Archive | October 2012

A Mini Giveaway

During my sort out I came across this booklet:

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Thus Cath Kidston booklet was free in the Saturday Telegraph a while ago, and has instructions and templates to make:
– Hankie Bedcover
– Sugarbag Doorstop
– Framed Flowerpot
– Heart Tea Towel
– Padded Placements
– Spotty Sheet & Pillowcase
– Tea Towel Tablecloth
– Stanley Cushion
– Zip-Up Washbag
– Crazy Patch Cushion
– Pot Holders & Oven Gloves
– Needlecase & Pincushion
– Stripe Rug
– Cot Quilt
There is also information on what to have in your basic sewing kit and needlepoint and sewing basics.
All the projects come from either Sew or Patch by Cath Kidston. I have Sew and none of the Patch projects appeal right now, so being ruthless, I don’t need the booklet. Do you want it?

My teacup pincushion appears to have gone down very well. On Sunday this little blogs maximum number of views was smashed. There were five times the previous maximum number of views. I couldn’t quite believe it!  As a result I’m going to giveaway a bit more than the booklet above. You could also win 1m of these ribbons:

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If you fancy these, leave a comment below. If you want another chance like me on Facebook and leave another comment.  For a third chance follow me on twitter (@mrsmmakes) and leave another comment. Of course if you already do any of the above, just leave  separate comment staring so. Each comment counts as an entry, so make sure you leave the correct number of comments!

This is only a little giveaway, which I will post (internationally if appropriate) on Friday morning. You have until 9am on Thursday 1st November to enter.

Good luck!

A sort out and a surprise!

Unlike some of you lucky people out there, I don’t have a dedicated craft room. I have made it clear to Mr M that I want one, but there just isn’t the space in this house and apart from the lack of craft room, this house suits us well. I have crafty bits in the lounge, dining room, hall and little bedroom. We intend to get the dining room replastered then decorated, so it needs emptying (which would please Mr M a lot!).

Our box room was stuffed to the rafters, apart from on top of the single spare bed. We actually refer to this room as “Jess’s room” as our older cat thinks it is her room. The idea is that my crafty bits all move to this room. The only place they could go was on an IKEA bookshelf that I bought when at uni, but that was full, so a clear out was in order. I was ruthless with books – after all if I haven’t used a book since uni then I’ll get rid of it in preference to keep crafty things that I use regularly. I also had a vast collection of secondary level school books on Science and Chemistry in particular. Again ruthlessness was needed and I disposed of anything I can’t remember using recently. In an ideal world I’d keep it all, but life isn’t like that (and Mr M is definitely not a hoarder!).

I texted the photo below to Mr M to show him that I’d almost filled a shopping trolley with things (mainly books) that I was getting rid of. I couldn’t park outside the Oxfam Bookshop so commandered a shopping trolley to save time!

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After a trip to the charity shops, I decided that if I was going to sort out the shelves, I should attack the top shelf too. I hope I’m not the only one who has a shelf that is full to the ceiling with all sorts of things. To be honest, whilst I could see my shredder and a drawer set with stationery in, I had no idea what else was up there. I had flung up bags for life in the past and really don’t know what was in them. I took a deep breath and got them down. I now have a bin bag full of bits that will be of no use to others (and I haven’t used for a while) and a big plastic bag that I’m going to take to a charity shop tomorrow. I also found this and didn’t have the heart to throw it out:

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I’d forgotten that I had made this. I did the embroidery (it’s giant cross stitch) during either my third or fourth year at uni. I lived in the same house for two years so can’t date it more than that, but I do remember sewing it in my room. I took the finished embroidery back to my parents at one point and my lovely Mum put a back on it complete with a zip. Maybe one day when I have a craft room I’ll have this on a chair in it!

Trick or Treat!

Look what Mr Postman put through my postbox this lunchtime:

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It’s a canvas bag with this fab design, courtesy of yourdesign.co.uk. They had an offer for a free bag for the first 100 people who emailed them with their name and postal address, and for once I was successful! That never usually happens. I know what I’ll be taking shopping with me tomorrow.

If you want your own bag they are £5 each from here.

Clutch Bags

When I attended a workshop and made a clutch bag a couple of weeks ago I thought that these bags would make perfect presents. I ordered magnetic clasps over the web and once they arrived, I went fabric shopping. This is the fabric I came home with:

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Stupidly I bought more fabric than I could make bags with. I decided to stick to with the material I planned to use black lining with, so I didn’t have to keep rethreading my sewing machine. I even changed the needle on my machine for the first time ever!

I set up a bit of a production line.
Linings:

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And the outers:

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Luckily you can’t tell from the finished bags that I couldn’t find firm black sew in interfacing. I did manage to find black iron on interfacing which I used to strengthen the fabric.

After hours on the sewing machine (and two broken needles), I made four bags.

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No I didn’t take two photos of the same bag. I made two out of the last fabric as I quite like it (yes, one is for me!). I am getting better as the fronts of these are less wonky than my original!

Here they are all together:

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I love the magnetic clasps on each bag!

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They are so professional looking, they close the bag securely and easily, and once you know how to do it, they are easy to use.

Remember my sew in labels? I decided to sew these into the bags that I’m giving away. It was quite hard to line them up perfectly in between layers so that they were sewn in, without being sewn over the words.

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I hope the recipients of the bags like them as much as I do. I’m giving one to my sister in law as a thank you for accommodating us next weekend, another to a friend whose birthday is in November and the third is a Christmas present.

Would you like one for a present? Which do you prefer?

Halloween Necklaces

A lot of people have been crafting like mad for Halloween. I have seen amazing costumes and decorations whilst reading blows recently, but the whole Halloween thing virtually has passed me by. When I was little Halloween was thought of as an American thing, and when I was a student it was a good excuse for a party. However nowadays it is definitely getting bigger over here!

On Wednesday 31st October quite a few places are doing events. I wish I was little and able to take part in all the Halloween activities. A unique idea also happening that afternoon is live window modelling at Creative Crafts and Workshops. Adriana asked if I had any black or purple jewellery for them, so I raided my bead stash and made these:

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I seem to be making more long necklaces than shorter ones at the moment (I even sent Hannah one!). I hope the models like some of them enough to wear them, after all, they have a lot of wonderful things to choose from!

Another charity shop crochet find…

If you remember a few months ago I found the first issue of Art of Crochet in a charity shop. I thought it was a good bargain, but when they rereleased it a few months later I found that wasn’t such a bargain after all, as for the same price when new I would have also got a crochet hook and a dvd too. Oh well!

I often browse in charity shops if I have time when shopping. The town I live in is only three miles from Reading town centre with all of it’s shops, so our little town centre has a few essential shops and six (if you count the Oxfam and the Oxfam bookshop separately) charity shops. This is what I found in one of them recently:

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Whole balls of crochet wool all the way from South Africa! There were only these two colours at £1 a ball. They seemed quite Christmassy, so I now have both colours (leaving some red behind). What I am going to do with it, I don’t know yet, but I do have a size two crochet hook in my roll

Another source of beads

I buy beads in shops and online, but sometimes I use other sources.

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Neither of these necklaces are perfect for me (although the one on the right isn’t that bad) and neither had matching earrings, so a while ago I would have left them hanging in Superdrug. However now I view them as sources of beads!

To see how I have previously upcycled a necklace I found in a shop that wasn’t me, see this post.