Tag Archive | free

Trick or Treat!

Look what Mr Postman put through my postbox this lunchtime:


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.


Get your thinking hat on!

I f***ing love science shared this photo on Facebook:


I want one! As you know I can’t knit, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to have one. Maybe I will learn to knit one day, who knows!

For those who can knit and are interested, a quick google helped me to find the pattern on ravelry. That pattern costs $5, but a fellow blogger has come up with a similar pattern here and it is free of course! Gotta love the blogging community.

As a non knitter I could make a version of this hat. I’d buy a cheap wool hat and then get yarn to roughly match. Using my French knitter (as used to make this brooch) I’d then make a long section of French knitting and sew it to the prebought hat, roughly following the shape of the brain. That would work I think, but would never be quite as cool as the original!

Vintage Patchwork

I’ve had a lovely afternoon in the Cath Kidston shop in Reading. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and people were asking if we could do the same again next week – always a good sign.

The setting was lovely and perfect for a vintage patchwork workshop. Our Cath Kidston shop, like many others, is set in one of the older buildings on the main shopping street.


The workshop was held upstairs and if you look left at the top of the stairs, you can see these lovely quilts hanging up.



So the store itself was full of inspiration! The tables we were working at had an array of small bits of fabric on for us to use.


As you can see on the left of the photo there was an example of what we’d be working towards. We were also shown more intricate patchwork, some with hexagons, others with different shapes, but all made using the same principles.

I know some of my blog readers are quilters and that there are many ways to do patchwork, but we were shown how to do it “as my granny taught”. That’s true vintage!

First of all you need to cut the shapes you want your pieces to be out of envelopes. (Others there said they used newspaper, others thin card). To be sure they are all the same size use a template. We were doing traditional hexagons and we were lucky that a template had already been cut out for us!


For each piece of fabric, cut it so that it is a bit bigger than your template, but the same shape.


Then fold over and pin the edges of your fabric to your envelope.


Then do a running stitch to hold it all in place!


You may notice that this isn’t one of the fabrics I had taken with me . It was available to us at the workshop and I liked it.

Make as many of your shapes as you want and then join them together at the edges. This is when I discovered that my hexagons weren’t perfect hexagons. Oops! Luckily by rotating them I could get the edges to match.

This is what I made over the course of the workshop. I could probably have made more, but we were chatting at the same time. It’s always good to enjoy yourself when making something!


I need to unpick the running stitch and take the envelope out, but that can wait a while. I need to decide what to do next. I was going to do a fifth hexagon in my pink gingham, but ran out of time.

I’m pleased I’ve had a go at patchwork. I think I could sit on the sofa making hexagons (or other shapes). Unfortunately my crafting schedule atm doesn’t mean I can continue much more right now, but I will definitely make something in patchwork at some time!

I’ve had a great afternoon thanks to Heritage Open Days and Jelly. I just wish they did this more often!

Heritage Open Days


This weekend there are over 4500 free events being run all over England as part of Heritage Open Days. Some of the places that open this weekend are never usually open to the public, and others are free that usually charge.

In Reading we can visit the King’s Meadow Baths, which have been closed for many years, and will hopefully be open one day if they can get funding for renovation:

Reading Minster is also open. We’ve lived here for 5 years and Mr M has never been in – it’s usually only open for services.

If you prefer modern, or are a football fan, you can go and see Madejeski Stadium, home of Reading Football Club.

There are many more places open to explore!

I’m going to pop into the town centre later to visit the Here’s Heritage fete this afternoon. And most excitingly for me, I have a place on a free vintage patchwork workshop tomorrow afternoon at the Cath Kidson shop. As it’s free I need to bring my own supplies, but I have them already. I’m really looking forward to it – I’ve never tried patchwork!

If you are in England, go to the heritage open days  website to find out more and what is going on near you.

Maybe it wasn’t such a bargain after all..?

Remember my charity shop find? Well, they’ve started selling Art of Crochet again. I found issue one in the charity shop for 99p, thinking that for just the wool it was a good price. If you buy it when released you get way more:


In addition to the wool and magazine, there is a free 4mm crochet hook and a dvd, all for only 99p. Maybe my charity shop find wasn’t such a bargain after all?

I must admit I did buy this and found the magazine to be identical to the earlier version. My theory was that a girl can never have too many crochet hooks! (and curiosity did play a part – was it really the same?). I wouldn’t personally keep buying the magazine as it get quite expensive. If you want to do a blanket full of different squares there are plenty of books out there, as well as blogs and other websites full of patterns, that would work out way cheaper than buying this whole series. I think you’d still make a saving even if you bought very expensive wool. I might dip in and out if a freebie takes my fancy, but I doubt that will happen much.

If you want to know a bit more about what is in the magazine see my earlier post. Hannah Ackroyd has also written a blog post on it and her views, which has some interesting comments from her readers – it’s worth a read.

Are you going to give it a go?

Free Bracelets!

Mr M and I are still exploring South East Asia, and as we’ll be spending our wedding anniversary in Siem Reap, we decided to treat ourselves to an expensive hotel. We’re getting luxuries like a bed turn down every night and they have even left little gifts every night (although this is only our second night). Yesterday we got Monkey Balm which is apparently for massage to reduce pain. Today we got these:


I got slightly excited when I saw one on my bedside table and rushed round to hubbies side to see he had one too! Unfortunately they are both a bit too small for our wrists (whilst elasticated they both have a bit of bare elastic when put on our wrists as we’re larger than people here) but I think I might (?!) find a use for the beads when I get home. I can’t wait to see what we get tomorrow…