Friday, 30 March 2012

OPAM 2012 March Round up

Here is my March OPAM round up.  I made the collage using Picassa and unfortunately some of the pictures would not rotate so you may need to lie down to view some of them!  Anyway, a few more makes than last month.  I am still pleased with the necklace and I have worn it.  I am planning other colour ways and once I have completed this email I shall be sending another to hopefully put the web site making into motion and make one or two for that.
This birdie book is another finish and is now in my Etsy shop which I may be closing down soon.  I will be putting the shop in vacation mode on Sunday evening which will be the last chance of you want anything for Easter.
I have a few more makes in the pipeline plus a  pattern PDF with instructions, so I am glad that the Easter holidays have now started.  I ended it with more disappointment today and a migraine.  I hope a good nights sleep and a break will help recharge my batteries and a brighter outlook for tomorrow which will start with a babysitter for Sophie and Hubby and I going out for a meal in the evening.
xx

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Felt Stitched Notebook Cover

I have been looking through some of my pictures and found this book cover.  I do not think that I have blogged about it before.  It is A5 and all hand cut and stitched.  I love making these in all different sizes and the above design is my own and I have created various versions of it.
There are so many buttons, threads and fabric on the market at the moment that there simply is not enough time to do all of the sewing that I would like!  I have managed to continue with my New Year Resolution of using what I already have.
These re-usable book covers are fun to use and look great on my sewing table.
I have just finished another one but I have not taken any pictures of it.  I completed it whilst at a Craft Fair last weekend and I really must take more to do next time as it was really relaxing and did catch the eye of some passers by.
This will be listed on Etsy later this week.
I shall be away next week so if anyone is interested in anything on Etsy for Easter then yo have until Sunday evening to order it.

I have brought the fleece flower bag home for Sophie and hidden it.  I have a rabbit glove puppet to go in it and I shall sneak off to buy a new top.  Sophie has grown quite a bit lately and those sleeves are getting a bit short on some of her favourite tops.  She has done nothing but eat and eat this past two weeks, another growth spurt I think.
Until tomorrow...............
xx

Monday, 26 March 2012

Hand Knitted Messenger Bag -OPAM 2012

I am not great at knitting clothes but I can knit bags!  This is made using circular needles which I do enjoy using and you never have the worry of the stitches falling off.  I used a lovely cream chunky knit which made it knit up quite quickly.  I added a flap which has a magnetic fastening underneath.  Know the flap seems to have moved here in the picture but it is straight.  I did hang the bag up outside to take the picture.
I then added 100% cotton yarn crochet flowers to the flap and the bottom left hand corner to add decoration.
To help prevent the bag from over stretching with the contents I fully lined it with 100% cotton gingham which I love.  I also lined the handle to also prevent over stretching.
Overall, a lovely sized bag which you could turn round  the other way (although it was not intended to be reversible and pointed out to me yesterday) and have the gingham on the outside.
I have had several makes all finish at the same time this month.

Where is it now? 
 In my Etsy shop if you feel that you could give this little gem a new home.
x

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Handmade Lounge/PJ Trousers - OPAM March

My students wanted to have a go at making a garment and one of the easiest ones to start with is PJ trousers.   We used a commercial pattern which I have left at school.  (Seeing as we have nearly finished them I shall bring it home and let you know what is is should you want to give them a go.  They really are very easy.)
They are 14 years old and with these trousers you have quite a bit of room for wobbly sewing etc and they should still fit.
Above you can see mine which I made with them to show the various stages.  Sophie took all of the pictures for this post and for a 9 year old they are very good.

These trousers (can be called lounge pants) have an elasticated waist and we decided to put a fake bow on the front, for decoration but to also make out which is back and front as well!
Should have ironed them, sorry, anyway they have been made from a recycled single duvet cover and I have plenty left for making some simple shoes bags to use in my suitcase when we go away next week  The other side of the duvet had variegated green stripes but the spots caught my eye more.
They are very comfortable to sit in and are made of 100% cotton at a fraction of the price.  All of the girls were advised to try and recycle a duvet or sheet etc.  As you can imagine we had some great outcomes, including a Noddy and Big Ears pair!
Last time I made a lovely pink flowery set from a duvet that I bought in Seaford.  They are at school and I shall bring them home to use and keep these as my class resource.....until I make another pair next year of course.
PS  Warm enough today to wear my beloved flips flops ALL DAY!!!!  Hooray!!!!
Roll on the Easter Break.
xx

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Craft Fair .....

I have just returned from a fairly successful craft fair.  Every time I go what I sell changes.  Last time it was lots of small things to a lot of people and today it was larger items to much fewer customers!
I have signed up for another in July.
The weather is gorgeous today and with several other events going on I think custom was down.
I have just altered by Etsy shop as I sold a couple of bags which I had listed there, but I have added the one above. I sold a blue version of this today and the lady said that she was going to use it as a peg bag!!
A rather posh peg bag but whatever floats your boat etc.  Several bags were bought for Easter presents rather than sending money or chocolate and several business cards were asked for as well.

Now this craft fair is out of the way i am now going to request that my website is started.

Pricing is still an eternal issue.  One lady said that one of my slouchy bags cost more than they do in the shops.  At £5.00 with IKEA fabric and lined with 100% cotton fabric I doubt it very much.  Then another lovely lady said that my prices seemed too cheap.  I do not know if my prices are right or not I just try to cover costs and think would I pay for that, offer something that is very well made and that you will NOT find in the shops.  My bags are completely recyclable should you wish to in the future and above all are 
MADE IN THE UK.
So, I am now going to sort out some paperwork, plan for July and take some pictures of new bags to go on Etsy.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

OPAM - Embroidery Revisited - WIP

Whilst searching through files with patterns in that I have collected over the years I stumbled on a piece of folded up fabric.  Sophie came over to see what I had found.  The piece of fabric had a design carefully drawn on, but not stitched.
I have no idea when or why I drew this design and I had completely forgotten about it.  Definitely pre-Sophie days that is for sure.
So during the half term holiday I began to stitch the above design.
Now,  I think that it is a crewel design and I decided to just make up the colours.  I did make a fabric box once with a crewel design on it and it had a similar look to it.
Those of you with a keen eye or experience in this field may well notice some unevenness, colour issues etc, but considering it has probably been about 12+ years since I last did anything like this I am pretty pleased with this.
Now.....what to make it into?
xx

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012

Every year since Sophie was able to, she has made me a Mother's Day card and this year was no exception.  This time the Brownie meeting was the venue and the above card the result of careful choosing and making.
This was sneaked into the house on Tuesday, well I was asked not to come out of the living room for 5 mins but you now what I mean.
Sophie found a use for the jumbo pipe cleaners she found yesterday at The Range and my MIL also got a purple version.
A painted mini canvas which I shall take to school and hang up along with another one that I have.
Sophie knows me well when a carefully chosen necklace from Monsoon is picked out and wrapped in a lovely box.  I am wearing it now.
She told me that it can be worn anywhere and with anything.  Hang on a minute....I am sure that she is only 9 but already giving Mummy fashion advice!  It is very nice though and a lovely gift from a girl who really does seem to understand her Mum and is turning out to be a very thoughtful young lady.
Now I really have been spoilt this year as the Brownie leaders also organised a little plant for each of the girls to take home as well.  I really have been impressed with Sophie's Brownie Pack.  They have some great ideas, activities and Sophie loves it!
So many thanks to Sophie, The Brownies, Hubby and my In-Laws, who popped over for lunch.
Even the sun shone today.
Hope you all had a good day.
xx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Featured here....

I received an email yesterday letting me know that I am featured in the magazine in the "Sites to be Seen" in Issue 4 of Popular Crafts.
They have a very good website with lots of things to read and do.  They also have swaps and challenges which many of you may be interested in taking part in.
The next issue is out on 18th May and I have submitted a project for that issue.
I looked for thing's to put in Sophie's Easter bag while her and hubby went off to do secret Mummy's Day things.  I thought may be some art supplies or making kits.  I was just about to go to the checkout when they  came in the shop!
I shall have to try again when I know that I will not be found.  Sophie did find some jumbo pipecleaners in The Range today.  Paid for them with her pocket money and then when we got home said "What can I make with them?"  Any ideas?
xx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Easter Gift for Sophie - OPAM March

I have been making drawstring bags with Year 8 since Christmas.  As they are designing and making them I usually make one along side them to show the various stages and techniques that they can use.
Some of mine go on display or I give them away, this time I thought I would recycle one of Sophie's fleece tops and make a bag for her for Easter.  We are a small family so we spread out things like Easter.  One person sorts out an egg, one might give a small amount of pocket money and hubby and I usually think of a gift with perhaps a use to it.  I hope that does not sound boring but Sophie love this approach and she is not all that bothered about chocolate.  Yes....you did read that right.  She is not keen on birthday cake or fizzy pop either.
I machine stitched the flowers, stems and leaves.  I then added some details with embroidery threads, the centre of the flowers were highlighted with some craft buttons.
The drawstring is made using a lovely 100% cotton cord.
I shall keep this at school until the holidays as the students have not seen the final item yet and so that Sophie does not see it just yet.
I have plans to make a few more for the website/Etsy.
Another March OPAM make too.  I have bought the new Mollie Makes after work today so I shall be back with that later.
x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mollie Makes Issue 4

Felt, beads and stitch.
I started the kit from the 4th issue of Mollie Makes when it first came out.  Due to other things happening I forgot to go back to it. 
 With new eyes I decided to change some of it.  I like using felt and the type that they use in the kits is really fun.  Due to it being a bit thicker it does maintain its shape better and is easier to cut.
I was not really sure if I would wear the one shown above but I do like the colour of the felt.  I do not wear dangling jewellery to work in case it gets caught on anything.
I also wanted to add some embellishment to it as well. I have all these beads so I really should use them.
I used all of the templates that came in the kit but I just layered up them up.I made the leaves double thickness and added chain stitch plus some bugle beads.  There are two buttons in the middle, some seed beads and running stitch.
I made each section separately.
I used the coloured paper feel string and stitched them on so that they did not slide down.  Once all of the stitching was done I had enough felt to cut a circle to stitch on the back and hide everything to give a neat finish.
I then added a fastening which I recycled from a broken necklace and adding this proved to be the most difficult bit!
I asked Sophie to model it for me and I am pleased with the way it turned out as it was not planned very much.
I would love to try and find some felt like this to try out some more ideas.
I shall wear this with a dark or black top to show up the colours and possibly stitch something on the back of the flowers to weigh them down a bit more.
So I have been busy making but this did take a bit longer than expected and stitching these colours in the evening is not easy to see despite my new specs.
It is a glorious day here today so I am off to take Sophie out on her scooter for a bit.
xx

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Special little Gift............

Sophie disappeared upstairs for ages the other afternoon.  All was quiet and I called up to make sure all was ok.
"Yes Mummy"
More time passed and then she came downstairs with the above bracelet and asked to have a knot put in the elastic.  Not a problem and the knot was duly added.
Sophie then told me that she had been upstairs making this bracelet for me.  She thought that the colours would go with most of my clothes and that the little silver bells added a bit of zing.  Zing..... now I need lots of that by the time I get to Friday!!!
There was not a reason for making this. It was one of those "just because" gifts that are special.  
I did suggest that she could have kept this for Mother's Day but she said that she could not wait that long to give it to me.
Yep......a slushy mummy moment.

I do have several lovely cards that Sophie made when she was at nursery, I just can not bear to throw them away as they are a part of her childhood and she likes to look at them now and try to understand that she was only three when she made some of them.
My hubby has had more handmade key rings from Sophie than he can really use but they all have some keys stored on them, even if they never actually leave the house.

The above gift will be put on as soon as I get home from work at the start of the Easter holidays.

What gift have you been given that has sentimental value such as the bracelet above?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Little Birdie on Etsy

Not sure where the last week has gone and I do not seem to have anything crafty to show despite having several projects on the go.
I have added the above to my Esty shop which I finished in January.  Would make a lovely Mother's Day or Easter gift.
This is made out of craft felt and hand stitched together.  My own Little Birdie design which did feature in some of my quilt blocks last year.
I do have some re-fill notes books to fit as the cover is removable and a new book can be added.
My hand embroidery is coming along nicely but the day job seems to have taken over a bit this week.
I have been in touch with someone who may be able to help set up a website for me and I need to get back to them and hopefully make a start.
The weather seems to have picked up this week despite the down pour yesterday it was blue skies today.  I have noticed the evenings staying lighter for longer too.  I so much prefer it as I feel more energised when I get home form work.  
I have looked at the first lesson of my on-line art course and at the weekend I hope to make an actual start.  I cannot give too many details of the course in respect for the author but I can show you some of my pages when I have completed them.

Well.. Friday again tomorrow and I am going to take in some cupcakes for my GCSE Textiles group who have gained some fantastic grades from the exam board this week.  Despite this success my subject is not running next year so it is a bitter sweet joy for me.  It seems that textiles is not worth doing if you do not want to do it as a job rather than a skill as part of a well rounded education.  We just have another project plus a written paper in June and then we are home and dry.  Still lots to do, so I had better be off and create a revision list and to decorate those cupcakes.
xx

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

UK Handmade Spring issue 2012

The new issue of the UK Handmade magazine for Sprig 2012 is now available HERE to look at.  There is so much to see and the photographs are gorgeous.
A large range of crafts, handmade and topics are covered in this on-line magazine.  You can also purchase a PDF version if you wish.
So get a cup of tea and a comfy chair and pop over and take a look at this issue and help support handmade in the UK.  It must have taken ages to put together.
Let me know what you think or leave a comment on their page.
Take care 
xx

Monday, 5 March 2012

Sketchbook Delight - I have signed up........

no!  Not for the army but for this............
an on-line 5 week Sketchbook Course with Alisa Burke.  I have been thinking about this for over a year and looked at her blog for months.  Last summer I was due to sign up, I have made up my mind and then things fell apart here so I put it off.  As the Easter holidays are coming up I thought I would sign up and gradually get things together and make a start so by the holidays I will have settled into it.
A nice activity to take with me when I visit my sister in law.
I have logged in and scanned the first post.  There are lots of videos to watch and I will need my headphones on and a notebook ready.
I am really looking forward to this and I shall post any of my efforts here then you may wish to sign up to.
To view the many other classes on offer then click here and take a closer look.
Have a good week.
xx

Sunday, 4 March 2012

This little purse is on its way to a new owner in America and I it is one of my favourite fabrics.  Lined with nice crisp white fabric making it easy to see the contents.
Then, ironically, about two days later the matching bag was sold but this time to someone else in America.  

The bag is going a girl who has been looking for ages for the right tote bag to take on holiday.  She has looked on Ebay and other on-line shops, not being able to find what she was looking for until she stumbled on my little Etsy shop.  I am really chuffed with this little story and I hope she likes it as much when it arrives at her house and sees it in the flesh so to speak.
.  It has made up for a rather hard going week.
 It was really busy in the post office this morning and even more so because most of the Post & Go machines were not working.
I found a day light bulb today in the range and I know it may seem odd to buy the bulb the table next to me and be moved from room to room.  It is the first one that I have seen without the lamp.  I am hoping that now I will pick up the right shade of pink to use in the evening and not discover the next day that I have the wrong one!
It has been a glorious day with blue skies and lots of sun.  I even had to get my sun glasses out today whilst on our way to The range for some supplies.
To night is embroidery, web site email and hopefully either watching a Sherlock DVD or Downton Abby.  Which would you choose?
xx

Saturday, 3 March 2012

OPAM February round-up

Making in February was a little thin on the ground.  Well actually finishing was to be exact.  I do have several items on the go but only managed the little items shown here.  It has been such a busy month but I have one of the WIP' sat next to me and once this post is done I shall be working on it.
It is some hand embroidery which I have not done for years and it has been really relaxing to find an "old friend".
Will show a WIP pic on Sunday as we have our ballet, bank on Saturday.
xx

Friday, 2 March 2012

Twittered Out!

I have hit a problem in my quest to set up my web site.  Whilst also getting an idea together before I email anyone, I have discovered that I can not access my Twitter account!

I know that you should not do this, but I did have the username and password written down but one does not work. I suspect it is the password.  So I asked to reset it and had to fathom out the weird verification codes which I struggle to see....with or without my glasses!

I was then asked for my phone number which I must have submitted when I signed up..........well I have tried out in my mobile AND my land line and it will not accept either of them.  
Yesterday I received an email from Twitter saying that they missed me because I had not twittered for a while...........well that is because I can not get in...can I?!

I can only think that I must have miss typed the number in the first place and not realised it.  So my twitter account will have to just sit there for a bit until I have a brainwave.  I was thinking about Facebook, I think my decision may have been made for me now.
Is Facebook easy to use and would you recommend setting up a page?
I am hoping that it will spread news of Indigo Blue. Absolutely none of my family are on Facebook, some of my friends are and then many bloggers are too.  So for me it would be for promotion mainly and an extension of this blog which I love writing and looking back on.
Website Name Competition
I have not forgotten this competition and I think that I have narrowed it down to three names.  All really good ideas too.  So thank you to the 16 of you who commented or emailed me.
I shall announce a winner once all is set up.

I am watching the new Winnie the Pooh DVD with Sophie and it is really good, especially Rabbit.  He is stuck down a pit and trying to get out and Piglet is no help at all, it really is funny.
Tomorrow I am off to get my new glasses, maybe it will help my spelling and typing on this blog...or maybe not.
Many thanks fofr the huge number of you who have visited this past week, I wish some of you would comment so that I can find you. 
Have a good weekend.
xx

Thursday, 1 March 2012

See me in Sew Hip issue 39!

I have been at it again!  I am in issue 39 if Sew Hip and you can see my project in the bottom right hand corner as you look at it.
I deliberately chose lovely bright fabric to show up in the magazine and to add a bit of zing to the article.
This project involves some basic quilting and the use of binding techniques.
I did make another version before this which I use all the time.  It is big enough for all of my crochet hooks, wool sewing needles, some pins and a small pair of scissors.
I have started making some for the craft fair later this month and will feature in the web shop, once it is sorted.
Does anyone buy this magazine?  The is a website to visit here.
That is next on the list now that we are pretty much through to the end of this week.
Looking forward to getting my new glasses at the weekend.  A little story to that but I shall save it ofr Saturday.......
Take care
xx

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