Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Another project

I went charity shop shopping with my friend Alison, after a wonderful trip to a fabric shop - we could have stayed in that shop all day - followed by coffee and cake at a gorgeous cafe. Alison bought some beautiful fabric for a quilting course she has started and I got this fab yarn from the charity shop - who could say no at just over £1 for two 100g balls? Of course, I have already started making something - I'm not entirely sure what it is going to be yet - maybe a cushion cover (how many cushions can one house need?!) maybe a small throw. I seem to have a scatter gun approach to projects - I always seem to have several on the go at any one time and some don't get finished for many years (the coat - ahem). I never seem to be able to settle with one project from start to finish, without being inspired to make something else at the same time. Do you have this problem too? I suppose that's the downside of reading so many blogs written by creative people - they are always inspiring me to have a go at something new.

I have nearly finished the garment I am making - hopefully this evening I will get a chance to complete it. Hopefully..

PS. I really must stop buying grey things - do you find your eye is always drawn to things that are the same colour? Grey is definitely the colour for me at the moment, must have something to do with the weather.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Shopping and DIY

 Are you fed up with winter yet? I am and we've still got at least 2 months to go until any hope of Spring. We did get about ten minutes of sunshine today though, so that was welcome, even if it did highlight all the dust in the lounge - oops. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we decided it would be quite nice to have a shelf in the hall to keep car keys and newly received post on. My wonderful husband had the drill out this weekend (changing a door round in the kitchen) so I asked very nicely whether he could fit this Ikea shelf in the hall. We had three of these shelves in the lounge of our old house. The other two will be going in my eldest daughter's room. I think this shelf is going to be really handy and it clears some space on the desk in the dining area, below.
 What a boring photo! This isn't really a desk, it's a console table - we wanted to maximise the space and as the computer is fairly compact, we decided a console would be perfect. Excuse the mound of computer/printer/cables in the corner. We are currently looking for a storage solution for these. These things take time...
Yesterday, we decided to go to Habitat to see what was left in the sale. Wow, half the shop was covered in sales merchandise and a lot of it wasn't greatly reduced. I don't think they have had such a great year and I would imagine they won't shift the excess stock any time soon unless they reduce the prices by another 25%. Anyway, I managed to get this vase which is really chunky and heavy at the bargain £6, one of the few bargains to be had. I also got an aqua china platter at a very reasonable £3.60 and a white melamine storage jar for just over £4. Apologies for the odd placement of the vase - I needed a darkish background to show up the etching on the glass so it ended up on the floor in front of the door!

I also felt very creative over the weekend and ended up making loads of crocheted flowers from the beautiful book I bought a while ago. Today I have been trying out my Christmas present, the dressmaker's dummy. I have really had fun with it and have nearly finished the garment I am making (not the coat, I am going to ease myself in gently before embarking on that project). Will update you soon. x

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Charity Shop Bargains

 I found these fantastic retro dressmaking patterns at the charity shop, to add to my collection. I also bought the two pieces of fabric, shown below the patterns. I am so looking forward to making some clothes with my dressmaker's dummy.
I couldn't resist buying this super cute soft toys pattern. My eldest daughter is making the dog as I type. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I made a bag

 Ta daaa! I made a bag and I am so happy with it. You know how you make something and it doesn't turn out quite how you wanted it but you think "oh, it's fine, it'll do". Well, that is how most stuff turns out when I make things, partly down to my abilities (or inabilities and lack of patience) and partly down to making do with what fabrics I have in the house at the time. This time, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I searched out the right bits and pieces that I needed, and I made the exact bag that I was hoping to make. Remember those buttons that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show a few months ago? I had always intended these buttons to go on a bag and I wanted to embroider tails onto them. I used some Ikea placemats (!) to make the main part of the bag and I lined it with an old retro sheet. A little bit of embroidery around the top and voila.
 My bag is already full of wool, ready to take to Crochet Group tonight. I have started on a blanket to go over the back of the sofa (basically to cover the claw marks left by our cat - poor Jack, we had to have him put down last October due to kidney failure. RIP He was a lovely cat, apart from when he clawed the sofa!)
Can you tell that I'm really pleased with my new bag?!

At the weekend we went to a granite/marble supplier to look at fireplace options. After looking for tiles for quite a while, we have decided that we just aren't going to find what we are looking for (read that as I am looking for). So we are thinking of having some kind of simple marble fireplace with matching hearth. We're still thinking...

Monday, 10 January 2011

What a beautiful way to start the week. These photos were taken at 8am. Stunning.

Friday, 7 January 2011

New Year clean up

Usually, blogs tend to only show carefully staged photos, only perfect scenarios. Well, life isn't always perfect so I now present my daughters' bedrooms:
 The kids have finally gone back to school after 3 weeks off for Xmas. They were ready 20 mins early this morning, eager to see their friends. And now it is left to me to deal with the aftermath - above is youngest daughter's bedroom, which was tidied by me 2 days ago. Messy again.
 Here are two photos of eldest daughter's room - she normally keeps her room relatively tidy but not this time.
So I have a busy day ahead of me - cleaning, tidying and sorting through unwanted toys/books. I soo don't want to start but I will feel so much better when everything is back to normal. xx

Monday, 3 January 2011

Tying up loose ends

 Looking back through the past six months of blog posts, I have realised that I have started/planned to start quite a few projects, but have not completed them or I have finished and not posted about them. The above floor cushions were made using some fairly substantial fabric that I bought from John Lewis remnants section. It is beautiful fabric and was very easy to work with (not that envelope cushion are hard to make). I am pleased that I have some left overs as I need to make some cushions for the grey sofa.
 I also made this cushion from the left over fabric I bought from the charity shop. I love this pattern and I still have some scraps of this material left.

This is the crochet ripple blanket that I started, using the giant balls of aran wool bought from the charity shop. I'm still not loving this blanket (the colour of the wool is more yellow/cream in real life), although my Mother in law really liked it when she first saw it so it may soon be hers.
 We bought this stool from Ikea about a year ago as we needed a small unobtrusive seat for the desk. The desk has since moved location and we now have room for a chair so this is just used as extra seating. The stool was supposed to come with a denim cover, which was missing from the box so I used some left over fabric from a tablecloth I made (Ikea fabric) to make a slipcover. I am really happy with the end result.

 The hall is finished (nearly! Radiator needs to be painted) and here is a photo of the brick pillar which I ended up painting dary grey instead of white. I put one coat of white on and realised it didn't look good in the slightest. We decided Farrow and Ball's Downpipe in eggshell would be the best solution. The slight sheen seems to soften the bricks and make it seem finished, if you see what I mean.
From this shot, the hallway doesn't look much different to the before photos, but it really does look a lot fresher and cleaner in there. Just got to paint that radiator... A very belated Happy New Year. Wishing you all the best of luck and happiness for 2011. Please feel free to leave a comment - Clare, that means you too. xx