Saturday, 21 February 2009

Crafty catch up

I've had a week of finishing off a few projects, clearing the decks ready to start on something new. I like that getting things done feeling, and it brings some exciting things nearer the top of my ever growing crafty 'to do' pile.

First up was adding a lining to the bag I've been embroidering with some coloured blobbies.

Embroidered blobbies

After getting some funky fabric in Shrewsbury at the weekend a quick session on the machine and the lining was done.

Christmas pressie bag

Making the whole thing reversible ...

Reversible bag

I've been meaning for ages to run up a needle case to tidy up my scatty bits of plastic. So, while the machine was out I whizzed up this ...

Needle case

Needle case

And finally after weeks of 'gentle reminders' I got round to making a giant doorstop for our living room door. I'm a bit of a clumsy clutz and I am forever sending the door colliding into the bookcase, much to the annoyance of him indoors. So this should dull the thuds and crashes :)

Giant doorstop

Toodle pip

Monday, 16 February 2009

Splish splash

Catching up with some swimming news now we have some photos of our little water baby. Reuben did a sponsored splash for playgroup a couple of weeks back and he raised a grand total of £37 - thank you various Nanas, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles for your contributions! I'm sure this will the be the first of many times we come begging at your doors for various good causes.

So swimming has since become a weekly event for the little chap. We still tend to just sit very quietly in our swim ring just taking it all in ...

But at least he doesn't freak out! Here we are ready to jump in ...

The pool we go to is deserted at this time of year and Dad stays dry to assist with the tricky changing side of things. I use the opportunity to do some (very badly needed) activity - I am really missing my lunchtime exercise sessions now I only work half days and don't actually get lunch breaks any more. The sting is taken out of the exercise chore by being able to also grab a quick five minutes in the steam room and jacuzzi ... absolute bliss!

Toodle pip

Thursday, 12 February 2009

I felt like a right lemon

Breaking food news ...

Blog hopping the other day I came across a simple lemon curd recipe over on MarmaladeKiss. I swiftly put it on my to do list for the week and shock horror I've actually managed to get it sorted. Would have been done sooner but because of our ever dwindling fridge stocks and general baby brain dopiness it took me a few days to get the ingredients together. I went out and bought the lemons and butter specifically but got home and set out to make it only to find we only had one egg left :(

So eggs were duly purchased yesterday and ta da - result!

Given that I'm supposed to watch my cholesterol this stuff is lethally fatty but as a one off, who cares?! As it is a fresh curd it only lasts, two weeks. Not going to be a problem mate!

Toodle pip

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Stash talk

Over on the Sew Mama Sew blog they requested readers tell them about their fabric stash. I've really enjoyed nosing at people's material boxes and shelves, so, despite having a tiny stash that definately needs some work, I thought I'd give the questions a whirl.

What do you usually sew?

I started out with curtains, cushions ...anything nice and square basically. Then a few years back I started making very basic 'squares' quilts from scraps of materials.

I didn't really know what I was doing then but I have learnt bits of technique along the way and I'm now branching out into more adventurous things - largely due to finding ultimate inspiration out here in blog land!

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?)

In the past I have usually gone for fat quarters, but I've also been known to trawl the charity shops to buy second hand clothes and sheets etc. in cool and funky fabrics to chop us and use on my scrappy quilts.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?

Usually I head out looking for something I need, complete with my little bag full of scraps and samples from my current works in progress. I have made a promise to myself to start impulse buying more often as my stash is definately an early work in progress. We live in the middle of nowhere and the local fabric shops are pretty poor so I tend to head out for the day on specific fabric acquiring missions to various cool places I have discovered. I've dabbled in buying online but I'm not that keen. Choosing fabric is definately one of my favourite stages of making things as it usually also involves lunch out and tea and cake stops :)

Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it?

No, I don't wash as I like working with new material. The exception is when I use second hand stuff from charity shops which always gets a whizz through the washer before I do anything with it. So far everything I have made that subsequently needed washing has survived.

Do you iron it?

Usually, just as I cut.

How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.)

Kind of by project. But frankly anything goes - my space is limited so it all gets into a bit of a hotch potch.

Do you have any special folding techniques?

Nope, I'm also ashamed to say I have some boxes where stuff is just thrown in. I feel a stash sorting project coming on.

How do you store your fabric?

I have a lovely antique desk which is bursting at the seams with all my craft stuff and most of my smaller bits of material are in there, in boxes or in the drawers of the desk. I do have a hamper basket on top of the wardrobe for larger bits of fabric, these are mostly off cuts from curtains and cushion projects plus some vintage fabrics my Nana gave me a few years back.

What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?

Hmm. I don't have a well rounded stash so I'm not sure I could offer many tips. Maybe just buy lots of fabric!

When do you say enough is enough?

I don't :)

What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?

My scrappy quilts.

Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it!

I'm obsessed with spots and stripes, but if I had to pick an absolute favourite it would probably currently be one of my retro kids prints, I'm in the middle of making a cot quilt for my little lad who is 6 months old.

What’s your definition of the perfect stash?

One that is bigger than mine! I definately have stash envy after seeing some of the posts on this thread. And after the confessional nature of responding to these questions I am going to have a fabric sort out and tidy up what I do have - I feel totally guilty at how disorganised I am :)

Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Vrrmm Vrrmmm!

We bought Reu a cheapy umbrella fold stroller a couple of weeks back - mainly so Dad didn't have to lug the big one on his twice weekly bus journeys to do our baby handovers now I'm back at work. Given the recent run of cold weather (nope we didn't get much snow - boo), I thought I'd better rustle up something cosy for him snuggle into on his bus journeys. So, I tackled a cosy toes which is basically a big blanket bag with a hole in it for the pushchair straps :)

It was looking a little plain so I cracked open one of my Christmas presents for a little spot of customisation. My sister bought me the Cath Kidston 'Make' book this year and I chose to applique one of these little fellas on the foot of the bag.

Applique car

It was super fiddly to do and my bondaweb stuff didn't quite work right - no idea why. Sewing the main bag thing about killed my fingers, how come fleece is so blinking tough? The sewing machine just refused to co-operate so I gave it up as a bad job and did it hand stitched .... owch. Unless it was just me who had managed to acquire some super tough fleece?

The Cath Kidston book is full of some nice ideas and it came with a plain linen tote bag that I'm currently embroidering. I don't particularly like the Cath Kidston stuff en mass, most of it is too knowingly 'vintage' for me, but a bit here and there as long as its done with a twist fits my style quite well. Some of the projects in the book I expect will work up to be quite fab using some more quirky fabric ... more things to add to that crafty to do list :)

Toodle pip.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Growing up

Reuben was six months old last week and to celebrate he had a bit of a photo shoot, nothing new there as Dave is constantly taking photos of the wee man. How times have changed ... six days old compared to six months old. This photo brings lump to my throat, everyone tells me they grow up quick but I forget how delicate he was in those early days.

He has suddenly done loads of new things this week too, he's started sitting up by himself. Ta da!

He's moved into his own room for sleeps ...

And he went swimming for the first time. I needed a trial run to practice the changing stuff ready for the sponsored splash we are doing at playgroup later this week. It was very complicated and a bit stressful even with two sets of hands. How I'll cope on Thursday is anyone's guess but I'll give it a whirl!

Toodle pip.