Thursday, 25 June 2009

Beauty Spot

I'm gearing up for this wedding we're going to on Saturday, and I'm off to be spraypainted orange have a fake tan tonight. I'm a bit nervous, as the last one I had was disasterous. I was mahogany. Fortunately it was just my legs that were mahogany, so I wore trousers. But this time I'm going for the whole hog, top to toe. However, it's at a good salon, and they use Fake Bake which has 2 shades of spray tan, one for fair skin and one for darker skin. I'm hoping for a lovely glow like Marilyn's - I'll post photos if the results aren't too horrific.

I'm also trying out some new make-up, and I wanted to tell everyone about it because it's so fab. I've been hearing good things about mineral make-up for a while, and wanted to give it a go but it seemed quite expensive. But loads of lovely people who make mineral make-up are happy to send out little samples for a few pennies, which is a brilliant idea. It's really caught on in the States, and there are lots of sellers on Etsy, but as usual I've left everything to the last minute so needed someone based in the UK so it would get to me in time.

I found 2 companies, and I'm really impressed with both of them. Lily Lolo have a range of foundations, eyeshadows, blushers and bronzers as well lipgloss. You can order a sample pot of foundation or bronzer for just 99p, and they have little sample bags of blusher for 49p. A little goes a very long way, so a pot will last for a few weeks meaning you can really test it properly.

Funky Fresh currently only sells on eBay, but has an online shop under construction so should have a website soon. They do a great range of eyeshadows, and you can order sample kits of a whole range (like the Precious Jewels range in the picture), or a custom sample order, where you choose 4 samples of foundation, blush, concealer, corrector, bronzer, finisher or eye colour for just 99p. Bargainous!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Pillowcase skirt

Last night I finished a skirt I'd made from one of the 2nd hand pillowcases I bought on saturday. I'm really pleased with it - it was sooo quick and easy, even for a sewing pleb like me.

I used this tutorial from Leah Kramer, but made a few changes. I sewed the long tie for the drawstring properly, with right sides together, and then turned it inside out. I also did a LOT of satin stitch around the little eyelets were the drawstring comes through, as the fabric frays really easily.

My pillowcase had an evelopy flap at the bottom as well (where my skirt hem was), where you tuck it over the pillow to keep it neat, so I cut off the excess fabric and made the front seam the same as the back. I used some of the fabric to make my drawstring, but still have a bit left over. I *love* the print, so I might use it to revamp a tee.

Now I just need some sunshine to wear it!

Footnote: It was stupidly hard to try and take a photo of the skirt on without assistance. So instead of one good photo I've used lots of bad ones. As you can see, Munchkin made it into the frame when I was doing timed shots :D

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Pom poms and pillowcases

We chickened out of camping. Or rather I did, mr pickledweasel was still well up for it despite the rainy weather forecast. I'd had a long couple of days at work and was very tired, and the thought of all that effort just for a weekend in a field was too much. I know, I'm a big old wuss.

Instead we went to Preston for the day on saturday. We went and saw an exhibition called Enchanted Worlds: Art of Fairy Stories and Mermaid Tales which had some beautiful illustrations and is well worth a look. We also popped round the corner to the PAD Gallery, full of pretty things and inspiring stuff. And, obviously, we went to Abakhans because they have a shop in Preston and I've not been to it before :)

I spent just over a fiver and got a load of goodies, including some white tulle to make this pom pom skirt for Munchkin. She refused to stand up in it, so here's a picture of how it should look from Happy Together's blog, where I got the tutorial from.
Other Preston bargains: 2 blue patterned pillowcases from a charity shop for 99p, one of which I'm making into a skirt, half a metre of Liberty tana lawn for £4 from the market (mr pw swears it's knock-off, but I don't care!), and 6 cds for £10. See, not only was it less work than going camping, it was cheaper too!
Although I now have taken a vow not to buy anymore fabric until I complete at least 3 sewing projects...

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Stars, clouds, and button rain.

I've been faffing about with t-shirts again, this time customizing a brand new one. I picked the tee up for 75p from the super cheap Ethel Austin. It's a kids one, age 14-15, but I can just about squeeze my chest into it :)

I'm liking it very much. My applique isn't perfect, but I'm getting there. I made the mistake of stitching round it twice thinking it'd make it more secure, but it's resulted in a bit of pulling, so next time I'll just stitch round once.

I picked up 2 more tees, both at 75p each, so I'll be doing some more faffing soon. They'll have to wait until next week though, as family pickledweasel are going camping this weekend. With a 13 month old child. Yes, we are insane. So I'm frantically trying to pack and organise food as I'm at work tomorrow and Friday. Plus I have a job application form that I have to fill in by the end of the week. Eeeek. So I'll see you the other side of the weekend, by which time I'll probably be wet, sleep deprived, stiff from sleeping on an air bed, and swearing I'll never go camping again. Happy days :)

The shoes to end all shoes.

Munchkin went to stay at grandma pickledweasel's last night, for the first time ever. I felt very odd about it. I even had a little cry! It's all practice, as mr pw and I will be off down to thelondon in a couple of weeks time, for an evening wedding reception, and we'll need to leave Munchkin behind. We'll be only be gone for 24 hours, but it's still a bit of a wrench.

Even so, we're really looking forward to our little jaunt. I can count on one hand the number of times we've been out since she was born. I'm not an overly glam person, but I do like getting dressed up for a night out, so I'm pulling out all the stops on this one. I've got a pedicure and fake tan booked, I've bought a purple silky dress with frills on, and these amaaaaaazing shoes.

I love them, possibly more than any other shoes I've had before (and I currently have 24 pairs, so that's saying something). I was going to make a clutch bag to match, but after a squillion hours spent looking for a suitable fabric I gave up and found a perfectly good bag on eBay. Not the actions of a true crafter, I know, but at least it's secondhand, so a bit more environmentally friendly.

I made the most of my free evening yesterday, and customised a cheap t-shirt with some bits and bobs. It's not quite finished, but needless to say it'll be the subject of my next post :) All I've got to do now is sit and wait for Munchkin to return, savouring the last few minutes of peace :)

Monday, 15 June 2009

Fabric fabric fabric!

I found the magic fabric shop. It is truly a sight to behold. It's in an old chapel, and there are 4 rooms stuffed floor to ceiling with rolls of fabric. There is '£1 a metre' room. Wow. I was a bit hindered by having munchkin in the pushchair as I couldn't really have a proper root through things. I'm going back soon with grandma pickledweasel, so I can look at everything properly.

I was extremely restrained, and bought 2 metres of this:
I have a pattern for a sleeveless blouse that I want to try out, and this will be perfect for it.

1 metre of this:

I'm thinking applique on children's things. And I think munchkin's room needs just one more cushion.

and 2 metres of this:

It's a sort of linen chambray, a lovely grey colour. I'd like to try and make a wrap skirt with it, maybe reversible with a patterned fabric on the other side.

I spent a grand total of £8. That's not per metre, that's for everything! Although the bus fare was £5 for a return ticket(!!!), so I guess I have to factor that in, but £13 for 5 metres of fabric is still pretty good :)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Another cushion and a potential fabric goldmine

Remember the polar styley fabric I bought a while ago? I finally got round to making a quilt cover for Munchkin with it, although it is just a bog standard plain one rather than a patchwork one. I wanted to do a patchwork one using each of the little scenes on the fabric, and white and mint green strips of cotton as a border. But time and common sense intervened :)

As a compromise I've made this sort of patchwork cushion cover for her room instead. The polar bears were on a bit of waste from when I cut the cover out, so I sewed some beads and little snowflakes on to make them a bit more wintery, and then used some scraps of white to patch round them.

I'm off to a magic fabirc shop later this morning, that's only open 2 days a week and has most fabric at £3 a metre, or so I'm told by trusted sources. It's only a bus ride away, and I have no idea why I've never heard of it before. Maybe it's some sort of secret shop that you only get told about after you've done a certain amount of sewing? I'm off to check my sewing machine for bugs...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

T-shirt re-fashion

I've been inspired of late by all the tutorials available about re-fashioning t-shirts and thought I'd give it a go. Mr pickledweasel had a really soft shirt that he'd put in a pile of things to go to the charity shop, so I chose that as my victim project.

I have a shop-bought top I love that has tucks along the neckline, so thought I'd start by doing that and then go from there.

I cut the sleeves to make them more capped - I'm hoping the raw edges will turn in on themselves a bit after it's been washed.

Finally I re-shaped it by sewing a new seam from the armpit to just below the bust. Initially I sewed it all the way down to the bottom of the shirt, but when I tried it on I remembered I had hips. Doh! So I had to unpick the seam, but I quite like the holes it left behind, and I left the excess material so it makes a little pleat. I cut a bit off the bottom to make it shorter, and tadaaa! I quite like it. Now I just need some sunshine so I can wear it...

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Taxes and Treats

Not only have I sold a couple of brooches and made a weeny profit, I aslo got a nice tax rebate this week - hurrah! It would appear I overpaid the lovely people at HMRC by three hundred odd quid last year, and they've very kindly given it me back. What riches!

So, how to spend it? For starters I've bought this beautiful print from Sally Elford:

It's called 'Approaching Storm' and it's kind of what I was trying to achieve with the etching I did a while ago, although Sally's is proper art, and mine looks like a small child's attempt :) You can find more of Sally's work over at Boxbird, a cool little online gallery.
I'm also going to buy a shiny new mp3 player, and one of those doughnut speaker docking thingies (that's the actual technical term for them). Family pickledweasel has just 2 small stereo systems, one of which doesn't work, and another which lives on top of the fridge and has quite specific taste in music. It won't play some cds at all, and others it will play about half a song, get bored, and skip to the next one. It doesn't like Bjork very much, although I have no idea why. Anyhoo, the idea is to buy a big mp3 player, put all of our cds on to our laptop, and then sell the cds on Music Magpie. Therefore freeing up a huuge amount of space in the living room, and making a bit of moolah in the process.
The final wodge of tax money will be divided between 2 benefactors - British Gas (for we have just recieved a mahousive bill) and The Neverending Loft Fund, which is our savings account to get our loft converted into a 3rd bedroom. So everyone's a winner! Happy days :)