Monday, April 27, 2009

Post #273 - time for a giveaway!



Jodi over at This That and The Other is featuring my blog this week and in honor of that and all the lovely visitors that are popping by I'm hosting a giveaway.

For a chance to win 3 fat 1/4's, some chocolate, a mug cosy, some hot chocolate and a little covered journal please leave a comment on THIS post only.

Please only post one comment per person and make sure that I have someway of getting in touch with you (blog or email)...A winner will be chosen on Friday, May 1st around 10am my time (BST)!

Thanks for all the interest...this giveaway is now closed.

Until next time...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pretty Flower Pictures...

This past weekend I was visiting my in-laws and I managed to snap of few pictures of the lovely flowers on show in their garden...

Enjoy...








Until next time...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Simple Skirt Pattern


I thought I'd share with you a very simple pattern I made up for a little skirt.  I whipped this one up in about an hour in some lovely Makower fabrics for my DD2.  The bottom panel of the skirt has a concealed seam much like the cuff in pillowcase making.

The width (circumference) of the skirt is approximately 45" so that the cuff at the bottom can be cut from one width of fabric and the main body of the skirt is made up of 4 panels.  Seam allowance is 1/2"

To work out cutting sizes of the panels and cuff, you need to know the total length of the skirt (in my case it was 16") and the desired height of the bottom cuff (mine was 4")

To work out the panel size, take the total length (16") minus the cuff size (4") and add 3" (in my case that worked out to 15")  Cut 4 panels 12" by your custom size.

The cuff size is worked out by taking your cuff height (4") multiplying by 2 and adding 1" (in my case that worked out to 9") and cutting that by the width of your fabric (usually 45")


Sew your 4 panels together in a strip using 1/2" seam matching up the long edges and leaving the 12" edges along the top.  Press seams open.

Next lay your cuff right side up on a table.  Place your strip of panels right side down on top of the cuff matching long edges together.  Pin.

Roll the upper part of the skirt up like a sausage and then bring the other long side of the cuff over meet the edge you just pinned.  Move the pins to now hold all three layers sandwiching the upper part of the skirt in the middle.  I know it doesn't make much sense...but if you just trust me...it works :o)

Sew through the 3 layers using a 1/2 seam.  Pull the skirt right side out and press.  You should now have the panel sewn to the cuff and the seams are all concealed.

Trim the edges straight and sew up the short back seam creating a tube.  Fold over the top edge by 1/2" and press, then fold over a second time by 1 1/2".  Sew close to the bottom edge creating a casing for the elastic.  Leave a gap to insert a 1" non-roll elastic that has been cut to length by measuring it around the child's waist and allowing an overlap of approximately 1". 

Sew to two ends of the elastic by over lapping and sewing a square to secure it well.  Tuck the elastic back up into the casing and sew the opening closed.

I hope you liked my little tutorial...I hope it works for you and if you do make one...please send me a picture :o)


Until next time...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kenilworth Castle

One of the things on my to-do list for the Easter break was to take the girls to Kenilworth Castle.  My DD2 has learned all about homes and castles this term and I thought it would be a nice way to round off the term and give her a chance to see things up close and personal.  She really surprised me with all that she had learned...asking if we could got up to the parapets!  (Yep...had to look that one up!) and spent time looking for the dungeon and the portcullis.  (Yep had to look that one up too!)




As usual I took LOADS of pictures and here are the best of the best....



The center pieced to their Elizabethan Garden



The stables (now a really nice tea room)



...And if you thought graffiti was a modern thing...have a look at these etchings in the stone...seems even children from the 18th and 19th century couldn't help but put their name on everything...





































Until next time...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

They're multiplying...

Two more mug cosies made...Oh Thimbleanna...what have you started?



Until next time...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Party like it's 1969...

Ok, ok I've taken a bit of liberty with the lyrics...but it was the only title I could come up at 10 o'clock at night that will link with this post. :o)

Later this month my daughter's school will be celebrating a big birthday and as part of that celebration the children will be putting on a performance where each class will be representing a decade in the last 80 years.  My daughter's class is representing the 1960's and need to be dressed accordingly.  I figured the only way to be sure I was getting the style right with her dress was to buy a vintage pattern off Ebay and dust off my dressmaking skills.  Here's the pattern I found...



Here's something you wouldn't see today...



And here is the finished dress.



I have to say that the construction methods on the instructions were very different to how I think they would be written today and I had to make it up as I went...but I'm thrilled (as is my daughter) at the results.

Incidentally I have put a huge hem on the dress which can be let down as she grows...it was something my grandmother did on the dresses she made for me and even in 2009 it's still a good idea ;o)


Until next time...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter Eggs, Picnics and children in trees?

Last week the world saw some great meet-ups.  First the great leaders came together for the G20 summit...then there was the Nato meeting...

This week the world saw this...



The great blogger meet-up in Oxfordshire ;o)


What a fantastic day!!  I've never experienced anything quite like it..people I'd never met before greeting me like I was an old friend...hugs all around and the sense that these ladies were kindred spirits.  The whole uneasy feeling when you meet someone new just wasn't there and the words shared between us were those of genuine friendship...  Penny quoted it so eloquently on her blog when she said "a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet"  Probably the hardest part of the day was remembering people by their names rather then their blogs... :o)

Although the day started out a bit chilly, the sun was shining and we were able to spread our picnic blankets (quilts) out to make a giant picnic area.  Lunch was a feast as everyone brought more than they could eat and food was passed around.

To make things interesting for the 15+ children that were with us, we all brought an Easter Egg for each child that we brought with us.  Two of us had wrapped our eggs and interestingly enough they were the last to be chosen...proving that most children would rather pick something they can see then take a gamble on the unknown.



Eve made lovely little bundles of eggs for each of the children each tied with a little ornament egg.  Aren't they sweet.



Next it was time for the adults to have their presents.  Trashy put all the names in a bag and we pulled out the name of the person we were giving to.  Here's Julia (with Kitty in the background and Kate looking on as she pulled a name out.


Moogsmum got my gift of the pincushion and mug cosy



Eve got one of Julie's lovely little egg cosy rabbits



I got an Echidna pincushion wrapped in pretty fabric from Trashy



And Trashy got a Laundry Haiku from Ali.



There was more going on around me, but I didn't catch what everyone got from whom.  I'm sure it will all be blogged about in the next 24 hours if it hasn't already.

Millets Farm
had a lot to offer, which unfortunately I didn't get to visit in it's entirety.  I did snap some pics of the animals...one of which was a woolly pig.  Trashy was sizing up how many socks she might get from him ;o)



And I loved how this goose posed for me ;o)



So as you can see...we had a wonderful day...with Easter eggs, Picnics and oh and yes...children in trees...it would seem there was a bit of "monkeying" around on their part and I did look up to see one of our group at top of a very big tree!  Seems the children had a good time too.



I just wanted to say a great big thank you to Lucy and her sister for organizing this meet up...I can't wait to do it again! (hint hint)

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Gift Swap with bloggers...



Just as you are reading this, I hopefully have arrived safe and sound in Oxford to meet up with some fellow bloggers.  Lucy asked each of us to bring a small handmade gift for a swap.  As all those involved should be turning up in Oxford, it should be safe to reveal the contents...so this is what I made.  It is a Oh Fransson! tutorial that was posted on Sew Mama Sew for a weighted pincushion organizer.  I decided not to make the little scrap bag on the front...and I embellished it with some buttons.  Also included in my gift was the mug cosy I have been working on (see my previous post), some fabric, and some chocolate ;o)



Until next time...when I should have a report on the meet-up :o)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mug cosy revealed...

Yippee it's done!  Thank you Thimbleanna for a great idea.  I had such fun stitching this up and using my littlest scraps for the borders.  I have a bin of odd pieces that don't fit into any of my scrap boxes, but are too pretty to throw away.  I did wonder what to do with them and this was the perfect project for them.



Until next time...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Kids like post too...

Today is the deadline to get one's letters in the post for the Great Kids Mail Swap... Here are our letters all ready for the post.  It's been fun working with the DD2 deciding on things to send.  She was thrilled that her partners spanned the globe...from the UK, Australia and Canada!



Also...looky looky at what my DD1 (age 15) made me.  A knitted cotton dishcloth!  (thanks to the DD2 for modeling it) She did a fantastic job.  She found the pattern on Ravelry...here's the link


Until next time...

Friday, April 03, 2009

Inspiration strikes again...

Thimbleanna wrote about how she made a mug cozy and I just have to make one too.  Here are the early stitches...I hope it turns up as cute as hers. ;o)



Until next time...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Goodies on the doorstep...

I won! YankeeQuilter had a giveaway last month and I was one of the lucky winners.  Look at that gorgeous fabric!  I can't wait to plan the prefect project for it.



Until next time...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Odd quote of the day and other things...


"No, you don't want to squish the spider with the pliers!"



Huh? you might be asking?  Well, it's not that unusual a statement if I tell you I work with 2-3 year olds and that they discovered a spider amongst some twigs we had brought in from outside.  I had to laugh!  It's not every day you can string those words together in a sentence!  But with the twigs in a box next to the toy toolbox...these things are possible :o)

Lastly I wanted to share this picture I took last weekend at a fancy dress birthday party...I thought they looked cute all lined up in a row.  Amazingly not 2 girls had the same dress on!



Until next time...