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Monday, 21 May 2012

Save Water and Drink Champagne

Good morning!

I'm feeling very positive this morning about my crafty life! I have signed up to 2 more swaps over the weekend. Another Popular crafts swap (the theme is polka dots and I just couldn't resist!) and one on a blog which can be found here (for which the theme is hearts). I have also had thoughts on what I could fill my Etsy shop with (which is still just in my mind) and am excited to start practising making things for that.

The item I have finished this week was a thank you present for my Auntie. She ran a craft stall near where she lives in Somerset over the May day bank holiday and managed to sell some items for me. I had originally planned to make her this for Christmas but I had too much to make and didn't get time to finish it before the present exchange somewhere on the M25!

My Auntie loves champagne. She will quite happily spend over £30 on a bottle as long as it is going to taste good and knows about some special code they put on the back of champagne which tells her if it is a good champagne or not (don't even ask!!!)

I saw this phrase on a bag last year and thought it was perfect for her. But of course I never have any money so I couldn't afford the £10 or so to buy if for her. So I decided I would make her a version of it and sew it onto a bag for her.

I got the lettering from charts in CrossStitcher which had similar sayings on and I think only had to design one letter in the end myself. I should have stitched it on coloured Aida but as I didn't have any money to buy some I had to stitch on white and then fill in the background in the colour I wanted which took FOREVER!!!!! But I finally got it finished the morning that mum and dad were driving down there for her and my Uncle's 25th wedding anniversary celebrations (i like to leave stuff to the last minute!)
I just have one more present to make in May now and I can have a rest before my grandma's birthday at the end of June!
Have a good week!

Friday, 18 May 2012

The beginnings of a knitted bear

I have started a new knitting project already from the Debbie Bliss book I purchased last week. All the projects were so nice I just couldn't wait to get started and so far I am very impressed with how easy to work with her patterns are.

The pattern is from The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits which is a collection of patterns from all her other baby knitting books. I really love all the patterns so it was hard to choose just one to start knitting but I decided on the bear as it looked like it would be quite quick to knit (compared to the sampler blankets I want to make!!) and easy to carry around for an on-the-go pattern.

So far I have knitted one half of the body and I'm really enjoying the pattern. I don't have to concentrate and count stitches too much so it is easy to do in front of the tv in the evening.

I'm doing it on slightly bigger needles as I could on;y find one in the right size (don't you hate it when that happens?) but it is turning out ok. I hope to get this one finished fairly quickly so I can knit something else from the book!


London and Cambridge skyline bag

Today I finished my godmother's bag and today is her actual birthday, but she won't be getting it for a while as she got a 3am flight to Portugal for a couple of weeks this morning! (it's alright for some!)

I am ridiculously pleased with how it turned out and want to take it everywhere with me just to show anyone who will look, so if she doesn't like it I will happily take it back!

So here are a couple of pictures of the finished item (it needs a good press but the iron is currently on strike so you will have to imagine no creases)

I really like the hand stitched spoked on the London Eye and the Mathmatical Bridge.

After finishing this bag I am thinking of other cities that I can make into a skyline. I have some friends still living in Lincoln (who I went to uni with) who have brought a house that they are doing up and I'm thinking a picture or cushion with the Lincoln skyline on as a present for them.

I also want to make an olympics and jubilee version for myself too! Now I just need to find some more hours in the day and all will be good!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dad's birthday present

My work in progress this week is in very early stages (mostly still in my head!) It is my dad's 60th birthday on saturday and I am still very much penniless I needed to think of something I could make him.

He wants an Ipad (even though he struggles to work the tv) and is getting Apple vouchers from family so I thought I could make him an Ipad case.

He is boring and doesn't like change so I'm having to keep designs simple so I have decided to go for just a black cover and applique a Apple logo on the front (I might have to go crazy with the lining or something!)

I cut out a template and material from the measurements on the Apple website but it looks way too small so I think I'm going to have to wait until he has it to make sure I get the sizes right but here is a picture to give you an idea.

It does look quite smart just plain but knowing dad he will probably go out and buy a fancy leather one anyway that is an actual 'Apple' branded.

I also splashed out and brought a new knitting book using some Waterstone's vouchers I had left. I didn't go in there for a knitting book (especially not a baby knitting book as I have no baby!) but I loved everything in there and want to knit it all. I have never heard of Debbie Bliss before but all her designs are really lovely and I can't wait to get started to see if the patterns are easy to follow.

This book will more than likely be featuring in future Work In Progress posts so watch this space!


Monday, 7 May 2012

Finished 'Love' Cushion

This post isn't technically something I finished this week. It is the finished cross-stitch of the 'Love' cushion front I was stitching earlier this year but I realised I hadn't yet shared with you the finished stitching (at least I don't remember posting about it)

The chart for it was in the very first issue of CrossStitcher I ever brought and was the one that drew me to it in the shop so I had to make it!

It isn't exactly as the chart says as I just used threads from my stash instead of the actual colours from the chart but they were pretty close.

There were a few details in the letters that I didn't notice until I was stitching it like the grapes inside the letter 'L'

I had a lot of issues with the 'O' for some reason. I kept making mistakes and I'm pretty sure even the finished version isn't correct to the chart but I couldn't be bothered to take it back anymore. This is probably why it took me so long to finish it.

I just need to find the perfect fabric for the back of the cushion cover now so I can sew it up. I haven't decided whether to keep it for myself or give it away as a present yet!


Spring Swap

On Wednesday I went to see Phantom of the Opera in the West End. It was sooooooo good! It has never been a particularly favourite musical of mine but now it has certainly gone up in my list. Nothing will ever top Sound of Music though but this is definitely a top 5! Their voices were just so powerful it gave you goosebumps when they were singing.

For this weeks Finished Friday I have got the finished item for Popular Crafts Spring Swap. Popular Crafts is a magazine with lots of online forums about craft. Every month they have a craft swap with a different theme. I had seen some of the people I follow on Twitter talking about previous swaps and decided to take part in one to see what it was like. I sent in a request on the website and a few weeks later received the details of my swap partner.

The idea is that you make something with the theme of 'Spring' or whatever the theme for the swap is and then with it put in a gift to the value of £3.

I decided to cross-stitch a little picture of gingham flowers:

My ideas kept changing even as I stitched. I was planing on stitching a bouquet of different flowers but I like the gingham ones so much I decided they should all be the same.

For the gift I brought some really nice wooden plant markers and a few packets of seeds. One of my swap partners interests was gardening and I thought the gifts fitted in nicely with the theme of spring.

I enjoyed creating something for the swap but probably won't take part again. Mainly because I haven't received anything back from my swap partner which is a bit dissapointing.

London and Cambridge skyline bag

This post has got another update on a previous post.

You may remember I was designing a bag for my Godmother as a birthday present? Well I have made a little more progree with it this week. Last time you saw it I had cut out the templates for the skyline of London and Cambridge.

I have now used bondaweb to stick the cut out skyline in black fabric to the cream coloured fabric which will make up the main part of the bag. I am extrememly pleased with how it is looking so far.

This is the Cambridge skyline which I need to now stitch on the criss-cross lines to make the 'Mathmatical Bridge'. I haven't decided yet whether I am going to stitch words on to label the building or just leave it blank.

And here is the London skyline. Again its got some stitching to do to put in the spokes of the 'London Eye'. This one was very tricky to cut out as it had a lot of intricate shapes but I managed in the end.

Her birthday is on the 11th May so this needs to be finished fairly soon. I'm really enjoying designing my own bag instead of just following a pattern and may make one for myself for the olympics or queens jubilee if I can face cutting out the london skyline again!


Progress on the fabric letter 'E'

Sorry I have been absent again- I'm useless I know!

This week I gave blood for the first time- I was pretty scared but it actally went fine. I was mostly worried about fainting or taking foever to give my pint of blood and neither of these were an issue so I was fine. I didn't even feel slightly weird or spaced out afterwards. I know my blood group now and I am one of the most common ones (how boring). I also have a blood donor card which I have put proudly in my purse. The colour of the card change depending on how many donations you have given- mine is currently red but will change to blue after 5 donations. There is a purple coloured one (i think they call it diamond) for 100+ donations- I hope one day to be able to make it to this colour but I worked it out to take about 25 years so I will have to wait a long time for that one to come through my door!

Anyway onto my work in progress for the week. Just a quick update on the papier mache letters I was covering in fabric in a previous post. This is how you last saw them:

I haven't made great improvement on them (mainly because I've been scared to cut into my Cath Kidston fabric) but I have taken the plunge and started with the easiest letter 'E'. The fabric is all cut to size and I have started sewing some edges together onto the letter but haven't completely finished it yet.

I do LOVE this fabric a lot. Whilst stitching the edges I have been planning what else I could make with it and for everything I want to make I would need a lot of metres of the stuff! I have a lot of birthdays to prepare presents for in May so I doubt much progress will be made this month.