Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Daphne's Diaryz

Daphne’s Diary was given to me by my sister who had bought it on a whim and knew I’d like it.  It looks like a magazine but feels like a book and on opening it, it reads like a whimsical, indulgent and beautiful insight to a creative and active fellow woman’s mind.

With diary extracts of simple musings of everyday life, articles, reviews, recipes  and lots of varied projects, this is a book-azine apart from the rest.  It is the same price as most other craft magazines but is thicker and printed on a more luxurious paper.

There are very few adverts which add to the feel of a book rather than a  monthly issue.  It appealed to my own sentimentality as it positively reviewed the Southern Irish town of Dingle which I visited as a young tween on my first parent free holiday.  I was with my sister and our aunt, uncle, cousins and their entire marching band and the trip provided fond memories which were rekindled with this review.

 Another article that I enjoyed was on herbs and spices; their monastic history to tips on their use in a modern kitchen and growth in a window box or allotment.
There are recommended projects to do with the free papers and templates like these postcards, gift boxes and feathers.  I have an idea in mind of how I will use them all together in a wreath come dream catcher window decorative display.  Watch this space for how I get on.

I just love this!

I have linked to this blogger before but this is just, well, 'darling;.  I cannot think of a more appropriate term. I love it and will make these for my wee ones one day too.  If you have time, have a little look around the rest of her gorgeous blog!

Mommy by day Crafter by night: Quilt As You Go Suitcase: The #1 reason (if not the only reason) I started sewing, was to make things for my little girls.  I fell in love with the idea of being...

Friday, 16 May 2014

If you go down to the woods today....

For Michael’s birthday we held a teddy bear’s picnic in the park.  It was windy and showery weather so not ideal but we had a lovely time nonetheless.  We began by making bear headbands, although I think my niece was the only one to complete hers before the rain began.

We had Pom bear crisps, bear shaped biscuits, gummy bears, lots of fruit and of course sandwiches.  I made a bear cake by baking a chocolate sponge sandwich cake and a bought Swiss roll for his ears and nose.  I then made a cocoa butter cream icing to cover it all and used Minstrels for his eyes.

Food was followed by face painting- very basic but for children 5 and under who don’t know any different, it was fine!  

We read ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ using a large copy I borrowed from the library and then re-enacted it around the park with Daddy posing as our Bear.

When the party was coming to a close, the gift bags were handed out.  They consisted of a teddy bear, some honey cereal in little jars (for the bears of course), some ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ pictures with colouring pencils, and an individual toy based on age of recipient.  They were wrapped in a square of yellow gingham or tartan and attached to a piece of bamboo.

The weather forecast had said that it would rain so I had lots of other activities up my sleeve like pin the bow ties on the teddy bear in addition to the head bands and extra colouring pictures to complete at my sisters house.  Fortunately we didn't need to evacuate from the park though.

 So Michael's first party went 'bear-y' well! Sorry, I couldn't resist :D

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Patchwork with quilting dies

 I love my bigshot but since buying it last October, I haven’t used it for the purpose for which it was purchased, namely patchwork.  I bought a few animal dies when I got the machine but the quilting dies are all quite expensive so I wasn't able to get any more until we went to the Stitch and craft show at the NEC when my sister bought me a square 3.5’’ die and my parents bought me the coordinating triangle on.  I  also bought a birdie die which has a little hen.   They were on a multi-buy offer and so I felt I had bagged a bargain until Sizzix sent me an email about their special 85% off Spring sale where I bought 6 more dies with postage for….. £20! Well now I was excited and felt it was my responsibility to test them out.

Rooting through my scraps I found some strips of a bright floral fabric which had been curtains in a previous life but arrived in a bag of offcuts to me.   Had some Ikea fabric which had similar colours and I was able to find plain red and pink gingham to coordinate.  I was quick to begin cutting squares and circles of the fabric.  

I've seen Suffolk Puffs lots of times and have only made 1 before for the Cath Kidston Dresden Plate bag but have wanted to make more.  With the circle die cutting 8 + circles at once, I foresee Yoyo adorned pieces henceforth!

The patchwork cushion took shape quickly and I made 5 Yo yo’s in an hour (although the TV was on in the background).  I added two buttons, layered up and decided to go a bit embellishment mad as I felt the fabric pattern called for it.

I took a plain circle of the floral material and edged it in a simple lace against a plain background.  I really love the finish on this circle especially against the rest of the cushion. 

I've never used Ric-rac as a trim all around the edge of a cushion before but since I had the exact colour match, I thought I’d have a go and it worked.  The zip end makes the ric-rac tilt inwards a little but it does go around all 4 sides with the same amount of wave/ arch pretty much so I am pleased with the overall finish.  I had quite a lot of the Ikea fabric and so used it as a backing for this patchwork piece and then decided to make a few more co-coordinating cushions.

More ric-rac and lace used here in my usual way but I really love the vintage lace here.

This was a bit of crazy patchwork and then I created an envelope back with ties for a pretty finish. The back is more detailed than the front at the moment but I have more plans to embellish with more Yoyo's, ribbon and trim.

I also remembered I had some crochet doilies in matching colours and felt they would be a good fit for the age/ design of the retro look they now had.  I haven’t quite finished my last 2 cushions but here are pics of the other doilies to be added.  I wanted to wait until I had finished all the cushions before I wrote this post, but worried it may be another few weeks!  I think it’s quite realistic with fellow crafty mums that these projects are finished in stages.

On that note, I can reveal I have a few other projects at different stages of finish that I hope to share soon.  I was chatting to a lady from Rainbows about my quilts etc. and she said she’d like to see them upon which, she bought 2!  It was a huge confidence boost and makes me want to do more fairs but may have to wait a little longer as kiddie care is more and more demanding as Mikey grows more inquisitive and mobile.  It’s his birthday this week and we’re having a teddy bears picnic after church on Sunday.  Here are the invites I made- all are unique and have magnetic noses to make the easy to store and find!