Saturday, 15 May 2010

Retail therapy!

I'm not usually one for enjoying shopping. I'm more of a surgical strike kind of shopper, no browsing for me! But, today was different. Maybe it was the sunshine, maybe the fact that I was alone without the kids, maybe because I have felt more productive this week, more than I have for a long time or maybe because I have many plans for making rattling around in my head. Whatever it was, I loved it! So much so I wanted to share. I even found myself trying on a dress, I can't remember the last time I actually tried anything on, proper window shopping. Needless to say I didn't buy it, but I was sorely tempted. I even found a nice necklace to go with it, but I was very, very good and put them back, and didn't feel at all guilty that I had the shop assistant running around after me!!

The shopping trip was for fabrics, I hunted around charity shop for upcyclables and found this pair of curtains.

It's very thick fabric as it's got that blackout coating on it, but this should make it perfect for bags, pencil cases even wash bags. It's still washable at 30 degrees.

I also got bits and bobs to do more Superhero Capes and bits of felt for motif making and the thread I sorely missed having earlier in the week. And managed to find some fabrics for costume orders, namely a haversack for a friend who saw the toddler rucksack, (which I can't find any pictures of strangely and right now it's filthy so it will have to wait) that I made for my son for Christmas to use at nursery and wanted an adult version.

I was looking for some inspiration for a costume with an eastern influence as I mooched round town and I spotted at a stall set up in the church, just couldn't take my eyes of this

I tried so hard not to like it, but I think I fell in love with it so I did that deadly thing of asking the price, then I asked again if she was sure... £15! All hand embroidered and so heavy for just £15!! I had to have it. Now I just have to design the rest of the outfit around it, can't wait!!

Then I think I got the bug so when I saw these in the last charity shop I searched, I just threw caution to the wind and bought them too!

So cute! As soon as I got them out, before I could take this photo, my little one said "Ooh, mummy, I'm very thirsty. I would really like to have a cup of tea... In that blue cup please." So duly I gave it a quick wash and made him a cup of rooibos tea, and he did look sweet sat drinking it.

I was good though, in a way... I didn't stop at the coffee shop in the church (I did use their loo though - cheeky me!), or buy a smoothie to sit on the Cathedral lawn. I even remembered the kids and got them a tub of their favourite sweets to share when I got home.

On arrival back at base I found the lawns mowed, dinner in the oven and even the bathroom clean! (I think I should leave everyone at home more often) And to find we are expecting a good friend over for the weekend too, good news!

All in all, a wonderful day! Hope yours has been too :)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Crafty Sunday from Me and Ma

Because I am known as a lazy crafter (which isn't quite true, I'm just very easily distracted...) ooh, what's that, hang on...

Right, where was I? Oh yes, Jo from Muddy Puddle Crafts and one of the lynch pins of The Hope Emporium, pointed me to Me and Ma's blog, where I found mention of Crafty Sunday, where you post each Sunday what you have made that week, typically I think I'm a week late, but I am going to try and achieve this, though I do worry my creations will be pitifully small and simple compared to others, but hey ho... I need any motivational tool I can get my hands on!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Plastic Fantastic

I ran out of thread for my current makings so was trawling the Internet for ideas and came across Etsy Labs archive's guide on fusing plastic carrier bags to make a stronger plastic fabric. What joy! This has kept me very amused this afternoon, if a little frustrated at the trial and error nature of new tricks...

So I started by rummaging for old carriers, few and far between in this house these days so that was a game of discovery in itself. It's amazing what you find in the back of cupboards...

Cut off the bits i didn't want and layered them up like so between pieces of what should be parchment paper, but seeing as I have no clue what that is, I reckoned the greaseproof paper I had in the baking drawer would do just fine.

The iron temperature is where the trial and error, and error, and yes more error came in, but eventually settled at a wool setting on 7 layers of carrier bag. Apologies the pictures are rubbish, but you can see the 'far too hot' with holes and molten plastic, the almost there, but I overdid the amount of ironing necessary in the centre, and the bottom picture does seem about right, if a little on the wrinkly side.

So I definitely improved as I went along... going to have to raid friend's cupboards now for their carriers so I can do more trials, and yes undoubtedly more errors so that eventually I can make, get this... shopping bags from, er, shopping bags!! But these will be strong I hope and durable and definitely upcycled!! 

It's brightened up an otherwise 'um, er, it'll have to be housework then' kind of day :)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Hello, at last!

Crafting has been asleep since I agreed to take that job, how can such a small part time job mess up each and every day so wholly that not only did my crafting suffer, but so did my garden and even quality time spent with the kids and my other half? (Or 'current partner' as he said on his latest CV which is another story, but I was less than impressed!!)

For a few months I tried to carry on thinking that these sacrifices needed to be made and hey it is bringing in steady money, something crafting can never do. But you know what? I got pretty depressed, especially as spring finally sprang and the kids and garden developed without my nurture, I ran out of stock at the shop and struggled to fufill orders that came my way - I'm not a great multi-tasker

So then came the internal struggle, feeling pretty useless and with no drive yet beating myself up that I wasn't good enough and all that tosh, but thankfully I never stay in that dip for long and even more thankfully things looked up for my partner (current!) in his work so financially it became possible to risk losing the steady money to achieve a happy balance of chaos once more.

So..... I'm back!!!

This is week 2 of being 'free' and it's been great, though not that productive until today (I got a good telling off from a friend yesterday that put a rocket up you know where..). Until today freedom has been just that, all fun and shirk, catching up with family and friends, hiding in the garden playing with my birthday present of a 30cc strimmer - such fun! But today, I'm really feeling back on top... Welcome back and thanks for sticking with me :)

Before I go and make tea, I'll finish with a pic of Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean, a great family day out and a stunning environment that lends itself to imaginations running wild...

until next time x