Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Printing on fabric...part 2


We all loved our workshop on printing on fabric so much that we headed for our local Art shop to stock up on supplies this morning. We bought inks, a roller and calico. This afternoon we set to work.


We made a simple block by cutting out our shape, a cupcake from foam and used double sided tape to stick it to firm cardboard. 


The kids took turns rolling the ink on the block and applying the block to the fabric. MJ was pattern manager, he was quite strict on how it should be repeated. While I was 'mess' coordinator and tidy uper, of course!


Now we wait for our printed fabric to dry before we turn it into something special...watch this space.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Our Bank Holiday Weekend

Our May Bank Holiday Weekend has come and gone...and with it the sunshine, as it seems that we are to have 24hrs of rain tomorrow!

But while the sun shone we made the most of it...

At Audley End House...


...we had a picnic and play


...we relaxed in the beautiful walled gardens





and we played dress up in the old stable block.

At the Henry Moore Foundation...


...we learnt how to print on textiles


...Lj and I did a daisy pattern (she loves daisies, picking them up where ever she sees them) while MJ etched out a steam ship. MJ really engaged with the activity and is keen to do some more.


oh and just so I don't forget...we laid a new laminate floor and painted M's study, went to church, played with our neighbours, painted another section of our 'blue' fence, planted out the beans at the allotment and harvested a whole lot more rhubarb!

Friday, 24 May 2013

A fun cushion for 'Happy Friday'

It's the start of the Bank Holiday Weekend!

Lately I have been re inspired by The Purl Bee. I love how they use simple colour combinations to create something really striking. I'm not sure I am brave enough to use neon's but I'm working out my own style!




When taking the photos I asked Lj to get me a toy as a prop. So she choose her stacking cups. I think they work lovely!

Hope you have a 'Happy Friday' and a great Bank Holiday Weekend!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Fabric Notice Board





While in N. Ireland at Easter I helped my Sister in law make a fabric notice board for her kitchen. Since then I have been meaning to make one for Lj's room. Something which she could hang her little bits and bobs on or hang the latest masterpiece.

It is made using canvas, covered in wadding and fabric. The ribbon allows cards etc to be slotted between and the buttons help keep everything where it should be!

Now, can I keep it til her birthday in a month or so? Hmmm I'm not very good at that!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam

My second attempt at making jam...ever! I have to say I find jam making so satisfying. It produces great results quickly and easily. This year has brought another great crop of rhubarb to our allotment so as much as MJ could have rhubarb crumble every night of the week it is not good for my waist line. We are also jam lovers so making our own from our free produce is a good money saving exercise.

This time I especially enjoyed using all my new jam making gadgets which I received for my birthday back in October.


Today we have friends coming to visit so I think I will try a Rhubarb muffin recipe this morning or perhaps some scones with Rhubarb and Vanilla jam!



Monday, 20 May 2013

Celebrating the return of the fabric lady!


Finally the fabric stall is back at our local Thursday market. The owner was recovering from a broken hip. Believe me, after not seeing her for 3 weeks I was getting worried they might never return. So in order to welcome them back and breathing a sign of relief I had to purchase some fabrics...of course!

I bought 1m of the pretty patterned polycotton, and 1/2m of each of the pink and yellow polycottons and today was able to turn it into yet another bag for Lj!



Teach kids to crochet


After finding this beautifully inspiring kids crochet book in the library I have started trying out some of the patterns. It is a lovely book and I will definitely be using the patterns when I start teaching kids to crochet. 

It is almost half term and I have a ton of activities to try out on MJ to see whether a 5yro can learn to knit, crochet and sew...or perhaps the task is whether I can teach a 5yro to knit, crochet and sew!!!!

Page 63, Crochet a small daisy. This pattern uses the very basic stitches. Chain stitch, slip stitch and single crochet.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Workshop 1.2 Make a summer skirt



Another fun evening of socialising and sewing. I just love how we all have a different eye and put things together differently but still beautifully. I hope there are 5 happy little girls this morning as they see what their Mummies created just for them.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

London with little ones #6 Tate Modern

Thanks to Nanna (on the motorway) who generously gave us her winning tickets we visited the Lichenstein exhitbition at the Tate Modern, London.

It is a fantastic exhibition to take kids (and adults) to. I was delighted with how MJ took to the paintings. Lingering for a long time over the ones he liked best.

'Whaam' and 'Torpedo' were his favourites and he played with the postcards we purchased in the shop the whole way home. On arriving home he copied 'Whaam' and coloured it in and then pinned it to his notice board.

Looking at Lichenstein's artwork is also a great lesson in 'WOW' words. MJ informs me that 'WOW' words are interesting and exciting words, for example using 'gigantic' instead of 'big'!

Time is running out if you wish to visit it before it finishes. I would highly recommend it if you can.


Monday, 6 May 2013

A new hat for Lj



The sun is shining and Lj needed a new summer hat. I got out a few fabrics and let Lj have a look. She choose the strawberry and toad stool fabric. Not sure if this is because she LOVES strawberries or that her favourite colours are red and pink. Unfortunately I only had a little left so not enough to do the whole hat but I do have a lot of M's shirts in my fabric stash so I used those for the brim and the reversed side. I used a pattern taken from 'Making Children's clothes' by Emma Hardy. It was my first time using this pattern and found it surprisingly easy to follow and construct. I'm now wondering if I could enlarge the pattern to make one for myself!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Blue fence 01

 Tonight as the kids went to sleep I began to think what I would do with myself before my own bedtime. The options were...
:: Watch 'The Voice' and feel like I had wasted my evening
:: Go for a walk, but no one seemed available
:: Watch a movie but I knew that would also mean me eating a whole lot of junk food in 90mins
:: M suggested we do a jigsaw together, but we didn't have one
:: My normal evening would have been to 'make' something and I have many things in the pipe line such as making Lj a summer hat, covering an old lampshade, a baby keepsake for a friends new baby etc but unusually I didn't feel like 'making'. This was mainly due to a frustration over not being home when my new laminator and pouches were delivered today. Anyway back to the 'options'! (also on a side note...MJ informed me today that we use a '!' only when the sentence is something interesting, such as 'my house is on fire!'...my 5yo has me rethinking my use of '!'s' now)

After this discussion with M, I'm not sure who came up with it but we decided to get started on painting our fence blue. It was a warm and light evening so we set to work.


This is the children's corner of the garden...they had been busy pulling out lots of toys this afternoon...so we had a quick tidy up to do before we got started.


One panel is painted, M and I had a fun 'date night' and as M tired I got some alone time. Outside in the fading light I had peace of mind to reflect on why the simple issue of not being able to use my new laminator should unsettle me and why I am always so slow to realise that everything happens for a reason and we have an amazing creator who cares for our every movement.

I enjoyed my Saturday evening...what did you do?

Friday, 3 May 2013

Pretty placemats!

While at Centre Parcs last weekend I noticed pretty personalised place mats in the shop. Feeling inspired by the idea I thought I would have a go at producing my own. I used a variety of craft papers and pens on an A3 sheet of paper. I have just ordered an A3 laminator so they can be a little more durable at meal times. I can't wait til it arrives and I wonder if I will be able to keep this til June before giving it to Lj for her birthday.

Bon Appetit.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Make Summer Bunting Workshop 02



Workshop Number 2...After enjoying 'Make a summer skirt' so much I thought I would get cracking with another workshop.

It is funny the feelings I go through from initial excitement of posting a new workshop, the fear and nervousness as I wait for people to sign up and the delight and relief I feel as places fill up. Is this what you feel when running a business...wishing people to enter your shop, wishing they purchase and then relief as they do?

For me it calls for a lot of trusting and patience...with an impatient, 'get the job done' personality like mine this is a test of faith!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A Peasant dress for Lj


Inspired by the 'Great British Sewing Bee' I wanted to make Lj a dress and try my hand at ruching once again and french seams for the first time. This is a basic peasant style dress which I fitted using a little ruching at the back and front. I also like the little sleeves as they will keep Lj's pale skin covered up when the sunny days arrive!