Monday, 9 December 2013

How's it all going ....????

.... ????

Are you on top of your Christmas to-dos? Christmas card list? Christmas journal? I'm not!!! Have gone from feeling OK about it to my head being in a spin. I need to write a list.

In the meantime I have another page to share done for the UKS Weekly challenge - to use various things with beginning with B.

I got ballerina, butterflies, buttons, border, brown, blue, bling!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A bit slow going ...

... I'm not into the swing of my Xmas journal yet, think I'll be playing a big catch up at the weekend.

So in the meantime I thought I'd share with you some of the pages I made at my lovely craft weekend a couple of weeks ago.

I did 10 pages over the weekend which I was thrilled with. Some still need journalling adding and so will share those as and when they're finished.

Most were scraplifted or from sketches, but as I pinched most of Ruth's resources I can't remember where they were from, so apologies to the original artist for that.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Tales from the Hobbit House ...

... now where was I?

Oh yes, it's the 1st December and for the first time since 2009 I've decided to Journal My Christmas adding to this 30 Days of Lists.

I've made my journal covers but haven't decided about a title yet. I'm using Simple Stories December Documented and page dividers for the pages. It's still a bit of work in progress at the moment, having only decided to do one last Tuesday! The Snap cards only go up to 25, so I need to add some more numbers to take it up to 3rd January which is Lily's birthday.

Alongside the choccie calenders for the second year running is a Lego Friends calender and this year I found an Adventivity book, combined with our tradition of an advent activity calender. We've tried various things over the years - simple activities, a book a day and last year was a daily treasure hunt so this year I've combined them all together - the first clue was to find the rest of the calenders hidden in the house!

This post is bought to you with thanks to Ruth and Sandie (plus a bunch of other lovely, crafty ladies) for inspiring me to create again. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A bit more sewing ....

... I'm still here! Busy sewing, working, being ill and spending some family time in the Lakes (where we saw sunshine - I promise!!) Thought I'd share some clothes I've made for Mia recently. She really wanted a maxi dress, so following Flossie Teacakes shirring tutorial I self drafted this dress (well tube really that I flared out to the bottom), so easy to do and planning more tops, dresses and skirts.

Making clothes up til now has just been a case of finding the right age on the instructions and then cutting out the fabric, but I'm finding that as the girls are older and different shapes, and making clothes for myself that I need to pay more attention to body measurements and making up a toile where necessary.

Mia's next outfit is proof of this - a self drafted peasant top that's a little short and shorts (Burda Kids 9467) that are a little tight. I've redrafted the top and made another one for Lily. The shorts were super-simple so plan to make another pair probably a couple sizes bigger and making sure I catch all the bias binding this time!

When I get decent photos I'll share the dresses I've made for Lily and myself.
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Friday, 10 May 2013

Onwards and Upwards...

... thank you for joining me on Jennifer's blog hop as part of her 'Onwards and Upwards' weekend  -  you should have arrived here via Jacky. I was so pleased to be asked to be a part of the weekend, and Jennifer is offering a prize which you can find out about at the bottom of this post.

The theme for the weekend is inspired by Jennifer's word of the year 'Progress'. 'Onwards and Upwards', however, is about more than that though - hopes and dreams, resolutions and goals, trying new things or finding direction.

At first I was going to write a post about my weight loss over the last few years, but when I thought about it  more my transition from stay at home mum to working mum is more prevalent in my mind. This has meant lots of things over the last few months - giving the girls more independence (walking to school on their own), new confidence, learning new skills and a new working wardrobe.

I actually went back to work about 6 years ago starting with just about 10 hours a week, progressing from administrator to manager, but all working from home. The New Year saw a change in role to Finance Administration Manager and it now feels more like I have a 'proper' job! Still part-time (20 hours) although it often feels like full-time. I also now travel into the office at least once a week, which is where I've also seen changes in me.

The office started life with just the tech boys in it, other employees were generally working from home mums and therefore the dress code has been quite casual. More office workers have joined over the years, and although  it is still pretty casual  I'm finding that I want to make a bit more effort when I visit (plus now that I'm lighter I can enjoy different clothes to when I worked before having the girls.) So, along with the jeans, I have bought a couple of dresses and even wear high heels at times!!

Presenting casual Fay (looking pained in the sunlight!!!)

to Smart Fay!

And of course a layout to record the story (with added sparkle in honour of Jennifer).

The giveaway ....

If you comment on all the blogs in the hop, finishing at to let Jennifer know you've been all the way round, then you'll be in with a chance to win a prize pack of cheerful Glitz Designs Color Me Happy and Simple Stories 24/7 worth over £25! All entries must be received by Monday 13th May at 10.59pm BST.

So your next stop is Daphne.

Currently ...

listening ... to the early dawn chorus.

reading ... sewing blogs, instruction manuals and backs of patterns.

eating ... a good meal at Jamie's Italian, but a better meal at our local gastropub.

drinking ... a tad too much wine! Well with the Bank Holiday sun you've got to make the most of it!

wearing ... dresses (more on that later today).

weather ... slowly getting warmer.

thinking ...  has my hair really turned this colour in the sun? It's meant to be honey brown!

wishing ... there were more hours in the day for crafting.

What are you doing currently?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Mia's Dress ...

... for a few years I made the girl's a summer dress each, but recently they'd shown less interest in handmade clothes. However, it seems the Sewing Bee programme not only piqued my interest, I was thrilled when they asked me to make them dresses this year.

I had this pattern McCalls M5574 for a while and convinced Mia to have one of the styles, so with fabric choosen I got off to a quick start and was finished in a few hours. It doesn't show up well here, but there's a band between the bodice and skirt which give a nice detail.

I don't think Mia is thrilled with it (I was surprised at her fabric choice, not her usual colours), but it's growing on her. She keeps fussing with the halterneck, so I think I'm going to cross the straps at the back and stitch them down.

I'm now finishing up a maxi dress for her and waiting for Lily's fabric to arrive which seems to be taking ages.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

My new toy ...

... and I'm so in love!!

Sorry for my absence, but I've got the sewing bug. After my Singer broke whilst making cushions I decided that it was time for a new machine. I had been pondering this purchase for a while, but as I'm emotionally attached to my old machine (my dad bought it for me over 20 years ago) I'd been very hesitant. Then after reading about 1-step button holes, amongst over new features, I was sold!!

Now I've been stocking up on fabric (with a trip to Birmingham Rag Market yesterday) and researching a few new patterns. I've made Mia a dress, a skirt for me and started another dress for Mia, just waiting on some fabric for Lily's, so more about that in the next post.

Hope you're all enjoying the much needed sunshine this Bank Holiday.
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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Julie is 2 ....

... well, at least her blog is! And to celebrate she's rounded up a group of scrappers for a game of Chinese Whispers. For those of you who don't know you create a page, take a photo and then email it to the next person on the list who takes their own inspiration from it and makes a new page. You don't get to see everyone else in the chain's pages until the grand reveal which is today.

So you should have arrived at mine via Alison's (if not you can check the full list here) who provided me with a lovely page to create from. I really liked all the layering under Alison's photo and who can resist a bit of twine!

I passed my page to Ruth, so to see what she did with it visit her here.

Please do leave a comment on every blog and then on Julie's as she's offering a prize.

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee ...

... did you watch it? I loved it and it has really renewed my interest in sewing, which I think is probably my first love as it was my first proper craft growing up. I liked Lauren's style but Ann was a truly worthy winner, her skills impeccable.

The staff room at work (well, it's more of a space really) is having an overhaul and when the officer manager mentioned she'd run out of budget for cushions I offered to make some.

The office is white but has splashes of colour from vinyl wall decals, so I thought this Ikea fabric I had would work well, along with some denim.

I need to stock up on large buttons now! And my sewing machine has a crises half way through so I finished up on Lily's mini John Lewis machine, which coped fine.

I'm please to say that they have gone down very well. Need to find some more projects now (once the machine is fixed) and get the WIPs finished!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Blog Hop Winner ...

... firstly thank you to all the wonderful comments that were left on my tutorial. This is the first tutorial and blog hop I've ever done and was so thrilled to see it well received.

So my winner is Stacey Scrapred - well done Stacey, I'll contact you via UKS to sort out your prize.

Monday, 15 April 2013

UKS Spring Blog Hop ...

Welcome to the UKS Spring BlogHop! You may have come to me via Alison, but if you have dropped in on me directly (or lost your way!) and want to follow the hop you can see the full list here . 

UKS are also offering a prize to a randomly chosen person who comments on all the blogs, so check the thread for details.

First of all gather your supplies, you'll need:

- paper scraps
- fabric, needle and thread
- assorted punches - scalloped, pinked, plain circles etc
- ribbon scraps
- gems, pearls, buttons
- foam pads and glue of choice

We're going to start by making some yo-yos - these are little puffs of fabric. You'll need to draw a circle onto your fabric twice the diameter of the desired yo-yo. I drew around a mug measuring 7.5cm across to get yo-yos about 3.5cm across.

Next sew a running stitch about 3mm away from the raw edge. I double up my thread but don't bother putting a knot at the end, just make sure you watch it doesn't disappear as you're sewing.

Then pull up the stictches to gather the edge. Tie your two threads together in a knot.

Arrange your folds/gather evenly.

Cotton weight fabric works well for these, but felt and denim also give good results.

Now, punch out various shapes and sizes from your paper scraps. My largest is a 2" scalloped punch 2"  going down to a 1" plain circle.

I work in colour sets, so I pull out the circles I want for my bottom layer, including the yo-yos.

Then I layer up with other circles, shapes and embellishments until I'm happy with the arrangement.

Once I'm happy with that I ink all the edges (I've used Distress Ink in Pumice Stone) and then glue the layers together with foam pads and glue depending on how much dimension you want - I've just put pads between the bottom 2 layers for the smaller ones. Add gems, buttons, ribbons, whatever you fancy and there you go. Cheap embellishments completely customisable to your projects.

GIVEAWAY! I'm giving away one set of the following (primary, pink or blue) to one person who follows my blog (regular or new today!). So just leave a comment saying which colour you would prefer and how you follow my blog (google reader, feedly, bloglovin etc) by Midnight 21st April. I'll choose a random winner on 22nd April.

Thanks for stopping by.

Now hop on over to Sarah.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The best thing about blogging ...

... have you been reading Julie Kirk's Push-Up Bra Blogging? Not only has she great tips on inspiring your blog posts, she's raising fund for Save The Children, so if you haven't already then please do check it out.

In conjunction with Jenny Bowlin Studio Mercantile, Julie's issued a challenge today on the best thing about blogging.

Well here's mine - the amazingly talented ladies I've met and wonderful friends I've made through blogging. I would never have connected with these ladies without crafting and blogging and feel blessed that I have.

Here's some of them ...

Scarlet Lime get together October 2009

Bloggers Weekend Retreat Match 2013

Happy days!