Friday, 10 December 2010

Tell me isn't so

15 October! 15th? That's shocking - it can't be true! Blogger must be fibbing. I have no excuse for being silent for nearly two months - well I have one excuse - my (not so) little project takes up all my blogging time at the moment.

It's now half-way through 52 crafts in 52 weeks and I hope you're finding it inspiring and interesting. I've been featured on blogs and in a magazine which was very exciting. I don't know what the next 26 weeks have in store but it should be fun and I hope you join me.

My current favourite project is last week's:

This week's 52 crafts project

I've been using the clay hearts and stars on all my Christmas wrapping and very pretty I think it looks too.

I hope you're having a fabulous December and enjoying the run up to Christmas - it hardly seems possible that it's only 2 weeks away now. I really plan not to leave you for two months again.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Dubai - a city of sun & shopping

I've been to Dubai before - that time it rained the whole trip and I was struggling with sciatica so it wasn't the best experience. So when the opportunity came up to go again I decided to give it another try. I'm so glad I did as this time I loved it.

I loved the sun.

Me, sunbathing

The sights.

Dubai by night

The shopping.

Bloomingdales in Dubai Mall

There was one shop I particularly loved - Kinokuniya Dubai is the biggest bookshop in UAE and contains more than half a million books. Book heaven! It's a Japanese-owned shop so as well as all the usual books you'd expect they have a section I know you'd all love: Japanese craft books! You have no idea how excited I was to find this gem. I somehow only bought two books but look at them all:

Japanese craft books

Japanese craft books

Sigh. I wish could go back again.

I'll write more about the two books I bought soon - maybe "making a dress from a Japanese craft book" could be a future 52 crafts project?

I whipped up a guest post

Hello to everyone who has found me via Thank you for asking me Kathreen - I really enjoyed writing my guest post.
I hope you found it interesting and maybe you've been inspired to try your own crafting challenge - let me know if you have.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Latest 52 crafts projects...

I'm now on week 17 of 52 crafts in 52 weeks - doesn't time fly? My last two projects have featured tutorials on making jewellery and clocks.

If you want to know about my latest projects as they happen, keep an eye on my 52 crafts 52 weeks blog, follow me on Twitter or "like" my Facebook page.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Friday, 1 October 2010

Blog of the week...

Well  I can't promise this will actually be weekly ( I have enough of a weekly challenge on the go as it is) but here's this week's blog of the week (a blog I've literally just stumbled across...)

yes and yes - because yes in more fun than no

I've been reading it all evening - so inspiring. Sarah Von is about to embark on a 7-month trip (not her first adventure) and I can't wait to read all about it. Some of my favourite posts (so far) are: 101 Ways To Cheer Yourself Up: Part 1 (and part 2) and 31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years but I'm pretty sure I'm going to find more. Go, read, and enjoy!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Pretty cushion (my latest 52 crafts project)

I'm very pleased with my latest 52 crafts project...

I just love the colours - the fabric is by the wonderful designer,  Anna Maria Horner.

I'm now on week 15 - isn't time flying?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

A lovely Cornish holiday

I spent last week in beautiful Cornwall on a much-needed break. I haven't spent time down in that part of the country since I was a lot younger and on a family holiday in our caravan so it was great to go back as an adult.

We stayed in a beautiful cottage near Bude which had the added bonus (for Ben) of fishing lakes and lovely views over the farmland.
We went to loads of places: Bude, Boscastle, Newquay, Looe, Padstow, Polperro and the Eden Project (when we had torrential rain). I took loads of photos so I'll just bore you with a few....


Knitting by the lake

Boat at Polperro

We had fish and chips in Padstow

Sunshine in Newquay

I only wish we'd gone for longer as a week just wasn't long enough. Cornwall is definitely one of my favourite places to go in the UK now. Where's yours?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Ooooooh teacup crafts...

You may have noticed I love teacups. So I can't resist sharing with you this month of teacup crafts {via whipup}
Photo: week 8 of 52 crafts in 52 weeks.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Weeks 10 & 11

Wow can you believe I'm now starting week 12 of my 52 crafts in 52 weeks challenge? Only 40 to go...

{week 10} was all about fabric - I tried out paper piecing which was really easy and effective. I see many more of these little squares in my future...

Three pink and orange paper pieced blocks

{week 11} was knitting. This week wasn't as successful as previous weeks in that I didn't actually manage to make a finished object. I gave it a bloody good try but I just couldn't do it. I will keep persevering though.


I've got week 14 planned already (hopefully) but haven't decided what to do over the next couple of weeks yet. Any ideas? I'm up for anything as long as it doesn't involve knitting!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Good food

I'm addicted to cook books (and craft books) and one of my recent purchases was Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers.

I made the chorizo & potato quesadillas - so good!

Yummy chorizo quesadilla

The most Mexican thing I've ever cooked before was fajitas using those packets from the supermarket so I'm looking forward to making loads more from this book. I'm thinking burritos next and I'll definitely have to try one of the delicious-sounding desserts. Oh and making my own tortillas.

This book is now very near the top of my favourite recipe book list. What's your favourite?

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Are you nosy like me?

Then you'll love peeking into other people's workspaces too. I've been searching out gorgeous studios for the UK Handmade blog recently so I thought I'd share some here too.

My lovely friend Lu Summers opened up the doors of her Suffolk studio - it's so inspiring with its charity-shop finds, bright colours and cosy corners.

See more of Lu's studio here.

Tina Mammoser has a wonderful setting for her studio - it overlooks the Thames and helps inspire her beautiful work.

 Take a look around Tina's studio here.

There are lots more studios featured on the blog - and there's a new one every week so check back regularly to get loads of wonderful workspace inspiration.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Why do you make stuff?

Sometimes when I tell people I like to make things I get comments like: "How do you find the time?" and "Oh I'd love to make things but I'm just not creative enough". And other people just don't get it or see the point of making things just for fun.

Let's look at each of those comments in turn...

"How do your find the time?"
I simply make the time. If I find myself spending too much time surfing around the crafty internet instead of doing some actual crafting I stop and go and do something less boring instead (why don't you?).
Of course having a project to drive me helps as well. And sometimes I'll craft instead of doing the cleaning (am I a terrible wife?).

"Oh I'd love to make things but I'm just not creative enough"
I fundamentally believe that everyone is creative. Some people are just too scared to let go and try. There are tonnes of articles about how adults have forgotten how to just relax and create - as children we'd happily make things out of toilet rolls and yoghurt pots. I also think that creativity is a bit like a muscle - the more you use it, the more you can do. I learn new techniques all the time (literally every week at the moment of course!) and that keeps my muscle working.

"I don't see the point"
I mainly make stuff to relax and have fun. Of course I enjoy sharing the results of what I make with my internet friends but it also helps me forget the stresses of work and just be myself. 

So over to you - why do you make things? And what do people say about it when you tell them: I'm a crafter!

PS Just for fun - here's the first project I ever posted a photo of on the internet...  

I have certainly learnt some better photography skills in the last four years - and the box the card is sitting on used to contain all the craft supplies I owned. Now I can fill a room. How times change!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Fabric addict

I need help - look at all this fabric I've bought lately! And there's more on the way.

Let's look at each pile in turn...

This gorgeous selection was from Saints & Pinners - brilliant service and a great range of fabrics.

Building up my fabric stash

All these goodies were from Seamstar - a lovely shop full of things to tempt you. And they're lovely to deal with too.

Lots of yummy fabric

And finally, this little stash of Anna Maria loveliness was from my favourite shop - Quilters Haven. The staff are all so knowledgeable and friendly. And the shop is stacked full of beautiful fabrics. A must-visit if you're ever in the area. They do mail order too.

You can never have too much fabric

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Meet Mr.Bunny

Well the weeks are marching by and I've completed more weeks of my 52 crafts in 52 weeks project.

Week 5 was all about yummy felt - read more about the project here.

My party garland on the dresser

Week 6 was toy-making - see all of Mr.Bunny's adventures here.


Hope you're enjoying all the projects so far - I'm trying not to think about how many more weeks there are to go!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Beautiful weekend

Guess what? It's my birthday. And I've had a wonderful weekend of celebrations.

 Felixstowe beach - taken with my iphone (hipstamatic application)
My new toy! A very big surprise present from my lovely husband.
Birthday pressies - Gizzi's Kitchen Magic and The Homemade Home.
Wearing my new dress - design by me, fabric by Anna-Maria Horner.

PS Week 5 of 52 crafts in 52 weeks is up on the blog (it involves felt).

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Catching up with 52 crafts in 52 weeks...

Can you believe I'm on week 4 already?

Finished papier-mâché bowl

{week 3} papier-mâché

First attempt at papercutting

{week 4} papercutting

Haven't decided on week 5 yet but I think I should move away from paper as three of the four have involved my favourite material so far. I just love paper. What's your favourite material to craft with?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Tutorial: Last minute Father's day (or any day really) card

This was so last minute, I only have iphone photos. I'll take better ones next time I make it.

This is great for using up your teeny tiny scraps of fabric you can't bear to throw away.

Iron it first if you're like me and all your scraps are scrunched up in a bag and then cut it into little triangles.

I used my Xyron sticker maker to make them sticker-like - if you haven't got one, use a little glue to stick them down in the next step.

I used a black pen to draw some string on the card and then stuck on the triangles in a jaunty bunting-like fashion.

Told you it was easy. I now have a little stack of these that I can use for any occasion.

Happy Father's Day x

Thursday, 17 June 2010

{week 2/52} freehand machine embroidery

Here's the finished item for this week's 52 crafts in 52 weeks project.  I've talked more about it and the tutorial I followed here.

Finished flower

In other news, I went back to work this week, back still a little sore but I'm doing ok. Can you believe it's the middle of June already? Nearly the longest day of the year. And it's Father's Day this weekend - I haven't made cards yet - here's the one I made last year. I'd better get my thinking hat on - or make the same as last time!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

{week 1/52} quilling

Have you headed over to visit my new project yet? I've completed week 1 with a paper quilling project.

Quilled birthday card

Go take a look and let me know what you think. Are there any crafts you'd like to see me try?


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