Thursday, 29 August 2013

A sweet page with stitching

Here's a scrapbook page I completed this week. I am really enjoying stitching on pages and I think it worked particularly well here.  

I used a mist spray with a butterfly stencil to add to the patterned paper background. The butterfly mask is an acetate one I found on Ebay, which is described as an airbrush stencil. It's not as sturdy as the Crafters Workshop type stencil but does the job well.

After I had added the layers of papers and embellishments I sketched out the design for the stitching on the back of the page. It's based on a motif in the book "Doodle Stitching" by Aimee Ray. I bought this book ages ago and then wondered why I had. Now I know!

I thought the finished page needed a little more texture and so I used my sewing machine to stitch on some daisy lace and a strip of felt.

A little button finished off the stitched motif. I loved sewing on the page - look out for more stitching on pages soon!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wednesday Love: I Love London

We had a day last week when we hopped on the train to London. We were staying in Surrey with family so it was only a short trip to Waterloo, where we encountered hordes of people around Westminster Bridge. There were queues for the London Eye, queues for the London Dungeon and (thankfully the shortest) queue for the London Aquarium, which was where we were headed. 

The Aquarium is great and the kids had a fantastic time. We bought our tickets through the Clubcard scheme at Tesco. I don't know if we would have paid full price to go in otherwise as it's very expensive. It took us about an hour and a half to go round it and there is a lot to different things to see. Our favourite bit was the huge tank of sharks.

It's a fun area of London as there is a real buzz with all the crowds and the photos with Big Ben in the background are a London essential!  We headed into Jubilee Gardens, at the base of the London Eye, where there were lots of street performers, fairground rides and a great playground. The Boy found the climbing equipment a bit too big for his little legs but it's perfect for slightly bigger children. 

It was a successful day out all round.

Monday, 26 August 2013

A sketch for September with a Quirky prize

It's sketch challenge time again on the Sketchbook365 blog and it's a sketch based on a layout in Scrap365 by Paula Ridley. This month's prize is the fabulous new kit from Quirky Kits. I know how great this prize is as I received the same kit in the post last week (as a subscriber to Quirky Kits) and it's really lovely.

Here's my page based on the sketch....

I started out making a painty background and adding texture by spreading some moulding paste through a strip of sequin waste to create these small raised dots. When that was dry I played around with some watercolours with some colourful drips and some foam stamps too.

I used a border punch for the first time in ages when I started building up my layers of colour.

These papers and stickers come from the Knee Highs collection by Basic Grey. I added some of the element stickers but they didn't have quite the pop I was hoping for. I went around each sticker with a fine black journalling pan and this really brought them forward on the page.

You have until 11pm GMT on the 12th September to have ago at entering the competition and check out the blog for more examples based on the sketch from the lovely design team.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A recycled T-shirt dress

The Ginger one loves clothes and dressing up and recently announced that she didn't have enough dresses - she only had two, and one of those is a fancy party dress. I took the creative approach and suggested we make a new one. We sorted out wardrobes and found a selection of t-shirts belonging to her, her sister and me and we transformed them into this dress.

It was so easy and I put it together in a couple of hours. Using the purple t-shirt as the tricky top bit of the dress, the rest was just a matter of cutting straight strips and and sewing them into tubes to make the dress and sleeves. I originally made the dress longer than this but it was really easy to alter as I just cut it up again and sewed it back together.

I kept all the seams on the outside to add texture and interest to the design.

I couldn't resist adding a few buttons to the neckline too.

This has become a popular addition to her wardrobe and has been worn at every opportunity. This is definitely something I could do again.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Wednesday Love: I Love Paris

We have been away for a week to one of my favourite places - Paris. We went to do the Disney thing with the kids but managed to catch the train into Paris for a day.

We spent a lovely hot sunny day by the banks of the Seine. We started by the Eiffel Tower and walked along to the Musee D'Orsay. It was a great place to take the kids. When we got there I ran into the bookshop and bought their guide book "My Little Orsay" which highlighted 10 paintings and sculptures. We looked through the book over lunch in the restaurant and then went to find some of the items. I particularly enjoyed showing the kids the Pointillism paintings, so they could see all the tiny dots up close. The Boy surprised us at being good at spotting paintings by Cezanne (not bad for a 4 year old!).

We took a Batobus (a boat bus) down the river, playing on the quay while we waited for it to arrive.

We stopped off at Notre Dame, where we stumbled across a big procession coming out of the church with the bells ringing loudly. 

We would definitely love to come back again another year.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wednesday Love: I love Bristol

I love living near Bristol. It is such a vibrant city with fabulous things going on all the time - most of which are free! Last weekend was the annual Balloon Fiesta. We took a picnic, sat just outside the gates and viewed all the balloons taking off (as inside the gates is a huge scrum of people and a very loud funfair). We counted 92 balloons in total.

I am training my children well! The blonde one pointed at this balloon (below) and said what a great quilt this would make. I think she's right.

We've got the Kite festival coming up in a couple of weeks, which is held in the same place as the balloons. The Harbour festival happened a little while ago and there is also Upfest, which is the largest street art festival in Europe. Bristol is just brilliant.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A kids banner for church

We've been working on a new banner at our church and this time we got the kids involved from the Sunday school I help at. We (the kids and I) are really pleased with how our handiwork turned out. 

You can see more about how we made the banner at my other blog - An embroiderer in the temple.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

An origami crane mobile

The blonde one spent an afternoon at my parents house last week making origami cranes and then the next morning at our house she made more so we decided to thread them all together to make a mobile.

We found two sticks in the garden and she would wool around them to decorate them, with more wool wound around the centre to make the cross. I threaded the cranes onto embroidery threads with knots to stop them slipping down the thread, which were simply tied in a loop and hung on the sticks.

The mobile has turned out beautifully and the blonde one is really happy with her creation.

I guess these photos also show a little of our colourful house! One day the girls' bedroom will be decorated properly but for now it is a mishmash of a large wall mural I painted when they were babies along with a very bright pink chosen by a 4 year old! As they get older the decor is also "enhanced" with drawing, school work and posters from Moshi Monsters magazines. I love looking at the beautiful, creative kids rooms as featured in magazines such as Mollie Makes but, for now, we are happy letting them have a colourful space they can call their own.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wednesday Love: Gromit Unleashed

Over the past couple of years we have spent our summers hunting for things. Two years ago there were 60 multicoloured gorilla statues dotted around Bristol which we searched out (well, some of them anyway). Last year we spent a great day in Wells looking for lots of beautiful swans. This year I was delighted to hear that there would be Gromits arriving in Bristol all summer - 80 in total. 

Gromit Unleashed is a trail of Gromit sculptures designed by a wide range of artists and celebrities to help raise money for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's hospital charity. We are having great fun looking for Gromits and have discovered some new places to visit that we haven't been to before, such as the Windmill Hill City Farm. We also found ourselves at the Bristol Museum on the day they were teaching the kids to do mono-printing - we had to join in and get inky!


The boy is loving the trail. He is particularly excited about going to see the Gromit Buzz Lightyear soon.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sock animals

We are enjoying the lazy mornings of the summer holidays and we have started getting creative during the days. I bought a brilliant book called "Sock and Glove" by Miyako Kanamori about making soft toys with socks and gloves. It is beautifully written to show to kids as there is a little story about the animals coming into being at the front with instructions in the back. 

One very long stripey sock became a zebra, with the blonde one (aged 8) doing all the sewing - mostly by hand with a little go on the sewing machine too. The cat was made from two socks left over from a sock puppet craft kit we had a while ago. The ginger one (age 6) had a go at the simpler sewing with a little help from me to finish it off. The kids are so proud or their creations.