Wednesday, 22 October 2014

New A5 Malden Dividers

A slight change in tack for this post.
As many of you know I have an A5 Filofax for my work planner etc and I decided that I might need to some new dividers.  To replace existing ones but to also add a few new areas to my planner.  However I thought I would work with it for a bit first but then last weekend I found half an hour to actually do something about it.
I try not to over stuff it but no sooner have I thinned it out that someone gives me something else to put in it.
This is where it was last Saturday.  Do you like the blue loom band bookmark topper that Sophie made me?
I wanted to keep my Dashboard which is scrapbook paper which I laminated.
I have been using Martha Stewart replaceable tabs but a year on I thought something more sturdy might be in order.
Firstly I found some lovely paper in a cheap stationary shop in Seaford  and I also wanted to make a new Day marker.  Some fun post-its from Paperchase was perfect. with Owls on them looked very book mark like  and just the right sixe.  I love post-it notes and by laminating them they venture in to a whole new range of uses.    So I cut and laminated them.  I added some paper washi tape along one side of the dividers to jazz them up a bit nd to strengthen where the holes would be punched.
Punched holes in all of the dividers.
The cute little owls just peep above the pages.  I later added a hole and Sophie's Loom flower as well.
This time I typed the headings and added them before laminating, to make then stronger.  I also made the dividers a little wider.
The new dividers are more permanent but I have used the same sections for nearly a year so I doubt too much will change.  Did I mention that the new pages have a little sparkle to them?
Sophie was impressed by that bit.
I have also been using Martha Stewart replaceable tear drops to make temporary changes to work schedules and other time plans by putting them in a plastic pocket and popping the tear drop on the front.  I have also been using them in my planner for repeat activities by moving them through the planner as i go.  Found that to be very time saving.
So I have had my Malden for about 18 months and used it daily and I love it.  It cost quite a bit of money but I love the colour, the size everything.  So I think I will be selling my Pink Finsbury rather than having it sitting in its box doing nothing.  The leather is starting to have that used look about it and I like that.  It is maturing..........just like me!  I have also had many lovely comments about it too.
It is the perfect size for reducing A4 paperwork down to A5 and you can still read it and it has cut down on the number of A4 ring binder folders that I used to use.
So, these are my start of the school year changes and I shall see how it goes.  If yo have never looked at the Martha Stewart range then do. in the UK I have found quite a good selection at Staples.
Take care and I shall see you later in the week.

Friday, 17 October 2014

A magical little Buy

Every now and again you purchase something which you think is a bargain and then it turns out not to be!
During the summer holidays I decided to get a few cheap little paints to take to evening class but to also put together some teaching resources and I did not want to use my Windsor and Newton paint box.
So at the beginning of the summer holidays we ventured into the Truro branch of the The Range and as usual went our separate ways.
I started looking for paint and found the above little box.
I picked it up but almost at once put it down again and wandered off to search elsewhere.
As I walked round the idea of a stack able box started to appeal especially with the start up of my printing course and not knowing what we might be doing.
At £1.99 I thought I could not lost and if I did not like it perhaps it would do as a stocking filler for Sophie.
Well, when I got home I was very pleasantly surprised.  Off came the wrapping and i started to look at the layers.
The layers twist slightly to hold them together, now this bit is not as perfect as you might think and they do not stay together without fail but enough and once in my Art bag they stay shut.  I was really pleased with the colours and the range that they came in.
They can be mixed and do so very well. I have used them alot since I bought them at the beginning of August and the colours showed up very clearly in any photographs that I took of work using them.  They are just the right size to hold each layer in the palm of your hand (important to me as I do not have very large hands).
I have used them on both fabric (not going to wash it) and on various papers.
This is a Batik that I created on cartridge paper and then colour was added using the above cheap paints.  I think that the colours are a lovely shade.
As I said, fabric is also a surface that I had used these paints on and again I have tried them out with a smaller Batik sample.
I have used these paints for other work which I will feature this weekend and there does seem to be any signs of them running out.  The paint sections seem to be as deep as the central circle which I suppose could be used for water.
Basically, these cheap and cheerful little  pack of paints are a cute size, very portal and contains a great range of colours.
So a magical little Buy.
In fact, I like this box so much that last weekend i went back and bought another one!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Le Challenge - October - MIX

I have not taken part in Le Challenge for a couple of months due to holiday and work but I thought I would pop in an item that I started a little while ago and wanted to finish.
The above is a hand stitching on blue linen fabric using a wide MIX of threads and beads.
I used any stitch that I fancied doing as long as it was all in shades of blue with a little bit of silver.
In some places the stitches would result in a hole which added to the appearance of the stitching.
I finished it off by adding some beads which I did not have when I first started this sample and I also added some more french knots, which I really enjoy doing. At the bottom I added more stitching to enlongate the design more.  I bought new threads to add to it as I seem to have run out of blue after making another item for a swap I am in.  
I like producing abstract free form stitching like this and just seeing where it takes me.   So my link to the theme is a MIX of threads, stitches, shapes and shades of blue.
 I am now on the look out for a white frame as the spare one that I have does not fit but I have found a spot on the wall in the hall which is where it will hang.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Mega Quick Button Brooch

I do not know where the time has gone since my last post.  I have been soooo busy at work that I have really only come home to sleep!
Anyway, we decided to get some fresh air at the weekend and go to a car boot sale and check out what it was like etc as we may book a pitch ourselves in a few weeks time. There was a stall there selling buttons.  So Sophie and I bought one each...............
It is jumbo size button and the design on the front really caught my eye.
My trusty mini glue gun.
A brooch back which I glued on above the holes so that the button will not tip forward  when it is worn.
Pin in on a jumper or top.
And Voila!  A lovely button brooch made in seconds.  I shall be wearing it tomorrow!
Said it was quick...............
My daughter has also made one over on her blog too.
Hopefully I will be back before the month changes!
Take care keep warm and dry.
Where did all that rain come from?  Guess who was on a school trip today.....and yes, it was all outside.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Big Knit is Back!

Regular and long time readers will know that I like to take part in The Big Knit with Innocent Drinks to help raise money for Age UK.
The Big Knit has been going for about 11 years and I think I first took part in 2008 but I will have to go back through my blog to check.  Well actually I think I will, back in a mo..................
I have just visited their site HERE as well.
I'm Back................I first spotted it in 2008 but did not have a go until 2009 but I did not think to take any pictures!
I have found the following:
My first effort sin 2009
Went Pom Pom mad in 2013.
Forgot or lost picture for 2012 and the Autumn of 2011 was a sad time for my family and I did not make any at all.
So this year my approach has been slightly different and due to the fact that i roped my Mum in on it this time and that the hand in date seems much later , by 12th December I have these to show you.  
The Big Knit 2014
I think that these are the best so far.  I knitted three of them and my Mum knitted the rest.
I then picked them up when I last visited and brought them back to Cornwall.
Then to continue with my 2014 Getting to Grips with Crochet , I decided to crochet little flowers and then sew them on to the front of each hat!  Not sure about doing any Pom Poms this year.  What do you think?  Would adding a Pom Pom be too much.
I am now going to knit a few more hats myself and due to the hand in date being later I am thinking of getting colleagues at work involved and some are much better crochet makers than I ma and there is a crochet hat pattern on the website which is
there are also some novelty hats there too but to be honest just trying to knit straight of an evening after a long day at work is enough and I like making the little flowers.  Got another idea for them too!
So if you have some scraps and small needles pop over and take a look and there is  also a help video and patterns to get you started.
It is a really fun project which helps to raise money, uses up nice scrap wool and is an annual event that I find myself looking out for.
Take care and I shall be back later in the week.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Blackberry Crumble Cake

Well actually it should be Gooseberry Crumble Cake but after seeing the cake over at Gina's at Fan My Flame I decided that a swap of fruit was ok and it turned out great and taste's even better!!
This is a Nigel Slater recipe and referred a lot to a food processor but I do not have one of those so I just got my hand whisk out and kept my fingers crossed.  
The juice of the blackberries, which Sophie and I picked during the summer holidays, made the sponge go a lovely purple and did not make the cake soggy.  
You basically make a sponge mixture, put the blackberries on top then add the crumble topping and bake in the oven.  The sponge goes up and the crumble keeps it all under control.  I smells great and I have had to really restrain myself not to eat it all!
As you can see we have been sampling it in our lunch packs this week.
I may have found another recipe for apples which may well go on to Baking To Do list in the coming weeks.
I am pretty much up to date with work for the day job so tonight I am going to colour plan my Granny square blanket and tomorrow we are off the the Creative Stitches Exhibition in Exeter.
Have a lovely weekend.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Pocket Lockets - Opam

I have used the book above a lot over the past few years with my Textiles Club.  I have chosen projects out of and so have the students. The project shown here is my latest from this book and we made them a couple of years ago so I have I decided that it was time for another go.
So whilst waiting for my commission to go ahead I made the above and it is called a Pocket Locket using felt and ribbon.
The instructions are really clear and there are quite a few examples to get the ideas flowing.
There are templates at the back of the book and it does not take up very much felt at all.  The colour combinations are endless and the odd unwanted button could also be added to include another skill.
So this is my example to show my group and I intend on the students making a couple of these, one for their locker key and one as a present.
There are so many ideas in this book.  This is where the idea for Hoot and Toot came from.  It is available on Amazon and well worth a look if you have a young crafter in your house.
Take care

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Crochet Project Planning

I made these squares a couple of weeks ago and you can see from the difference in the squares that my finger was still not back to normal but I do think that I wanted possible four colours and then a row of black.  or would a 5th row give a better sized square?
With two squares made I wondered what I could with them.
So I think a couple of new coasters up in my sewing corner would be a useful so as not to mark the surface of my sewing table.  I was going to back them with fabric, but on second thoughts I do not think that it needs it.
I have a commission to finish and my Santa Sack swap to finish, I may need to put this on hold for a week or two.  I also want to see if I can come up with a colour scheme to maximise the colour combinations that I can create.
Anyway, I have just seen the first episode of Downton Abby so Autumn has really started for me and I wish you all a good week.  Another busy one for me again so not sure when I will be back but I do have a few planned posts in the pipeline.
It is my 7th blog anniversary this month but I am not sure if a giveaway is still fashionable.  Would anyone like to take part?
It is nice to have some happy post isn' it?  Let em know what you think

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Crochet Inspiration

I am hoping that by the end of the year I may have my own version of this............
There is many gorgeous examples of granny square blankets all over the Internet and the two other crochet blankets I have made are used a lot and I am sure a third will fit in very well.
helens colourful crochet
Choosing a colour combination was always going to be a problem.
My daughter would love me to make one like this.
However after months of trying to decide I have finally decided that the colours below
that I used for my bag appealed the most.
So I popped over to Attic24 and then ended up clicking on the wool link that she has for wool combinations that Wool Warehouse has devised based on her projects and I bought this.
I have not fully unwrapped it yet as I do not want the wool getting dusty before I have started.
I appreciate that this is not a very styled or elegant picture but with a cat in the house who rather likes wool I think you would agree that the plastic wrapping needs to stay on!
During my Internet trawl I did find other granny blankets which caught my eye.
Espcially this one which was made by Jade and whose web address is no longer sitting by my chair.  I really should stop trying to tidy up.
She made it for her husband and Jade says it has a 1970's feel about it.  I like the black edging a so some black wool was also purchased, but I do think that I shall be needing some more.
So this is my Autumn/Winter project in the evening when I can no longer see the sewing machine for the Santa Sack Swap and will be portable enough to take to my MIL or away at half term.  It is a long term project but seeing as my finger is almost back to normal ( I have another follow up appointment) I am hoping that crochet will give it a bit of low level exercise as well.
I think I shall do 5 colour rounds and then a black round and maybe 15 x 15 squares in size but I shall have to wait and see.
I know need to have a go at a tension/size square just to make sure.
Lovely weather outside so I am going to sit under the umbrella after I have finished keeping an eye on Sophie while she makes some buns and enjoy this lovely September that we having.
Have a lovely weekend and hopefully I shall be back tomorrow.

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