Friday, 2 July 2010

New Creations

No, not mine this time.

I was full of excitement when I opened my new edition of Sew Hip magazine and found a photo of a pink owl. I'll try and see if I can show the piccie  but meanwhile thanks to Melanie Kemp, you made me smile this morning. Nothing is more rewarding than when you see a creation from one of your own ideas.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Returning to the real world

When I logged on and realised that my last entry was the 14th May it seemed so very long ago. Everything normal seems so long ago. Doing any real sewing seems so long ago. Life has been so full with other stuff.

The move went really well considering how late we stayed up packing boxes the night before, why do we never get ourselves better organised?! Our decision to delay our move until a week after completion to get the bedrooms decorated was definitely the right decision. On the first night to be asleep in a freshly painted room, with colours of our choosing, felt a real luxury. The girls rooms both look great. Mr B found a fab wallpaper for Niamhs rooms by Harlequin so we had one wall done with the others just white. 

When we have the main computer up and running and I can download the photos from my camera I will try and show you how it all looks.

Cait's room is all white and looks lovely and airy. We've managed to fit a lot in without it feeling cluttered and it's a room that will suit her for some years to come. She's really pleased with it and once I've got my sewing bits unpacked there are some cushions to make for the finishing touches. Cait wanted some bright accent colours; red, green, blue etc and I've got some fab fabric from Ikea that will be perfect.

The loveliest thing about this house though is how quickly it felt like home, despite the half unpacked sensation with more boxes full than I would normally like - out of necessity for when the works start. It feels like we've lived here for far longer than we have. When Mr B went away for 6 days with the lads to celebrate the beginning of the world cup I felt wonderfully at home, more than I had ever felt in the rented house, even towards the end.

So the confession is that I missed being able to do the sale with Cait that we had been hoping to. All too much going on at the same time with the house move but I have my eye on some others in the autumn which may be better timed.

And the other little update is that Niamhy turned 4. I had hoped to be able to do a little party for her at home in the new garden but with the move so late in May and her Birthday being the 2nd June it was one thing too much again. She had a fab time in a sports hall with bouncy castle though and I've 12 months to plan a homely treat for when she's 5.

Mr B and I also enjoyed a lovely day at Chelsea Flower Show. A little bit of down time in amongst the madness. We'd been last year so knew the form and were able to walk around this year with lots of purpose gathering ideas for our garden. It is a complete blank canvas apart from the Summerhouse at the end. Affectionately now known as 28b, it's a fab space..a real room at the end of the garden. Mr B's retreat if he gets his way... although Cait has already booked it for her 13th birthday sleepover.

There is loads more to tell and lots to show so I'll be back soon,

Friday, 14 May 2010


So we're homeowners again! We're packing our boxes, tidying, cleaning and organising again. It's a little boring when we were only doing it less than a year ago but this time it's our own house we are moving to and we shouldn't be doing this all again for quite some time.

Packing has to be one of the dullest jobs in the world. I know that I will either be unpacking it all again within days when we get to the other end or it will be shut up in a box for a few months and I will have to live without my treasured possession. (Although it has to be said that when you've not needed to get it out of a box for 6 months, you possibly don't really need it anymore and you can therapeutically pass it on for another happy user).

So as I decide how to pack up my craft supplies in order that I can still dabble a little whilst the works go on  I  may just disappear for a little while.


Thursday, 6 May 2010


Have been busy this evening making up a small supply of crayon rolls. It's Niamhys birthday soon and if I don't give them away in place of party bags then they'll go to stock supplies for a sale. I'm having to begin packing for the move in two weeks time so there has been an incentive to use up some scraps from my log cabin pillow. I'd normally spend far too much time trying to get the perfect pattern and colour combinations when really you should trust your instinct. I'm really quite pleased with them all. When the sun comes out tomorrow I'll take a snap to show. Just need to get some more pencils to put in them now.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Beautiful in pink

And how could I forget this. We were in the garden last weekend with friends and I snapped the magnolia before the wind and rain stole the show. They are such beautiful trees. (I'd love to have one at our new house will just need the patience to let it mature).

And then something else beautiful in pink caught my eye and I managed to sneak a shot before she looked. (proud mum moment - sorry!)

It's arrived

With everything that is going on, with our imminent move and building works, it's been easier than it might have been to distract myself. When I had my owl doorstop project accepted for Sew Hip I was really excited. It seems so long ago now and having to wait for the June edition felt like it would take ages. So in between the day to day stuff and talking to architects and builders what should drop on the doormat this week!! And my little old owl is even a cover star.

The pictures inside look really good and I'm even more excited now to see if anyone makes one and sends in a photo!

The house project is going well too and we'll be moving on the 21st May. The girls rooms will be both done which will give them a lovely sanctuary to retire to. (Building works don't come without some disruption and I think it's really important they both have somewhere calm and settled).

I also want to start thinking about Niamh's birthday which is the 2nd June. I always try to decorate the house to make it feel special... it's possibly as much for me as I love the excuse to get creative with a real purpose.... but isn't that one of the joys of motherhood you are allowed to indulge in?! I've kept lots of her olf clothes to make a memory quilt but I might just use some for some bunting or something similar. I need a train journey to give me space to think!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Tunic Time

I finished it! Had a night in on my own, so once Niamhy was in bed I grabbed a bottle of beer and said hello to my sewing! Even after a bit of a hellish week at work an evening pottering is just the ticket.

I decided not to make the matching belt as wondered if it would be one step too far and then, as I put it on Saturday morning, I remembered this belt that I had.

pic to come

I have some wonderful bright red and pink fabric that might just get used for a second one... could work really well with some white linen trousers I have.

Oh and how could I forget.... we've exchanged! As of the 17th May we'll be living in our own house again and I can't wait! We are going to do a fair bit of work, shaping it as we want it but hey... it's ours.... I just can't wait.

Monday, 12 April 2010

The chocolate fest is over

Easter. What a fab time of the year. At last we have signs of spring... flowers in the flower beds and sunshine in the sky. It's amazing how these two simple things lift everyones spirits. And with that thought, and a few days off looming, it was time to get some flowers in the house. A gorgeous bunch from the local greengrocer graced our tables over easter. Cait and I wondered at the papery leaves, how they fitted around, in and out of each other. So very delicate.

All that without even mentioning chocolate!

Anyway, a few days off to recharge the batteries is very welcome especially with everything that we have going on at the moment. It seems that our house purchase is moving in the right direction and all of the conversations with the builder and planners are really quite exciting. It's a home that I hope we'll stay in for a while so to be able to shape it a little feels good. To create something that we can enjoy living in is a treat that I shall make the most of. We work hard and enjoy the sanctuary of a nice home... and the best bit is that it even looks like I'll get to have my own space.... A space for my clutter or my creativity... depends how you want to look at it...they are so closely linked! Mind, lots of people say clutter stifles creativity.

Creativity has been in the air though as I finally cut out the rest of the Toadstool doorstep and enjoyed a few evenings of hand sewing on the sofa to create this.

I half filled with stuffing and filled some of the canopy and all of the stalk with rice. It's worked better than I thought it was going to and makes a great doorstop... though almost wasted to be down so low on the ground out of sight. Think it might have to live on a shelf in my workroom!

I've also been working on a tunic top for myself. It's an Amy Butler pattern but I've not made clothes for a while and thought I'd refresh my skills. Cait has got the clothes making bug at the moment which I think is where I've got it from. She made a fabulous skirt using a pattern she created in her head and did it all herself. It was a six panel skirt but she had worked out how to shape and measure the panels so that it would fit her waist and she had a zip run the entire length which I thought was really clever. She has a creativity at her age that I didn't and has so many wonderful ideas. I took her off to one of our local fabric shops over Easter and we've both got some fabric to make a halter neck top for the summer.

In a couple of spare moments I did make up a mobile phone sleeve and a tote bag with some felt applique. Sometimes you need a little project to lift the spirits.

I made the inside really neat and tidy by finishing with some cute cotton ribbon I had.

They might also be good prototypes for a stall at a fair that Cait and I are hoping to do together. Cait wants to raise some funds for a big spend she's planning and I've been meaning to do one for ages. It's shortly after our planned move but I'm sure if I put my mind to it, and do a few late nights if needed, I can get enough merchandise together. Cait's already spent a day making some things that she wants to sell so there's no way I want to let her down.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Time passes so quickly

It's really beginning to dawn on me how quickly time passes, and in the world of blogging it seems to pass even faster than normal. It feels like only yesterday I thought about making the large toadstool and yet it's almost three weeks! Well I have made the top and cut out the stem but I've yet to add the cottage character so no piccies of that yet. And no, the girls scrapbooks are no further forward!

Still I've not been idle... maybe that's' my problem I start something and then get distracted!!! Anyway I haven't been idle and I made this lovely card for mothers day which I was really pleased with.

If ever I pass a craft shop when I am out and about I always have to pop in, and I always end up buying something. There's always something that you've never seen before and fearful that you might never spot it again you succumb! Sometimes those things stay stashed for ages and other times you find the perfect use within days. Well this was one of those finds that got used straight away! The button at the centre came from a knitting shop in Hove and matched perfectly with the design style which I'd recently spotted on promotional leaflet. It looked a bit flat with just the one red flower so I layered a couple more. And the best bit... is that they probably still have the buttons in stock so I can go and get some more!

I've also been busy making an organiser for the car now that Niamhy seems to accumulate so much clutter. I'm due to get a new car soon and, just like a new years resolution, I am determined to try and keep it tidy! I made it from an old denim dress from a charity shop and some lovely old curtains that I'd found ages ago at a car boot. I love the blue and white print fabric and have been so reluctant to cut it up but sometimes you just have to take the plunge.

It's worked well and there are slots for pencils when she wants to draw but it dangles near her feet at the moment and she's not keen. I think I need to attach some ribbon and tie it round the passenger chair.

We've also made progress on the house we like and it looks like it could be a really exciting project. It's not a wreck or anything like that, in fact it was not that long ago extended, but we've got some great ideas and having had a builder around it looks like their feasible. I'll say no more for now but could be boring you with it in the months to come! It's funny how life works out as well because my dear friend, affectionately known as Boatlady, is going to be undergoing some works on her house at about the same time. There'll be someone to understand when I can't cope with the mess and want my tranquility back, and vice versa!

And what of the owl doorstep? Well I'm told the photo shoot went well and that he'll be staring in the May edition of Sew Hip due out at the end of April. I'm really excited to see how it looks and how the pattern reads in print. It'll be even more exciting if a reader sends in a photo of one they've made!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Doorstops continued

Suddenly occurred to me last night that I wonder what one of the toadstools might look like as a larger version and a doorstop.... the wondering got to me so I've started one! Will keep you posted. I am sure that there are more important things that I should be doing!

I've also promised myself that I really must sort out the scrapbooks that I started on the girls. They've each got a scrap book that I started when they were babies. It contains a few photos and pictures, hand made cards etc from each year of their life. I've got all the bits to go in them.. the shameful bit is that I've not properly updated them for about two or three years now! So this is my attempt to embarrass myself into it. If I've gone public then I've got not excuse not to get them sorted!

Sunday, 28 February 2010


Well it's been a bit of a week really.

We've been house hunting for some time, but it looks like we might have finally found somewhere. We've been in rented since last summer and whilst its a nice house it's not like living in your own, especially when you are a creative cafty sort of person. I won't say more than that for fear of jinxing us but when things start moving I'll spill.

I also decided to write to one of my favourite mags and see if they might be interested in printing a pattern for my owl doorstop. I was so chuffed when I heard on Friday that they are. Have got to package one up and send it off for a photo shoot and I've no idea when it will be published but the whole thing is quite exciting. It's got my head buzzing about all sorts of ideas.

So between thinking about a new house and crafting I am probably spending a little too much time day dreaming right now, especially when I've got 5 major birthdays and mothers day to think about this month! Still sometimes when you're busy everything begins to drop into place that bit easier.... I think its called momentum. I am also determined to try and finish the stock I have been making for a new etsy shop and I'll keep you posted on that too.

But in all the excitement and day dreaming I did manage to finish the mushroom that I'd started last week so here's a pic of it with Caits toadstool. We're both really pleased with them.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


I took these photos earlier and want to share them. I think they're great. I made the dress for Niamhs christmas show, which due to the weather they only performed once and it was the performance I couldn't make! As there weren't any performance shots to keep for the future I persuaded her to dress up this afternoon. I'm glad I did, she was in a lovely looning mood.

Owl No.2

Thought I'd have another go at making an owl. This time out of an old sweater and felts. What do you think? I'm wondering if I might make this in to my first tutorial. I always think it's lovely when you find a tutorial to inspire you.

Cait and I are working on felt toadstools and mushrooms at the moment. They are quite fun and I'll let you see them when they are finished.

I've had a few days off this week what with it being half term, and with typical half term weather there were plenty of excuses to do some crafting. Cait made a skirt out of an old jumper which turned out really well and we made necklaces, brooches and hairclips! Girly Girly Girly. Niamh helped choose the buttons which was great and they were dead simple with a little help from a glue gun.

So we've all had a lovely week, Mr BB had time off too, and from tomorrow it's back to the normal routine. Still, I've got a few projects on the go to keep me busy in the evenings and after being introduced to Six Feet Under (you may have seen it on Channel 4 a few years back) there's even something to unwind to - now that I've bought the five series box set! Not normally a telly monster but sometimes I do enjoy a bit of sofa loving. Oh and we're house hunting with fresh impetus so I don't think I'm likely to be bored.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Ta da!

Well I finally got myself organised to buy the cushion pad and then I had no excuse not to finish it. It didn't take too long to make up, once I'd decided what fastening I was going to do and I found the perfect button in my button stash!

I have also decided that I may try to perfect the owl doorstop and have another on the go... will keep you posted on the progress... this time I'm using an old jumper and some felt. May even do a tutorial.

And speaking of felt I bought some lovely scraps at a craft fair at the Brighton Centre last weekend. Lovely shades of blue and green... So I got busy and made a new home card for my in laws who have just moved up north. I can't seem to work out how to rotate the piccie and the card's been sent so you'll have to see it sideways! I've never had much success with french knots but this time they seemed to work for me so there's a white rose growing up the outside.

And as mummy was busy with the camera Niamh felt the need to be too so I'm pleased to introduce Butterfly the white cat and Mittens the grey kitten!!!

And this is Niamh the fairy making herself very helpful in the kitchen!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sneaking a moment

If you are ever down near Chichester you really must visit this store. When I visited last summer it was an alladins cave of treats, with things round every nook and cranny. Now they've moved and found this wonderful location it's a feast for your eyes the moment you walk through the doors. It was heaven. Welcome to The Eternal Maker.

It had this lovely tree display inside from which, on the day I visited, hung loads of lovely examples of their work to inspire you on. And no, I didn't take these photos... merely pinched them from their own blog and I hope they don't mind!

They had so many lovely fabrics and trimmings and buttons.... lots and lots of buttons. I promised myself when I walked in that I would only treat myself to a few things and I think I did quite well. There were some lovely japanese fake patchwork fabrics which really caught my eye......

.......some patterned fabrics that looked quite unusual but would be great for embellishing and then some spotty fabrics. I do do spots! And I couldn't resist getting a bit more of the jumbo ric rac. I used it on the cushion that I made for Cait and have never seen it anywhere else.

Mr BB and I are off for a weekend in Cambridge, just the two of us. I shall have to remember this indulgence if we go near shops whilst we're there!!!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Cheat Street

Well clearly this blogging is going to keep me on my toes. Two weeks on and that half finished cushion cover is ... yep you guessed it...... still half finished. I've not been idle, as I've now quilted it and added a yoyo to the front but I've been a little busy elsewhere.

I had the most wonderful time sledging with Niamhy and Cait in the snow, whizzing down a hill screaming at the top of your voice is so very therapeutic, and for the very best in sledging you really must try lying on a body board face down! Fantastic.

I've also had two weekends of catching up with friends which is a real buzz at this time of year. Met up with an old work colleague in London and took the opportunity to hunt out one of my favourite bookshops. Full of visually stimulating books and I couldn't resist buying this lovely gem.

It's a fab book of wonderful prints to inspire your creative side and the best bit is is that they all come as image files on an enclosed CD so you can print them off again and again for all number of crafty creations. Wish I had found out about it ages ago. Every year for Caits birthday I decorate the house. It's at the end of November and a great excuse to start lifting the spirits ahead of Christmas. Of course 9 years ago when I started the tradition my decorations were far simpler than they are today! Still now I've got a good companion to help inspire me.

As I've been a tad busy over the last two weeks I'll show you something that I made just before the mad Christmas rush, when I wanted a little project to keep me busy during the evenings. Cheat street I know. I had loads of fun making him from some scraps I had left over from a cushion that I'd just finished making for Cait. Cait has a great eye for colour and pattern and I was asking her opinion as to what colour the eyes should be ..... she that had the great idea of making them odd and I loved it. So I'm pleased to introduce my latest doorstop creation.

And it wouldn't be right to overlook the cushion that I made for Cait. She's real blue and green girl and I was dead chuffed when I gave it to her and she loved it.

So I'll challenge myself to get out this week and buy a cushion filler and then I'll have no excuse not to get my log cabin creation completed. I'd like to... I'm ready to get creating something else now.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

My First Post

So, I've been trying to work out what you write in your first post. An introduction to who I am sounds too cheesy so maybe I'll just show you a photo of what I've been doing with my odd spare moments whilst we've been snowed in.

So you've guessed it I like sewing! I like all sorts of crafting and having poured over numerous books and blogs for several years now I thought maybe I should join in, have somewhere to chronicle what I do.

I guess because it's christmas and I've just had time off from work to indulge myself that I've got a real drive for making things right now. I had a great christmas this year and had nearly the whole week off leading up which gave me loads of time to indulge myself making things with Cait (12) and Niamh (3).

Paper chains were first.....

And then there was the marathon task of a gingerbread house! I wasn't convinced that we'd be able to pull this off as novices... but have to say it worked quite well. Making it was fun but deocrating it with all those sweets even more so!

And in between all that fun I decided that my friends with little people should have a handcrafted crayon roll. It's lovely to make things but even more so when you can try to pick the colours and look that you think that person might like....

I love red and green at the moment.

I also made a necklace for my best mate and some lovely bunting for my two year old nephew but I forgot to photo them!

So I think that's all I say for now. I've finished quilting the cushion cover and have made a yoyo to go on top so maybe I'll finish that off over this week and show you the finished article later. Meantime..I'll add on some of my favourite blogs.