Thursday, 18 December 2008

After a LONG absence, I have returned to the blog. I think regukar blogging is the answer, otherwise I just get out of the swing of things.

But back I am, and I thought I would show you some of the decorations that we have around the house. Stephen has been complaining that it doesn't look very Christmassy, but when pressed can't define what "Christmassy" looks like. I disagree, it's my idea of Christmassy. Which wouldn't be complete without some vintage glass baubles - but out of harm's way in a vintage cut glass bowl.

This year I have found myself more drawn to vintage and second hand decorations - which I have been lucky enough to find on my travels. I couldn't resist this handknitted mouse, which was mine for the princely sum of 20p. She sits guarding yet more glass baubles and has so far escaped the attention of Bertie.

After looking through the Internet, I decided that this year's Must Have decoration was a bauble wreath. I didn't have enough glass baubles and went down the new and plastic decorations route - which is a much better bet in our house. What with Arthur, Bertie the bauble killer and the boys. I am hoping that it will survive a few years.

It didn't take as long as I thought it would. The most difficult part was starting to place the first few baubles. After that the glue flowed and it all went well. The supercritical part of me says that it needs a few more baubles on the left hand side to even it out. So I will be adding a few more.

Tonight is the last Youth Club of the year. Which means Christmas Bingo and chocolate coins. So my afternoon will be spent laminating the bingo cards and cutting up the images for the caller. Roll on Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Something to Show for It

Do I have something to show for my time away from the computer - well, Yes I do! Bet you thought I had been slacking! Well, admittedly, there was a little of that. But there has been some sewing as well.

These lovelies are the first things to have been finished. They are made entirely from felted wool that has been recycled.

Each corsage has a vintage button in the centre as an embellishment. This means that although I may have made a few of each colourway, each brooch in unique. The only new item on it, is the brooch back. I just love these and they are more heavy weight than normal corsages which means they are perfect for coats and jackets.

I have ventured into new fields and tried something different with my next items. I have loved the idea of making jewellery and have been wanting to have a go for some time. I am really pleased with the earrings and they will be making their way into Christmas stockings and gifts.

There are three designs - I thought I would keep it simple!

This is my first attempt at jewellery and I would appreciate some feedback as to whether I've got it right.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

And lastly, not a new item but I haven't made them for some time. Greetings cards : both birthday and Christmas.

Each card is made with a detachable badge - this can then be worn after the event. It would lok great pinned to a bag or coat.

Enough of my rambling - here's the last photo of the Christmas cards

Now that was a long post!

Friday, 7 November 2008

A Little of What You Fancy

I met up with two school friends today in Cowbridge. We primarily met up for coffee, but I was a little early and made a beeline for the charity shops. There wasn't a lot that caught my eye, but I did spy these Christmas baubles in the shop window.

They were the princely sum of £2 each - so I bought all three. I did think that they were new goods that the charity shops buy in, but they have a Lene Bjerre label on them and a price ticket of £8.99 each (!) which was marked out and £2 written on a separate label. Not a bad buy - just need some pretty ribbon ready to hang them up with. It also seems like Bertie has taken a shine to them!
I feel a bit of a hypocrite posting about my next purchase here. I have moaned about Cath Kidston before and the fact that there seem to be more items with her prints on them than without. What next CK toilet roll?

Anyway, I has seen these in the catalogue and thought they looked rather sweet. And they still looked rather sweet in real life. After about 10 minutes dithering, I caved in and bought myself a pincushion.

Looks rather good though doesn't it? And of course I NEED it for my works in progress!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

I just couldn't resist

Back again after a half term break. Thankfully the weather was good which meant that the boys were outside with their friends most of the time. There was a trip to Oakwood for Ethan and Halloween Trick or Treating for the boys. So a good time was had by all.

I did manage to squeeze in a trip or two to a charity shop and spotted the most delightful doll's crib. How could I leave it languishing there?

I couldn't so it came home with me. And later that night, it had received a new matttress and bedding.

I dug into my fabric stash and used an animal circus print. I have had this for some time and it was just waiting for the right project.

And running the risk of over eggging the pudding, I just had to add a felt blanket and ticking mattress.

I had such fun making over this project. My life is so rock and roll - NOT. I am now thinking of friends with girls who would rather a wicker crib rather than the usual plastic ones. So this little crib will be on the look out for a new owner.

Other than indulging in making dolly bedding, I have been doing some sewing with Christmas in mind. Not yet finished, but here's a sneak peek in the meantime.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Facing the Fear

I have been sewing for more years than I would like to remember. But there's one thing that I've always shied away from - zips.

Call it irrational, but the thought of them has terrfied me and I've never even attempted to put in a zip. After having a pile of zips in my workbasket for the past few years, I decided to take the plunge and make a dent in the pile.

After some head scratching I think I have cracked it!

The size of the zips dictated what could be made with them. So I went for small zippered change purses. This cheery print seemed an obvious choice.

To add some detail there are boxed corners.

And we all know that I can't leave alone, so I have added some embellishment in the form of grosgrain ribbon and a removeable badge.

And for all of you that haven't mustered enough courage to tackle zips, you can always take the easier option of getting yours from here.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Next week is the last youth club before Halloween and as the Village Hall organises a party, we are having Halloween Celebrations rather than a full blow party. But these things tend to escalate don't they? Which is why I found myself volunteering to make trick or treat party bags for the children with the fabric that belongs to youth club.

Not just any old fabric, but horrible polyester. It is truly awful and usually I wouldn't even contemplate sewing with it, but needs must and all that. The bags have been sewn together and I am now waiting for some black ribbon to arrive to act as ties.

Please excuse the photo as black fabric is very difficult to photograph.

Looking forward to Christmas, I was lucky enough to find a box of vintage Christmas decorations (there was a hint on the box!)

Inside the box is filled with vintage decorations.

And just to ram home the sheer loveliness of these decorations, here's a close up!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Spare Parts Rip Off

I have a few sewing machines - until yesterday I had three. One Industrial machine and two Janome. One of my Janome machines was bought second hand and didn't come with a foot controller or a power lead. A new power lead was cheap enough to buy.

I have managed by swapping the foot controller to the machine that I was using at the time but a friend was coming to the house to do some sewing and I needed two machines. Off I trotted to the local repair shp, but there he didn't have the part. No problems, he would call Janome and find a price. Which he did. £54 plus carriage! For a foot controller!

How can companies justify that kind of price for something which is relatively simple. Faced with the choice of paying over £60 for one component, I opted to buy a second hand machine which cost just over half the price of the replacement part.

Meet machine number 4:

Admittedly not terribly pretty. But it does the job - straight stitch and zig zag stitch plus a few others.

And sitting on the machine is some vintage fabric that I just couldn't resist. Blossom barkcloth in a cheery yellow.

Not sure what it's destined for, but when has that ever stopped me bringing home more fabric?

And proof that I may have too much time on my hands

One titivated bulldog clip. It was just an excuse really to use my favourite word of the moment!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Lost in Time

I just don't know where the time has gone since my last post. It's not as though I have been doing anything terribly exciting!

I have now tacked together my skirt and lining and the next dressmaking lesson, I think I shall have to attach the waist band.

My tuck shop duties have expanded and take up a lot more of my time that I originally anticipated. There is now Halloween celebrations to sort out and also trick or treat bags to make.

I have also helped at the bi-annual jumble sale. Yesterday afternoon was spent sorting out the jumble and this afternoon was spent selling it. But you know me, not one to pass up an opportunity to grab myself a bargain, I managed to grab a few.

I thought these bowls would be perfect for hyacinth bulbs and a Christmas gift.

I just couldn't leave the vintage tablecloths behind could I? They have all been washed and just need an iron, but thankfully they are in perfect condition.

My last finds weren't from the jumble but I managed to find four vintage aprons which are still in their factory folds. I just couldn't bring myself to wash them and lose that new crispness. There are assorted patterns/prints and this is just one of them.

These ones aren't for keeping but are destined to be sold. After all what would I do with four aprons?

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Serious Stuff

At the start of the new school year, I was roped in to help at the village youth club. I am now officially in charge of the tuck shop. What a chore! For someone who loves sweets, this is an ideal post (I am even talking in an official capacity!)

One of the downfalls of being a faffer is that I just can't leave anything alone. After manning tuck last week, I decided that the whole thing lacked something. Something I have made up for this week.

I felt I lacked a certain gravitas - after all, I am in charge of tuck. Let's not beat about the bush here. After having a chat with Keanan who informed me that I would embarrass him beyond belief if I wore a full apron, I went with the half apron (with Keanan's consent).

Also popped into the youth club bag, ready to go, is a table cloth for the tuck. After all, I can't stand there in all my finery, with my wares displayed on a old chipped formica table can I?

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Back to School

Today was week one of adult education classes. Although I sew, dressmaking is not a skill I possess. Because I can sew, I have joined Dressmaking for Improvers.

The first part of the project was choosing the fabric. I picked up a vintage duvet cover over the summer holidays with the intent on using it to make some bags. But after having a good look at it, decided it would be better used to make a skirt with.

After today's class the pattern pieces have been cut out. Next on the agenda is the lining fabric. And I am hopeful that I will be able to take the skirt and lining into class next week, tacked and ready to sew.

The pattern?

I chose it as it is relatively simple: 6 panels and there is a zip. A zip has always been something that eludes me. So I can't wait until I finally get taught how to insert a zip.

Roll on week two!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Weighty Issues

After all that awful weather during the summer holidays, this week has been glorious. I've even managed to dry washing on the line!

So it's ironic that I have started thinking about Christmas presents. But needs must and all hat. I decided to go down the practical route and make two doorstops that I managed to squeeze out from a remnant of chenille fabric.

Although I have kept the doorstop a manageable size. it still took some filling. But that's one present down. After making one for someone else, the thought occurred to me that I should have made an extra one for myself. Arthur careering through our fully glazed door is a regular event in our house.

So it's back to the sewing machine for me!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Small but Perfectly Formed

Not talking about me here, but bunting. Although I do like the larger flags that are usually associated with bunting, I thought that smaller ones would be more suited to inside use. After all what little summer we have had, has been and gone.

So to try and prolong summer I have raided my quilting cotton stash and made up some bunting in smaller, more appropriate prints. And just in case you don't want to keep the bunting up all the time, a handy drawstring bag to store it in when it isn't being used. After all no one wants grubby bunting.

And because once I started I just couldn't stop, I have added an applique detail made using vintage fabric and a mother of pearl button.

As the bunting is slightly smaller than usual it's perfect to hang up inside the house - mine is hanging on my dresser permanently. The drawstring bag means it also makes a ready wrapped gift.

And just in case you may have missed the hint, it's on sale here!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Bits and Pieces

Not a very inspired title for this post - but it sums up just how things are are the moment. Flitting about (sewing wise) all over the place and only a few things to show for it.

I am rather fickle with my pincushions and regularly make new ones that are flavour of the month until I get fed up with them. After seeing these felted pincushions on Betz White's blog, I was thrilled to discover her book in the local library. How could I not check it out?

Out came the box with all the felted sweaters in and I finally finished choosing the wool and made two pincushions. One for me and one for a friend Jo.

I have decided to learn some new skills this year and with that in mind, have signed up for dressmaking classes. As I am able to use a sewing machine, I have been told to sign up for the Improvers Class - am now having serious doubts about my ability. Making bags/pincushions/cushions etc, no problem. But clothes?

So it was with the course in mind that I bought this piece of vintage fabric on my charity shop trawls. What is it destined for? Not entirely sure at this point in time. But maybe a duster jacket. I think I am going to have to see how the dressmaking course pans out!

And also on my travels I found this hand knitted lion.

How could I leave him there? He is destined as a gift for a friend who has had a baby. I thought the little lion with a small tote bag and maybe a book. Which means another one to add to my To Do List.