Friday, 25 September 2009

an apron, a robot, and a giveaway

aprons and fabric paint oh my

A little while ago, in fact quite awhile I received an email from someone at Baker Ross , asking if I and my son would like to be sent some craft supplies to review. I was altogether flattered, I'm not a big time crafter, I don't design, I'm not utterly witty, fantastic, or a great seller. I asked H if he thought we should say yes, and I showed him the website and told him to pick something he'd really liked to try. H choose a Design-a-Fabric Apron, and the pens to go with it. I emailed the contact back and asked if they could send me a catalog and something else to giveaway on my blog.

The box arrived not long after, but we didn't have a chance to open it for a long while due to holidays, and back to school time. The aprons came in a packet of three, and H has adamantly stated that the other two be for his friends, I'm not entirely sure which friends these are, but it is very important to him. To H's utter dismay I told him he had to draw a picture on a piece of paper and we would sketch out on the apron before he started decorating. This was quite a lengthy process as H couldn't decide. Eventually after much rejection of various ideas (including a frog, spaceship, cakes, monsters, and a dragon) H decided it must be R2D2 or nothing.

R2D2 apron

So together we drew a picture of R2D2 and painstakingly copied it onto the apron and used the fabric paint provided to colour in R2... with flaming boosters no less. H was over the moon but I couldn't get a photo of him wearing the apron, I will need to bribe him in the future. I think the Baker Ross range of children's crafts are a fun way to entertain a child, H was pleased as punch with his apron, he loved the 3D texture of the fabric paint.

pens...they could be yours

now I mentioned a giveaway didn't I? well when I emailed Baker Ross I had asked them to send me something to giveaway on my blog and they sent me a set of Giotto Decor Pens to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. They are multi-purpose fibre pens. Suitable for use on almost any surface including wood, glass, porcelain, stone and plastic. Water-based and come in 12 assorted bright colours. I'm very tempted to keep them and play with them but that wouldn't be fair.

So please leave me a comment and enter yourself to win this little set of pens.

the giveaway winner will be drawn on Friday October 2nd.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

off the cuff

fabric wrist cuff...although it would look stellar on a coffee cuff
mmmm coffee... where was I?

In my further adventures of not doing the things I should be doing, I made this little fabric wrist cuff. What exactly I should be doing I have no idea, perhaps you can tell me, because I haven't got a clue. I have seen wrists cuffs on etsy (some pretty and some very expensive) , and looked at a tutorial that was sort of triangle shaped and that seemed not quite right. Then I thought I would just have a play around with whatever scraps of fabric were currently breeding dust bunnies on my desk.

it is slightly more even than it appears..
the book kept folding up on me...honest

The fantastic alphabet fabric was sent to me by the brilliant, talented and funny (funny ha ha not funny peculiar...although come to think of it...nevermind...) Jodie (of Ric-Rac infamy), yeah that one, and if you don't know her blog, get your bum over and have a look are her creations, with or without the mad scientist laughter. Anyhoo I think I may have lost the plot...I think I best go find a new one or at least a slightly used plot to upcycle into something else.

is it just me or does the big button look like a record?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Clarence the cat

say cheese!

Meet Clarence the Halloween Cat! He is a little bit shy but fancies himself a wildlife photographer...

Whoa... dude did you see that?

the only problem is he has this tendency to eat the mice he is supposed to be taking pictures of....His ambition is to have a coffee table book of nocturnal creatures. Unfortunately Clarence is deathly afraid of bats, owls, moths and spiders....

does my bum look big with this ribbon?

Did I mention Clarence is terribly vain, and likes to bathe in a mixture of coffee, vanilla and cinnamon?

Monday, 14 September 2009

primitive candy corn

I wish I had the real thing

This is my first foray into the world of primitive arts and crafts, though some may allude to my more primitive style to begin with. Its a muslin triangle machine sewn and filled with poly-fil, painted with acrylic paints, then dirtied up with a mixture of espresso grounds, water, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, and then baked in the oven for a bit. The whole house smelled like autumn, it was gorgeous. For a first attempt I think it turned out pretty good, and I may do some more candy corn to make a lovely Halloween display on the heart as Halloween is by far my most favourite holiday. I started a black cat in the primitive style as well but it has yet to be dirtied up and baked... I'm just happy to have the time and inspiration to craft again!

p.s. I wish I had some candy corn....

p.p.s. I did not make any typing or spelling errors on this blog post... shocking isn't it?

flour and apples

flour and apples

The last few weeks seem to have gone by in a blur of getting H ready for school, and running around like a zombie chicken with my head cut off (decapitation is not an effective means of incapacitating poultry). I baked a loved cinnamon apple crumble on Saturday after visiting a lovely little apple stall on a farm not far from here. I haven't tried to write a recipe because I just threw things together and then added more cinnamon just to be sure in was autumnal enough.

mmmm crumble

The last two Sundays M has taken us to Tansley car boot for a wander around and I managed to find a few little gems to play about with for not much money at all. My favourite item is the tea cup which I bought with the intention of turning into a tea cup candle but I have yet to order any soy wax or wicks yet, but I will of these days... The glass jar was 50p and is filled with some mother of pearl buttons that I'm sure will be put to good crafting one of these days. I miss yardsales and thrifting in the States, its just not the same here.

boot sale treasure

We (and by we I mostly mean me) have also been working in the garden, I took down the plastic green house and stripped the few weedy tomatoes from it which now sit in a dish on the windowsill slowly turning ripe. And with a little help we have the shed/summer house up and painted except for the windows. When it is finished I will order M out with the proper camera to take photos and make everything look much prettier than it actually is.

one, two, three little tomatoes all forlorn

Saturday, 5 September 2009

recycled t-shirt cushion

more fun with old t-shirts

More crafting with H's old t-shirts.. I was going to make some more knotty t-shirt yarn but the graphics on the front of some of his shirts won't pull out into yarn so I thought I would try something different with them. They are wonky and the tiger was quite close to the neck of the green shirt so that make it difficult to salvage, but for my first cushion cover it looks OK (from a distance).

I hope H likes it when he returns home, It's meant to go into the shed/summerhouse which is being built today, despite the fact it feels freezing out. I have a few more old shirts of H's to play around with and see what I end up with. I didn't use a pattern I just put them together and they were the right size for a small cushion I had so I turned the small patchwork of t-shirts into a cushion cover. I had thought about a throw as I saw a t-shirt throw on etsy last year and the idea must have stuck in my little brain.

I'm freezing... I need a coffee... take care you lot that still read my ramblings.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

t-shirt yarn knit necklace

its a bird its a plane its a...t-shirt? so if you read the last post about turning t-shirts into yarn I mentioned turning a teal t-shirt into some yarn that I began knitting. It was actually really nice to knit with and I ripped out what I had started and began again to make a thin (only 3 stitches) knit necklace. I'm wearing it know as a matter of fact. actually you will see a picture of me taken ten minutes ago if you scroll down a bit. Yes I am a total dork.... *face palm* sorry the pictures are a bit unfocused, the light is terrible today.. I may get M to take some better photos for me.. then again I may just get grumped at.

I really loved making this little scarflet/knitlace/knit necklace ... the whole process of cutting up an old shirt and turning it into yarn was really cathartic, and fun too. I'm off to dig through a bag of H's old clothes to see what t-shirts I can turn into little bits of yarn to make some potholders and whatever else I can dream up.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

making t-shirt yarn

teal t-shirt yarn

In my wanderings on the interwebs a few weeks ago I found some t-shirt yarn on etsy.. .it looked lovely but it cost a small fortune, and as I'm not the best of knitters I put that idea on the back burner for another day in the distant future when my blogging has made me a other words never.

A few days ago I remembered about the t-shirt yarn and googled to see if there were any tutorials and found two great tutorials on Polka Dot Pineapple and Craft Passion (visit both sites because they are brilliant tutorials) to make t-shirt yarn. The t-shirt yarn tutorials used t-shirts with no side seams, I have plenty of old t-shirts I thought it would be a great idea...but on further investigation found that every single old t-shirt we have has side seams.

red and white t-shirt yarn

So I sat and grumped then thought of all the times I have broken yarn while knitting (quite a few times as I'm a bad knitter) so I decided to experiment and cut up an old red t-shirt of H's and tie strips of yarn together.... the strips were thick so the yarn was chunky but it worked and knit rather well while I sat with an iced latte in Starbucks. After the red I cut up one of H's white t-shirts, this time in thinner strips which when pulled out and tied together made a thinner more flexible yarn.

*My last attempt was a teal t-shirt of mine that was from Primark and as such the seams were crooked to begin with.

*I cut all the seams away and folded up the front rectangle of fabric and cut it into narrow strips. (they aren't all together even and my scissors decided to fall apart on me

*I then pulled all the strips out so that the fabric curled back on itself and carefully tied the strips together. I trimmed the loose knots and wound the t-shirt yarn into a ball.

*I started knitting with it, only a skinny scarf of 5 stitches across but I'm pleased with how it looks so far and will update when I finish the scarf.