Thursday, 30 July 2009

Is it winter yet?

It bloomin feels like it in Lancashire, with the amount of rain we've had in the last week. I picked up this hat for Munchkin in the sales at Next. It was nice and stripy, but I thought it could do with a bit of embellishment. One suffolk puff and a heart shaped button later, and ta daaaa!

Munchkin let me take one photo before she pulled it off her head, but then when I laid it flat to take another photo she decided she wanted it back :) I'm hoping she's a bit more tolerant of hats when it gets colder...

P.s. She's wearing a lovely new tunic from Kitschy Coo, but it's so nice it deserves a whole post of its own, so I'll blog about it with some pics this weekend :)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

My new model

Meet Big Ted. I have decided to make him my bib model, as:

a) People won't really want to buy things that Munchkin has had her sticky little paws on


b) Photographing bibs flat is really quite boring.

He's much more obedient than a human model, and I haven't had any of this 'My left is my best side' malarky from him. I am worried he is trying to achieve size zero though - I haven't actually seen him eat anything. Ever.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Beautiful button and blogging in bed.

My sewing machine is better - turns out it was the evil self-adhesive velcro I was using for my bib fastenings. I was sewing it on as well as sticking it, and the adhesive from the back was getting all over the needle, and the thread was sticking to the needle and not making stitches. So now I'm back to using plain sew-on velcro, and all is well.

Apart from me :( I'm in bed with a stinking cold, and Munchkin has been dispatched off to the seaside for the day with Grandma Pickledweasel. I miss her. And I wanted to go to the seaside too. I am feeling very sorry for myself. But this lovely button is cheering me up - Munchkin and Grandma Pickledweasel bought it for me as a present on one of their recent expeditions. I am going to while away the day in bed dozing and dreaming of the perfect project to use it on....

Friday, 24 July 2009

My sewing machine is poorly

It is not feeling very well at all. It keeps skipping stitches, and just makes holes and leaves a long trial of thread behind but doesn't actually do any sewing. So my deadline of 8 things listed on Coriandr by sunday isn't looking very likely :(

According to my mom official sewing machine consultant it could be that the needle is blunt, or that my tension is wrong, or 'something else'. I haven't touched my tension, so it can't be that. I've replaced my needle but have been waiting for Munchkin to go to sleep before I try it out. I'm really crossing my fingers it's not 'something else' because that would mean a visit to the sewing machine doctor in Manchester, which usually means spending money.

Never mind, I managed to get in my entry to the Crafty Chica Beach Tote Challenge finished and loaded my photos up online. I like my bag, but it's nowhere near good enough to win, some of the entries are amazing! You can see them on the Flickr Group.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Magic Fabric Shop expedition

My trip was a success, and I came back with a metre each of 6 different fabrics. This time I borrowed my mum's car, so I didn't have to fork out £5 for the bus!

These lovely blues and yellows are backing fabric for bibs - the 2 plain blues are a really soft babycord, and the patterned ones are just cotton. I'm liking the check, very cowboy shirty :)

I'll use this fabric for appliques - the car or the truck would fit quite nicely on the front of a bib.

This fairy fabric isn't really my kind of thing, but I can see how some people would like it. It's a perfect scale, as I can fit one fairy in the centre of a heart like I did with the bird fabric in my last post.

Grand total? £7. The fairy fabric was £2 a metre, everything else was £1 a metre. And a nice lady even gave Munchkin a lollipop because she was crying. Although being the responsible parent that I am, I didn't actually let her eat it, I just said thank you and that we'd save it for later because she'd make all the rolls of fabric sticky.* Although halfway home I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that she'd managed to chew through the plastic wrapper and was fervently licking it :)

* What do you do when random people give your 1 year old sweets? A neighbour keeps giving her Halls Soothers of all things, and he looked at me very suspiciously the other day when I said thank you but it was nearly lunch time and we'd save it for later.

Bibs a Go-Go

I'm a bib making machine this week. Albeit quite a slow one, but I'm getting there. My aim is to have 8 things listed in a new shop on Coriandr by Sunday.

Here's a sneaky peek at a new bib. I'd forgotten I had this beautiful bird fabric - it was part of a huge stash my mom gave me when she was having a clear out. I've found some lovely Laura Ashley prints to use as well.

This afternoon I'm off to the magic fabric shop to buy some more cotton. Yes, I know I said I was banned from buying fabric until I'd finished some projects, but I need to buy fabric in order to finish a project, so it's justified :) I'm struggling to find 'boy' fabric in my current stash. Why do I find boys so difficult to sew for? So I'm on the lookout for some snazzy car / truck / moon / animal prints. I'll report back later!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Project One: Bimble

As promised, I am storming through my outstanding list of projects. Meet Bimble. He is a sock monster. He took an evening to make, and he wasn't that hard to sew because I managed to watch On Thin Ice at the same time (I am becoming increasingly worried about Ben Fogle's nose).

He comes from the book Stray Sock Sewing by Daniel, which I borrowed from the library last week. It's a great book, with instructions for 8 different projects, and a lovely section at the front all about sock dolls and how to look after them :)

Next project: A new batch of baby bibs, which will be stock for my new Coriandr shop, online soon! Woohooo!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Too. Many. Things.

Oh Halp! I have a huuuuuge crafty project to-do list which currently numbers 10 things. Which doesn't sound like much, but when you remember that I generally have 4 free hours per 24 hours, it is put into perspective. And they're not just little things, they're things like, "Make sleeveless blouse from pattern in 1970's sewing book", which for an accomplished sewmistress probably wouldn't be very difficult, but for a little sewlet like me is quite hard. And 10 isn't the real number, it's probably more like 15, but I'm pretending it's only 10 and keeping the extra 5 in my head.

'Fine then,' I hear you say, 'just get on with it!' Which I am doing. But then every day I visit blogs like luvinthemommyhood and CRAFT and other exciting places and oooh, look, there's a tutorial for a lovely little skirt, wow, look at all these free bag tutorials, and ohmigosh, this shows you how to make a beautiful quilt from leftover fabric scraps and oooh some free embroidery patterns and TOO MUCH STUFF!!!!!1!1!

I already have a self-imposed embargo on buying new fabric. I have now banned myself completely and utterly from adding any new tutorials or patterns to my favourites. Until AT LEAST 5 projects have been completed. Sob.

Right. I'm off to complete a project. No, really, I am. I'll just have 5 more minutes on the interweb....just a quick look at Dollar Store Crafts...

Tiny little heart

Knitted from lovely purpley pinky wire, this is teeny. It measures 2cm across at its widest point.

It's too small to be a brooch, and I don't have the findings to make it a necklace, so I've given it to grandma pickledweasel to experiment with. She has a glass kiln, and so she's going to try and embed it into glass. I'll post the results after she next does a firing!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Bib = FAIL

I finished another bib last night, and at first was very pleased with it. It's backed with the same spotty fabric that the pears are printed onto, and it's the same denim jacket as I've used before. I tried a different shape this time, and made it slightly smaller. Munchkin had gone to bed, so I had to find an alternative model (sorry Buddha).

On closer inspection I realised 2 things. a) I had forgotten to sew the velcro on. I was so fixated on getting my applique neat that I forgot all about fastenings - I didn't even cut the velcro out and forget to sew it on, I just forgot about it all together. Grandma pickledweasel is coming round today with her popper putter inner to help save the situation.

b) My topstitching hadn't closed the seam it was meant to. I left about a 3" gap at the bottom of the bib when I was sewing the front and back together, so I could turn the bib right side out. Rather than close it with invisible stitch I thought it would look nice with a line of black stitch round the edge, plus it's really good practice for me and my wayward sewing machine (I tend to go round corners a bit fast). Anyhoo, I didn't sew close enough to the edge. Pah. I'll have to invisible stitch it after all.

Never mind. Practice makes perfect, yes? I'm still liking the pears. I handprinted them with a print block I made yonks ago. I think the spotty fabric is perfect for them.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Mr Gizmo and Munchkin

This is Mr Gizmo. He used to just be called Gizmo, but he has acquired the 'Mr' recently, I don't know why. Maybe he's going through a formal stage.

Anyway, Mr Gizmo and Munchkin are very good friends. They are at about the same level height-wise (at least, when Munchkin is sitting down they are), and they spend lots of time kissing each other. Gizmo affectionately headbutts Munchkin, and Munchkin plants sloppy smackers on him in return.

Munchkin loves the cupboards in the kitchen, and can often be found emptying them of contents and then very carefully putting everything back. She is especially fond of organising Mr Gizmo's food sachets, taking them out of the cardboard box and then putting them back in.

But as you can see from the photos, she's taken it a step further. She has learnt how to feed Mr Gizmo. Fortunately she hasn't worked out how to open the foil sachet, but it's only a matter of time. Shall I start buying him low calorie food?

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Mmmmm, Valentine....

I have a huge crush on Valentine Warner. I love his passion for food, his eccentric hair, and that funny grin he does where he shows his gums a bit.

So I am v v excited about his new tv series of What To Eat Now which is on Monday nights on BBC Two. And I may just have to purchase his new book, rather than wait for my library to get it, just because his first book was so good and full of pictures of Valentine that I can drool over fantastic recipes.

And I have his Peach Melba tart in my fridge. Well, actually, a small slice of it is in my tummy, but I'm trying to be restrained so there's some left for mr pickledweasel when he gets home tonight. Plus it's 500 calories per serving. In my Valentine Warner fantasy he would cook me amazing food and then we'd make passionate love on the kitchen table, but I think in reality all that would happen is that I'd get really really fat from all the puddings he'd cook, and have to do the washing up all the time.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A happier bib experience

I've made another bib for lovely baby Rebecca, this time without cheap melty ribbon. I'm very pleased with it, mainly because the little bird works really well, but also because it is considerably less wonky than my last attempt.

I bought a nice soft denim shirt from a charity shop today, so I'll be whipping up some more soon, probably to sell. A question for you all*, if I may: Would you buy a bib with a button on it? Not a button as a fixing, a button as embellishment. I nearly put one on the little bird, but then thought some moms might be a bit worried about baby chewing it off and swallowing it.

I'm not one of those moms, (when gardening the other day I was very pleased that Munchkin only managed to eat soil twice) but I'd appreciate some other opinions. Thanks!

* by 'all', I mean Kitschy Coo, Nifty, and the other couple of people who read my blog :D

Monday, 6 July 2009

A lesson learnt

This is a bib I've made for a lovely new baby called Rebecca, who arrived in the world last week. The denim is from an old jacket I bought from a charity shop, and the pink polka fabric was a cheap piece from my old favourite Abakhan's. It's a little bit wonky, but it's made with love :)

I took the photo this morning before I put the velcro on the tabs at the top. Do you like it? It's pretty, isn't it? Do you like the polka dot ribbon? 'Very cute,' I'm thinking to myself as I give it one last iron before I gift wrap it. 'Oooh, I'll make more with this ribbon, it's really OH MY GOD WHY IS IT SMUDGING???!!'
Don't iron cheap ribbon. Your polka dots will melt :(

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sea, sand and stitches

Sorry I've not posted for a bit, I went on holiday. Again. I know, I seem to do this quite frequently, but it's not usually like this, honest.

Family Pickledweasel very dutifully bought The Sun every day for a couple of weeks* and saved up tokens for those "Everyone goes on holiday for £15!!!!!11!!1!" promotions, and we had 4 nights in a caravan in beautiful Pembrokeshire.

It was very very hot, we had lots and lots of fun, and now we're back to normal life with a big bump, with only slight sunburn and a new taste for sand to remind us of our lovely holiday.

As per usual I did a bit of crafty shopping, and picked up these two tasty fat quarters from Inhouse Quilting in Narberth. I can highly recommend a visit, their shop is full to bursting with lovely fabric, but you can buy online as well.

So now I just have to get through a huge mountain of washing before I can start stitching again...

*I hate The Sun. So much so that I won't even put a link to them. I didn't read it when I bought it, I just cut the token out and put it in the recycling box, honest. But I can recommend their cheap holiday offers, as much as it riles me :)