Saturday, 31 January 2009

Nice jug

Firstly; don't go getting all excited; this book is my newest baby and isn't a giveaway-sorry! What a corker she is though, packed full of Caprara-ness. As the title suggests this book is all about colour and colour is what my crafting is all about. I strongly recommend it for anyone who wants some starting points and direction and who maybe wants to fall in love all over again with good ole-fashioned stitching.
Yesterday was of comic sketch standard 'round here as we had a new sofa delivered by one guy. He'd agreed to collect the old one too, which Simon only mentioned on his way out the door had come through the front window...yes and it came through the top sash which opens slightly wider. I have no idea how Simon thought I was going to manage to lift a sofa through the top art of the window, especially as the old sofa was a four seater and the new one a sturdy leather three seater....especially with the help of an inquisitive two year old. Anyway with the help of a willing Friend who kept Anna out the way with chocolate biscuits and the delivery mans wife who had just come along for the ride we managed it. The jug was my reward- I have been admiring it in the charity shop window for weeks and as they had a half-price sale on china it's finally mine all mine.
Finally the brooch is my nod toward valentines day and will be going on Folksy in just a mo. I love it's silliness and bright colours. I'm also working on an order of brooches for Tamarisk in their summer colours, all pale cotton and chintz, really nice.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Who wants to pocket the book?


I had a little play with some baby coat hangers and some cheap tea-towels. Mum has been making hanging pockets for years, and they are soooo useful. This version is much smaller, but I think very cute. It was really easy to make and came together in about an hour. It was just all the fiddly pretty bits that took another hour and a half! The question in my mind now is are they saleable, (obviously I would give them a good iron!) I think they would be a good 'line' for the school May fair-perfect for hair ties etc. and yes that is a kind of techno caddy thing which poppers on and off. What do you think? Would you buy something like this and if so what would you pay?
I have posted off my first give-away book and have come across another lovely book that I can live without! This one has loads of ideas for crafting with felt. This would actually make a lovely present with a bundle of felt squares and some thread. I think it would suit a teen or new crafter but there are some nice ideas in it for anyone. Let me know if you'd like it and I'll post it out to you, again first come, first served.
On the subject of posting I have actually posted off my mug swap parcel. Mainly because breakables don't fair well in our house, but also as I have been a bit anxious about the standard of my work (I am sending to a very talented lady) and knew I would relax a little once it was gone. By the time I had finished stuffing my box it was quite weighty and I stood a little nervously at the post office counter. I choose the cheapest posting option because it was half the original extortionate amount quoted but was told it would take 6 weeks. We have a target posting date of the end of February but please be aware if you are part of the swap that others may do as I have done and choose an economical option which could see parcels arriving long after this. I have set up a spreadsheet for the swap so if you do want to let me know when you post/receive your parcels I can keep track of where we are.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Book, brooch, blouse

It's time for a clear out, I am finding the amount of 'stuff' I've accumulated intimidating rather than inspiring-that's not good. I have a complete weakness for books and have ended up with metres and metres of them. I'm not sure any of them are terrible but I just can't see the wood for the trees anymore, and they have become a wall of colour not a reference material or somewhere I go to pick up fresh ideas. In the spirit of spring cleaning I will be posting a book on the Blog every so often which is FREE to the first good home which wants it. First up is this Fabric Flowers book. This is a nice book and has some nice ideas but really I can't say more than that and I have not made one single item from this book. Just leave a comment if you want it and I'll pop her in the post. I picked up some more bits and bobs at the Guild bring and buy table when I was there last weekend and amongst it was a ball of 'wool' in this lovely slatey blue so I've been experimenting with a lighter texture brooch for the summer. I can see this is a pale cotton yarn with a chintz yo-yo or maybe a covered button? I did think I'd use up the Guild purchases quickly before they got added to the stash... but lovely Sue gave me some beige cord and a huge piece of very funky retro curtain fabric she'd found in a clear out and the tiny scraps paled into in-significance!



So good intentions totally out of the window I walked past the shop in town which sells bloomers and pillow ticking and they were selling chiffon blouses(?) for £1- now chiffon is really use full for the embellisher and these colours were so bright I couldn't resist. I have no idea who might buy one of these cross-over floppy sleeved jobs to wear in anger but good luck to them and I might just be able to help out with a matching bag or brooch! (the pink leopard skin is actually a scarf of the kind one might tie around ones hair if one had had it set and it was a bit blowy out- so I might keep that one as it is!)
I'm afraid I can't show you any more makies as I have been working on my mug swap package. Not totally convinced yet but I'm sure it will all come together in the end! Hope all of you taking part are enjoying yourselves too!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Cute-a-brooch


Have you been over to cuteable? I've been visiting for a long time and they are currently having a giveaway....WHooo-hooooo. Anyway the lovely Swirly has said that if anyone wanted to add to the giveaway basket she would put them on the site with a lovely link. I made this little brooch, (a bit classy for me!) and then there it was up in lights on Cuteable-lovely! Do hop over and enter the giveaway is now massive and choc-a-block with loveliness.
I have had lots of late-comers to the Mug swap and have decided to open a second wave of swapping. If you missed the boat first time around and would like to take part please leave me a comment but do please make sure I can reply. I need to be able to e-mail you so if you are in any doubt about weather you have a no-reply blogger profile please leave your e-mail in the comment. I know this sounds harsh but I am finding it impossible to keep track of who's Blog I have had to visit to leave a comment to get back to me. This wave really will be 'it' and will close on Friday 23rd with names and addresses being mailed out by the end of the weekend. The closing date will remain the end of February.
I hope all of you who are in the first wave are having fun coming up with the goodies, I'm just off to work on mine now-after the washing up-oh what a glamorous life!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Felted Fairisle

I'm sure I've shown you before my knitting with tapestry wool that then gets bunged in the wash...well here is my largest piece to date. The wool was very kindly given to me by a friend who had been given it by a friend who...well you get the idea, it was a mish-mash bag of bits, some of which had already started to felt themselves! Anyway it's nearly all gone and look what it's become! I knitted a panel and then just knitted two together at both edges of the right-side row until I got a point. I washed the panel a couple of times with the other laundry and then backed the whole panel with a lovely soft green tweed which came from the guild bring and buy. The only thing I bought was the handle which is actually half of a pair. I'm not convinced that the bag's up to heavy use but I do like it,as so, I think would Miss Marple!









Thanks to all of you who have signed up for the mug swap. A particularly HUGE thank you to Kitty who made me this ace button for the swap out of the goodness of her heart- well not literally-how macabre! If you are part of the swap and would like the button just ask! I have also set up a Flickr group so that we can share what we receive in one place. It might be nice to wait until your recipient has got their mug before you put up any pics to keep the surprise for them. I would also like to add a blog roll in my sidebar for all of you who have blogs, please let me know if this is a problem. Anyone else who would like to join has until the end of today, tomorrow I will randomly pick who we'll all be sending to and mailing out names- Can't wait!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Mee lucky!


Just before Christmas I was lucky to win a bonus prize in a giveaway over at Mee crafty. This gorgeous stash of loveliness arrived yesterday in a mysterious brown paper parcel which Anna tore open. The heart is now hanging on the landing looking really cute but my favourite thing is the puppy, the embellishment is so pretty and the shape is perfect. I have whisked him off to my bedroom where he is living in my candle tree.....far, far away from sticky fingers. He is definitely Mummy's. Can you see the shininess of the thread? It's amazing and I'm sure it will find itself open and being used very soon. Thank you Chloe, a very lovely package.
I am really excited by the interest in the swap and that there are some new friends introducing themselves and signing up. I will have a go at setting up a Flickr account and Blog roll on my side bar so we can all see what every one's up to. The deadline for signing up is Friday and I will do a random draw to let everyone know who they are sending to......cant wait!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Mug swap.

I am hosting my first ever swap and would love you to take part, yes YOU. You might be a lurker, a non Blogger, an 'international', a swap virgin, whatever- you are welcome.
The swap will work like this;
I will give you a person to send to; this will not be a direct swap so they won't be the same person who sends to you.
You will need to find a mug/cup to send them, this could be from the charity (thrift) shop, from the sales, wherever, but no pressure to spend ££££'s. You can then go to town stuffing the little mug full of crafting lovelies. Ideally you will pop in at least one hand made item. Then you need to pack it up and post it to your partner by the end of February. This is to give all those who have a busy making time for valentines day a chance to join in.
So we know enough about each other to personalise the swap I'd like you to leave a comment on this post, if you'd like to join in, with
Your preferred drink e.g tea, coffee, choc, Gin.
The crafts you enjoy e.g sewing, knitting, beading, paper craft etc
I see no reason that this swap can't involve a crafter of any sort, please don't be shy!
If you have a 'no' reply' blogger account please also include your e-mail. I'd like comments by Friday please so that I can let you all know who you'll be swapping with next weekend.

The photo is my bestest mug, from Whittards, and the cupcakes were made by Simon and the children yesterday.
PLEASE NOTE: cup cake is not included in the swap.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Mug shot


vote here for your favourite entry in the Folksy Make the News competition, there are 13 great entries and voting closes at midnight on Sunday. (see post below on my entry and why I made it)
I am hoping to be clearer on the swap by the end of the weekend, I have had some interest but mostly in a 'what are you going on about?' kind of way so think I may need to re-think! Please give me your thoughts. I am wondering now whether to start one of those boxes with treasure in where you take some out and contribute something and send it on, or a simple theme straight swap- e.g Cariad has just posted about her cup-perhaps we could fill a mug for each other with crafting goodies....oooo that sounds a bit more like it yep I'm liking this, then anyone can join in, like Griffin could write us something and we could make him something for his writing. Right sorry to be quite so fickle but think that's it. A mug swap....Who's in.
I think this is how the blog works for me, a place to crystallize my thoughts.

Make the news-make the deadline


This is my entry for the Folksy Make the News competition. The deadline is midnight tonight and voting takes place this weekend. A few of my other Blog friends have come up with some cool/funny stuff too, the entries are really diverse as the brief was so open. Al that was asked was to make something in response to a news story. On the day that I saw the competition launch the front page of the BBC website was talking about legislation to be bought in to remove cigarettes from open display in shops. I am not a smoker, never have been, and have seen people really poorly from smoking so am not pro-smoking but even so this made me a bit irritated. I cannot believe that people who started smoking through rebellion are going to be put off by asking for cigarettes and the more illicit and naughty something seems surely the more appealing? Perhaps cigarettes should only be sold through chemists where this is at least an alternative?
I think the other reason this got me worried is that as a slightly chunkier model of the human species I know that I am a 'target' for the NHS and the thought that suet, butter, cream might be delivered in a plain brown envelope in the future is not attractive.
In response I have made this pretty disguise for a cigarette packet. It is dainty and refined and will allow smokers to slip their 'under the counter' purchase into it's cover and skip happily off down the road with no fear off dirty looks from neighbours.





Saturday, 3 January 2009

SALE-tastic!

I'm not usually a big fan of sale shopping, the clothes are usually a bit on the small side for my more comfortably built frame and I'm not good around sharp elbows and bad manners. However....my friend works in Jems in Canterbury which was having a sale on fabric so I thought it would be polite and nice to go and wish M a 'Happy New Year' and maybe glance/scrabble frantically through the sale bolts. The fabric was gorgeous and was from £2-£5 per metre! This little lot, and there is at least 1m of each came to £17, I may be a sale convert, but next time I will not take the family, they were considerably less excited than me!

Another reason that I felt particularly justified in my purchases was that last night (whilst watching Jonathan Creek on the I-player-did anyone else see it?-how cool- and God how can a duffel coat look that sexy?) I started playing with one of my Christmas books (Thanks Simon). I have long been a massive fan of Kumiko Sudo and am not disappointed. This book is a collection of flowers folded from fabric that has been sewn together to make it double sided. I have never tried Cathedral window but I imagine this is like an extension of that. Having tried a little bit I think the key thing is a really good contrast between the two sides. More fabric a must then!
Thanks to those of you who have shown interest in the 'robin swap'. I will keep it open till next weekend and then ask for definite commitments and postal addresses. I think it would work like this;
We would all choose a theme; colour, trees, a piece of fabric we love and then everyone in the group would make a textile patch of say 7" (including seam allowance) based upon this theme and post the patch on to the next member of the group. Eventually we would all get a package with our theme in blocks which we could then use however we wished. Does this make sense? I think that making four patches each seems reasonable so there could be groups of 5. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you would like to take part.