Beautiful things for you and your home!

Lots of homely thoughts on sewing, baking, papercrafts, gardening and all the things that go towards making your house a home

Monday, 31 October 2011

Shimelle's Pretty Paper Class - and I'm invited!

And so are you! Everyone who has the slightest interest in pretty paper and also doing some stash busting! I'm so excited about this class! I'm partly doing it to help me jump into a big scrapbooking project and also because I really want to make an impression on some of the stash I have built up over the years. It's not like I have a tonne but a good proportion of it has been sitting around for a few years so needs to be tweaked and twizzled into something fabulous. And I know just the girl to help me do it!

I'll keep you posted as to how I get on!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hair clip/Corsage/Brooch

I had fun making this little cute clip. It's using felt, tulle and vintage buttons. And the tulle has sequins on it. I mean, what more could you want?

Some of the cutting was a bit fiddly, even though I used a die, it doesn't cut the net too well so I had to help it a little. This gives it a slightly more random and certainly more individual feel because if you make more than one, it's unlikely you'll cut it in exactly the same manner again. But that's what so fab about handmade isn't it? The individuality of it.

I finished the piece off with a salon style clip which means it can be worn in the hair, as a brooch or as a corsage on a bag, etc. Whatever you feel like on the day! And if you feel differently the next day you can move it around to suit!

I think it's a sweet little piece and plan to make another soon, probably in white - a kind of wintery theme there I suppose!

I'd love to hear your views on the clip, and if you have any other ideas or suggestions!

Love maxi x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Christmas Cards for Parentals

You know one of those 'seemed a good idea at the time' things. Well this seems to be turning out to be one of those. The Parentals have been very brilliant for various reasons over the past few years (not that they weren't before, but you know what I mean) and until we win the lottery I like to think up little things to do to show our appreciation.

The latest thing was to make their Christmas cards for them to send. As the number was more than expecting, I had a change of plan and decided to use a CD I'd got with a magazine. It's 'Snow Much Fun' and came with Quick Cards a few months ago. I'd never used a CD before but it was pretty easy - even for me! With hubby assisting with the printing I soon had a little pile of goodies to start applying.

I rummaged out some card blanks, spent an evening in front of the tv snipping out the main topper with deckle scissors which a) went along with the drawn border and b) hid a multitude of sins, then set to it.

All was going well until I ran out of blanks half way through. Of course, I can't find any the same now so the current batch are being made out of cream rather than the pearlised goldy tinged colour in this batch. But there we are. These things happen don't they? :)

Hopefully Mum, and the recepients, will like them.

Now just have to finish the next 25 and then make a start on my own!

Happy Crafting!


ps - I'm in need desperate need of space so please feel free to hop on over to my shop where I've dropped all prices!! www.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Alterations and Gifts

Having started out by measuring, cutting and pressing various pairs of jeans into submission and getting them the length they need to be, I was a tad irritated to find that my pack of denim needles had gone walkabout.

Well, I thought, how bad could it be...If anyone finds the other piece of my needle, do let me know.

So, with that project set aside for now until can get a pack of suitable needles, I turned to the next one on the To Do pile. A set of tea towels for my parents' kitchen. By chance I'd found a remnant very similar to their kitchen blind fabric. It's a gorgeous weight cotton and was far cheaper than you would pay for a decent set of tea towels (especially one that had a 'name' on!)
I'd hoped to get enough for a couple of fabric trivets out of it too but it wasn't to be. So, some snipping, folding and pressing later I came up with a set of three new tea towels for their kitchen.

Tea towels!

Obviously it's just a simple thing, but I think they look really nice, and it's a fairly quick little gift to make up. Probably even quicker if you have an overlocker - but I don't, hence the double hem folding and pressing.

I had thought to keep them as part of their Christmas present, but I'm absolutely useless at keeping things back! Once I've made them, I have to give them!

Hope they like them! We're going up there for dinenr later so I expect I'll get the chance to give them a test :)

Hope you are having a great Saturday!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

I Heart Buttons

This is a project I've had in my Inspiration book as a doodle for some time. I've even had the fabric for it cut out for a while - it was just the actual sewing bit I hadn't got around to! Then on Sunday I had a pretty good flare up of my fibromyalgia which meant all the other things I'd planned to do went out the window.

When I can, I try to use these times at least sort of productively so I therefore spent an enjoyable while swotting up on roman blinds, curtains and cushions from the Debbie Shore DVDs (highly recommended if you haven't seen them - she makes it far less scary than it can otherwise sometimes seem!) Although I have made curtains before. it's been so long I lost my confidence a bit.

With the rest and painkillers helping me along, I began to feel a little more human and so I did some hand sewing - and seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take to sew on all those buttons! Still, I wasn't going anywhere so it didn't really matter.

I Heart Buttons

The main fabric is some upholstery weight cotton with a self fabric detail that I had left over from a screen I made years ago. The buttons are all out of my Mum's button box which she donated to me a while ago, so they're nice and vintage with various ones coming off our baby clothes, etc. There are so many beautiful fabrics out there but it does feel good making something pretty out of things you already have. A totally 'free' project!

Yesterday I went into Next to have a quick look around (new store) and noticed that they have various home dec items featuring buttons so not only was my project free, but also bang on trend!

Hope you like it and I'd love for you to leave a comment if you do!

It's Electric!

On a previous post I mentioned my lovely old Singer that was my first ever Sewing machine. Whilst on the forum of the fabulous Debbie Shore's website, we got to chatting about how old hand crank machines had been converted to electric. I mentioned that there was an advert for it in the instruction manual that had come with my machine, and several people were interested to see it so here it is:

My nan's old machine (a more industrial version) had been a treadle originally but had been converted to electricity - and blimey, did that thing go! Of course, that never stopped me as a child sitting on the floor and playing with the treadle. Happy memories :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fruit muffins and Maltbread

Baking time yesterday! I still have another cake to bake, which I ought to go and do in a minute. It's a tea bread and the dried fruit should be nicely stewed by now! I'll report back on that one later. In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in the goodies already in existence.

Severely depleted number since yesterday!

I'm quite a fan of making muffins. Definitely more the making of them than the eating of them, which suits my hubby just fine as then there's more for him. They are so quick to make up, you don't need any equipment like you do for fairy cakes (although they are my fave!) and you can pretty much just chuck in what you like as the 'extra'.

That's exactly what happened here. I had some grapes that were beginning to lose their firmness and some dried apricots that needed using up so I just mixed up the basic mix I always use and bunged in the fruit. The grapes went in whole and I snipped up the apricots with some scissors into more 'bite size' pieces.

Between hubby and a visit from my parents earlier today, they seem to have been depleted in numbers so I'm taking that as a good sign!

Also on the agenda yesterday was a new recipe from the 'To Try' file.

Deeply Dippy

This was looking really fab until I had to open the door (it was either that or no tea!). Then it took on a rather dippy appearance (and yes, I realise that with that caption, I've probably rather dated myself!). Still if the proof is in the pudding then the evidence suggests that a verdict of 'yummy'! It's definitely gone into the 'make this again' folder. Although next time I'll try and keep the oven closed for the full amount of time.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Kindle cover

A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a Kindle for my birthday. I'm really a big 'paper' book fan - and have plenty of them to back up my love of them :) However, I do recognise how useful ereaders can be in today's world.  As I have a novel out on this format and my non fiction book is also available as an ebook (as well as paper) it's probably right that I should have one so that I can have the same experience as my readers.

It seems that covers for these things are really quite expensive so I felt that making one would be the best option. I looked around for some patterns but couldn't really find one I liked. I knew that I wanted a sort of envelope style so after some twiddling around I made a paper pattern and went from there.

The Kindle is also used by Hubby so I wanted to make sure that whatever fabric I chose was fairly unisex - seems a bit unfair for him to have to pull out a beautiful flowery design! We also both wanted something fairly bright so that it was less likely to get put down and left. I finally found a suitable fabric and set about creating!

I found another FQ in my stash that I could use for the lining that included some of the same colours. I put a layer of wadding in between so that the device is protected. I probably would have used a thinner weight if I had it but I only had the thicker size to hand and by the time I pressed things together, etc it actually worked out really well. It's not bulky but it does give a nice amount of protection.

The top flap is secured with a strip of velcro. And yes, it did end up at a little bit of an angle! I can only say that I was a bit tired. It was a bit of a whoops but I realised that my label would actually cover this completely anyway so I opted to leave it.

I ended up with a funky, bright cover that gives a nice amount of protection to the Kindle without making it bulky. And it cost me a lot less than those in the shops - and of course it's unique!

I hope you like it :)