Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Swap Update

Just thought I'd give a quick update regarding the swaps I'm currently involved in.

Firstly there is the Mini Quilt Swap organised by Lucy.

My "official" swap partner is Lissa - who's a Civil War/ 1930's Fabricologist. I have a design in mind and have purchased some fabric so its all steam ahead!!

But I've also agreed with Lucy to make a Mini Quilt for her wall. I have a lovely traditional design in mind and have some pretty fabrics here to make it with.

Secondly - or is that thirdly?? - there is the Doll Swap organised by Chloe.

My partner in this is Camilla - who loves 1950's design. I've never made a doll but I have a concept in mind!!

My last swap is a Functional Felt Swap organised jointly by Painted Fish Studio and Three Sneaky Bugs.

This swap is organised a little different in that Ellie will be receiving something made by my good self - but I shan't receive from her but someone else - its a more in the round that back and forth if that make sense!!

They all have to be completed by the end of May so I'm going to be busy, busy busy!!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

A Busy Few Days Sewing

In between keeping DD amused (see previous post), and berating her for a) pulling a shelf off the bookcase and showering herself with Inspector Morse and b) climbing up a chest of drawers causing it to topple over onto her ankles (you wouldn't believe the week I've had!!), I managed to complete a few orders.

Firstly - a duvet set. This was made with pink cotton with a panel of fabric depicting some of Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies. To make the complete set in the fabric was going to be HUGELY expensive, so we settled on this compromise - which has turned out rather well.
Secondly - a doll sized coverlet. This was made with a panel showing 3 of the Disney Princesses (Cinderella, Snow white and Sleeping Beauty for those of you not in the know) backed with pink fleece.

Thirdly - another of my little bags. This is for a birthday present for a Dora the Explorer mad little girl. Lined with pink fleece but completely reversible.

And last but not least - some bandana bibs. These are for a 6yr old girl who needs a little protection for her clothes but who'd look silly in baby bibs. I've made these with towelling and backed with cotton, but the next lot will have PUL on the back but it hadn't arrived in time to make these.

They are still a "Work in Progress" as I'm going to make 1 with velcro to close, another with poppers and another with cotton top corners to tie closed with (as the towelling is a little bulky).

If they prove successful I may add them to my product range!!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Watch out Delia!!

In an effort to keep DD amused (as this is our 2nd week of school holidays!!), we decided to bake some Barbie Fairy Cakes.

A packet of mix, an egg a couple of spoons of water and I let her at it with a whisk.

Ten minutes in the oven (which was nearly too long) and they were done.

We let them cool and made up the icing - which although we added as per the instructions - came out a bit runny - so the little stars didn't stick very well.

But DD loved them and wanted us to give them to everybody we know!!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Just For A Laugh

I have entered the 2nd Annual Softie Awards over at Softies Central.

I used the Bunny Cushion that I made and designed for LucyLocketRecycledHerPocket's Bunny-Hop-Bunny-Swap

The Category entered is CUTEST FACE - but as yet I've not had any comments left - Boo Hoo - so I can't see me making the final 5!!

Ah well - it was worth a try

2 More Swaps!!

As if having to design and make two mini quilts in the LucyLocketRecycledHerPocket Mini Quilt Swap wasn't enough I've signed up to 2 more swaps!!

The first is being organised jointly by Painted Fish Studio and Three Sneaky Bugs. It is a FUNCTIONAL FELT SWAP.

The idea is that you make a functional item (hat, bag etc) for your swap partner from felt. My 1 and only attempt at felting myself was disasterous but you're allowed to use "proper" felt. I have a few ideas already although this may change when I get my swap partner's details

The closing date for entries is TODAY - 16th April - so get over there sharpish!!

The second swap is being organised by my friend Chloe at Mee Crafty, and this one is a DOLL SWAP.

The closing date for entries is SATURDAY - 19th April.

Along with Chloe, 2 of the other participants make GORGEOUS Dolls - ImaGingerMonkey and Miaou - so I pity the poor crafter that gets me as I've never made a doll before though I do have an idea for a new twist on a old doll!!

Monday, 14 April 2008

A "Vintage" Reusable Shopping Bag

I was having trouble deciding what to make for the recent Vintage Swap, so with something in mind I asked Megan a question, which was answered in the negative, but which raised another possibility.

So off I surfed and came upon this fab
tutorial for a "fold into itself shopping bag" on Crafster.

I decided that I'd go a bit 70's vintage with the same swirly fabric I used on my bunny cushion but with the addition of purple corduroy - groovy man!!

I hadn't thought about how bulky the cord would be when folded so it wasn't a 100% success - but I'll know better next time and use 2 lightweight fabrics.

Friday, 11 April 2008

My Vintage Swap from vInTaGe VioLeT

Today my vintage swap arrived from Megan aka vInTaGe VioLeT.

What was first revealed was a little square parcel wrapped in cerise tissue paper and tied with really unusual pink and purple raffia flower bow.

When this was removed, I revealed this:

A beautiful round lidded card box that had been decorated with a paper tape measure, a sepia picture of a little girl and a variety of buttons - and we all know about her buttons don't we!!

This is itself would have been enough but once I opened the box I revealed these contents.

A strip of turquoise buttons, a card of white buttons, a little paper bobbin with white and blue thread, a selection of some new butons she had for sale, a mother of pearl disc, a little felt needle holder and a really pretty pincushion (which will come in very handy).

Everything is gorgeous - thank you very much Megan.

[You'll have to wait another few days for your gift as the numpty at the PO sent it 2nd class today!!]

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

WIP - Embriodery Drawings

I had an idea that I'd be able to turn children's basic line drawings into quilted pictures.

I cajoled a few of my crafty mates to send me pictures that their children had drawn - on the proviso that they could have the finished items - I don't think they realised what they were letting themselves into to!!

I stated on the first one this morning - it Santa Claus in his sleigh - and if I ever work out how to turn corners whilst sewing zig-zag stitch the results might be better. And a clear foot will be my next ESSENTIAL purchase

Here's the original -

And here's my interpretation so far (the reindeer and a few more parcels are still to be finished off)

A Day in the Country

As the kids are on their School Easter break, to stop them kiling each other, yesterday we went out to Rosliston Forestry Centre.

They had laser clay pidgeon shooting on and DS is a dab hand with a shotgun. (There's archery on Thursday so we'll be back there!!)

They also have a bit of a playground with wooden aparatus and Imanaged to capture the pair of them on the HUGE owl.

Please forgive me the guy on the left - I didn't realise he was there as I took the pic!!

Vintage Swap Sneaky Peek

I have finally got round to finishing my entry for the MNCrafters Vintage Swap.

It will be winging its way to Devon to vInTaGe VioLeT.

But here's a sneaky peek!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Sal's Tag Giveaway

Over on Sal's Snippets, she's doing a Tag Giveaway.

The idea is that you search for your first name amongst the books being sold on Amazon / Ebay and the like, post a picture of 4 or 5 of them along with some witty comments.

My name is LEAH, so I wasn't holding out for a great selection!!

Leah wondered how to fill her day ...

She could sail the 7 seas ...

And search the beaches for her favourite sea creatures ...

Or she could just take a walk in the country ...

And dream of galloping over the moors ... Should she just do some cooking ?

But that would just lead to more hours at the gym

to ensure she could fit into her new purchase!!!

LucyLocket's Mini Quilt Swap

I've signed up for another swap organised by the fabulous LucyLocketRecycledHerPocket.

This time we have to make a mini quilt.

I've just started patchwork, applique and quilting so I'd going to enjoy creating

A Snowy Day

We woke on Sunday morning to a couple inches of snow.

Whilst I was doing the 6 hour round trip to collect DS from his dad's, DH and DD built a "snowman" - well I say snowman but DH has decided not to use a carrot for a nose but has used them for ears so the resulting creature is rather bunny looking!!

We decided to get energetic in the afternoon and went to WaterWorld in Stoke, which is one of those indoor waterparks with slides, etc. Great for DS (14) but not really ideal yet for DD (3).

We rounded off the day by stopping for eats at a punb in the way back but the food was really awful so we should have gone to Frankie And Bennies as its DS's favourite eatery!!

Swap Bunny Revealed

As the bunny I made for Levinke as part of LucyLocketRecycledHerPocket's Bunny-Hop-Bunny-Swap has reached Australia I thought I'd reveal her in all her glory!!

She's only the second softie I've made - and my first bunny - so please be gentle with your comments!!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

I've been Tagged

There is a "4 Things About Me Meme" circulating blogland and I've been tagged by Jill, so here are my answers.

4 Jobs I've had:

* I worked in the sex industry (have I got your attention??) This was in the 3 years leading up to me having DS when I worked on a thoroughbred stud. The breeding season was Feb to May so we could have 100 mares (and their foals) there at one time - boy were we busy!! There were even a few that I saw conceived, watch born and took to the yearling sales end up on the racetrack

* Horse Tack and Leatherwork Maker - this wasn't saddles or bridles (I'm sad to say), but more rugs (where we hand stitched the buckles on), knee pads, racing clothes, surcingles etc

* Civil Engineer - this was working for the local council in their Highways department. I starting off tracing the engineer's drawings onto acetate (which would then be made into blueprints), and progressed up a step whilst attending day-release college where I got a O.N.C. in Civil Engineering. I was only 1 of about 3 women in the class but came out with better grades than most of the boys!! I left when we relocated and to this day the smell of wet tarmac turns my stomach - so it obviously it wasn't the career for me!!

* Human Resources Officer - this started out as a temporary job which led to me now being qualified to Masters Degree level. My last job (before DD) was working for CAFCASS, where I was the only HR person for their West Midland region (@200 people) which covered Staffordshire in the North, Herefordshire in the South, Shropshire in the West and Warwickshire in the East. I liked to think of my job as "hiring and firing" (of which I did my fair share), but it included lots of admin and making sure people got paid

4 Favourite Movies:

* The King & I - I LOVE the presentation of the Royal children, I know the words to all the songs, and I still cry when Yul Brynner dies at the end!

* The Shawshank Redemption - Great performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. (This is one of DH's favourites too)

* A Knight's Tale - a fabulous romp staring Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer and the now deceased Heath Leger

* The Sixth Sense - a film you have to watch more than once!!

4 Places I've been:

* Sri Lanka - DH and I went here on honeymoon. This included a weeks tour taking in Kandy, the tea plantations, the elephant orphanage and watching Sri Lanka play the West Indies at cricket whilst sitting on the fort at Gaul. We were absolutely gutted when the Tsunami wiped out the area we stayed at but when DD is older we plan to go back and tour the north of the island

* Tunisia - DH, DS and I went on holiday here, and DH proposed on my birthday!! We never got to see where they filmed Star Wars so another place on the list to return to!!

* Loch Lomond in Scotland - DH and I stayed at The Lodge on the Loch over Christmas 2003. We'd had a tough year and came home having conceived DD on Christmas Day!! This is one of the reasons she has a scottish name

* Barcelona - I had a long weekend here whilst on a trip with the girls from college. We had to visit a business to find out how HR works there - and we visited a beer distributor - no free samples though!! Again this another place I'd love to return to

4 Places I've Lived:

We were very nomadic whilst I was growing up as my parents were in the hotel trade and this has carried over into my adult life!!

* Scotland
* Wales
* Kendal
* The Midlands (including Bucks, Oxon, Cambs, Worcs, South Derbyshire)

4 Favourite TV Shows:

* From the 80's - The Beiderbecke Series (Tapes, Affair & Connection) - I've just treated myself to the boxset so when DH is off in the States next I'm going to have a night in front of the DVD player!!

* Project Runway/Catwalk - I love to see what they come up with in the name of "fashion"

* The Apprentice - I tried to get DH to apply for this 1st time round, as he has the business skills Sir Alan is looking for but he wouldn't be as entertaining TV wise

* UFC (Ultimate Figher) - A bizarre choice but I'm a kickboxer. Although if you met me you'd assume Sumo wrestling was my sport!!

4 Favourite Radio Shows:

I have to admit that I don't tend to listen to the radio - maybe Radio 1 or Heart FM once in a while when I'm in the car but that's all.

4 Favourite Foods:

I'm a vegetarian - and have been for the majority of my life - so this has influenced my choices

* Dahl - I love it in all its variations

* Ice Cream - My favourite flavour is Tutti Fritti (but you don't get it much these days) and what I craved the most when expecting DS

* Crisps - I'm a savoury girl and my all time favourite flavour are Seabrook's Prawn Cocktail but I have developed a penchant for Bombay Mix lately

* Ernst & Julio Gallio White Grenache - there's nothing like a lovely chilled glass on a summer's evening

4 Places I'd Rather Be:

* Bizarely Shropshire - if we ever sell our house this is where we're relocating to (DH works just outside Shrewsbury). I'm getting to the stage in my life where I want a "home" and somewhere I can unpack my boxes - some of which haven't seen the light of day in 12 years!!

* Space - I wanted to be an Astronaut when I was younger and still think it would be great to look down on our world

* Newmarket - my love of horses always draws me to the links on a frosty morning seeing the racehorses exercising

* Anywhere relaxing in the sun beside the sea with DH , DS & DD - bliss!!

Now I have to tag four others - so I nominate

* Megan (aka vInTaGe VioLeT) and my Vintage Swap partner
* Adele (aka Dingle) who makes the lushest cards
* Levineke -my Easter Bunny Swap partner
Sam (aka IncyWincy) - who's cushions are gorgeous