Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Another Set!!!

Sorry if this is getting boring but I did say I was going to be making quite a few of these sets!  This one is destined for New Zealand.  I unexpectedly received a package the other day, I'll show a picture of what I got in a day or so.  This package contained items for the heart swap I mentioned in my last post.  The items in it were intended for me but there was a mix up about names and a swap should have gone to New Zealand.  So, we all came to an agreement that I would keep the package and then make something for the swapper who should have got something.
I'm feeling a bit fed up at the moment.  When I reached sixty I decided that, being an old age pensioner, I would only do things that I wanted to do.  And what happens?  I got a letter saying I have to attend for jury duty.  There is no getting out of it and it has really got on my nerves that I've got to do it.  Think of all those wasted hours that I could have used for crafting!!!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A Swap Received

I've mentioned a group I'm in before, International Hand Stitchers, every couple of months we have a swap and the swap for January was to make a heart ornament.  My swap partner was Linda and this is what she sent me.  I was so excited to receive the heart from Linda, it's done in ribbon embroidery and, as you can see, it's gorgeous.  We always add a bit of something extra as a surprise and Linda was really generous with what she included, a beautiful brooch, beeswax thread conditioner and a fabric marker pen.  On top of all that there was the beautiful handstitched card.  The amount of work Linda put into this swap is really appreciated, it was an exciting package to receive - thanks Linda!!!

Melissa, who has a lovely blog, is having a give-away, why not pop over and leave a comment to have a chance of winning this fab pattern

Looks like it's a very useful sort of pattern, stuffed animals and quilts, perfect for making gifts.

I'm still busy making the project bags with accessories, I want to get a good stock of these made for two reasons, 1) I like making them, 2) they make great gifts, swaps and give-aways.  I came up with a pouch that will hold scissors and embroidery floss but I think I still prefer the sewing roll so will make a seperate scissor pouch in future.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Pin Tucks

This project bag and accessories isn't finished yet, I'm trying to think of some sort of pouch that will hold embroidery scissors and floss.  It will need to be strong enough to hold the scissors without the point cutting through.  I love the look of pin tucks, they are really easy to do if you have a zig zag machine, all you need is a twin needle and it's quite straight forward.  I have got a pin tuck foot but I don't always use it, as long as the tension is tight it works quite well without the foot.  The advantage of the foot is that it has a guide on it so that the tucks are easy to space evenly.
I was getting a bit worried about making all these sets, that is until I was reading this blog, the blogger loves making pincushions and I do belong to this group that is just about pincushions.  So, I decided it is ok to have an obsession for these things and I will carry on making them - so there!!!
A thought I had this morning was about energy levels.  I love to watch The Dog Whisperer, he is always talking about dogs' energy levels and I realised that I thought Doobry was the perfect dog because he has the same energy level as me.  This led me to understand about people's energy levels and that mine is low.  All my life I've felt tired when I've tried to keep up with other people, for instance Graham is a higher energy level than me and I know that sometimes he gets a bit annoyed when I say I can't do any more.  If I do try to keep up I get so tired that I feel ill.  Well, it's about time I stopped being like this and if other people can't accept me as I am - tough!!!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Project Bag & Accessories

Another Project Kit finished.  I think one of the reasons I like making these is because it gives me the opportunity to use some of my lovely fabric stash and I end up with something useful from it.  Recently I've been buying bargain lengths of fabric with no idea of what I will be doing with it.  I also keep trying to think of other sewing accessories I can make to go into a project bag but so far I can only think of the items in these recent pictures.  If anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear about them.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A Sewing Kit

I spent today making the pincushion, sewing roll and needle case for the project bag I made a while ago.  There is also a scissor fob to go with it.  I feel quite happy with what I've made today.  When I'm doing embroidery or cross stitch there is never much to show for each days work but when I make things like the sewing kit it always feels as though the day has been productive.
The snow has disappeared now and it has rained a lot today, it's a bit milder and I have been able to open a window to get a bit of fresh air into the house without freezing to death!  I meant to buy some vegetable seeds while I was shopping the other day.  I like to buy seeds from Wilkinsons but I couldn't remember why I was going into the shop, then when I got home I remembered - oh dear!!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Last Few Days

If you want to make a quick card the ones shown above will only take a few minutes.  You'd think I'd have more to show for the last few days but I've done a lot of procrastinating.  Anyway, these cards are made using die-cut flowers and backgrounds from a cheap kit I had hanging about.  All you do is pop out the flower shapes, assemble them then stick them to your prepared card.  I want to get all the die-cuts used up then I will have plenty of cards in stock.  Another reason I want to get them used up is because I sometimes worry about the amount of craft stuff that is waiting to be used.

On a completely different subject - I was watching a repeat of The War Time Kitchen & Garden, I remember watching it in the early '90s, I loved it, well, on Friday there is a programme called Ration Book Britain, that should be interesting.  I was born shortly after the war and I do remember a few things being rationed but I was too young to appreciate how difficult it must have been for housewives in those days.  When I was first married I didn't know a lot about cooking but gradually over the years I think I'm a lot more of an economical cook.  One tip I saw on the programme yesterday was to replace half the fat with grated potato when making pastry.  I'm going to give this a try, it not only sounds economical but also healthier.  I wonder what other tips I'll pick up from this programme!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Card Making

Today I have got to spend time making cards.  It's my DS's birthday soon and he likes me to make a card for him.  Luckily it doesn't have to be a masculine themed card, which I don't make.  It's difficult to buy nice cards for men as well, so even the professional designers must find it difficult to come up with decent men's cards.
All the stuff in the above picture has been waiting in a drawer for me to get round to using for ages.  I love doing 3d decoupage cards.  I do them the proper way, cut them out, mold the shape, build up the image with silicone glue and then varnish them.  It takes ages but looks lovely.  When I saw these papers and matching paper punches in a craft catalogue I thought it would save me a bit of time having the paper punches to cut out the flower shapes.  However, when it all arrived it seems that I needed more punches than were with the set.  I looked everywhere to try and find the ones I needed but didn't have any luck.  But when I thought about it I realised that this was going to be a rather expensive way of doing decoupage, I'll stick with my scissors in future!
So, these will be part punched and part hand cut, we'll see how I get on.

I don't know about everyone else but this cold weather is making me crave stodgy food, the day before yesterday we had stew and dumplings, yesterday we had rhubarb crumble.  DH is talking about having dumplings again today and there is enough rhubarb crumble left to have for pudding.  I can see me putting loads of weight on round my waist, I really dislike having a fat stomach and not being able to fasten my trousers properly!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Yet Another Bag

Before spending time putting away my Christmas decorations I got round to finishing this bag.  It turned out a lot fancier than I thought it would!  I couldn't think of any embroidery design to put on it so decided to see what yo-yos (Suffolk puffs) would look like.  It's different anyway!

When I got up this morning it had been snowing again and it has snowed on and off all day.  It must be a bit warmer though, because the snow on the roof keeps sliding off and frightening me to death.  It really rumbles down the roof then makes quite a noise as it hits the ground.  I worried that my little dog would be stepping outside as it happened but he's been ok so far.

Yesterday I visited Myra's blog and she mentioned that one of her goals for this year was to do a Christmas ornament each month.  What a good idea, I'll be joining Myra in this and have just ordered a couple of charts from Sew and So.  I've chosen Prairie Schooler charts, one is the Kris Kringle Chart Leaflet and the other is Old World Santas II Chart Leaflet.  We'll see how I get on with this.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Projects So Far

This year I want to keep a proper record of everything I make.  I have a little black book that I jot down ideas and instructions in so I will use this to also jot down what I've made.  Here's what I've been doing so far.

These are the project bags I enjoy making, they measure about 7 inches x 9 inches and are just right for keeping 'bits' together.  I've made two the same because I want one to keep and one to give/swap.  This is another thing I want to do, if I make something that will be given away I want to make another one for myself.

I also want to do some applique this year and I've started off with this heart shape.  It's stuck to the background with Bondaweb and I will blanket stitch around the edge and maybe add a bit of redwork to the blank area.  It will then be made into another project bag.

I also like to stitch a few small designs, then if I'm in a swap I have something ready to use.  This one will be a scissor fob.

 Lately I've been stitching on evenweave/linen fabric but, for a change, I decided to have a go at this initial on Aida.  Aida is much easier on the eyes than evenweave and so is quite quick to stitch.
I have two other pieces of stitching started, just small designs like the above ones.  Considering it's only the fourth day of the new year I think I've got quite a bit made already!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Meet Ben

Before Christmas my DIL and I have a day doing a bit of Christmas crafting of some sort.  In 2008 we spent a day making linings for baskets.  The baskets were for putting things like sweets in but this Christmas Ben, (DIL and DS cat), had other ideas for one of them.

Silly old Ben!!!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year...........

......................I hope this year is a good year for everyone, I hope this year is a better year for me than the last few years!!!

Remember these?  Well, they are these..............

When I opened the package from Nyperosa I was a bit puzzled myself but then I had one of those moments "Of course!!!"  and it became obvious that they were the slippers that she makes.  What a clever bit of knitting!!!  I think they are a really lovely gift for knitters to make, I don't know where she got the pattern, maybe you could visit Nyperosa's blog and ask her.

Something else I got for Christmas was this basket, well actually I got two, this is the smaller one.  Once again they are from Dunelm Mill.  I knew I was getting them because I chose them myself, that's how we do it, choose what you want yourself, then it's hidden until Christmas day.  The best way to do it I think, then everyone gets exactly what they want.  Though it is nice to get a bit of a surprise present I know.  I'll use the baskets for ongoing project storage or for displaying finished projects, maybe I'll line them too.