Thursday, 31 May 2012

Jubilee skirts and shorts

Jubilee celebrations are all around us at the moment and with a couple of special Jubilee trips planed for the next week, I decided on Tuesday that the kids should have something special to wear to help them remember such a unique time. I popped down to my local fabric shop and got these lovely fabrics in blue, red and a long quarter of union jacks.

I used 1.5 metres in length for the fabric and measured the length I wanted for the skirt on each girl, adding 2 1/2" for the elastic casing and 1/2" for the bottom hem. I sewed two heart shapes, with right sides together, turned then through and ironed them to make the pockets. I top stitched the top of the heart and then sewed around the rest of the heart shape when it was on the skirt to make the pockets. I hemmed the bottom edge.

I cut another 1.5m length of some thinner white fabric and stitched a red lace along the bottom edge. When I folded over 1 1/4" twice at the top of the outer skirt, I tucked the underskirt in before stitching it down to make the casing for 1" wide elastic.

I didn't want the boy to feel left out and so I put together these shorts by adapting this pattern. I made them in calico first to see how they worked out and to check measurements before cutting up my nice new fabric.

The shorts have a simple elasticated waistband. I added some red cotton tape I had leftover from another project down the sides of the legs. They look a bit more boy-style now.

As you can see they are great for running around in!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Fimo flower beads

It's been so hot here for the past week and so I spent a very pleasant two days demonstrating Fimo in cool air-conditioned rooms at Cardiff City stadium over the weekend. I was working with the lovely people from Boxes and Busts from Barry, who run a range of great jewellery workshops including polymer clay.

It was a good two days with lots of people sitting by my desk and finding out about Fimo. A lot of people were particularly fascinated by the flower canes I was making and I ended up making quite a few canes with whatever colours I had on my desk. At the end of the day I put the beads together and I love how these colours work together. They are so summery.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Cover girl again!

Woohoo! One of my projects has made it onto the cover of this month's Sewing World again. There's even a mention of another of my projects too ("Memories are made of this").

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Hello Kitty craft party

The blonde one asked for a Hello Kitty making party this year. I got my thinking cap on and tried to think of ideas that seven 7-year-olds would like to do without spending too much.

I started with these cookie cutters and I made some gingerbread biscuits. I was very impressed with these cutters as they cut beautifully and the design stayed very clear after baking.

Decorating the biscuits at the party quickly turned into "How many sweets can I fit on a biscuit?", but the girls enjoyed it.

I printed out a few Hello Kitty patterns for Hama beads (as we have a massive pot of beads from Ikea and a selection of pegboards from various kits). I paid for some software from here to quickly make the patterns.

We also used some Hello Kitty stickers and shiny hearts and star stickers to decorate some inserts for snow globes, which the girls thought were very exciting. I had some Hello Kitty Sizzlits dies for my Sidekick and so I cut out a few shapes and the girls made some cards too.

I attempted a cake which didn't work out quite as well as I'd hoped. It's supposed to be a house, but looks a bit more like a bus! With one of the girl's Hello Kitty figures stood next to it and lots of chocolate to eat, everyone liked it, and it tasted yummy.

We put everyone's creations into these party bags from Tesco along with a few sweets. My favourite comment from one of the girl's was " This is the best party ever!"

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Live life in colour

Last weekend my friend Amy made a fabulous rainbow coloured page (check it out on her blog here). We share a love of rainbow colours and she had a fantastic selection of rainbow coloured scrapbook pages printed out from Pinterest as inspiration. This one really caught my eye and I knew I wanted to have a go at something similar.

I started my page with watercolours as a background. I love how the paints flowed together where the colours met.

This type of page is a great stash busting exercise. I had fun sorting through my embellishment boxes and finding treasure from years ago. I found out I have loads of purple embellishments and hardly any yellow.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I am a sewing nerd

I have recently realised I am a nerd! I used to have a top which said "I love Nerds", referring to my husband who gets quite excited about databases and graphs, but I think I am one too!

My nerd qualifications...
I did Maths and Physics A levels.
I read sci-fi/ fantasy books.
I can name just about all the characters in the six Star Wars films and used to own a life size cardboard cut out of Princess Leia.
I can name most of the characters in every different Star Trek series and all the Doctor Who actors.
One of my favourite TV shows is "Big Bang Theory"

Why a "sewing" nerd?
I'm not particularly excited by most technology, however I am super excited by my new sewing machine. I have just used my walking foot for the first time. It's amazing!

I think this picture sums me up pretty well...


Sunday, 6 May 2012

A day to play

Yesterday I went to our local crop and I took a random selection of craft supplies with me. I was focused on working on a canvas, and took a few extra bits and pieces in case I had some time left. I spent the morning working on the background of the canvas. I really don't like how it turned out, but it has given me a clear idea of what I want to do when I start again.

I thought I'd get out my pack of photos to start scrapbooking after lunch and then found I had left them all at home - whoops! I had a sort through one of the boxes I'd brought with me and discovered some old photos that have been waiting to be scrapped for ages. So it turned out to be an impromptu couple of hours just using limited stash and seeing where things went on the page. I ended up some pages I'm really happy with.

The first page has this grumpy king photo which I think is really funny and seemed to go well with the cards from an old "Bob's Your Uncle" game I bought on Ebay a while ago. I tried making the title from random letters again and love how it works on this page.

I made the "Looking Fabulous" page with a set of die-cuts and stickers that have been in my stash for ages. It's been a while since I've used photo corners, but they look quite nice on here. I used a Tim Holtz alphabet mask and a Heidi Swapp flower mask with pink Glimmer Mist (which my husband thinks sounds like somewhere a unicorn should live!).

The Boy was three recently so these photos have been waiting for over a year now to go into my scrapbook. This is a much simpler page (particularly compared to the top page) , but I think it works with these photos.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Happy things

I have some things around me at the moment which are making me so happy. First let me introduce you to my new sewing machine. I really love it - I've been showing it to all my friends and even let one have a play with it. It's a Janome Memory Craft 5900 and it has red buttons. My sewing projects are so much better with this. My old machine was my 18th birthday present and so it is quite old and rickety now. I didn't appreciate how wobbly my sewing was until I started using my new machine. One of the reasons I find it so brilliant is that I earned the money to pay for it with magazine articles and Fimo workshops and demonstrations.

I bought the machine at the big Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in March and I got a great deal which included this foot. It's a quarter inch seam foot and I've been using it this week. Love it! Here it is...

I had a birthday a little while ago and my lovely family had a look at my Amazon wishlist and treated me to these three books. The books are Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins, Creative Pilgrimage by Jenny Doh and Unfurling by Misty Mawn. Now to find the time to work through all the great ideas.

One of my birthday presents (a beautiful ceramic bowl from Anthropologie) came wrapped in this honeycombed brown paper. I don't know what I was more excited about, the paper or the bowl. Imagine the texture I can get in a piece of artwork with this on it.

I haven't been able to make much for the past couple of weeks, but it's for a happy reason. My craft space (in our spare room) is stacked with furniture, toys and even a bike as our downstairs' floors now look like this - yay!