Wednesday, 30 January 2013

project 4

Busy busy busy week but I have updated the Project 52 page with my latest idea- well it was influenced by Pinterest with a 'Katie' take on it which I think has a more vintagey feel.  It isn't quite finished but I didn't want to fail my project within the first month!
Here's the original- no negative comparisons though please! Haha- all criticism is constructive!  (and I'm thick skinned ;p) x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Christmas bites

A month after all the Christmas dinner preps were starting, I decided to make Turkey and stuffing meatballs.  A friend of ours and excellent traditional cook told me of this recipe and said they had been described as little Christmas bites- and she is dead right.  Both my parents are Irish and no Christmas dinner was ever complete without a 'Ham' so I also added some bacon to my meatballs and served them with Cranberry sauce. 
  I wasn't brave enough to repeat the whole 10 veg spread that we usually have on Christmas day, but did use up the last of the goose fat for roasties, the last of the cranberry sauce and also the last packet of stuffing.

 I rolled the meatballs around 1 o'clock and although you are supposed to put them back in the fridge to set for a while, I fried them in the pan straight away as I wanted them to have maximum cooking time.
After browning them in the pan, I made up a gravy and placed them all in the slow cooker.
  4 hours later, I did the rest of the veg and have to apologise for the last picture as I started eating in hunger and eagerness, forgetting to get a picture first! So there is a bite out of a roastie and a meatball missing from my plate :$ oops.  It was delicious mmmmm

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Vintage Aprons

Just before Christmas, my husband brought a huge bag of material for me, courtesy of his step-dad's mother.  In it were beautiful tablecloths, vintage aprons and material.  I was in the process of sorting my fabric stash and so most was organised away neatly before I had chance to take stock of it properly.  The aprons and table cloths however have sat in their bag in the kitchen awaiting a home.  After baking with the girls this week, I was inspired to share their vintage loveliness as I know I won't air them as often as they deserve.  They have inspired me to make some more though as gifts and to sell but here are the originals.

 I love the fabric on this one and the really pretty back.  It is less than flattering with my bump but will definitely be utilised later in the year.
 These overalls remind me of my nans.  Both always wore them in the home and this has had lots of wear too.  I have dirtied many a dress needlessly for want of a decent covering and now I shall have no excuse!
 This is my favourite! Green is my favourite colour but the pink flowers and frill make it so feminine.  This is the shape I hope to replicate for gifts as I know a few who will love it and their Birthday's are not too far away.

 My mum said that her first 'domestic science' class in high school was making an apron just like this.  She said each girl was then supposed to wear it for all subsequent lessons for baking/ cooking.  It is smaller than the others and so I assume that this was also designed for a school girl.  I love gingham generally and have this hanging off the corner of my kitchen dresser at the moment.
 This is a close second in the favourite stakes- note it is also green and floral!  It has a pretty neckline and curved collar at the back which I will also try to replicate for the full length aprons I attempt.
So now I have a collection of vintage tablecloths, tray cloths and napkins along with aprons.  I am stocking up for a vintage tea room.  One day perhaps :D

Thursday, 17 January 2013

new project page

Just a very short post to say I have created a separate Project 52 page with this weeks' creation.
It will be a page in a fabric journal which I hope to complete during this project.  It was done using potato prints and fabric paints.  

I forgot to say in the previous post that this project is supposed to be a challenge and so I will be trying new skills and creating different finishes.  I've been looking through my books to highlight potential projects and found these so far: 
 I love folk art and am hoping to use these as inspiration for something.  I may do some hand embroidery or machine sew some of these intricate patterns.
 I just love these and may combine making these covers with the toggle cushions (below) to create a large padded mat/ bumper for baby number 3.
 I have begun crocheting squares but have only completed 2 using different colours.  I bought new wool this week in white and turquoise and plan to make a blanket using granny squares.  If i feel particularly confident, I may even add some flowers as on the beautiful image below.
 I have wanted to make these for AGES!  I bought little bells to go inside and have the stuffing.  Now just the tape measure, scissors and fabric scraps :D

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Project 52

I have wanted to do this for a while and with being ill at the very start of the year I am slightly late but I believe there's time to make up yet!  Project 52 is basically a challenge to make one new things each week- okay so it started off (not with me!) as Project 365, but even without a baby on the way, I seriously doubt I could fine time every day to do something crafty.  I may need to take a break in April/ May when the baby arrives but then again I may be able to cope with one or 2 crochet hats or perhaps a scrapbook of the baby's first days- but I'm getting ahead of myself- let's deal with this delayed week!  I will start a new page so that normal blogs aren't absorbed into my crafting challenge but may talk about them from time to time.
Such as now; the first task is based around the woodland walks I have been taking most days when dropping my eldest to school.  The youngest has really appreciated the little birds and squirrels in the woodland area of our Park and so I have been thinking of making her a woodland related book but then I saw this:
Combined with an article I saw a few issues back in Mollie makes of this little fella (designed by another blogger I love, Katie of 'skunkboy blog'):
I created a little woodland mat/ scene with characters which all fold into a small bag.  I've backed it with a wipe clean material which means they can play with it on grass- perhaps at a picnic, or more likely, a sticky table in a cafe/ restaurant while we wait for our food!  Here's a sneak peek of the finished product before I upload the full account on the separate page.

Watch this space for the fuller details and my second project since we're already into week 2 of January 2013!

new favourite blog

In my addiitction to/ obsession with Pinterest, I have been directed to lots of other sites including other bloggers.  This is the latest one I have been directed to and LOVE it!  She is a 'Mommy by day and crafter by night'.  Her attention to detail is admirable and inspirational.  I often rush things like ironing but when I see her work, it makes me appreciate the difference the extra care makes.  It's not just this though, I love her choice of fabric in addition to nearly every project being relevant to my life too (mostly baby related with odd skirts for her girls thrown in).  Did i mention that she is a fan of pom poms and ric rac and all other lovely trimmings?!  I strongly recommend you take a look :D

The one that has really caught my eye is her carseat canopy.  Since our new baby will be born around May, a canopy will be a good accessory for those unexpected British summery days when I know I'm only likely to have one blanket with me to cover baby.  I may get to work on this idea soon :D  Here are some of the pics.   I've deliberately only included a few without stealing her tutorial so that you will look for yourself- go on, you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Inspired presents

Most years I will make some presents and buy others.  I often combine a bought present with something else as not all appreciate the time etc. and assume the only reason people make presents is to save money.  These are usually, I have found, people who do not craft themselves.  However, this year, i  was inspired by these Vintage stockings in Mollie Makes Christmas book.
There are 3 friends who I often make for (being the appreciate kind) and then add extra bits to and so this offered the perfect opportunity to make them each a stocking and fill it with goodies.  Whilst my stockings may not be as stylish as the above, I was nevertheless pleased (as were my friends).

I filled them with M&S smellies, a mini bottle of wine, Christmas socks, chocolate, hot chocolate and they were supposed to have candles in too which were absently left out :s 
After completing these, I decided to do more for some of my other friends too.  Perhaps it's an idea for future Christmas fairs hmmmm...

Crafty Christmas Presents

It's a good sign, I'm sure, when your friends and family buy you things that demonstrate they really know you.  This Christmas, I was bought A LOT of craft related presents from books, to kits, and a vast set of crafting knives- scalpels actually.  (This too was a good sign that it is not expected that I am a danger to myself in any way as this is not a collection to leave around children, the clumsy or aforementioned 'those likely to be a danger to oneself').  I hope to include images of some of the items I make as a result of those gifts but despite my last post about Pinterest being fantastic (which it still is), I shall not ever lose my love of books.  Here are a few pics of the books that were presents and one or two of the ideas within that I hope to attempt soon.  (Check out the 'What Katie Did' Page for a new post on my latest creations inspired by the Mollie Makes Christmas book).
So this was a present to me from me before Christmas as it was at a discount price for subscribers to their magazine.  I hadn't been sure whether or not to buy it until I saw it at a craft Fair and loved the ideas.  I am not disappointed!  The first picture here is of a lovely paper garland concept which requires sewing through the centre of a few paper stars to then fold them outwards.  I have deliberately not taken close ups as I do not want to offend any copy writing laws/ etiquette etc!

 Another lovely book- this time a gift from a fellow crafter, with some projects to attempt- always a good inspiration even if projects are similar to other books, as a different choice of material or ribbon can make a once dismissed project seem more appealing.
I'm not really able to wear a belt at present- my 5 month baby bump looking more like an 8 month bump (I kid you not!)  But I love this for jazzing up a simple A line dress for one of my girls- probably the eldest.  By the time I get round to it, I may have had the baby and be back in belts too- perfect for summer gypsy dresses and cowboy boots methinks.
 I will, one day soon, learn the joy of knitting.  I began to knit around the same time I learned to crochet, and like many busy mum's, I preferred the speed that crochet offered!  It was so much faster and less awkward- I have since heard that those who can't knit, crochet!  I am in that category but will master knitting, if only to complete the lovely knit your own lion teddy I have been bought and to attempt some of the projects in this new book!
Such as this!  I know I will only be able to get this on a child while they are little so I better get learning!  (They also have a pattern for gorgeous tank tops in here with stripes on the back and stars on the front for boys or hearts on the front for girls- i foresee Christmas knitting for their nanny :D)
 My husband did get a very strong hint in this direction but he was very thoughtful in that he chose 'Tilda's Spring Ideas' as he knows I have copious amounts on Autumn and Winter things and that we will be coming into Spring so i will be more likely to make things i- keeping with the season.  I actually think that it was Tone Finnanger's book 'Sew Pretty Home-style  that started me sewing again a few years ago.  I found her book in the library and then kept it for months as I was so inspired. I made a few things from that book and then asked my husband for more of her stuff as I did not own any.  And he did :D
 It was very difficult choosing just one of her projects to show you so I went for the first that grabbed me.  I have made little purses before, but look at the beautiful detail she adds with the gorgeous materials!  I will most definitely be trying these soon!

Thursday, 3 January 2013


I'm a little late to be discovering Pinterest, I know, but now that I have, I'm addicted!  It's so inspiring and sooooo useful for people like me who have loads of ideas but less time to complete.  I buy books and stick post it's in them to come back to and this is the same concept, but free, less space consuming and so accessible.  I have a few boards on the go- funky inspiration', 'that's clever' and 'crafts to do with the kids'.

So highly recommend you set aside a little time and peruse the beautiful creations out there by fellow talented crafters.