Embroidering trees, just because. I’ll let you know when it’s finished, but what do you think so far?
March 27, 2013
February 8, 2013
Hey Lego lovers, check this out! My kids have been scattering their Lego far and wide the last couple of weeks, and whilst I love to encourage their creativity, the constant tiny clatter of small-but-vital Lego pieces skittering across a laminate floor, and the resulting arguments about who lost what from who’s set is starting to fracture my sanity (I don’t have much left, and it’s precious to me). Thus, today I made a prototype bag/mat, to contain both the playing and the Lego. It worked pretty well, so I thought I’d share it with y’all, because it may just save your sanity too.
OK, I say ‘prototype’, this is actually the second one I’ve made (the first one made a great playmat, but was so big Santa himself would have struggled to carry it up the stairs when full, so my seven-year old had no chance. So, today I made a smaller one. First let me show you how it works, so you can go (as I did, when I saw the (vastly superior) one someone else on the internet had made – yup, it’s all about sharing ideas, I claim no credit for inventing this) WOAH, that’s the best idea ever, I neeeeed one of those!
So yeah, pretty neat, huh? OK, here’s what you need:
Old bedsheet, or other large piece of fabric (this one is a sheet on one side, and a Pokemon curtain on the other, but a single layer of fabric is undeniably easier).
Sewing machine (yeah, you can do this by hand, if you have a few weeks and infinite patience. I have neither)
Loooong piece of tape or ribbon (note: I used bias tape, but I think it’d work better with ribbon, which is more slippery – as it is it’s not *completely* easy to pull into the bag shape)
Cut a large circle. I’m not going to tell you what “large” is, you work that out – depends what size material you have I guess. Not huge though (see previous comment about prototype bag). The best way to do this is to fold your fabric in half one way, then in half the other, a bit like you would to make a paper snowflake – then you only have to draw a quarter circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it really doesn’t. This isn’t an art exhibit, it’s something to keep clutter off the floor.
If you’re lining it, put your two fabrics together (the way you want them to be, not inside out) and just sew a straight line across the middle to keep them in place. Then sew a narrow hem all the way around the outside, like this:
Then, trim the edges, fold it over again and sew a much bigger hem – this will be the channel for the bag cord/ribbon to go through. This bit may make you cuss, as you’re now essentially stitching a big circle to a smaller circle, and it ain’t gonna go. It will wrinkle up, and twist, but as long as you can get that ribbon through, it really doesn’t matter. No doubt there are expert sewers out there who know exactly how to sew a hem like this *without* it going all horrible, but I am not an expert sewer. I am a bodger. I wish it were otherwise, and one day it may be, but for now my sewing is “good enough”. It may start to look like this:
Don’t forget to leave two gaps on opposite sides, to thread the ribbon through.
Hey, you’re nearly done! Now, get your humungous long length of ribbon/cord/whatever, and thread it through the hem. I used one of those sticks you use for cleaning woodwind instruments – it’s kind of like a chopstick with a hole at one end (like the eye of a needle). You can also use a large safety pin (pin to the end of the ribbon and you can feed it through the fabric), or anything else you can think of. Be a problem solver.
Lay the mat out flat, and when the ribbon is all the way through, with a little loop sticking out of one gap and the two end sticking out of the other, tie it off, and voila, YOU DID IT. You now have a cool playmat, which will magically transform into a Bag O’ Lego when you need the floorspace.
I really hope that made sense. Please leave a comment if this was useful, or if I missed anything obvious. Thanks for stopping by! And yes, it’s a Star Wars walker, I know. We live the cool.
January 25, 2013
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Happy New Year you lovely lot! How’s it going so far? I’ve made some simple resolutions this year (blogged here, if you’re interested), but one more specific challenge I’ve set myself is to MAKE more stuff. It’s easy sometimes to get bogged down with admin, with tweaking and twiddling my online store, and of course with the daily running around and picking up after the smalls. I realised after Christmas I hadn’t done nearly enough crafting, and that had to stop. Or start. Whichever. So I’ve put a fancy-pants app on my fancy-pants phone, which means I can tick off every day I do something crafty – which should of course be EVERY day. Thus far, it seems to be working, and even that naggy voice in my head which keeps telling me I need to pay the gas bill, or do all the ironing, or tidy R’s room because she is *never* going to do it herself – even that little voice has to wait until I’ve nurtured my creative mojo.
So, this year I have:
1) Finally put the buttons on a cushion cover I made ages ago, so it can now function as a real actual cushion, on our real actual sofa.
2) Completed a custom cross-stitch for my oldest friend.
3) Made some beautiful felt bird bunting for another friend, who was 23 on the 23rd January (a cool fact she and I thought more people should be excited about. She texted me at 2300 to say so).
4) Made three table mats to make mealtimes easier to clean up (I’m kidding, we’re very genteel diners here) – the fourth is still waiting to be cut out, I should really do that today.
5) Embroidered a warm scarf to keep my partner snuggly on his cycle to work.
6) Embroidered a picture for someone I don’t know, as a Random Act of Kindness. There are reasons, it’s not actually that random, but that’s a whole other story that isn’t mine to tell.
NOT TOO SHABBY, if I say so myself. But what I’d like to know is, what have *you* been doing? Have you kept your creative juices flowing, and unclogged by mundanity and chores? Has it been easy, or have you struggled? What did you last create, and when?
Also, if you think being 23 on the 23rd deserves a bit more whoopee, head on over to Kirsty’s page and tell her so
November 22, 2012
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November 21, 2012
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Christmas is very exciting, and although I’m running a little late this year (hectic autumn), I have actually started listing some Christmas stuff in the shop. Go on, go take a look, you might see something you like! Folksy or Etsy, it’s up to you which one you visit.
There will be more listings soon, so keep checking back. Handmade gifts are much more special, you know that. If there’s anything you don’t see, but would like, get in touch and I’ll see what I can do. Custom cross-stitch, embroidery or sock monster. Or how about a personalised tree decoration? Whatever you choose (or don’t choose), have a fun time browsing for presents (you can buy something for me if you like).