Sunday, 29 September 2013

First attempt at bunting

I'm always a little apprehensive when trying something seemingly simple for the first time. I want it to be perfect and it rarely is. But this time....well I don't want to blow my own trumpet too much but, By George She's Done first attempt at bunting and I'm pretty chuffed

Hubby has started to run a monthly market stall and wanted to display his company name, I suggested making some bunting with his company name on.

I searched an awful lot of photos and articles before starting, there were loads of different techniques and shapes. But I'm a fairly traditional girl at heart so it was the classic triangles with patched letters for me.

Green and White Bunting

Now I was holding this post to show you a picture of my husband's market stall...well I went to my parents house this weekend with the little man. On Saturday morning I got a rather sheepish phonecall from my husband...he'd forgotten to pick up the after some 1/2 serious 1/2 joking swearing we laughed about it...

Green and White Bunting

So you will have to wait for an in situ photo next month... oh hum.... so pleased I worked late into the night to finish these on Wednesday before I disappeared for a long weekend on Thursday! LOL!

Green and White Bunting

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Another Textile ATC Swap

Really excited to be taking part in the second textile ATC swap ran by Ali over at Very Berry Handmade

Very Berry Handmade ATC Swap

The partners have been exchanged, so I know who I am making for (sorry its a secret till we exchange!)

The theme this time is Autumn. I've got a few ideas in mind and a little time left to finesse as the exchange is the first week in November. Looking forward to making something for some one else.

I made a camping / outdoor themed ATC  for the last swap with shrink plastic bunting and a free hand machine embroidery detail

Thinking cap firmly on

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A is for Apple

I most certainly wouldn’t categorise myself as a fussy eater. In fact I’m more likely to say I love food a little too much.

There is a but coming...

But....I don’t eat fruit

I do eat strawberries and raspberries and cooked apple

But I don’t eat anything else

I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember

My Mum tells stories of me eating mashed banana as a child – my retort is that I was clearly force fed!

At school I used to have a red pepper in my lunch box whilst my friends had apples - yes I got some funny looks!

My son, however, loves fruit and I’ve been encouraging him to eat lots. We regularly have a fridge full of melon and a fruit bowl full of apples and kiwis

I don’t really know why but I’ve been thinking I need to sort this out for a while, I’ve been trying to loose a few pounds and failing miserably (partially due to all the illness in August and September). Whenever I do attempt a diet I always stumble across the same issue – other dieters can snack on fruit when they are hungry, filling up on strawberries and raspberries is an expensive business!


At work we have fruit Thursdays – so today the filing cabinet behind me was abundantly covered in a range of fruit. Embarrassed that I was personally eating the entire punnet of raspberries each week I only took a few this morning and I also selected an apple. A Braeburn apparently.....

This may not seem huge to you, you probably think I’m a bit silly! But it was a big step for me.

I decided I would take my boys out for dinner (pizza mmmm) if I ate the apple.....

It stared at me all morning from the corner of my desk

At first it was planned to be an 10am snack

Didn’t happen

Then 11am snack

No its still sat there looking at me....

Then I decided to have it as part of my lunch

Sandwich finished

Here we go


I’m doing it

I’m actually eating an apple

First bite tasted like I expected, a little juicier maybe and the skin was annoyingly thick (do they all have thick skins?)

I don’t like the skin

But I kept going

It leaves a bit of a sweet after taste – I like that

Its quite juicy really – that's quite pleasant

Well I managed over ½ the apple. I don’t think that is too bad, it's at least 30 years since I last ate one!

Feeling quite virtuous - but must not reward myself with a trip to the chocolate machine

I’m not sure I’m going to switch my diet immediately but hey that wasn’t quite as bad as I thought....well done my amazing little boy for inspiring me to eat this

Looking forward to my pizza dinner treat now

Well done me

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Knitting and Stitching Show

Quite tickets have arrived for the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace in October. I was offered complementary tickets to the show by the organizers (#spoilt!)

But I've then been left with the decision as to what classes to take whilst I was there. I'm going with one of my best friends so going to be a day of crafting, shopping and chatting, I simply cant wait.  

I've booked myself into 2 workshops on techniques I've tried previously but would like to perfect by learning from an expert

Shrink plastic is something I tried earlier this year, had great fun but would love to learn some tricks of the trade and the workshop promises to help me make my own buttons, how cool would that be! I have a whole shrink plastic button making empire planned out in my head! 

Make up Bag with a Zip - zips terrify me! yes I've said it. Hi my name is Becca and I'm terrified of adding a zip to anything. I tend to avoid any task which involved adding a zip, they just look so complicated, using a machine zipper foot, positioning them correctly, remembering to unzip them and so on.....but its time to tackle this phobia. I'm so excited about learning this, and making a makeup bag too, a girl always needs a new makeup bag. And goodness knows I've got enough scrap fabric to make many practice ones at home! 

Well I'm counting down to my crafting day.... Are you heading to the show this or any other crafting show this Autumn? Are you doing any workshops whilst you're there? 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Mosaic Bird Picture Craft Kit

All was quiet in the Becca Lou household on Friday night. The little man was fast asleep at 5pm after a hectic afternoon and a gently rocking car ride, we took him straight to bed and he slept through until 7am, can you imagine having 14 hours of sleep, how wonderful! I didn't really know what to do with myself to start with. Everyone is normally shattered and a little grumpy in this house on a Friday after a busy week, and most definitely in need of the weekend. 

I was faced with a child free evening and dinner already organised

Then I remembered while ago I'd bought a mosaic picture kit for a rainy day....ta-da! What a perfect treat for my quiet Friday night - organised and instructed craftiness...just what you need at the end of a long working week

I've never attempted mosaic work before but it was really easy and the results (well I think!) are great.

My kit was from a company called Rico Design - from what I understand from the box and the website they are a German company specialising in craft kits, I'd never heard of them but the kit looked a but different and I love to learn new skills so thought I would give it a go. 

The kit was to produce your own mosaic picture of a bird with the frame, glue and tiles included. I did need to find a small paint brush and tweezers to use too, but the process was simple enough. 

1. glue the pattern to the backing of the picture frame and let it dry

Rico Design Mosaic Bird Picture Kit

2. sort out the tiles into colours 
I nearly lost the will to live doing this! 
Tedious doesn't come close there were 256 tiles would it have killed the manufacturer to put them in separate bags? they had to count the tiles into the kit anyway! grrr! 
or maybe they don't count them....see later!!!

Sorting mosaic tiles

Sorting mosaic tiles

3. methodically cover the pattern in glue and stick on the tiles. I did 2 lines at a time as that was the thickness of my paint brush, it seemed to work

Mosaic Bird

I was a little annoyed as I got to the bottom on the picture and realised that there weren't enough white tiles in my pack!! 
Thanks Rico Design! 

I had to fill in the bottom 2 rows with red in the middle rather than solid white, and some of those white tiles were damaged - not covered in enough glaze etc. 

There are some things you expect when buying a kit and enough equipment to make the advertised finished result is one of them! 

Mosaic Bird

Husband said I should take the kit back to the shop, but I didn't keep the receipt and wasn't really sure what the shop assistant would do other than give me another kit. I honestly don''t think I could face sorting the tiles out in another kit to find that they might be wrong too! 

It wouldn't have been too bad if there were just a few more white than I could have made the bird some legs rather than an unfortunate dragging on the floor beer-belly which is what he looks to have now! 

Oh well very disappointing, but I guess only I would know that the pattern is wrong (can you keep a secret?) 

Mosaic Bird

Mosaic Bird

Mosaic Bird Picture

Without the obvious issue with tiles I thought the kit was great, it took me about an hour start to finish + 1 hour to dry before it can be hung. The repetition and order was relaxing and it felt creative at the same time. 

For now it is sitting on my craft desk until I decide where to hang it, but not sure I will ever be really happy with him. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

#declutterday - Candles Update

Thanks for all the responses to my post last month on my minor candle purchasing addition
Hello my name is Becca and I am addicted to buying candles

I have managed to down size my candle stash somewhat - I sold some of the new ones on eBay for a little money - but hey it all counts towards the Mickey Mouse total doesn't it! See below for how I'm progressing towards my target.

Most of the post comments on my original post suggested I should attempt to recycle some of these into teacup candles. And when I spotted these teacups on a thrift stall it was decision made. I wasn't even meant to be at the fair, it was only a very last minute decision to join my husband at an event he was working at a local village 

Isn't it amazing what you can stumble on when you aren't looking  

Blue and gold teacups

I have no idea how to melt and then set candles, but I've a few candles still in my stash, wicks on order from eBay and the internet so am sure I can figure something out.

So now there my challenge is to make my teacup candles into a product I would be proud to give a friend or family member at this space! 


In other #Declutterday News....

Progress hasn't been great towards my cash target, I haven't been able to face listing things on eBay whilst dealing with a little boy who hasn't been well, so I'm quite disappointed with where I am the Mickey reveal. I'm seriously doubting that I'll be able to make enough money to fund our Florida holiday accommodation  

I have, however, managed to continue with the deal on removing at least 5 items from the house including
- one skirt - too short
- 1 pair of trousers - didn't fit anymore 
- 5 candles (yay!) 
 - a pile of old half used notebooks went into paper recycling 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Campervan Bedroom Roman Blind

Have finally managed to get the camera out before my little man has gone to bed to get a photo of the roman blind I made for his room. 

Love this campervan fabric -so cute

Campervan fabric bedroom blind

I was a bit blonde when I was cutting it and did my measurements all wrong, was just having a seriously off day, managed to find some nice navy linen in my stash. Actually quite like it 2 tone, like to think it was a design statement but honestly it was to cover a mistake. Oh well no one will ever know, you wont tell will you!

I used blackout lining as the room is a bit of a sun trap and I would kill for a lie-in, he also has a set of curtains as the window is in an alcove. The curtains have blackout lining too, but he is still up at 6am every morning! I will be reminding the little man of this when he is a teenager and I'm struggling to get him to rise before noon! 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Style in View - a spot of fantasy shopping

Whilst feeling sorry for myself this week I spent a bit of time surfing the net and doing some fantasy shopping. I discovered Style in View, its a fashion search engine, where you can search for clothing from many different sites in one place and also create boards of items you like and search other's boards like on Pinterest. 

I was looking for a new outfit for work and made this selection, what do you think? 

Love how you can select products from multiple shops into one look book and really see how they would work together, now all they need to do is allow me to upload a photo of me and my measurements and then put the outfit on a model so I could see how they look...I'd never need to visit the high street again!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Contagion in Basingstoke!

I was looking forward to writing a post on 1st September waving a fond farewell to August. It was a month full of germs in our house, unfortunately September has not started as I would have hoped. 

August saw my little man bouncing from one viral infection to another, the evil little germs all seemed to attack whilst his immune system was low  following his fall and subsequent A&E scare. So I have been changing his snot covered bedding on a daily basis and generally wrapping him in cotton wool and spoiling him rotten with treats and trips out. He is such a little trooper, he faced all this infection with a smile on his face, and even when his voice was nearly gone he was giggling away. I could learn a lot from him!

He is now on antibiotics to beat the final few germs giving his little body a chance to recover fully before we head into autumn and the stream of colds he is no doubt likely to contract from nursery. 

My husband and I managed to dodge most of these infections except for us both feeling horrid for 48 hours, I thought we escaped lightly

This was all August and I was ready to say goodbye (with the exception of completing the little man's antibiotics), we were done....

but I'm ill

I woke on Wednesday morning with my alarm at 6am and what felt like a golf ball in my throat, a thumping head ache and a squeaky voice. 

I texted my boss and said I wasn't coming to work, next thing I knew it was 2pm. I obviously needed that sleep

I haven't managed to shake it off and went to the Dr today. There is a chance I have tonsillitis, I had this a few times as a teenager and don't relish the opportunity to experience it again, so I have a prescription for antibiotics which I'm hoping will do the trick so normal service will resume on Monday.

The irony of all of this is that during August my husband and I watched Contagion


I doubt it won many Oscars, however, I really enjoyed it and the story line has really got me thinking. For anyone who hasn't seen this film the premise is
deadly virus is spreading across the globe - passing from human to human quickly 
where did it start? 
can it be stopped? 

My little man (and now me) have picked up so many bugs recently could this really happen?  I'm already a paranoid user of hand sanitizer when we are out and about, but is this enough? My thoughts have even wandered this morning as to whether I should ditch hand towels in the bathrooms at home in favour of a huge pile of face clothes which you use once and pit in a towel bin to be washed and then reused, a la posh restaurant. Is this going too far?

I know there is a need to contract some germs in order to exercise your immune system like any other part of the body - use it or loose it! And certainly when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s there weren't such things as hand sanitizer. But life was different back then. We didn't travel quite so frequently internationally, or sit on air conditioned trains to commute to work where a sneeze 3 carriages down is efficiently shared with the whole train.

I don't know what the answer is, but as strip my little man's bed again to wash the snot away and I gently sip on my water gritting my teeth as I painfully swallow I'm trying to figure out how to avoid getting infected again.

Answers on a post card