Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Have a Latte Blog Hop

It's my turn for the Have a Latte blog hop hosted by the wonderful MdmSamm and cheerleaded on by CalicoJoan over at MoosestashQuilting.

I love the material that was supposed to be used in this hop but it isn't yet available in Europe and I didn't want to pay the shipping bills that would have occurred if I got it from Canada so I decided to join in and use up some old coffee themed fabrics I had in my stash - I used a charm pack called Java by Moda.  I have to confess that inspiration completely left me in the run up to this hop (particularly as I had got confused and thought I was also in the bird hop and had spent a while making a bucket bag only to realise I wasn't and was too late to join! doh), then I got a general idea of what I wanted to do but then lacked the enthusiasm to get going until a couple of weeks ago - so unlike me but I guess I have just been preoccupied with other things at the moment.  However when I did get going I thoroughly enjoyed making these placemats:

the odd background you can see there is my London themed dining cloth!


all of the backs are like this:

I didn't really want to put them onto black backgrounds but rather than go out and buy more stash I decided to make do with what I currently had and I must say I was pleased I did as they look quite striking in real life.  I aim to make three more but with a tea theme.

I also had two long strips of fabric both with 11 coffee images on so I made these quick coasters:

which are all the same back and front apart from one of each colourway which I have just put a plain back on.

Hope you have enjoyed a nice coffee whilst visiting my blog and thank you for passing through!  The other participants today are:

April 21
Sunshine Reflections  (you are here)

So pop on over to their blogs too.

Thanks for looking - Full of caffeine from Solihull

Monday, 13 April 2015

Blogger Fun Day

Well I had a lovely day Saturday out and about in Stratford with some lovely new blogging crafty friends - we all had to meet in the Deli Cafe at 11am wearing flowers of some type so it was all very exciting!

I would just like to say a big thank you to all the bloggers who bought gifts for me - they were all so thoughtful and lovely and it was lovely to meet all of you and can't wait to do it again soon.

I myself will be taking part in a Latte Blog Hop next week, however the hop itself actually begins today so if you would like to join in and hop through and see some of the wonderful creations my fellow sewers make then today's link are here:

April 13

Be sure to check them out for some inspiration.

I had a lovely break with the children and other half during the Easter holidays where we spent a great week in Torquay.  On our first day trip out on the Monday we went to Totnes and as I visited a lovely wool shop there (as you do!) I came across this lovely bundle of wooliness:

all made up ready packaged to do the granny stripe quilt over at attic24 so I decided to purchase it all as it was only £26 and I thought would make a lovely cover for my expensive fabric four seater settee that has already had coffee, pizza and, just last Thursday, an Easter Egg all spilt on it in some form or another!

I added three more balls to the collection:

as I wasn't sure how much wool the original blanket used up and then obviously I couldn't wait to get back home on Good Friday to get started on it!  This is as far as I have got to today:

Isn't it already look fabulous!  What with this, my Christmas Quilt (basically almost finished now - it just needs the binding hand sewn onto the back) and my Latte blog hop exhibits its all stations go here.

Am now off to do a bit more......

Thanks for looking - busy hooking in Solihull

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Long time no blog!

Lots have been happening here but I am still keeping my blogging to a minimum in order to try and be more creative!

I have had a go at basket weaving (no laughing please it is a first attempt!):

and a couple of weeks ago I had a lovely trip to Bramble Patch in Northampton with the girls where I told them I was in a bird themed blog hop and as I had so much bird material to use up (the reason for joining the hop) I did not need to buy anymore, anyway I fell in love with this new material:

so I bought a bag pattern (thought it would be quicker than designing one myself) and got busy free motion quilting all those yellow birds on the red material - the same is on the birdcage material but in cream so its not so noticeable.  Anyway I was half way through making the bag when I saw the bird hop advertised as starting on 13th March as I thought my schedule was for 13th April I rechecked and discovered that I am actually in the coffee blog hop and not the bird one (yes I have loads of coffee related fabric piling up here too which is where the confusion probably came in although lets face it I am rather ditsy so it was probably just that!).  I was then too late to join in the bird hop but have finished this bag anyway so I can now keep my latest crochet project in it.

I have also bought and knitted these adorable pixie boots:

I bought the pattern and wool at the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC last Saturday and had them finished on Sunday morning at my crop!  Such fun.  Can now jingle around the house although DS2 keeps trying to pinch them!

Anyway that's it for a bit from me now, looking forward to meeting up with some new crafting buddies in a couple of weeks and also taking part in the Latte blog hop the week after!

Thanks for looking - enjoying life in Solihull

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love is in the air

The Knit for a Bit girls have been at it again and a love seat has mysteriously appeared in Solihull this morning:

If you would like to come along and join in our crazy shenanigans and have lots of fun and giggles whilst knitting for either yourself or for a worthwhile cause then see https://www.facebook.com/knitforabit or http://www.knitforabit.co.uk/ for details.

Also whilst on my travels around Solihull this morning I picked up this bargain from Maplins:

A set of security scissors - used mainly for shredding sensitive paper - for £1.99!  They are ideal for papercrafting but you will have to be quick as the Solihull store only has six left in stock and you will need to ask for them as they are not on the shelves!

Also I don't know whether you saw my Eclectic Elements blog hop post earlier this week but am very excited to say that all three of my projects were pinned by Tim!  How cool is that.

Thanks for looking - Feeling the love from Solihull

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Its the Eclectic Elements Blog Hop!!!

I am sew excited!  Have been waiting for this day for what seems like ages now!  A big thank you for joining me to see my creations with the lovely Tim Holtz range of fabrics.  First up:

I designed this bag using the new range of fabrics:

I have wanted to design my own bag for a while now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  The bag has a front flap which when opened displays:

I wanted two front pockets to be able to throw last minute bits and pieces in such as a car park ticket and I also wanted a secure area in which to keep my purse hence the zipped compartment - here is a closer view of the top:

The bag is fully lined and inside there is a further zipped pocket and two normal pockets.

Here is a view of the back of the bag, again with another pocket (can you tell I like pockets!):

the pocket is secured with a loop and Tim Holtz fragment which I have made into a button using matching paper.

Here is a close up of the handle to show the quilting:

It says Smidge as that's what my OH calls me - I have also put my age (but am not showing that!) and the year on the handle - all other letters are random throughout.  All of the bag is quilted using Tims Word Play sizzix die as a template - I cut out lots of letters with freezer paper which I then ironed onto the bag front, back pocket, the handle and the main bottle cap pieces which make up the basic bag and then I free motion quilted around each letter.  I spent a lovely day making this!

I then decided I needed a new Things To Do organiser in which to keep my notebook, pens, spare bits of paper and other useful stuff that I like to have handy, so I spent a few happy hours using some of the older range of fabric and hand sewing lots of hexagons and then hand sewing them altogether to make this:

as you can see it is big enough to hold an A5 notepad and various bits - there are three pockets on the left hand side and two on the right.  I finished it by machine sewing a binding on the inside and then hand sewing it onto the front to give it a nice finish.  Again it is held closed with a loop and this time a Tim Holtz muse token.

Then last Saturday I decided to add to my Eclectic Collection of finished items and made this in which to keep my Surface (type of tablet for those who don't know!) - here is the front:

I cut up the fabric into 2.5" squares and machine sewed them together into strips and then into two blocks, added some wadding and lining to make the case.  It is bound using the same method as the notebook holder and again finished with a loop (I like these loops too don't I!)  and this time a clear button with some matching paper glued onto it.  Here is the back:

I still have quite a bit of the new range of the fabrics left so am going to see what other inspiration there is on the next blogs in the hop.

Please join in with me and visit the following participants of the hop:

A big thank you to all the girls in taking part in this hop with me - can't wait to see what you have all made!

Thanks for looking - An Eclectic Sewer with sore fingers from Solihull

Sunday, 1 February 2015

CC3C Technique No. 21

Well it looks like my papercrafting mojo is well and truly back as not only did I make a piece for Tim's January challenge yesterday but today I have done a piece for CC3C!  This is the first time I have taken part with CC3C that is how long I have not been playing with papers as they are on the 21st one!

The challenge is based on pg55 of the third volume of Compendium of Curiosities which is Rock Candy Distress Glitter.

Here is my take:

True to my task of trying to start using old/unused stash the decorative strip bird die has had its first outing on this tag despite being bought last September and also the rock candy glitter has only just been opened and I have had that for even longer!!

The tag uses the artful birds stamp set with the birdcage following the technique on pg 55.  The tag was inked with Victorian Velvet and Dusty Concord with all stamps inked up with Walnut Stain.  The bird is handcut out and also inked over with Victorian Velvet and then given a covering of glossy accents for a nice finish.

The pink flowers are Tims tattered floral die done up in 3d - if you want to see how to make them I have a YouTube video showing you how on my sidebar - the book page flowers are from a sizzix die that I won last year.  The garden greens are coloured with Peeled Paint ink, stamped with a script stamp and then have a light dusting of heirloom gold perfect pearls so they are a bit sparkly too.

If you would like to join in with the challenge the details are here over on the awesome Linda Ledbetters website.  You could not only win a fabulous prize from Tim and Mario but you get entered into a random draw for a fabulous $50 prize from The Inspiration Emporium.  How exciting is that!

Have had a lovely morning making this - might just go and do another one now.....

Thanks for looking - Feeling crafty from a slight snowy Solihull

Saturday, 31 January 2015

January 2015 Tag

If you are visiting here for the Grow Your Blog Hop my post is here.

Well what a lovely morning I have had here in overcast Solihull.  When I first saw Tim's January tag back on the 1st January I knew exactly what I wanted to do but all month I couldn't find the inspiration to get going to actually put paint etc. to paper - however this morning I got up and found the energy! whoo hoo - so here it is:

Rather than using random words I decided to make mine into a bit of a Things To Complete list for 2015 - I say a bit because my Things To Do list is always extensive however I do have a pile of half done/not quite started projects that I would like to get done so I have set this whole year as the deadline.  Sounds a long time but if you see I have put on there "Date Quilts" this has been on my To Do list since my very first quilt which I made back in 2004!

So my aim this year is to complete:
A beautiful Moda Rocket Age quilt for my son - front and back are done it just needs sandwiching together with batting (already got) and quilting - started in October 2014
A cute Christmas Quilt - at exactly the same stage as the quilt above - started in October 2012
Date Quilts - all 13 of them! This will consist of either handsewing labels or using a fabric pen, either way should only take a couple of hours when I get going - all dates of completion are written down in a book!
Crochet Bat - an adorable bat pattern that I bought from the Toft Alpaca shop - don't know why the bat caught my eye or what I am going to do with it when it is done - started October 2014
Rabbit Clothes - I made a lovely rabbit a few months ago and have a kit consisting of a shirt, jeans and waistcoat for him - not yet started
Mushroom Mat - much to the amusement of my family I have a bit of a mushroom feature going on in my lounge so I want to make a mat (bit like a small quilt) to stand them on - not yet designed/started
Willow Basket - last August I bought a kit to make a small willow basket from Willow and Wetlands in Somerset - lovely place, well worth a visit if you are in that part of the world - not yet started
Use Old Stash - goes without saying really

So that's a little target for me to get on with amongst other things this year!

To make the panel I followed the instructions over on Tim's blog here.  I have tried to list all of the items used on the thumblinky thing.  I also used some Prima Shabby Chic mushrooms and a die cut Rocket from the Outer Space sizzix decorative strip (both unused stash - whoo hoo).  The rocket was coloured in with various distress markers and inked with Walnut Stain ink. The mushrooms got a light covering of Walnut Stain paint. The word "Twenty" is cut out from Tim's Santa's Workshop decorative strip die - it's black card covered with Brushed Pewter paint.  The 15 is black card covered in Blue glitter - I tried gold letters and numbers but they didn't look right and then I discovered that I don't have any silver glitter so went with the blue instead.

That's it for now - if you would like to pop back on 11th February I am hosting an Eclectic Elements blog hop and I would love it if you would take time to come and visit me and the other participants - am so very excited about it all and already have two projects done for it.

Thanks for looking - wanting more snow from Solihull