Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Cushion Comforts - Purple

I have taken part in a couple of ill fated patchwork swaps and they both happened to be in purple. So these squares have been hanging around for a while. So, whilst trying to explain what a 9 patch cushion was to a student I decided to finally make these squares into a cushion. It will live up in the attic conversion which has my sewing cabinet in it and is sort of called the "sewing room" and is it only a question of time before Toffy sits on it!
The sections met up quite well and I used some purple thread and some of the built in stitches to stitch down the seams to add a little bit of detail.

This make goes towards my March OPAM makes of which there have not been many finishes due to most projects at the moment not being very fast to finish.

I made a corsage too but the picture will not come out very well so I shall add that tomorrow.

Many thanks for visiting.


Monday, 28 March 2011

Mother's Day

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by some colleagues to make some Mother's Day cards.

I love making cards and making them to order is even better as I know that they have a home to go to straight away.

I have found that square cards work really well for me and I have to say that all the planning that I really do is to place everything in position before I actually attach it to the card. That's all. I go on instinct more than anything.

The above is a combination of vellum, flower punches and 3D flower pieces. Plus a strip of ribbon. A lovely spring shade of yellow. This rose is embroidered and I think came from Lakeland Plastics a while ago. The lettering I did on the computer and printed out on card.

This is Sophie's favourite one! I really like this one as well, and has also been made as a birthday card. Ribbon, flower punches and 3D glue this time.
This is, again, one of my favourites, this time with pink and lilac colours. This was snapped up very quickly!
I decided to be quite bright and bold with this one! I love sun flowers and I try to grow them every year in the garden but the slugs which hide in my garden also like them, for different reasons!

This is lovely coloured vellum which shows up well on the white card.

I have been really pleased with the way these have turned out and seeing as I am on a roll I have started on a batch of Easter Cards, a few Father's Day cards and a top up batch of birthday cards.

If you would like to order a card then let me know.

Have a great week and many thanks for popping by last week when I was a little absent from here.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Growing your own.....

We emptied out our compost after nearly to years and it is sure good stuff! We topped up the raised beds and around the cabbages which you can see above.
We bought a few of these bags which we tried for the first time last year. This time we have planted some seed potatoes and we are quite hopeful that we may get something as we like eating spud s in any form, chipped, mashed, roasted etc.

I pruned my blackberry bush, not really knowing what I was doing so I was relieved when I found this flower beginning to bud.
I have only had this bush two years so not much has happened so far but it is also still alive, so I can see a plus there.
Underneath our cloches we have have added some of our compost and are thinking of what to put here. Any ideas?

I do need to buy another basil plant, as we use this herb a lot and it needed replacing. In the front are some sprouting broccoli.
After several false starts and near death my Magnolia has come into bloom this week. Last year just as it did this we had terrible rain and winds which reduced it back to sticks again. So I thought I would get it on camera this time.

Whilst looking at the magnolia I saw that my apple trees which grow along the fences are also shooting out and buds are forming as shown above. I am really pleased about this. I had such a lot of apples these apparently little trees and hopefully this shows that it was not a fluke. They taste much better than shop bought!

I found this today, could not resist, should make the gardening a bit brighter too.
I need to look to the hanging baskets next, they have been filled with some of the lovely compost, I just need to get the plants.
Take care all and happy weekend

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Button-Tastic Cushion

Yet another inspirational find on Craftzine.
I love this site and I subscribe to it so nearly every day I get an email telling of new ideas, projects and other talented people.
This is a ring pillow but I can see it generating many other ideas. I think that the colours go well on the blue back ground. it would maybe have been tempting to have a black fabric, a bit stark perhaps. So the blue works even better, it enhances the buttons much better.
Simple but effective.
It has been very manic at work at the moment hence the lack of posts this week.
Have a good Friday and hopefully another post from me too. I am off to Falmouth Marina tomorrow with a coach load of teenagers! I am really, really hopeing for the sunny blue skies that we have been having so far this week!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Vintage Card Swap

I recently took part in a creative swap with Lenna. Due to work (as always) I have not been able to take part in one for some time. Once you commit to a swap you do need to see it through so I waited until I could submit my entry. In fact I was early with it. I did post about my entries some time ago.
My entries can be seen here.
Below are the cards which were sent to me in return.
The above is a lovely card which uses a range of papers. I love anything with flowers such as roses on it and the lace at the bottom is real, along with the buttons too. Created by Leslie.
This one also has lace as part of the design and a fabric swatch at the bottom. The colours tone in with the card above. Created by Trish.

The lace theme is continued with the final card. This lace looks vintage to me and the little girl has a delightful face. I wonder who she is? Created by Margriet.
Again, the colours blend in with the ones above. i think the selection that Lenna sent me has been thought about very carefully. I will now need to think carefully how I will present them. I have always displayed work that I have been sent as part of the creative swaps and hung them around my house. These lovely cards will also be displayed and put on show.

Many thanks to Leslie, Margriet and Trish for their lovely work and to Lenna for all of the hard work that goes into organising the swaps.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Mouse mat Make-over with Cath Kidston fabric Tutorial

I decided that this pink notebook needed a new home when I went into PC World (my home) about a month ago. My black one has buttons that are playing up and I use it for work so it gets bashed about a bit too. The black one is XP and this one is Windows 7 so I am having a bit of a brain muddle swapping from one to the other.

This pink one is for blog and online shop stuff. Blog hopping for project ideas, taking part in swaps etc. I have been a bit slack with my Etsy shop since Christmas as I rather lost interest in it as there seemed to be so little interest in it. However, spring is coming and a new surge of motivation as arriving.

I am now thinking what I need to make for this little notebook and I thought that I would start with the mouse mat. A bit big isn't it? I also appear to have spilt hot chocolate on it too, tut, tut.

A rotary cutter and cutting mat soon made it a more manageable size.

The idea was to slide the mouse mat into the cover that is still in my head.

What to cover it with? Cath Kidston fabric of course!! I have a mug with this design on and I use it all of the time.

I decided to use bondaweb to stick the fabric to the mini mouse mat, make sure that the fabric is bigger than the mouse mat so that you can take it round to the back .
It gives a very smooth surface which you need for your mouse to work properly.

Just keep an eye on the temperature because the surface of the mouse mat has a funny texture, feel a bit like fabric but a bit rubbery as well.

I was then able to take the edges around the back and carefully iron that down too with a bit of baking parchment to protect my iron. I mitred the corners as best I could, I made sure I really ironed them flat.

A nice bit of bright pink felt to finish of the back and this time I used some really strong double sided tape. Trimmed back to the edge of the mat.

Voila! A snazzy mini mouse mat in one of my favourite fabrics to go with my lovvverrrrly new PINK notebook.

This is a slightly smaller than average PC mouse which I found in PC World too, and it is ideal for me as I have small hands and I am going to make the cover to accommodate this as well.

I have been using it all week and it has worked brilliantly!

Have a go.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

New Lunch Bag

I popped into Boots on Saturday for some Calpol for Sophie and saw this lunch bag. I have bought a lunch bag from Boots before and it was promoting recycling because it was made out of a plastic bottle, was washable and could be recycled again as a fabric.
It was the red roses that caught my eye at first and the handy size, you can fit a small bottle of water in this one.

What I really liked this time was the fact that buying this lunch bag helped to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support. It cost only a £1.00 and I think 49p (the ticket explaining this has vanished) goes to the Charity.
This seemed even more appropriate to help by paying for this little bag because a good friend of mine has just been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.
So if you are going to a branch of Boots in the near future keep and eye open for these, handy for taking lunch to the office, school etc and helping a very good cause at the same time.
Take care

Monday, 14 March 2011

Great Idea!!

I found this idea on Craftzine a few weeks ago and I thought what a simple but clever idea. Ribbon.....lovely stuff but how many times have you tried to measure off a length, unroll it, cut it and try to stop it from rolling off the table on to the floor....and all at the same time?
This clever idea does at least stop the ribbon or tape from rolling around all over the place and doubles up as a niffty bit of storage as well.
I have a version of this box upstairs with a handle so I think I shall go and dig it out and try this.
I have started to work out a couple of new projects and hopefully I shall have some WIP's to show you this week.
I would also like to say hello and thank you to some new followers this past few weeks. I do notice and I am trying to get back to you. Blogger does not always make this possible by saying that an error has taken place but if you leave a comment to say Hi it is easier but not compulsory.
Well off to do a bit more on the current project see you tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Mother's Day Etsy

I have been rearranging my Etsy shop with some lovely things for Mother's Day. Some items have not been listed for a while. There are are two bags featured above which have not had the details added yet due to Ofsted but I shall be adding them. Many of the prices have been reduced too.
If you live live overseas there is still time for me to send the item to you. I realise that Mother's Day is celebrated differently all over the world or indeed within families too.
Get in touch if you would like any more information. I have some card orders for this day as well so lots to think about.
Hope you are all having a good weekend. Lovely sunny blue skies here.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Balloon Juggle Bags

"You are never too old to learn!" I have often been told that and on Wednesday I think it came true. One of my students was researching our topic on the Internet and put his hand up to show me a You tube clip on how to make a lovely set of Juggle Bags which directly linked to our work. Seeing as I do not know how to put a Youtube link here I thought I would show you what I made.

You will need:

*9 Balloons

*Rice/ something really cheap.


*Thin plastic bags similar to those that you find in the supermarket.

Put some of the rice into one of the bags. I worked out how much I needed by eye and all three of the juggle bags are slightly uneven in size, they look about the size of a ping pong ball.

Trim off the excess section of the bag.

Trim off the top of the balloon so that you are left with the bottom section.

You will then need to stretch the balloon over the bag of rice, carefully so as not too split it. You will be left with a space and the rice can be seen.

Put a second balloon over the gap on the top of the juggle ball.

With a third balloon carefully cut some holes into it. Make sure not to over do this, or you will end up ripping it as you try to put it over the juggle bag.

This will enable the colour below to show through and make the juggle bag stronger.

Of course I need three to be able to juggle, oh who am I kidding.....I can not juggle but my hubby can!!
Sophie made the one shown in the centre and has requested that she has this making item at her next birthday. She is very organised and is already thinking ahead to November! Sophie has already asked for a party at home next time and decided that parties in a hired venue are not cosy enough. She is a sweetie, my purse heaved a sigh of relief as well.
These are very easy to make and fun for a rainy afternoon.
Nothing new I suppose, but may be of interest.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I am still here!

I am still here! Very tired, Ofsted is over but more on that later. I need to try and catch up on my sleep and get yet more work done. Reports to do now.
I am detemind to post something fun tomorrw.
Many thanks for those who have been popping by this week.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Computer Bug
Well, I have had a hell of a weekend so far!
Had a meeting at work on Friday morning as usual, no problem. By break everyone was told there was another one which resulted in us being told that this coming Tuesday Ofsted are coming in.
So you can imagine the sheer frustration that I had on Friday evening when my Net book was invaded by a computer bug.
Despite having brand new antivirus software etc on it!!!
So this post is aimed to give some information which I have spent hours, along with Hubby, trying to sort out.
Firstly, I want to point out that my email is safe and so is this blog, it got in somewhere and I have researched and found out that it is impossible to work out where it comes from exactly. It can get in when you simply log on to your computer. My new little one connects to the Internet without me actually having to click on anything.
So this is how we solved it after googling and reading some forums where other people have had this problem. I suggest that you do the same, I am not an IT expert, this is just our experience.
The bug came in calling itself SYSTEM TOOL, do not confuse this with System Tools which is found in accessories in your C drive.
So we did the following (after crying for a few minutes!)
*We had already backed up the computer last week, so this is a warning to do this regularly.
*We then restarted the computer (we did lose a few things but I can live with that).
*We restarted it back to its original settings which is what you do with your Product recovery disks or system restore disks. Due to mine being a net book this was already on my computer by pressing F4 as I turned it back on.
*I then selected system restore which started it back from the beginning.
(Some comments on a forum I read also did this by putting the computer into Safe Mode first, but look into this first.
This might sound rather drastic, but if you can not use it at all and this bug renders the computer totally useless, then it was the only thing we could do. Yes, PC World could have probably done something which would start at approx £30.00 upwards, but this happened at 11.30pm.
*We then went to the following link and downloaded Malwarebytes FREE download which seems to be able to tackle this when many other antivirus software can not (could be a marketing ploy!) We took a bit of a risk with this but the computer was knackered anyway.
You must read this site and what it can offer and make up your own mind as to what to do.
So far everything is ok and I am using the same Net book to write this.
*We then did a full scan using the Malwarebytes software.
*We then followed this with the antivirus software full scan as well.
*This did take a while but did seem to work.
Failing that take your laptop etc the someone such as PC World and get them to look at it. I am desperate due to the inspection next week as everything is in place and most of it is on memory stick (backed up as well) but I still needed the Net book to print any of it.
Do google this and read some forums I was astonished at how many people have had the same problem and are based all over the world. The Internet does have its big draw backs. Most of the problems seemed to start on 22nd December 2010! However a comment was left by someone in Canada who said that there had been a problem with this particular bug since last September. What is worrying about this is that purchased antivirus software can not detect it, and the producers of SOME products do not want to know unless you pay them. One person quoted $60.00 to help sort it out. Yet this free download seems to have helped me, but I suppose only time will tell.
It does seem to be a massive problem as I have had emails from bloggers warning me not to click on certain comments and emails etc that may have been passed on to me via sites as innocent as craft blogs and children's toy sites.
The only safeguard you really have is to back up everything on a separate hard drive regularly or even every time you use your PC.
I have had a huge fright, compounded by next weeks forth coming events but my external hard drive is now in the bag with my Net book.
So if your PC is fine do not leave it, I advise that you spend a little time today following up what I have written here so that you are aware BEFORE something happens, it might not ever happen, but we all know what life can be like.
Try googling SYSTEM TOOL BUG and do a little reading.
Well, I now need to go and cross some T's and dot some I's for next week. Normal craft posts will resume in the next few days.
I hope I have not scared anyone, just trying to pass on a warning as I was pretty upset Friday evening and it is not a nice feeling that this deliberately generated "thing" invaded my PC.
Take care
P.S On a happier note what do you think of the bracelet on the last post. I think I will find 5 mins to day and change the beads, what do you think?

Friday, 4 March 2011

Bead-azzled Bracelet

On our way back from Derbyshire we stopped off in Bristol to visit IKEA, Toysrus and Hobby Craft.
I was looking for wool, Sock Monkey ideas as I would like to try these with the new Year 9 groups in September and the felt.

I then stumbled on an item above in the beading section which got me really quite excited.
Do you have any idea what it might be?

I knew at home that I had a collection of wooden beads which I had not been able to find a use for that I was happy with. So I picked out a shade of blue which I thought I would wear a lot and arranged them on the table in a order that I was happy with. Mixing large and small beads together, with the largest one in the middle.
Then I carefully threaded them on to the bangle. The bit I liked the best was that the ball on the end unscrews!!! Yes, I nearly screeched with joy when I saw this and Sophie asked what I was so happy about. When she too looked at the bangle she soon piped up with "Mummy you have some big beads at home don't you?" Oh yes indeed I do sweetie pie.
What I also like about this is that I can change and swap the beads around as and when I feel like it. It cost about £3.00 but it was the fact that I could use some beads that I had had in a jar for some time.
So you might be able to imagine the reaction when I found that they had a necklace version as well!!!
Costing £5.00.
Laid out the beads on the table in the same way then threaded them on to the necklace and then screwed the end back on to secure the beads.
So I end up with a very distinctive set using beads that I already had. I shall have lots of fun with these, changing the beads, finding or making more to use on these metal rings. This is really the only items that I bought from Hobby Craft, although we did find some bits and pieces to start planning Sophie's Easter Hat for school.

I have since worn these twice to work with much oohing and aaahing in admiration. I am a very happy bunny!

Have a good weekend.

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