Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Unofficial Chalkboard Week

I won some chalkboard vinyl a few months ago and after "saving" it for ages (I was seriously too nervous that I'd mess up and ruin it) I finally got round to using it for a few labels.

And when I say a few...

Because this:

Looks SO much better in my cupboard than this:

In fact, I'm loving chalking on things so much,

that I've actually come up with a chalkboard idea that I've not seen anywhere else.

Involving chalkboard paint!

But I'll save that for another day :)

Because otherwise I'll run out of ideas before unofficial chalkboard week is over! ;)

Till then...

from my kitchen cupboards! (that seriously need me to do the food shop! Poor kids.)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Date Night Clutch

I'm Kinda digging these simple little clutches. (tute here)

SO easy to make, especially when you use actual interfacing instead of felt. 

I added the same lining fabric as the yellow lace clutch because I love the fun print as a little surprise!

It's the perfect size for all my essentials for a date with the hubs. He still likes to pay even after nearly six years of being married, so no need for my purse.

And even though we have a joint bank account, him paying still makes me feel special.

So, as a little reminder to my lovely hubs, the date night clutch will remain in plain sight till we get a babysitter. 

Hope you've had a great weekend.

Friday, 23 March 2012

A Cheater's Quilt

Many of you know I'm not really much of a sewer. And if you didn't after this clutch bag/felt and interfacing mix up, you do now!

So when I decided I wanted to make a couple of quilts I knew I didn't quite have the skills to pull off the quilting and binding bit. But after a lot of seam ripping and thinking I think I have come up with an awesome alternative; The Cheater's Quilt (aka how to make a quilt the easy way, I was going to call it the "Quickie Quilt" but changed my mind...).

And here's the other one:

This is for my friend's new baby boy, and the other is for my niece who is turning one next week. They're both cot size or pram size but you can make your's whatever size you want.

To make these I got squares of fabric and jumpers (for the blue and grey one, I'm SO not a knitter, I mean I really suck!). I cut out big squares and little squares. The little ones need to be a quarter of the size of your big ones plus an inch to add a half inch seam allowance.

I then laid them out on the floor till I was happy with the way they looked and sewed them together a line at a time. This cushion tutorial will show you in more detail how to do the patchwork part. With the blue one I went for a traditional lined up square approach, but with the pink one I intentionally (and unintentionally) made them off center on some lines.

Once I was all done I got my backing piece and cut it the same size as the patchwork piece, rounding the corners using a bowl as a template.

Now for the cheating part. Instead of binding, which I really struggled with, just lay them right sides together, stitch round the outside (leaving a few inches for turning), turn, iron and top stitch round the whole thing; being sure to stitch up the hole.


The only difference with this one is that I added some wadding the same size as the front and stitched them to each other with two straight lines (my version of quilting) adding in the lace on one of the lines.

Super easy, took maybe three hours each? That includes cutting squares, stitching together and piecing everything.

This one is totally a cheap eco version. most of the squares are from clothes Izzy has grown out of. The turquoise is a top I was given that didn't suit me and the yellow is left over from our kitchen blind! Oh and the backing is from Izzy's old-but-barely-used curtains. In fact the only fabric I bought for this one was the pink linen which was £1 for one yard. And I have loads left! 

I'm now thinking I need a huge version of this blue one for me and the hubs...

Anyone got any spare jumpers?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Ikea Hack - Laptop table

Here's what I've been working on:

When hubs and I had kids we knew that we would no longer be able to have an office. So we sold our PC and bought a laptop and a laptop table (aka "Dave") from Ikea.

"Dave" (which is the actual name in the shop) was fine for a while, but after a few crafting sessions he wasn't looking quite so slick...

(Sorry hubs) So I gathered a few supplies:

A sample of wallpaper (mine's from Wilkos)
A craft knife
A foam brush
Mod Podge, as you can see I'm too cheap to buy the real stuff, mine is just over half PVA glue and just less than half water

First I painted a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the table and smoothed over the wallpaper.

Then smooth out the air bubbles.There will probably be a lot. Trim around the edge and smooth out any more bubbles. Now I should probably explain what then happened while I was doing this.

I can't even blame the kids, Ethan was sleeping and Izzy was painting. And just as I noticed I'd done this I saw that Izzy has spilled pink paint all over the kitchen heater, floor and wall. Not to mention splashes on the chairs and tables. So I got distracted...and ended up with a few creases in mine because I couldn't get the air bubbles out!

You can kinda see them on the left side. Once the table is dry do a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top, maybe three...

I also filed the edges of mine to make the sides nice and clean.

Luckily the creases get covered by the laptop!

It looks really good next to my new bookcase :)

And makes post-nap Peppa watching all the more cool:

He is not happy right after his nap! Just like his Mum...

Loving the new updated look. Plus I'm one step closer to injecting some fun colour into our living room! And you can't argue with free! (although if you're counting the cost of the whole jar of Mod Podge I used and spilt, it cost maybe 40p?)

So have you ever "hacked" a piece of Ikea to make it your own/prevent spending money on something new? Or do you know how to get Mod Podge out of carpets?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Simple Clutch Bag

My awesome sister-in-law just had a birthday and I wanted to make something great for her.

It's quite simple to make, though mine is a little floppy...apparently although interfacing looks very similar to felt, it does not work the same way.

Just so you know.

I just cut out two rectangles of fabric and one of felt (though you should really use interfacing!), if you want lave or other embellishments sew them on now. I had ordered some magnetic snaps from ebay, but I was later contacted by ebay warning me not to purchase from this seller.

I'd already paid. So I went ahead and sewed anyway!

Then I sewed the rectangles right sides together with the felt interfacing on the outside. Leave a small gap and turn right side round. Iron and then fold up the bottom just over a third of the way, iron again.

Then sew around the outside, excluding the bottom edge, like you can see in the photo above.

I also made this simple card. Butterflies punched out and mounted with foam squares. I put in in a special box type envelope I found in a set at my local charity shop (it came with two punches, a magazine, tweasers, cards and envelopes for £1.99!).

Then I wrapped it up in brown paper and stitched round the outside and posted it a day late.

I did mention that the flu has been in our house for over two weeks now?

p.s. where do you sewers get your interfacing from? I've never actually seen it for sale anywhere...I know I'm totally out of the proper sewists club.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

One Day Monday

I finally got around to making a page for my home tour. The real and the ideal! Click on the page above to check it out and have a nosey around/judge at our messy house.

I feel like I've been really out of blogging for a while, and everything really! I've had flu for over a week now. I'm just starting to feel normal again, but it took it out of me for a while! 

In fact when looking around our now bomb site of a home I said to the hubs:

"I'm kind of glad that it's messy, it shows how much I normally do around the house. If it wasn't you'd either think I didn't do anything all day, or that I'm faking being ill."

To which the hubs is quiet for a second (which I thought was silent appreciation of my comparatively awesome home keeping skills), and then said; "Or you're really good at faking and you've been messing up the house while I've been at work..."

Crap, he's on to me!

The only good thing about the flu is it's a guilt free excuse to spend lots of time on Pinterest!

lace nails, so pretty

Where I can look at extremely practical ways to paint my nails.

2012-03-07 032

And think of projects that I absolutely have to do now. Instead of less important things like laundry, dusting or feeding the kids...

Created by Jill at Made it on Monday.

bow clutch

And of course clutch bags that I must have by our next date night. 

Why yes my husband loves it when I have a new bag for date night, he both notices and appreciates the effort that goes into choosing the right bag for the occasion/outfit and always compliments me on it. Found at Grits and Giggles.

And one that I've not actually found...I'm looking for a mustard-y colour rug for our living room. Now that we decided on bright green doors on our bookcase...

Any of you have a great place to look? Or have one you love? I'm thinking a simple pattern would be nice. But it needs to be cheap-ish. I'm willing to bargain with the hubs if it's awesome so that it can be a birthday present.

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Organising with Wicker

So I mentioned in this post about my love of all things wicker-y and basket-y. I'll show you all my secret shame soon. First I want to share with you something which is nothing short of miraculous! At least for us!

It's the middle white box. 

What, it's just a white wicker basket?!

How wrong you are! Inside this lovely basket is my highly technical and complex method of organising.

This is how all our wires were previously "organised". The worst part is that these are only half of them, I also had a drawer full.

(Please tell me you have experienced something similar?)

So after many attempts I have come up with a ground breaking method to sort your wires.

Okay, so maybe it's not massively ground breaking, but it really does feel like it for me!

I've sorted all the wires for the different things we own into their own bag and then put them in here...

There's even space for the screen cleaner and no longer have any wires in a drawer.

Which is a good job really, as this new bookcase has taken the space of the table with that drawer. 

The hubs even approves! It really is the simplest things that make me the happiest. :)

Speaking of, here's some of the excuses to buy uses for wicker baskets I have in my home.

In a wardrobe as storage for shoes and scarves/belts.

In a bedroom for pajamas/jeans for the next day.

In a child's wardrobe as storage for lesser used toys. Also the box on the left has bed linen. If I had another wicker basket it would go here and make the sheets even prettier.

Inside a drawer to keep smaller, similar toys together.

Of course, to keep cleverly organised wires together ;)

This is a slightly older photo, but the box on the left is similarly organised to the wires box with bags, but for jigsaws. It makes putting them back SO much easier. Plus I don't have twenty or so broken boxes to store.

And lastly I have two under my sink. Not really any particular reason. They make me happy, and maybe make it seem like there's less clutter/spray bottles with only an inch left of cleaner.

Wow, that was a pretty long post. I really do like wicker! So any other uses you have? It's been a while since I bought any...