Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Rainy days in summer

We survived the 1st week of summer holidays despite the rain.  We had a couple of mundane things like doctor's appointments but I managed to tie these in with visiting the library and signing Fiona up for the Record Breakers scheme that is running during the holidays.  We have also been swimming and revisited Birdland with friends from church which is in a lovely town called Bourton on the Water which is full of buildings made with Cotswold stone and we had a little walk around there after our visit.

During the heaviest raining periods, we have done a little painting and making.  The girls chose to make plaques for their bedroom door using the unicorn template from a sewing book and then got the idea to do gangly legs from an Usbourne craft idea book.  The bird and sheep hand painting pictures were also from this book.  I find them invaluable for the holidays as the children are better able to see the end product and this one is achievable!

Summer holidays usually conjure up ideas of barbecues and salads but in cold wet rain I couldn't resist getting out the slow cooker to fight the blues form depressing wet weather.  I also used the rain as an excuse to bake and made a lemon drizzle which is only the 2nd time I've made one.  The first attempt was a few years ago before I had a hand held mixer and the beating of the eggs left me with a sprained wrist! I felt a little silly as it is actually very easy to make; just a typical sponge cake with added lemon zest and then icing made up with lemon juice.  I used granulated sugar as suggested by Mary Berry which gives the outer edge a lovely crunch.

I have been sewing too which I will share soon and tomorrow I am going to an arts and crafts event at Eastnor Castle which I am very excited about.  Watch this space :D

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Summer sewing.

 I took the kids to the library today which is usually a safe place for children yet it is seriously dangerous for me! I get too many books out and forget to return them and find I incur fines where I could have simply purchased them! 

So I now try to look through them before bringing them home. I was spoilt for choice today but settled on 'Little sew&sew' and 'Cute and Easy: quilting and stitching'. I've photographed a few of my favourite projects and am hoping to do some over the next 7 weeks (in addition to recovering our suite).

I also bought some backdated copies of craft beautiful for 10p each. The magazines have a lot of paper based crafts but I like the aesthetic of the makes as they are on trend and transferable to other crafting mediums. So I have had inspiration overload over the last few days with the dressmaking blogs I found too. Perhaps I should get my machine fixed....

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Summer celebrations commence with contemplations of childhood

I'm writing this post conscious that it has been almost a week but also without much to say in the way of craftiness.  I am still reeling from the interview and job offer and trying to come to terms with  the changes we will be implementing but I am thrilled and excited too.  I have had several follow up meetings with future colleagues and of course the Summer holidays have arrived.

Our summer started with a joint birthday bash for friends from Church.  It was a fab day and the hostess did an amazing job of maintaining a very chilled atmosphere which was conducive to good conversations and contentment for children and adults alike.  Bouncy castle, bikes, balloons, dancing, face painting kept the children occupied while dad's played football and regained their strength consuming the hog roast and delicious cakes.  The sun was shining keeping many of us outdoors well into the evening even while the band played.  We were very surprised when we realised the time was after 9 therefore time to go and had 3 children asleep within 5 minutes of being home.

I discovered 2 new sewing blogs which are mostly by ladies fairly new to sewing but they're really inspiring and encouraging me to try and make some pieces for my own wardrobe.
The first is: what katie sews and I promise I don't just favour bloggers called Katie!
Secondly, bimble and pimble which is funny and light hearted as well as a crafty fix.

My parents' have been away for their 40th anniversary and returned with gifts for us all.  Clever nanny knew to get things for them to do so Sunday night was spent with them making foam handbags and jewellery until bedtime.

I was delighted to find Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree collection in the Works and have started reading it to the girls at night.  I have very fond memories of my mum reading to me when I was little and really love that I can share this part of my childhood with my own children now who are equally enthralled by the enchanted wood.  It helps that they relate to the fictional family that consists of 2 girls and a boy who have recently moved from a town to the countryside!

Love this that I found today!!

Sew Sweet: Two brand new patterns are here!!: I'm just a little excited about these two new pdf patterns ive designed. These are my most favourite yet and ive had tons of fun maki...

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Teacher Gifts

End of term is an occasion to say 'Thankyou' to our children's teachers for the great job they do.  I had the idea to do something with an appliquéd apple and eventually decided on a tote bag and after looking on pinterest I decided I would create relaxation packs.  Here are the finished bags and their contents; the large one is for Fiona's year 1 teacher and the small one is for Lydia's nursery teacher.

I also saw some good ideas for cards and borrowed this one for the children to make their own presents.  Sticking with an apple theme, after typing the required text, I cut them out in the shape of apples.

I left the children to each decorate their own and write on the inside (although I did help Lydia a little).
I have been trying to do some sorting before the holiday's start and my sewing room has received some attention.  It's not quite there yet but I do like how it is progressing.  The dresser often gets lots of comments which was a bargain and was nearly disposed of when we were moving for fear of a lack of space.  

When I first began this blog, I mentioned I had created some little ladies and that I would include a picture of them but it has taken me this long to get round to it.  The blue bunny in the bottom right hand corner is where it all began when I hurt my back in 2011.  She helped me to rediscover sewing and my creativity so will always hold presence in any craft space I own.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Funny Old Week

It's been a funny old week.  It rained which meant the garden didn't get done but 2 doors were plained and hung, curtain pole and shelf went up in addition to some little shelves in the dining room.  I tidied up my craft room and am pleased with it although there's a few extra bits of decorating that I would like to finish.

Some weeks a certain offspring may take the lime light and this week was definitely Lydia's week to shine.  She is finishing her last week in nursery and will be starting school in September.  As though something has clicked in her little mind, she has suddenly started speaking with a very posh accent as though her babyish voice and pronunciation is not appropriate any more but it has been a matter of days and she has made a startling transition.  She was very impressive at her sport's day winning her sprint but also leading many of the other events too.  My sunbeam often attracts comments about her free spirit or aura and just today a teacher in the school called her one in a million.  I must agree.

Of course Michael wanted at least one moment to shine.

My netball team was nominated for a club award so we traded our trainers for heels and went to a presentation evening on Thursday but we were runners up.  I enjoyed getting dressed up and going out with the girls though.

I managed to fit in applying for a job and then had an interview today and was appointed Chaplain and Youth Worker in a local high school/ Community centre from September.  It is very exciting but also life changing and more than a little daunting.

I have been working on a few things although none are finished yet; this is my progress so far. I saw the idea to cut the felt in a book I took out from the library years ago.

 I saw these fabric appliqué houses in a charity shop bargain book from the 70's and have adapted my own.

I'm thinking they will be part of a 'home sweet home' themed quilt eventually.

A few years back I was bought a gorgeous Cath Kidston crochet kit but found it a little tricky and somehow managed to allow 18 months to pass.  I picked it up again last week and am finding it easier and hope to have my own crochet cushion soon

I'm hoping that after a couple of days I will catch up with myself and be able to write a more detailed and cohesive post and have finished pieces to share.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Dining room design: yellow, grey and blue

Following our weekend away I spent most of Monday and Tuesday washing clothes.  With my neck being mostly recovered I went back to netball training and coped okay despite being bitten several times (by insects, not opposing players I'd like to add).  We had a birthday party today and then spent the afternoon at my parents, who are away, but I borrowed their garden and paddling pool for a few hours.  So it has been a quiet week on the crafting front.  I find the hot weather makes me not want to do anything at all!  I have also been applying for a job which I will share more about if I am successful.
The garden fencing is now complete and on Monday my father in law is coming over to help with digging up weeds and possibly laying down turf which will be potentially life changing.  Letting the children play in the garden while I craft is perhaps too good to be true but I hope that there will at least be a little less mess in the house as they will all be in the garden planting and other delightful things that keep them contained in there for several hours every day.  I also want to have a barbeque; we own a barbeque but it hasn't been used in 2 years and I love having people over and cooking so this is high on my prority list.  I even boutght the Barbeque cleaner set and offered to do it (WHAT?!! I know but it's too late to retract now :'( Yikes)  While my other half and his Pappa do the garden, a lovely friend is going to take my kiddies, ALL DAY so I am hoping to get some decorating done and clearing done.  I have put together a little mood board of some of the items that will be in our dining room once finished.

Clockwise from top:
Yellow Light: It is in the Habitat range in Argos and has lots of coordinating pieces. We have had this sitting in a box on my fresser for about 5 months but have no reputable electrician to install it (along with an extractor hood and 2 other light fittings).  My job on Monday morning is to find one to come and commence work immediately!  It is quite big and I want it to be a feature but can't be too low otherwise the children will literally, not figuratively, lit-er-ally swing on it!
Grey Dresser:  This is a similar design to mine only mine is currently pine coloured.  It is not pine though but simply has a veneer which is coming off so I am going to paint it grey.  I will be ordering the Annie Sloan Chalk paint rather than using the one I did the other little shelves with as that had a satin finish.  Since I haven't ordered it yet and nowhere in Malvern stock it, I will not et this finished for a few weeks sadly.
Wallpaper:  This however, I aim to put up on Monday- eek!  I have never done it before so I will be watching many a youtube tutorial on Sunday night.  I have the papering table, brush, paste and of course the paper all ready to go.  My father in law will not be too far away if I go wrong though and it is only one wall so 2 rolls ought to cover any mistakes!
Tea towels:  Hubby works for RSPB and has been keeping their shop in business purchasing several items over Christmas.  I saw these tea towels and knew immediately I wanted to frame them.  The big Ikea order several weeks back with the bunk beds also contained large frames and they are ironed and framed and ready to be hung :D
Chairs: These are the dining chairs that I covered last year which will take main stage clearly since it is a dining room.  I also used this material to make the curtains which I will showcase when it is all finished.  Recovered chairs and handmade curtains, not to mention that I and a female friend did the curtain pole too is quite the crafting accomplishment methinks.
Ikea Trolley/ island: We bought a very similar one to this off ebay nearly 2 years ago for £30 instead of £80 new.  I will also be paiting the drawers and shelf edges in the Annie Sloan grey.

Other items include the dining table and 5 other chairs, a large ornate black mirror (that I am VERY tempted to paint yellow!) and a few other wall art bits.  I have bought lots of ochre items for the dresser but now need to balance it with more blue and grey to match the scheme.  It's all very exciting for me as it really was a blank slate; here's the before picture so you have an idea of the space I'm working with.

I'm looking forward to showing you the results and the crafty bits I make to individualise it and also the handmade pottery I have already bought form a local potter.  Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later and there will also be a new garden to show you too.