Friday, 30 December 2011

Mummy and Daughter time.....

A friend of mine has a teenage daughter who kindly gave Sophie a Christmas present.  She had a couple of items that she was given over the years but never used.  One of them was a sewing kit to make up four beanie buddies with fabric and clear instructions and patterns.
Yesterday afternoon Sophie and I had a go at making the blue bear shown above.  We did not have any beanie filling but used stuffing instead.  To make her sit up (her because she has pink ears....Sophie's idea) I folded the legs round and added just a couple of stitches to hold it in place.
We are both really pleased with how this turned out and I think that I will take a copy of it to school to use with my little craft group.
The kit said about sewing it by hand but we decided to use the sewing machine to make it stronger.  I stitched up the stuffing gap and Sophie has since found a length of bright pink ribbon to tie around the neck.  We have been able to make so much this holiday, better organised this year perhaps, but I think it is because we have been lucky enough to have a couple of extra days before Christmas rather than afterwards that has made the difference.
We may have a go at another one on New Year's Day as we are staying at home to complete our nice quiet break.
In case I do not see you beforehand.....Have a very Happy New Year!!
It is hubby's birthday tomorrow and we are having a few friends round so it is going to be a bit busy here.....

OPAM November Round-up

I have delayed posting about my November OPAM until after Christmas due to some being presents.  I had a commission to make 8 of the spiral scarves in a variety of colours. It came a a direct result of the Craft Fair I did at the beginning of November.  I needed to get them to the customer pretty quickly so of course I forgot to take any pictures, but they are similar to the ones shown above. I also started several others which were in fact completed in December so go under that month instead.  I only had a couple of sales on my Etsy shop.  I have sold much more in person and my word of mouth than I have on Etsy this past year which I have been surprised at considering the economical climate we are all in.  I shall see what 2012 has in store for me.  I would like to sell more as it help to finance my hobby.
The corsages on the bottom row have been fun to make and I shall show that in more detail in the New Year once I have taken some new pictures.
The bauble decoration was ideal for in front of the TV and I also made some felt ones at the same time, yep that's right no pictures again.  New Year Resolution.....remember to take pictures before giving item away.
Plans are now in motion for New Year, we are having a few friends round and my hubby's birthday in on the 31st December, so another festive/celebration on the horizon.  Honestly, by the time January comes round we are really in need of a rest after two birthdays, Christmas and New year.
Take care

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Swap.Part 2 - November OPAM Too

You may remember a few posts back just before Christmas about a Christmas swap that I took part in.  I unfortunately missed the sign up for Chookyblue's Christmas Swap ....again and Wendy emailed to say that she would be happy to do an unofficial swap with just me.  A very kind offer which I accepted.
We both opened our main swap on Christmas Eve and I sent to Wendy the following.....
Sophie and I made several decorations similar to this one last year and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would make one for Wendy.  Mind you, my fingers were glad when I had finished using all of those pins in!
The main part of the swap from me was......
.... this wall hanging made of appliqued shapes and a layer of organza on top.  I went to a workshop a while back and it was called  Shadow applique.
I also used this style of tree last year for the Christmas Block Quilting Bee.  It is a nice looking tree block and I think it shall reduce it to fit on the tree skirt that I would like to make.
I have already posted about the lovely tree decoration that Wendy made.
It has been hanging on our tree all over the holidays.
Taking pictures on these dull winter days is not good but I hope that the pictures shows you the lovely colours in the fabric that Wendy used for this wall hanging.  Funny how we had the same idea.
Unusual colours for Christmas but I really like them.

This is the lovely fabric on the back of the wall hanging.
I enjoyed sending off a swap parcel at Christmas....anyone remember the Christmas Decoration swap in 2008 or the stocking swap in 2009 that I ran?  Might try another next Christmas if there is any interest.
This also formed one of my November OPAM finishes as well.
I do hope that OPAM runs next year too as I have sat down today and actually written a list of what I would like to make in 2012.  How organised id that!!??

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

OPAM - Squiddley is created............

At the end of last week I was determined to make up Squiddley who had arrived very quickly from Clare's Craftroom in Australia.
I decided to use some fabric that I had in my sewing room, a nice bright green.  The body fabric is called Daisy Chain by Amy Butler for Rowan fabrics.  I thought it would look good on my new friend here.
I was lucky enough to win a giveaway over at Paper and String a couple of years ago and this included the white pom pom trim.  Sophie and I thought that it would add to Squiddley. 
Squiddley was fun to make, adding the stuffing was tricky and he used quite a bit to get him nice and firm but on the other hand I now have a bit of space in my fabric box.  Using what I have, (which is not much really, no honest), has been a feature of 2011 and I intend of carrying on with this into 2012.
Many thanks Clare for sending the Squiddley pattern, it put a smile on all of our faces.
PS Clare has other patterns on her blog and online shops.  Pop over and take a look.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Mug Rugs...My First attempt......

After completing my first table runner just before Christmas I decided to keep rolling and have a go at my first mug rug as well.  The wreath designs were two fabric squares that I found in a haberdashery a few years ago.  I always intended to make cushions but the onset of mug rugs changed that.  I added some strips of fabric left over from making the table runner.
Some lovely red fabric for the back.  I have read about mug rugs being all sorts of sizes, I really went with the size of the wreath square in the end but found that the final size suited........
....a cup and saucer or.....
........a mug and small plate.
I have now put one of these on the table next to my chair to protect the surface and I will certainly make some more to use during the rest of the year .  They are quick and fun to do and will certainly use up all those scraps I have.  Inside of the mug rug I used some medium sew in interfacing and with hindsight I think that I need to use something thicker or double it up, but I wanted to use up some scraps and it serves it purpose.  However, for gifts it does need to be thicker.  These will feature for presents in 2012 me thinks.
Off to make some Christmas tea from Whittards,
Happy Boxing Day.....

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas to all.....

Sophie and I had lots of fun with our final Christmas make this afternoon.  We will confess that the actual walls and roof came from a kit that we found at IKEA in September.  I then made up some really thick icing to glue it all together.  It stuck it really well too.  I then found the smallest icing nozzle that I could and used it to help fill in the gaps.  We covered a place mat with foil and "glued" the house down. 
I need to be able to get the house over to my in laws tomorrow without it sliding off the board in the card.
We had some large chocolate stars left over from the school cake competition and created a tree with them.
We had soooo much fun making this together.  I really have seen a big difference in Sophie this Christmas and we have done so much together since school finished and it has been a real tonic, one I really needed too.
So I would like to wish those of you who visit all the time, every now and then or lurk on the edge of this blog a very happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Safe New Year.
All hits, comments, emails and surprises in the post are treasured and gratefully recorded here at Indigo Blue.
MERRY CHRISTMAS.................

Birthday Treats

Having a birthday so close to Christmas is not great really.  It gets swallowed up with all of the Christmas preparations, people are busy and everything is often booked up more than a year in advance.  So I have learnt to plan small and simple and the day is often a lot of fun.
So this morning I had only a little breakfast as we planned to have lunch at a local pub.  I then opened some lovely presents with Sophie sitting very close to me, she absolutely loves birthdays and gets very excited no matter whose it is.  Such enthusiasm is infectious and she makes it  all the more enjoyable.
I have enjoyed watching the programmes last year and this which go with the books shown and hubby found both on Amazon for me.  They are the kind of books to go back to and inspire ideas.  They are also fun to read.
 Needle or machine felting is a lot of fun and I have enjoyed several Embroiderer Guild classes on this but this book will also be useful to show Sophie too.
The craft book has some lovely project ideas and it is the colour combinations that I like to look at.
There are lovely pictures to look at all through both books.
Handmade Home also has how to make jam and pickles.
We had a lovely quiet lunch at a pub which we have been to for birthday meals before and we were the only ones there....sign of the times perhaps.
Afterwards we went to Wadebridge which has a little cinema and watched Puss in Boots which was really good and 2 hours just flew by.
I was also spoilt with some Cath Kidston items which included a lovely fountain pen.  Fountain pens have had a bit of a revival recently on this side of the family ever since Sophie found out what they were and everyone found one which they "used to use". Then new ink has been bought and pens have been dusted off and they are now used with renewed enjoyment.  The one I still had I used at school and you can not get the right size cartridges anymore, so new lovely Cath Kidston one was given from Sophie.  I think Hubby helped with this.   Of course a pencil case is needed to look after the new pen so I shall start the new term all kitted out.
I shall show the compact which my sister bought another time along with some buttons as it is late and I need my beauty sleep, seeing as I am now a year older (sigh).
I also realise that many may not be tuning in for the next few days but you can catch up with my posts in the New year and I might forget to post if I leave it.... does not take much for me to forget you see.
It has been a lovely quiet day which I wanted.  The first birthday that I did not have wishes from my Dad which did seem odd and a card without his name. Hmm, there will be alot of firsts for the next few months.
Well, best get my bedtime cup of tea......xx

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Salt Dough Decorations

I bought this book a few years ago and use it a lot.  Out of the blue Sophie asked about being able to make some decorations that could be painted and would last.  For some reason salt dough came up in the conversation so off I went to find The Book!
Hey Presto!  My book came up good again.
So, in case you have not made this before.....
300g plain flour
300g table salt
200ml of water
teas spoon of oil.
Put it all in a bowl and mix and gather to form a dough.  This bit was surprisingly easy.

If wrapped in cling film it will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
We then used lots of biscuit cutters to used a BBQ stick to make decent sized holes in them so that they could be hung up.
At one point I needed to sit down due to a hip, tendon, inflammation thing that is going on and I am trying to ignore it..... and noticed just how much my little girl has grown.  It is often judged by things like if she can reach the door handles, taps etc.  There was a time not long ago when she struggled to make anything at the kitchen counter.  NOW LOOK!!!!  Watching her working safely and independently tugged a bit that Mummy is not needed as much with this sort of thing, but at the same time it was good to see her having fun and understanding exactly what she wanted to do and taking the lead.
So as not to stick I used some baking parchment.
They went in the oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 mins.  We found they they swelled up a bit and took ages to harden.
At the same time we followed Kirstie Allsops idea of putting them in the microwave for 2-3 mins and I have to say that we both agreed they came out better, hardened off faster and did not swell up.  So I recommend using the microwave.  You still need to wait for them to fully cool down.
Sophie also decided that a few models were needed.  Isn't this cute!
They can then be painted using any paints.  Sophie used watercolours.  Keep the brush quite dry with plenty of paint.  Posters paints or Acrylics are just as good.
I used watercolours and then added some gold acrylic paint using the blunt end of the paintbrush.
Added some ribbon......

.....then hang on the tree!
We have uite a few more to finish but certainly a very quick and inexpensive activity.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Greeting from Wendy

I unfortunately missed the sign up for ChookyBlue's Christmas Swap but Wendy (another swapper who did signed up) emailed me to say would I like to do a little swap on the side using the same rules and guidelines.
So this morning guess what arrived in the post!!
A lovely card which says made in the USA on the back and a great tree decoration with fun pom pom trim on it. Sophie had the job of finding a place to put it on the tree.
It looks great on the tree.  Over the past 4 years of blogging I have been lucky enough to take part in the odd swap or been sent Christmas items which have been handmade and they are all very unique and add a charm to the house.  Perhaps I should do a post on those this week.  It really is a lovely shape, great fabric too.
In the top picture you can see a red parcel and Wendy has said that it can be opened this week so that it can be used and seen.  I have resisted so far and thought I would wait until Christmas Eve night.  I shall also post what I sent Wendy once it has been opened, I do not want to spoil the surprise.  I do hope Wendy will like it.
Many thanks Wendy for your generous offer to swap with me and for the parcel you sent.  I have also found a new craft blog friend at the same time.
Merry Christmas.

Monday, 19 December 2011

OPAM 2011- Christmas Table Runner

I took part in a Christmas Block Quilting Bee this time last year but due to too many problems etc I pulled out.  I had several blocks so this year I decided to make them into a table mat which I featured in a previous post and today I finished my very first table runner using some more of the blocks.  I was going to make a quilt but felt that several smaller items would be on show and used more.
Our table does open out but so rarely do we do that I thought that making it fit the table for everyday would be a better idea.
I put a poinsettia block in the middle, I have another picture of this but blogger will not let me post it!  Typical.  
The table is usually pushed against the wall so our Poinsettia sits at one end and helps to keep the runner in place.
I made my own binding and for once it went on correctly first time and I used some more Christmas fabric for the backing. 
This has taken several weeks to make and is one of my biggest OPAM finishes.  I can not believe that it is nearly another year gone by.  I hope that OPAM 2012 will run as it certainly motivates me to make even on those days when I feel to tired as I always feel better after a sewing session.  Best tonic sometimes at the end of  the day.
I still have some blocks left so I am going to look into making some mug rugs next.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Meeting Father Christmas......

This afternoon we took Sophie to Lanhydrock in the hope of seeing Father Christmas. (We missed him last year!).
When we entered the room we saw this lovely tree. Every year there is always such a great tree and whoever decorates it does a brilliant job.

To start with Father Christmas was having a tea break so we had a quick look around the gift shop but then when he arrived back I was quite impressed at how much he looked like the Father Christmas on all of the cards you can buy!  He had a really jolly face and the beard was his own and I can honestly say that he was the most convincing Father Christmas I have ever seen.
I am not sure what they were talking about but Sophie was really smiling and everyone behind me went ahhh!
In the little bag that you can see in the picture Father Christmas put a little fluffy toy of a badger and then put in a zip up packet of half size colouring pencils!  Two gifts instead of one.  We asked her what they had said and why he gave her two items and she said that it was just between her and Father Christmas.  I can only gather that she said something nice or kind (?) but I shall never know.........

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