Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Wednesday Love: A new project

This week I am feeling very happy to be crocheting again. I have projects which I call my "Pick up, put down" projects and they can take years to finish. I am coming to the end of my last project like this which is a double bed quilt I am paper piecing by hand for my friend's wedding (4 and a half years ago - nearly there!). It is now so big that I can't easily carry it around with me when we go out so I have started my new project a little early. I have had four quilts to finish before I allowed myself to start anything new with knitting or crochet but I have had itchy fingers to get back to it for a while.

So here is my new blanket (in progress). My nephew, who's 3, was a little confused that I referred to a strip of 5 flowers as a blanket. The kids seemed to think it looked more like a hairband!

I found the pattern on Pinterest and here's the link to buying the pattern on Etsy. It's simple in that it really is just one flower repeated but the pattern also shows you how to crochet it together as you go so when I finish the last flower it won't be a case of having to start a huge sewing together job, it will be finished - hurray! I found this lovely yarn, which is a blend of cotton, cashmere and silk (Bella by Debbie Bliss) in a flash sale on the Black Sheep Wools website for just £1.99 a ball. I think it's being discontinued so I stocked up and we'll see how big this blanket turns out, depending on if I think I've had enough or I run out of yarn!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Washi tape feathers with added owls

So here is the page I made with my washi tape feathers from yesterday. I collected them up and placed them in the corner of the photo. My daughter saw this and said "Oooo Mummy, where did you get those feathers?"

My confession is that I made these feathers a little while ago and they sat on my desk with the photo and these patterned papers and I didn't know how to put them together. I took out a stamp and my watercolours and stamped all over the background, repeating the stamping without adding more paint so that it faded out, and suddenly the page felt back on track.

The bird outlines were cut out from a piece of patterned paper I've had for years. I'm glad I finally found a use for it.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Washi tape feathers

Feathers are trendy on scrapbooking pages at the moment and have been for a little while and so I wanted to have a go at making my own feather embellishments using washi tape. It was really simple.

I  placed a length of wire in the centre of a strip of washi tape and then stuck another strip over the top.

I cut the tape into a feather shape...

...and then snipped into the tape with scissors to create the feather.

For wider feathers I laid strips of tape horizontally on the work surface so they created a sheet of tape. I then placed in the wire and stuck down more strips over the top, before cutting out the feather.

I played around with different patterns of tape for different effects.

Come back tomorrow to see where they ended up on a scrapbook page.

Thursday, 25 July 2013


We have had a lot of use of our paddling pool over the past few weeks. This was a photo I took last year on the one day we got to use it , before it got filled up with rain.

I used a stencil for the background with a Versamark inkpad and my lovely neon blue embossing powder. I love the bright summer feel from the neon blue with the bright yellow of the patterned paper (from the Shoreline collection by American Crafts)

I added some lines of white stitching and then chucked in a few brads. I've had those brads for so long now I really have to use them up!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wednesday Love: Going to the Air Tattoo

We had a great (hot) day out on Sunday at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. 

We heard some very LOUD planes and saw some very smiley planes...

The Red Arrows put on a fantastic display (as well as the French and Swiss display teams)...

...and we had a lovely picnic in the sun.

And here's a little bit of Wednesday love, courtesy of the Red Arrows...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Wednesday Love: Eyebombing

Wednesday Love is all about a little bit of happiness in the middle of the week and what could be happier than googly eyes! I used to work at HobbyCraft, making display boards and organising craft workshops, and my friend who I worked with and I had a theory that every project we made instantly looked better with the application of googly eyes.

We have been proved right as the craze of Eyebombing has now popped up on the web. Eyebombing is
"The art of sticking googly eyes onto an inanimate object in the public sphere, in a way that cleverly lends the object the appearance of a living creature".

There are rules..
1. Only images of inanimate objects with googly eyes - not stickers.
2.Only images taken in a public space.

Now, where did I leave my packet of googly eyes....

Monday, 15 July 2013

T shirt printing at Brownies

We have been working towards our Artist badge at Brownies. So far we have made textured collage flags, decorated bookmarks and painted watercolour pictures of wild flowers. This week we finished our stamped and decorated t-shirts.

We made our own stamps a couple of weeks ago using 3" squares of cardboard (with two squares stuck together for extra strength), tacky PVA glue and some wool. We had intended to make them with string, but our string wasn't suitable as it was a nylon one which wouldn't bend and so we grabbed the wool out of our cupboard left over from our pompom making session. We hadn't tried this out before and we just hoped that it would work! The great news is that it did work - brilliantly! The stamps did need to be left to dry completely, so it worked well that we made the stamps in an earlier session.

This week we gave out the finished stamps and some yellow t-shirts (as we ask the girls to have yellow t-shirts when we go on Brownie holiday). We placed some old magazine pages inside the t-shirts to stop the paint soaking through.We handed out palettes with red, yellow and blue fabric paint and encouraged the girls to mix their own colours too. The paint was brushed onto the wool before being stamped onto the t-shirts.

We had some two tone stamping too...

Here are some of the finished t-shirts designs. We embellished the stamping with fabric felt tip pens.

These stamps worked so well. I was a little nervous of the designs which used only one strand of wool, but these actually seemed to work the best. The girls are all really pleased with their t-shirts.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Papier mache birdie

Recently the ginger one had to make a space rocket as part of a school project. I love these projects that the school sets as they always end with an exhibition of all the kids work and there is such a great variety of imaginative projects, from small intricate Lego constructions to huge cardboard box creations. With all the papier mache equipment out on the table I couldn't resist having a play too.

Here's my little bird. I made his body by scrunching up newspaper around the wire legs I had bent into shape. I then papier mached a layer of book paper over the newspaper, with a final layer of tissue paper over the top. I used Prima "crystals and pearls" for his eyes.

Here's the space rocket...

My other kids also couldn't resist joining in, so the blonde one made a giraffe ( it still needs some wobbly eyes)...

... and the boy didn't want to be left out so he decorated a tube, which he is very proud of.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wednesday Love: Pinterest

I've been on Pinterest for a while and I feel like I am just getting the hang of it. I have now organised my boards instead of having one huge board just titled "inspiration". 

My Boards are now...
Banner Thoughts (inspiration for my church banner group)

I do love Pinterest - there are so many great ideas out there. If only someone could pin the instructions on how to make a time machine, I might be able to have a go at making some of them!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Flowers for the teacher

It's that time of year again when it's nearly summer holidays and I like to think of something for the kids to make their teachers to say thank you for the year. It's a bit of a tricky one, as I like to try to give a gift to the teachers that is from the kids and not from us, but is something they might really like! I came up with these flower brooches this year made with two layers of felt and a layer of fabric. The girls chose the fabric and felt colours, and the colour of the threads too.

This is the flower for the blonde one's teacher.  The blonde one has a bit more sewing experience (she's 8 now) and so we did a little bit of back stitch in the centre, although she struggled to sew on the beads so after having a good go, she passed it over to me.

The ginger one made this flower for her teacher. She is only 6 so we stuck to running stitch around the edge of the felt flowers with a pretty button in the centre.

A little badge back stitched onto the back and they were finished. The ginger one enjoyed making it so much, she wants to make one for her teaching assistant too.

The girls made some thank you cards too, to go with the gifts.

I hope their teachers like them. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wednesday Love: We love cardboard boxes

My little bit of midweek happiness this week is all about cardboard boxes - We love cardboard boxes! A couple of weeks ago the Boy announced it was his favourite toy's birthday and that the toy needed a house to live in as well as birthday presents, cake, party etc etc. This is a picture of Doggie's house being decorated. Apparently Doggie likes things that are multicoloured!

We have 6 weeks of summer holiday approaching where I will have all 3 kids at home, all the time, for the first time (instead of having 1 or 2 in nursery). I am saving every cardboard box that comes into our house. The girls are already planning the houses they want to make for their toys. I think we could have a cardboard box metropolis taking over our house by the time we get to September.

I appears that we aren't the only people who love cardboard boxes though. My most popular post on here (by a huge margin) is "Cardboard Box Castles" - which has been viewed nearly 4000 times!

Monday, 1 July 2013

A quilt commission

Last November a friend of mine asked if I could make a wall quilt for his parents' ruby wedding anniversary. I was a little hesitant to agree as most people don't understand how expensive quilts can be or how much time they can take to make. We had a chat about it and agreed a sensible price which I was happy with - then he told me his Mum had already sent fabric samples and the dimensions she would like!

I finished the quilt this weekend - hurray! Just in time for meeting up with my friend who had commissioned it for a picnic on Saturday. The finished quilt measures 40" x 50" and the block comes from the book " 40 bright and bold paper pieced blocks" by Carol Doak. This pattern is called Carol's block. I chose this block as I have done it before and so I knew it would work well and it doesn't have a lot of pieces to each block - although this quilt still has 640 pieces of fabric in it.

I am pleased to say that the quilt was very well received.