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!!


Friday, 15 November 2013

Some Nice and Happy Things

I like going out for walks with my girls.
 It's nice to get out of the house, have a change of scenery
 even just for half an hour or so.

We look at flowers and leaves, pick up 'special' sticks
and look for frogs and snails.
And when we get back there's always hot chocolate,
well, for me really. The girls have a very milky, tepid version but
they like it just the same, a lovely treat after spending
a little time outdoors especially this autumn season.

We love eating cake in our house and we try to bake at least
once a week. Yesterday I made crunchy top lemon cake
with my eldest girl.

It's a Mary Berry recipe, one of her mix-it-all-in-one-bowl
cakes which I love because it's quick, easy and fuss-free.
This one turned out nice and lemony and it's keeping us happy at coffee
and snack times this week.


I finally finished the cushion covers I was making for a friend
and just in time for her birthday.

She's been patiently waiting for them for months and I'm so happy
(and relieved) that she likes them all.


An hour- even just an hour- all to myself is always welcome.
And even better when I get to spend it at an antiques centre like I did
this week while my husband took our youngest daughter to
swimming class. I came home with all these lovely things

including another addition to our Ogden's tobacco tins collection.

It was a nice break from my usual busy mornings at home-
an hour (and twelve pounds) truly well spent.


My eldest daughter, who's three, loves Katie Morag and
was genuinely delighted when she got this book.

It's a charity shop find by my father in law and it's full of
stories and poems--just perfect for any Katie Morag fan.
I love that both girls like books and it gladdens me to see
how much fun and enjoyment they get from them.


The best and happiest thing for us this week has been
hearing that all my family back home in the Philippines are safe and
my parents' house wasn't damaged when that horrible typhoon swept
through our town. But our relief and joy are tempered
from knowing that countless others have not been so fortunate.
We are giving help both through donations and prayers and really
hope that aid will get to each and everyone of them very soon.


Thanks for reading!
Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Friday, 8 November 2013

A Little Bit of Crochet

I learned to crochet when I was growing up in the Philippines.
My mother showed me how and we were also taught the
basic techniques in school. I made little bags and hats but
eventually got bored and forgot all about it.
Then earlier this year I started reading craft magazines and blogs and
saw so many beautiful crochet creations and felt inspired.
After so many years I thought I'll try crochet again.

But it's been a very long time since I have worked with
a hook and yarn so it was quite slow going when I started last spring.
I remembered some of the simpler stitches but got all muddled up
trying to follow a pattern. In the end I opted for something quick
and simple and made this mug cosy.

It was just a small project but was actually just right for someone
like me trying to get back into crochet. It gave me some confidence to do
a bit more but I got busy with sewing last summer and crochet never
got another look-in. Not until this autumn when I saw this book
at the local library.

It's by Vanessa Mooncie and it's packed full of gorgeous projects.
 My favourite of all was this brooch.

I love cherries and have always wanted a brooch like this.
The pattern was easy enough for me to follow and best of all
I already had the yarns and brooch back at home.
I just had to make it!

It took a few attempts before I managed to make two cherries
that were roughly the same size, then the leaves and joining them all up
and then I had my crocheted accessory!

I think they look very nice- just perfect with my denim jacket!

And now that I'm less busy with sewing I've had time to start
another crochet project and there's two more lined up after this.
When I told my mother I'm enjoying crochet again
 she said she's very pleased.
 So am I.

Thanks for reading!
Have a great weekend!!!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

What A Hoot!

This week I had time for a bit of sewing and 
decided to make an owl cushion. It's my little autumnal project,
inspired by walks outside with my girls, the colours of fallen leaves and 
my fondness for wise cute owls.

It was an easy project and was quick to make.
I just enlarged a pattern I already have and got all the fabrics
from my (ever growing) stash.

Some toy stuffing, a couple of vintage buttons and
she's finished!

Twit Twooo!!

Of course she's a girl!

She loves to accessorize with a little flower on her head.

She also likes to read,

arrange flowers

and sit outside in the sun.

She likes to play with the girls and doesn't mind too much
being pulled, poked and squeezed by playful little hands.

She was a joy to make although I was surprised
when her 'ears' turned out longer than I was expecting.
  But never mind we all think she's lovely!
She's a year round friend and not just for this season.
Hopefully soon we'll find her the perfect name.

What a hoot!!!

Thanks for reading!

Have a fun weekend!!!