Sunday, 29 September 2013

With Christmas nearly here (alright, so 84 sleeps to be exact!) I now have many Christmas present WIP's, which means that I won't be able to show much of what I'm working on for a while for fear of ruining anyones surprise! I can show you a cushion that I made for a birthday present for a friends daughter:

It is similar to one I made at the beginning of the year for another young lady, but the use of different fabrics for the flowers and ears means they are both unique.

I've been doing quite a lot of baking this weekend but everything was scoffed before I could take photos - flapjack, chocolate covered cupcakes made by Number 2 son, and the most moist Lemon Drizzle cake you could ever come across thanks to the recipe from Jo at Pickle-Lily (it's here if you want it

A brief post from me this week, but I'll be joining up with everyone at Handmade Monday to get inspiration for next week. I'd like to sign off by thanking you all for such lovely comments about the Teacup and Saucer last week. It really was such a cute thing to make.

Have a great week,
Love Natalie

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Anyone for a cuppa?

I think we all need one - it seems like the chaos will end when the kids go back to school but Oh! how we forget that getting back into the swing of school runs, homework and after school clubs is exhausting!

BFF moved at the weekend, to add to the general excitement around these parts, and so a house warming gift was called for. She has been lucky enough to have been gifted a few beautiful tea sets this year and so I thought that a cute tea cup and saucer would be just the right gift. It would be silly for me to buy something if I could make it myself....

I used the pattern in Sew Magazine issue 51 and made it with fabrics that I know she loves (I've made some coasters in these fabrics for her before). Obviously not designed for actual tea but it is a wonderful little vessel for "stuff" (BFF transferred spare change into it as soon as she unwrapped it). In this photo you can just see the top of a paperweight peeking out because it wouldn't sit straight to be photographed. I actually used a couple of little stitches to hold the cup onto the saucer because it wouldn't sit still but as soon as something is in it, it would be fine. The handle could do with some improvement I must admit, but it is one of the most gorgeous things I've ever made!

What have you ever made that you've been particularly pleased with?

Can you believe it's time for Handmade Monday again? See you there!

Love Natalie

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I seem to have lots of work in progress since the children have gone back to school but I haven't organised myself enough to put them into blog posts. I have started and finished this one project though. The daughter of a work colleague is shortly off to University and to make sure that she doesn't starve to death whilst she is away, she wanted some simple recipes to take with her. I actually think her Mum is a more than capable cook but she asked me if I had some recipes that I could share. Some things are always a pleasure, never a chore!

I realised that I could go one better than just sharing some recipes. Some time ago, Simply Homemade Magazine came with a booklet giveaway and though I thought it unlikely that I would use it, I tucked the kit away safely because - well, you never know do you? And good job I did. So after writing out a few tried and tested, quick and easy recipes, I set to work on putting the booklet together. Regular readers will know that I'm not really a papercrafter - that's my Mums job - but I'm always up for a challenge. And I'm very pleased with the result.

It's simply pieces of paper and card held together with the rings, so not at all complicated, but I did some paper layering on the front and back. I forgot to take a picture of the back but sent this not very good phone photo of it to my Mum

There are plenty of spare pages for Holly to add her own (and her Mum's!) recipes, and she can add additional pages when she is ready. I was slightly concerned that an 18 year old might think this a little old fashioned but it turns out she loves it. Now she won't starve, and hopefully she'll do fantastically well in her studies (I have a slight soft spot for her subject as like me, she is going to be studying Law).

Has anybody else been getting themselves or others ready for University? I'm a long way off having to think about that with mine!

Love Natalie

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Halloween? Already?

I subscribe to Craftseller magazine and received my new copy at the end of last week. With it came a brilliant booklet on - things to make for Halloween! It was still August! And sunny! But as soon as my 2 youngest sons saw the front of the booklet (featuring a felt ghost and Frankenstein) they were hooked.

Here is the result:

They went on to make a couple more so that they both have one of each but they were whisked off to Toyville before I had chance to get photos. I am so impressed with them! I didn't do much more than needle threading to be honest so they were rightly proud of their creations. And of course, they are appropriately scary toys for Halloween - only made scarier by the faces being pulled by the creators in this photo:

Honestly! Is it ever possible to take a photo of your children where they aren't gurning in some way or another?

The toys were made over Friday evening and Saturday morning so while I sat next them to offer advice and assistance when needed, I tackled a project from my Want To Do List. When Wendy at Handmade Harbour did a tutorial for a scissor keeper back in February I thought it was wonderful and though I don't necessarily have a place to hang one, it went onto the list. And hey presto!

I am SO pleased with it! Wendy's tutorial was so easy to follow and I enjoyed ever minute of making it. I do most of my crafting at the dining table, decanting all of my stash from a linen box and a set of drawers that are close by. I realised that I had the perfect spot to hang the scissor keeper whilst I'm crafting - the linen box sits behind my favoured chair and I usually leave the lid up whilst I'm "working" so...


And then, because I love these kinen fabrics, I decided to make a needle case  that would match my scissor keeper and Trug.

I hope everyone else is as pleased with their makes this week as I am! And relieved that the kids have finally gone back to school (we love them really!).

I'll be linking up with Handmade Monday to see what you've all been up to!

Love Natalie

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Back to school tomorrow.

But cake gets you through anything, doesn't it?
Love Natalie

Sunday, 1 September 2013

During the holidays, my children have been going to bed much later than normal - what fun for them! What a nightmare for me! I cannot relax in the evening until they have gone upstairs because no sooner do I do something "for me" than someone needs something, hits someone or asks a question to which I know they already have the answer. Consequently, I needed projects that could be broken up into small pieces so that if I was disturbed it wouldn't interrupt my flow. Into the breach stepped a cushion I have been working on for......well, lets just say the magazine the pattern was in is dated November 2011 and I think I started it almost immediately. But, Rome wasn't built in a day and I am thrilled with the result.

Ta da! Typically, I picked a much brighter red, green and blue than the pattern suggested (theirs was more muted, autumnal colours) but I'm really pleased with the result. The back is made of 2 halves and I picked co-ordinated buttons to finish it off.

Because it is made in several small stages, I also made myself a Quilters Trug .

You may remember that I made two of these before and that I found them quite tricky. Well, because I made every possible mistake on those two I found this one quick and easy, and would now make another if anyone wanted one (I had previously said that after getting around to making my own I would NEVER make another one). Just proves that practise makes (nearly) perfect after all.

And for BFF's birthday, I made her a hanging heart decoration:

Because of the rain last weekend, I didn't feel too guilty about staying in and working on a new project. I had noticed at the beginning of the summer that a friend was using a carrier bag to hold her pegs so I thought that called for a homemade gift. I had found a few "patterns" for peg bags and tried to get the appropriate hangers but nothing seemed straightforward, not least of all the fact that to buy hangers was going to be quite expensive.  I managed to acquire some (hundred's!) of hangers by asking friends on facebook if they had any baby size ones. I then set to work combining two of the patterns I had found to end up with the sort of bag that I wanted to make. I even made a practise one first with some old curtain lining in case it didn't work! Which it didn't, so I had to do some tweaking. But the end result is not bad:

I would like to point out that I did iron the fabric before I started working on the bag, but my ironing skills are obviously about as good as my measuring ones.

My friend was delighted with it when I gave it to her on Monday, wrinkles* and all.

Where does the time go? It's time for Handmade Monday again!
Have a great week,
Love Natalie

*I am of course referring to wrinkles on the pegbag, not on my friend......