Wednesday, 30 April 2014

WIP Wednesday

One word Wednesday WIPS...joining in with Tami at Tami's Amis and other creations.





What Works in Progress do you have on the go? Do tell...xx

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Minerva Post April

This month I had some lovely paper crafting materials from Minerva Crafts to make cards for the coming months. Maybe you will be inspired to make some cards too. 

Try recycling pages from your favourite magazines and catalogues. I love the patterned pages in Cath Kidston Catalogues and always cut them out for my papercrafting drawer. The work really well with bought embellishments.

The kit contains cards, ribbons, stickers and paper flowers but you could browse and make your own selections.

Happy Crafting Jo xxxx

Monday, 28 April 2014

Hooray! sewing bag

Everyone is back to normal after the Easter Holidays. Bloke at work, big sis at School, Little M playing in the garden and I have crochet lessons this afternoon. I just wanted to pop in and show you this sewing bag I have made for my friends daughter who is 13.

She really enjoyed The Great British Sewing Bee on TV and wants to make a skater skirt so I said she could come here for a morning and I would make it with her. To go with this little visit I have made her a sewing bag with some goodies inside.

A patchwork book for girls, some dressmaking scissors, needles and other little things in the pockets inside.

I made a little zip fob from my sewing machine cover leftovers and that piece of gingham belt loop I found in my basket. 
Why was I saving that?

The geometric print is a stiff canvas and the rest is just fat quarters and dressmaking bits that I had left from other projects. The spotty and the large print on the outside are Amy Butler pieces I had in a Hobbycraft sale last year which I made a collage skirt with. 

The pattern is from a book called Sew Serendipity bags by Kay Whitt and I really like it. It has printed patterns in the back, the instructions are detailed and the bags are professional. If you want to move on from the tote bag this is a great book that becomes quite advanced so it will grow with you. This is the cover bag without ruffles because I liked the shape.

Big Sis got the bag bug too while sitting at my feet making a lego friends holder.

So, if you could just pick up the rest of that lego and pop it in the bag that would be great... there is only childbirth more painful than stepping on lego!

Chat soon. Jo xx

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Keep Scrappin'

Last night bloke was out and I thought I should catch up on some scrap booking. I used to be obsessed with this crafting hobby, go to crop classes with friends, buy crazy amounts of craft supplies and generally throw myself right in there - that was before I had children.

I used to use their afternoon nap times to have a quiet afternoon scrap booking but alas it is the Easter Holidays and not a snooze in sight!

So I was appalled to find a photo I had just had printed, from not very long ago, February half term holidays probably but which I could not place. Where were we? What were we doing? Why were we there? When was it? I had no idea. I racked my brains but it has gone. Suffice to say it is a great picture of them both so I used the mystery of the destination as the page theme.

Then I found some photos from last year which had slipped through the net. Big Sis has her short little bob and Little M really looks much more of a older toddler. So I did that one too with some free papers I had from the Simply Homemade magazine.

It is safe to say that even after six years, I still have a little paper stash and like to rummage through my stickers, flowers, brads and buttons. 

The whole evening just reminded to me to 'Keep scrappin' because last night I remembered how much I love making our family albums of the children growing up - such precious moments.

I even combined scrap booking with a little whizz under the sewing machine. Such great results for a couple of hours of fun.

Thanks for stopping by Jo xxxx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Too scared to start

I have a big secret job to do but I am too scared to start. I have been invited as a Minerva Network Blogger to a bash with all the other bloggers and we have all had to choose a kit to do for the evening of the meet up. I chose this fabric and I am going to make a dress.

It is stretch cotton (a little bit of grace) but I fell straight into the trap of choosing a vintage style pattern. Why do I do this to myself? It is a Butterick Retro one made into a new pattern but the sizing still looks tricky to me.

Anyway, if you live up North and fancy a very crafty day out  there are workshops with crafty shopping going on at The Minerva Meet up on 14th June 2014. You can go to their page by clicking the link at the bottom to find out what is happening.

This link also tells you what else you can do around Darwen especially put together if you want to make it a trip with a partner of friend.

So less chatting, lets just get on with it, breathe and read the instructions carefully. Jo xxxxx

Monday, 21 April 2014

Hooray! hat and scarf

Anyway, let's get back to the yarn...I have done quite a bit of seasonal swapping over this Easter Holiday. Boots away, shoes and sandals out. Hats and gloves away, sunglasses and sunhats out. Dark winter colours and fabrics away, bright and light ones out. I like to store our unseasonal things under beds and in the loft so that I don't have to manage too many things at once.

As I sorted the hat/shoe basket I made up sets of hats, scarves and gloves for each family member that would be fine for next year and culled stretched, bobbly, unwashable ones to make way for new crochet and knit projects.

I made a hat for Big Sis to go with her Millamia fingerless gloves and a twirly scarf for me to wear in the Autumn. The yarn is King Cole Riot Chunky and I bought two balls for £2 at a craft fair - Bargain!

All packed away and ready for a surprise in the Autumn.

Have you been doing seasonal things? Jo xx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Cabin update

For those following our cabin adventure I can show you the finished building but we are a long way from making it lovely. In all honesty it will never be very shed-chic because I want to make it a place where I reuse old things, hijack free stuff and do not spend any money and that all takes time.

It will grow with experience and stopovers then we will realise what we really need. At the moment it turns out all the children need is soil and a stick and all the grown ups need is a gas ring and a cup of tea.

I totally understand that we don't NEED bunting but little craft projects like that will all eventually make an appearance over the years.

I suppose what I am trying to say is there will never be a final 'tadah' because it is about us all growing and having adventures together there not what it looks like. Am I making any sense?!

Thanks for stopping by. 
Send my bloke your love for he built this monster in three days with help from his brother and his dad. 
Thanks Andy Love Jo x

Friday, 18 April 2014

because we are building

It has been a bit quiet on the blog front for me this week because we are building....

but rest assured my making is of a different variety this week! Have a peaceful Easter Weekend whatever it is you are up to. Keep you posted... Jo x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

All Done #1

I am going to put together a few posts over the next few months to show how I use up every bit of something until it is 'All done' I don't like to have bits of useless craft stash left over filling cupboards all over the house. I like to use what it was bought/given for and then keep the momentum going until it has all gone.

This post is all about that lovely jersey I bought 
that went all pear shaped...

Did you ever have a post office set as a child and was too afraid to use the stamps because then they would all be gone and then by the time you found the box set in the bottom of the wardrobe a few years later you were too old to enjoy it. Well, that scenario is accurately described because that happened to me and so I like to get the fun out of things. No saving for best, enjoy the moment, I learnt my lesson long ago...

So, you may remember I made an almighty mess of an adult tunic. I didn't shove it into the fabric stash drawer under the bed or bin it crossly (nearly!)I tried my hand at some leggings, then a tunic for Big sis and finally some more contrast leggings to use up every last scrap on the nap.


I'm feeling fine about my mess up now and have had lots of practise with jersey, still lots to learn though, but I think you have all heard enough of it now! I used a great binding tutorial for jersey here if anyone has been struggling. It is aptly called 'The grumpy persons guide to knit bindings'

I'm ALL DONE #1 with this fabric now. Jo xxx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Still testing

I am still testing out sewing jersey and my little girls are happy to wear the experiments. This was a very flippy, silky jersey but the overlocker was great on the seams. Now I have to master the finishing techniques on my normal machine.Big Sis loves this skirt with a deep ribbing waistband which is a great way to knock up a comfy skirt quickly and Little M is in her custom fit leggings for teeny people!

They are on a treasure hunt in aid of funds for Little M's Pre-school and they were delighted with their chocolate egg prizes.

I saw my pre-school sewing friend for more tips. Louise makes great things with stretchy stuff. Check out her stretchy leggings at There she sews. Got some more jeresy bits and pieces cut out so I am still giving it a whirl. Jo xxxx

Friday, 11 April 2014

Frightened of yellow

I will let you into a little secret, I am frightened of yellow. Some bloggers describe it as a happy, sunshine, harvest colour but it frightens the life out of me so I surprised myself when I picked up this teapot in a charity shop for £2. 

I never know what to put with yellow, whether a shade of yellow is garish or simply bright. I once used a mustard colour in my hexie blanket but I like to think of that as light brown. Why I wonder?

Anyway, I had a little bit of a ball of yellow which I only keep in my stash to make the centre of flowers and little daffodils should the mood take me so I decided to go all out on colour - why shouldn't I? - I have just admitted I have no idea what goes with yellow!!

I have a little collection of flowers which live on my pattern basket. When I get to a ball end I make up flowers with the rest and pin them to the basket where I keep my pattern books.

When the basket is full or I need a flower I can whip one or two off, it is like a woolly florist.

Hooray! a big teapot for my Tuesday crochet group. There are eight enthusiasts now and I need a bigger teapot. My next beginners class is on Monday 28th April at 1pm if you live in Shropshire. 
Message me if you are interested.

Thanks for looking. Jo x

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sewing Jersey

I had high hopes for a little sewing project last week. I wanted to make this, so simple but very 'me' tunic.

I bought fabric especially for it. No leftovers, given stuff, house clearance bits from my friend - fabric I chose all on my very own plus a bit more than I wanted to pay.

Gorgeous teal background and ditsy print so that matching wouldn't be too tricky.

I have to do this bit of tracing but that is OK I am good at it now. I thought the tracing was worth it because the T-shirt is pretty darn useful too. The pattern is from Ottobre 5/2013

But gracious me... sewing with jersey??? I tried a stretch stitch which fluted my fabric. I tried twin needle sewing which was better for the hemming but no good for seams, I eventually broke the twin needle. I tried every ziz zag on my machine. I have been experimenting for a few days now but the dress did not materialize. Firstly, I lost concentration and cut out the top instead of the dress! I completely screwed the neckline binding of this top and couldn't get it off. So I cut it off and used the front and back pieces of the top to make these...

She loves them, they are a great fit (that's Ottobre patterns for you) and I had a bit more practising time. 

The problem is you see I ordered lots of jersey in all sorts of colours and thickness' it was in the sale section. It was all so promising when I got it. I really want to crack sewing with jersey because if you want to make your own/children's clothes, jersey is where it's at for modern makes. 

A bit disheartened but very determined I went online and bought one of these...

Woweeeeeeeeee! it is amazing (that is the rest of my car fund gone!)so fast and simple. Does exactly what I have been wanting for years. 

I have cut out and bagged up six sewing projects from some of my jersey so maybe I really can make our own clothes now.

Let's see...Jo x

I know I always tell you my four year old is tiny, well she is about the size of an overlocker!