I brought my little laptop but we can not get internet to link and I do not want any probs with it when I go home so I am borrowing my sister-in-law's. We have visited the sea, beach, National trust homes, local shops and today we had a picnic tea on the beach which Sophie loved.

I finished the book cover commission before I left so will come back to that when I get back. I have been spending time reading my latest book and not really doing much sewing at the moment. It is called 'The Friday Night Knitting Club' by Kate Jacobs. The covers on google are not the same as the one I have so I will post it another time, but it has been a good holiday read. There is even a website: just like the last book I read. (That link is in the margin.)
I have been trying some crochet which has actually been going quite well.

I have also been developing an idea to do with beading and braiding, and I have managed to source some beads while I have been here too. Got to start thinking about Christmas and there is a chance to do a Christmas Craft Fair too. Should I give it a go?
I have been given an Award by Jenni at Falling Down the Rabbit Hole .
I have also been tagged by Anglesey Allsorts.
At the moment I can not copy the Award image onto my hubby's memory stick so it will have to wait a little longer. I do have my list of 7 blogs though, and I will look into the tag as well. I will give it another go tomorrow. (Oh the strife of akward technology!!)

Hopefully off to Brighton tomorrow for a nice Italian lunch and some retail therapy.
Take care.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Cupcake Swap delivered..

I have just heard that my swap partner has recieved her Cupcake Swap parcel. Judging from her email she seems very pleased with it which is a relief when making something for someone you do not know. I did visit her blog to see if I could get come ideas and it obviously worked.
So here it is, first of all a pincushion...
I found a pink rammikin in Asda and thought it was perfect. Then using white felt and stuffing, I made the main part of the cupcake and then the icing with pink felt. Beaded pins added decoration and some red mini pompoms for cherries.

A cupcake needlecase. Now here I had wanted to make a case in the shape of a cupcake but to be able to get enough needles in it would have gone out rather large so I scrapped that idea. Again made with felt with felt pages as it can put up with needles being taken in and out quite easily.

I also added some extras in the parcel. I found a dinky little cupcake phone charm which I thought was very cute and just right for this swap. I loved the theme and with more time I would have done even more things. I have decided to put a cupcake section on my Etsy shop so that I can continue with this theme further.
I would like to thank Rachael for a fun theme and for organising the whole event.
I have finished the fabric cover commission and been given an award which I will tell you about tomorrow.
Take care
PS A flickr Photo group has been set up for all the swaps to be featured. Take a look.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

6,000 Hits and a much needed break....

Suddenly the hit counter has shot past 6,000 hits, where has the time gone? Many thanks to new visitors and many who have followed me from day one.

Sorry to those of you who do not get much in the way of holiday but I am so glad that the Summer holidays have started. I warned people last summer that this years timetable and breath of subjects was not managable but when you have managed in the past they think that you will manage in the future. Well guess what? I am that whacked out that no amount of sleep is helping, I can't remember anything for more than a few minutes ( that may be just me though), as soon as I sit down I start to nod off, I do not have energy to to do anything and just want to go to bed. Knackered I think would be the medical diagnosis!
I know that I have written lists on here before and only manage a few of them but starting Friday afternoon life will slow down come what may. Why wait until Friday? Well my poor little girl has to keep going to school until 1.30pm on Friday. She is in reception and is as tired as Mummy. I am afraid that I want to Mummy brag a little here. Her end of year report was all 7's and 8's (good girl) Her class teacher has done a fantastic job with her and the rest of the class too, and as a fellow teacher (teenagers) I now how much it takes.

Tomorrow morning I am not having the lie-in that I crave for but going to an Embroiderers' Guild Meeting, Sophie will be at school so I thought that I would go into mine and take down some displays and sort out some cupboards while I am still in the swing of things. Thursday I shall take Sophie to school and go into mine to do some more sorting etc and then on Friday I am meeting a colleague in school to draw up plans for next term and then pick up Sophie.

Now here comes the good bit, Friday afternoon we are going here:

My sister-in-law lives there and we are going to cat, house and allotment sit for two weeks. It is a lovely little place where you can walk to the shops, beach etc.
There is a great sea front where you can ride your bike in the evening and see the sun setting.
There are lots of these too...
Which Sophie found fascinating when we first visited three years ago. " Little houses Mummy"
It is only an hour from London and a short shuttle train to Brighton.
There is amazing coastlines and beaches to explore too.
My hubby still needs to keep in contact with work via email so I should still be able to blog and post photos etc, especially the cats. Sophie wants to buy them a small toy each.
I have a commission to make a fabric book cover which I have cut out and hope to finish by Friday then I shall leave my sewing machine at home and take some Knitting, hand sewing and see if I can tackle my crochet demons. I also have two books lined up to read and I am going to take my pink sketchbook with me too. So ther will be much washing, ironing and packing to do.....
I would like to say a huge thank you for all the lovely comments on my Blue and Brown post. It was a tricky challenge and hearing other opinions is good so keep adding to them on that post. I have decided to reply to questions in the comment section in posts from now on as I like to reply (it is good manners) but it is not always easy to get into some blogs or indeed you not have one. So I started this new approach on the last post. Let me know if you think it is not working out.
I have tinkered a little with the blog by adding a few new features and been adding a few items to my website as well.
I really hope I can get good internet connection when I am away because I have lots to show and hopefully now the time to do it.
Thanks again everyone you have lifted my spirits on many ocassions.
Take care until the next post.
XX :-)

Friday, 18 July 2008

Creative Swap Challenge..

Well, what a week!!
I am so glad that it is Friday, it has not been a good week at work and a career change would greatly enhance my life but enough of that! Onto better things.
I have just heard that my Creative swap challenge has arrived safely in America and will be passed onto someone else at some point to I can now show it to you.

The theme was 'Blue and Brown' and other ideas linked to sprin, new life etc. I signed up early for this challenge but spent ages scratching my head. The colour combination threw me at first but then a day out shopping with Sophie sorted me out.
I found some wall paper which I liked and felt went well with the theme and scanned it, then printed it onto fabric which is paper backed and will go through a printer.
When the paper is removed the fabric can be stitched into and drawn on etc. I have never used it before and I would buy it again. I then went back to my trusty sketchbook and tried out some ideas with quilting, embroidery, brads etc.
I made four mini quilts each 6 inches x 6 inches. The edges had to be neated and ready for the recipient to make them into whatever they wanted.
I quilted randomly around the edge of the plant detail, used t-shirt transer paper for the bird and then added detail with brads etc. On the leaves I used fabric pens.
This square was similar but I added a butterfly and words to the quiltie. I used an overlocking stitch on my machine to neaten the edges.
This is one of my favourites, after scanning and printing the image I then wanted to give it watercoloured look. So by carefully blending the fabric pens and then highlighting some of the areas with machine embroidery. The same was done tothe leaves. Again words were added.
This sample does not show up the machine embroidery detail in the photo quite as well but the same approach was applied.
I am really pleased with them and together they look really good. It was one of the hardest things I have done lately in terms of theme and colour and I hope the person who recieves them feels the same.
I have also finished some other things which I will be posting over the weekend. Sophie is taking part in her first little ballet production tomorrow to mark the end of the ballet year. Really looking forward to that at about 2pm tomorrow.
Bye for now and take care.
PS. My world map has got so many red spots could we try something? If you visit this blog could you just let me know which part of the world you are in?
I shall start off because I think it would be really cool to see where we are all blogging from.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Wip finished and Rash nearly gone....

Sophie and I had an unexpected day off due to her rash and here is her lovely bag. It is the first actual item that she has made and even though I did most of the sewing she had the ideas of how she wanted it to look. A crafter in the making. I have a machine that I used for my degree and I am hanging onto to it so that she can hash it about making things when she is a bit older. I have not gone out of my way to encourage her to like the same hobby but some of it has rubbed off on her and I would be lieing if I did not say that I am secretly pleased. She also goes model car racing whith her Dad as well. Sophie has 1/10th scale pink radio controlled car!

I managed to finish this by the time it was bed time...

I followed the layout for the squares, which was a cross layout that was then stitched up the sides, but as I can not fully understand crochet patterns I stuck to granny sqaures. I am pleased with it because it is the first crocheted ltem that I have made!

It took me several attempts to get the handles right. When I had finished them I decided to back them with some purple cotton fabric, I was not really sure how to attach the fabric so I used a large stitch on the sewing machine and it seemed to work very well. This then led onto a nice purple lining. The bag is a good size and has an almost circular base appearance. I am really pleased with it and now need to decide what to do with it. I have finished my American Challenge and I will post about that tomorrow. Sophie and I are now off to make some buns.

Take Care

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Bag eye candy...and a nasty rash

I have been a little slow on the blog uptake lately and missed this lovely surprise on U-handbag which is a blog that really got me started on this this in the first place. My purse featured under Friday eye candy. These are other bags featured, so pop over and take a closer look. Many thanks Lisa.

Sophie came home from school yesterday with a rash on the back of her right calf. Put some calamine lotion on it and thought it had been irritated by wearing wellies all day. This morning it had spread to both leags and both arms! Bright red and itchy. Why does this always happen when your hubby is working up country and you are meant to be organiseing sports day. Well Sophie comes first so I rang work and said that I was taking her to the Doctor, phone the TA to issue work over the phone, phoned hubby etc and then camped outside the Doctors for an on the spot appointment which we got for 9.1oam. I knew it was not chickenpox and then quizzed the poor girl on what she had eaten at school/ party last Saturday etc.

Anyway it seems that it may be an allergy but do not know what and may never know?! But due to the headaches she has been having for a week more likely to be a virus which has manifested itself as a nasty rash. Not German measles which was my first thought. So medicine and an unexpected day at home. So just the lining to finish putting in my crochet bag. I am going to cut it again as it is not sitting properly, Sophie also made a bag too today. Well I sewed it and she told me what to sew and where, well she is only 5 and her little plastic machine was playing up but I will post hers tomorrow as well.

So it has been a funny old day again today but at least it only rained for half a day and not ALL of it.
Back tomorrow with pictures.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Marking, painting, sewing and sleeping....

.....but not all at the same time! The marking is now offically FINISHED! Phew! I have made a big decision, after 10 years of marking I have decided to make it my last. Explaining to Sophie why I needed to finish it and not play was not a good feeling. When she was a baby it was easier but now she is getting older it is affecting her more so I have decided that enough is enough. Also the pace at work is getting to the point where I can not manage everything. There , it is on my blog so no going back.

My American creative challenge is progressing slowly and I am concerned that it will not get there in time for the 19th. Silly billy me went and left it at work so I could not work on it tonight but I know what I am doing so I will have to work like stink to get it done.

My cupcake swap entry is taking shape and I hope it is creative enough, I like it but there you go and I will post photos later once my swap partner has recieved it.
Getting back to the title we have finished painting the attic, stairs etc but of course it did not stop there OOOhh NOOOO, we ended up painting the lower landing plus stairs, the new doors and frames plus skirting boards. Just when you thought it was all over the carpet is laid so the sewing room was emptied them we thought ' it could do with a paint'. Great, that was then followed by a re-furbish and a trip to Ikea last Sunday. It has all been fitted and we are now just sorting all the contents out to go back in the sewing room. We needed to change it a bit as my hubby now works from home and we now share the sewing room. This is another reason why I have been absent more recently. Lots of DIY! Will post photos of the big paint marathon when the light is better as it has been a funny old day again today.
On the sewing front I made a another purse...
I really like making these and changing the overall outcome a little each time. I have decided to put this on my website and try and build it up a bit. Apart from that little else has been made for about a month. (Sob Sob).
Anyway I have plans...
a) Post my laptop bag tutorial.
b)Complete my first ever crochet bag (progressing well with far)
c)I feel a Summmer Giveaway coming on the next week or two. I really enjoyed the last one and have kept in contact with several blogs as a result. Again there will be more than one winner makes it more interesting.
d)Tackle the many 'necoyufo's (Not Even Cut Out Yet UFO's) which I have stacked up.
e)Make my Marmalade to go with the Gooseberry and Elderflower jam that I made before everything went crazey.
d)Meet up with my friends for a good old gossip!
e)Catch up with my blog friends.
There that should keep me busy.
To be able to recover from marking, work etc I have been trying to increase my sleep each night, but the local bird population have other ideas and the little sods have had me awake at 4.30am for nearly three weeks. Outcome? = Failed on the sleeping front. Hayho!
Sorry about the lack of craft or pics but hopefully more next time.
Take care
P.S By the way , whose bright idea was it to take Desparate Housewives off air without any warning? Most narked I was as it is about the only show I really watch at the moment.

Friday, 4 July 2008

I'm Back!.... Well nearly...

Got less that 20 papers to go so I have decided to get back into my Friday film habit by watching this...
and hopefully making some more of these..
Add Image
I need sixteen squares in all. My crochet is still only as good as Granny squares but I would like to actually create something. I found this wool some months ago and have been waiting to think of an idea to use it and I found this via Inkberryblue called 'Inga's Crochet Bag', with my crochet skills I have decided to change it slightly. I hope to finish it very soon anfd make a fabric lining. I think this could look good in patchwork too. (Will need to track down the link, will be back with that)

I have finished another Cath Kidston zippered purse at my Wednesday sewing group..
I am going to list it on my website. At this point I think that I owe everyone an apology. I have had over 300 hits on my website and many must have thought why has she bothered. I have neglected it over the past few months with attic conversions and now complete house re-decorating. I really do appreciate the interest as I did not think that anyone would even look. So I intend to do something about this starting today as I have so many lovely things that I have made but not shown anyone. So sorry if you were disappointed when you looked at the website but do try again as I get my rear in gear!!
The film has finished and I really enjoyed it, a good twist at the end and you may want a box of tissues handy.
Hope to post much more from now on as work is starting to slow down a bit now and become manageable. Marmalade making and Oak flooring this weekend.
See you tomorrow.
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