Thursday, 27 December 2007

Happy Christmas!

Christmas cake, with decoration by my 4 year old!

We've had a lovely few days, with lots of crafting gifts given and received (... well, my daughter (4) and I received crafting gifts anyway. My 2 year old boy and my husband are not so interested in sewing, though my son has been trying to grab my little girl's sewing machine at every opportunity!).

my much-loved Christmas china by spode

I'm taking a break now until the new year, but will be back with some more photos in my next post.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

It's been another long gap between posts as things just seem to keep on getting in the way! A poorly little boy again; it was his second birthday yesterday and he didn't even manage to eat the cake, poor thing. That said, he did wear the firefighter's helmet and tabbard he had as a gift all day. My little poorly firefighter looked so sweet with his rosy cheeks! His big sister gladly helped with the present unwrapping, thus saving the day!

Last weekend was fun, in spite of the lack of sleep, as I went to a big meet up of UK etsy folks in London. There were 14 of us in total and we had a lovely day chatting over coffee and freezing to the core eating a pub lunch outdoors on the South Bank.

I've also had other etsy-related excitement in the form of no less than two secret swap packages arriving. The first was two sets of earrings and a pendant from Honeybeedz, in the Autumn secret swap, which are just lovely:


I also got a package from magpienest in the Christmas secret swap. Some delicate silver stud earrings and a card holder made from gorgeous Japanese papers.


Both packages were so beautifully presented too; I am a very happy etsyer!

There's been quite a bit of crafting here too - lots of projects which were almost finished have now been completed, including this baby cardie for my friend's 3 month old:

I'm seeing her tonight for a rare night out, which will be nice! Fingers crossed for an unbroken night's sleep tonight or I'll be like a zombie tomorrow :)

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas is coming!

I can't believe it's the 10th of December already! That means my little boy will be two in a week! It also means that I need to get my act together with the Christmas shopping!

Here's my children's advent calendar - so pretty. I'm still staying away from chocolate calendars and going for the old fashioned kind out of principle!

Had a lovely day out yesterday in Bath with my sister and mother. Such a lovely place to do Christmas shopping. It's been a little tradition we've had now for a few years to meet up in Bath just before Christmas and have lunch in the Pump room, which is part of the old Roman baths building. We had a brunch of eggs benedict and english breakfast tea and enjoyed watching lots of tourists tasting the truly awful spring water, much to our amusement! I've been on countless trips to Bath with my family and with the school on Latin class excursions over the years, and it really is one of my favourite places.


I have been doing lots of sewing too, but nothing I can show here as it's for two secret swaps! One for the Holiday Traditions exchange and the other for a UK etsy sellers swap.


Sunday, 2 December 2007

Ode to my walking foot

When I first got my sewing machine (best gift ever from my lovely husband for my 30th birthday), I must confess I had NO idea what a walking foot was. My machine came with one bundled in though, as it was marketed as a quilting machine.

What a great idea - a foot that lifts up and down as you sew so that multiple layers don't pull apart as you're sewing. I really wish I had discovered the walking foot when I sewed my first ever quilt for my daughter. I hand-pieced the whole thing painstakingly, but then, having no real idea how to machine-quilt, cowboyed* the layers together, resulting in a less than perfect finish. I like to call it shabby-chic! I'll insert a picture here tomorrow, but as my daughter is currently asleep under said quilt, it'll have to wait for tonight!

don't look too closely - cowboying alert!

I discovered yet another use for my walking foot today - sewing oilcloth! I'd had the pieces for a new bag cut out for about a week, but having done a bit of research on how to sew oilcloth here (my cowboying days are over), I realised that I didn't have the appropriate needles. So, finally armed with a size 16 needle, I thought I'd give my walking foot a try. Yay for the walking foot - it let me stitch the oilcloth with no problems at all when I thought I'd be really tearing my hair out!


The alternative method, for those without a walking foot, is the tissue paper method. There's a fantastic tutorial here.

And just to prove I haven't been bone-idle all week, in spite of the lack of blog posts, here are some of the things I've been making:



* cowboy vt - to attack a sewing/knitting project with undue haste and with inadequate preparation with little thought for anything other than finishing the project in the minimum amount of time (results are variable).
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