Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Creative Every Day Challenge - The Weekend

The sum total of my weekend's crafting was....... 3 Christmas cards!

Saturday ended up being one of those days were you don't get round to doing anything and I was at a baby event all day on Sunday - getting stranded in the freezing cold as my friends' car got a puncture. Luckily we were only in Weston Super Mare and there was a greasy spoon cafe nearby, so we didn't get too cold waiting for the breakdown van. A big thank you to the nice security men at the Grand Pier who kept an eye on the car for us and to the breakdown chap who changed the tyre. A big boo, however, to the drunken idiot who tried to run off with the spare tyre! We made it home in one piece, but I didn't feel much like crafting that evening!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Creative Every Day -Friday

Today's creation is a much-needed draught excluder. I seem to remember Mr R&B ordered one last winter, but I never got around to it!

The fabric is from a curtain I won on ebay ages ago, it's 'Vermont' by Sanderson, I'm guessing it's probably 60s or 70s by the design. I stuffed it with scraps of fabric left over from other projects, so it's extra green!

I don't know about you, but I find it very hard to actually cut into my stash of vintage fabrics, which is daft when you consider they've been bought with the intention of actually doing something with them!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Creative Every Day - Wednesday

After slow progress yesterday, which consisted of a few seams and a couple more rows of knitting, I've been back on track today.

BB's shirt is nearly finished, just the hem to stitch and buttons to add.

The jacket is also growing - do you see the armhole shaping emerging?

More tomorrow, off to see how everyone is getting on.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Creative Every Day - Monday

Well, here we go with day one's creating:

This pile of squares will eventually become a patchwork quilt - today I pinned together quarter blocks to make half blocks, which I'll try and sew tomorrow.

This is a little shirt for BB - although I actually did the cutting out last night, after a burst of motivation.

A few more rows of knitting - this will be a jacket for BB, but it's been 'in progress' for a while. Hopefully I'll finish it while it still fits!

Nothing completed to show you as yet, but I aim to finish a few things by the weekend - that's my greatest challenge as I'm the Queen of UFOs (Un-Finished Objects)! My other challenge is to try and win a Wii console with Wii Fit game on ebay, but they keep going for more than I want to pay - maybe I'm just tight?!

Don't forget, you can still join in this challenge if you haven't already, just link back to my original post and make a comment to let me know you're taking part.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Creative Every Day Challenge

As a kick up the you-know-what, I'm putting myself on a challenge to do something creative every day this week and I'd like to invite you, dear reader, to join in if you wish.

The rules are simple - do something creative every day this week (from Monday until next Sunday) and post about it on your blog, if you have one. It doesn't have to be craft related - you could bake a gorgeous cake, or write a story, anything that you consider creative. And you don't have to complete whatever you create in a day, the challenge is just to spend a little bit of your day dedicated to creating. If you do join in, I'd appreciate it if you link back to this post and add the tag (on the right) to your blog during the challenge.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Christmas Decoration Craft Tutorial (picture heavy)

As promised, here's another craft tutorial. We had a better night with Baby Bird last night - he only woke up once (about 3am, worse luck), still wanted a feed, but went back to sleep fairly quickly thankfully. Funnily enough, he's just woken up as I'm typing - trapped wind this time, now loudly released. Boys will be boys!

Anyway, here's the tutorial.

Recycled Christmas Card Tree Decoration

Materials and Equipment needed:

Old Christmas cards
Cutting mat
Glue roller/stick
Pair of compasses (I just used a round object, as I couldn't find compasses)

Firstly, sort your cards into piles of similar colours. I find this makes a more co-ordinated colour scheme, but feel free to skip this step if you prefer a more random effect.

Next, draw an equilateral (all sides are the same length) triangle using your ruler. This one is 5cms high, but you can adapt the size according to the cards you have. Remember that the finished size will be twice this height (e.g. I've used two halves, so my ornament will be 10cms high when finished). Create flaps by rounding off with a compass, or drawing around a round object. Make sure that the widest points of the flaps are equal - this is important when you glue the elements together later.

Using your first shape as a template, make another 7 pieces and cut out to make your 8 elements, as below.

Next, score along the straight lines on the wrong side, using a craft knife (or scissor blade) and a ruler. Take care not to cut the whole way through the card (or your fingers!). Also, make sure that the scores meet at each corner, otherwise you won't get a neat triangle.

Score all of the elements and you should end up with something like this:

Don't forget to bend the flaps!

Punch a hole at one point of two of the elements, you'll use these to hang the decoration, so make sure you place them opposite each other when making up. If using a glue roller, now is the time to add glue to the flaps. If you're using a glue stick, glue the flaps one at a time, or you'll end up with a horrible sticky mess!

This is the part where you find out how accurate your cutting and measuring is! Take four elements and stick them together, flaps outermost, lining the edges up. You'll need to create two halves, as above.

Next, take a length of ribbon or sparkly thread and thread it through the two holes you made earlier, tying a knot on the inside of the ornament. Finally, glue the two halves together and voila, your finished decoration!

This is just the basic model - you could embellish it with sequins, ribbon, glitter, whatever you want. You can also glue the flaps together on the inside to create a completely different look - just remember to score on the right side of the card to allow easier folding. If you're feeling adventurous, try adding more elements and seeing how big you can make your ornament, the posibilites are endless!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010



Today I am tired, bone tired. We've had a few weeks of unsettled nights with Baby Bird, firstly with his teeth (he cut his first one on Bonfire Night, bless), then he decided he likes sleeping across the width of his cot, thus knocking his little bonce on the rails and waking himself (and us) up. However the last two nights have been the nights from hell as he has been waking all night, then last night decided he wasn't going back to sleep until I fed him, which I only worked out at about 2am this morning. Hey ho, the joys of parenthood!

As such, I will be morphing into slob mode shortly, curling up with Kirstie, visiting the 30s high street and (hopefully) going to bed for some much needed sleep.

There may be a craft post tomorrow if I return to the land of the not-so-knackered.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Re-Inventing The Egg Cosy?

I bought myself a copy of Cath Kidston's Sew! book the other day and it arrived this afternoon. I had a good flick through and have to say I'm actually quite impressed with it - there's 41 projects ranging from the basics such as cushions and appliqued blankets (a very cute one with aeroplanes, perfect for the little man) to more complex items like a hand-quilted hot water bottle cover and a couple of patchwork items.

There's also lots of information about how to complete the projects, including tips for hand-decoration and trimming. Naturally, of course, Ms Kidston's trademark cotton prints are out in force. Certainly a good book for a beginner, but also great for some inspiration for a more experienced sewer. Glad I got it from The Book People for £4.99 though!

But onto the reason for the title of the post. I have a big collection of home craft books, but even my collection barely scratches the surface of the vast numbers out there. However, reading through them, I don't think I can pick out more than about ten to fifteen basic items that you could make. So, is it the case that we are simply redoing the same projects, over and over again, just with someone else's fabrics? And if this is the case, wouldn't it be better to spend the cost of another book on some lovely fabric and create something that's entirely our own design?

It applies so much to clothing as well - I have a huge collection of patterns (can you spot a trend here?) but in actual fact, they're all variations on a theme. I bought a number of patterns from the 60s and 70s from ebay a few weeks ago and looking at them, there's at least half of them that are virtually the same as patterns I've bought in the last few years.

What do you think, is there anything new to be discovered or has it all been done already?