Monday, 18 November 2013

Project Update

I've been following a lot more crafty people and companies on Facebook recently, its nice to have a little crafty injection when I manage a 2 minute break at work to refresh facebook.

A favorite at the moment is And Sew We Craft, they regularly post funny crafty photos and this one really made me chuckle 

It's so true...

Really got me thinking about all the promises we make to ourselves about not starting projects, I hear myself thinking this all the time but I rarely manage to actually see it through 
Somehow my fingers manage to make their way to that new book or that new pile of fabric or just maneuver my car into the car park at the local craft shop...I surely cannot be blamed for these incidents over which I have little control?  
Well in the spirit of desperately trying not to start anything knew, I thought I would own up to the projects which are as yet unfinished (but are well on their way!) 

Ripple Blanket
I'm 120 rows in....yes really 120 rows I had to count twice....but I'm not finished. I don't really know how many rows I'm planning but is isn't quite long enough so I'm still going.

Lovely a warm to sit under and make on a blustery autumn evening

I'm loving the colours.... it's so Missoni 

Ripple Crochet Blanket

Ripple Crochet Blanket

Liberty Quilt
Not sure I've shared this project with you, other than mentioning I'd bought the fabric and pattern at the Knitting and Stitching Show in October 

As you can see it's a tree, I've cut out about 100 flower pieces, tree trunk and butterflies and am now in the process of applique-ing these on to a fabric sandwich...its actually not taking as long as I'd feared...
tree trunk just the 80ish flower pieces to go! 

Liberty Patchwork Applique Tree

Liberty Patchwork Applique Tree

Loving working on this, and working with Liberty fabric is such a massive treat 


Ok, so now I've admitted to my 2 mammoth ongoing projects is it a good time to admit I'm starting another one??

I will also point out right now that I have just joined the Quilty Fun Sew Along being ran by Lori Holt and a raft of quilty bloggers so yes I'm about to start something new....oh well it's the thought that counts right???

This runs right until March 2014! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

And the Winner is ......

.... Kate Hudson - well done

I've sent you an email please send me your address and I'll put the tickets in the post.

Hope you have an amazing time


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Weekend Stitching - Patchwork Coasters Trial

I did a spot of shopping last week...
I know I'm meant to be saving money but I spotted this tutorial by Lori Holt on the Fat Quarter Shop for some easy patchwork coasters which I couldn't resist. Plus I keep seeing patterns which use charm cakes plus it is nearly Christmas. And I need some Christmas patchwork in my life.......
so basically it wasn't my fault at all that 2 charm packs from Moda cyber-jumped into my basket on eBay. 
I was a victim really! 

After a little pinning, stitching, cutting and they are.... 

Monochrome Patchwork Coasters

Monochrome Patchwork Coasters

Monochrome Patchwork Coasters
My first attempt at coasters didn't turn out to bad....starting to wish I'd taken up the offer of the village craft fair. Oh well I'd probably be stressed beyond belief right now if I had agreed to do, and stressed crafting is rarely fun. 

Monochrome Patchwork Coasters

So my next task is to make some Christmasy placemats and coasters. Just the 3 of us for Christmas this year, pleased I don't have all the family here and don't have to make 15 of them!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Autumn ATC Swap

It was an exciting post week here in the Becca Lou household, there is only one thing better than sending a parcel; it's receiving one. And this week was ATC Swap week. The swap was again run by Ali over at Very Berry Handmade and the theme was appropriately Autumn

I had a idea straight away for my design - as I have a 3yr old son Autumn is generally spent searching for and then jumping in puddles, or me shouting "Nooooo", running and quickly scooping him up if we have gone out without wellies. It is fun jumping in puddles an adult you cant really do it unless you have a toddler in tow! Such a shame.

So here is my homage to jumping in Autumn Puddles

Autumn ATC Swap

Now, the design and creation of the front of an ATC is the easy bit as far as I'm concerned. I don't know why but I always find the reverse so much more challenging and surely that should be the easy bit - it is just a name and contact details for goodness sake. 

To me it is a bit like that last section of school course work - you get the majority of it done but leave the hard bit till the night before the deadline...that was me on Sunday night....eagerly stitching the reverse trying to figure out the right answer before posting on Monday as per the deadline! 

This time it only took me 4 attempts to get it right
1. This is the final version - ink rollerball pen on calico hand switched to the back
Autumn ATC Swap

My failures
2. the pen looked messy
3. I thought cross stitch might look nice - nope!
4. I wondered about programming my sewing machine but this just looked too formal 

Now look what I received in the post
Isn't it lovely 
It will have pride of place on my craft shelf..
I'm one lucky lady

Autumn ATC Swap

If you want to see some of the other ATCs created check out the flickr site

Hoping there will be another swap in spring next year, this is my second swap and really enjoying it. If you know of any more please let me know


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts Review and Campervan Bean Bag

One of my little treats at the Knitting and Stitching Show was a new craft book. I'd seen a review of this book previously so when I saw it at the show I had to have a flick through, and as soon as I'd seen inside I had to treat myself -
The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts 
25 enchanting projects to make for children

The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts

 The book contains a wonderful collection of projects, including a beanbag which was my prompt to buy the book....I wanted to make a campervan cushion for my son's bedroom to match the campervan blind. So I've road tested one of the projects and I'm still really impressed.

The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts

The instructions were really simple and clear to follow, also really pleased that it only took me a couple of hours to make 
(I've got a few projects on the go at the moment so to get something completely finished in one sitting was great) 

Here it is....I've made a cosy little book corner in my son's bedroom, he loves his big boy beanbag and it looks great matching the blind

Campervan Bean Bag - Cosy Book Corner

Campervan Bean Bag

The book is filled with cute illustrations and many more sewing, crochet and knitting projects from simple to amazing....would thoroughly recommend if you are looking for ideas for children that are just a little more enchanting than the norm

The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts

The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts

The Belle & Boo Book of Crafts

Maybe something to ask Santa for????

Friday, 1 November 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2013

The lovely team at TwistedThread have given me 2 tickets for the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show worth £25 to giveaway

I've been to a few of the shows ran by TwistedThread previously and absolutely loved them. Read my most recent review of the October show at Alexandra Palace here 

There's such a great range of inspiration and unusual tools, fabrics and classes available to tantilise and send you home with such a creative buzz, I'd recommend the show to anyone who loves to craft.

So, what do you have to do to enter this amazing competition.....
Just follow the rafflecopter instructions - the competiton is open until 14th November, I will contact the winner shortly afterwards and post the tickets to you first class

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck x

Thursday, 31 October 2013

More elephant bunting

I posted recently on facebook that I was making elephant bunting for a friend, a different friend left me a comment asking if I had scraps then her little boy would love some elephant bunting for his elephant room.....This friend has always been so kind about my crafty exploits so I couldn't resist sending her a little treat, and whilst I had everything out I needed making an extra set of mini bunting really wasn't any trouble at all.

I sent this as a surprise so didn't want to ruin it by posting pictures last week and having to make up who it was for, blah blah blah....

well I now know it has arrived so can share this slightly different elephant bunting with you ....  so cute - this would look great in any nursery

Elephant Fabric Bunting

Elephant Fabric Bunting

Monday, 28 October 2013

Using up my stash - Vintage Teacup Candle Tutorial

The general consensus when I admitted my addiction to purchasing candles (which I don't then use) was to turn them into teacup candles for gifts. I found some great vintage teacups in a market a couple of weeks ago and then today I have finished the candles. Yay! I have Vintage Teacup Candles!

I read a few reviews and tutorials before I started and wanted to share what worked for me 

You will need
Candle wicks
Candle wax - I melted down old candles
Teacup Candle Tutorial

Tip - you may also want to purchase a cheap saucepan and wooden spoon - the cleaning afterwards isn't pleasant. I spent £1.75 on a pan and then recycled it with other metals at the dump

1. Prepare the Wax 
As I was using part used candles I cut them down into chunks before melting.
I've got quite a candle stash so selectively removed any dark sections of candles and then used a knife to shave these into sections. 

Teacup Candle Tutorial

Teacup Candle Tutorial

TIP - I found a smooth blade much easier to use than a serrated one

2. Prepare the Teacups
I purchased prewaxed wicks with sustainers so they stood in the teacups without needing sellotape across the top

Vintage Teacups for Candles

3. Melting the Wax
This was the bit I was most nervous about. I read reviews of wax bursting into flames and that got me scared. The safest method seems to be melting wax in a small pan which is resting in a larger one filled with water

I used a really low heat - my hob has settings 1-9, I used setting 3
The water was just touching the bottom of the small pan and wasn't simmering or bubbling at all

The wax melted really quickly. Very soon I had liquid wax with lumps of wax icebergs gradually melting

Melting Wax for Tea Cup Candle

TIP - you can add essential oils at this stage

4. Making your Candles
Once you have enough melted wax pour it into the teacups - a little first to secure the wick in place and then fill up to the required amount. 

Vintage Teacup Candle

 Leave to cool whilst you feel smug and enjoy a well earn cup of tea!

And here are the finished articles....aren't they adorable and what a perfect low cost Christmas / Birthday gift
Vintage Teacup Candle

Vintage Teacup Candles

I hope you found this tutorial useful - please let me know if you've made some Vintage Teacup candles

Bunting had it's outing

Do you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned making some bunting for my husband's work, but it didn't quite make it to it's planned outing?

Well it went out to the market this weekend

Looking good - quite pleased with this 

Kingsclere Fair - Cottismore Stand

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Stash-busting #declutterday

This week I turned my attention to my fabric stash for #declutterday. There are piles of fabric bought a long time ago with bygone projects in mind still loitering at the bottom of my fabric draw. It was time to sort it out. I'm pleased to report that I removed 7 large pieces of fabric from the draw and have now sold them on eBay. 

 Whilst I still like the designs I don't have a project in mind and as I haven't used them yet and I really going to?

declutterday stash busting

Some of these were large pieces so I chopped a little bit off if there was a small pattern I could use in patchwork and sold the rest.
There's no harm in keeping a little bit is there?

Made a few pennies too

Although I'm going no where near quickly enough to make my target of £950 in the next 11 weeks! 
Oh dear! 
There just aren't enough hours in the day

My pockets might not be getting richer but at least my house is getting clearer! 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Elephant Bunting

Started using the stash of fabric I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show this morning to make some bunting. It was always the plan to use some of the elephant fabric to make bunting. A very good friend of mine is nearing the end of her second pregnancy and is decorating the nursery brown and white, I asked if I could help in any way and suggested bunting. When I saw this adorable beige and white elephant fabric at the show it I knew this was perfect for the bunting. 

So here it is, elephant bunting for the nursery, hot off the sewing machine only minutes ago...

Elephant Fabric Bunting

Elephant Bunting

Right I'm off to the post office with this....

Friday, 11 October 2013

Knitting and Stitching Show - October 2013

Yesterday I was at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London. What a fabulous day.

As always with these shows, preparation is key. 
I booked in for 2 workshops - one on Shrink Plastic and another to make a make up bag
I'd made a list of what I wanted to buy 
had other project ideas in mind. 
I also went with a very good friend...crafting and a good chat...what could have been better. 

This was by far the biggest craft show I have ever been to, taking up 3 halls in Alexandra Palace. There was such a range of things to do and see.  Including an amazing yarnbombed taxi at the entrance!

One hall had a beautiful display of work from experienced and student artists
Whilst another had the opportunity to get involved in upcycling to make woven rugs and flower corsages

The third hall was by far the biggest and full of all types of knitting and stitching products, of course I didn't come home empty handed 

Campervan and spotty fabric
Campervan and Spotty Fabric

Cars Fabric
Cars Fabric

Elephant Fabric
Elephant Fabric

Liberty Fabric Scraps
Liberty Scraps Fabric
I also bought a fabulous quilt fabric which I will use the liberty fabric for...will share this soon

Looks like there will be a lot of stitching in my future!

Shrink Plastic Workshop
I've had a play with Shrink Plastic before, but always useful to learn from someone more experienced. I made these amazing incredibly pleased with them and definitely learnt some new tips to help me make better items at home

Shrink Plastic Buttons
Shrink Plastic Buttons

Sewing a Zip into a Makeup Bag Workshop
This was the workshop I was most excited about as I thought there was a dark art to inserting zips...turns out they are as easy as pie! 
Within an 1.5 hours I had made the outer bag with a zip inserted and box corners (also new to me!) then I slip stitched in the lining on the train heading home....great skills I will use again and again. 
Sewing Prep
From this....

Sewing Workshop this

Sewing Workshop
Love it!

If you're crafty and can get to London would completely recommend the show, its on until Sunday so get there if you can.

I was sent the entry tickets to the show for free in exchange for writing a review, however, I paid for all travel, workshops and shopping myself. All words in this blogpost are my own.