Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

A merry Christmas to all! Hope you have a wonderful festive season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Decorations

I have been wanting to make some Xmas decorations for ages and have started collecting patterns and projects I might use. I did not start on anything until I received my new book "Sew Pretty Christmas Style" last week. WOW! What a book! So much eye candy! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book! I want to make everything in it! This was enough inspiration for me to start with some projects for Xmas.

This is not from the book but from the You can Make This blog. It's a door ornament, easy to make and adorable!

Recently my Mom-in-Law gave me an embroidery frame and I did not think I would ever use it, but I did for this project. What a difference it makes! It was so much easier to do the embroidery.

This is the finished product, although this is another one I made for myself with pink. You use organza ribbon to hang it from. It is really cute!

I also made some heart hanging ornaments that are from my new book.

Once again, easy to make! All the projects in this book are easy to make and gorgeous! I will post a review of the book soon. I used my new adorable pink Xmas fabric for the bigger heart and felt for the smaller one. I embellished with yo-yo's and on the one I added little Xmas bells on ribbon. I will post some pictures of my house as soon as all the decorations are done.

Stork Party Gift

A colleague is expecting a baby soon and I wanted to make her a gift for the baby. She chose white and lilac for the baby's room and the bedlinen is lilac gingham, so I made these for her.
This little bear is from felt and the pattern is one piece. It literally takes about one hour to make this bear! I have made several over the last few months. This time I inserted some gingham in the ears and hands. I also made a little pillow for the room.

The kitchen project

For some time now I have been wanting to make some items for my kitchen and recently I finally had time to do it.
These are store-bought dishcloths. All I did was sew on a row of little pieces of fabric that goes with the colour scheme. I am quite pleased with the result!

These are the potholders. I used my favorite Valori Wells fabric and some yellow gingham and did a bit of very simple quilting.
These are the potstands I made. Same fabric and so cute! Both the potholders and potstands are from the Amy Butler book "In Stitches". I adore this book! I plan to make many more projects from it soon.

New Pincushions for new pin toppers!

I recently discovered the most gorgeous pin toppers on Etsy made by Yifatii. It took a while to decide which ones to buy - they are ALL gorgeous! - and when I received them, I just had to make new pincushions to show them off!

I made this pink pincushion from felt and attached pretty ribbon tape on the side as is in my new book "Pretty Little Pincushions". Here I show off my sweet treats pin toppers. They are adorable!

I made this brown and creme pincushion based on the same idea as the pink pincushion above and here I show off some of my cupcake pin toppers.

This pink cupcake pincushion is simply adorable and so easy to make. I cannot remember which blog I got this from though! It shows off my lovely new pink cupcake pin toppers.

I also found the pattern for these cute little hedgehogs and decided to make a few!

Lastly, and the BEST of all! I asked Yifat to make me a custom order of pink tulip pin toppers. They are so amazing! She even made me a free little charm to go with the set! You must go look at her Etsy shop and buy some of these gorgeous pin toppers and other lovely polymer clay items she makes. She is a true artist!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My first Blog Award!

My friend Hannah over at gave me a blog award! I am really excited as this is my first ever blog award!

“This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

I am supposed to pass this award onto 8 wonderful people, but in the spirit of the award I have only selected 6 people that have been very supportive and kind to me and saved me from talking to cyberspace! This award is passed on to:

Ladies, you all deserve this award for being considered blog friends and leaving kind comments! Pass this award on to other blogger friends!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Creative Swap update

What a lovely birthday surprize to find this parcel in my post yesterday! Tulsi, my swap partner in the Creative Swap, sent me the most fabulous stuff!

I am crazy about the brown fabric with pink flowers and butterflies on it! Tulsi even sent me matching plain pink fabric and brown thread! The yellow fabric also came with matching thread and is ideal for my kitchen I am re-doing in yellow. I also received two handbag patterns! cannot wait to make them!

A box of cereal with all my favorite ingredients that I will be enjoying soon and a lovely card with a handwritten note inside. Thank you so much Tulsi! I LOVE everything in my parcel! I appreciate all the trouble you went to to get me stuff that I like.

Seams to Me projects

I recently did a review on my blog about this book by designer Anna Maria Horner. I love this book more and more every day! Within hours after receiving it I was busy making the Taxi Tote featured inside! What a fabulously simple and pretty bag this is!

Here is my first attempt at it with pretty pink and blue material. I had such fun making it that I have cut out another two already! The full size patterns in the book makes it possible to start a project immediately. With this one I used a stiff interfacing which I will not repeat in the next two. I think this bag is meant to be a bit floppy.

This is a view of the inside of the bag. I used a lovely pink gingham inside that matches the pink flowers on the outside fabric. The loop and large covered button matches the inside fabric. I put more pockets inside than the pattern requires and I have made the next two smaller than the first bag. The bigger my bag, the more stuff I tend to put inside!

Birthday fun!

I had a great birthday yesterday! Spoiled by the men in my life with fabulous presents. We had a few family members over for tea and visited until late. On the weekend I was trying to finish a few projects to show off at my birthday. I only managed to complete one item though. Here is a picture of my new tray cloth complementing my new set of yellow mugs with ladybugs on them.
I found a tutorial on the internet to crochet the edge of your tray cloth or it can be used for placemats and napkins as well. Not very clear on the photo but I embroidered the edge with a blanket stitch in yellow embroidery thread and used a stiff interfacing inside. I found this fabulous yellow fabric last weekend at my favorite habberdashery shop.

I have also cut out placemats, coasters and a stunning tablecloth with a frilled edge from this fabric but did not finish it. I cannot decide on the embellishments...
I also bought foam to make some cushions for our lapa (outside entertainment area). The other night I found this small piece of home dec fabric in my stash that was ideal for the cushions. This was a quick, fun project to make.

This is an oilcloth tablecloth I am busy with for the outside table. I am busy sewing the hem with some cute light blue embroidered lace I bought. I will post a photo of the completed project soon.

The cutest pink flowers from a colleague at work and chocolates from a client for my birthday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's my birthday today!

I have not posted for a few days and feel really guilty about it! Although I have been crafting a little bit, I have not taken any photos yet. I have spent some time on making some stuff for our entertainment area since we are getting a few people over for supper tonight to celebrate my birthday. My husband and the boys woke me up at 6am this morning to give me my presents! All craft-related. Lovely! I will share some photos later this week.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Designer Fabric Doggie

I had so much fun making this project! It started off with me buying a book from a local second-hand bookshop. The book was published in 1978 but has some great projects in it. I wanted to make this fabric dog in lilac for a colleague's baby due soon but I decided to first make one for myself. In pink of course!

The original pattern shows the dog made with corduroy and I tried that with the bright pink corduroy shown in the photo as the dog's "cushion". What a mission! The fabric is too thick and turning the body right side out was murder! Not to mention all the fluff this fabric shed all over my room! It was also too large. I had the pattern enlarged as per directions but boy it was big! So I downscaled the size and changed to cotton. The Heather Bailey pink peonies was perfect for it!

A close-up picture of the doggie's collar. I made it from a piece of pink felt and handstitched it and added a little bell I bought at a local fabric store. How cute is this?

A close-up of the doggies face. It is meant as a decorative item for your bed so the doggie is sleeping. Isn't it the cutest little thing? The eyes and nose are made with scrap pieces of felt and handstitched. The nose template is a heart shape. It now naps away in my craft room every day...

Book review: Seams to Me by Anna Maria Horner

Wow! I cannot get enough of this book! My friend Lova at recently posted a review on this book and that prompted me to buy it. I am not sorry at all! Thank you, Lova!

I received the book on Tuesday and that night I was already cutting out the pattern for the Taxi Tote, above. What a lovely bag. And not like anything else I have seen on the internet.

This apron is another favorite. Simple but so different than any other patterns available. I love the BIG fabric-covered buttons! I went to my local fabric store earlier today to buy some buttons for this pattern.

This caddy is another project I plan to make. Really cute and useful. I highly recommend this book to any fabric-crazy person like me! Anna Maria has done a great job with this book. All the projects are old favorites but with a fresh, new twist to it. Lovely pictures and step-by-step instructions on each project. The best of all?

At the back of the book - in a beautiful envelope - are FULL SIZE patterns! I have had so much trouble recently enlarging patterns that this was the utmost GENIUS for me! Overall a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!

New pink designer bag

I recently posted pictures of my pink designer eyeglasses pouch. This is the matching bag made from one of my favorite Heather Bailey bijoux fabric. The lining is my favorite pink polka dot fabric I ordered from JandOfabrics in the US. I designed the bag myself to suit my needs for a daily bag. This includes the size of the pockets inside to fit all my goodies I cannot live without.

This shows a view of the inside and my pink polka dot fabric lining. Love the bag!

New Book Review: Oilcloth Inspirations

I am crazy about craft books. Recently I went a bit wild buying some new books on a variety of subjects. This is a review on one of my favorites by Sophie Bester. I am in an "oilcloth phase(craze?)" at the moment and this book is great!

My favorite must be this chair cushion cover. My chair in my sewing room has been bare for a while since I cannot find any inspiration to make a cushion. I have found it. The frill is cotton and the seat is oilcloth. Beautiful!

A cute tablecloth also with the frill in cotton fabric. The flowers on the frill are made from oilcloth. Wow. I could not believe the flowers and embesllishments in this book made from oilcloth!

A portable cushion for picnics or outside. Too cute!

Several bags in this book. From shoppers to totes to this elegant bag with the most devine oilcloth flowers on it!

An adorable oilcloth apron with FRILLS on the shoulders! These are just a few of the amazing projects inside this book. If you like oilcloth, like me, this book is worth getting!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Designer reading glasses pouch

In the spirit of continuing to use my designer fabric, I made myself a simple pouch for my reading glasses from the lovely Heather Bailey fabric range. I only recently got my first pair of glasses which I was told is a result of hours in front of the computer. Like that will change anytime soon!
So here is my badly wrinkled pink pouch, the new home for my pink framed reading glasses. I used felt inside and made a velcro fastening for easy use. I have been using it for a few days now and love it! Now my son wants a similar pouch for his i-pod. Another weekend project coming up!

Craft Book Review

As promised, I will be doing a review on some of my craft books on a regular basis. So this is this week's review: Easy Felted Accessories.

What a lovely book. It has many quick and easy projects made from felted wool or purchased wool felt. Projects range from slippers, bags, hats and many more. It has a lovely Russian furry hat project that I have to try sometime!

Here is an example of just one of the many bags you can make from this book. The instructions are easy to follow, step-by-step with pictures. The patterns can be found at the back of the book.

Another handbag project with lots of embroidery on it.

The cutest little baby jacket I have ever seen!

And cute mittens!
This book is well worth buying if this is your kind of projects. I love working with felt but I have not had the time to make any of the wonderful projects in this book. Part of the reason is the availability of wool felt in South Africa. I have only found one supplier in Cape Town and need to order some soon. I can see many pretty Christmas projects I can do!


Let me just clarify that I sew and I also scrapbook, but knitting and crocheting is not a strong point. I can do both but not well. Mostly I am happy doing small items that are quick to do. Patience is also not a strong point and you need plenty of that for this kind of craft!

So when I got this mad idea in my head that I want some crocheted and knitted cupcake pincushions I knew trouble was around the corner. I sent the knitted patterns to the professional - my sister Linda. But I can crochet a little cupcake, right?

I crochet very lose. When my Mom-in-Law and I crochet exactly the same item my finished product is DOUBLE the size of hers! Anyway, I was determined to make a cupcake! By the third row I had lost the plot completely. I had no idea why I had more stitches than the pattern or why mine did not even look the same. What happened?

By the 6th row I knew this is not working. So I improvised. I made my own pattern up. So, here is my wonky crocheted cupcake. My apologies to the lovely person who designed this beauty, but I am hopeless at crochet! It is kind of cute though...

I made a few other pincushions to compliment my wonky cupcake. I was not making another crocheted one! I think I will wait for Linda to make me some lovely knitted ones now and stick to sewing!

Craft Apron

I finally decided to use some of my small stash of designer fabrics I ordered from Etsy. Since I received my copy of "A is for Apron" by Nathalie Mornu I have been dying to make a craft apron. I used my favorite Pink Peonies from the Heather Bailey Pop Garden range. Just LOVE this fabric!
I could not find bias binding that was the right colour so I decided to try making my own. This was great fun and worked out great. I made three large pockets for the items that seem to get "lost" when you are sewing...I wear it every time I craft and love it!

New Sewing Machine!

I received an early birthday present last weekend! I am so thrilled to replace my almost 20 year old Janome with a brand new one. It works like a dream and the best is that I can get parts and accessories for it from several local shops. I have already purchased a few extra feet to do free motion quilting and some other fancy stuff. I cannot wait to start experimenting!

One thing that did not impress me is the lack of extra goodies my machine came with. My first Janome had a lovely zipped plastic cover to store it in and various feet and other accessories. This one cost a lot more and had just a handful of items included.

One of the first things I did was to make a cover for my new machine. I did not like the covers they sell and this gave me an excuse to try my hand at sewing with oilcloth! This is however a very thin oilcloth which was an absolute breeze to sew. I made a pocket at the back of the cover that has a velcro closing for the control foot but it turned out the foot was too heavy for the thin oilcloth. Might have to make another cover...

This is a close-up of the pocket at the back of the cover. Love this blue and pink print oilcloth.