Wednesday, 27 October 2010

New project!


Just realised I've been AWOL for a week so I thought I'd just do a quick post. I randomly decided last week that I really wanted to make little one a patchwork quilt. The one below is one I made in about 2002 and I gave it to my eldest. It's lovely and heavy. It used to go on our bed but to be honest I prefer it on her single as there's lots draped either side and she says it's beautiful, awwww. I would apologise for the cluttered bedside table but hey, she's five and this is a real home so I won't!!!

So anyway I used to money left over after selling some things on ebay and paying the extortionate fees (*grumble grumble*) to buy some ready made 4" fabric squares. Last time I seemed to spend forever cutting out squares so this time I'm cheating! Well, I do have the excuse of two children this time round... and accuracy is not my strong point.

I know some will probably want to lynch me for the choice of fabrics here. Yes, they are mostly Cath Kidston but having worked with her fabrics so much in the past I have to say you can't fault the quality. Plus they're easy to match together ;) There are a few Laura Ashley "Stocks" dotted about and I have various different designs and maunfacturers on the way too. I've gone for pinks, greens and blues with the odd dash of red as littlie's room has green walls and a rose pink iron bed. I'm aiming to make the quilt a generous size like her sister's so that it's useful when she's older too.

Here's part of the first "strip" I've made (it's folded in half in case you were worried it would be tiny!). It was brilliant just to sew together in front of the TV last night. When it comes to sewing all the strips together at the end I may sweet talk Mum into doing it by machine as that's the part that will take so long, but we'll see. Making something for yourself when there's no rush has to be the most relaxing way of sewing.

Hope life is treating you all well. As those of you who are Facebook friends with me will know, school holidays are definitely not my favourite time so I am a wee bit stressed out! Take care, love Mel xxx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Folksy Finds and Bargain Bric-A-Brac

Afternoon! Hope everyone's alright today, it's a gorgeous day here. Crisp and chilly with a bit of sun, lovely. Thought I would show you a couple of things I've got from Folksy lately.

This is Prudence Chicken bought from Swirlyarts, little one fell in love with her when I was flicking through Foksy so I bought her intending to pop her in her Christmas stocking but they managed to get to the envelope before me and much excitement ensued!!! She's a gorgeous little thing made out of vintage linen, so far she's been found in bed, a bag and the grate of little one's fireplace where she keeps her special toys. Gorgeous!

Then there's the lamp I got for my eldest from Made By Kate D, which she made as a custom order for us using some of our buttons along with some of her own. I've shown it in daylight above and lit up in the evening below, the pics haven't come out great but it looks very different from day to night and it's great for kids to look at as there's all sorts of different button shapes and colours there. It has made a five year old very happy :)

Next onto the bric-a-brac bargain! Mum bought this embroidered tablecloth for me, awwwww. It was only a fiver at the church Autumn Fair, so it was well worth going ;)

The edges look to be machine sewn but the rest is hand embroidered. I love it (but it does need an iron)!

I think the mix of crochet and embroidery is lovely, it's on all the edges and ends as well as the top. This one is definitely a keeper.

I also got six matching mats, which I'm not sure whether to keep or make into something yet. They'd make gorgeous cushions but I'm not sure if it would be a crime to cut into them!!!

The only other thing I bought at the fair was this little box, it looks huge here but is in fact only about two inches square. I love the slogan, I absolutely agree with it. It's a Gisela Graham one and cost me £1, which I thought wasn't bad at all.

Lastly this final thing is a posy I found in Oxfam a couple of weeks ago for £2.99, good bargain for round here! I got a white posy log a while ago at a boot sale but this is a more natural coloured one with three flowers. As you can see, the yellow one is a little bit chipped but still pretty.

I've got a busy afternoon and evening ahead, it's parents evening later and then we're going into town for some chips and a stroll around the fair that's on in the market square, I'm hoping for some candyfloss! Take care and have a lovely day, love Mel xxx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Dolly's Cot Makeover

 Afternoon! I seem to be in the makeover mood at the moment, last night on a whim I revitalised the little doll's cot that my youngest got on her birthday from one of her grandma's.

Here is the before.... there was nothing really wrong with it but it didn't match the colours in the room and I wasn't hugely keen on the frilly covers and poor dolly had no sheet to lie on *sad face*

In the same way as I madeover the previous doll's bed (see this post) I padded out the base board with two layers of wadding cut to fit and stretched over some cotton fabric, securing it on the base with drawing pins. I had to put three layers of felt between pin and board as the board was quite thin and I didn't want little fingers pricking themselves!!!

I made a little pillow out of a pale pink fabric with white stars and embellished with a pretty heart and pink button. None of the fabrics or materials used here were especially "precious" as it will get naturally played with and probably grubby and I don't want to be worrying about that.

Next I carefully cut the frills off the existing coverlet as close to the edges as I could and removed them. I also took off the foldover white frilly part at the top (the part with the ribbon bows on). I bound all the edges of the new simpler coverlet with pink and white bias binding from Patch to cover the little scraps of blue and white frill still showing.

The embroidered rabbit on the cover was held on with four small areas of machine stitching so I carefully cut him off and cut as much fabric off around the stitches as I could. To cover these areas I sewed on four biggish buttons. It looked a bit unbalanced so I added another heart - just sewn on with running stitches but through all the layers of the coverlet for a quilted effect - and added another two smaller buttons at the sides to further embellish. I think it works pretty well to cover up what used to be there and a little bit of colour and sparkle too :)

The top part then looked too plain so I simply sewed two lines of running stitch through all the layers to add a quilted effect to the top of the quilt and put three large toning buttons between them. I started at 9:30pm, I finished at 1:40am - I don't recommend getting inspiration late at night!!

Little one loves it! I hope you do too. Have a lovely Sunday, we're off to the church Autumn fair soon for the chocolate tombola and to have a root through the bric-a-brac! Love Mel xxx

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Books and a 30 Minute Project :)

I promised to return soon with some books I've been enjoying and here we are today! Here's part of one of my two stacks of books that live on a shelf in the sitting room, looking pretty and ready for a browse any time.

The new one here is At Home With Country by Christina Strutt, who is the founder of the company Cabbages & Roses. There are lots of beautifully styled and inspiring interiors inside, just the sort of thing that makes you want to rearrange your own home and pay attention to the little details.

It has the chintzy, colourful style that I love but there's plenty of more pared down schemes for those who prefer life a bit more simple.

The only problem I have with it - if you can call it that really - is that it does start to feel a bit like an expensive catalogue as although the fabrics are lovely they are shown in almost every scene, and I'm not sure any household is quite that loyal to one company ;)

The next one is Nigella's latest, Kitchen, which I suspect many other bloggers have already got their hands on! This was a surprise pressie from my hubbie and it was a good one!

I have all Nigella's previous books bar Nigella Express (for some reason that series just didn't do it for me) and her Christmas one, and I would have to say this is my favourite after How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Huge book with loads of ideas written in her chatty style and some lovely sounding recipes. Once the new cooker is fitted I will trying lots of them out!

There is some of her traditional comfort food type recipes but lots of other inspirational ideas too.

The last one I wanted to show you is one I am really naughty for taking a peek at as it's my Christmas pressie from the girls (I found it for £9.99 in a local book shop, I never pay the RRP for books ever!). This is lovely, and I think probably a lot of other bloggers' favourite too. It's the Homemade Home by Sania Pell.

There are fifty projects throughout the book and templates at the back for many of them. I'm not normally "into" instructional books as I prefer to make it up myself but this seems like a good mix of ideas, pictures and clear directions. It would be a really nice gift for a beginner or a more experienced crafter I think.

Love the photographs! Can't wait to have a proper read when I'm officially allowed!!!

In the spirit of gaining a homemade home I made a little something yesterday that I thought I would show you. I've been sorting through the clothes lately as both girls seem to be growing faster than I can keep up suddenly and I've been passing a lot of things on. I'm sure most mums can relate to those one or two things that are so hard to part with, and yet it seems a bit pointless keeping them hanging about. For me one of those things was this T-shirt, which although not expensive or glamorous (I got it second hand from ebay myself) has seen both my babies through the terrible twos and onto preschool.

Yes, we all love parties, puddings and pink ;)

Awful picture as the light was fading yesterday afternoon when I took it I'm afraid. Anyway, I paired it up with a cheap and cheerful piece of stripey cotton from my stash and got inspired with the pink button jar.

I cut out a rectangle where the logo was and sewed on a couple of pretty buttons, I chose a big mother of pearl one and a little glittery one... strategically positioned to hide an ancient stain!

I sewed it together with the stripey cotton and made it into a self contained mini cushion. I would probably pin the fabric if I did it again as I discovered T-shirt fabric is a bit of a bugger for stretching and moving in odd ways! So it's just a little pretty that's now in my youngest's room. But it was such a relief to make something cute and not have to bin or give away a T-shirt that was definitely past its best, but of sentimental value.

In my view that's what homes are all about, keeping familiar and comforting or beautiful things around you to create a place where you feel happy and safe. It it makes you happy, then go for it :)

Thanks so much for all the very kind and generous comments on my previous post, I do so appreciate all of them. Sorry I'm not much cop at getting back round to everyone but I am thankful that you take the time to read and reply. Lots of love Mel xxx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Pretty corners of my home

Just thought I would show you a few corners of my home today that I'm liking right now. There are plenty of areas I don't like so much but here are some of my favourites :)

I'll be back soon with some books I'm loving at the moment! Have a lovely day, love Mel xxx

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Buttons and more cushions!

Hi all,

Hope you're OK today, think it's going to be a lovely crisp day. My range cooker arrived this morning!!! It's in the garage though so no photos yet but I will have a peek later.

I've been admiring buttons today. I ordered some from The Little Bead Box and they arrived yesterday and are so pretty. I spent ages sorting through them with my eldest (and whilst I was doing that a certain even smaller person managed to spend £40.15 on games on facebook, little monkey... I knew she was too quiet!!!). Anyway I'm loving the candy colours. I've shown them on some felt I got from Lupin Handmade which I tried out last night on a cushion which you can see below.

I'm pleased with this, it's the first time I've really used felt and I have to say I find it easier embroidering onto fabric but at least there's no fraying or hemming involved!!!

A good excuse to use two little duck buttons I've had for ages. The fabric is a Tanya Whelan one from Patch Fabrics in case you were interested.

I love sending off baby pressies!

I've made more progress with the union jack inspired cushion, it needs the back sewn on, which is my job for this afternoon but it is finally finished. This is the front tucked round an existing cushion so you can see how it will look.

Here's the top of the one to go with it with the little girl's name on, I think it's cute.

I think that's all for today folks. Hope you have a thrilling Thursday :)

Love Mel xxx

PS hello and thank you to new followers, do say hi! 

Friday, 1 October 2010

Cushion love :)

 Just have to share this with you today! I had a lovely comment on my post about the dresser from a new-to-me blogger Rebecca, whose brilliant blog is called Athene Noctua and I went to have a good look, as you do! Never one to pass up the chance to visit a Folksy shop I haven't seen before I popped into hers and absolutely fell in love with one of her cushions! As I said before I've been just a little bit norty lately when it comes to spending but I found I did have some money in my bank account (OK, OK... some leeway left in the overdraft... let's be honest here haha) so I went for it.

It was sweetly wrapped up with a CK note and two mini pretty cards which are now on the girly notice board :)

Love the fabrics!

I've tried it out in a few places and it seems to look best in my youngest's room, it looks too cute to move!!! Don't be surprised if it pops up in future in any other room of the house, I like to move things about a lot. She doesn't know it's there yet but she will be so happy and most likely hug or kiss it!

 Thanks Rebecca, it's gorgeous and I love it :)

I've been busy making a cushion cover rmyself for the commission I had for bunting and two cushion covers. The first one is going to be a union jack one, it's taking ages but it's all done by hand. My friend is giving these to her daughter as part of her Christmas pressie to go in her little play house in the garden, the only specifications are pink, lilac, bit of pale blue and she's a girly girl! So I spent yesterday sewing and using it as an excuse to dig out my stash and have a good look. Here's the only type of ironing I like to do! More progress was made last night and I will show you again when it's finished.

Do you spy the Rosali pillow cases on the right there? I'm not cutting those up, they were an ebay bargain. Can't wait to try them out.

Right, it's my brother's 29th and I'm supposed to be watching Dogtanian with him on DVD..... we are proper grown ups honest!!! Have a great weekend, love Mel xxx