Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Fairy Lights!

The other day something caught my eye through the front door window....."Oh" I said to myself  "Thought I had taken down all the Christmas lights from outside!" Then I took a closer look and realised the sun was shining through the dead flower heads of a Hydrangea in my front garden.

The sun shining through Hydrangea in January

It looked magical. What a delight on a cold & windy day in January.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

The creation of My Craft Room - Part 4 - Filling the shelves

About time I continued telling you about my craft room.

Once I had my cupboards and shelves I needed to fill them with boxes and baskets. I was so excited especially as it would remind me of all of the gorgeous things I had to "play" with!
I sorted things into categories e.g. Woollen fabrics, flannels, felt, christmas prints, stationery etc, etc. Keeping the same things together would make it easier to find (fingers crossed!). I was lucky I could squeeze most of the same thing in one box and generally similar items could be grouped together on nearby shelves or in the cupboards.

I didn't want to be able to see some things through the boxes as they would look messy, so I slipped some patterned paper down the front of these boxes. So that I would know what was in them I used some Cath Kidston sticky labels and a book of Crafty sticky labels (I knew they would come in handy one day!)

I had 4 drawers in the Ikea expedit shelving units to fill. I had to work out what I would need more often so I could just turn around and grab it easily.  I decided to used them for glues & sellotape, tools, rulers & scrap paper.

On some shelves I put my Mollie Makes magazines (I had about 2 years worth) and a few other craft magazines I buy occasionally like Making, Homemaker & Handmade. These magazines aren't cheap so I only buy them if there are several things or ideas in an issue that I could make or use.

Another couple of shelves were reserved for some of my craft books like a few Tilda ones and Cath Kidston Sew, Stitch, Patch,  & her latest "Sewing" (a Christmas present) to name a few. I love books like these and cannot imagine ever having an e-book version.

I have quite a few folders too full of patterns and ideas. The ones that had boring covers got covered in wrapping paper. I used sticky labels on these too. 

I painted some wooden Ikea magazine box files in shades pink, turquoise and aqua. I want to stencil or paint a rose on them but still haven't made my mind up yet what to do. I've had a go with paints on scrap paper but haven't quite found the look I'm after. I also want to finish off a painted chair and stool with the same motif so it's got to be just right. I'll have to give it more thought and do some more searching online for inspiration.

I have a couple of pots (melamine tumblers) that I have put paint brushes and a few pens & pencils in and I bought a cutlery drainer from Dunelm Mill in a gorgeous shade of pink which I use like a desk tidy. It will do until I see something better.

I will review my tins, jars and other containers I've used in a future post but for now here are some photos of my filled shelves and cupboard in my new craft room.


Sunday, 4 January 2015

My Homemade Christmas Gifts, Makes & Treats

I've been so busy since I came back from London preparing for Christmas I have had no time to sort out photos or write any posts. Firstly, our Christmas was brought forwards by 2 weeks as my family gathered early due to other commitments over the Christmas holiday period. House had to be tidied & cleaned. Food had to bought & meals prepared. Presents to be made. It was all go!

Sewing case

I stuffed a Sass & Belle mini suitcase with selection of sewing goodies for a friends daughter. She loves foxes so I thought this woodland inspired fabric collection called  Fox and Friends by Lewis and Irene, bought from Nature's Threads quilting store, was just perfect. I used some to make a needle case, pin cushion and scissor case. Inside the needle case I added some needles, pins, safety pins & needle threader. I put in some plain natural coloured fabric, a select of felt squares, embroidery threads, a bag of fancy threads & ribbons, a card of buttons, a length of bobble trim, reel of cotton, some wadding and a tape measure. I coordinated the colours the best I could in browns, greens, oranges, yellow and russet to go with the Fox and Friends fat sixteenths.  

Handmade needle case, scissor case & Hedgehog Pincushion
 I plan to post details on how I made the needle case, scissor case and Hedgehog pin cushion at a later date.
The recipient was really thrilled with my gift to her and said she can't wait to make something. 

Cath Kidston and Alice in Wonderland inspired charm bracelets

 These charm bracelets were for my sons girlfriends and again, I intend to do a post showing how I put them together. They are fun to make when they are themed. The 2 chokers at the top of the picture just had a couple of star charms added to make them a little different. These were just little stocking fillers.

Bedding accessories for a Princess!
 A four year old little girl got a Fairytale play castle for Christmas and as the furniture looked a little uncomfortable I made mattresses for the cot and bed, a lace trimmed pillow, a knitted blanket and a quilt. I also made a baby from a wooden dolly peg.

Cute reindeer gift bag, tea towel apron and a little black dress

I also made a gift bag for four year old Eva with a cute felt Rudolph reindeer appliqu├ęd on it. This was made using the fabric from 3 Christmas tea towels bought a few years ago, some red bobble trim and 4 big black buttons. I had also promised to make her an Eva sized apron. As time was running out I made one very quickly out of flowery tea towel. A tutorial will follow shortly as it was so easy.

I will also show you in another post more about the little black dress made for my daughter for New Year's Eve.

Maple & Pecan & Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes and Cranberry & White Chocolate Loaf
Finally, as well as the usual Christmas food - Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets etc,etc - I made Maple & Pecan cupcakes with butterscotch icing topped with a half a Pecan and Lemon Drizzle cupcakes with lemon buttercream icing topped with snowflakes for our first family gathering. For our second Christmas for those of us left, I made mince pies, an Orange version of the Lemon drizzle cupcakes and a Cranberry & White Chocolate loaf with vanilla buttercream topped with fondant snowflakes.

We also held our usual annual New Year's Eve gathering with friends at our house this time so the cooking didn't stop there! My "star" of a husband cooked several indian dishes whilst I was left to the tidying & cleaning, laying the table, the decorations and the desserts. I made Raspberry and Milk Chocolate Cheesecake and Chocolate Chip Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding. As so much was going on I forgot to take photos!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year
(I'm just going to put my feet up for a while! :-) )