'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

30 November 2008

Swap update and Ebay Fabric

I've finished the swap item - YIPEE!!!!!!! I had a sudden flash of inspiration so I sat and made it then. I've taken photos but I'm not putting them on here until next Sunday.

The photo is of the fabric I went looking for on ebay the other day. The person I'm making the bag for loves blues and purples so this batik print was just perfect. Hope they like it as much as I do ;-)

GP Season table swap

Now I am really starting to panic about this swap. I was doing 2 bits for the swap - the first is done and looks ok. The second bit......well, I have made 2 different things now and I am not happy with either of them. I have just spent the last 40 mins trawling the internet looking for inspiration (having already been through my books twice) and have found nothing so far. Aargh. Don't you just hate it when the things look great in your head but look pants when you actually make them :-(

29 November 2008

More food, oven gloves and advent calendars

These are the play oven gloves ready for ds3 for Christmas. Very simple but hopefully effective.

This is the advent calendar I made for ds3 for Christmas last year. I bought the panel off Ebay and then sewed it together. My other boys have fabric advent calendars made by my Mum.

We now have another 2 bits of ravioli and a fried egg! Would like to do some more fruit/veggies but not sure how as these have all been made without patterns. We do have 3 strawberries that were knitted by a lovely mama on the GP forum.

28 November 2008

Felt food, wool and season table swap.

Blimey, has it been 5 days since I was last here. I've been making some felt food (I've managed 3 carrots, 1 ravioli and 2 burgers so far) and my 2 season table swap items. I tried making some felt snowflakes for the swap, but the felt was just too thick and I didn't like them so I've changed the second thing I'm making.
The top picture is both colours of the wool I ordered.
Off to look on ebay now for some funky blue material to line a cotton bag with.

23 November 2008

Dog bed, quilts and season table swap

Our dog needs a new bed and our ds3 needs a quilt for his bed so I decided to cut up our winter quilt to make both. After I'd cut down the length about 2/3rds of the way across I ended up with a 3 ft quilt and a 2 ft long strip for the dog bed. I've already blanket stitched the dog bed back together where it was cut, and I've tied ribbons on the 2 ends so it can be folded in half and fastened up. I've just got to make a cover for this now. I'll stitch the quilt back together this evening (hopefully) and then it can go on his bed (not that he actually sleeps in it much) ;-)

My head was whirring too much last night so after I finished on here I decided to make a prototype for the season table swap. Half an hour later it was finished and I am very happy with it. Hopefully make the other one later or tomorrow and then I'll have time to make the proper ones ready for posting next weekend.

22 November 2008

Wool's here - yipee.

Oh, nearly forgot - my wool arrived today - absolutely gorgeous it is too. I'll try and put a photo on, but as someone else I know looks at my blog I have to be very careful ;-).

Advent calendar

Well here it is finished. Thank goodness - I really didn't want to be doing this at the last minute. My sister is actually booked in for a C-section on 11 December, so in theory I had plenty of time - but you just never know so he's got it if he decides to put in an early appearance :-).
Now this is done it means I've actually got 6 whole days to make the GP season table swap item. Just need to decide what I'm doing now.


Although I have a wooden sewing box, which I made myself many years ago, I have been using a plastic box which held some of my Mum's crafting bits and pieces. My eldest son knocked it off the edge of the couch the other day and broke a chunk out of it. Then my Mother in Law asked me if I would like her mum's sewing box (she died a couple of months ago), so I accepted this wonderful gift. It was full of cotton reels, buttons and old pins and needles. I love things like that - firstly for their sentimental value and secondly for the suprises they hold. There was even 4 old wooden Sylko cotton reels. Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much M.

21 November 2008

Heart aches and swells

I've made art-on-the-go bags for my nephew and 2 nieces (my brother's children) for Christmas presents, including the felt pencil rolls. I was really pleased with them until I mentioned what I had made to my sister. She just had one of those looks on her face that said she wasn't impressed - never actually said anything, but you know how they make you feel. Well today my brother, his girlfriend and 2 of the kids visited, and I mentioned what I'd made as we were discussing art things and Christmas presents. (I'm smiling as I type) They said that was a great idea, and that was like Mum used to do (she made things for the grandkids). My heart swelled. I'm so pleased that I've got something right and that I made it and I know in my heart that my Mum would have loved the idea too.

Speaking of Mum - yesterday I had such an ache as I wanted to go and spend an afternoon sewing/knitting with her. Will this pain never go away.

19 November 2008

Sorting through my craft books

As I have sooo many books I thought I'd sort through some of them. I have managed to reduce my 25ish craft books by an amazing 4 (he he). I've put them onto The Green Parent Forum. http://thegreenparent.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3445.0

Last night I managed to get one more strip of pockets done on the advent calendar and another pinned in place ready for me to stitch (there are six in total). That means I still have four to do - and then putting it all together and stitching it up.

18 November 2008

Toadstool Fairies

Well, I got both Fairies completed over the weekend, and one has been posted this morning. Tried to get a bit more done on the advent calendar but ds3 got up again after going to bed early last night, so that put a stop to that.

Did a bit of research online (that's my excuse for being on here anyway) for the Season Table Swap. Have a few ideas but still not sure what I'm going to do. Best get a shift on though as it needs posting at the end of the month.

I've been thinking about the wonderful website Folksy. There is some absolutely gorgeous stuff on there -very talented people. After Christmas I may look into setting up an account - not sure I can compete or have anything that anyone wants - I'll see what happens.

16 November 2008


I'm just starting to get that 'aargh - what have I done' feeling. I keep looking at the list of things that I have to get done by the end of this month (and the toadstools) and panicking. Why is it when you have all the time in the world you still end up rushing everything at the last minute?

Still waiting for my wool as well. Oh, I hate waiting.

14 November 2008


Well, today me and the kids have been making cards. We have a birthday at the weekend so we've been doing that, and we've been doing the cards for my Nan's Christmas present. I'll get a piccie on later hopefully. I've just got 2 more orders for Toadstool fairies so I better get on with them. (I can see I'll be making this advent calendar right at the last minute as usual).

13 November 2008

Christmas Stocking and advent calendar

Well, today I've done a bit more on the Christmas Stocking that I'm making for my nephew who is due in December. It's actually been a joint collaboration - the stocking is actually one my Mum had cut out ready to make. My sister has sewn the embellishments on the front and I'm sewing it all together. I've got most of it done now - just the hardest bit left as I've got to do it all by hand because the sewing machine is broken. I finished the back-stitch along the top of both pieces, then pinned the two pieces together and running stitched them ready to sew when I'm brave enough for the super thickness of it.

After I'd done that I thought I'd get the advent calendar as well. Oh, so fiddly. I had it out the bag for 10 mins then put it back again. Can't do that with a 2 year old trying to help.

11 November 2008

More cushions and bags!

This is the back of the next two cushions (they are the same). They were made by making an inside out pillow case (in that the inner bit of the pillow case is actually on the outside not the inside). I'm not very good at describing things am I?!?

Anyway, on the front of this one is a leaf. It is just a piece of chenille fabric that has been machine stitched on and then allowed to fray.

This is the one hubby designed (we have 2 campervans). They both sit on our sofa along with the other 3 cushions that I have posted about. The others were basically made like the bags which then had small button loops attached to the edge, and then nice big buttons sewn on the other edge so they fastened.

This is the shoulder bag I use. Firstly I got a piece of dark grey fabric and sewed on loads of buttons. I then made this bag out of a pair of linen trousers which I never used. To make the bag I cut one of the trouser legs off, turned it inside out and backstitched the bottom. I hemmed the top, then took the tie belt off the trousers and stitched it on the bag for the handle. I pinned the button piece in place then backstitched around them all, leaving the edge to fray.


I was thinking about where I get my craftiness from the other day. I always remember my Mum knitting or sewing (she had a sewing pile in the corner of the room where she would put all the clothes that needed repairing). She used to knit jumpers and cardigans, and she also used to knit the scarecrows that Jean Greenhowe made. We all have our scarecrows still.

She made my wedding dress for me and the bouquet that I carried. Later on she discovered cardmaking and parchment work - she was fantastic at parchment work. Such wonderful, delicate pieces. Oh, and there was the cross-stitching that she did. She had her work framed and displayed in the house. She always used to say if she didn't spend her money on crafting bits she'd be rich :-). I think she was richer for spending the money on the crafts she enjoyed so much.

She also made fabric christmas stockings and advent calendars for the grandchildren. In fact, she was so good at the stockings she used to make them every year for other people who ordered them from her. Such special things, even more so now.

My Nan is also very crafty. She has bad arthritis in her hands so she can't knit, but she certainly makes up for it with her sewing. She makes the most gorgeous pictures that are sewn, quilted, crewelled, beaded. Absolutely amazing things. In the bedroom, I have a picture that she made for my Mum. Wonderful.

I have such love, respect and admiration for these 2 ladies - one who is watching from afar xx

10 November 2008

Hat finished

Well I actually had enough wool to finish the hat I started yesterday...and it still doesn't fit me. I added extra stitches and adjusted the pattern slightly but I'm just not destined to have one in this gorgeous wool. Never mind - it just means that ds3 has the next size hat when the other green one is too small ;-).
I also finished the latest toadstool fairy order at the weekend - that's no. 11. And I think I've finally decided what I'm making for the Green Parent Forum season table swap as well.

Instructions for bag (hopefully)

Here's the basic instructions for making a bag. (I am hand-sewing at the minute as I need a new part for my sewing machine.) I took a rectangular piece of fabric and followed it in half so the bottom seam doesn't need sewing. (PICTURE 2) I then pinned the 2 sides and back-stitched them together (you should now have a basic bag). Next I folded down the top of the bag twice, about 1cm each, so that the top of the bag in hemmed, then pinned and back-stitched this.

For the handles I cut the fabric 4 times wider than needed. I fold and stitch the short ends to hem them. Then I fold the top of the long edge into the centre of the fabric and then the same for the bottom, so that both long edges are just touching each other in the middle. Then I fold this in half again so that the middle of the fabric ends up being an outside edge, and pin. (PICTURE 2 & 1 ). I actually over sew the edge of my handles but you could use back-stitch.

Now I find the centre of the bag and measure the spacing for the handles so that they are even. I pin the handles on and then sew them in place.

Apologies if these instructions are not very clear. It's not until you start writing something down for someone else that you realise what is involved.

09 November 2008

Ordered More Wool

I love the freedom spirit wool so much I searched the internet last night, when I should have been going to bed, and found a few websites that stock it. I ordered some more of the green (or nature 514 as it is called) and some air 506 from oh sew simple. I thought they were very reasonably priced as well - £2.69 per 50g ball plus £1.30 p&p (for 4 balls). Lets hope they deliver quickly as I've started another hat (for me this time, so I've had to make it slightly bigger as I'm using this wool again).

Other projects I've got on the go are:-

  • Christmas stocking for my unborn nephew
  • Advent calendar for my unborn nephew
  • Dressing up cloak for one of my son's friends
  • Dressing up mask for another of my son's friends
  • Season table swap gift for a member of the Green Parent Forum

I'd also like to make my youngest some oven gloves to go with his Christmas present, and we shall be making some handmade cards (blank inside so they can be sent) as a Christmas present for my wonderful Nan. There will be loads of other things in the run up to Christmas as well, but I'll talk about them as we go.

Art-on-the-go bag and Holly Fairy

This is my felt pencil roll that I made to go in my art-on-the-go bag. I took the inspiration for this from the creative family by Amanda Blake Soule. I treat myself to some Lyra Super Furby pencils from Myriad to go in it.

And this is the aforementioned art-on-the-go bag. I made it out of some curtain liners and some fabric I got in our local scrapstore. Inside the bag is the pencil roll, an art book from Myriad, some Derwent watercolour pencils in a tin, a wooden ruler and pencil sharpener from Myriad, 2 mandala colouring books and a small watercolour pad bought in The Works in tow. I not a very good drawer but you have to give it a go don't you. I love to colour-in though, I find it very theraputic.

This is my latest sewing creation. It is from a kit I bought from Myriad (I think I need to buy some shares in this company :-) ). I sat and made this last night - quite fiddly and I wasn't sure whether I liked it as much as the Toadstool fairy, but I'm coming round to like it. I'll try and put a better picture on as this one is a little blurred.

08 November 2008


The wool used for the hat in the last post is freedom spirit 100% wool by Twilleys of Stamford. Its absolutely gorgeous to use - not quite the right weight for the pattern - but the hat fits my 2 year old perfectly. I have made the hat in a chunky denim wool as well (above) which fits my nearly 11 year old perfectly.

Some of my work

This is my Autumn bag that I made. I got the fabric off Ebay as I just loved it. I didn't use a pattern for this bag.

The next picture is the first piece of crochet I have managed to do all by myself, as my Mum used to start it off for me and then I would take it from there. It's the first time I've done any in years. The next two pictures are cushion covers that I made

The green hat is the first time I have cast on stitches properly (my Mum did this for me too and then when I did learn to cast on myself I never did it properly). It has been a sad week with regards the knitting and crocheting but also a week where I should be proud of myself. I wish she could have been here to see that I have done these things myself . The book I used to help me with the casting on was Usbourne book of How to Knit, and the crotcheting book I used was hooked on Crochet by Candi Jensen.

07 November 2008

Toadstool Fairy

Since this is my first day with my blog it makes sense to me that the first picture I should include is the toadstool fairy that I have been making for people on The Green Parent Forum. We have started a LETS Scheme where we trade goods (usually handmade or second hand) for greenies!
This lovely lady is the 10th one I've made so far, and I have another to make this weekend.

My first blog (eek!)

Well I have taken the plunge and decided to create a blog of my own. I frequent the Green Parent Forum where loads of the ladies on there have created their own blogs, so I finally plucked up the courage to give it a go. I have decided to keep it for the things I craft at the minute as the rest of my days are taken up with the boys, the hubby and the animals/house, and I would like this to be just for me. It may change in the future - we'll see how it goes.