Thursday, 31 March 2011

46 -Good times all round.

Well a few exciting type things have happened in the past week...ish that I thought I should share with you and realised I haven't yet. Woops.

First of all I won a blog competition. I never win things I enter online so I was most exited! The competition was over at Campfire Chic and I won a lovely printable calender from Batzy! Very cute, so I will definitely need to be digging out the printer again.

Image from http://www.etsy.com/shop/batzy





















So while I was quite excited to have won that today I found out I had won another competition. What? I never win stuff online. Point disproved I guess. This was over at the lovely 30 Days of Lists blog. I won four (count them four) sets of printable lists from my total blog crush Wild Olive! I could not be happier. They are so amazingly cute. I just love the stuff on Wild Olive. Everything has little faces and smiles and it just makes me so happy, and now I actually own something. Woo! Again, printer needs to get set up pronto. **EDIT when I got the email from Mollie I got six sets of printables! Eeeee! Too excited. I also received an office based set and the Food Friends set.**

Image from http://30daysoflists.blogspot.com/














And as if all that wasn't good enough my octopus bag  was featured on the round-up post of Feeling Stitchy's March Stitch-Along. Apparently a lot of people had decided to stitch on a bag so my photo is right at the top. Exciting times yes?

Finally, here is a picture of the other cat iPod case I made for my high school friend Emma because she liked mine so much. She has apparently named him Jim already.

Cat ipod case for a friend

So he will be getting passed on to his new owner on Saturday. I did him a little different from mine and therefore the tutorial, just to experiment with how I made him. This time I sewed him inside out so the seams were hidden and I also used heat n bond on his ears so I wasn't fiddling about with sewing. Unfortunately CSI distracted me and I almost glued the heat n bond to my iron because I had it facing the wrong way. A lot of cleaning and swearing later I got it all off and he turned out great. I'm thinking if I make him again I might try lining it but I'm not sure. It's fun to make things multiple times and do it a little different and hopefully a little better each time.

Tomorrow is the first of April and lots of exciting things will be happening on the blog this month and going into the next I think. I'm very excited about it but it does mean I'm quite busy on the blog/craft front. You should see the amount of to-do lists I've got going, it's crazy. :)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Monday, 28 March 2011

44 - Home alone

So my boyfriend is on the horrible 2pm-10pm shift this week. Boo, it means I hardly get to see him. On the plus side though it does mean I get to watch bad TV and craft my face off. I also popped up to Hobbycraft tonight because one of my friends wants a cat iPod case like the one I have so I went to get the felt to make that along with a few other things. Finally got the buttons you can cover yourself so I am quite excited about making some of them.

So tonight I finished my thank you card for my mum's friend that gave me the cross stitch book I mentioned a couple of posts ago. I'm not quite down completely with cross stitching yet so I missed out some of the details, but I did try my best to make a little Russian doll.

Thank you card

I still thing she's quite cute, even though she's missing the flowers that are supposed to be her body. So I'll be giving her to pass on to my mum tomorrow, so hopefully my mum's workmate likes her.

One of the things I like about embroidery and cross stitch is the fact that they seem to sneak in everywhere. This morning I needed something pink to put on my top half so I putted on a pink cardigan I have with farm animals on it. I got it from Tammy and it's supposed to fit a 14 year old girl, but what can I say, it still fits. Anyway, check out the lovely pattern on it.

P3280005

P3280004

Cute right?

And finally, over the weekend another Pay it Forward safely reached it's owner! Woo.

Image from http://justbecausebyleelee.blogspot.com/
This is Just Because by Leelee's post and she seemed quite happy with them. I did think these things (a needle book and a scissor holder) were really nice when I made them, so I might need to make myself them.

I'm now off to try and make another cat iPod cover, or at least start one before the boy gets home.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

43 - Spicing Things Up

So a couple of posts ago I mentioned I wanted to customise my sewing machine bag. I also mentioned I wanted to make these little decorative tags that Wild Olive has made on her blog. Well I finally got around to doing it tonight.

Decorative tags


Decorative tags


P3270001

I was planning on putting some buttons on it but I decided patches would be better. I only have two just now, but I hope to get more and add them as I go along. I think it definitely looks a lot better.

I also made a little tag for my "to-do" basket.

Decorative tags

Finally, I bought some little flexible baskets when I was in Asda this week and decided I was going to use them to sort my embroidery floss (as I now have quite a lot of it). So I made little tags from them too to separate the colours into warm, cold and tones (like black, white and grey).

Decorative tags


P3270007

Everything looks a little prettier now. Organisation for the win!

42 - Craft magazines

So yesterday I went to Tesco to investigate the craft magazines section. Asda (where I usually shop) has like none, and I wanted some. I ended up spending like £19 on magazines, which may seem like a lot but I'm loving them. I had no idea how much free stuff (well not really free when you consider the price but still) you got with craft magazines.

So I bought the following four magazines:

P3270003

The first of which was Sew. I have read about this on blogs for quite some time but never got round to buying it. This week I read that Wild Olive had been featured in it so I had to check it out. It also had details on Sublime Stitching and Feeling Stitchy. Love it! It came with two free pattern packets of proper dress-makers patterns (not that I've anywhere near that level of awesome-ness just yet).

P3270004

Next is Cross Stitch Crazy. This was much cheaper than Sew and came with a card kit (thread and everything included), a free pattern book and a huge pattern (which you can see up the back). The magazine is also full of patterns that you can make, like loads of them.

P3270005

Next Cross Stitcher. This came with the cutest little pin cushion kit (again everything included) and some amazing gold thread. It sparkles and everything. Love it. Again loads of lovely patterns in it, so hopefully I'll get well better at cross stitching.

P3270006

Finally I bought Making, which basically covers all bases. It came with free tape measure and also has templates in the middle of the magazine. While I can't use quite everything just yet (as I can't knit or anything yet) but it's very lovely.

I'm not sure if I would buy Sew or Making again, but I'll definitely be buying the cross stitching ones again. They give you so many lovely patterns and free pretty things and only cost £3.99 each.

Online I also ordered these two craft packs.


































They cost £7.99 each but they come with thread, frames, patterns, stickers, cards, bookmarks and ribbons. Love it! So those are being delivered to my work soon hopefully. GEEK OUT!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

41 - Coffee cozie tutorial

So the other day I saw a friend of mine had made a lovely knitted coffee cozy. Now I'm not much of a knitter, so that was out of the question for me, but I have seen pictures of ones online and such. So I decided to make one for myself out of normal fabric.

I did adapt this from two or three different tutorials I saw online to come up with one that I would be able to make myself. Anything to make life easier eh?

What you will need:

- A piece of A4 paper.
- Some nice fabric.
- Heat n bond.
- Elastic (I used 7mm).
- Thread.
- Embroidery thread.
- A nice button.

First find the cup you want to use. I made mine for a reusable heated cup as I'm not down with Starbucks or anything fancy like that. Now get a piece of A4 paper. Make sure the paper wraps around the cup and overlaps a little bit. Then trim the paper to 10cms wide.

From this template cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of heat n bond.

Template, heat n bond and fabric

Iron the piece of heat n bond to the wrong side of one of the sections of fabric (follow the on packet instructions for using your heat n bond). Once it has cooled peel off the paper.

Heat n bond added

Now pin the two pieces wrong sides together. Next cut a piece of elastic about 5 inches long. Pin it to one end of the fabric, with the elastic pointing in the way (as it will be the right way when you turn the fabric - like the picture below).

Elastic added

Now stitch along 2 long sides and the short side with the elastic pinned to it. Turn the fabric the right way around and fold the open end in on itself to create a nice edge. Now iron the entire thing. This will activate the other side of the heat n bond and join it all together. This is a good idea because it will stop the two layers of fabric moving around. Then sew the last edge shut.

Finally a button needs to be attached. Wrap the cozy around your mug and place the button a little further away that the elastic will reach. This is so the elastic will have to stretch and therefore hug your cup nice and tight. Use embroidery thread unless you want to be going in and out of button holes a million times to cup the button on. And then you done.

Button added

Finished and on mug

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

40 - I'm such a basketcase

So I am happy to report that I have finished my handmade craft swap item. I need to find the time to pop to the post office and get it sent off, but that's it done. And I'm really happy with it. I'll post photos up of it once my buddy has received it as I don't want them to know which handmade thing it is that they are getting.

During my crafting experiences this week I used something for the first time. It was something that I had in fact never heard off until I started using it, and that thing was heat n bond. I had never come across it before by my it is amazing. It makes things so much faster and it looks so much near than sewing on loads of detail. I bought a huge roll of it, so I will definitely be using it a lot more in the future.

In Pay it Forward news Zayda Barros sent me a lovely email to tell me she had received my Pay it Forward pressie. She is now the proud owner of my tea-towel apron.

Image via http://twitter.com/#!/ZaydaBarros

















As you can see from the photo she looks lovely in it and I'm sure she's going to put it to go use. Happy days.

Finally, I was at my mum's last night and came home with some amazing new crafty things. A mate from her work found out I was into all things crafty and gave her a cross-stitch pattern book to give to me as she never used it. It's amazing, has hundreds of patterns in it and also tells you how to make your own patterns and samplers. In exchange for this lovely gift I am going to try (and I stress the word try) and cross-stitch her a thank you card. I'm quite excited to see how it goes. I'll let you know once I've tried it.

I was also gifted two lovely things which used to belong to my awesome gran who died in November 2010. She is exactly the type of old person and Gran I want to grow up to be. Anyway, I was given this lovely basket, which I am going to use to keep "in progress" craft projects in so bits of them don't get lost and they don't get crushed.

P3230005

I've always loved this since I was a kid so it's great to actually have it as mine now and be putting it to good use.

My mum also gave me this huge bag of old thread that my Gran also had.

P3230006

Some of the spools are huge! But there are some really lovely colours in there, especially the two orange threads. I'm quite excited to get to use them in something, so hopefully something will come up soon.

I have a couple of things I need to get on making for stuff coming up in the next month or so, but I always need to make time to make things for myself. I bought a bag for my sewing machine on Sunday and I fully intend to customise it with lovely things when I find the time. I have some buttons (well a lot of buttons) and some patches I can sew on it, so I hope to make it pretty. I also saw this lovely strap decoration on Wild Olive's blog and I'm thinking of making a slightly larger one for the handles. I may even make one for the handles of my new basket. So simple and so lovely right?

My listography page is going mental right now because I have so many lists. If I didn't have a full time job this would all be so much easier. I'm looking into all the things I have made from my own brain that I could maybe sell in a shop. That's the dream, so we'll see how many I can come up with.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

39 - Long Time Coming

So I haven't blogged for a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. After finishing the rest of my Pay it Forward gifts and sending them off I got to work on the last one, for my derby wife, Knock Turnal. Because I know her in person I decided to do her's last because I could just give it to her at practise and she wouldn't have to wait for the post.

For Knock I decided to combine Pay it Forward with something else I wanted to do, Feeling Stitchy's March Stitch Along. I bought all that embroidery stuff ages ago and was yet to take the first step and delve into it. To be honest, I was scared. If you are sewing something and the stitch goes wrong, you can cover it up and hide it or cut them out, but with embroidery the stitches are right there. In fact, they are the main focus. And while I know that I could start over if I made a huge mistake, I was still scared to start it.

I decided to stitch the Feeling Stitchy octopus pattern on to a canvas bag for Knock, with her derby name underneath instead of the Feeling Stitchy text (us derby girls love things with our derby names on them).

I've been doing it since Thursday (man does it take a long time) and I finally finished last night (hence the lack of doing anything else). So here it is.

Feeling Stitchy March Stitch Along

Feeling Stitchy March Stitch Along

I have to tell you, I'm so happy with it! It looks so much better than what I thought it would, and I think it was quite ambitious for my first ever embroidery project. Knock also had a lovely present for me, a necklace from Cherry Trinkets Custom Designs. I love it, and it means me and Knock now have matching photos.

P3200001



















While we're on the subject of embroidery, I was reading my blog crush Wild Olive's blog with a post about transferring embroidery patterns. I read something in that post that actually seemed like the best idea to me ever!

"You'll even find embroidery patterns at the dollar store. Don't believe me? Just go to the coloring book section, and you'll find lots of options to work from!"

Genius right! I told my mum about this and she said "Oh I bet you could even get a Disney one or something." Even further genius Mother! So yesterday we went to the Pound Shop and I got a Disney colouring book and a Hanna Barbera colouring book (which also came with some stickers which are now on my sewing machine and floss sorter). I'm over-flowing with ideas now of what I could embroider. If I can print it off and get it onto fabric, then I can embroider it! Holy cow!

More Pay it Forward love came this week in a post from Love 'Art' Child (Kelly) about the gift I sent her. She is now the proud (I hope) owner of the button and fabric bag I posted before. While telling my mum about this bag (as the fabric I used was her's that she gave to me when I was little) she told me they were Laura Ashley cut offs, which I thought was pretty cool. The other 3 Pay it Forward people I sent gifts to live in America, so it will definitely take a little longer to get to them, but I hope they like them too.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

37 - Guest post-ness

I was so excited about all my felt crafting earlier that I totally forgot to mention this exciting news.

A tutorial I did for a felt iPod cover has been feautred on artichoke design's blog.

Go check it out here and maybe you can make it too. There is also a link on my tutorials page.

Cat iPod case

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

36 - Crafty day off

So I've had the day off work today and I've got a lot done. Was great. Played Left 4 Dead, watched bad old game shows and spent a lot of time with the boy. Today I got my craft on, so I thought I would show off some of the things I've made.

First thing I made was a needle book. I got the pattern from Wild Olive's blog. Her pattern was for a pumpkin, but I used the same shape and made an apple instead (just because I liked the colours better).
Needle book


Needle book

I love apples, so I think this is uber cute.

I also made a scissor holder, which again was from Wild Olive's blog. I totally love her blog because she has the best projects and amazingly pretty PDFs which give you everything you need. I highly suggest you go over to her blog and check it out.

Scissor holder

I love this felt. The pattern on Wild Olive has a little scissor embroidery embellishment on it, but I decided to use some nice patterned felt instead. Hobbycraft has like a million different kinds of felt, so the opportunities are endless.

While I'm on my felt obsession, because I really do love making things out it, I decided to take a picture of a felt Invader Zim puppet of Gir I made a little while ago for my boyfriend. He's not as neat as I would like him to be, but I made him about a year and a bit ago, so I wasn't sewing as much then. Still he's pretty cute.

Gir puppet

Finally I did make one other thing, but I'm not posting that just yet as I'm in the process of working out a tutorial for it. I'm very happy with the way it turned out thought so good times.

I will also be posting 4 out of 5 of my pay it forward gifts tomorrow. Woo! The last one if for my derby wife, so I don't need to post it to her. I'm hoping to have her's done by the weekend so I can give it to her at practise. Though my idea is maybe a bit ambitious, but we'll see.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

35 - C is for Cookie

So last night I made cookies. I'm trying to be a domestic goddess of late and my boyfriend wanted me to make chocolate chip cookies. I decided to make mine with white chocolate, milk chocolate and fudge chunks.

P3120001

Okay so they don't look the best, but they taste good (though I have to admit, the raw dough tasted even better!). I think next time I bake, I need to branch out and not make biscuits. Maybe cupcakes (I've seen some nom dark chocolate peanut-butter ones, so I might make them).

Tonight I have been crafting again.


Canvas bag

I decorated a plain bag I got from Hobbycraft. I used their pattern for a brooch and then sewed them all onto the canvas bag. I think it looks quite pretty, and would be quite nice for taking shopping or keeping crafty-stuff in. I have discovered I hate sewing buttons on though. It's quite hard to try and find the button hole to come back through it, I ended up stabbing my fingers quite a few times. I do have a foot for my sewing machine that sews on buttons but I'm still unsure how to use it. I'll need to work that one out.

I have two days off this week from work so I'm hoping to get a lot of stuff done. Last week mauled me at work, so I had to go to sleep quite early = no time to do anything. Fail. This week I'm more hopeful.

I'm also starting Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well tomorrow, which I am quite excited about. Nom!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

34 - Pay it Forward Love

So today work was going a bit fail to be honest, but my day was brightened up by some post. I LOVE getting post! And I knew exactly what it was. It was my Pay it Forward gift from Just because by leelee. It is so lovely.

xgdfg
Amazing right?!? So cute. Really happy with it.

Today I decided what I'm going to make my 5 pay it forward people. 1 is already made but I need to go to the craft shop to pick up a few things so I can make everything.

I also decided what I'm making for my Handmade Craft Swap. So I'm getting there.

Tomorrow is a chairty bake-sale at work so I've made my shortbread again, only this time with glitter icing instead of the normal sugar. Nom! Same recipe as last time - although I missed out putting it in the fridge and covering it in icing sugar, because that added nothing to it I thought. I also used my new cookie cutters, which I got from Asda. So many different shapes. Amazing.

P3090001

I chose the heart though because they were so cute. I got 29 in total and kept 14 for me and the boy. After munching on a couple with a cup of tea I can tell you they are yummers!


I'm still taking part in the 30 days of lists, so why not take a peek?

This isn't the most interesting post in the world, but tonight has been busy baking and stuff. I'll get on crafting tonight and hopefully get a big chunk done tomorrow and Friday. But before I finish, two quite exciting pieces of news.

1) I added a Tutorial section to my blog. While there's only one on it right now, I'm hoping to add more in the future and this will keep them all organised.

AND

2) I joined Bloglovin. So come follow me.

Follow Skates and Stitches

Monday, 7 March 2011

33 - Tea towel apron tutorial

So, a while ago I made this crafting apron out of two tea towels. I love it and it was so easy to make.

My tea towel apron

I wanted to make another one, but could I find the original pattern? I looked through books and couldn't find it anywhere. It was very annoying. So I decided to just try and make up how I made the first one. And I thought I might as well do a little tutorial for you while I was at it.

What you need:

  • Two tea towels - preferably different colours/patterns so it looks prettier.
  • Thread to match your towels.
  • Twill in a nice complementing colour (long enough to go around your neck and then around your waist).
  • Pins and scissors and a sewing machine.

First take the tea towel which is going to cover your torso. Pin it so it measures around 20 inches in length by 15 inches in width.

Where to sew

The pens in the photo are to show you which sides to sew along. Sew along these three edges.

Next lay the two towel on top of each other. The new, non-sewed towel goes underneath the one you just sewed to make a sort upside-down of T shape. This will be the one that wraps around your waist.

Where to sew

Lay the body towel so it's evenly spread on the waist towel. Overlap the towel so that half of it is overlapping and half of it was above (and therefore will be seen when the apron is worn). Then make sure there is a an even gap on either side of the body towel. Again, the pens are laid out to show you where to sew.

So once it's sewn it should look like this (the right way round). The part where the towels overlap will now be a pocket.

Two pieces sewn together

Last stage is to sew the twill on as shown in the photo.

Apron with twill attached

Attach a length to the two top corners of the body towel. This will be the neck tie. Then attach two separate lengths to the two top corners of the waist towel. These will tie around your waist. Sew these on with the machine, but make sure you can fit it around your neck and tie it around your back before you sew them in place.

And you're done! I use mine for crafting, but obviously you could use it in the kitchen too. The pocket is great for stashing things in when you're crafting so you don't lose them. 

Apron model



Happy crafting.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

32 - Cold and grey and no skating

Skating has been cancelled today. Apparently there is a dog show in the same hall but no-one thought to tell us. Found out about an hour before I was due to leave. Bad times. But me and the boy are planning on going for an outdoor skate when he returns, so I cannot wait.

Yesterday I was at a wedding. It was nice to be dressed up with my boy.

5501077724_2aaee46390

Our friends Julie and Gavin got married and it was amazing. I've never been to a wedding of friends before, so it was really nice. They also had the most amazing glittery cupcakes.

5501081932_95ac743bc1

I had two. I'm such a fat mess. Also, the grooms Uncle was part of world book night. As part of it they were giving out copies of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights. The whole idea is that you read the book and pass it on to someone else. You register the book online and then every person you pass it on it also registers it, and then you can track it through all the people who read it. Amazing right? My plan is to read it (as I've never read it ever) and then give it away on my blog. I trust bloggers to pass it on and track it's progress as we're so online based as it is.(*Edit* I fail. Read why here.)

5501080504_7c14358191

I'm also highly enjoying 30 Days of Lists. You can check it out on its pages. I like having something to do everyday to make sure I stay creative.

I also found this post of Feeling Stitchy which talks about a stitch along. I had never heard of this before but it looks well fun. Basically everyone gets the same pattern, stitches it throughout the month and then posts photos. Amazing right?

I've haven't started my embroidery yet, but I like the idea of this, so this might be the thing I need to kick start me. Sounds like a plan.

And finally, I have all the email addresses for Pay it Forward now. Excited much? Now I just need to finalise what I'm going to make and get on it. I got some fabric for one thing today, so this week should hopefully be craft central.