Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Brilliant tutorial

I don't know what it is like in your house but the older the girls get the smaller the parts of their toys seem to get. I was wrapping presents, as you do around this time of year, when I realised that more tiny parts are going to enter our house. We never keep the boxes, so these pieces end up all over the house, I keep finding single Barbie shoes or tops of LEGO flowers everywhere. At that moment the tutorial for the peek-a-boo-bag from Make it perfect popped into my mind. It came together in no time and I think it is just perfect. There will be one bag for each girl under the Christmas tree, or maybe more if I get more time.


I have been sewing a bit, hurrah, but as always I forgot to take pictures. I made two gathered clutches as presents for my daughter's teachers, I followed the fantastic tutorial from Noodlehead. They both like purple, so I used two purple fabrics, one cord and one printed cotton and did two different colourways. It was a bit last minute and I only managed to take a picture on my phone, will see if my husband can help me to get it off the phone.
My sister in law needed to bags for a wedding, she wanted the same one that I made her for her birthday but this time it was dark blue with white dots. It is from the book Making vintage bags, the pattern is straight forward, the hardest bit was to get the people at our coop to enlarge it.

Our first gingerbread house

This year I have decided to be brave and make a gingerbread house. I followed the recipe in my fvourite baking book, Rachel Allen Bake. The project was split into three stages:baking, assembling, decorating. On Sunday we baked the gingerbread, it looked like quite a lot but we used the rest of the dough for little gingerbread men, trees and hearts. The recipe came with templates (the template for the roof was wrong, but I only noticed that in stage two), you had to cut out the pieces from paper and the from dough, bake them and then give them a trim before cooling. This left us with lovely cut of pieces of gingerbread which had to be tried, we called this quality controle. Monday morning I assembled the house. I used 250g icing sugar and 1egg white, it worked really well. Just before I picked up the big one from school, I got all the decorations out in little jars so that we could get going straight away. Oh the excitement when we got home. We spent an hour decorating, well the little one helped by quality testing the sweets. It was "such fun" (too much Miranda).
I can see that this is going to be a new Christmas tradition. Over the last two weeks, my girls have secretly removed quite a lot of the chocolate buttons and I have caught my husband as well, but I think that is part of the fun of having a gingerbread house.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Crochet is the cure

I had lost my making mojo a little after the disastrous shopping evening...lets just say, it wasn't an evening for handmade...people bought cheap tacky looking plastic jewellery, pandora style jewelery and bath stuff from Avon...it wasn't only me, there was this beautiful stall with wooden elks and bears, so cheap and so cute, hardly any sales...I had made up my mind that I was only going to buy something, if I had sold something...I just made enough to cover the costs for the table but I had to buy two wooden bear decorations for my girls, I could not leave them there for £1 each. I would have bought more if I had sold more, the next day I was really upset that I didn't get that gorgeous elk.
Anyway, I had lost my making mojo. Just felt that my stuff wasn't good enough and looked rubbish. Quite a down sort of day. I had lots of Lebkuchen and hot chocolate, used my unsold cards for my Christmas post to my family, talked to a friend and slowly felt better.
I needed a pick me up and so I got my crochet stuff out and made a hat from drops design. I crocheted (?) until midnight, I just had to finish the hat. My girls both liked it, well it is pink. The funny thing is that I made it for myself but it fits all of us, 35, 4 and almost 2 years.
My poor girl has fever and is not well but managed to smile anyway.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Love the snow but...

I was planning to go and sell at a school shopping evening tomorrow. It is snowing here at the moment and this means chaos on the roads. I don't know what it is with England, but people never seem to be prepared. We have about 5cm on the road and schools are already sending children home earlier because mums might not be able to get through with their cars. My friends at home in Germany always laugh in disbelieve when they hear these stories.
I love snow and was really looking forward to it until I realised that this shopping evening tomorrow is not going to happen or is going to be really badly attended...all my work for nothing. Well, I will have lots of homemade gifts this year. And the cards I have made will just be send to family and friends, which will free up some time for some home baked Christmas cookies...there is always a silver lining.
I will dress up warm now, get the sledge out of the garage and pick my girl up from school. After warming up, we will have to build the Micky Mouse Club House gang (no ordinary snowmen in our house), at least that was K's plan this morning.
By he way, there is nothing better than decorating the house for Christmas while the snow is falling, so peaceful, I even put a Christmas CD on. I love this time of year.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

To buy an ATG gun or not to buy one?

I am trying to be sensible here... for the last week I have been looking at pink ATG guns and various blog posts about them. I have found one for £23 with two refills which I think is a good price but do I really need one? Am I making enough cards and will I get enough use out of it or will a small tape roller do?
Ok I just go ahead and get it, my last small tape roller has just run out and cutting tape off a roll and then sticking it on just takes far to long. And anyway, my friend just bought some jewelery from me and I will just reinvest my earnings.
Update: It arrived today, it is so pink and wonderful. I am glad I bought it, cutting double sided tape off the roll just took far too long and I am not the most patient crafter.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sure Cuts a Lot

I have just purchased the Sure Cuts a Lot software and it is brilliant. What I love most about it, is that you can position your images and this way, you have a lot less waste. My husband had the right USB cable for me and I could start cutting within seconds of my purchase. I only bought the downloadable version and was sent the license via e-mail, it took less than a minute! The best thing is, that I found a voucher on the internet by putting "craft edge voucher" into google, which saved me 10% of a product that is good value anyway. Don't get me wrong, I love my cricut cartridges and I have great fun using all the lovely images but on days like today, when all I needed was a tall, thin triangle that I could not find on any of my cartridges, this software comes in so handy. If you want to try it, they offer a free demo, which cuts horizontal lines through your images but gives you an idea on how it works go to craft edge it is worth a look.
I am probably the last one to have found this but just in case there is someone else who is looking for svg files, this page is brilliant and every image on there is for free. It takes you to the designers pages and there you can find oodles of images for not a lot of money. I love Treasure box Design, their images are so cute. Every Tuesday they are giving away a new freebie and isn't this bear just the cutest?

Sunday, 14 November 2010


I made some vinyl stickers for my daughter's room. The machine cut through the vinyl like butter. I can see lots of other projects coming along.

Embossing on BigShot with Texture plates

Oh I have been so naughty and have already used my Christmas present, but I have a good reason for it, I am making Christmas cards and wanted to emboss them. I have been looking at the internet before I ordered my Big Shot and found this tutorial on youtube on how to get your plates to emboss deeper. I have tried it out today and I love it. The embossing seems deeper and crisper.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Some more jewellery

I managed to make some more necklaces for one of my mum's friends, let's hope she is going to like them.

I love the amber one, I might just keep it,if she doesn't like it.

Monday, 8 November 2010

New toy

I am so excited, I got a Cricut Expression for my birthday. I have only had it for two days but I can already see a new obsession coming. It is so much fun and you get brilliant results with every cut. (I will have to go to my local craft shop tomorrow and get some more bits and pieces and then I can post my first cards.)
Ok, here they are. I love this machine. I almost cried the other day when it didn't cut properly but I figured out that the knife got loose and that ripped my paper. This could definitely turn into a new obsession. I think that I will start on scrapbooks as my next big project. We have taken so many pictures of the girls but never managed to print them and put them in albums...so this will be my resolution for next year (because I will be busy making more cards before Christmas), make scrapbooks for the girls!
I forgot to mention that I used the Winter Woodland Cricut Cartridge and for the gingerbreadman I used the Paper Doll one.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween

One homemade costume for book week at school. It was really easy to do, just cut platic bags into the shapes you want and fuse them with your iron. You need to put baking paper over the plastic before you iron and don't put your iron on too hot. The tail goes off to the side to allow leg room. The picture was taken after a full day at school. The eye patch is a left over from my pirate outfit (I went in to school to read and had to dress up, too).
And here are our Halloween costumes, not home made but still great fun!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Something else I have tried

I came across the tutorial for rose barrettes from the purl bee and while M. was watching the British GP I started making some, I ended up with 5 pairs...got carried away again I suppose. They have been used for all sorts of games, so a few were missing before I could take a picture. I like the red and green ones best but guess what, surprise, surprise...K. loves the dark pink ones.

Latest craze

One of my friends got me interested in beaded jewellery and now I am hooked. It is great fun and I can do it in the garden while the girls are playing. I have been making a few things, trying out techniques and buying quite a few beads and findings. It is a bit dangerous because bits and pieces only cost around 99p but it all starts to add up... sewing seems a lot cheaper to me...but the downside is that it is best done inside. So beading for outside and sunny weather and sewing for inside and bad weather (or when I can find a free moment ;-))

A few more things I have made

I have discovered new sewing feet. I have used my zipper foot before but made piping yesterday, I think that I could get addicted. Today I tried my rolled hem foot for the first time, I can see that it will come in very useful but I need more practise. I made the apron dress from Everyday Chaos again, K. just loved her old dress and when I got pink, rainbow fabric I just had to make an other one (picture will follow, finished the dress after she went to bed).
We are off to Germany in a week and I have been busy making some bags to take with me:

Sunday, 6 June 2010

I have been busy

Apart from building tens, painting faces, dancing to silly German children's songs, doing puppet shows, eating ice cream and playing a lot in the garden, I have been busy sewing.
Some of my friends are expecting or already had babies and I have been busy making baby quilts. It was such fun and I got a bit carried away, the last one had crinkly bits, tags, pockets and different textures...The first one was made following a tutorial by V and Co and went to a little boy, I hope he likes it.

And of course there have been loads of bags again...I think this one might need a little make-over..

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Finished Projects

My cousin recommended the books by Tone Finnanger and since they have arrived, I have been hooked. The projects are so beautiful, lots of bunnies, geese and witches. It is such a lovely book that it would be enough to just sit back and flip through the pages ... but it gets even better when you start sewing. Every project I have made so far has turned out brilliantly and I can only put that down to the superb instructions. I would love to use her lovely fabrics as well, but I could not justify buying new fabric, when I have a big stash at home.

My first project was the small hare. I love the way you sew before you cut , that way you get a very small seam allowance. C immediately adopted it, I think because it looks very similar to her "Hasi". Which led me to project number two, the wall hanging. The purple bunny is supposed to look like "Hasi", at least C. thinks so.

Then I made the tea cosy and was so excited by the way it turned out, that I gave it to my friend before I took a picture.
The last two projects were the little geese, they are so easy and quick to make, that I will certainly make more, they make cute little gifts.
Also Franziska, vielen Dank fuer die tolle Empfehlung.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Easy heart garland

I found this tutorial yesterday (the colours on Rae's garland are just so beautiful) and had to try it out straight away. I was so pleased with the result, that I had to make an other one straight away. This method is so easy, I can already see variations: flowers, christmas trees, stars, butterflies...oh autumn leaves would be lovely, too. There could be a garland for every season.

It hangs up in our play room/ conservatory. It is quite hard to decorate this room, because I don't want to drill into the frames and sellotape is not strong enough for most decorations...but this felt garland is just perfect. Mmmh, I might make more and hang them along the ceiling...

Monday, 18 January 2010

K. really wanted a chef's outfit, too. After I made two for my friends children, I thought it was time to make her one. I thought it would be lovely if she could choose her fabric...big mistake. You might not see it on the picture but the pink is neon pink. This outfit could glow in the dark. But I have to admit, she toned it down a bit with the choice of dark purple. C. loves it and even though I am biased... she looks awfully cute in it...especially the two bottom teeth, she is so proud of them.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Latest additions

Over the weekend we extended our collection of felt food. I took K. shopping to the art and craft shop, which is always very exciting, because we find lots of interesting things that we have to try out. Unfortunately the snow had delayed any deliveries, so they were out of white and baby pink felt, but we found lots of other useful colours. After a quick stop at the fabric shop next door we took our treasures home.
I can never figure out if the two shops belong together or if it is coincidence that they are next door to each other - it is very handy, so I won't complain. Needless to say that I found lovely fabric, which was on sale for £4 a metre, I could not resist.
K. went next door to play and C. went upstairs to have her nap and I went straight to work. I made chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, a slice of cake, doughnuts and a bag of chips.
I altered the slice of cake a bit. Instead of adding the same top as the bottom, I drew some wobbly lines around the shape (as if icing runs down the cake) and sew that onto the side with my machine, the rest I did by hand following the tutorial. As you can see, it needs some cream on top but that will have to wait until the shop has white felt again.
I must have done something wrong with my doughnuts, they look a bit slim.
The bag of chips contains only two chips at the moment but is already a great hit.
C. loves the cookies, she loves to pretend to eat them and makes munching sounds.
It is such fun and so rewarding, especially when the girls can't wait to get their hands on the food to play with it.
My husband is very close to stopping all this fun because the pieces that we have to pick up at the end of the day are getting a bit much, but a few more won't hurt. Anyway he is travelling for a few days soon, I am sure I can sneak some more food in during that time.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

My latest craze

I have started to make felt food for the girls. I love it! K helped me to stuff the strawberries and took them to pre-school to show her teachers. They are now in her shop and are waiting for more felt items to follow. I will have to buy some more felt, because I only have primary colours at home. Oh I can't wait to stock up the shop.
I added some cut up melon to the collection, so easy two red semi sircles and a greenleaf shaped shape. i only need to get some black thread, because the black felt tip pen doesn't look very nice.
More red and green profects I can think of: apple, tomato...what else? Just thought of one more...peppers.