Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year!

Right, my new year resolutions:
  • Blog more regularly
  • Take my own bags to shops, no more plastic ones.
  • Not to buy any craft stuff (discourage my Mum from buying stuff for me as well)
  • Use up all the craft stuff I have
  • Sell craft stuff I don't need
  • Get Etsy shop going (watch this space!!!)
  • and my usual one- drink more water

Happy New Year everyone.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Denim Christmas Trees

I am taking part in a Crazy Craft Extravaganser for Parents and under 5's, at the Limelight Family Learning Centre next Wendnesday and I needed to find something simple for Parents to do while their children played.

I started to work on a sewn, stuffed ornament to hang on the tree, but it was a bit big and lumpy and I wasn't too happy with it. Then this idea popped up on CRAFT: made by One Crafty Mumma

I have loads of scrap material from curtain samples and tons of buttons so these will be perfect. We will be handsewing them, so I will do a few examples to see if that works.
Tim, the Family Learning Officer for Limelight had the idea for the craft session; there will be Card and decoration making, decorating biscuits to hang on your tree, Christmas tree decoration making for adults, mince pies, music, baby area plus more Christmas craftyness, all for £1.00 pre child!! and Arc (arts and craft resourses for sale) will be there.
Wednesday 19th December, 10am-12noon, Limelight Family Learning Centre, Castillon Road, SE6 (if you fancy popping along)
If the session is a success, here's hoping for more in the New Year!

Friday, 7 December 2007

hello, i'm back!

did you miss me? I haven't actually been anywhere but just haven't found it in me to blog.

I was trying to figure out why this was and one reason I can think of is that we have moved to computer from the warm, comfy spare bedroom to the drafty, wooden floored back end of the living room. I used to start to blog when the boy's were having their bath in the evening, then put them to bed and carry on into the night. Now it's all changed, if I'm down stairs I have to get up to shout 'stop drowning your brother' or 'well that will teach you not to put soap there again won't it!!' and that stops the train of thought.

And I have realised in the last week that if I'm cold I can't think or function properly.

Our boiler broke on Monday and was only fixed yesterday (don't get me started on the incompetents of British Gas, but that's a whole other blog entry and email to Watchdog) but once it was fixed and as the radiators warmed you I felt like I was coming out of hibernation and my brain started to work again.

My friend Jo and I have been organising a Winter Gift Fair at our kids school, (it's tonight btw at 6-8pm at Rathfern School in Catford) and before the boiler was fixed I couldn't seem to do anything but as the temperature rose I was ringing people, making lists and potting up 10lb of Mincemeat.

I haven't just been sitting in the cold since my last entry, I have been making things, I was trying to think of them all, I'll try and list them now-

  • Mincemeat

  • Loopy Scarves x2

  • Pom poms x8

  • Yellow Beetroot and Ginger Chutney

  • Washcloth

  • erm, I think that's it.

no, didn't make this, but saw it recently while away with friends in Camber.

but I do want to make one of these, this is by pixiegenne and it's fantastically perfect!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Thursday, 15 November 2007


Metalic Marble Painting to celebrate Diwali

I feel like I been very neglectful. I haven't posted for sooooo long.
I have been so busy at work and home that I get to the evening and all I want to do is make Pom Poms. (there's a whole post about Pom Poms coming soon, bet you can't wait! ;-)
Anyway thought I'd better post something so you know I haven't forgotten about you all.

Here are two photo's of some sewing done by 2 and 3 years. I just showed them how a hole punch works and threaded their needles and off they went.

And here is a big kitten helping me work, they just can't resist a box!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Bonfires and Knitting

My Parents Annual Bonfire Party was it's usual success.

It started in the traditional way with my Dad putting on his very old handknitted jumper that only comes out once a year.

The pyrotechnics team staged a well co-ordinated display and soup and baked potatoes were enjoyed by all.

Then something wierd happened, it all went crafty...............

My Aunty Lainey has been crocheting a jumper for my sister Laura.

So, Laura had to try on said jumper while we all discussed the length and felt the wool!

Then my mum held a knitting surgery and we all tried to figure out a pattern that Laura was trying to follow.

Now let this be a lesson to you all, this is what happens if you where a polyster woolly hat while tending a bonfire!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Just couple more things

Just couple more things I need to say;

First Karyn's shop is now open over at the Fat Orange Cat blog.
If there is anyone who reads this and who buys me presents - I want, no, need this bag! click here and it will take you straight to the page!
I have my eye on a couple of items, I hope they don't go before I get my 'Slack-Arse' in gear.

And the second thing, in the sprirt of the handmade pledge, Sew, Mama, Sew has a 'Thirty Days of Gifts to Sew' thing going on.

Looks like lot's of fun inspration to me!
Projects planned are:
November 1 ~ Aprons
November 2 ~ Pincushions & Pins
November 3 ~ For the House
November 4 ~ Lunch Bags
November 5 ~ Tote Bags
November 6 ~ Blankets for Baby
November 7 ~ For your Purse or Pocket
November 8 ~ Whimsy
November 9 ~ Fabric Ornaments
November 10 ~ Ties and Belts
November 11 ~ Reading & Writing
November 12 ~ For the Table
November 13 ~ Placemats
November 14 ~ Kids’ Clothes
November 15 ~ Warm those Toes
November 16 ~ Gifts for the Crafter
November 17 ~ Purses
November 18 ~ For Baby
November 19 ~ Tech Gifts
November 20 ~ Gifts for Organization
November 21 ~ Pillows
November 22 ~ Fun for Hair
November 23 ~ Soft Toys & Games
November 24 ~ Sachets
November 25 ~ For the Kitchen
November 26 ~ Embellishments
November 27 ~ Gifts for Warmth
November 28 ~ Drawstring Bags
November 29 ~ Fabric Boxes
November 30 ~ Gift Compilations

Slack-arse Housewife!

Slack-arse was a phrase coined at college to describe a co-student who; 'cut corners, was a bit lazy and lackadaisical', and that's how I feel about the domestic arts.
Don't get me wrong I love to cook, knit dishcloths and make jam but I can't be arsed with dusting and the like and don't get my partner started on my lack of ironing!

Spider cake inspired by Not Martha

But some tidying had to be done today, we had a Halloween Party on Wednesday and there was a trail of spider sequins, feathers and glitter through the house that I had ignored for long enough.

But, I think I might of found the answer - Craft Podcasts!

There is a whole list of them at Craftypod, first I listened to a couple of festive podcasts from Crafty Chica, (that was the sofa wiped (it's leather), toy's put in a pile(there still there), wand making materials put away and floor swept) then I half listened to a Craftsanity interview with Amanda Blake Soule while I swept the kitchen, moved a rug and plumped cushions.

I usually resent spending time on my day off cleaning, but this way I feel like I'm crafting and it takes my mind of the domestic drudgery!

Haven't got much crafting in during the last week or so. I have been experimenting with the felted Christmas decorations and come up with some prototypes.

I'm happy with the red heart but I think the green one needs something, I'm on the lookout for small bells and the yellow star needs a button or something.

There's a lot of chat at the moment about blogs and books making the authors lives look perfect and how this makes others feel inadequate.
When I had my first son there was a lot of mums making out that their lives and babies where great and perfect and I resolved then to tell it how it was; sick and wee covered, sore boobed, boring hard work! (that was on the good days ;-)And it's quite easy to make your bloglife look perfect in the photos you show. I love the idea of moving the camera a bit to the left or zooming out to show what's really there, so here is the corner of the kitchen where the above photo was taken.

It doesn't look that bad when you can't see the whole of the smeared bin and half eaten cat food!

We're looking forward to my Mum & Dads Annual Bonfire Party tomorrow night; three hours of fireworks followed by hot soup, baked pototoes and smoking fags with my Dad by the bonfire (shh, don't tell anyone!)

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Future Project

Inspired by Laura, I have spent most of this afternoon reseaching carding and dying fleece.

I can't really afford to buy real carders at the moment so I have been looking for a 'how to make your own carders' to no avail but Laura suggested I can use dog or hair brushes.

Laura has a really good tutorial on dying roving with Kool aid and a microwave, but I don't have a microwave (our's blow up) so I had a look for stove top instructions and found some here.

The fleece I have has been washed but found good instructions for washing fleece here and carding instructions here.

Good Crack!

We met our friends Adam and Rachel aka DNA and their children at the Tate Modern yesterday. The boys found the crack intriguing, wanting to know how it was made, we decided it was either an earth quake or aliens!
Had an interesting chat with Rachel (she has started her MA in Fine Art!) about how everyone wanted to stradle the crack and walk the length of it, my main observation was only men and child put there feet down it!

We didn't spend much time looking at the galleries. Having children asking 'why is a big square painted red art?' all the way round is a bit wearing! Children seem to like art that looks like something, they liked the Monet and they recognised the big Matisse collage and both commented that they could make a picture like that, which I'm sure they have!

future artists of Great Britain, 'Shelter' 2007

What they do enjoy is creating their own 'installations', this one they are exhibiting outside the Tate at the moment. Rachel has some great photos of a boat they created on the beach at Easter.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Handmade Pledge

sign the petition at BuyHandmade and pledge to buy handmade, you don't have to make it yourself, go to Etsy for 1000's of handmade goodies! and I'm hoping the Fat Orange Cat Boutique will be open soon!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

German Zakka

I am taking part in a craft book swap on Swap-bot, I have a book to swap but I thought I'd go and see what I could find in the Salvation Army charity shop in Catford. It's one of those old school charity shops; stuff comes in, they sort it and sell it, rather than the centralised sorting and creaming off of the vintage bargains we all hope to find.

Anyway, look what I brought for 10p!

German Zakka, I'm presuming it's German, it says it's printed in West Germany, please correct me if I'm horribly wrong.

I want this! I wonder if my Dad would make it for me for Christmas.

I would have died for this as a kid, look at that rug and that beaded curtain.

and I want to make this....................

and those fruit shaped cushions...............

and a rag rug loom......................

not so keen on these but I like the way the pictures are laid out.

and here's Christmas sorted....................

that shoe shaped thing that holds your glasses and pens looks v. useful to someone who wears glasses and has pens.

and tucked away in a pocket at the back are two very scary and complicated looking patterns in pristine condition. Hurray for Charity Shops!

Look what else I brought for 10p......................

That hair looks like it's been knitted! Sorry Pam Dawson but you can't blame me with the title of your book as 'Knitting Pam Dawson'!!!

But she can knit dungarees for toddlers, how cool is that?

Though, Ben's friend looks a bit uncomfortable with the way Ben is eyeing up his stripey dungies.

Where can I get a toddler to make these for? I did offer to make some for E but he wasn't too keen.

I know, I'll make one, (a toddler that is) there's a pattern for one in the German Zakka book.................. no really, there is......................

Monday, 15 October 2007

Knitted Dishcloth Debate

I am really enjoying the knitted dishcloth debate and thought I'd join in.
First have a look at Ali's blog and then at Janet's 'stunt' sink!
Ali has some great links to fill you in on the back history.

I have to say that I am guilty of knitting a dishcloth or two as part of a 'Dishcloth swap' but I'm proud to stand up and be counted. It also doesn't mean that my house looks like a show home full of cupcakes.

One of two crocheted dishcloths made for me by Louise.

My kitchen on a good day! You can just see the other dishcloth on the righthand side.

I know some will think it's weird to 'waste' your time making something that you can just go and buy and that we are taking a step back into the slavery of domesticity. But we do these things because we can not because we have to. Thanks to our for mothers we aren't expected to spend our spare time doing housework (well, not to often and not that they would say out loud if they know what's good for them!) so why can't we can spend our evenings knitting dishcloths (and swapping them) What's the difference between making something practical and spending 2 hours on Facebook sending people monkeys. These are past times, a way of relaxing after a hard days work.

I would rather give my money to an independent yarn shop than to T***o any old day! And, when civilisation collapes we'll be able to whip up dishcloths and rag rugs and barter them for stockings!

What do you think Karyn could barter her beautiful coasters for? Thank you to her for sending these to me. I feel a real cheat because I sent Karyn one of my leaf brooches and jumped at the offer of a set of these (I have been coverting them for months). But my brooch never arrived, I got coasters and Karyn got an empty envelope!

I'll have to see what I can do, maybe I'll send her a knitted dishcloth ;-)

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Finished, at last!!!!

Hurray, I've finished it and worn it.

It's taken me 19 months to finish, yes 19 months!

[Edit: Peter has just pointed out that I could have had two babies in that time!! ]

Also, finished some leaf brooches, I've had a few requests for these so I thought I'd make a batch.

I'm trying a holly leaf, I'll let you know what happens.

Looking forward to the Knitting and Stitching Show tomorrow, I'll try and take photos. It was suggested that I wear the rabbit ears so people can spot me!

I was going to wear my newly finished shrug but is that like wearing a 'Spock' costume to a Star Trek convention?