Scrap-tastic?

A while ago I mentioned that I was attempting some scrapbooking, and having mentioned them, I thought I should follow up with a couple of photos. Both ET’s nanas have birthdays in the summer and I thought scrapbooks of ET’s first year would make lovely gifts. Well…I looked online and saw pictures of some lovely scrapbooks and was totally inspired. I got the photos printed and brought out my vast stocks of paper and got started.

It took an age to make them and both gifts were very late. However, I think they were just about worth the wait in the end! Well, at least they said they liked them! I was quite pleased with them – but they are definitely not scrapbooks! I’m not really cut out for scrapbooking – I haven’t got the patience or the imagination. But they are very nice photo albums!!

SONY DSC

Advertisements

In which I turn my hand to multiple crafts and demonstrate how I won’t be the next GBBO contestent

So…blog night came and went this week without me posting anything. It wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to tell you about but because I didn’t want to blog about gifts before I’d given them to the person in question! In fact, on Wednesday evening I was still putting the finishing touches to things.

September is always a busy month for birthdays. We kicked it off by taking ET to his first ever proper birthday party last weekend. He seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all but did manage to have some fun. His highlights were running around wearing a super hero cape and playing with the toys after all the other children had gone! It was the party of the children of one of our Uni friends (I can’t quite believe it’s 19 years since we met!) and also her birthday – so I got to cardmaking. And these were the results.

Then this week, it was the birthday of one of my colleagues. I started a new job when I returned from maternity leave (as we moved house) and I have been very fortunate to job share with someone who has become a friend. Anyway, I wanted to make something for her…and I thought I’d attempt to make a cake for us all to celebrate her birthday at work. Well…I made a cake and it tasted fine but it wasn’t really baking’s finest hour and Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry wouldn’t have been all that impressed. It didn’t rise all that well (I was using Spelt flour) and the bottom stuck to the tin (so much for non-stick tins). I was not that impressed myself and didn’t take a picture though it has all been eaten at work so I guess it can’t have been that bad!!

For the birthday present I made a tote bag. I made it to fit A4 paper and created a flat bottom to allow a bit of organisation of the contents. I’ve never blogged about any of the tote bags I’ve ever made so when I say I did it differently this time, it doesn’t mean anything to anyone! But the main new things were to allow the external fabric to meet the lining fabric an inch to the inside. I topstitched along the edge where the two fabrics join to hold the two layers in place. I also attached the handles to the outside using the “square with a cross in it” method (is there a name for this) whereas usually I would have inserted them between the exterior and lining. The fabric you’ll see is that which I made my Betty dress from – I have been saving the leftovers for some lovely projects like this! With hindsight, it probably could have done with being a little bit bigger but on the other hand it never hurts to have a range of different sized bags! Anyway – here it is. Although, I apologise for the photos. It was evening when I took them and the lighting wasn’t great and I probably should have used a different lens! But anyway, you get the idea!

Top Tools

I’m sat recovering from a day at work – I say that like I don’t like my job. I do. But I think no matter how much we love our jobs we all have weeks/days we find long and draining. I’ve actually spent most of the day inputting data into a database (yes, nurses have many talents!) and should probably get off the computer now and get on with something more practical. Mr Stepherella is playing new computer games, which should be another excuse to get in the craft room. However, right now the sofa is just too comfortable and my glass of wine too tasty to move.

That doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about my crafting-things-to-do-list. I am. I am mentally designing and trying to overcome problems (that sleeve placket is still bugging me). Additionally I got to thinking about the tools I use for my crafts and what I enjoy the most. When it comes to cardmaking, I love my die cutter. I love the neat little shapes it makes and how they can be put together to make a beautiful card. with sewing, I would have expected I would be telling you how much I love my sewing machine or overlocker (and I do – both are fantastic) but it turns out I get most satisfaction from my pinking shears.

SONY DSC

I’ve been using them a lot of late to cut the pieces for the quilt I am making. I love the weight of them and I love the finish. The fact that you have an edge that is finished already stopping your work from fraying as you work is just amazing – amazing for the apparent simplicity of the tool. And the finished product is just so lovely to look at! My mum and dad bought these for my birthday a few years back and I use them so much and would use them more if I could get away with it!

SONY DSC

Am I odd or do any of you have a favourite tool, something that makes you happy every time you use it? Cooks and bakers – is it a particular spatula or cookie cutter? Knitters and crocheters (is that a word? it looks wrong), is it a particular needle? Papercrafters, a particular craft knife? A special pen? I’d love to know.

Getting my Ducks in a Row

I’ve nothing new to show. That’s not because I’ve not been doing anything but because I’m trying to do too much. It is one of my shortcomings that I have a tendency to start too many projects at one time and then never know where to get started! I thought I’d share a few things in the hope that publicly declaring my intentions to complete them all will actually motivate me to actually do so!

The first thing on my list is my Sewaholic Granville shirt. I started this at a class with Janet of Kitchen Table Sewing. I didn’t complete it during the class and then we moved house and I’ve been a little distracted by other projects. Add to that, I stopped between making the two sleeve plackets and I’ve struggled to remember what I did the first time round in order to do the second. I think I’ve remembered now so no excuses!! Janet…I will finish this, honest!! Here it is in its current state…I’m pretty proud of the finish on this project so far so I really want to be able to wear it. I should probably say thank you to all the ladies of The Monthly Stitch Facebook page, who gave me great advice on fit. So far, so good on this front.

SONY DSC

I’m also in the process of completing some scrapbooks as presents. Because they are presents, I won’t share any pictures of the actual things here in case they see it -but currently they’re stored in a box and look like this! These are overdue (as always as my family will tell you) and I really MUST get them done. I did run out of the right glue, which halted progress for a while but a trip to Hobycraft last weekend has rectified this and so no more excuses.

SONY DSC

The other major projects relate to our new house. I’m planning to make curtains and a coordinating quilt for the master bedroom. The first photo below is the curtain fabric and the other photos are sneak peaks of the quilt. The fabrics are Lewis and Irene, purchased from Empress Mills, of the New Forest range. I bought a Jelly roll for the quilt pieces. I love them but hope that it won’t be a too overwhelming when all put together.

Finally, I got a lampshade kit from The Makery for my birthday and I intend to make a lampshade for our hallway. I haven’t yet decided on the colour but I have some ideas.

SONY DSC

I say finally because I also have fabric for a top and a dress – who knows when I’ll get around to these. I wish I had more time in the day and more days in the week…what with a small child, a new job and working part time I feel like I never quite have enough time. But I am getting better at fitting in the odd half an hour here and there. Maybe other working mums have some tips for fitting in craft time! And maybe I should stop blogging and get on with creating!!