Friday, October 31, 2008

Be very afraid...

What's a Mum to do on Halloween?

Well....make a spell book for starters...

...persuade your little sorceress to add some suitable spells....

...and then get busy with the face paints :-)

(recognise the cape Gina?)

One 'Ghost Pirate Captain' and one 'Sorceress' - then send them over the road to a friend's party.....

....result = one quiet and relaxing evening ;-)


p.s. peace and quiet broken at 7.30pm by chocolate fuelled naughty children arriving home....and an idiot Moog going bonkers at the fireworks cracking off outside!

p.p.s. peace and quiet also broken by numerous other scary children in search of 'treats'!!

p.p.p.s. Moog now knackered as she's had a very busy evening of stressed out barmy dog woofage...oh how I love this time of year ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Abseiling, stitching and laundry

We've all been having a very enjoyable and productive half term.

The little folk have really enjoyed their outdoor activity day camp with plenty of quite disgustingly dirty laundry produced :-)

On day 1 they did raft building, the zip wire and an assault course and yesterday they did abseiling, plus playing on a big wooden pirate ship and bouncing on a big bouncy thing...apparently! Today they were hoping for den building, kayaking and archery!!

My indoor activity day camp has been loads of fun too!

I made Minx a PE bag yesterday.
She loves it but did groan and say ' Oh, Lydia will just be horrible and tell me she doesn't believe you made it!'

I've decided to take that as a compliment!!

This morning I've been making a few of these 'Wiggly bags' to send to Gina. If you're wondering what they're about pop over to her blog. I think they're a wonderful idea :-)

As a result of making these I have developed an aversion to stitching Velcro - it makes my machine go silly and the stitching does not stand up to scrutiny!!

Gina is also responsible for me starting my third ripple blanket - how could I resist after she posted this?

I'm going for an eclectic colour scheme!

This is intended to be a 'stash buster' using up all those leftovers from my previous ripples. It's not delicious pure wool - just nasty acrylic as I couldn't stretch my pennies to anything nicer.

Gina isn't the only one who's a bad influence.

Thanks to Jodie I've also started snail making!

I've got a silly idea that I may make snail racing games for some of this year's Christmas presents. Unfortunately that could involve making 22 snails and 5 race tracks......don't watch this space!!

The sock and wrist warmer knitting has temporarily gone on the rapidly expanding WIP pile but as I've accidentally ordered a set of bamboo dpns and some sock yarn from etsy I'd better get them done before I start anything else!

I'm now going to ignore that last sentence and sit down with my ripple :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy doing nothing...

Ever have those times when you just can't think what to blog about?

Nothing inspiring you?

No crafty doings to show?

Me too!

I seem to have had an uplanned blog break for those very reasons. At the end of what felt like a long half term at work my bloggy mojo had disappeared.

The children are now off school for the week. Moogsdad came up trumps and booked them into an outdoor activity daycamp for today, tomorrow and Wednesday. When I left them this morning my two little people were feeling nervous but also excited - especially when they were told that today they would be doing the Aerial Runway, raft building and a team challenge!

While they are there I'm having my very own 'indoor activity daycamp' :)

I decided to take stock of just what I've been up to craft-wise over the past week - especially as I felt I'd done very little.

Here goes...

A cushion made last weekend for Minx's friend's birthday. The little lady concerned has since told me she loves it and it's given her very sweet dreams :)

Some fabric bargains picked up from the charity shop. A metre of floral cotton for 25p and a double sheet for £1!

I've even got my knitting needles out!
After seeing some of you producing wrist warmers I decided I needed some too. Resisting the temptation to dash out wool shopping I went upstairs and found some Ebay bargain yarn that has been in my stash for too long!

I forced myself out of my comfort zone and knitted them in the round on dpns, using the tension guide on the ball band to work out how many stitches to cast on.

They are lovely and warm and they now belong to Minx as my casting on and off was too tight!!

Wrist warmers MKII in the same yarn are now on my needles - with looser casting on!

I also picked up some knitting that I started ages ago. Cheat socks knitted on two pins - 'cos when I started them I was still mortally afraid of dpns!!

So far so good.

They will soon/eventually become these socks:

from this book:

Who knows, I may even feel brave enough to tackle proper socks knitted in the round next, like a grown-up knitter!

I will also be knitting another pair of wrist warmers in this lovely was not from my stash.....I succumbed to the siren call of the wool aisle at Hobbycraft....

Sewing has also made an appearance on this week's crafty agenda. Not that I can show you of course as it's for my Christmas Swap partner.

Oh...alright's a sneaky peak......

......and another one.....

I have a mahoosive list of blogs just waiting to be read so I'm off to catch up!

I'm going to enjoy this daycamp :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

....whoosh......that was the week whizzing by!

Is it me or has this week flown by?

Oh heavens - is it me or do I sound like an old biddy?

Don't answer that!!

Autumn is well and truly here. The leaves are colouring up. The mornings are misty. I am awakened most mornings to the sound of the foghorns on the river - I love being able to snuggle down under the covers for a few minutes more listening to the ships.

To welcome the autumn we reclaimed the forest at the weekend. The grockles summer visitors have gone home and it's all ours again :-)

We went to a new to us part of the forest. The delightfully named Deadman Hill.

One person, in particular, was very pleased and headed to the nearest ditch to celebrate. B***dy idiot!

Small people made shelters for pixies - apparently....

...and mossy beds for fairies.....

.....lined with white stones to help the fairies find their bed in the dark - apparently :-)

Moogsdad and I indulged in a fungal foray - just picking...too scared we might pick something deadly!

We reminded ourselves just why we love living here and how much the forest means to us. We won't leave it so long next time.

I don't wish to overload your senses but there's even been crafting happening this week!

A brief dabble in the dark arts of papercrafting. Using a super-cheapo Tesco notebook.... new fabby index tab punch from Stampin' Up.....

...and my favourite Basic Grey papers (complete with selvedge!) make me a new diary.....with only one or two tiny mistakes when it came to writing all the dates in by hand....y'know minor errors like writing 2008 instead of 2009 for the first three weeks of January....

I even got to make the other two of these that I cut out last week and they've gone into the you know what.

I had a couple of great charity shop finds today but they will have to wait for daylight before I can show them off.

I also found this fab website with loads of great tutorials all in one place. They must be great because I found me on there (yes really!!!!) and even better my superbly brilliant Aussie buddy Jodie !! Maybe you all know about this already and I'm waaaaay behind but I liked it :-)

I rather like this that I found on there.

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful weekend.

love xxxxx

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brilliant bloggy friends!

Just very quick.

If you haven't done so already you really must go to Australia to visit Jodie - she has done the most amazing thing with selvedges!!

Also my dear friend Mrs Locket phoned me this afternoon. There was a lot of high pitched Little Locket squeaking going on and I distinctly heard someone say 'She's got the dog!!'

Of course I had to ask 'Dog? What dog?'

Turns out there is not another new canine in Locketland after all....... but if you'd like to go and congratulate Lucy about her new JOB then pay her a call !

Must get my ears checked......


Friday, October 10, 2008

Excess baggage

To celebrate the fact that my crafty mojo appears to have returned I spent my day off sewing.

I think I've decided that bags are my favourite thing to make.

I spent the morning cutting out four bags. I managed to get two of them made and they are now in the shop.

Soft and creamy velvet

...and cool blue cotton

There's another cream one in the pipeline and a duck egg blue canvas beauty both incorporating my favourite Chocolate Lollipop fabrics. With luck I'll get them made tomorow.

Feels good to be in the sewing seat again :)


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Crafting is the best medicine

I can only take so much feeling sorry for myself before I feel bored with me.

I decided that a crafty challenge was the perfect way to forget that I am in the throes of the very worst cold ever that anyone has ever suffered ever.....ever!

I needed a new bag but had a yearning for something zippy. Whilst perusing U-handbag recently I came across this fab tutorial on the blog.

Of course, being me (Miss Independentdoesn'tlikedoingasshe'stoldthinkssheknowsbetter), I decided to do it slightly differently. I took photos, so that if it worked I could share it with you.

It worked - with not too much swearing - so here it is:

How to make a bag with a zip in it by Moogsmum

1. Find a zip the right length or longer, as you can cut it down. I then added a fabric tab at either end of the zip, like so:

2. I then cut out two pieces of fabric to form the 'placket' (the fabric bit the zip sits in). Press seams inwards as shown and press in half lengthways.
I haven't given measurements as it depends on the size of the bag you're making and the length of the zip.
I used a 9" zip.

3. Attach your zipper foot and machine stitch the zipper into the plackets

4. Here's a very rubbish close-up of the zip sewn into the placket.

5. Stitch one side of the placket to one of your lining pieces, approx 1" down from the top edge. Then stitch the other lining piece to the other side of the placket (this is where the U-handbag tutorial is so great - I was very excited when I saw this bit!!).

Then carry on to construct your lining as usual.

6. Construct the main body of your bag. (I lined mine with cotton batting for extra body but less rigid than heavy interfacing).

7. Pin your handles in place and baste them on the sewing machine.

8. With reverse side of lining fabric facing out, push your bag (complete with handles) carefully down inside lining - right sides together.
This is where you may start to swear as it's a bit tricky with the smaller zipper opening to get the lining and main bag nicely lined up. I did one side of the bag at a time and used plenty of pins. Sew the top edge seam together slowly.

9. Turn it all through and then close the bottom seam of the lining.

10. It looks like this now.

11. Now topstitch round the top edge - again this bit can cause swearing due to the zippy bit but just take it slowly and make sure the lining doesn't pucker underneath.

12. To help your bag stand up nicely make a bottom bit for inside the bag. I just grabbed the only bit of anything stiff I could find to hand (!!!) - which happened to be a (possibly) less than satisfactory piece of corrugated card. Make a fabric sleeve for it like so:

13. Not so bad, huh? I just won't be putting this down anywhere damp!

14. This is just to show you what the end of the zipped placket looks like - i.e. there's a gap (tiny one) between it and the end of the bag.

15. Ain't it pretty?

16. Tra - la - la - grown-up, security conscious, zipped up bag and it's mine...all mine!!!

Ooh ooh - just thought, I will have to put a nice bit of ribbon through the zip pull to make it extra lovely.

I now need to buy a gazillion zips and churn out some more of these babies :)

If you want more detail about constructing the bag itself go to U-handbag for their brilliant tutorials - my bag is very similar to this one. I may even follow this one next time for even more zippy goodness. There's even a tutorial about adding piping to your bag but I'm not sure I can cope with piping just yet!!

For everyone who has left me such lovely comments this week I am so sorry I haven't replied. I've been lying prone of an evening nursing my poorly self and have barely been near the computer - hence 261 posts for me to read in Google Reader!