Friday, 27 April 2012

And so it rained...

and rained and rained.

We've just taken on an allotment which was obviously the horticultural equivalent of buying a pair of sunglasses. Its thrown it down with rain ever since. Which would be fantastic had we actually had chance to get down there and get some plants/crops in, but at present, all we're cultivating is weeds. humph.

Anyway, to matters less muddy. After my excitement of discovering the ability to print on fabric, I thought I would experiment further. Decoupage paper is really quite expensive and invariably not to my taste so I wondered if you could iron some freezer paper onto the back of some tissue paper and print your own.
And you can! However, getting the freezer paper off the back of the tissue paper is a tad more time consuming and several attempts were ripped in the process. But I have successfully decoupaged (is that a word?) some key rings and coasters.

I also in my web travels this week, found a pretty cool cross stitch pattern. Now I have several cross stitch books and I like the idea, but I invariably find that my need for quick gratification is not fulfilled by it. I haven't got the patience. But this is an silicone iphone case, and the subject, the Tardis.

You can find the pattern here: in the tutorials section.

And finally, one of the newsletter emails I received this week put me on to the idea of mug rugs. Its a bit bigger than a coaster, with enough room for a cuppa and a cake, or your snack of choice, which is a pretty neat idea. So I followed this tutorial here:, then went for my own steampunky version too.

Time for a cuppa, methinks.

Monday, 16 April 2012

I love big books and I cannot lie..

I'm having a book based making week this week. I love reading, but the opportunities seldom present themselves recently. My dad has a Kindle and loves it, but as my chances to read usually come when I'm in the bath, I decided this was not a sensible route to go down. Book dropped in bath= soggy book. Kindle dropped in bath= lots of expletives and considerable cost. That said, when I was at a ridiculously quiet craft fair the other week, I was very glad I'd had the forethought to download the Kindle app for my iPod and a couple of books.
Any hoo..yes, if its not books, its notebooks. I'm not quite sure why as I rarely use them. If I'm writing its always on an A4 pad, yet still I cannot resist. But if you're going to tote around a load of notebooks, they might as well be gorgeous.
This is a pattern for a notebook cover and what I really love about this is that there's no hand sewing involved. So often- I find anyway- I get to the end of making something and you've got a hole to hand stitch where you've turned something the right way around. The turning out is the best bit, where you can admire the fruits of your labour, but no, you still have a pesky bit of hand sewing to do.
A male and female version. And yes, the creme egg was consumed shortly after completion. Well a girl needs an incentive to get things done sometimes!

What you need:
1 @ 25 x 35cm of your main fabric
1 @ 25 x 35cm of plain cotton or calico for the lining.
1 @ 25 x 35cm felt
2 @ 14 x 25cm of either plain cotton of main fabric for the flaps.
1 @ 20 x 25cm of plain cotton.

-Firstly take your flap pieces. Fold one edge over by 5mm and press, then fold again. Pin and stitch.

Repeat for the other flap.
-Grab the 20 x 25 piece. Press over the 25cm edges by 1 cm and stitch.
-Lay your cotton down on a surface. Lay the felt on top, then your main fabric with the nice side facing upwards. then take the side flaps and place them at either side with the unseamed edges lined up with the outer edge and the seam facing you. Like so:

Then take your 20 x 25cm piece and place that over the middle.
-Pin all the way around and straight stitch all the way around with a 5mm seam allowance.
-Cut off the corners at right angles:
-Zigzag around the edge.
Nearly there!
-Turn the right way round. Poke your corners out and press to get a sharp edge.

-Top stitch around the edge at about 3mm in and insert notebook.

It really is as simple as that. I got three of these done between waking up from my early evening nap! (aka putting Pambers to bed) and stopping to watch Little Paris Kitchen (my new favourite cookery book);which was only about an hour. So get cracking!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

My favourite tutorials

Ah, yes. But before I get onto that, am I late to the party on this one? After a little nose through Urban Threads tutorials a couple of weeks back, I found mention of a fabric that you could put through the printer. Fantastic! Had a dig on eBay et voila! A couple of quid for an A4 sheet. Worth a go. And it worked.
Then I found out that it wasn't necessary to go to that expense, that ironing some freezer paper onto the back of some cotton or calico, does the job just as well! I'm probably inproportionately excited about this. As my new bag will adequately demonstrate:

Anyway, I spend a probably inordinate amount of time plundering the Internet for new ideas and new tutorials. I suspect I'm not alone there, but here are three of my absolute favourites at the moment.

Binding a hardback notebook
For this one you want to head over to . The tutorial I followed was "How to bind your own hardback book" by KaptinScarlet. Really straightforward instructions and it works. I have made two or three now. The first attempt was a little untidy on the inner covers, but, hey, practise makes perfect, and I just love the idea of totally personalising your own little notebook. (Step forward printing onto fabric again!!) Lace boots then corset on. Sterling advice.

Credit Card Wallet
Moving away from corsettry, I make loads of purses as you may have noticed, but always need somewhere to put my cards. Having them floating around loose in my purse is a definite no, and this tutorial is sooo simple. I made three or four for the last craft fair I did and sold the lot. (Note to self-need to make some more for this weekend!) Step over to and get going!

Sprocket Pillows
Had a bit of a session making cushions for the sofa the other week. To be fair, I only made two but this was enough for Mr B to start taking the mick. It was a slight reaction to the fact that we can never have too many cushions on the sofa because they invariably go walk about on the end of a small child and said small child knows you're still sitting on one, even if she can't see it. Don't know how she does that. Anyway, that combined with an influx of old jeans led to this, from a tutorial on

Which sits neatly alongside:

And if, just if, guys liked bunting, do you think it'd be a little like this?
Turned out a little more macho than I counted on. Never mind.
Right I'm off to play with a load of watch parts and some araldite. Fun, fun, fun!!