Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Little Scarf and A Duck

These were the Christmas presents I made for my girls.
I was going to write about them earlier but didn't get the chance to
in all the busyness around Christmastime. By the way, I hope you've all
had a lovely Christmas. Ours was spent at my parents in law
and we had a wonderful day.

Back to the girls' handmade gifts, this scarf was for my three year old.
She'd seen me make a poncho for her cousin and wanted one
 for herself initially. But then she changed her mind and asked
 for a scarf instead, and I was very happy to oblige.

This was the first time I've crocheted a granny stripe. I got the
idea from Attic 24's easy-to-follow Granny Stripe Blanket pattern.

Here's my big girl 'driving' an old tractor on Boxing Day.
She's delighted with her new scarf and have worn it many times already.
Even better, it matches a hat she's already got! Yey!

For her little sister I made this duck.
 It's funny but our little one has liked ducks even when she was a baby.
 One of the first words she's ever spoken was 'quack'.

She loves books with ducks, has rubber toy ducks for the bath and
has wooden pull-along ones. But as she didn't have a cuddly duck toy yet,
 I thought this was the perfect time to make her one and lucky 
that I have a pattern for the very thing!

It's actually from Soft Toys to Stitch and Stuff, an old book
I bought for a pound from a local antiques shop. And definitely a pound
well spent because my little girl loves her new duck. She plays with it
all the time and gives it cuddles and it's just wonderful.
I'm also lucky that at the moment I still don't have to make two 
of everything for the girls although I'm sure that's bound to change soon.

Before I go I'd like to wish everyone


Take care and see you in 2014!!!!

Friday, 20 December 2013

It's Nearly Christmas!

Just a few days to go til the Big Day
and it's starting to get exciting!

Our house is finally looking festive.
We have a tree we've decked with lights and mostly
 red and white ornaments.

And there are cards and little Christmas people on shelves
and the mantlepiece.

I have made a bunting similar to the one on the cover of
Home and Antiques' December issue using fabrics and
a length of red ribbon.
I think it's the perfect Christmassy trim for our window.

We've also been sampling a few mince pies (this one is Heston's)
but we all agree those made by my mother-in-law are still
our favourite.

The girls have been to Christmas parties in nursery and playgroup
and have met Santa Clause although I'm not too sure how much of it
my youngest understands.
Nevertheless she's enjoying the little treats from their
advent calendars as much as her big sister and they both
love reading their Christmas books. Doing Christmas is their favourite
at the moment.

I've had some early Christmas treats too

and there might be more of these in my stocking on
Christmas Day. Who knows?

On the making front there are still a couple more presents
I need to finish but I'm (slowly) getting there and I'm not worried.

This weekend I'm looking forward to more Christmassy orange and almond
cake. My husband and eldest daughter are making it again- hooray!
We'll be at my in-law's house on Christmas Day but on
Christmas Eve we have a little family celebration with Filipino food.
So this Sunday or Monday afternoon I'll most likely be found making spring
rolls while listening to Christmas songs on the radio.
Looking forward to it!

How are your Christmas preparations going?
 Hope it's all going well.

Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Birds and Toadstools for our Christmas Tree

These days I have a basket that follows me around the house
and it's got yarns, pins, threads, needles, scissors, pens, blank Christmas
cards, my address book and the latest sewing and crochet projects
I'm working on.

I've been writing, crocheting and sewing whenever I've
had the chance and in the last couple of afternoons
I've been making these Christmas tree decorations.

And here they are: my handmade birds and toadstools!

I think they'll look lovely on our tree which, hopefully,
we'll get on Monday. Can't wait!
In the meantime it's back to my Christmas making basket
where a scarf is waiting to be finished and there are about a dozen
more cards I have to write.

Hope your Christmas makings are all going well!

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Crocheted Baby Poncho

This is a tasselled baby poncho I finished making last weekend.
It's a Christmas present for my sister-in-law's four month old baby girl.

The pattern is from the book Crocheted Baby Clothes
by Nikki Trench. I chose to make the size to fit the age 12-18 months
which is too big for little Sienna at the moment but
hopefully she can wear it and it will help keep her warm when she
starts toddling about next autumn.

According to the book this is a quick project and
can be finished in one evening. Well with my crochet skills
it took me a good few evenings and afternoons to get it done.
I was quite relieved when the last tassel was tied and trimmed!
But I had fun and learned a few crochet lessons from
making this.

Now I'm off to make more Christmas presents and decorations.
Hope to be back soon with more finished  projects.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Some Nice and Happy Things

Last Sunday we headed out to the Derbyshire countryside after church
and spent a lovely hour at the Longshaw Estate.

The estate, which is managed by the National Trust, is right at
the edge of the Peak District and lucky for us, it is only half
an hour's drive from where we live.

There are meadows, moorlands and ancient woods,
beautiful countryside everywhere.

It was wonderful to see our girls back in great form,
running, laughing and enjoying the outdoors.

When their little legs finally got tired and we were
all ready for a break, we went to a nearby country pub,
the Fox House, for lunch and then it was time to go home.
In the afternoon it was the usual chores- cleaning, cooking,
washing up. But there was also lots of cake eating,
tea drinking, even crochet and a bit of Strictly in the evening.
It was a perfect family day and I'm grateful
we were able to start the Advent Season in such a lovely way.


I've recently ordered some yarn and was surprised to see
how lovely they were when they came. I just love their colours,
so bright and vivid, I can't resist putting them on display.

I'm tempted to buy more in different shades and colours.
This could be a happy obsession in the making.


A few lovely little creatures have come home with us
this past week.

Small but so perfectly formed.


My eldest daughter, who's nearly three and a half, has
started learning the alphabet in nursery.

Last week it was the letters R and S.
Fun and exciting times both for her and for us!


Thanks for reading!

Hope you've all had lots of nice and happy things 
this week!

See you sooon!


Monday, 2 December 2013

New Cushions

I've recently fancied having some new scatter cushions for our sofa.
I usually make new ones but with so many things going on lately
I couldn't find the time to make them. Buying wasn't an option
so I thought I'll just look for old ones I've made previously.
And I found these:

I made them for last spring's craft fairs and they're all made
of vintage materials, mostly bought from charity shops.
 The two at the bottom picture were made from a tea towel
designed by Pat Albeck for the National Trust.
Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, none of them have sold
so I now have the new cushions I needed.

Our sofa is a nicer place for cosying up in this winter thanks
to my nearly forgotten but now found cushions.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Strawberry Photo Board

Last summer I was asked by a lovely lady here in Sheffield
if I could make her a strawberry shaped photo board. 
It was going to be a present for her bestest friend who loves
strawberries. What she wanted was sort of like those fabric covered
notice boards with ribbons crisscrossing at the front
to hold papers, cards, etc.
I've never made one before but decided to give it a go.
It wasn't needed til November so I had time to come up with
a design and plan.

I started off by cutting out a giant strawberry shape from
 two pieces of red spotty fabric then appliqued the leaves onto one of
them using blanket stitch.

Then I did a bit of embroidery before sewing both pieces of fabric
wrong sides together with the stalk then turned it right sides out.
I used medium interfacing on both sides to help hold its shape.

Instead of ribbons I attached these wooden pegs to the front
to hold photos.

Here it is stuffed and padded 

and all finished.

I was hoping it was what the lovely lady had in mind and
luckily it was. She liked it so much she gave me
the nicest compliment and paid me extra for my work!
Hoping to hear from her soon. Fingers crossed her friend will
love it too!

Thanks for reading!
See you soon!


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Not So Happy Weekend

Hope you've all had a nice, warm and cosy weekend.
Ours has not gone so well-my girls and I have been poorly
these last few days. Lots of coughing, sneezing, high temperatures,
tiredness and broken sleep. We certainly haven't been happy bunnies.
But at least my eldest daughter is much much better and
 I'm also feeling a tad better today.
The littlest one though is still not back to her usual happy 
and smiley self. Hopefully very soon she'll be on the mend.
 It hasn't been fun at all seeing both my babies sad and unwell.
With all these unhappy goings on I haven't done much crafting.
I've started a crochet project but have only managed
 the first three rounds in the pattern.
Hopefully I'll be able to do a bit more this evening.
Or I might wrap some presents and make Christmas gift tags or do both
now that the girls are in bed.
I've had a look at these magazines and have found a couple of things
in H&A's December issue that I really really want to have a go at making
(and a few other things that I'd love to buy if I had the money.)
For now though they've been added to my ever growing list of
things to make and do.
What I'm very sure of is taking it easy tonight, have a cup of tea and
enjoy a slice of pear and almond tart that my husband made this afternoon.
Then an early(ish) bedtime and hopefully tomorrow will be a
start to a better, healthier week.

Thanks for reading. See you soon!


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Home Sewing

I always love a bit of home sewing,
making things for my girls and for us to use at home.

I made this elephant cushion soon after buying my sewing machine
about two years ago then this patchwork blanket when I felt braver and
more confident with machine sewing.

 These were bandana bibs I made for my youngest when she was a baby.
They're made of cotton fabrics and an unused towel.

 Some of the other things I've made:

a case for our Kindle with a little applique,

 a peg bag with apple motifs,

cushion covers to brighten up our sofa

and this bag for my eldest girl's dance shoes.

I have to admit they're all a bit wonky in places
(don't look too closely at the patchwork blanket!)
 But I guess that's perfectly all right.
They're just for us so there's no pressure to get all the shapes
and stitchings right. I can relax and take my time which for me
 are parts of the joys of home sewing and crafting.

I'm hoping to do more of this in the New Year but for now
there's a commission I have to finish (the last one for this year)
and presents to make for Christmas so I better get on with them.

See you soon!!