Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Are you following me?

I have heard, as many of you may have done, that Google Friend Connect is closing in March.  I have been suggested to try Linky Followers.  I am not really sure because already a follower for DIY has appeared 10 mins after uploading it.
What are you trying?  I have spent a long time building up a following and it is also a good way of keeping track of everyone so I am a little saddened that this is ending.
So, has anyone any suggestions for an alternative which is easy to use?
I would be very interested in any suggestions so please leave a comment and your blog link if you have an example which I should take a look at.  I am sure that a bit of info sharing would be good for all.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Well, would you believe it?

My Etsy shop has been very quiet for several months and has prompted a re-think recently.  Once I have got some late meetings out of the way this week I shall be following up enquiries about hopefully having a website set up.
So you can imagine my surprise when this past week I have had not one but three orders!
One for sequin waste which I have always sold lots of but I do not know why and then last Thursday one of my purses.
Now here is the real surprise....see the above purse?  One of my favourites and very nearly did not get listed at all.  Listed Sunday evening and it was quite late too.........SOLD Monday afternoon!

I have never ever had that before.  It was taken equally as quick to the post office by my dear hubby and is now on its way to the USA where I hope its new owner will be pleased with it.
My hits on this blog have also shot up this past week or two.  Whatever is going on I am very grateful because it is often said that if one part of your life is going badly, (day job in my case) that other parts great improve so I think I am living that at the moment.

I have just finished another magazine project for Popular Crafts this time.  I need to submit the instructions and if it is good enough may in included in a future issue.  I will let you know when.  Tomorrow Sew Hip issue 39 is out and I am in that again, not sure which page or anything.   I shall get a copy Thursday when I do the weekly shop.  I would like to do some work with Mollie Makes one day.  I would really love to test out their front cover kits before being used as I think that could be really good fun!
I have hit a snag with my crochet bag and finding it a bit awkward to sort out so that is in the UFO bag for a bit.  I have also cut out some things to make up for the craft fair that I am doing just before Easter. I think I need to make some more purses too. I shall show those another time as I only got home at 8pm from working late tonight and evening pics are not very good sometimes.
I best go and finish my instructions so that I can email them before I go to bed.
Take care all

Monday, 27 February 2012

There is a silver lining...............

I have been fortunate to have my run of Giveaway luck to carry on with my name being pulled out of a bowl by the cutest little dog I have ever seen!  Over at Pomona's blog three books were available to win.  Mine arrived this weekend wrapped up in fabric and a lovely card advertising a B&B that Hubby now wants to visit!
The fabric is covered with lots of pins.
A lovely feel to the fabric too.
Th book is  handy size to take everywhere and is absolutely packed with all kinds of designs with clear charts and colourways.  Guess what I have not done?  Taken any pics? No, what a twit!  I shall be back.........
It is now Monday evening and I have now taken some pictures.
Every page is full of detailed charts like the ones above.
Lots of different kinds of animals including these cute cats.
There are so many flowers that did would be difficult to know which to do first.  Just by changing the colour combinations all occasions could be made for.
This little angel is just sooooo cute.
Would look great in Christmas Colours.
So many thanks Pomona and her lovely little dog for picking me for this great book.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Giveaway Thanks

I have been lucky enough to win a giveaway hosted by Josie and this week the above bag turned up in the post.  The nag was made using a pattern from U-handbag which has many bag patterns.  Josie also has a web shop that you might like to pop over and see.
Many thanks to Josie for hosting the giveaway and for the bag that she sent.
Have a good weekend.
I shall be showing some sewing fun tomorrow.

Friday, 24 February 2012

A good start to the weekend....

This is one of my favourite zip purses and when I got home i found that it will now be going to a new home!
I will now need to make some more of these as I have a craft fair coming up and of course a website to think about.
It has gotten the weekend off to a good start along with a meal out with a small group of colleagues where I actually had a good laugh, good conversation and nice food.  Oh I so needed that after the last few months.  Several in the group have had issues recently and could also do with cheering up so hopefully we will be able to arrange another evening out in the future as we all enjoyed it so much.
Off to wrap and pack the above item and send off tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mollie Makes issue 11

Well what happened?
I went away for a week then came back and I could not get into my blog.  Panicked and thought great four and half years gone.  Then worked out that Google Chrome seemed to have kicked in whilst away my blog decided that I had to swap.  Mind you it was a dodgy moment there.
So that is part of the reason why I have been absent for over a week and things have been happening at work which are directly affecting the future of my career.  I shall leave it at that for now but I may come back to that topic, lets just get through tomorrow.
So, I bought this months Mollie Makes and instantly fell in love with the little Babushka Doll keyring.
I like the pages that describe what the kits will make.  Each issue has that retro look about it.
I like that the kits have little packets as I keep any pattern pieces and spare fabric in for future reference.
I did make a couple of changes. I could not cut the felt circles for the eyes!  They are simply too small so I used two brown brads that I had.  I also used chain stitch for the cherry stalks.  I nearly made my eyes pop out trying to use the red thread on the red felt, I really struggled to see it.  I also used smaller more stitches on the leaves just to make sure that they do not come off in my handbag.  I really enjoyed making her and she is really cute.  Put her together in just over and hour, but I was not exactly rushing.
Next time I think that I would use polka dot felt rather than cotton, but is only my preference.
This was a really fun little kit to make and there was more than enough fabric.  
There was plenty to look at in this issue and lots of sites to take a look at too.
So what else caught my eye in this issue?  Well too much but here is a selection:
I really like these crochet flower coasters.  I am still trying to follow patterns and so I shall take a look at this.  Do not hold your breath as crochet patterns make no sense to me.
Chunky knits, which look hand knitted even when they are sold in supermarkets, are very in at the moment and I have not knitted a cowl yet so this one might bit the bill.  I like the idea of a mobius cowl as well.
Finally this quilt really appeals to me and could be a great way to reduce your fabric collection as well.  I have a quilt to finish first before I start anything else, bit this one does have a summery country feel to it too.
I am thinking of subscribing to Mollie Makes so that i do not have the disappointment of missing an issue.  There is so much more to look at and web sites to visit.
I have another Mollie Makes kit on the go but not yet finished.  Hopefully I shall be back with that at the weekend.
Friday tomorrow, thank goodness, and hopefully a good end to the week this has really been quite stressful and at time downright upsetting.
However as they say................
Keep Calms and Carry on
Take care all.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

As promised a few more cards to look at.
I did stick to the traditional colours with this card.  I like cross grain ribbon, it is really easy to work with as it is just that little bit thicker.
Again, I used the heart embossing plate and then attached a red layer of rippled card.  On top of this I added a metal silver heart and a heart gem.  This is on a square card with my Indigo Blue stamp on the back.
Hubby has not had a chance to open his card and gift yet so I shall get back to you on that but I hope that today is a good day all round .  "What are you doing today" I hear yo ask, well I shall be in a car travelling to Cambridge which could take pretty much all day to visit my Mum.  I did not double check the dairy before confirming but never mind, for Hubby and I everyday is Valentine's Day!  Oh dear me that did sound rather sugary and sweet , but you know what I mean.
Take care

Monday, 13 February 2012

Valentine Cards

My Valentine cards were very popular last year so I decided to make up some more for the staff room.
Last summer I bought an embossing plate with hearts on it for my Valentine cards and I was really pleased with how they turned out.  I also have a heart punch which I have had for many years and is used freely.
I do like tomake some of my cards with different colour combinations to suit a range of tastes.  Last year I made hubby a blue valentine card and it was remarked upon quite widely so I decided to make a few for my stock this year.  Again, the embossing plates really helped to add a little touch here without being over the top.
Carrying on with the alternative colour schemes I came up with this bronze/orange pallette which could appeal to males and females.  I am quite taken with this one.
I have made an different one for Hubby just in case he looks here and I have a gift for him already wrapped up too.
More cards to come but I shall save those for another time.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Batik Basics

As part of a taster session for GCSE at school a week ago I introduced Batik.
Using a wax melting pot and a jtungting tool we added melted wax onto cotton which was stretched over a wooden frame.
Then using the tool the wax is added to the fabric so that it soaks through enough on both sides, this will stop the paint from spreading.
Next, using a clean brush we added silk paint.  Now, it is thought that silk paints can only be used on silk and this is not the case.  The colours have a vibrancy which can not be achieved in the same way with fabric paints. Above is my efforts which I started as a demo and then finished painting whilst the students worked on their own pieces.
I tried to link it to  the theme or circles ,swirls and spirals which we are working on in  lessons at the moment. I shall publish other posts about my work with this topic.
I do have a few pictures of some of the Batiks that the students made, it was only a small group on the day.
Once the paint is dry, and this can be speeded up by using a hairdryer, the wax is removed with an iron and baking parchment.
These samples have since been put on a display board for all to see.  After half term we shall be having a go at this technique with the whole group in shifts of 5 or so for safety.  Once the wax is on the fabric the rest is pretty safe to do with a paint brush.  I have taken  some colour photocopies of my piece of  work for further use with this project but I shall come back to that once I have used it.
I really enjoy batik as long as you realise that it is not an exact science and the wax can drip in places that you do not want it but that is part of the fun and its charm.  Has anyojne else tried this?
I have got the number for hiring the church hall for my evening class on getting to know your sewing machine.  Just need to organise a date.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Mollie Makes issue 5 - Gadget Case for OPAM

Due to other things I got a bit behind with my Mollie Makes kits.  This is issue 5 and the kit is for a Gadget Case..
There are templates in the magazine and full sized versions can be printed directly from the website.
The fabric which came with the kit is very nice, linen with a red cotton fabric.
There were two designs to choose from and I decided on this bird, but there also a nice flower design which I might do with different fabric.
I attached the red strip using applique and after adding bondaweb to the bird I appliqued that too.  The branches were added by using a built in stitch on my sewing machine which gave a slightly wider stitch.
Finally a button was included for decoration.  The loop was meant to go at the bottom on the side seam but I decided to pop it at the top and then maybe add a split ring or carabiner clip.
Due to the thinness of the fabric I thought that I would add a lining to strengthen it.  The eye is a small black metal brad as I felt that he needed one.
The case did turn out quite thin  in the end despite using a 1/4 inch seam but I really like this and I will use  it, most likely to keep my thread clippers in which never come with a case when you buy them.
 The magazine also featured this lovely flower crochet table runner which would look lovely in many colour ranges.
I also liked these cushions and I am delighted to see that hexagon patchwork is everywhere in blogland but also in magazines.  There were the very first patchwork design that I ever did as a youngster.
I have another Mollie Makes kit to make up  for another time, but did anyone else have a go at this one?  How did it turn out?  Perhaps I should set up a Flickr group so that we could see how all of the kits turn out?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

OPAM - Draft Excluder

I think that is is impossible to take a decent picture of a draft excluder!
I do think that I may have won the Bestest and Most Cleverest Wife award by my husband who is no longer complaining of cold feet!
The fabric is left over from making some full length curtains of the french windows in the kitchen.  So it can be used in there or in the living room.
We intend to re-do the living room soon and a new pair of curtains will be needed there too. 
I did make, years ago, a draft excluder to look like a pencil but threw it out when we moved, I wonder how long this one will last.
I like making things for the home, adds a touch of personality.
I am still working on my crochet and should get that finished at the weekend.
It has been warmer here in Cornwall but sadly still no snow.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Organising 2012 even more.....

I bought this bright filofax from Paper Chase in Cambridge about a year ago. It was reduced because it had a diary and I found it at Easter! 
I liked the colour and the flowers on the front and had a bit of a "creative" look about it.  There is a band and clasp fastening to keep it all closed.
As you can see, this book was starting to get rather messy as a lack of time meant that scraps of paper, post-it notes, fabric etc just got popped in here and there.  In fact, I was struggling to get the magnetic clasp to meet up!
After struggling to find a filofax hole punch I managed to find one at Staples for nearly £10.00!  So you can imagine my disappointment when I struggled to even hole punch thin paper!!!! Eventually I ended up using this dinky little red hole punch which hubby has had for years and years. 
I then bought some special card in a range of embossed and shades of blue to follow the Indigo Blue theme.
I used an old filofax page to draw around and then used the red hole punch to make my own stylish card dividers.
Just for a bit of soppy fun, I found these in a sale at Whsmiths and sprinkled these throughout the dividers.
The next stage was to decide what my dividers would organise, so using a scrap piece of paper I jotted them down.
At this point I did hit a snag when the only pen that would work on the card was a permanent marker.  I will see about covering this with something else but at the same time this book is not meant to be all pristine, but hand made and needs to evolve a bit too.
I also have some plastic pockets to store business cards and the Moo cards that fellow bloggers might send.  This is another step towards my 2012 organising and increasing the role of Indigo Blue.
I am re-listing in my Etsy Shop and over half term I shall be adding new items that have been made.
I really enjoyed re-doing my book and it stills needs to develop more to suit me but it did not cost me much (except perhaps the filo fax punch which I have learnt to press really hard on a protected surface!)  I can change and update the dividers as and when new needs come along.
What do you use to keep things in order?
Any ideas that you would like to share add to the comments section.
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