Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Random Ten

This list is inspired by Annie feel free to join in, I have read a few of these myself and they are great little snippets into peoples lives.

  • I don't believe in people always telling it like it is, sometimes we need to be kind. If is not essential and nobody's life is in danger if you don't say that mean thing, then maybe don't say it.
  • I love cheese which is odd as I cannot tolerate milk, cream or yoghurt but God decided to let  me get away with cheese. I am very grateful for that.  
  • I am a Christian, currently between churches and a confirmed Catholic. Experience over the years has made me question the need to attend a specific place of worship but I read my bible and have a deep faith.  I am just not sure having a specific leader (usually a man) and a set of social activities centred around a church building makes anyone  a better Christian.
  • Pets are good for you (unless you are allergic) I've not met one person who  hasn't smiled on seeing our new puppy and not just puppies our other two dogs bring such a lot to our lives.

Such joy in the moment, we all need a bit of that!
  • I cannot read just one book at a time I don't know why maybe I have a little ADD. I always have some non- fiction plus a fiction title on the go and sometimes I will be dipping in and out of a book I'm re-reading. (weird I know)
  • I long to be a morning person but I'm really not.  I have battled with this for years and it is a recurring new years resolution. I manage a week or two then it is back to hitting the snooze button. Anyone who has overcome this after years of failure please let me know.
  • Music makes me smile it always has, rock is my favourite, it has to have guitars, electric, acoustic, you have to hear them. I am learning to play myself with the help of Justin 
  • I don't know what I want to be when I grow up ( oh yes that already, happened well anyway!) I was a sewing machinist for many years, teaching assistant for the past nine years but only got into that as I wanted to teach, then talked myself out of that. I often look at University courses in textiles and design and wonder about if I'm too old?? Or maybe moving abroad and starting a holiday let?? You see I really do not know.
  • I am an eternal beginner at Spanish! I know quite a bit now but not if a native speaker starts to quickly speak to me! I try and try but without conversational practice here I stick.
  • There are so many things I am interested in I never know where to begin, I make lists, read motivational books, ( much to the amusement of my children ) but getting stuck in is a sticking point. I'm working on it! He, he!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Recycled Denim Bag

Now I haven't done any bag making for a while mainly because like I mentioned the other day I am looking for new ways to sell them but I had some old denim a friend gave me so I thought I would get on with a couple.

This first one is complete and I really like this myself (this is my trouble I always want to keep them) I like red with denim and funnily enough I am wearing jeans and a red long sleeved top today, that's probably why I took a fancy to this bag as it goes perfectly.

It is quite a good colour on the denim so I don't know why she was tired of these jeans but not to complain free fabric and all.  The grey and red I had from another project that didn't work out, there is more left so it will be seen in other things!
It has a zip fastener across the top.

The red ribbon is from a Thorntons box, just enough to go down the front and the back.

The silver button was from my jar of odd buttons.

I have lined the inside and there is an inside pocket also, I'm not sure whether to list it on folksy or try one of the  other craft sites that I have been looking at. I will have a think about it.

At least I feel I have stuck to my resolve of doing one thing each day this week, it is too easy to slip out of the habit of making things and while it might not be for everyone I always feel better if I have completed something.  
Now I need to start that caravan machine cover, I have it drawn up  I just need to cut it out.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A New Look

Yesterday I thought I would quickly change the look of this blog as it has had the same background for ages. Well what I thought was going to be a quick job ended up taking ages, images were in the wrong place, things were overlapping, well I got there in the end but it is not as colourful as what I had before. My son said he prefers it this way, please feel free to let me know what you think.
I had also had the idea of starting a new online shop so I have been looking at a few ways of doing this. I use my Folksy shop at the moment but that hardly seems to get any traffic any more, from what I have read from others lots of people are having the same trouble.
I originally moved to Folksy from Etsy and initially it was more successful, there is so much out there it is hard to get seen.

There are a few people I know who are doing a couple of craft markets. Mixed reviews on these also as they have told me they have only just made the table cost back on a couple of occasions and while they can be a good way to get your stuff seen, the real point is to sell it!

So at the moment I am not sure what to do, the fees on Folksy are only small unless you sell, but then it's a bit pointless if nothing is being seen. Any crafters out there who have some good success stories and ideas please let me know.

Yesterdays make was a new dog cushion...

Don't worry I didn't leave the dog unattended with a lit candle I was trying to brighten the space to take the picture and he wouldn't stop climbing on the cushion.  This is not his cushion even, my other dogs sometimes like to sit here next to the radiator, he has his own new bed! The fabric was left over from a tote bag I made  last year.

My other nagging doubt about starting another shop is that I didn't want making to be all about money, but is sometimes useful and rewarding to sell some of your creations.  I suppose I have conflict in this area.
 There also has to be a purpose when you are doing something, if it's a gift, an alteration or something for you there is an end in sight, it will be used.  When you are making items for the purpose of an online store and they sit in cupboards waiting to be sold it can feel disappointing. I end up using them myself and so I have many bags.   I would be no use whatsoever with a real life shop as the unsold merchandise would drive me crazy each day!

I have found a site called Zibbet that lets you list 10 items with one image for free and no charges or 50 items with 4 images and a $4 a month charge ( you get more exposure with the fee paying version)
I am a little tempted to give some where new a try.

Also on the Design Trust page they recommended this book...
Now I already have a few books along these lines and they haven't done me much good so far. But I live in hope that there is a business woman in there some where. There is also the fact that maybe I am not applying a lot of what I've read (ouch!) yes I may have to admit that. So first I will try the library for it, then re- read my other craft as business books then if all that fails maybe buy it for myself when it is my birthday.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Pizza

I have been really craving a pizza recently, I dropped my two boys off at the shops today and they said they were going to have a Gregs, I thought Oh I would love one of those, but no, I went home.
I stared in the fridge for ages you know like you do when you think something delicious is going to just appear?
Well that didn't happen but I did remember that I had a gluten free wrap in the freezer. Now these are not good as wraps because they are a bit like cardboard but I'm so glad I kept it as it became this lunch...
Also it was really quick and easy to make.

I took the frozen wrap and cover it in tomato purée and a little red onion. put the rest of the onion away for another time.

I added some frozen peppers that I had in the freezer, no need to chop.

Also I added a layer of grated cheese, then half a sliced tomato, then more cheese and finally a little drizzle of olive oil.

I had a little salad with it and I have to say it was lovely, obviously not greatly filling as it is on such a thin wrap but it has solved my pizza problem. Plus much cheaper and healthier than what you could buy and you can put whatever you want on top.  I started mine off under the grill then thought better of it and put it in the oven, not for long after the quick grilling 7 minutes maybe less I just kept an eye on it.  I also put it on a piece of foil in the oven as it is so floppy or a tray would do.
The wraps are £2.80 for 6, so with one of those at 46p, half a tomato, a few peppers, bit of onion, cheese and purée I would say it cost about 80p to make. 

Monday, 26 October 2015

Homemade Recycled Envelopes and Little Guy's First Walk

I thought I would share a couple of the envelopes I mentioned yesterday, for the ones I made I used the T.V section out of a paper we were given. We were given lots of papers due to the puppy needing them for his house training, some of the pages were quite colourful though so I thought I would nab those.
Now all I do to make an envelope is to place the card on the sheet of paper to get an idea where to fold, it's just a bit like wrapping a package really, just make sure you are neat.
It is also a good idea to position the paper so that the colourful bit will be on the front  but that might not be relevant if you are using just print or phone book pages. If you were using something like that and wanted to disguise it you could make a load at once and do some printing over the surface then let them dry.
So here are the ones I made...
Now I think they look much more fun than plain ones anyway. It is one of those jobs you could do with an eye on the T.V if you are worried about cutting into your relaxing time. That way you would be saving the pennies and the paper without hardly noticing, 

Here is quickly what I did. Lay out sheet of magazine or paper, place your card on top.
Fold your paper around the card to see where you need to cut.

Make folds on four sides of the card to see where you need to trim.

Trim so you have a flap up each side of the envelope, ensure the bottom folds up and covers the card, you can also fold the top of this to give a nice edge. Trim the top short fold with rounded corners and glue the bottom fold up. Leave the top fold you can stick that one when you eventually use your card.

My desk was a bit of a mess but I made something useful and quick.

Today also saw our little pup venture out for his first walk, I say walk but it was mostly carrying as he hasn't quite got the hang of it, and we didn't want to tire him out. 
It is getting chilly and he has very fine fur, that is why he is wearing a coat, my husband thinks we are being ridiculous (but he was shivering!) he is only young and probably wont always need one but for now he is just fine.
Interesting floor!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Birthday Cards Using Recycling and the Sad Waste of Paper

I always like to keep bits of colourful envelopes it seems such a waste to throw them away when you have opened cards. The same could also be said of any envelope really, all those bits of paper just thrown away, that could be used for shopping lists, paper for the children to doodle on or cut up and fastened together for note books to keep in your bag for odd bits you need to jot down.

As you may have gathered I hate waste,so while I have to watch tree after tree disappearing through the photocopier every day at work I try to be a bit more sensible with my use of paper at home, and not just paper we try to re-use  and make the most of our stuff.
I have a cupboard full of gift bags which are re-used at Christmas and Birthdays, any I am given are folded and carefully stored, as are ribbons, and any re-usable bits of paper.  We recycle clothes, at charity shop if we no longer want them, I often buy there also or on ebay, my children also sell on games or donate and they also buy used games for consoles etc.
There are a couple of birthdays coming up so I decided to make a couple of cards for that today. I know that places like hobby craft are full of pre-made card and envelopes and I have bought these when they are being sold off occasionally. More often though I will use what I have and that is usually what most people will have lying around.

So the white card was A4 size but then cut in half and folded now quite often there is a pristine piece of white card on the back of any birthday or Christmas cards you are given. Cut this away carefully and store, ribbons often come on boxes of chocolates, around blankets or towels or can be picked up at charity shops.
 Buttons I always save the spares that come with any thing and any clothing that cannot be donated or reused is de constructed and all zips, buttons and useful bits removed.

The silver and white background card in my cards was from a bath gift set I was bought last year it lined the bottom of the box! The pink paper I used to make the flowers was a used envelope, your name is usually in the middle so there is loads of usable colourful paper on birthday envelopes. If you are not very good at cutting your own designs you can go on line choose some images and make yourself some templates ( just remember to save them so you are not creating more waste!)
The buttons are from my stash of many odd buttons I just sew them on, silver pens come in useful for writing on your greetings and save on printing. I don't usually add further paper inside I just write the greeting straight onto the card.
Now these cards now need envelopes to fit, I will do these tomorrow, you can use colourful magazine pictures (use the free ones that get pushed through the door) or any paper big enough even saved wrapping paper just make a little label to stick on the front.  I usually find people like cards you have made because you put the time in. I have been a  bit behind on all my handmade stuff recently so I am on a real push now to get back into it.
There are loads of ideas out there for re-using paper, card, jars, jumpers etc. I will share more later.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Repairs, Cards and Books

Today I managed to get some jobs done despite spending all of my free time watching the new puppy. I repaired the sleeves again on a shirt, repaired a rucksack for my son and mended a hole on a pair of jeans.  Nothing amazing I know but they are jobs that have been sitting there and it is a relief to get them done as I nearly always put off starting anything for myself while ever there are other repair jobs sitting around.
I also made a Christmas card, yes just the one but it is still October. It is quite a basic tree one, but sometimes you want to feel like you have done something no matter how small to get the ball rolling and get you back into making stuff.  So that is what this was, I have  decided I am going to make them daily, not all the same of course and this way they will build up gradually.
Now the colours are much brighter but this is a night time photo so it looks quite washed out.
The card I bought last year really cheap after Christmas for something like 30p for 6 with envelopes. The tree is cut out from vinyl samples I was given years ago and I still have loads left, other bits are recycled paper, some stickers I got free with a magazine I was bought as a gift ( a craft magazine as a present from a friend)

So I have ideas now but it is getting the time to make them a reality, watching a puppy as many of you will know takes loads of time and energy, every sniff we have to rush outside to see if he needs to pee or poo, When my son is watching him he has only half an eye on him so accidents are happening more then, so much as I should make him watch him more (he is supposed to be his, I laugh) I don't want to delay his house training so it is more effective when I can keep catching him and talking him out.
I have seen some fabulous ideas on pinterest 
How gorgeous is that sewing machine cover, I also saw this one...
Now I hope these images last because sometimes I share and then find the image has gone. However if I do one thing this half term I think it has to be making myself a sewing machine cover like one of these.
I have a couple of new books on the go this week, one of them is fiction, The Loney

I have only just started this so will let you know how it goes. The other one is by Cesar Millan called How to raise the Perfect Dog ( hah! again I will let you know how that goes also.
Right I am going to try to be back tomorrow as I am determined to carve out a little time each day for making.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

New Puppy

I've been busy again this month but for a different reason, we have a new family member Marvin the jug. (half pug half Jack Russel)
He takes up a lot of time because you have to have your eye on him all the time, house training and making sure he is safe. Also as I have two other dogs I have to make sure he is not bothering them as he is young and very nippy at the moment!

He doesn't stay with my other two when we are out as I don't trust them together yet and it wouldn't be fair on the older two so he has his own pen in the hallway. So I hope to be sewing again soon, he just needs to calm down a little so I can take my eyes off him without him chasing the other two around the house!

Another Shift Dress

The dress I made today is from the free New Look pattern I got with Sew magazine last month. It is very similar to the scuba dress I made bu...