30 May 2014

Roasting chestnuts and other things


Happy Friday.... whats this you say.... did you buy a new table cover for your desk? Why yes I did! I purchased a metre of this lovely polka oilcloth to cover my craft table as I am fed up of the cats walking on the white cloth one and covering it in mud! Pesky little monkeys (it doesn't stop me loving them for their cuteness). Now I have a pretty backdrop for some piccies that I can also wipe clean of all the mess! Mr Fox did tell me it made the room look like a toddlers tea party but hey, that's a cool look right? 

I haven't been able to get on with much craft this week... doing overtime at work and trying to prep for the kitchen being ripped out it taking up my time a bit. How do we accumulate so much stuff? I swear we have 5 incomplete Denby crockery sets in the backs of our cupboards, its no wonder I don't have any space in my kitchen. All of these were gifted to us so I don't have the heart to throw them out. Despite all that though I have managed to get around to tracing and cutting out the pattern pieces for the Chataigne shorts by Deer and Doe which have been on my to do list for a while.

I knew when I bought this pattern that I wanted to make it up in a pure wool, but I also know how expensive pure wool can be. I had resided myself to a cotton drill type fabric until a I found this. A while ago, whilst I was charity shop hopping, I came across a below the knee, pleated, pink, pure wool skirt in quiet a large size. Looking at it I could tell there was A LOT of fabric in there, it just needed unpicking and washing to get all the pleat creases out. As soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for this project. Luckily there was just enough in there to get all the pattern pieces out. The colour is perfect for me (its hard to take a good likeness as the weather was bad but its a sort of dusky pink) and it will look gorgeous with a pair of black tights and boots. I like to think that I am bringing new life into something that once belonged to someone's grandma so I just hope my sewing can do it justice and it actually fits!

I also wanted to show you my new AWESOME light pull! Please forgive the knackered paint work though caused by the old dull light pull though, I need to re-paint this to do the fox a bit more justice. Isn't it great though, using the bathroom now gives me an extra little bit of joy, and I don't mind it so much in the middle of the night anymore. A love a little bit of whimsy to brighten up my day. Its made from ceramic and was made by the very talented Little Birdy and purchased from their Folksy shop. You should definitely go take a look for yourself. I really like the badgers and the circus bears but lets face it, it had to be a fox didn't it.

And that's it from me, life it mostly work and tidying up at the moment, not very glamorous. I hope you are finding more fun things to do than I am. We are off to watch some strongmen lift some heavy things tomorrow so that should be an interesting day out. Mr Fox is a fan of the strongman sport so I hope he really enjoys it.

I hope you have a lovely weekend, and don't forget there is still time to comment on my Ice Cream Brooch post to be in with a chance to win one! Go now! Do it...

26 May 2014

Ice Cream Brooch Kit by Tugba Pop and Giveaway

What better than ice cream on a Bank Holiday? Well its not actually been that great here, so instead of enjoying a cool lolly to keep the heat off, I delved in the these beauties instead! They are much cuter and definitely better on the hips don't you think (though of course this doesn't stop us have real ice cream as well!).

Anyone who has been following my Pinterest will know that I have been eyeing up this brooch kit since before Christmas. You can get your very own from Tugba Pop Illustration and I purchased mine from their Not on the Highstreet shop for a mere £5! I mean, why wouldn't you? Honestly, go do it now (well after you have finished here of course).

So what do you get for your money? Quiet a lot actually. There are detailed instructions on how to make your brooch, templates, tracing paper, leather to use as the backing, 5 fabric samples to make the pretty designs and a brooch back. The only things you will need to add are a sewing machine, thread and some glue (and more brooch backs if you are like me and were savvy enough to get a couple of brooches out of this one kit).

As you can see I opted for some sweet treats and choose a traditional ice cream and the fab style lollypop. The instructions in this were really easy to follow and the whole process was a delight. My favorite bit was deciding which fabrics to use, it took me so long there were so many variations! All in all it probably took me about 30 minutes per brooch, which is no time at all. This is a great little thing to make for some instant gratification. I didn't even use my leather machine needle, nope, you just need a normal sewing needle and some normal thread.

So, because I managed to get more than one treat out of this kit I thought I would take this opportunity to offer up a little giveaway for you to win the fab style lollypop brooch I have made using this kit. All I want you to do is write a comment below and let me know what your favourite thing to do on a summer day is. I will then pick a winner at random. I will leave the competition open until Midnight Sunday 01st June and will announce the winner on Monday 02nd.  Good luck everyboby and I really hope you enjoyed your bank holiday weekend.


23 May 2014

Slash and Burn Candle Kit

I made it with FIRE! 

We have a local art gallery to us called The Beetroot Tree which hosts work from very talented artists (including some of my good friends), holds craft workshops, and has a lovely cafe that sells our local bluebells icecream. All in all its a lovely little place which I have to admit I don't visit nearly often enough, especially now one of my friends no longer works there. 

In addition to all the lovely things above they also sell some craft kits and supplies. This little kit for a candle surround was gifted to me a while ago and I never got around to giving it a go, well today I did :) The kit was put together by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden and requires you to layer pieves of mesh fabric over one another, do some basic sewing, and then my favorite of all craft mediums - burn it!

So as you can see I have some layers above and I have sewn some wobbly lines of bead on to the top of the layers. I then cut between the layers exposing the metal mesh backing. This is when you get to use the fire! You now hold the piece over a naked flame (not too close otherwise it will burn/set on fire), but as you do, the edges wrinkle up and leave an amazing effect behind which you can see below.

Finally you sew the two ends together to make a circle and place it over a candle glass. The final effect is beautiful, even with little experience, as I really had no idea what I was doing when I started this off! You can see all the layers of different coloured mesh which I really like. The beads add a nice sense of structure and focal point to the design and the fact that it is clear so the light shines through is lovely. This is one of those things that you make and then instantly wish you had another so you can give it another go. In hindsight I think I would have added a lot more lines to make the gaps between the sections minimal. But I am really pleased with how this came out :)

Have you purchased any craft kits recently? I am always on the lookout for trying new things out so I would love to hear your favourites if you do.

19 May 2014

At least my craft room is tidy!!

Wow, this weekend was a scorcher! What were you up to? Did you make the most of the glorious outdoors? We certainly did, we spent pretty much all of Saturday outdoors tidying the garden, sunbathing, putting up and enjoying the new BBQ (we are such amateurs at making a BBQ it was 3 hours until we got food, we were famished!!). Because of all this sun, and the fact I am truly a ginger, I think we both tried to stay indoors a bit on Sunday to make sure we didn't end up with heat stroke or severe burns. 

So what did we do, well we still pretty much just potted about, I think Mr Fox is still enjoying the act he has no pressure to do anything. I actually took some time to sort out, tidy and have a little but of a clear out of my craft room. I know some of you will have seen pictures of this before, but I haven't had it on this blog yet so I thought, whilst its tidy, its the perfect opportunity to show you all what its looking like.  

You can see that I have a lot of stuff horded in here and I have gotten rid of about 6 bin bags off stuff this year alone. I think it goes without saying that I am well and truly a craft horder. Though, as you have seen from my blog, I am always making one thing or another and it is actually quiet rare that I won't already have what I need before I try out a new craft idea I have seen on the internet. I think this is the biggest problem about not having a particular craft to concentrate on, I have too much of everything! 

My main reason for attempting another major clear out was because we will have to move the kitchen in to this room whilst we are living without one. Its the only room which will be away from all the brick dust which has suitable space to be able to do a small amount of cooking and has room to store the plates etc. I think I have managed to make enough room for it now though so I can start on emptying the kitchen cupboards and getting rid of even more stuff!

I am definitely finding that I am having less time to get into any major craft projects at the minute like I suspected I would. I am just enjoying being able to spend time with my husband and I don't want to be stuck indoors whilst we are having a summer out there. I do have some smaller and less labour intensive projects in my to do pile though so I think I will try to get on with those in the coming weeks.

Finally I bought some of my favourite fabrics which I have been eyeing up on The Village Haberdashery website recently; these awesome foxes and kitties.I only bought a FQ of each because I had no idea what I wanted to do with them but I think I will actually purchase a little bit more and cover some cushions with them (you can never have too many cushions right?).

I would LOVE to see pictures of other peoples craft rooms, so if you have one of your own and you want to send me a picture, or a link to a post showing off your space I would really like to see it. I can never see enough inspirational ideas for storing all this craftyness.

16 May 2014

Lacy Lady Skater

Alright, I realise you are probably getting a little bit bored of the lady skater posts now but just one more for now I promise! I spoke about this version a few post back, it is a black lace version of the dress (idea stollen from this fab version by Kollabora (I still think her version is better than mine, I think my lace had waaaay to much stretch in it!!


About the Pattern:
Pattern: Lady Skater by Kitschy Koo
Fabric: Black stretch jersey for lining from local market, Black stretch lace from FabricLand
Size: 3
Alterations: Because I wanted the lace skirt to be separate from the the lining (see below) but attached to the lining on the bodice I attached it in a slightly different order. I seamed the side seams of the top and bottom pieces separately and then joined them at the waist rather than joining the two pieces down the side seams.

This pattern is just so amazing, I wanted a new dress for a Saturday night out with friends and although this pieces had been pre cut the whole thing took me less than an hour and a half!! I am not 100% happy with the bottom, I think its a bit wonky, and in hindsight my stretch lace is VERY stretchy and it gets misshapen very easily. I might have been better off attaching the lace to the lining in the skirt as well as the bodice to give it better structure. I am really happy with the clear lace sleeves though.

On a completely unrelated note, do you like Mr Fox's new fence? He was very happy with his work so I thought I would use it as a change of scenery so I could show you all. Have you noticed as well that I have decided I want everything in my life to be coral now? I have coral sandals on today, my coral belt yesterday its becoming a major theme in my life. 

We also have a date for the new kitchen, they start on the 23rd June! Eeeek very exciting! I can't wait to see all the shinies, and actually have an oven again! Maybe I need to start looking for some kitchen related crafts/sewing for the blog? Anyone got any ideas? Tea towels just seam a bit obvious! 

Well I hope you all have a lovely weekend, we are set for a scorcher in the UK so I am going to try out the new BBQ (which reminds me I MUST sew the garden chair covers... sigh) but we don't have a lot planned, just enjoying the sunshine and our freedom. Have a lovely one, whatever you are up too. 



12 May 2014

Tulle Pom Pom Shoe Clips

Check me out! I have clown noses on my shoes! I am sure I have told everyone this already but in case you didn't know my new favourite accessory is a shoe clip. I love how you can brighten up any pair of shoes and make one pair look different every day of the week. 

These little lovelies are made from some thin tulle which I had left over from the wedding decorations which I wrapped around some card (the same way as you make woolly pom poms) with a shoe clip glued to the back of each one. Mr Fox did tell me I looked a bit like a Jester before I left for work this morning, but do we care? No of course we don't, it's bringing me a little bit of joy on a dreary Monday morning. 

Do you own any show clips, or have a favourite accessory that might overtake these? Let me know. I also encourage you to make some of these yourself for a bit of a chuckle xx


9 May 2014

Wire Wrap Headband

Hello and happy Friday. I really don't know where this week has gone but it will soon be the weekend again. Mr Fox is doing his dissertation presentation today which is the very last part of his degree. I am very proud of him and have everything crossed for when he gets his results. I know he is going to be very happy and relaxed after he has this last hurdle out the way. We also booked a last minute week in Rhodes in 5 weeks time Yippee! Sun, here I come!

This weekend we are going to do Go Ape at Sherwood Forest on Saturday for a friends birthday, though with forecasts of thunderstorms it could be interesting! Then on Sunday my mums 60th so we are all going out with her to spend a day celebrating everything that is mummy. 

Thinking about going and having some fun in the sun, I don't know how many of you have noticed but I am actually of the ginger persuasion and so my skin doesn't do well in any kind of sun. I am one of those factor 50 I even in the UK gals! I have spent my life listening to my mum tell me 'don't forget your hat' but to be honest she is not wrong and I have even taken on the mantle of reminding everyone of this myself. However, I hate hats and I look ridiculous in them. I do have a big floppy pink one but it's still not something I would want to wear when out for a sunny strole in the UK, only on holiday where I don't know anyone! So how do I keep the sun off my head without looking ridiculous? A fabric headband.

I do find sometimes though that ones in the shop can be quiet tight, or too loose so when I saw some tutorials for wire wrap headbands on Pinterest I decided to have a go. 

The concept is very simple. Measure the circumference of your head where you want the band to sit and add 8 inches. Cut a long strip of fabric the length of this measurement and twice your desired width. With right sides together fold the strip of fabric in half along the length and sew about the edge of the fabric leaving a small gap to turn the band right side out. Cut a piece of wire the length of your band with a little extra on the end so you can fold this over and not have a sharp edge. Feed the wire inside the headband and then sew the hole closed. Now wrap the band round your head and twist the ends into a little bow. Soooo easy! You can see I made it in my favourite fabric haha!

The one I have made is a bit more decorative than functional, I need to make one which is much wider at the bottom so I have the option of wearing it the other way up to keep my head safe from the sun. 

And that's it from me for now, I hope you all have a lovely weekend whatever you have planned xx


5 May 2014

DIY Fabric Bow Belt Tutorial

Hello, and happy bank holiday! Its a gorgeous day so you shouldn't be reading this, you should be outside enjoying yourself, but if you are saving this until after the bank holiday then read ahead.

Last week I brought you my leather bow belt tutorial to make your very own very easy elasticated belt featuring a leather bow on the front.

This week I wanted to show you that this pattern is so very versatile and so if you don't fancy having a go with leather you can make a version from your favorite fabric, how good is that! Whats even better is that this is a great little stash-busting idea, perfect for your favorite fat quarter, or just some of your favorite leopard print fabric that you use to make everything! This little version took me less than an hour to make yesterday whilst I waited for the supermarket delivery so gogo get at it. 

For that fabric bow belt you will need:
  • Enough 2inch wide elastic to fit round your waist (colour of your choice)
  • Some of your favorite fabric
  • Heavy Interfacing
  • Polyester thread
  • 4 x popper notions (I used the same as my leather belt but you can use sew on as well)
  • Popper tools (if not using sew on studs)
  • Bow pattern (click here to download the PDF)
N.B. this will work with most fabrics but cottons work best. thicker fabrics such as denim/twill may not require interfacing, but anything thinner will to keep the bow looking sturdy.

The pattern follows the same basic steps as the leather version however there are a few additional sewing steps.

Step 1: 
Using the outside edge of the pattern cut out the following in both your fabric and your interfacing:
2 x large bow pieces
2 x thin center pieces
4 x rectangle popper pieces (on the fold)

Step 2: 
Iron on a piece of interfacing to wrong side of each fabric piece

 Step 3:

Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance sew around the pattern pieces as shown on the pattern document, making sure to leave one end of the large bow piece open to turn

Step 4:
Turn all your pattern pieces the right way up and press

Step 5:
Finding the center of the elastic, and with the ends of the bow folded in to the center at the back, stitch the center of the bow to the center of the elastic with a straight line making sure your raw edges or tucked in.

Step 6:
Tuck in the two raw edges of the center bow strip and stitch them together. Thread them over the elastic and bow so it sits neatly in the middle covering your straight line of stitches.
(picture details on these steps can be found here)

Step 7: 
Making sure your raw edges are tucked in fold your popper piece over the end of your bow and top stitch round all edges on both ends of the belt.

Step 8: 
Attach two poppers to each end of the belt making sure the tabs overlap neatly when closed.

Step 9:
Wear your new creation with pride, and contemplate just how many of these you can fit in your wardrobe!!!

Of course it would make me very happy to see your versions of these so please feel free to leave a comment linking yours, or send me a picture.


2 May 2014

DIY Leather Bow Belt Tutorial

I'm so pleased to be bringing you this tutorial, its something I have had in my head for a while but had no idea how easy this would be to pull off having never, ever, worked with leather before in my life. So here we go, proof that you don't need to have any experience at all to have a go at this, it is that simple.

I have an elasticated belt, which I bought from a major grocery retailer, which I wear with everything. Mr Fox said to me the other week 'what are you going to do when that belt breaks' well Mr Fox, this is what I am going to do! This is going to be a very pic heavy post so I will keep them small and hopefully they will help illustrate the steps.

For the Elasticated Leather belt you will need: 
  • Enough 2inch wide elastic to fit round your waist (colour of your choice)
  • Some Leather (colour of your Choice
  • Leather sewing machine needles
  • Polyester thread (you should not use cotton as it deteriorates) 
  • 4 x Leather popper notions
  • Leather popper tools
  • Hammer
  • Bow pattern(click here to download the PDF)

Step 1: Measure the elastic around your waist and cut it so that it fits snug but is not over stretched. You will be overlapping the ends so this will give it a bit more fit.

Step2: Using the inner lines on the pattern (you don't need the seam allowance) cut out your pieces of Leather using the pattern as follows:
1 x large bow piece
1 x thin center piece
2 x back popper tabs (on the fold)

Step 3: With the front of the bow piece facing down fold the outside edge into the center  making sure the tap is on the other side of the bow

Step 4: Fold the other side over to the middle making sure the two long pieces are overlapping in the center and that the curves of the bow match on both the front and back.

Step 5: Folding your elastic in half mark the center point with a pin. Place the bow right side up with the narrowest point of the bow lined up with the pin. N.B. you shouldn't pin leather as the holes become permanent.

Step 6: With your leather needle in your sewing machine stitch a line through all layers of the bow and elastic securing the center of the bow to the elastic. Make sure to secure the stitches at either end.

*Check it out, you just stitched some leather on your machine! how easy was that (told you).

Step 7: Taking the center strip of leather fold this around the middle of you bow making sure that there is a small overlap at the back.

Step 8: Using the machine, with right sides together, secure the two ends of the center strip to make a circle. You can see I actually top stitched two lines on this piece. This step is entirely personal preference and is not required.

Step 9: Working from one end of the elastic string the center strip (now circle) feed the elastic through the middle and wiggle you leather a bit to get the strip into the middle of the bow with the seam at the center back. This should be tight enough to sit there without moving around. If its not just remove it and make the circle slightly smaller trimming off the excess.

Step 10: Take your two end pieces and fold them in half over each end of the elastic so the leather covers both sides equally and the fold is at the end of the elastic.

Step 11: Top stitch around all 4 sides of the two end pieces to secure in place

Step 12: Using your poppers and popper tools put two poppers on the ends of your belt. Make sure that you get them the right way round so that when they are pressed together the belt lies in a flat circle and the two end pieces overlap. My advice would be to punch the holes in one side and then overlap them punching the holes for the other side through the holes you just punched to make sure they are even. I am not going to show you how to use the popper tools, instead I am just going to link you to this tutorial which is all I followed.

Now pear your new belt with your favourite outfit and wear that sucker with pride!

Of course it would make me very happy to see your versions of these so please feel free to leave a comment linking yours, or send me a picture.

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