Monday, 30 December 2013

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas is over

Wow what a Christmas!!! I hope everyone was thoroughly spoilt! I was!!! The lead up to the big day was lovely, even though I had to work we got to have 2 non uniform days and my Christmas cardi was present for both of them.what with working in a bank I did get the bank holidays off which was nice but I still think back to being in school and getting a few weeks and the whole time thinking about how rubbish it is that I have to go back to school at the end and how I'd love to be a grown up with a job. I never thought my mum would be right when she said I'd look back and miss it!!!

I took pictures of my pressies too, is that sad? One of the main reasons I did it was because they looked so pretty all laid out and it almost made me teary to think of all those lovely people who had thought about getting me something. Now I'm not religious and I know Christmas isn't really about the presents, but I love the spirit of giving and I spend a lot of time choosing and making presents for others and I'm a fan of both the giving and the getting.

The presents. Spoiled Laura. 

In those pressies were these packs of fabric, when my mum asked me if there was anything I would like I told her about a few fabric selections I had seen on <a href="">this site</a>  and really liked. I just tried to do my first link with something apparently called HTML because I'm using the blogger app and there is no link button and I'm not sure if it worked. This might become a day of firsts, perhaps my first day to edit my blog so I don't look stupid! 

Here's a quick close up of the fabric in there
I didn't want to undo the twine yet so you can't see them all, too pretty to play with at the moment.

I don't usually go out in the Boxing Day sales but this year I was tempted.i didn't go for the 6am start or any of that but I had some money and vouchers and the mr has a younger  sister who was up for going too. There were many discounts to be had and this is what I came home with is lot...

I think I would call that a pretty major successful shopping trip! I stocked up on the makeup that doesn't make my skin rash and got a great haul in hobbycraft. Everything apart from the crafty stuff and the ring from pandora was reduced or crazy cheap. And I did get 10% off the quilting calendar because it was the last one and one edge is really banged up! but the insides are fine and I love it! I love finally having a rotary cutter and mat. Especially because I was all set to buy the mat from a shop in the town I work in for £30 and ended up getting it in hobbycraft for £18! Now all I need is a quilting ruler but I can't find one anywhere!! Hobbycraft were sold out and John Lewis didn't have any (I went shopping in John Lewis the Saturday after Xmas with vouchers because they were closed on Boxing Day which I was very upset about but I'll tell you about that in a bit). I'm going to look for one today in a shop I'll be passing but I'm not holding out too much hope. 

I've already made one of the blocks from my quilting calendar, it didn't come out perfect but I am happy with it. It's approx a 12" square and I'm going to make it into a mini quilt to top a side table. 

Hey my text went green for a bit in the middle there, I have no idea why so I think I'll just leave that alone. 

In my shopping picture you will also be able to see my next new hobby, SMASH! The boyfriends sister that I went shopping with had heard of project life and wanted a look. We went to the section of hobbycraft and if I'm honest it looked a little boring. I haven't had much of a poke around and I'm sure it's not boring at all, but at £92 to start up it is quite a bit out of my price range.

Instead I picked up a smash book, it's a memory keeping journal that you smash everything into! And it's not ridiculously big so you can carry it around with you. I've done a lot of pages already and bought a second book that is slightly smaller and titled LaDeDah, for when this one is full. For only £13 I think that's very good value especially when every page has something patterned onto it. 

One of my favourite purchases has got to be the little blue bin, it was in the next sale for £3 and now I finally have a bin in the sewing room for all my cut threads and bits of rubbish! I used to have a bag on the floor but would miss it most times and it looked a mess. Talking of the sewing room... I have cleaned it out! All the rubbish, piles of clothes, things that I didn't know if I wanted or needed to keep... All gone. I'm just waiting for my mum to come and pickup the big wooden antique box that I have been using but no longer need (she didn't want it so loaned it to me until I didn't want it and I think she will sell it now) and then I need to put the Weights bench the mr never uses onto eBay and once that has gone there will a ton more space in my lovely room. I might even be able to put the airer in there! When you live in a teeny tiny flat you need all the space you can get, especially in the craft room! 

Let me tell you about the John Lewis haul. I had a lot of vouchers. After vouchers I spent just £11. Their sale started on the 27th and I was in their sewing department on the 28th, these fabrics are usually £14-£16 a metre and I cannot afford that, but they are popular designers. They were half price. This is what I got...
How about another pic because they are so pretty...
They are sitting in a neat stack behind my sewing machine where I can just look at them. There are 19 1metre cuts and they are so so pretty, I cut into one for some of the blocks on my mini quilt top above. 

That fabric shopping trip was some of the best fun I have ever had in a shop. I took along my 10and 11 year old boy cousins who were on their very best behaviour. One of them held my handbag whilst the other held out his arms and I stacked him up with bolts, they both helped me find the ones with half price labels and desperately begged me to get one covered in Union jacks, I declined. As unpatriotic of me as it is. I don't think I'd ever use it! They then proceeded to have a very in depth conversation about Star Wars with one of the two lovely women who helped us at the cutting table. This was one of the few times I have recieved excellent customer service at that shop and it was really lovely. Most of the time the staff stand around chatting or chat whilst they serve which I thinkis really   unprofessional. This time they came and unloaded whichever boy I was stacking with bolts every few fabrics, checked I still wanted a metre and came and told me regularly how much money I was up to. My faith has been restored in John Lewis! 

That's pretty much all for today I think. It's early, the mr has just left for a work and I have a day off for some family stuff but I have been ill all night so am trying to feel human before I approach anyone today. I'll leave you with a picture of the toy I made yesterday that is on its way up to Yorkshire to my cousins little baby, the little one in question must be coming up to a year old soon and I have only met her once so the plan is that the week I have off in February that the mr hasn't got I'm going a visiting. This went up with some clothes I have made her...
I don't think it came out badly seeing as I don't usually make toys and I just drew out an elephant pattern on to fabric. The ears have ribbons on for little fingers to hold and I drew the eyes on with fabric marker so no little buttons can be chewed off.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!!! 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A winner and a busy week

First of all, the winner of the baby dress...

It's going to live with....

Kathy H 

Who said... "Very cute dress. My favourite film is The InLaws, the original one. It makes me and my family laugh out loud, even though we have seen it so many times."

Yay! I will be emailing you Kathy H to get your address and post this off! 

The little extra surprise giveaway is still a surprise as I haven't made it yet! I will make it on my lazy Sunday today and post about it next time, it will be going to...


Who said...

"I don't have anyone in this size dress. I just wanted to say, Welcome to Etsy! Etsy has a lot of easy tutorials to get your banner up or whatever else you want to do to make your shop your own. Look around and try to identify components of other shops that you would like to 'borrow' for your shop. Your cute elephant zipped pouch is great. I don't watch too many films but I love Downton Abbey - does that count?"

I guess Kathy's are lucky here today!!! Now I chose Kathy because she broke out of the norm and mentioned my tv love... Downton!!!!! I love Downton!!! I can't wait for the Xmas special!!! Kathy definitely got extra points for welcoming me to Etsy also, I'm a little scared of Etsy at the moment because I'm still not a 100% on how it works lol.

So Kathy I will be in touch to get your address too, but I won't be telling you what your getting, so you'll   know what it is when it turns up or you will see it here when I post it! 

This week has been crazy busy which has sucked big time, so I'm having a chill out day today, and I'm thinking about giveaways for the future. Maybe one a month? Only little things so no one get too excited, but its so fun to see the comments to enter and pick a winner and feel like I'm connecting with people on the other side of the world. So here is my question, if anyone reads this and thinks that in January they would be interested in coming here for a giveaway then comment on this post, if I get a few comments then I will post a giveaway before the end of jan! 

Ps. Here's what I made Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and then wore to the works Christmas party Saturday night...

That's my chuffed face, can you tell? :D

Sunday, 8 December 2013

My first giveaway!!!

Ok so here it is, a little early because I don't want to wait until midnight to post my giveaway (I hope to be snoring by then) and I will never have time to write something before work in the morning because I am always in a rush! 

When I get up I will go over to Sew Mama Sew and post the link to here and hopeful say Hi! To some people! Until then if anyone reads this you are free to enter now.

My giveaway starts from when this is posted and I will draw a winner on Saturday 14th of December. Up until that point go for it! Here are my rules, you have to comment to win, and everybody gets one, so no multiple comments please.

You are commenting for this...

The pattern came out with baby size large, I have been told this means 18months but I've measured and the bodice from underarm to underarm measures 12 inches (I have no child so I have no idea if that still means 18months).

The back has an opening that fastens with a little bit of lace and an aqua button and there's even lilac ric rac trimming the hem.

I will happily post this anywhere in the world for the winner so if you want it, let me know!!! 

Now on Sew Mama Sew it says to ask anyone who would like to win to answer a question or put something in their comment, I am always on the look out for new films, so please put in your comment your favourite film and if you would like to you could write why it's your fave, then there's a little something extra...

The dress will go to a winner drawn at random. But for the best film (either if I have seen it or if I go get it and think its amazing or if its a cool comment) I will make a little something else and send it out to the best comment of my choice.

Now I'm just praying there are people out there who will come comment! Ill be sharing this on my Facebook as well so here's hoping! 

If there is anyone out there who would like something unique for themselves or a little one they cherish then I have also finally made an Etsy shop! It's not fab at the moment, I'm still adding things and I need to learn how to make a banner, but there will be a few things on there left over from the Xmas fayre and I will make it clear in the listings but anything I put on there that is leftover stock, either half or all the money from them will go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, so go have a peek!! There's still time to get things for Xmas!

Still need to learn how to link!! Ill get there!

Now comment! Fingers crossed and I hope I get 2 comments so 2 people win the things!!!! 

Shopping and sewing!

Fun is being had around here!! First I went to the fabric shop in yarmouth and came home with this.
The aim was to make 2 pillowcase dresses from the tutorial on Sew Like My Mom. I don't know how to link yet, that might be a new thing to learn.
I made this before I went back to the shops...
But then I went to the sewing shop in Beccles and got these...
And these...
And it all went a little haywire from there. I was really inspired to make the baby clothes, they are so so cute and they take so much less time and fabric to make! Since then I have been back to the shop and bought a few more poly cottons but I forgot to take pictures before I cut into them. 
On Friday night the Mr was studying (boyfriends don't tend to like the sound of sewing machines whilst they study) so I tucked myself up in the spare room (who am I kidding its a sewing room) but couldn't bring myself to make something that wasn't for me! 
This is what happened!
I made the collage with Instagram because I realise how picture heavy these posts are becoming. The centre lower patch on the patchwork side is a pocket and there are pockets inside for all the little bits I always lose, the brown side is all business and then it gets all party with the patchwork :D 

I'm so happy with it and I suddenly was happy to sew other stuff again! 
Nappy cover to match the pillowcase dress, then a three tiered toddler dress, then another pillowcase dress and finally a pink gingham top.

I'm not going to post them now because there really has been too many pictures today and not enough chat. But I am going to be brave and make that etsy shop I have been thinking about and they will be going up in there. It's just a trial. If it works then I make enough money to keep myself in fabric to make more and if it doesn't then I'm in the same situation I was in before! Right now it's not about trying to make a profit, more like making a self sustaining hobby. Also it would be very cool for other people to wear the stuff I make. I'd also quite like to be able to sell some of the things I make for the charity on there too.

I keep reading sewing blogs and seeing references to giveaway day. Sew Mama Sew organises a giveaway day twice a year and you get to go there and register your giveaway and then people come to your blog to try and win! I think that sounds great! It starts in 9 hours, so ill either post my giveaway post then or tomorrow morning before work. The rules are it has to be craft supplies or handmade items and I have a little persons handmade item waiting to go out to my winner!

I can't wait to see if anyone is interested! Look out for my giveaway post! Happy sewing!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Turning it around

So instead of moaning about the unproductive time I have been having, I decided to turn it around. It was a busy week of trying to make for the Christmas fayre, in the end we didn't do as well as we thought we would, and we did really bad compared to last year. A lot of very generous people plopped coins into the donation tub but not much of our stock moved. To be fair though, many many stalls seemed to shift very little stock and there were many unhappy faces at the end of the night. It was bloomin cold too.
We were OK, tucked up in our clothes, with our pink jammie bottoms and brig pink hoodies over the top. I have pictures but they're on the big camera, not the iPad and its getting late and I'm writing this whilst watching I'm a Celebrity so I'm not jumping up to get it onto here.
Instead I have another treat. Here is me, on the couch now in my jammies, whilst wearing the amazing hat that I bought at the fayre. My ears went from feeling as if they would freeze off to being lovely and toasty in a minute! 
Granted, it's not the sexiest hat about, and I did get a funny look off the mr when I got back at the end of the night, but I love it!!!!! It's fleece lined and lovely and cushy on the inside. Pardon the face, it's late and I've rubbed all my makeup off ready for bed.
The lack of fayre success has made me even more convinced that I need to get an etsy shop going, we need to make some more money for the charity!!! But first I need to get really brave. I need to tell people i know that I'm writing this so they'll see and then maybe get the word about. I'm not sure if anyone would even read it if I did tell them, that worries me. I don't want to spend all this time writing it and then tell everyone I know (eg. Declare it on FB) and then either people read it and go "well that was rubbish" or never read it at all! Maybe i need to stop caring.
ANYWAY that wasn't interesting!!!! What else happened this weekend? 
I bought this...
I loved this little shelf set, I bought it from Vintage Mischief, a funny sort of shed shop behind the bank. I have no idea how old it is (if anyone knows these things and reads this please do give me a hint) but it was covered in mould and spider poop and had been out in the rain all day (and goodness knows how many days before that) and it cost me £12. I wasn't sure if that was good but I took it straight down to my grandparents and my grandma said I had got a good deal. 
Me and the mr have never done anything like this. He can be a little bit of a snob with secondhand things and doesn't have the make do and mend bug in any way, shape, or form. Me on the other hand? I think I have a new love.
First I wet sanded...
I wet sanded all night, that dirty water was after just half of the top shelf had had some love. There was a whole lot of manky on this. The spider poop came off really easily.
The next morning I painted, then I rang my grandma when it was dry and raved about how pretty it was and along came her and my grandad with a drill and lots of little nic nacs and fitted it to the wall!!! I had told my grandma that I also wanted some little hooks to hang my scissors on (this is going above my sewing table) and she brought along some hooks that had hung in their old house (before they knocked it down and built a new one on top). 
She also brought a little bit of wood and I sanded that down and painted it too, then tonight after work I put that up. To say I'm chuffed is a major understatement.
I love it!!!!! There on the bronze hooks are my red handled fabric scissors, my blue pinking shears and my paper scissors? They have gone walk about. So in their place I've hung up my little fan, but it doesn't look quite right. My paper scissors are quite rubbishy though. Just old ones that rattle a bit so I think I need some new ones for Xmas. 
Gotta show you the view from the side because it is so dainty.
The three teacups on there are also from vintage mischief and I love them to bits! One is full of buttons (the lid on my button box has broken), another is full of beads and the third is empty but I'm planning on my making a pincushion that will snug inside it. My tape measures live on the middle shelf along with the Rupert Bear money box which I think belonged to the grandad who's no longer with us. The top shelf needs to hold more, it's not pulling its weight at the moment but Peter Pan is up there. I hope if my mum sees this she will be happy I'm taking care of Peter. I'm not sure who's he was or if he is actually precious but he was always one of the things in my room I was scared to break when I was little. 
It's all my favourite but another favourite bit is my sewing thread, don't they look pretty!!!! 
My grandma actually brought me 4 of those little bronze hooks and as you can see I have only used 3 in this picture. The forth is on the back of the spare room door and looking amazing up there. It was so nice to pop a bag up there and to leave it looking all neat. I'm thinking if I put hooks in lots of places then the whole house will look a bit neater!! 
I think this is the start of a major love of doing up bits and bobs but I think it might have a few limits. First one being price, I'm not up for spending lots of money on things that I need to do up. The shelves were pretty cheap, I spent £12 on the shelves, the paint is left over from a wall I haven't finished painting and the fittings and hooks came from my grandparents. The second limit is the mr and his hate of all things not brand new. I have yet to find a cure for this and I have a feeling it's not coming up any time soon. So I think I can get away with shelves for the bathroom or things in our teeny spare room because they would be little enough for him to ignore. Also the spare room isn't really his territory any more. When we first moved in he had some crazy idea it was going to be his gym. I wasn't convinced of this and then on top of everything his weights bench (which I will put on eBay when I get a chance) wouldn't really fit in the room. Soon it became my dumping ground, then mostly dumping ground and a little sewing area, now I just need to do a little more sorting and it will be a fully functional, cleared out, beautiful sewing room. Don't tell him that though, he still thinks its the spare room. 
I hope this isn't too rambly, I'm shattered and its past bed time so I'm off to bed without proof reading, I'm sure that's never a good thing but too tired, night night everyone! 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Another unproductive one

I'm still trying to stack up things for the Christmas fayre but its not going well.

I'm not sure if this is because of my amazing adaption to my workplace...

Yep, that's my laptop, and a lil bit of George Clooney, makes for slow sewing but that's happy slow sewing.

I had plans for 4 or 5 pouches and then to at least choose the outlines for some appliqué on some more baby vests. Didn't happen. I made...

That's 1 pouch and a pair of fingerless mitts. As you can probably tell I've never made them before and 
I was a bit clueless. They are just slightly shaped tubes with an opening for the thumb. I've seen a couple of people wearing these but in patternless fleece and I thought they would be fab because I would be able to knit and have toastie hands. Then I looked up the ones I had seen, £40!! That's quite a bit out of my price range really, especially when I can make shoddy but workable copies out of fleece I had at home. This was a pillowcase I made for fun thinking it would be warm and snugly in winter. Then I thought about the fact that sleepy dribble is gross and crusty and it would be really manky and I wouldn't want to put my face on that more than one night without washing. Then I cut it up.

That boxey cosmetic bag? That's me being clever. Not that clever, just clever for me. Want to know why? Because last night I tried to figure it out on my own and did this...

What is that? Are you realising how stupid I felt? I just cut the corners of a flat pouch. However when I managed to do this...

I was so excited that I made loud sounds, ran into the sitting room and screeched about it to the mr until I registered the look on his face, remembered that this is not the sort of thing he cares even a little bit about, and that this was why I started a blog. Then I went and took a crappy iPad picture. It's made out of my tea fabric that I love to bits, though I'm not a tea drinker I think this has no impact on cute material. 

Today we sold cakes at work for the charity of the year which is Alzheimer's society. We are doing it again tomorrow and I'm not a good cook, I also don't like having to wash up, ever. So I bought fairy cakes. Then I decorated them. Quite shoddily but it's not my skill. I told all my coworkers that I would be doing this and they were fine with it, I still payed money for the stuff and took a little bit of time sorting it, and tomorrow when we sell them the charity will get money, and I get to be safe in the knowledge that I haven't killed anyone with my cooking. 

I can't believe how quickly this week is going, and its late, and I'm tired, and I have to make efforts to protect my cakes from the man and cat I share this home with, and I haven't even had a shower yet.

I'm leaving you with this...
That's our cat covering mr's backpack with hair. It makes her happy, it makes him cross. This makes me laugh. When she jumps on my stuff I get no sympathy, I have more stuff and she sits on it a lot more so this makes me pretty cheery! 

Happy half way through the week, halfway closer to the weekend!!!! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Not a lot

I had big plans for this evening, there was going to be major sewing, planning, projects churning out. Did that happen? Nope.

This is what I scored today...
That's a metre of the pink, the other 2 are fat quarters, five 14" zips (I love zips), and 2 metres of black ric rac, I love ric rac! Though I'm not sure it its ricrac or ric rac. Ric rac looks better. I only found out about it a couple of weeks ago when I was reading someone else's blog (it was Sew Like My Mom but I don't know how to link) and went straight out on a search, I also bought my first ever pinking shears which I love!!! The man in the shop told me that they were only for bunting and if I didn't want to make bunting then there was no point in me paying out for them. I lied to him and said I loved to make bunting, then I left with my pinking shears clutched to my chest and when I got into work I unpacked them even though I had nothing to cut haha.

The zips were a bit overkill because I wanted to make a makeup bag that needed a 14" zipper on Sunday and didn't have one so the minute I got a chance I bought 5 so that it doesn't happen again for a while.

It was sausage and chips for tea! Yum yum! But not healthy at all boo. And then me and the mr caught up on I'm A Celeb from last night, I'm loving this series, some years we watch it and some we don't but its nice to have something we watch together. Mr doesn't believe Joey Essex is really that errr clever, I on the other hand have many watched episodes of TOWIE and know it to be true! 

After tea we watched some Family Guy, then there was a tiny break in which I ran to my sewing machine and then it was back to the tv for tonight's I'm A Celeb. A tv night can be nice but I'm on such a sewing bug at the moment that it sort of feels like wasted time. I'm trying to chill and remember that if you work 9-6 you are allowed a little chill out time in the evenings. Still wanted to get more done though.

This is what I did in my 20 min break...
That's the front of another burp cloth, all appliquéd and ready to go-though it looks a bit uneven because of the angle, I promise it's not that bad- I'm happy with it. BUT... I wish I'd made the strip of green at the top a bit thinner but I didn't and I don't have enuf love for a do-over. If I had made it thinner I was thinking about putting another word above the PRINCE, perhaps LITTLE or FRESH. Ahhh hindsight. As I said, no do-overs here tonight. 

Anyway it's getting late, so I'll leave you with a picture of the third member of my little family...
Meet Mimi, This is where she lives in the winter, the best bit is when she falls asleep and falls off :D 

Happy Monday!!! 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

A weekend off...

So this weekend feels like my first I wasn't working in a long while (not true but the week before last I was ill with flu) and I took the opportunity to get on the sewing train.

This Friday coming is our local Christmas fayre and our little fundraising group have a table. A bit of background- my mum (breast cancer survivor) heads up our group which includes me, my auntie and a group of her wonderful friends as we raise money for the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, last year we walked the Great Wall of China and last month we biked across Vietnam and Cambodia. Next year they are planning the trek to Machu Pichu but I might be sitting that one out. 

As a group so far we have raised about 35k in 2 years and I love events like this because I feel like I can really contribute. 

This is us...
I'm the tubby one on the far left, my mum is the short one holding the right hand side of the flag.

When I sat down at my sewing machine on Friday night for an hour of sewing I had no idea what I would churn out!!

It's also only the second time I've ever had to price up my items, so i will put the picture up, the prices underneath and if anyone happens to read this and thinks I'm overcharging then please comment away, I have no idea what it all should be worth to be honest.

So here I have: 3 circle key rings (£1.50 each), fabric loop keyring (£3), mini stocking (£1), Christmas appliqué newborn baby vests (£4.50 each), burp cloth/ baby mat (£9), makeup bags (£6 each), small makeup bag (the one far right (£4), squishy appliqué blocks (£3 each).

There would be more of these bits but Saturday night me and the mr went out for our 6 years of being together (it was actually last month but I was in Cambodia and have been under the weather ever since) and I decided I had nothing to wear.

Before you see the picture please bear in mind that I have made only 4 items of clothing previously and all from pattern, this was guesswork.

That's my proud face, I had at this point gotten over the fact that the waistband has a MASSIVE LUMP THAT I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO FIX and resigned myself to wearing it as is (it was 7pm and we were leaving at 7.15pm). 

I'm thinking about doing a giveaway of something if I see some Internet signs of life, there will hopefully be much making in the evenings of this week so that I can bulk up that pile of fayre stock but after that I'm a free agent (though Christmas is a coming).

If you are reading then I hope you have had a fab weekend! X

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hello people of the webspace,

I'm not sure if anyone will ever read this, or if I shall throw my words out into the ether and they will never be heard of again.

So this is the bit where I tell you some about me...

My name is Laura, I'm 23 and I love to make, I have a singer talent which I love love love and a pile of fabric and scraps that I am going to try and get through this year rather than endless stockpiling with no plan.

My favourites are sewing, embroidery and knitting, but I love to try new things and will always have a go, so hopefully there will be a little bit of variety around here.

At the moment I have a 9-5 job and sometimes crafts fall off the radar, but there are stacks of tutorials out there that I have used and will happily link to if I'm too chocker. But otherwise I can't wait to share some projects!!!! 

My absolute dream is to make an etsy shop and have a bit of success! And past that I'd love to some day be able to make for a living, but I know a lot of people have that dream so it may be pie in the sky.

No pic tonight due to some tech difficulties but I can't wait to share.

Nice to meet you if you have made your way here, for now its dark and raining outside, I'm picking up my fabric scissors and dreaming of sunshine days.