Category: Crafty

It’s been a tough week…

It started on Sunday with having a really bad back, which took days to right itself (though it’s painful again today). Then work kicked off big style, including moving this blog to a new host, which meant downtime & database ‘issues’, which translate to me not having ticked a box, when I should have. At least it was an easy fix, even if it took a while figuring it out. Then today I had to take my car for it’s MOT & service. While it passed everything, it needs repairs that I cannot afford. Hello credit card. Not what you want just before Christmas. I have been exhausted all week & after the database issue, I have not felt like blogging at all. I’ve been too tired to do any crafting in the evening, so it’s just as well I finished off my second & final homemade gift at the beginning of the week. I do feel a sense of impending doom as Christmas approaches. There’s always so much to do, even though we’re not hosting but I want everything to be right and for us all to relax as much as possible. I’m actually in denial about how close Christmas is! Even my pretty desk flowers aren’t doing much to pick me up 🙁

desk flowersI think part of it is the darkness. Not only is it getting dark so early on in the day, but the room I spend the day in is in the darkest part of the house and has no ceiling light. This means I have to rely on lamps, which never seem to give out enough light & I feel like I’m working in shadow for most of the day. How I haven’t had a crying fit yet is a miracle! So tonight, I’m going to dive into a vat of wine and spend most of tomorrow on the sofa, drinking mulled wine, eating chocolate, doing a bit of Christmas decorating and watching Christmas films. Elf arrived on Blu Ray this morning so am looking forward to watching that tomorrow.

Are you in the festive spirit yet? Or are you like me, a bit Bah Humbug & just looking forward to the time off & putting your feet up?

Cath Kidston Bloggers Craft Night

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a bloggers craft night at the Cath Kidston shop in Oxford. I was joined by Natasha, Catherine, Victoria, Zoë, Dina & Rosalind. We were invited along to an evening of crafting in aid of Crisis. Cath Kidston are selling decoration kits, as well as giving the profits from the sale of the charity Christmas cards to raise money for Crisis.

There’s something pretty awesome about being in a shop after opening hours! We were able to have a good look around and start our Christmas shopping/buy some treats for ourselves! I bought these lovely charity Christmas cards & a pair of penguin pyjama bottoms. To be honest, I could have spent way more money! There are so many lovely things in Cath Kidston. They keep on bringing out gorgeous prints and great products!

crocodile santa stanley christmas decs tea towels scarves

We were given kits of Christmas decorations to make, complete with all the tools necessary to make them. After a quick mooch about, we all got started cutting out our shapes. Before long we got chatting, eating & drinking (hello mulled wine!). Progress was varied and I have to admit I didn’t finish mine during the evening, especially as I got distracted with some out of hours shopping! But I did sew my bricks on one side of the chimney. I finally finished it this week and have to say I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. I took the opportunity to have a go at different stitches. It’s not very often my hand sewing is as neat as this!

Cath Kidston Santa decoration

Not only that, but we were also given a few treats, including a second decoration to make. I can’t wait to finish this one too so that they are ready to go on the tree! Are you making any Christmas decorations this year? It does add a nice touch doesn’t it?

Make your own stanley cath kidston sewing kit

Handmade Cosy Pyjama Bottoms

Last Saturday found me getting my sew on. I signed up to a class at Darn It & Stitch to make a cosy pair of pyjama bottoms. I love pj bottoms, the cosier the better and I’m pleased to say that the ones I made do not disappoint! Let it be known that I can be a bit of a haphazard sewer. Sometimes my creations are great, sometimes they are only fit for the bin. But the help of Anna from Custom Made, I was able to make something wonderful!

dreamy cloud fabricThe first thing we had to do was pick out our fabric. I picked this dreamy flannel cloud fabric & I love it! I can remember my Mum making me flannel nighties way back when so I really wanted something flannel, plus the clouds! How cute are they?! Then it was back upstairs to cut our patterns down to size, though I could skip this step, thanks to my generous thighs! Next came the scary step of pinning the pattern to the fabric and cutting it out. I picked up quite a few tips like how to pin correctly, so the fabric doesn’t pucker. This is just one of the reasons why I wanted to do a sewing class – the little tips that no one ever tells you online or in books.

The next step was to start sewing. This bit terrified me, as it’s when things start to go haywire. But I had no problems stitching the legs together. The only problem I had was that my sewing machine hated doing the zig zag stitch, which was a slight issue as I had to do this on every seam to stop the fabric fraying. At first it was just me, but then it did for Anna too. It was quite frustrating. I felt as if everyone was miles ahead of me and I wasn’t going to be able to finish them. Fortunately, with a bit of luck, Anna was able to talk the machine into it & it succombed to our will! I was finally able to move on to the waistband and threading the elastic through. While sewing the waistband, the machine let us know that it didn’t like the thickness of the materical & decided to bend the needle. After a prompt needle change, and hemming the legs, my pyjamas were complete. I was so relieved – mainly because I didn’t want to have to finish them off at home. And I didn’t. I was able to pop them on as soon as I walked through the door. (and I’ve barely taken them off since!)

cloud pyjama bottoms

I really, really want to be able to sew well & now I feel much more confident, especially as I’m currently wearing my little creation! Plus, I came away with something useful and wearable & I learnt loads, which is awesome. The only downside was the dodgy sewing machine. It made what should’ve been a lovely peaceful afternoon into an inwardly stressful one. (Had I been at home on my own, there would have been tears & swears!) Despite that, I had great time & I love my new pjs! Great class, great value for money, happy, warm & cosy me 🙂

Personalising a Bathroom Cabinet

Sometimes you can be looking for something for your home & not quite find what you’re looking for or you want to put your own spin on something to personalise it and give it a bit of meaning. This is what the lovely folk over at The Bathstore asked me to do with this wall cabinet. Our bathroom has a nautical theme, so I wanted to go with blueish tones and as I’ve recently come back from holiday by the coast, I wanted to bring a bit of the sea into the bathroom. Some of my favourite holidays have included water, whether it was the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, sailing on the Seine in Paris or walking by the Hudson River in New York. I knew I wanted to include travel in my design in some way and there’s nothing better than soaking in the tub, daydreaming about holidays & far away lands! Here’s what I came up with:

blue stamps

stamp waves

bubbles

Finished cupboard

I created waves out of from a selection of stamps I’ve recently inherited. I picked out lots of blue stamps, of all different shades, as well as some green ones to replicate the waves of the oceans. I stuck them onto card, cut the wave shapes out & stuck them to the mirror. I didn’t want the waves covering the whole of the mirror, as that can be quite frustrating when you want to use it! I also used an old OS map to create bubbles to go up the sides of the cabinet to tie in the idea of travel and soaking for ages in a bubble bath, planning adventures in lands far, far away!

I love working with paper so personalising this cabinet was really great fun. I got covered in glue, but am pretty happy with the end result. If you were going to personalise something for your bathroom, what would it be and how would you do it?