About Me

My photo
I currently live in Birmingham and come from Solihull. I have a love of all things crafty, developed from my mom's love of crafts as I was growing up. I currently work in marketing, but I'm a qualified Aromatherapist, and use to be self employed alongside a day job, might one day return to that. I try to fit in crafts when I can, I wish I had more time and money to spend on it! I enjoy researching my family history and finding out about the past. It can get frustrating, but is really rewarding when you have a break through! I hope to meet people with similar interests as me and swap advice/stories.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Summer Photos

A collection of photos from gardens, days out and other summer treats...

My sunflower - may not be the tallest, but the first to flower!

Sweet Williams

White Rose

The bees love this!

Mitch - adores his toys!

Coughton Court

Stratford Upon Avon

Even the dog needs an ice lolly these days!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Crafty Delights

Some lovely items I recently purchased as gifts & something for myself from some talented crafters.

Miss Bohemia

Alice in Wonderland Mug - came with matching coaster

I asked for this picture especially - matches my shop name!

Miss Bohemia also makes some great jewellery which I've previously brought.

I fell in love with this fabric and thought about buying some to make my own items, but that's on the 'wish list' no time for that now! So I asked Mel to make this bag as a gift and the one below for me. Reminds me of summer holidays with my grandparents in Frinton!!

I also got a tardis fabric purse for a gift, forgot to take a photo, but look at Mel's stuff and you'll see loads there!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Jewellery Frame Tutorial

Over the glorious sunny past few days I have actually managed to make a few things - firstly a jewellery frame.

I had seen a similar idea on pinterest and had thought about making one myself, but I hadn't got round to it. Then after I had made some Alice in Wonderland themed drawer handles for my sister's mini set of drawers (we couldn't use them on the drawers as she had just brought and fitted some handles) we settled on creating this jewellery holder.

Items: handles (you could always upcycle old ones you have or find)
a photo frame
fabric for backing
ribbons/lace etc
staple gun

Start with a photo frame, the drawer knobs I had already created so these were simply glued on in position to hang jewellery from. You could make you own knobs too, or if you come across a handle or hook (check charity shops & car boots) they can look decorative too.

I made the handles by covering them with old book pages - I went with an old copy of Alice in Wonderland. I then painted round the bottoms of the handles to cover areas that are harder to cover in paper. They were all coated in pva glue to give it a protective cover.

Choose a fabric for your centre piece - we went with a red polka dot fabric brought from Guthrie & Ghani. Measure the back of your frame against the fabric, cut to size ensuring you can fold over onto the back of the frame.

Measure the fabric to ensure you don't have too much or too little of an overlap.

Cut to desired width - with this frame there were hooks that spin round to clip the back into the frame so I had to ensure they would move over the fabric.

Use a staple gun to fix the fabric in place, where you can try not to let the staple go all the way through to the fabric, but fold the edges down. As you move round the frame this becomes harder, but remember you can always hide the staples if they are visible on the other side with various embellishments at the end.
Keep checking & measuring each side as you go round.

Once complete fit the frame back together to ensure it all looks and fits ok.

Choose ribbons,  laces & trimmings to decorate your frame. These will hold light jewellery such as earrings which can be hooked over the top edge of the trimming. Play around with it first so you know how many trimmings you want and in what order.

The trimmings are all glued to the back of the frame, again ensure this won't affect how you put the frame together. If you find the trimmings are not quite strong enough to hold jewellery items that's ok, it will always make a lovely decorative piece & you have handles / hooks around the frame for other items.

The back of the frame isn't going to be seen, but if you were wanting to tidy it up you could cover the whole piece with something like felt to hide the ends - this may mean you will have to completely seal your frame. Once each trimming has been secured you can tidy the corners of the fabric by carefully folding inwards and gluing in place.

Volia! Finished frame - being picky I think my lace is a little wonky, but overall I'm happy and it'll be great for hanging necklaces & bracelets & earrings, as well as being a decorative piece.

If anyone has a go at this or has done something similar I'd love to hear from you!!
The frame in use! Sorry for picture quality - my phone's not great for photos.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Lavender Lemonade

Having already made elderflower cordial this year, I thought I'd try something different. I was going with elderflower and rhubarb, but it didn't work out - I'm wondering if it's because I froze the elderflowers?

I did look on several websites and many people do freeze elderflowers and they are fine when making items later on, but it didn't work for me. I have some more left so I might try again, but for now I just made some lavender lemonade.

This was easy to do, but does need a fair few lemons, I used 7 I think to just get the 300ml needed.

300ml lemon juice
250g sugar
1litre water (in total)
Approx 14 lavender heads - fresh or dried

Dissolve the sugar into 500ml of water, boil until dissolved.
Remove from the heat, add the lavender, cover and leave to cool.
Juice lemons.
Once Sugar mixture has cooled add the lemon juice and 500ml of water.
Strain the liquid into bottles.

Can be drunk straight away, or even better, chill the lemonade in the fridge and add a few ice cubes - delicious!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Craft & Craft Space

I'm taking part in this years Blogger Party with My Desert Cottage it's the first time I have and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's blogs, getting inspiration and hopefully meeting new people from around the world.

My 'creative space' is in quite some turmoil at the moment - I was meant to move and then things fell through so I'm in limbo (I hate it) so I have photos of my stuff all over the place - and the current 'craft space' is the coffee table in the living room - which annoyingly I have to tidy up before I go out... so I will be most interested in seeing other peoples space to get ideas for WHEN I FINALLY move.

My crafts
You will notice I do a wide variety of crafts and I'm always seeing new ideas to try, my list of crafting so far extends to:
Crochet, Knitting, Jewellery Making, Scrapbooks, Glass Painting, Sewing, Painting, Cross Stitch, Paper Crafts...

Knitting & Crochet - wool: technically my sisters stash (plus inherited wool!) but we share where we can.

Wool and bits stored in wicker baskets...we also have wool under the bed, in the loft and in a drawer!

These were hidden away, but now on display - vintage bone knitting & crochet needles & a wool winder

On display too, lovely colourful vintage needles - I'd like to think I'll never need to buy knitting needles again!

Crochet bits & bobs - I think nearly every drawer on this Victorian dresser is full of crafts!

Mabel Lucie Attwell

Sewing- I use to sew a few years back, then got caught up with other crafts, just doing bits here & there, but now I would like to do more, so I have the basic sewing machine which I've just been doing small items on, but I still do hand sewing.

I'm hoping to do more when I can, it's just finding the time & space!

An old chocolate box holds various small sewing, knitting & crochet accessories

Mabel Lucie Attwell
Once I get more into sewing, I'm wondering if I'll find this machine too basic, hopefully not for what I'll start with but if I do get into it you never know...

Recycled jar with added pincushion, filled with basic sewing kit

Pincushion made with left over vintage fabric & button centre

Books- oh so many crafty books! Probably a lot of ideas never put into action - sometimes it's nice just to read and admire (and you never know when an idea might come in handy- birthdays, Christmas!)

There are of course more books than this & also not forgetting folders of patterns, we have a large collection of vintage patterns inherited from my mom - the challenge now is deciding what to keep & learning to adapt vintage patterns for modern day use, although some are just nice to look at or things you wouldn't make nowadays!

DVDs- I don't really go for craft dvds, but Kirstie's Handmade Britain and other craft shows were great, in fact even put my name on a list for next year craft competitons at a local show - it could be anything from food, drinks to cross stitch or sewing in these compeitions...we'll see what the categories are for next year, but scary going up against other fabulous crafters and having your work critiqued!!!

Items round the home - just a few items I handmade / upcycled, now living around the house.

 Hand painted glass items - I have various bottles, jars & vases I have decorated

 This little mouse is filled with various herbs to deter moths. I have lots & lots of handmade lavender, hop, rose and anti moth sachets in amongst my clothes, wool & stuffed toys! It's a great way to deter bugs & keep things smelling fresh.

 I have made a mixture of scented & unscented sachets which I'll hopefully get around to listing on my esty shop soon. It's also a great way to use any scraps of fabric you have left over, or to practise new knitting or crochet stitches.

Right: hearts made with vintage French toile fabric.

Other items I have darted about the place are photo frames, a mirror, handmade flowers, various jewellery & hair accessories. I can't post it all, but when I'm setting up in my new house I'll take on board other tips/ideas I've seen and post again.

Speaking of ideas, I'll finish with a few works in progress / ideas I want to find time for!

Repainting this chest which was in the bathroom, it had a cork top which I removed, I'm planning to add a fabric cushion top so that you could sit on the chest. I'm also debating about any other decoration on the outside.

I plan to fill the chest with fabrics & wool - will have to make sure I make some more scented sachets to keep pesky moths away!

Other projects I have ongoing include making cushion covers, a skirt & I'd love to make a simple 1920s style dress. Big project I've yet to start with my sister is a patchwork quilt - if all goes well most likely be making two! There's a long list I'm sure in my craft ideas note book, as well as doing more on my family history research...if I could afford not to work full time I might just be able to get all this done!!! Wishful thinking....

I am also keen to do a craft swap or any sort of craft event  - not done one for a while, so if you have one planned let me know (although I might have to wait until I move, so anything planned for the Autumn should be ok!)