Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Simple, free burglar deterrent

As I was leaving the house this morning a great idea came to me.
There had been a fresh fall of snow after the rest of the family had gone out and there were no footprints to be seen; so do you know what I did?

I walked to the car backwards so that it looked as though I had come home rather than gone out! 
Am I genius or what?  (probably or what, but it amused me)

Sorry no photo and that's all for today.

Monday, 29 November 2010

More fun in the snow

This is not actually about the snow.  I thought the real reason for this post may be a little boring but bear with me; there will be some snow pictures at the end.

So without further ado here are the seat covers I made for my husband's pickup -

Now aren't they something?
He wanted something he could whip on and off easily depending upon what clothes he was wearing (dirty work clothes or clean).  The fabric is some I bought for a large floor to ceiling bay window we used to have but after I'd got it we decided to put a pole straight across the front instead of going all round the window.  This meant I had a load left which I've made various things out of over the years including seat pad covers for dining chairs, cushions and a pump bag.
I couldn't get a very good photo, but they're fitted over the headrests.

Yesterday I also made another SatNav bag which I've put in my Folksy shop to test the water. 
This is a more deluxe version than the one I made for myself, slightly bigger,with a paisley patterned car which is pretty unisex and an inside pocket -

And as promised a couple of snow photos.
The first one is part of a small woodland we planted

And sheep with said woodland in the background

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Who can resist making a snowman?

Snow fell here last night and I couldn't wait to get out this morning and make a snowman before it melts.  I've sat him on a bench in the hope that it'll fool people into thinking it's a real person from a distance (and in very bad light!)

While I had the camera I went looking for footprints to see what visitors we've had. 
A few of the many rabbit trails -

Fox with rabbit but presumably they weren't there at the same time!

Spaghetti the cat  plus car track from my husband going to work -

We've some sheep staying with us at the moment and these are their tracks -

Luckily the grass is still quite long so there's still some above the snow for them to eat.

Don't these leaves look lovely on the snow?

Friday, 26 November 2010

Some you win....

I had a go at making some earmuffs out of my Freecycle fake fur but they're awful. 
I think it's because it's really long and shaggy so they are huge.  Also it looks a bit matted so I'm not keen.

You can't appreciate the full horror of them in this photo - 

I fared better this afternoon when I made a little mouse for my Folksy shop -

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Sat Nav bag

Our Sat Nav is not used very often and languishes in a drawer inside a plastic bag which is pretty ripped.  
Today I made it a cosy little drawstring bag using some of the fabric from my Freecycle stash.   The two rolls that I thought may be fusible whatsit, was indeed.  It's like Wundaweb for hems but really narrow and I put it to good use to keep  the applique still while I sewed it.  A bit fiddly with it being so narrow but it was free and it did the job so what more can you ask for?  It'll be ideal for narrow ribbon on future projects.
The car looks like it's on water instead of a road but I got a big card of the lilac ricrac at a car boot sale and I love it!

I used this tutorial .

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Origami boxes

I used to make lots of these at one time and forgot all about them until I made my first sale on Folksy yesterday and wanted something recycled to put a brooch in. 
The brown one is a practice to work out what size paper I needed and is made from a paper bag.
The bigger one is made from the pages of a magazine and I used a slighter larger piece to invert to make a lid.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Freecycle treasure

Someone offered a bag of fabric on my local Freecycle the other day and I was lucky enough to receive it.
It turned out to be three bags of a real assortment. 

Clockwise on the left is a few yards of a silky fabric, the plain green and the green check are curtains, the reddy gold is an organza, three pieces of stripes and checks and the white is voile.

Various fake furs, fleece and felt.

Loads of tapes, braids and lace.  How tidy are they?  The lady had cut cereal boxes up into rectangles and wound the trims round then secured with a little band of card.

Small red and white hearts, lilac pompoms with a clear tube through the middle,  little tubes of glitter, bases to make self covered buttons, a fabric bow and a few hooks and eyes.

A zip, big rolls of tape, elastic and two rolls of what might be narrow fusible stuff (must check that out).

Now I've just got to think of something to make.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mmmm...... Chocolate

When I saw a chocolate pinata cake on a forum a few weeks ago it was my idea of heaven - chocolate cake topped with chocolates then covered in a chocolate dome.  What could be better?
I decided to make it for Christmas but I couldn't wait so made it for my birthday today (well tomorrow as I write this).
I sandwiched the cake with chocolate spread and cream and topped it with chocolate brazils and Maltesers.  I had to shave a bit off the sides of the cake because it came out slightly too tall to fit the chocolate dome over.   The dome was a pain as it wouldn't come out of the bowl I'd molded it in and I had the bright idea loosen it a bit with the help of a hairdryer but I ended up melting it all down!  Starting again, and running out of time I lined the bowl with cling film which worked a treat but made it wrinkly so doesn't look as spectacular as I was hoping.  I finished it off with a drizzle of melted white chocolate.

Here it is inside and out: 

It may not look as good as I hoped but it tastes great!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


My daughter asked me to make her a strapless dress with a tulip style skirt.  We looked all over but couldn't find a pattern so I used a pattern for a bridesmaid dress I made for myself years ago for the bodice, and made one out of newspaper for the skirt part.  Even though I've made lots of clothes, I'm not confident to make my own pattern so I had a practice run using an old duvet cover so as not to spoil her fabric.
It's a good job I did because I was putting two pleats in the front but when I was working out how much wider to make it I only calculated for one so I had to make them a lot smaller and I ended up cutting the back out twice due to not adding in a seam allowance.
This is the first one:

And this is the second:

I added a back split to this one because she found  she couldn't walk upstairs in the other!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Leaping deer (?)

Yesterday I came across a dead branch, part of which I thought looked like a deer leaping.
Not wanting to sacrifice it on the stove I decided to use it in a rustic hanging.  I drilled through some more bits of branches and a broken roof slate, threaded a piece of wire through with the deer on top, and this is the result -

Here is a close up of the deer -

It's quite a contrast to the CD sun and stars hanging near to it -

There's also a dreamcatcher and a windchime in this tree although I didn't make them.

Following on from my apple post, here are a few hens enjoying the ones I left-

Saturday, 13 November 2010


The other day I happened upon a blog with this recipe for apple cake which I wanted to have a go at baking straight away, but the apples left on my tree were out of reach so I had to put it on hold. 
However after the the winds last night they had nearly all blown on the ground so I got my chance and it turned out like this:

I also made a large pan of stewed apples which I'm going to freeze

and tomorrow I'm stewing some more just to eat on their own and making an Eve's pudding.

I left the small and manky ones on the ground for the hens and blackbirds.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Wedding outfit

It was my niece's wedding in September.  After traipsing round the shops and not finding anything to wear at a price I was prepared to pay, I came across a dress in a charity shop that I fell in love with.  The only trouble was, it was a size too big and the hem was a little uneven. 
I took it in and as luck would have it, my daughter had a dress she didn't want in the exact same fabric as the satin trim round the neck and waist so I added a band of it to the bottom.  I also made a matching flower to put on a fascinator.  I picked up a piece of contrasting fabric cheaply in Abakhan's fabric shop which I made into a wrap along with some of the satin.

All in all I'm very happy with it, especially knowing that no one else would have the same.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


This photo shows the fabric used in my living room curtains and blinds and was the inspiration for  a set of three paintings.

I picked out parts of the design and reversed the colourway and this is the result:

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Today I'm showing my unfinished objects in the hope that it will spur me on to finish some of them.

First up is is a bag I'm knitting from recycled carrier bags.  It's taken me an age to do as I knit far too tightly and it hurts my fingers after a while with the plastic yarn.  Also when I last got it out I found that one of the bags I used must be a biodegradable one as it's breaking up.  Luckily it was one very small bag so it's only a small patch but unluckily it's at the beginning and I don't want to take it all the way back.  I'm hoping I can undo it from the bottom and reknit it because I'm sure in the old days people would redo worn cuffs on jumpers but I'm not sure how to.

Next is a patchwork that I started when I used to work as a train announcer and the night shifts were very quiet.  That was in the '80s and I made a lot of my clothes at the time and I've only used fabric which was left over so that it would bring back memories at a later date.

Here are my scraps including some that are already cut up into diamonds and some that are ready to add.

I don't know what to do with it.  It's about 90cm x 75cm.  I thought of making it into a bag or maybe a wall hanging and using some fabric from dresses I've made since for my daughter as an edging.

Any suggestions would be appreciated and don't worry if you happen across this sometime in the future - I may still be waiting for inspiration!


 Next is a case I made for my camera a couple of months ago.  After I thought I'd finished it I realised that it could do with an extra strip round the lid with velcro or something on.  The outside is from a waterproof pump bag one of the kid's got when they opened an Halifax account and the inside is from a skirt I made (or not -more about that later) with some wadding between for protection.

Next is the aforementioned skirt which I also started in the '80s and is pretty much sewed up apart from the waistband and the lining . Oh and the hem.

Another skirt which has only a couple of seams sewn

In all honesty these are not the sort of thing I would wear nowadays so I don't think I'll finish them.

And then there is a some knitting which I also did when I worked nights and I wouldn't wear now - one was even for a boyfriend I had at the time, and there's no pattern in the last one.

I got some hexagon shaped canvasses off Freecycle that I can't decide what to do with.  They need a lot of space when arranged like this:

So I'm thinking of putting them up the stairs something like this but I don't know how I'm going to paint them yet. 

And last but not least is a blouse that my Mum started (so that's where I get it from) in the 1950s.  It was a cut out and ready to sew blouse from a magazine and the postmark on the envelope is 1958.  I'd like to see this finished.

And there we have it, unless I remember something else.