Monday, 23 July 2012

A Cool Case

Check out my lovely Ikea Cool Bag!

It's lovely, bright, and very spacious. Can you guess what delights it has in store?

Ta-da! This is where my sewing machine lives! The old case was terribly shabby and falling apart, and I'd been looking for the right fabric to make a new one for ages. Then I spotted these zingy cool bags in Ikea (love that shop!) and thought to myself, they look just about perfect! And it is :)

It even has a little pouch inside which I use to store my pin case, and lovely strong handles so you can carry the bag on your shoulders for when you're out and about on Super Sewing Missions!

Does your machine have a special home? I'd love to hear about it, or even better, see some pictures!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Pinspiration Strikes!

Do you use Pinterest? I started reluctantly a few months ago and now I'm happy to admit I'm addicted :) I mainly repin crafts and recipes (I know, you'd never have guessed, right?!) but also art that inspires me, fabulous fabrics, and, well, there may be a board pinned with hunky chaps who float my boat ;) I'm trying to figure out how to add a follow me button for Pinterest, but in the meantime, this will take you to my boards.

I thought I'd share my experiences with a couple of the Pinterest crafts and recipes with you. I've found that although there are some awesome images on there (I'm so jealous, you've probably noticed my lack of skills in that department) not all of the crafts or recipes deliver as one might hope.

So first, a couple of crafts. This one suggested using a fork to make little pompoms and worked fairly well. Here is my attempt:

It's a little scruffy but I like it. It's a very quick and easy method of making pompoms, you just need a little more patience with trimming than I had!

So next, Sharpie mugs. Here is the pin that inspired me. This was an awesome idea, but unfortunately it failed to deliver. This was my first attempt:

The colours faded badly during baking ~ the sunbeams were originally a bright and vibrant yellow ~ and they didn't hold up at all during washing. The mug on the right was solid blocks of colour and most of the colour loss came from being gently hand-washed with a soft sponge. There were also raindrops under the cloud which completely disappeared. Time for a sad face! :( All the different tutorials I read said to bake at 350F (180C) for half an hour, which I did. To no avail.

So I tried on glass jars.

The black lost it's vivacity and became a watery dark brown, but it hasn't wiped off at first touch. I don't know how much better it will wash up, if at all, but as I'm using these jars as tea caddies they shouldn't need too much washing.

One of the simplest recipes I have tried is apple nachos. Here is my version:

Simply slice one apple per person and arrange beautifully on a plate, then drizzle with caramel ice-cream sauce and scatter over roughly chopped honey roast peanuts. My son and I love these. I could never have imagined him being satisfied with an apple as a pudding! They make a great alternative to pocorn on a home movie night, and they're especially good after a big bowlful of macaroni cheese ~ the crisp sweet crunch is the perfect contrast to the creamy fatty dollopy mac & cheese. Why not try raspberry sauce instead of caramel, or swap the nuts for chopped ginger biscuits?

There are a whole stack of other recipes and crafts I want to try, so I expect I'll do another post like this in the future to share my successes or failures! How about you? Do you have any recommendations to share? I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Velkommen til Portsmouth

The past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic here. I had another jam sale to prepare for which went really well. My Ginger Beer proved very popular, but luckily I managed to save a couple of bottles to enjoy myself ;)
I've also been preparing for a visit from some lovely friends who are flying in from the Land of the Vikings. Any readers who know me will realise that means a LOT of tidying and housework, something I am most severely allergic too! But I've also made some little gifts for the children.

Some little drawing books made from recycled cardboard . . . .

and can you guess what these are? Well, I'm so pleased with how they turned out I may just make some for the shop.

But it's not just been presents for the kids, I've also been tarting up the house.

My number 8 looked sad and lonely before I made it this snazzy frame. I just sprayed an old picture frame a bright bubblegum pink.

I think it cheers the whole front of the house right up, and with the Jubilee / Olympic bunting still up, I think it will be a lovely greeting for our Nordic visitors ♥

Now, if only we can get the sun to visit too . . . .

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Oh dear!

Well, this isn't the post I had hoped for! My original plan was to do a draw for the winner of last month's pretty pinny tutorial but then . . .

. . . disaster struck . . .

. . . in the wash.

Now everything's gone a bit pink!

Luckily (?) there weren't any comments on the tutorial so I'm hoping no one was holding out for this apron. However, I'm happy to send it out if anyone is interested? Just comment on this post or message me and I'll be happy to send the blushing article out to you :)

And in the meantime, I'd best get on with July's tutorial!