Friday, 31 December 2010

New year, new crafts!

Hello everyone, hope you all had lovely Christmasses! We had a lovely time spent with family surrounded by twinkly things and wrapping paper and generally eating and drinking a lot (far too much in fact, I need a detox!!)

I was so pleased to receive these lovely books I had been eyeing these on the shelves for ages. Kirstie's Homemade Home is full of lovely pictures and great ideas... the Nigella and Jamie books have so many fab recipes to try (a lot of them knock the detox idea on the head though hehe).

So another year has passed and a new one on the horizon

There is something nice about starting a new year I think, almost like starting a fresh page (sort of), and a good opportunity to make plans and look forward to exciting new opportunities

One of the items on my 'things to do' list... learning how to crochet! I have been knitting since I was little after being taught by my lovely Nan, however crochet is one of those things that has always baffled me a bit..

After spotting this magazine in Tesco on Tuesday, I got very excited as it comes with a colourful collection of yarns and also a couple of crochet hooks.

Here is my first attempt ok, it does leave a lot to be desired and to be honest I am not even sure if I am doing it right but on the positive side at least it looks sort of like it could be crochet.

I am attempting to make this adorable little chick egg cosy, so sweet!

There are also some other lovely patterns in the magazine...

Like this beautiful crochet hook holder...

How cute is this little doggie/fox creature? I love him! Almost my sole reason for wanting to learn how to crochet!

My Christmas pressie WHSmith vouchers are going to be spent on Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller. I have the knitting version of this book is very good and explains things brilliantly.

Also spotted this book by Martha Stewart which has lots of sewing and fabric craft projects, and will also be bought on the voucher (huge thanks to my lovely Grandma-in-law!)

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy 2011


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Making a snowman and a felt Christmas pudding

Hello! I hope that everyone is having a lovely weekend. There are lots of lovely snowy pics here in blogland it's been great to look at them all. We were very excited yesterday when it started snowing heavily here is London, so on our way to the shops we walked through the park to make the most of it!

I wasn't bargaining on being covered in snow after the first 10 mins due to snowballs being thrown at me by my lovely other half (I did get him back a bit hehe), but after that was all finished with we decided to make a snowman. His face is made entirely out of money! (That was all we had to hand at the time and a few of them were pound coins so we had to take them off before we left him with only his 2p eyes and nose)

Rolling the body is not a quick operation we noticed, it took ages!!

I love the way everything looks as if it is dusted in icing sugar...

Here is another little felt tree decoration that I made last night, think I am slightly addicted to making these things, I would highly recommend this to all as a therapeautic Christmassy exercise! Great for using up smaller pieces of felt and spare buttons, I have hand sewn it together using running stitch along the bottom of the icing, and blanket stitch around the edging. Also lots of stuffing in it to make it a nice round Christmas pudding.

Hope you are all keeping warm and safe in the snow.


Monday, 13 December 2010

A bit of Christmas baking and trying to get organised...

Hello all! I hope that you had good weekends. It has been so nice to have today off work (although it's disappearing alarmingly quickly), and I have trying to fill in the precious time with doing a bit of baking and trying to get organised.
Due to my tendancy to be rather forgetful, I have decided that I need to be a lot more organised and pour more of my efforts into getting things done.
So, I have begun by throwing some money at the problem! Well, it's a step in the right direction.

Here are the little things that I have bought, my goodness has it made me feel a lot better, isn't it funny what a bit of retail therapy can do?

Some little Cath Kidston notebooks/journals (one for handbag/one for bedside table/one for... well, just a spare one)

A Cath Kidston 2011 diary...

I love this diary, it has a little plastic zipper pocket at the back to hold little notes/receipts/prescriptions etc

Ok, this is a bit of an extravegance because there are plenty of bic biros floating around our house, but I couldn't resist this Emma Bridgewater pen which provides a constant reminder to make lists!

And a cute little Emma Bridgewater concertina file decorated with beautiful red hearts.

This is a picture from my Nigella Christmas book, where there is a lovely recipe for some Christmas Chocolate biscuits.

Very easy to make you just throw it all together, and add some sprinkles on top after baking them in the oven for 15 mins.

I can't stop looking at the adorable candy cane glass in this picture!! Not sure where you can get these? I am completely in love with it!

Here are the ones that I made yesterday, although they do not look quite as nice as Nigella's they are rather moreish. Also, Nigella used green red and white 'Christmas sprinkles' which can be bought from Jane Asher online but I could only find the standard hundreds and thousands in Sainsburys.

I don't normally get carried away with Christmas card paintings, but thought these cards that I bought over the weekend were so intricate and atmospheric that I wanted to share them with you. Almost wish I could be transported into the beautiful cozy Christmas scenes....

A sweet little traditional shopping scene....

How cozy is that little house...?!

Almost tempted to frame them!

Have a lovely rest of the day everyone


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Icicles, mittens and stockings

Hello! I hope that everyone is keeping warm and wrapped up in the cold. All the snow is gone here (well, there are a few little patches of it here and there), but we had quite a lot of it which was lovely. And the icicles in our garden have gone too, I think they were the best bit!
These ones were forming by our back door along the clematis that we have growing along the fence....

I've been making a few more little felt decorations for the tree, they are great way to use up all those little odd pieces of ribbon, fabric and sparkely things that are stashed away.

Here is the mitton and the stocking that I made using a blanket stitch to sew them together...

And here is Bruce the (Blue Spruce) Christmas tree - finally brought in from the garden last weekend. I'm quite pleased that he is still green but he has a bit of needle droppage bless him which I am hoping a few glugs of water will help with. Looks lovely and Christmassy with the lights on, we went for the traditional multi-coloured fairy lights (absolute bargin from Argos - 80 lights for about five pounds!)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Exciting times in the haberdashery shop...

Hello lovely bloggers, I hope you are enjoying the weekend. My weekly trip to the local haberdashery yesterday saw me return with a lovely bag of goodies that I made me feel very happy!

Isn't it funny how fabric, buttons, threads, bells, and yes, even pipe cleaners, can have that sort of effect on you?

To be honest, I had not had such a great start to the day...what with my mind going over all those niggly life issues that one tends to have.... but a few little trinkets later and my spirits were lifted! 

Even this little stash of fat quarters left me struggling to contain myself, so in the basket they went with all the rest of the delights.

Ok, the patterns are not very Christmassy, and admittedly they more Spring-like rather than festive, with the little chintzy bright flowers.
 But hey, why not look at something non wintery for a change...

Anyway, moving swiftly back on to Christmassy things...and also  - The Pipe Cleaners!

How cute are these? So simple to make all you need to do is just twist the pipe cleaners around each other to make the candy cane stripes and shape. They are very soft too.

Not sure how long I loitered by the button section, probably a bit too long by normal standards.
Here are the little beauties that I found...

Along with some little bells....

Have a lovely rest of the weekend everyone and keep warm!

(No snow here in London as yet, the sun is out with blue sky but it's still very cold)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Gingerbread Men and Christmas Cakes

Hello, isn't it freezing today? Rather looking forward to the prospect of snow....

I have wanted to make a gingerbread man tree decoration for a while - I loved choosing a felt material that was 'biscuit' coloured, and matched him up with some festive red checked ribbon and some shell buttons. Here is the little guy, now all finished, ready to hang on Bruce the Spruce when he is brought in from the freezing outdoor conditions (I am surprised Bruce is still with us to be honest but also very pleased at the same time)

Sticking with the festive feelings, I have also bought my ingredients for my Nigella Christmas Cake, so all set to make a start at the weekend. My Dad especially was a fan of this last year and yes, ok, while there is a possibility he was just saying this to be nice, I did rather enjoy making it so am happy to repeat the recipe as per last year!

All of these look lovely but I think my favourite is the one with 'snowstorm' icing and the vintage style deer and Christmas tree decorations. I've noticed that these are quite hard to come by these days, however they can be bought at Jane Asher online which is good to know. They have little robins aswell that are very cute and vintage looking.

I've also nearly finished my pink poodle hot water bottle cover! The fluffy trim and lining is so so soft to touch I love it. Just need to sew all the sections together now... although must remember to use a strong needle as there are quite a few layers to get through.

Keep warm everyone!


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thank you Ames and Tash! Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you so very much to the lovely Ames and Tash for sending me a Beautiful Blogger Award!

This is truly appreciated...

Ok, so ten things about myself....

1. I kept my sewing machine in a cupboard for 4 years before I actually learnt how (or dared) to switch it on.

2. Cath Kidston is one of my heros and I'm not ashamed to admit it! (And Nigella).

3. I had a goldfish called Frank when I was at University who lived for 5 years before ending it all by jumping out of his bowl.

4. I studied History at University (and met my lovely boyfriend there too).

5. I adore fishfinger sandwiches.

6. I get ridiculously excited when Spring arrives and all the daffodils, tulips and crocus start emerging from the ground.

7. I have lived in London for 13 years.

8. I can't start the day properly until I've had a cup of tea first.

9. I could look a beautiful fabric, wool, threads, patterns, buttons, ribbons and sewing magazines all day long.

10. I would love to have a little dog and wish I could work from home so that my dream can come true!

This next bit is extremely difficult, as it's very tricky to pick just 10 blogs to pass this award on to

There are so many that I love and I wish I could add more to the list. Here are just some of the blogs that I am reading this week...

  Vintage Pink
  Ted and Bunny
  Em ay kay ee (Make)

I am sure that you will enjoy reading these blogs as much as I do!

Have a lovely weekend everyone


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Country Living Christmas Fair

Hello! I had a lovely time last Sunday at the Country Living Fair in Islington with my Mum, I have been once before (and to the Spring Fair) and it is incredibly Christmassy. There were masses of stalls selling all sorts of gifts, homeware, accessories, cards, decorations....and the whole building was surrounded in a cinnamony and orangey fragrance - just gorgeous!

I bought some baubles for the Christmas tree, a bell, and a little hanging picture frame...

Some Ric Rac from East of India

 Some gift tags..

A selection of lovely ribbon...

And some beautifully scented cinammon sticks. These really do fill the house...

I am looking forward to bringing our Christmas tree (official name Bruce the Spruce) in from the garden and start adorning him with the baubles. At the moment he is in a pot, kept from last year, but someone told me yesterday that the date that we are allowed to start putting the decorations up is 5th December, so it will have to wait for a few weeks!


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Candy coloured threads

I bought this lovely pack of embroidery threads in my lunch break today from the haberdashery section in John Lewis Oxford St (one of my fave places), and I have to say this is one picture that I think will always cheer me up! I adore all these colours together...

 Not sure what I am going to do with them yet but quite happy to just look at them for now!


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Friday evening with a glass of wine and some Cath Kidston fabric

I must admit when I got home last night after what felt like a long week at work I was very tired, but at the same time I had a burning desire to finally make the cushion with the Cath Kidston 'London' fabric that I had been meaning to do for ages.

So, I poured myself a glass of wine, got my sewing paraphernalia out...

...and inbetween a few episodes of Corrie and Eastenders, I had (almost!) finished it. I had to sew the final touches this morning.

I adore this fabric, not just because it matches with our red sofas, but mainly because the little London buses and sights are just too lovely for words.

And of course, because I am a London girl!

He's quite a big cushion too at 52cm square so is definitely now the daddy of my homemade cushion family.

Here he is shown from the back with matching red gingham fabric, and next to my felt sunshine cushion. This cushion was handfelted from merino wool at a textiles course that I attended a few years ago.

Really looking forward to tomorrow - I am off the the Country Living Christmas Fair so am preparing to feel very festive! Can't wait.


Sunday, 7 November 2010


Rainbows must be one of the most fascinating wonders of nature ever. I love the way they appear when the weather is a funny combination of rain and sun....grey and blue...


We had this lovely one appear today outside the kitchen window, and I had to take a piccie before it disappeared.

I hope that everyone is having a lovely fireworks weekend.

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