Blog Lovin

Like many of you out there, I read a lot of blogs in Google Reader. However it is disappearing soon, and I need to find something else to use. A lot of you are using Blog Loving’ so I thought I’d give it a go!
As part of this I’m claiming my blog as mine!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Flip flop book

When I saw a flip flop fat quarter earlier this year I just had to buy it. One of my best friends lives in flip flops from the first signs of spring until the start of October at the earliest. She even wears smart flip flops to work!  Therefore I got this fabric with her in mind.

The book I made as part of the International Craft Swap went down well, so I decided to make another notebook. It’s a very sensible book with a toggle clasp, so it can be used at work.


The very first leather book I made had a straight edge,  but I think I prefer the wavy edge of my anchor leather book, so I did that again. 

Whilst it is a sensible notebook on the outside,  the recipient should hopefully love the inside. I do!


I just wish that it was a bit brighter when I made this book as you’d be able to see it a bit more easily. It’s with the recipient now, so I can’t take any more. Sorry!

I’ll share with you any response I get when this is unwrapped…

Raiding free papers

I have a small collection of papers free from various magazines over the last couple of years. I needed two birthday cards and decided to raid these alone, thus reducing my options, to hopefully make these cards quickly.

This is what I made:





OK, the last card is mainly from a relatively cheap pack of paper from the Works, but the “Happy Birthday” is from the same free sheet as the other cake greeting above. I have mixed papers from different sets, but they seem to work. 4 cards in an hour is quick for me!

Now which two should I use first?

7th Bead Soup Blog Party


The makes in this year’s Bead Soup Blog Hop have been as inspiring as ever. I’m in the third reveal (rescheduled now for Saturday 27th April), and hopping through the first two reveals is a lot of fun.

Links to all in the first reveal

Links to all in the second reveal

My bead soup partner is a very talented jewellery artist. I am really looking forward to seeing what she makes with the soup I sent her. She wrote a lovely blog post sharing the beads I sent her.

To see the delights Jenny sent me, see my previous Bead Soup post. You will have to wait until the reveal date to see what I’ve made with it. I hope she thinks I’ve done it justice!

International Craft Swap – Part Two


I was very lucky with the goodies Jo gave me as part of the International Craft Swap (see here for details). I thought I would share what I gave her with you.

Jo commutes into London by train every day, so I thought a notebook which is portable enough for use on the train would be a nice idea.


The booklet is roughly A6 in size and has 72 pages, so should have enough space for a few notes / scribbles.

I tied it in with the nautical theme with the anchor button and anchor lining.



The paper is a free printable download found here

I have treated myself to both black and white thread for bookmaking, but decided that I liked seeing the binding on the outside,  so went for white.


Jo makes her own clothes and I decided to make something to go with her outfits.  The nautical theme made me think of the sea and I had some beads that seemed perfect.


The blue beads are see through,  like the sea! Blue and white together seemed quite nautical too. I’m pleased to tell you that Jo put the necklace and bracelet on straight away.

We also had a exchange a small gift of less than £3 in value.  As I mentioned in my last post,  I heard about this swap whilst on holiday in Malta. I bought this there:


It’s an eye of Osiris and you find these on traditional Maltese boats. They are supposed to guard against bad luck etc. This admittedly is a fridge magnet, but I thought it linked well with the theme.


Jo seemed to like her goodies. I have since found that Rachel at House of Pinheiro organises a swap once a year. I’ve enjoyed this one and will definitely sign up to whatever she organises next year!

International Craft Swap – Part One


When I read about House of Pinheiro’s International Craft Swap, I had to sign up, despite being on holiday at the time. It turns out that my swap partner lives on the other side of the same town as me!

Jo manages to find time to sew on a pretty regular basis, despite commuting into London and having a four year old daughter. Her trials and tribulations of her sewing adventures can be found on her blog So Many Patterns Sew Little Time. She’s currently working on a mad men inspired dress. She hasn’t been sewing that that long in the grand scheme of things, but I will ask her to help me with fitting at some point.

Jo is also on twitter (@jolittletime) and that has been a great way to learn a bit more about each other and communicate. Not only do we live in the smallish towns near Reading (although mine is virtually joined to Reading), but we both live in 1950’s houses with original flooring under the carpets. Those conversations show what I’ve spent a lot of time doing recently!

Rather than post our swap items to each other, we decided to meet for a coffee (well, diet coke), a chat and the all important swap. We got a bit distracted by the chatting bit, but when we did eventually swap items over I was very pleased with the kind gift Jo made me.


Jo read that I travel a lot, so made me this lovely wash bag. Isn’t it pretty?


The sides and part of the flap are made from a stripey blue and white print, which is perfect for the nautical theme. The stripey bit you can see is subdivided into parts for brushes etc. How thoughtful is that?


As you can tell the bag is really roomy – plenty of space for all you need to take on holiday. The lining is waterproof, just in case!

I’m really pleased with this gift. It will prove very useful and it is very pretty! It was all made from her stash (apart from the zip), which is very impressive!

We also had to give our swap partner a small gift of up to £3 in value. Jo treated me to some of her favourite soap from Lush, which reminds her of holidays. It goes perfectly with the handmade washbag.

Thank you Jo! You have been very generous. I also want to thank Rachel of House of Pinheiro for organising the swap.

In Part Two I’ll share what I made / gave Jo.

Pressing Matters

During one of my Making Your Own Clothes class we learnt all about pressing and how important it is. Our tutor showed us a tailor’s ham and how useful they are when pressing things such as darts. Whilst they are great, they do cost a bit, so I decided to make my own!

There are lots of free patterns out there for tailor’s hams. I decided to use this one which I found in a
guest post on making tailor’s hams and sausages on Tilly and The Buttons blog. I made this a while ago before I knew Tilly would be on the fabulous Great British Sewing Bee. It appealed to me as it would be great practice in making darts.

There are good instructions on the blog post, but the pattern piece gives you virtually all you need to know, so I didn’t really use them.

First I cut the pattern piece out on the fold:


I then used tailor’s tacks to mark the point of the darts (but forgot to mark where they went from – oops!), tacked them and sewed them.


I placed the right sides of both halves together and sewed most of the way around the edge.


Then I turned it the right way round.


I chose to stuff mine with wood shavings, which got a bit messy, but I just kept stuffing and stuffing until I couldn’t really fit any more in, and then hand sewed up the gap.

Ta Dah!


Since making this, I have learnt about notching which would have stopped the puckering around the seam.

This project left me with a useable tool, which would have cost around £10 to buy, just for the cost of the wood shavings (everything else was from my stash). It was also helpful as it gave me practice in using tailor’s tacks and sewing darts.