Thursday, May 28, 2009


This is just a very, very quick post to let people know about two massive giveaways that are taking place at the moment.

Both Sew Mama Sew and a new site called SEWN are hosting these massive blog giveaways to which there are hundreds of beautiful things being given away.

I've been spending what little free time I have looking round at these blogs and as well as signing up to a good few myself. While doing this I've also discovered a good many new and exciting blogs that I've been adding to the list of blogs that I follow - time very well spent :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

A quick crochet break

After my struggles with the sewing machine I felt the need to do a little crochet to remind myself that I'm good at one craft at least! So I've been playing around with a new bootie design for my little boy as he is at the tricky in between size where 0-6 months is too small and 6-9 months is too large.

Many strangely shaped and completely undersized/over sized booties later and I finally ended up with a bootie that I'm pleased with (the over sized bootie that I made up would probably have fit a 3 year old - not really sure why I thought it was the right size for my little one... oops!).

These booties are pretty quick and easy to make. They are made up in one piece (strap included) and then just need the ends weaving in and a button adding - easy! The front of the bootie is slightly wider than the back to accommodate my son's wedgey feet.

Not much else to say about these little booties apart from the fact that I really like them and I'm tempted (though not too sure) to write up the pattern properly (also writing a few variations for different sizes) and try selling it on Ravelry. What do you all think? - Would anyone be interested in buying yet another bootie pattern? I'd need to look into baby foot sizing too before deciding on whether it's worth the grief to try and rework my pattern into a number of different sizes.

I've also just finished up this little crochet cosy for my sister's DS lite. After failing to get round to finish off her Birthday present (her Birthday was way back last September...) I felt pretty bad so I whipped this up for her to try and help with some of the guilt. I really must at some point finish off that top for her, though I wish now that I had never started it - uggh! But I will finish it, just not right now okay :-)

Tomorrow we are all headed off up North for my sister-n-law's wedding so best get on with the packing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Library finds

In recent weeks I've been spending quite a lot of time at my local library with my little one as he seems to enjoy the trip out almost as much as I do. As I now have a bit more time to look round properly I've been noticing more and more things that I never realised this library service offered including a selection of craft magazine to borrow!

The selection of magazines isn't brilliant (unless you are more of a card maker/scrapbooker) but that really isn't the library's fault as this basis towards paper crafts is very noticeable in all newsagents in the UK. They did have this one title "Quick & Crafty!" which I had a good flick through and then borrowed a bunch of back issues. While the majority of projects are paper craft and jewellery making there are a good few other crafts included too; like using polymer clay, cross stitch, and the very occasional knit and crochet patterns. The magazine also comes with a free gift each week for which there are a few projects in each magazine... I wonder what the library staff did with these?

While perusing the craft book section of the library I also came across a few titles that fancied so I grabbed hold of the following two to borrow:

"Simply enchanting crafts" by Lilas Force
ISBN: 978-0715330043

After reading a review of this craft book on another blog I decided that I wanted my own copy - what could be better than some beautiful craft projects with a fairy theme? So when I saw this in the library I was very excited to be able to get a good look at the book before buying my own copy.

Unfortunately it wasn't really what I was expecting it to be... the book is lovely all the photographs are beautifully taken and there are some very pretty things in there. However the projects all seem to be jewellery making with a couple of sewing projects and some recipes at the back. As I don't really do anything with beads myself (more because I just don't have space to start yet another craft than I don't want to - I do!) I found myself feeling a little let down that there really wasn't anything in this book for me.

I would have loved to have seen more variety in the crafts in this book - perhaps more detailed instructions too as these seemed a little basic to me. Otherwise a very lovely book to look at and definitely one for the jewellery makers out there.

"Baby crafts: Unique gifts for new arrivals" by Lynne Farris
ISBN: 978-1564967961

This is a lovely little baby craft book with a good few projects in that I would (if only I had the time) like to have a go at. There are a variety of crafts included in this book including some simple machine sewing, painting, paper craft and a bit of knitting.

My favourite project would probably be the sweater duck toys - such cute little duckies made out of a up-cycled sweater. I also loved the simple idea of adding a small applique to the front of a baby vest to make a more personalised item.

Sweet and simple - well worth a look through if you have a special little someone to make for.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sew happy :-)

Earlier this year I inherited this lovely sewing machine from one of my mother in laws friends, but I had to wait until recently to receive it as it was waiting for me up in Yorkshire. During that time I've been doing a little sewing machine reading so that I'll at least know some of the basic techniques in theory before I start.

One book that I found really helpful for this is "Bend the rules sewing" which for a newbie like myself is great as it goes through all the basics in a clear and friendly way.

I've also been drooling over "Little stitches for little ones" and "Stitched in time" so now I have huge ambitions for what I want to make but I'm slightly daunted by just how lovely all these projects look and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to be up to that level of sewing for a good while yet!

For my first sewing machine project I wanted to keep things simple and use fabric that I didn't mind making a mess of. So I cut up an old duvet cover to make a basic drawstring bag which I could fill with my little boy's dirty laundry.

This bag in the photo on the left is my completed bag and took about 6 hours to make (mostly because I completely messed up my first attempt and had to start over - that's what happens when you start sewing before thinking through what you need to do). The hardest parts were doing the casing for the drawstring at the top in a neat way that didn't leave any raw fabric edges, and making the cord itself from a much folded and ironed spare strip of duvet cover fabric.

I'm very happy with how it turned out though the bag does seem a tiny bit bigger than it probably needed to be it does the job.

In other craft related news which I had forgotten to mention until now; I've just started receiving this little craftzine which was a Mother's day present from my lovely husband. After being very disappointed that O'Reilly Craft magazine stopped being published I started scouting around for a different craft related mag that I could subscribe to. I found a mention of this one (Mixtape)on one of the blogs that I follow and I thought I would give it a try - and I'm very glad that I did! This is a lovely little magazine that comes all the way from Australia and is the work of a husband and wife team. The articles are well written and I found them all interesting, and the layout used throughout the mag is just lovely. So if you haven't heard of this craftzine before it really is worth a look - I personally feel that it is 10 times better than the O'Reilly Craft magazine and I can't wait for the next issue to arrive.