31 October 2014

Scented Hand Warmers

Happy Halloween! This weekend I will mostly be dressed as a pumpkin (check it out on instagram...)

It feels a bit fraudulent to be writing a post on Halloween which has no relevance to Halloween whatsoever. Especially as its one of my favourite holidays. That's just the way the cookie crumbles I guess, I have Christmas crafting to prioritise this week instead in time for Christmas project craft (which is only 9 days away).

So what do we have here? It's getting colder outside, well I say that, its really not, its pretty warm today and I am roasting pretty much all the time now (tropical moment anyone?) but in theory its getting colder, and the nights are most definitely drawing in. So on that thought we have made some scented heated hand warmers. These little things are great when heated up as they keep your hands toasty warm, but not only that they can be put inside your mitts or socks to keep your extremities warm. Then when its not cold outside anymore they can be popped in your dresser drawer and you will have sweet smelling unmentionables for the rest of the year! Brilliant.

The insides are very simply stuffed with some dry rice which was very expertly scented for me by Ellen with some essential oils.

You simply cut out 4 rectangles, about 3 inch x 4 inch and placing 2 pieces wrong sides together (right sides facing out) sew around three edges in a U shape using a 3/8 seam allowance. Repeat with the other 2 pieces so you have two hand warmer socks. The seams will be on the outside but thats perfectly ok.

Stuff the little bags about 2/3 full with some of your smelly rice

Then stitch the final open seams together making sure the rice is pushed out the way of the machine needle. Ensure that the stitching meets the original seams as we don't want those little riceicles escaping now do we!

The final step is to trim those big seams with a pair of pinking sheers to make them look all neat and pretty and decorative. The great thing about pinking sheers is that they also stop the fabric from fraying all over the place.

In order to make your hand warmers toasty warm you just need to pop them in the microwave for no more than 15 seconds and them take them out. Be careful though as they could be quiet hot to touch as soon as they are done. I don't want to hear of any of you burning yourselves!

And that's it. This was a very quick tutorial but it was so easy it was silly not to show you all how to have a go!

I hope you all have exciting plans for Halloween. We likely won't be doing anything, I am shattered now after a morning at the machine. Its also sad to think this time last year we were in Mexico for Day of the Dead, I would definitely like to go back there one day. But here's looking forward to many future Halloweens with little people in them to make costumes for and take out trick or treating.

28 October 2014

DIY Custom Baby Grow Series: Fabric Printing Part 2

Here's what I am sure you have all been waiting for! Part 2 of my DIY custom baby grow series where I am looking at fabric printing.

In the last post we looked at how to stamp patterns on to baby grows using mostly rubbers and shapes cut out of rubbers (the white and yellow versions above). Today I am going to show you how I made the lovely green and blue striped version.

This baby grow started life as a plain white sleepsuit as part of a supermarket multipack. I started off by dying a few of them green using a packet of dye and then printed the pattern on the top. I have been specifically instructed by Mr Fox that one of these sleepsuits has to stay plain green so he can have hulk baby (boys!).

How to make it:

You will need:
  • Plain white baby grow
  • Dylon fabric dye (I used the small packet as I only dyed 3 small suits but you can use the machine version if you wanted to dye more)/ 
  • Fabric paint
  • Masking tape
  • Old clean sponge

Start off by carefully masking off areas of the onesie which you don't want to dye, you might want to mask off the neckline so you don't get dye on it by mistake. You will end up painting the area between the masking tape strips so you can make these as wide or as thin as you like. If you are using a button down onesie like me make sure you get your stripes across matching and you will need to undo it to get all the way to the edge of the button band.

Once you have done this get your sponge, dip it in your fabric paint and dab it onto the onesie between the masking tape. Make sure you get a good coverage and go all the way to the edges of the tape.

Once the paint has dried fully you can remove the strips of tape and seal the fabric paint as per the instructions on the packet. 

As you can see from the picture above I only did stripes on the front body, and a bit down the legs. I had intended to do the whole lot, if you want to do this make sure you allow the body to dry before masking the arms or turning to do the back so that you don't smudge your lovely perfect lines. I actually decided the stripes on the body were striking enough that I didn't need to do any more.

I am really pleased with this one as well. I thought while it was drying it was going to look a bit naff, but actually its really cool. I can definitely see our little boy in this.

I hope you enjoyed these two little posts on jazzing up some store bought plain baby grows. I hope you do give this a go, or that it inspires you to create some designs of your very own. Again I would love to see them so please leave me a link below, or just email me a piccie. Bear in mind as well these techniques can be applied to any item of clothing; t-shirts, pants, hats etc you name it. It would be a great rainy day activity for little kids as well. Let your creativity run wild.

24 October 2014

DIY Custom Baby Grow Series: Fabric Printing Part 1

I had so much fun today! I love crafty Fridays, look what I have been up to (and I have even tidied up before Mr Fox comes home). I have had a bit of a dodgy ankle the last couple of days so getting to the sewing machine was a bit problematic, especially when you struggle to pivot your ankle. So instead I decided to crack on with one of the nice, sitting with your feet up, baby makes I have had in my little brain. You remember my sneaky peaky post from last week? Well now you know what I was dying don't you. 

This post is actually going to end up being so pic heavy that I am going to break it up into two. You will have to check back on Tuesday for part 2. 

There are so many amazingly cute baby grows on the market that any new parent, relative, friend, general acquaintance etc must find it hard not to purchase every cute little outfit they see for a newborn. The problem is they don't come cheaply. So when you consider you have no idea how big baby is going to be and you don't know what you are going to get gifted its very difficult to get yourselves the basics for when baby arrives. They say that you need to take to the hospital at least 5 baby vests and sleepsuits but again, when you might buy something they only wear for 3 weeks how can you justify spending a lit of money. 

That's where plain multipack baby grows come in handy. They are cheap, they wash well, you can pick them up from the supermarket and they are kind to the purse strings. They are however incredibly dull and whats the point of having a baby if you can't make it look cute?

So when I considered that I could buy 3 cute baby sleepsuits for £16, or I could buy 3 plain ones for £6, a packet of fabric dye for £2.50 and then DIY them cute it was a no brainer really. I also already had some fabric paint in the house so there was very little effort required. Craft, entertainment and something handmade at the end of it all to make my little boy look cute as anything.

The first baby grow I did was plain white with printed stars in various colours of fabric dye.

How to do it:
Large Star: This is a cookie cutter which I just dipped into the dye which was on a plate and stamped it on.
Medium Star: This is cut out of a standard sized rubber (just the normal school type) using a craft knife. It is then printed on the baby grow like you would a potato print
Small Star: This one I find quiet ingenious, the star shape is cut out of a rubber on the end of a pencil, so you can use the pencil to hold. Again I used a craft knife to cut the shape away and just stamped away. They are so dainty I love them.

I love how this came out, I think its my favourite one. It works much better in a mix of colours, though you wouldn't need to, you could use just one. Its just randomly printed, there is no pattern to it. Its was so simple and it worked so well. You could make so many of these really quick and easily.

The second version is a dotty print on a hand dyed baby grow.

How to do it:
Dye your baby grow: To do this you will need some Dylon fabric dye, any type will do but if you are only dying a small number of baby grows its much cheaper to buy the small packet rather than the machine version.
Stamp your baby grow in as many coloured fabric paints as you like: This is done very very simply with the rubber on the end of a pencil. There is no special technique, and no special equipment (apart from the fabric dye) it really is that simple.

In hindsight the red was maybe not the best choice, hence my adding the green. It does look a bit like a baby with the measles! Oh well, never mind, at least I made this mistake so you don't have to. You could again do this on plain white and there are so many options for colour matching the possibilities are endless.

So there you have it, part 1 of the fabric printing DIY baby grow series. These were so easy, honestly, anyone who buys plain baby grows should give this a go, not only is it incredibly fun but its also a great way to dress your little baby with love, or to give as a gift to someone you know who will be having a baby, something you know no other baby will be wearing.

I would love to see pics if anyone does give this a go, please do share them with me below.

As I mentioned above, Part 2 will come on Tuesday and I will go over how to make the striped baby grow in the first picture.

17 October 2014

Sneaky Peaky...

Happy Friday! I'm hoping to bring a bit of intrigue this week whilst I give you a few sneak peaks at what I have in the pipeline. Before you think it, this honestly isn't me admitting I have started lots of projects but not finished any, who would do that? I do however have lots of little projects on the go and nothing concrete to show and tell yet so I will give you a little bit of an insight into whats going on around here. Can I also say, that I no longer work Fridays! Woo Hoo! I am so pleased, I think for at least the next 8 weeks it will give me a day a week to myself, which really means a day in which to make stuff, Yay.

First up the picture above is me starting a lino cut project. I got some lino cutting stuff given to my by a friend which I  really like to use, but just sometimes lack the inspiration. I have however come up with a design I want to print now so started to cut it out. Yes, that is an ear you can see ;). This is literally as far as I got the other night before I brutally stabbed the tool into my finger, bled everywhere and decided I should probably wait until I had a bit more time and patience to complete it.

Next up, its a dull picture, sorry, but I have cast on ANOTHER knitting project. I don't think I have mentioned it, but since the Norton sweater I have nearly finished another baby knitting project (I ran out of wool right near the end so I just need to order another ball to finish it off before I show you). So this is now the third in the last few months.

I'm not sure if its my motherly instinct, the cold weather, or the fact that I have discovered baby knits are pretty quick and easy (prob all 3 to be honest) but I am loving a bit of knitting at the moment. I do often find I get the urge when it starts to get cold though. Hopefully I can get this one finished in the not too distant future but its a little knit so it might be a while. Do you get the urge to knit once it gets colder as well? I'm sure I can't be the only one.

Some of you might have spied my instagram picture the other day when I posted about cutting out this little fella on my lunch break at work. This is for a craft project I am working on with my boss at work for our project craft event. I am pretty excited about this one so look forward to cracking on with it next week. Hopefully it will all work out as planned.

I did have to play some Christmas tunes while I was doing it... I know, I know, its far too early but it just felt so appropriate, plus it made me happy. 

Linking in from the deer we are also working on another project which is some scented hand warmers. Ellen soaked some rice in some fantastic essences which we will use to pack the bags and I am going to be sewing them up. I prototyped these little guys this afternoon so there should be many more to follow. I just want to make sure they don't fray before I go make up hundreds of them, here's hoping, and I get to keep my hands nice and toasty while I test them!

Finally... I am currently soaking some stuff in some lovely summery 'Sunshine Yellow' Dylon fabric dye. I also have a packet of green to do another batch tomorrow. I am not sure how well my plans here are going to turn out but I am looking on the positive side. Hopefully you will get to see the fruits of my labour in the not too distant future. My worry when using Dylon (especially the sink type, the washing machine stuff is normally pretty good) is that you are going to end up with an icky pastel type shade instead of brights which I much prefer. The batch is in the machine doing a cycle now though so time will tell.

That's about it. We haven't got many weekend plans, but we have a man coming to fit a carpet in the baby's room tomorrow. Once that's done it will be all finished bar some furniture and some new curtains which I am hoping my mum will make up for us. I can't wait to see what it will be like when its an actual little space for our new little man, it's going to make it feel very real! Rest assured you will get to see it in all its glory once its done.

Have a great and productive weekend everyone


11 October 2014

100 Posts!

Wow what the hell have I been writing about! Seriously though, it seems to have come round really quickly and I need to say a massive thank you to all of you who have turned up and read my posts, even if you only drop by occasionally. Its nice to know we are not alone in this big wide internet world!

So I figured that a 100 post marker deserves a few things, firstly of course is a giveaway. Then secondly we will get on to a review of what has been going on on the blog over this last 100 posts. 

The Giveaway:
The most important bit of this post right? I am going to leave the giveaway open until Sunday 16th November to give people plenty of chance to find it and be in with a chance to win!
What do you get?
  • 2 fat quarters of cotton fabric one of which is the gorgeous circus fabric I bought in Copenhagen to make my baby blanket which I just can't find anywhere on the internets.
  • A pair of Glitter Bow Shoe Clips
  • A Monster Magic hanging bunny (please note this is not CE tested and is for decoration only)
  • A knitted bow ring 

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to leave me a comment on this post telling me what the favourite thing that you have made this year has been. If you can link a picture or a post then even better, but its not required. I look forward to hearing what you have been up to.

So, what have I achieved in this 100 posts?:
I set out to try and make sure I made a post twice weekly. I would say that about 80% of the time I have actually managed to stick to that which is pretty good going. I am however no where near a place where I am able to put up posts in advance to save myself time and as the year has gone on, and things have gotten busier I am finding sometimes I just haven't been able to find the time to make, let alone come along and write about it. So I hope you will forgive me for that. I have however learnt that sometimes I don't need to have made anything and its much better to come along as tell you about my week or post up some inspiration if I can so here's hoping I might be able to get back on track with that.

I have however:
  • Created 10 tutorials
  • Made 12 outfits for myself
  • Crafted more items that I can count
  • and  DIY'ed my own wedding
Most Popular Posts:
I realise you can see this from the menu on the right but I wanted to share the top most popular posts on the site with you. Mostly because actually its not always the ones that I think will be popular that are.
1.  The DIY Ombre Jar Candle Tutorial
I made these for my wedding and they were really cute sat out on the tables. I am so pleased this is a popular post because the photographs are terrible! This might be one of those posts which is worth a revisit when I run out of inspiration.

 2. DIY Panda Balloon Tutorial
I am so pleased this one is popular. I had so much fun designing this for a friends bday party that it deserves to be a hit. It is also turning out to be one of my most pinned pins on pinterest. It just goes to show that there are some manufactures out there who are really missing a treat on selling Panda balloons.

 3. Ava Sweatheart Neckline Tutorial
Again another one I am pleased to see is popular. This neckline was such a bitch to sew so I hope this has helped a few of you out there to master it.
4. The Bridesmaids Dresses
And why not, these are some sexy ladies rocking some sexy dresses so its no wonder they are popular. Thank you to the wonderful Frock Nottingham for making my bridesmaids look so spectacular.

5. Mollie Makes Felt Fox Brooches
I have only just noticed that my spelling of brooches is a bit off in this picture...oops! I think this post owes is popularity to people trying to get a hold of the pattern instructions. Sadly as its not my pattern and I don't work for Mollie Makes its not my place to provide this, but thank you to the post for bringing lots of people over to my corner of the world.

My Favourite Make:
This is quiet a hard one to choose, but I think given the scale of it it has to be The Wedding:

I know it sort of counts as lots of things and is kind of cheating but I couldn't writing this post without mentioning the fact that since starting I crafted a wedding can I. The day was so perfect, everyone helped out to make everything so special and it was such an amazing day. I wish I could go back and do it all over again!

So in summery, thank you again for being here and here's hoping that the blog will continue to grow and improve over the next 100 posts. Good luck with the comeptiyion


5 October 2014

Starry Starry Headbands

Its all getting a bit accessories crazy over here at the moment, but I have realised just how easy and fun a few little sparkly hair accessories are to make. Not only do I love to make them but I also love to wear them, so I am very sorry but you are just going to have to bear with me whilst I get it all out of my system. 

These little numbers are stars mounted onto a band of elastic which can be worn around the head like a headband. The perfect thing about the elastic is that you can place the star anywhere on your head to mix up the look, or even wear multiples together. I love how glam rock these are. Sparkly, pink, leathery and perfectly matched to my inner child/rocker.

I got the idea when I received issue 44 of Mollie Makes  which included a free kit on the front to make a 'Boho Feather Necklace'. I wasn't a huge fan of the necklace, it just wasn't something my style and so I couldn't see myself wearing it. The kit however contained pink and gold faux leather pieces which I just couldn't put down so I had to think of something else to do with them. This is where the stars were born.

They are made from a variety of real leather, the faux leather from the kit, some of the glitter fabric which I am sure you are sick of the sight of, some felt and some elastic cord.

It was so simple, I drew up two star templates and cut out a variety of small and large stars. I then used the glue gun to attach a smaller star to the centre of the bigger one and then glued it onto a piece of felt with a length of the elastic sandwiched between the leather and the felt. Finally I cut around the felt and tied a little knot in the elastic to make it fit the size of my head.

They are by no means perfection, but I like them a lot.


So whats been going on around here? We have had a pretty quiet weekend to be honest. We took the opportunity to start decorating the baby's bedroom. I say we, I mean Mr Fox did it all as I am not allowed to paint and was generally feeling a little bit under the weather. Its starting to come together a bit now though. We still have a way to go but at least it feels like we are moving forwards. Other than that we did a bit of DIY shopping and that was about your lot.

I have been trying to resit the urge to buy baby a cute little Christmas outfit. There are so many cute ones out there but I am conscious of the fact that he might be late, and so late that he doesn't actually arrive until after the event. In that case a cute little Christmas outfit is a complete waste. However friends are awesome and everyone keeps telling me I should just splurge on one little thing as I won't get the chance another time so I gave in and bought this adorable little pudding baby grow. Isn't it adorable! I at least figured it could be worn even a few days after Christmas what with it just being a pudding.

Finally... and no one will read this tiny little tag line, but the next post will be post 100!! I can't believe we are there already. I am planning to do a bit of a 'review of the year' and also a little giveaway themed from the last 100 posts so check back on Friday to see what's in store. I will leave the giveaway open for a little while to give as many people as possible the chance to get involved.
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