I think I mentioned before I had been sorting through my room and getting rid of stuff I no longer need and deciding I need to find a place for the stuff I want to keep. The main focus of the sort out has been the boxes under my bed. It was absolutely crammed full of boxes and suitcases with stuff in, I couldn't even tell you what was in most of the boxes. I have now limited myself to just a few boxes all of which have to be reachable and have a purpose. For example I have a box with just wool in (3 actually!), another has needles and knitting patterns, and one with instruction booklets and chargers for varous gadgets I still use. So it is getting more organised!
Anyhoo under the bed I found some sewing kits which I had completely forgotten about. I don't even know where they come from but I am going to try and make them up! They are toy animal kits and will help me with hand sewing as I get very impatient with how long it takes compared to the sewing machine!
They are quite cute!
Wednesday 23rd May
Been very busy with my uni course again these past few weeks so sorry for my absence in blogland!
Whenever I have a deadline and an essay to writ I always find a million and one other things I could (and would rather) be doing! The other day I decided I needed to sort out under my bed as I haven't opened most of the boxes under there for over a year. What started out as me definitely going to throw out or take to a charity shop everything that was in those boxes ended up with me finding excuses to keep most of it! I didn't return it to the boxes though, I made a deal with myself that if I am keeping it then I have to use it. So most of the stuff is now in a pile in front of my wardrobe!!
I did however find my recipe collectors and recipe journals people have brought me and have decided to write all the scraps of paper with recipes in and websites bookmarked with recipes on my phone into them nice and neatly and organised. Well that is the plan anyway!
I also have a really nice Emma Bridgewater one somewhere, I guess I will have to keep sorting to find it!
I have collected so many of the Sainsbury's recipe cards over the years. I decided to make a concious effort to work my way through them so I know if they are worth keeping. I made a chorizo and pasta dish the other night which was really yummy so that if definitely going in the book.
I also need to copy some recipes from my mums recipe collection so if I can ever afford to move out I will have them ready!
Hope you are having a good week
Wednesday 16th May
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!
Wednesday 2nd May
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!
Wednesday 25th April
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.
Wednesday 18th April
I recently spent an afternoon drinking hot chocolate in a coffee shop with friends and an almost 4 year old who is obsessed with a programme called Octonauts.
I had never heard of this programme but he absolutely loves it and is getting some Octonauts related toys for his birthday. I had already got him a present of a bed set with a monkey on (which I got in the sale a while ago!) and was planning on giving him a sock monkey dressed as a pirate to go with it. As what kid doesn't like pirates right?!
But I have now also decided to make a small Octonauts character to go on his card that he can then take off and play with if he wants. I asked his mum which was his favourite character and apparently it changes between two of them so I have decided to make Peso the Penguin as it looks a bit simpler and I have the right coloured felt already.
Here is Peso:
He is quite cute isn't he?
I have cut out templates from paper and am going to cut him out later and start stitching him together.
I am also turning this sock monkey into a pirate:
He has TONS of toys already so I don't tend to give him toys so hopefully these will go down well.
Wednesday 11th April
I have been very busy stitching away for a craft stall my Auntie has offered to run a stall for. She rang me last week to say that her local village in Somerset was having a show and that she could have a stall of my craft stuff if I wanted her to. I said yes straight away and then realised I only had 2 weeks to get some stock together- aaaahhhh!
I had some bags, cushion covers, cards, bean bags and tea cosy's left over from last years craft fairs but I wanted to make some new stock too.
I gave my Auntie a beach hut door stop for Christmas and she has asked me to make some more of those for the craft fair so I set about stitching the fronts of those straight away. I decided I could probably make a maximum of 3 in the time I had. So far I have stitched the 3 fronts but not cut out any of the material to make up the doorstop- eek!
Here are the 3 fronts:
I think they look quite nice in a row and am thinking that I might stitch some more in different colours to make a picture- another project to add to my never-ending list!
I had better get back to stitching them as I am running out of time to get everything finished.
Wednesday 4th April
Good afternoon everyone! I missed wednesday again- oops!
But here is my Work in Progress for the first week in April (time is going so fast)
I think I mentioned a bag my Godmother had asked me to make her for her birthday? Well I have started cutting out templates for it today.
She lives in near Cambridge and used to work as a nurse at one of the colleges there but also was born and grew up in London and about 8 years ago bought a little flat in the Farringdon area. So I thought I would do a plain linen bag with a black sillouette of the London skyline on one side and a Cambridge sillouette on the other. I googled for some images and found one for London no problem but Cambridge was much harder. In the end I just chose a few well know buildings and made my own skyline.
Here is the London template:
From left to right there is Tower of London, London Eye, Nelson's Column, St Paul's, The Gherkin and Big Ben (or Houses of Parliament to be precise!)
And here is the Cambridge skyline:
From left to right: The Catholic Church, Clare College, The Mathmatical Bridge, Kings College and Mullard Observatory.
The bridge in the middle will be embroidered onto the bag as it has lots of criss-cross bits that would be difficult to cut out of fabric and I'm going to embroider the spokes of the London Eye for the same reason.
I haven't decided what to do with the rest of the bag yet as these won't take up much of the space- it might look good just left plain- I'll have to wait until its all cut out to see I guess.
I hope you all have a good Easter!
Wednesday 28th March
Sorry for my lateness in posting again. My nan had a fall the other day and has been in hospital. She was going to theatre to have a replacement hip put in but she had a scan this morning and it is not actually broken which is good.
Anyway this weeks work in progress is an update of an earlier post I did on my royal wedding sampler. I go through stages of working on it every night to not doing and for a week or two and recently I've been working on it quite a bit.
Below is what it is currently looking like with a nice ring where my frame has been!
Kate has one colour still to be done but for some reason I don't have it in my stash so will have to go out and buy it soon. I think I'm going to move onto Will before I get it though- at least he doesn't have as much hair as Kate to stitch!
But I have had to put it down for now and work on some stock for a craft fair at the beginning of May that my auntie has offered to run for me if I have the stock ready for her in a couple of weeks so it is all systems go at the moment trying to get new stock ready for her.
I really want to finish it soon though so I can't start a jubilee one!
Wednesday 21st March 2012
Whoops I just realised that I didn't post a Work In Progress last wednesday! My excuse is that I had my first assignment to submit for a course I started in February with the Open University. It is the first one I've had to do since leaving university 3 and a half years ago so I was a bit nervous and rusty (plus I left it until the day before it was due in to write anything down!). I don't get the results back for a couple of weeks though so won't know if I did ok or not.
Anyway this weeks Work in Progress is a bit different. It is not a craft make as such more of a DIY exercise. I moved all the furniture in my room around about a year ago and have had a pile of picture frames, some of which used to be up on the wall others which have never made it up, under my chest of drawers ever since. Having had a few days off work now and the initial excitement of my holiday worn off I decided I'd better make use of it. I have always wanted to have a wall of pictures in my room and since moving everything around I've had a big empty space of wall which would be perfect but never actually done anything about it. So wanting to change that I took all my pictures downstairs to the lounge and lay them out on the rug which I measured to be roughly the size of the wall I wanted the pictures on. I enlisted the help of my dad as he used to be a graphic artist and generally has a very good eye for things like this, and we came up with a layout that worked.
Here is a picture of the layout on the lounge rug:
The big one in the middle was a present from my best friend for my 21st birthday and we thought it best and easiest to work around that to fit in the other pictures. After I had decided that this was going to be the layout for the picture wall I made up some templates of the pictures out of scrap paper and stuck them to the wall with blue tak so I could get an idea of how much it would fill the wall.
The next day we went to Milton Keynes to visit my brother which of course meant a visit to Ikea (it would be rude not to!) and obviously if your in Ikea you have to buy something and I brought some fabric (obviously) and a picture shelf. This is a genius idea- it is a narrow shelf that hold picture frames that you would have standing up and cluttering a surface. But with this shelf they all line up together and leave other surface free of clutter! I decided to buy the largest one and thought it could go along the bottom of my picture wall display and allow me to fit even more frames and pictures out.
I had to juggle around the original plan a bit to fit it in but I managed and think it looks great. I put some of the picture hooks in myself, dad did the top one as the nail kept bending but it turned out it was because it was going into brick instead of the breeze blocks further down, so not my fault! Dad showed me how to measure where the hooks should go so they would sit in the right place and how to mark where the holes needded drilling for the shelf. I was too scared of messing up to actually drill the holes with the scary drill but I put the raw plugs and screw in and here is my picture wall now:
The 3 green frames are going along the top but I'm having them as a birthday present so can't put them up yet. I just need to decide which pictures to have in them all now!
Hope you have a good rest of the week and the sunny weather we're having here continues!
Wednesday 14th March 2012
After finishing my tea cosy last week for #twitknitclub I have become quite obsessed with them! So when my crafternoon friend moved to a new flat and requested this tea cosy as a house warming present I couldn't wait to get started.
She chose one from the pattern book called Strawberries and Cream.
I really like it and am looking forward to knitting it. Luckily I even had some leftover cream wool from a cardigan I knitted for her daughter so I don't even need to go out and buy supplies!
I think the strawberries might be quite tricky but hopefully my grandma can help me out again- although she has selfishly gone away for 3 weeks so I may have to muddle on by myself.
Below is my progress so far. This cosy is knitted in two parts so I am on the bobbly bottom section of one side at the moment. I think I'm knitting it right- you have to pearl and knit several times into the same stitch- my grandma said it was called blackberry stitch (she is a font of knitting knowledge!)
Hopefully it won't take me too long to knit up- my friend has already been moved into her new flat for about 3 weeks now! (and I've visited her there twice!)
As from 4pm today I have two whole weeks off work- wooo! So I am spending this evening planning my time off and the crafts I am going to do so it could be a bumper Work in Progress Wednesday next week!
Have a good week! Xxx
Wednesday 7th March 2012
Todays Work in Progress Wednesday goes to something which has nearly been a year in the making (it is not even a big project so there is no excuse for its incompleteness!)
It is a mother's day card that I started stitching for my mum last year (I started stitching it on mothers day last year!) but ran out of time. So this year I am definitely going to finish it for her.
It is just a simple chart from CrossStitcher magazine last year and one I know mum will like.
This is how far I got last year!
So as you can see most of it still left to do! Mothering Sunday isn't for another week and a bit so I should be able to finish it off for her this year for the 18th March. You will know next week if it makes it onto my Finished Friadays post whether I was successful or not!
Enjoy the rest of your week- my weekend starts tomorrow for 4 days- yay!!
Wednesday 29th February 2012
Sorry this wasn't posted on Wednesday but I was too ill to face doing anything!
This weeks Work in Progress is another project for #twitknitclub but with the knitted items being auctioned off in aid of Sport Relief. You can read all about it on Teen Granny's blog here, and all the details are on there if you wish to donate something yourself or just to bid on the donated items- I've already got my eye on a few items myself!
I have decided to knit a tea cosy like the picture below
I have really wanted to knit this tea cosy ever since I got the pattern book and this was the perfect excuse to knit it. The pattern, however, involves knitting with a chart which I have never done before. And of course I choose an occasion where the result will be auctioned off to charity to try it out- it makes perfect sense!!!
Below is a picture of my progress so far and I'm really please with it. I went round to my grandma's for a lesson in how to knit to a chart and the trickiest bit, I found, was not following the chart itself but keeping tangle free with 4 balls of wool attached to your work insead of the usual 1!
I have already decided to change the pattern slightly from what is printed, (I always seem to do this!) I'm going to put the 'I love T' design on both sides and I'm going to put a bobble on the top in the cream, red and black instead of the knitted red one in the pattern. I'm also thinking about making a lining for it so it keeps the tea pot extra warm.
Hopefully you feel inspired to donate something yourself or to bid on items going into the auction in a couple of weeks. I will post more information about that nearer to the time with my finished tea cosy pictures!
Thanks for reading and have a good week!
Wednesday 22nd February 2012
Fabric letters are my Work in Progress today. I brought some papier mache letters aaaaaages ago from Hobbycraft but haven't finished them yet!
I saw on the back page of Mollie Makes (the page where someone gives you a tour of their craft room) months ago and wanted to have a go myself. They were 3 fabric covered letters which spell 'sew' which I think is perfect for what I want.
I want to create an area in my room for sewing and general crafting and want this to be part of it. So far it is just a sewing table and sewing machine given to me by my great aunt. I would like to have a pin board up so that I can have a mood board and also space to hang scissors, embroidery hoops other equipment I use all the time.
These are my letters so far:
I have wrapped strips of wadding around them to make them padded (but I remembered not to cover the bottom so they would still stand up!).
I am going to cover them in some off cuts of Cath Kidston fabric I picked up from the discount store in Bicester Village but I haven't decided which print for which letter yet!
The main reason this hasn't been finished is that I don't know how to cover the letters with the fabric- most online tutorials tell you to glue it to the back but I think this looks quite messy and as I have wadding round mine the fabric wouldn't stick very easily to it.
I want to try and sew the fabric onto the letters but not sure if I should cut out a template or simply cut as I sew, and I don't want to mess it up with the fancy fabric!
I can see this not making it to Finished Fridays blog for a long time yet!!
Wednesday 15th February 2012
This weekend I (somehow) ended up with 4 days off in a row- AMAZING!! So I did lots of crafting of various projects- why can I never just stick to one at a time?! I finished making my friends birthday present from a previous post (the union jack bag) and almost finished a 'new home' present for a friend I am seeing on friday who has just started renting a new house. But enough about my finished projects and onto my work in progress for this week...
This week I have chosen to dedicate this post to a blanket I have been wanting to make since 15th October (I only know this because I was on the plane on the way to Spain for a girly holiday when I saw it- not strange and remember dates I see things I want to make!) The blanket is from Mollie Makes and is made from old jumpers.
Doesn't it look snug?! It's really easy to make. You just need 3 or 4 old jumpers which you cut into squares of the same size (or different sizes if you want to make more of a random patchwork one). I cut 35 squares all the same size- it is a bit tricky to cut straight as the jumpers move around and stretch a bit but I found it was OK because it looks neat again when you sew them together!
Once the squares are cut out you lay them out on the floor to work out how you would like them sewn together. I did 7 rows or 5 squares.
Next you sew the 5 squares together in each row so you end up with 7 strips squares...and that is as far as I am at the moment!! This is my pile of squares which are sitting at the end of my bed just waiting!
And below are a couple of rows laid out so you can see- I went for a random formation of the squares and just made sure I didn't have 2 the same colour next to each other.
So all I need to do is sew the strips together and put fabric binding around the edge and its finished so hopefully it will appear on a Finished Friday blog soon!
Wednesday 8th February 2012
Today for my Work in Progress Wednesday is a bag I am making for a friends birthday present.
She is obsessed with Union Jacks and last year I stitched her a tapestry Union Jack cushion pictured below. It was my first ever attempt at tapestry and looking back it was a bit ambitious as I didn't even have a chart to follow! I worked out that it probably took me over 90 hours to stitch the front and its a bit wonky as I didn't realise I needed a frame to hold it straight but I was so pleased with the end result and so was my friend I think!
So this year I had to think of something equally as good to make her! I thought I would go with the Union Jack theme again and decided on a bag. I have used some fabric from my stash to make a patchwork flag and stitched it onto a background of blue gingham.
This is as much as I have done so far. I decided to use embroidery thread to blanket stitch around the edge. And you can probably see that the blue cross is wonky and doesn't match up but that is the charm of handmade right?! I need to do some handles and I was thinking of a bag organiser inside as she is quite unorganised! But I need to get a wriggle on as her birthday is the 17th!
I'll have to start thinking of another present for next year soon!
Wednesday 25th January 2012
Can you believe it has been a month since Christmas. On one hand it feels like 6 months ago since I was tucking into my Christmas dinner enjoying a whole 4 days off work but on the other it doesn't seem 5 minutes- weird!
Todays Work in Progress Wednesday is one which has been in progress for a while. I find if I am making something for myself that it always takes a back seat as I know I should be making something for someones birthday or starting Christmas presents so I never feel I can take time out to work on something if it is just for me but that is what this is!
I love the royal family and a good royal wedding so I had to stitch something to commerorate the event and I decided on a wedding sampler. I saw one in CrossStitcher magazine and really liked it but wanted one which was different and no one else would have so I have taken elements from different charts to make a unique sampler (eventually!) to commemorate the royal wedding.
Below is a picture of my progress so far
It doesn't show up on the picture but there is a pink heart boarder around the edge too which you can see clearer in the picture below (it has not taken me 9 months just to stitch their names!)
I am going to put the date at the bottom of the sampler and then in the middle have a picture of Will and Kate. I want ot be able to design my own cross stitch charts so thought this would be a good way to start getting into it by taking elements I like from different charts and fitting them together.
I have chosen pastel colours as the pictures of the happy couple are going to be in shades of brown so I thought those colours would complement the overall design but only time will tell- it may look horrible when its finished!
Hopefully it will be finished before the diamond jubilee as I want to stitch something for that too!!
Until next time happy crafting!
Wednesday 18th January 2012
I have decided that every wednesday I shall do a post about what I'm working on at the moment and then hopefully they will make it into my finished projects blog soon! I'm often working on multiple projects at once but I will just put one project into each blog to try and focus my attention onto it and get it finished.
The main project I am currently working on is a cross stitch 'love' cushion from a CrossStitcher magazine about a year ago that I've only just got round to doing. The pattern says it takes 30 hours to stitch but it is probably taking me longer as I'm still quite new to cross stitch. There are some patterns that I love that take 90 hours plus for each one which I feel may become my Everest!
The picture below shows what stage I am at with the cross stitch front panel.
As you can see I'm on the last letter and soooo close to finishing now. I hope to have it finished by next week so I can make it into a cushion and cross it off my never ending list of things to make!
So until next wednesday happy crafting!