Sunday, April 30, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I spent ages playing with a new paper cutter gizmo, trying to get nice crisp edges, only to decide that I preferred the way they look when ripped. I like simple.
Looks like I'm not the only one feeling festive at the wrong time of year either.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Subject: domestic ali
I have spent ages trying to locate your blog. All I can find is domestic violence or xxx porn! Is there something you are not telling me?!
Can you email me a link and I will try again.
Oh, I laughed till I cried.
This swapping business has me in its evil hold. I've just signed up to do a gift tag swap at Head full of pixies. What possessed me? Don't get me wrong - I love the whole idea of swaps and I'm totally dedicated to making stuff that would make me smile to receive. But the CRIPPLING performance anxiety. I look at the blogs of my swapmates and cringe at their competence and creativity. How will I ever make things to please them? I'm a FRAUD you hear, a crafting charlatan - no art school, no graphic design on my CV, no mother who sewed every childhood garment.
I had this dream that my blog was swap blacklisted (in a handmade ledger, of course, beautifully embellished). That when my e-mail came, swap organizers would cackle. PARANOIA.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
So, we've entered the pocket money era - £1 each Saturday (plus bonuses from the tooth fairy). Is that stingy? I asked what he was planning to spend it on. He said bread. Swift chat about not having to be totally self sufficient on his income. Now he wants to buy Lego.
The problem (well, apart from only being able to add numbers under 10) is keeping his loot away from the thieving fingers of his little brother. That kid is better than a metal detector at finding cash. A purse of some kind seemed in order.
The digger motif was a special request from the prospective owner. Don't look too closely at it - it contains my first ever zip (put in without a zipper foot as my machine doesn't have one). The customer seemed pretty happy anyway - think he's looking for extra loot in there!
Saturday, April 22, 2006
He's going to enter whiplash this week under the theme "your surly side". I should explain, I didn't plan for him to be so evil. I was doing my first softie - a wee wonderful bunny - as a practice for my Back Tack 3 swap. He was meant to have an oriental vibe, as that's what the black and white checks suggested to me.
I had serious PMT - the 'rip your head off' kind and it really impairs my judgement. I can't tell you the number of wardrobe disasters I've purchased under the influence of my hormones. So, I was stitching bunny's face, thinking he didn't look too happy, but it would be OK. As I stuffed him he got meaner and meaner and by the time I had taken his picture he was just plain nasty.
He does have his uses though - he's in my kids' playroom and "Big bad bunny is watching you" is evolving into quite a handy phrase for stopping misbehaviour in its tracks.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I'm making a softie for Larissa. We've e-mailed and now I'm becoming a cyberstalker trying to work out exactly what to put together for her. Like I said before - I'm a swap virgin and I DO NOT want to get it wrong.
I've has a trial run of a wee wonderful bunny, but it is quite scary. I wanted him to be thoughtful, but he came out mean looking instead. I must have been feeling hormonal when I did his face. The boys have named him big bad bunny after the character in this book.
Larissa, don't worry - he will not be coming to glower at your gorgeous little boy. I need him here - "Play nicely - big bad bunny is watching you".
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
We were pretty pleased with our efforts, but I've had some negative feedback. My friend Kathy: "What were those weird waxy things?". She'd tried to eat them. What could I say? Well, they were non-toxic.
Note to self: LABEL ITEMS BETTER!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
My eldest so got one for his playmat, but the youngest had to re-use it because I never even started on one of his own! Now I only make teeny ones. This is my smallest to date - I only really made it so I could try and learn some applique.
I'm thinking of going even smaller and doing some coaster sized quilts. I saw some a while ago that released a nice scent when you put a hot drink on them. Cool idea, but I don't know what you would put in it to get the effect. Hmmm......
The idea is to provide me with a bit of encouragement as I want to have a stall at my local craft fair in October, but I've been fretting about it. Is my stuff good enough to sell? Will I ever make enough stock? Will people buy? What should I sell? If I worried about it a bit more, I'd never do it. I ordered the labels so now I HAVE to have a go, if only to justify the cost of them.
I was so excited when they arrived, I had to make something to check how they looked, so one quick lavender sachet later and....
Monday, April 17, 2006
I saw 'Everyday Creativity' was the theme of this week's whip-lash, but I knew I didn't have time for much crafting this weekend with it being Easter and holidays for the kids so I didn't plan to enter.
Today was a perfect spring morning and we went on a walk past the station. I put the camera in the pram as an afterthought. Eldest son, who is 5, asked for the first time, to take a picture, so my husband (with his infinite supply of patience) showed him what to do.
When we got home and put the shots on the computer he was really impressed. "I think these would win a competition Mummy" he said proudly. And that was the moment I remembered.
To me, everyday creativity is about taking what is around you and seeing the beauty in it. What better way to empower a child to do this than teach him how to use a camera. So here, by way of our first joint whip-lash entry, I give you Mark's photos.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
I was reading about cookie cutter collections on Hop Skip Jump today and it inspired me to photograph mine.
I am shocked that I have so many. I'm not really a 'collections' sort of person, but I suppose this does qualify as one!
I wish I had a better way of storing them too, because seeing them today made me smile and I'd like to enjoy them more often. I don't, because they are just hurled in a couple of old tupperware boxes in my baking cupboard. Nifty ideas gratefully received.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I am so excited - I waited up until midnight to sign up for this swap.
The agony was made worse because I had miscalculated the time difference and had my mouse poised at 11pm only to realize my mistake and have to wait for a whole hour longer. Waiting is not one of my strongest points.
The challenge is to make a softie in black, white or blackandwhite. I had a look through my fabric stash and have started incubating some ideas, but I'm going to wait and see who my partner is before I do too much planning.
I am a swap virgin and I'm stupidly nervous about making some kind of unintentional faux pas.
Any swapiquette tips gratefully received!
Ho ho ho - I just LOVE making surprises!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
The Easter bags and fabric mache eggs are finished.
The eggs are based on this tutorial from Zhinka dinka doo.
I did some with ordinary flour and water paste and some with PVA adhesive. Both worked fine, but the flour paste kind took longer to dry. An added bonus of the PVA sort was that the finish was slightly shiny (as if I had varnished it). I was surprised at how sturdy the baskets were as the fabric was only one layer thick in places. These would make great party bags and I've already started to think about making a pumpkin version for halloween.
The others are little cloth totes - based on a pattern I saw on craftster.
The boys and I are going to help the easter bunny with deliveries this week.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
We've been away for a few days to visit my folks who live by the sea. The boys love visiting the harbour, digging, throwing stones and checking out the live lobsters.
I also had the chance to do a bit of shopping. Whitstable is an arty community, so there is always some inspiration for craftyness to be found.
I saw some great bags made with felted wool. I'd like to have a go at felting my own, but the thought of killing my washing machine in the process is a bit offputting. With the amount of sand we encountered over the weekend I NEED my machine in full working order.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
I wanted to throw a monkey party for him as at the time one of our favourite games went like this...
Me: Are you a monkey?
Him: OO OO OO (accompanied by armpit scratching).
I was trawling the internet for some ideas when I came across this. At the time I didn't know how to post a comment, so I didn't. But I did make the cupcakes and the t-shirt and the invitations and the banana themed food.
And then I realised there are other nuts like me out there and they talk to each other. So now I'm blogging too and I can't tell you what a buzz it is. Fab though being a mummy is, it doesn't offer that much in the way of intellectual stimulation. I'm sure getting my head around html and digital photos is doing my neurones no end of good. And the party was a blast too.
Monday, April 03, 2006
My sewing is not fab - check out that wonky blanket stitch. I'm not even sure I am doing it right. All the tutorials I've seen show the work the opposite way to the way I sew. You can blame my repressively academic school which didn't teach anything remotely useful in the way of home economics, domestic science, woodwork... shall I rant?
Well they are bunnies from the heart and given that none of the recipients is over 5 I shouldn't think they will be too critical. If anyone complains I'll eat their chocolate stash.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
We'd just got a digital camera, so I took photos of quirky spots in the house and made a personalised trail for each kid to follow. They loved it!
The Easter Bunny needs to work hard on a good idea for this year now....