Sunday, 28 November 2010

All packed up - Boo

Seeing as we move into our new house this Wednesday I've had to pack up all my lovely new craft goodies into a boring old box.  I've been itching to try some Christmas stars as mentioned in a previous post but there is no time with all that is happening. As I've been packing up the flat I've seen things we've had for ages and thought "I could make this prettier!" Still, when we're settled I'll be let loose on the borrowed sewing machine from the in-law! Can't wait.

We had a break from packing on Friday (hubby had the day off) and we went to the Hopetoun House Christmas Market. I was a little disappointed as now I have the attitude "I can make that" to a lot of pretty goodies on sale. Still, we managed to buy a lovely wee chalkboard which we'll put up in the new kitchen.

Righto, I'll have my last nosey at other gorgeous blogs before the computer gets packed away too. (Sob sob)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I have blisters


Working on this new pillow hurts. By not having a sewing machine (yet) I've been doing it all by hand which is great practice for me. However, I have a blister on my thumb and index finger from pushing the needle through a million times and it was throbbing last night. But look at how pretty the pillow is becoming!
Beauty is pain
I've learned some lessons from stitching this together so far.
1) I forgot that the squares of the charm pack aren't equal in length - hence my squares don't all line up
2) It definitely pays to iron as you go.
3) Wear plasters!

I'm tempted to wait till I get my hands on my M-in-law's sewing machine before finishing this. I don't think my fingers have room for more blisters! Plus, I need to learn how to insert a zip which make take a few lessons.

Oh the joys of learning a new hobby!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Have pins... need pincushion

Well, as mentioned in my previous post I decided to make a quick pincushion for my brand new pins (oh the joys of being a newbie.... everything is still all shiny!)
What fun jabbing him with my pins
Continuing with the tortoise theme (my hubby sat me down and explained the difference between a turtle and a tortoise) inspired by paper-and-string I came up with this little guy in no time. Pretty much identical to the tortoise on the felt box I made the other night... only this wee guy is smiling! He obviously enjoys being stabbed with my pins.

I've now started a new project of attempting a cushion cover... making it up as I go. (Instructions? What do I want instructions for?!) It's being made from some Moda charm packs (of course) and all hand sewn as I've still to get my mitts on my mother-in-law's sewing machine. Still, I need all the practice I can get on my stitches. Still wonky... but I'll improve one day.

In the mean time... look how pretty these are: stars by Emma
I'm definitely going to attempt some of those (although ten bucks they don't end up looking that pretty!)

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Something for me!

Before I started on some more Christmas stockings I decided I needed a wee box to keep all my lovely Moda charm packs in. With the usual inspiration from paper-and-string's blog I attempted a felt box with a tortoise embellishment. What fun!

It gave me a chance to practice my stitching too... which thankfully is improving (slow and steady aye tortoise!) I loved this little guy so much I'm attempting another one on a pin cushion I need.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Baby Cube Number Two - done!

I'm well chuffed with this baby cube. It's so satisfying to have something sweet to look at after hand sewing it all. Shame I have to post it to a friend overseas who has just had a wee boy.
F for Fred
Stitching not perfect but I'm getting there!
I'm wishing now I inserted a wee bell or something that makes a rattling sound. Still, next attempt huh! (I need more friends to have babies).

As well as attempting more Christmas felt decorations for our tree I'm going to have a play with some ideas from this book I borrowed from the library yesterday. It's nice to get ideas from other sources... so many clever ladies out there with wonderful creations.

Let's hope I do them justice.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Slow and steady

Side 1
In between looking after the teething monster and packing up the house for the move in two weeks I find calm in sitting down and sewing little what-nots. This week the postman bought me stuffing (hooray!) so I can finally stop using all my cotton wool balls from the bathroom to fill my decorations with. I also got two of the Moda Charm Pack - Lollipop which I've been in love with for weeks now. My plan is (once I get better and more confident) is to attempt this project: Lollipop Quilt (Although I haven't got a clue what 'fusible webbing' means!) I think it's gorgeous... every charm pack I get makes me happy!

Side 2
With stuffing in hand I managed to finish my first baby cube (see right) but the end stitching is a bit wonky. Still, practice makes perfect... and my husband's cousin was good enough to have a baby girl the other week so my first baby cube will have an owner soon (with a note for the baby not to examine the stitching too closely).

I'm also making good progress on my friend's blue baby cube... I imagine once I get set up in the new house with a sewing machine these things will be a LOT quicker to make!

I managed to photograph my favourite xmas stocking (so far) too. I thought I'd sent it off to Mum and Dad before shooting it but hadn't sealed the package so grabbed it for a photo.
Santa stop here!
The things I get excited about now!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Baby cubes

I've taken a quick break from making felt Christmas stocking decorations (I've posted my Mum the best one yet... but forgot to take a photo!) I kept looking at the gorgeous charm pack from Moda I got this week and was itching to make something pretty with it. I ended up trying to make a baby cube from London Mummy's tutorial. However, it was all to be done by hand as I've still to get a sewing machine (or borrow one from my mother-in-law).
My first attempt at a cube
Things I have since learned from my first attempt of making a cube:
- I need to get the iron out and try and make the fabric look halfway presentable!
- I really need to get my hands on some stuffing!!!

Overall, I'm pretty chuffed with it - even though it's not completed. All I need now is for a mate to have a  baby girl and I'm set.  A friend in Australia has however had a baby boy so I started on the next pack of fabric I received. Moda Punctuation is gorgeous... I'm falling in love with all these gorgeous charm packs more and more each day.

F for Fred
I attempted to add a letter onto one side. Will keep updating progress on here.
Must. Get. Stuffing!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Training wheels are a bit wonky

Hmm... I need to tighten the bolts on my crafty training wheels a wee bit.  I've had loads of fun creating these Christmas stockings for my tree this year, and have sewn on some names to the top of some of them. My hand-sewing is a bit wonky to say the least but it's still early days I guess.
Bit wobbly, but Santa won't look too close
I watched how to do a 'blanket stitch' on You Tube which I attempted on a few stockings. Who would have thought learning a stitch would be fun?! In this past week I've also learned new words like: charm pack, brads and fat quarter. Whatta geek!

I received some gorgeous wooden painted buttons in the post today and also my first Moda Charm Pack. God knows what I'm going to do with them. I imagine for the next few weeks (until we move house) I'll just sit here and look at how pretty they are.

I have some questions for any 'pros' reading and wanting to help a newbie.
1 - Where on earth can I find small black 'brads' like the ones on the reindeer I made from the kit?
2 - What do you stuff your felt creations with?
3 - How can I make my stitches look better?


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Beginnings of a crafty Christmas

Totally and utterly bitten by the crafting bug now. I spent last night making my first reindeer from the paper-and-string kit and loved every minute of it. Sure the ribbon at the top is a bit wonky and I really should have got lighter brown thread for his face - but it's my first attempt and I LOVE HIM!
Rudolph... after a few whiskies

I woke up this morning wanting to get my hands stuck into the craftiness of it all again so I made my parents some felt gift tags to go on the presents I wrapped them last night. Now normally I'm the worst gift wrapper in the world (read 'worst' as 'laziest') and throw the gift into whatever paper I can find, plonk some tape on the ends and Bob's ya Uncle. However, due to this crafty-fever I spent about an hour wrapping these gifts last night and trying different ribbon ideas.

Santa would be proud 
The tags don't really go with the ribbons so I guess in future I need to work on my co-ordination of styles but I have to pop these in the post today so it's as good as it's going to get.

Hopefully, (if the wee man lets me), I'll try my hand at some more Christmas tree decorations today. And try and hunt down some reindeer-coloured cotton!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Never 'felt' so good... (geddit)

I'm beyond excited.
My reindeer kit from paper-and-string arrived this morning (quick delivery!) It looks fab and I'm also pleased I purchased her bargain tiny buttons. Too cute.

My first felt project!
I've also completely spoiled myself by dragging the kid to Hobbycraft this morning where I purchased a ton of felt, ribbons, pins and a box to put all my projects in. And a bar of chocolate... but that didn't last long.

I want to attempt to make some small Christmas stocking decorations to send to my folks. The plan was to stitch all the grandkid's names on each of them, but I'll see how I progress. I don't want to get too ahead of myself and the reindeer project might take me ages! I hope to get a start on it tonight when the wee man goes to bed (I'm sure wine will help with most craft projects?)
My goodies!

Pink and yellow - new Christmas colours!

Seriously... I haven't been this excited about something for ages. What's taken me so long to do this? (Other than being a Mummy-zombie for the past 8 months that is).

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Don't just sit there... DO something woman!

I've made up too many excuses in my lifetime - always finding something else to do (mmm, folding washing) rather than sit down and get my hands mucky with crafty goodies. After having my first baby in March I find myself wanting to become more creative and clever like my Mum was when I was wee. She would make all our clothes and (even though she has a quilt she's been 'working on' for over 30 years) she's an inspiration to me.

So I've decided to take a bold plunge into the crafting world.  After snooping on other blog sites I've become obsessed with fabric, buttons and all sorts of craft-geeky goodies I can get my hands on. I love  the ideas and lessons on these sites and it's totally inspired me. I have a background in photography and my career involves building websites and other multimedia hoo-har, but I've been wanting to use my hands in a more touchy-feely way as opposed to just making my computer do all the work.

However, we move house in a months time and I still don't own a sewing machine (any tips much appreciated) so I'll be starting off slowly on hand-sewing/knitting shenanighans. The move to our new house is another good reason to start getting creative. I want to add my own little touch on redecorating the place with things like my own cushions and what-not. I get excited thinking that by having extra space in the house I'll be able to set up a creative corner to escape to (when the baby lets me!)

When I was pregnant last year I tried my hand at knitting. Lessons? No no no... who needs lessons these days when you can make it up yourself! Check out those fabulous holes and the genius way I added extra length to each row I finished. Clever.
First attempt. Poor. 

Thankfully when Mum came to visit last summer (we're from New Zealand but I live in Scotland and my folks live in Hong Kong) she put me on the right knitting rails and set me up with a better project than just getting pink wool and knitting with no direction. We ended up making a blanket for the baby, knitting lots of separate squares which we'd sew together at the end. A jolly good project for a beginner.
Hooray - a blanket for the wee man

It turns out I picked the right colours too as we had a wee boy! Logan is modelling the blanket below and loves it so much I've had to knit a small version for him to use as a cuddly.

Logan loves his Mum's efforts

So, I'm on the lookout for my next project.  I have just ordered a gorgeous reindeer kit from paper-and-string to get my mitts on. Hopefully it's easy enough to follow for a beginner! I'll update my progress once it's arrived. 

Until then... nappies to change, washing to fold, dinner to cook.