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Friday, 28 December 2012

Back to business

Well here we are very nearly in a new year after a busy happy Christmas with my lovely family and a rather long break from making anything at all - I seemed to spend way too much time browsing at Christmas fairs and not enough time at the sewing machine.  I'm ashamed to say that I made only one present this year - a cushion for my very dear niece Kate's new bedroom in her lovely country farmhouse.  It's a bit wonky - I had forgotten the perils of stitiching on crushed velvet, it has a life of its own, but I hope she'll be happy with it.

I did do a little festive baking with the delightful mini cake tins that I got for my birthday and although my icing-all-over made them a bit too sweet, the edible glitter and fresh cranberries made them look very pretty.
My most pleasing Christmas creativity was inspired by Country Living magazine and was much enjoyed by the local wildlife - I'm going to plant it in the garden and do this every year!

Now I'm brimming with ideas for things to make in the new year, which is a pretty good plan as I have a) no money and b) cupboards bursting with fabric just begging to be used.  Back to business with a vengeance!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Nova Scotia stylie

On our recent holiday to our home-away-from-home, I thought I would take a pic of some cushions I made for the 'boys' room - a cheery little nautical number and a lighthouse typical of a Maritime shore. I rather fancy a series of natty nautical niceties...  but, as usual, too much to do, too little time.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Cat in a Bag

So, I thought... what would a little girl like for her Birthday?  A bag perhaps?
 But maybe that's a tad dull... how about a little pocket.... with a mouse in.  And how about a little cat to hide in the bag and leap out on the unsuspecting mouse?  Good idea.  It all went swimmingly until it came to the cat's facial features - however, young Eleanor is reportedly delighted with the mad-scary-eyed-pig-cat - children can be so forgiving :)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Linen and lace

So here's my swishy 1957 vintage Vogue dress...
.. and here's the petticoat I made out of an assortment of leftovers (including an old linen tablecloth) and a bit of chunky lace from my fabric store.  I forgot what a chore frills are - endless stiching and pulling and pinning and faffing, but I'm pleased with the end result, and even more pleased I made it from scraps and didn't go and buy acres of net.  I've decided I want to wear cotton dresses every day of my life - ha, I'd love to see my colleagues faces if I turned up to work in this :)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Vintage dreaming

Well it's been a while - I have been neglecting the 'doing' side of things in favour of a spot of 'thinking' (aka daydreaming on Pinterest :)  But I now have another major source of inspiration - say hello to Dolly.
 My mission is to a) accessorise in a major way, b) load her up each spring with the results of my winter's crafting work and c) dress myself up all vintage-like and sell my wares underneath her pretty awning at craft fairs and markets across the province - now there's a plan...
 Speaking of vintage dress up, I've just made a rather swishy dress for myself from a Vogue Vintage pattern (the short sleeve one, in a pretty blue flower print)....

..... and now I need a fluffy but not tooooo bouncy petticoat to complement it.  Have searched high and low on t'internet and concluded I need to make my own, I'm off fabric shopping so I can make my own.  Am thinking floaty soft net, silk, ribbon and lace - but where to find that perfect pattern?  Back to Pinterest then :)


Sunday, 6 May 2012

3 down, quite a lot to go

So - having promised myself I wouldn't buy a stitch more fabric until I had made a considerable dent in the stash I already have and don't have room for, I now have three quite pretty cushions but only one old table cloth used up; it's gonna take a while.  And somehow, my stash has mysteriously grown over the weekend - ah yes, that'd be due to a very happy Saturday morning at the antiques fair, where I found some lovely red velvet and the assortment of goodies below. I'm particularly pleased with the teacake stand which polished up quite well, and the album of little photos; it seems so sad that they've been abandoned, but I'll breath a second life into them somehow.  Couldn't afford any of the gorgeous old blankets I saw, but did manage a handful of scraps which should stitch up nicely into something... meanwhile, they've been added to the stash.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Well finally I'm back on it, prompted by my little sister's birthday looming in May and inspired by a lovely piece of lime green velvet given to me by young Jane; and I have to say I'm am rather pleased with the result, which is bright and bold and I hope right up my sister's rather stylish street.  I now need lots more bright colours to experiment further - oops, there goes my 'no more fabric until I've cleared out my cupboards' rule.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Bootsale Bargains

I wish I could say I am anywhere near as good at bargain hunting as my lovely friend Jane - the last Car Boot Sale I went to resulted in one small child's shrunken wool jumper for £2 (I want to try felting).  Now look at what Jane came home with - £2.40 for the lot!  I'll have to try harder - next weekend may be the perfect opportunity as I'm off to the International Antiques Fair in Builth Wells; previous ventures (with Jane in tow) have resulted in a car load of booty for £40 - here's hoping!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Guilt and inspiration

Must stop spending time on Pinterest thinking about things to do - must get my finger out and do do do - shocked to realise I have done zilch for a whole month! In the meantime - there's not many blogs I want to read from start to finish and linger over (definately including mine), but this one I am totally and irrevocably in love with - fabulous photography, lovely easy prose, totally daydreamy... hope she doesn't update it toooo often, I'll never get anything done!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Happy Mum's Day Mum!

Well I managed to knock up a little Mother's Day card for my Mum and get it in the post along with the little embossed birds I made a while back, which I thought would make rather prettier pigeon scarers than the old CDs which are doing the job at the moment.  Although she tells me that they are currently adorning her fireplace which wasn't quite the idea...   Meanwhile, I missed the last post for my friend Holly's birthday this Sunday so had to cheat and buy a card, but (better late than never) I have a firm plan to finish her birthday present this weekend - which is going to be a bit of a challenge as sunshine is forecast and my garden beckons.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Fly away little bird

I was very flattered to be asked by one of my daughter's friends to make a little bird for a birthday present, so I used the basic pattern from a previous card/decoupage affair, stuffed him with lavender and added little twiggy feet and a sparkly eye.  The result was this characterful little chap who made me smile; I made a little decoupage box, tucked him up in tissue and posted him on his way.  Yesterday I was delighted to recive a shiny thank you card which included what I believe is my very first customer testimonial: "Wow, this is so unique and pretty" ... "Vicky Myatt, satisfied customer".   Most encouraging.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Rendevous in Amsterdam

 My lovely husband and I are just back from a very enjoyable weekend in the 'Dam - I was en route back from working in Milan, so greeted him at the airport wearing some dodgy shades and a little sign with his name spelled wrong (a little joke we were having about spy movies...) - anyway, we had such a lovely time that I forgot to buy a postcard for my Mum, which is a cardinal sin, so I made my own when we got home.  It took a bit more effort than I had anticipated - maybe a proper ink pen would help, biro's a bit scribbly.  But I am hoping it will be well received, along with a nice bar of chocolate from Milan, which was a bit mishapen from after being left on top of a nice warm laptop, but very tasty I am sure.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


I have learned that decoupage on a square / rectangular box is fairly tolerant of slapdash handiwork, but curves are altogther another challenge.  Solution - paint the box with some Silk Wood Paint from the depths of the shed, keep the sticky-on bits simple and tart it up with a bit of ribbon.  Add homemade Peppermint Chocolate Creams (thanks to lovely Lorraine) and - voila! Another birthday present in the bag. The box is a bit wonky but that I like to think it all adds to the home-made charm...  And it really is worth the effort, it got a much warmer reception than shop bought.  And being a small box, there's plenty of those Peppermint creams left over for me :)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

My First Bear

She's a bit of an experiment, and looks it - but there's something to be said for character over beauty, or so I like to think as I coast into my second half century.  I've tried to make her toddler friendly, hence the manic stare and pinched nose, which was the best I could manage with a darning needle and some glue.  Ah but now I'm feeling mean, which shows she must have a heart of her own; I'll have to be gentle when I re-stitch the arms and legs, they're a tad wobbly at the moment and I'm not sure they'll withstand their intended owner's tough love - at almost one year old and with the steady determination of a future world explorer, young Alice is not referred to as Dangerous Maeve for nothing!

Monday, 6 February 2012

I'm dreaming of springtime

I thought I would have a bash at some springtime / Easter type decorations so tried out these little fellas - both need a bit more patience and a bit less slapdash, but I'm going to persevere. I thought the metal sheet ones would at the very least be good as bird scarers for those soon-to-be growing seedlings in the garden, and maybe the answer to another little problem I have with birds flying slap bang into my greenhouse windows; so there's potential for these to look pretty and save a few cases of avian concussion along the way.  Speaking of the greenhouse (or 'conservatory' as I am fond of calling it), there will be a challenge for me this year - grow plants or accessorise with crafty concoctions - which will prevail?  There's just not enough time in my day.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

All's well that ends well

I had this bright idea.... to make a toy box for my godson's birthday.  He's 4 years old and just moved into a swanky new house so has a lovely new bedroom - good idea eh?  Perhaps, but it turns out my applique talents considerably outweigh my construction skills - after several evenings slaving over a hot sewing machine, when the moment came to put it all together I had to admit defeat.  Well almost; some hard thinking and a bit of remodelling produced a pair of pictures and complimentary cushions, which I am pleased to say young Eddie was quite happy with, so not a total failure after all.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Happy Birthday Flower!

Here's a little card I made last week (week before? time flies...) for my lovely friend Jo's birthday. I was a bit disappointed because the petals are a bit wishy-washy - I don't think my sense of colour is very good, I find it hard to visualise the end result before I get there. But I was dead chuffed with the actual result: Jo's delight in receiving it, which made me very happy.  

Meanwhile, back on the sofa - I've just been reunited with my laptop, fresh back from the laptop doctor's (and the ailing mouse-pad still not fixed) so have been indulging in a little pinterest.  Oh my word, its sooo addictive!!  There may be a lull in craft production while I explore...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

I think they deserved these...

Two of my best friends moved house only days before Christmas (different friends, different houses, same challenges!) - and knowing them as I do, I'll bet they had everything unpacked and festived up in the nick of time; me, I'd be in bedlam for months.  So I made them a little card each and posted them off, one to the wilds of Devon and one to swanky Chislehurst, with lots of love and good wishes.  Not quite the same as being there to help of course, but I was with them in spirit. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Christmas present

My lovely Mum gave me this fabulous book, a treasure trove of tempting crafts, all of which I want to try my hand at (well no, some I feel are a bit beyond me, but you get the general idea :)  In particular: hooked rugs, goats cheese, paper making and paper marbling - which I remember dabbling in as a child.  So I have a nice long New Years resolutions list, with a couple of items parked in my 'when we move to Nova Scotia' file due to lack of facilities, space, or, in the case of cheese - a goat!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Christmas Past

Casting a swift look over my shoulder at 2011 before plunging headlong into 2012, I remembered these cushions that I made last Christmas for my lovely husband.  Although cushions might not appear on every blokes' wish list, these were especially made for his den in our Nova Scotian home - I feel I have to explain this, because when one of his mates looked up from his stack of techno-gizmos to enquire what Santa delivered to our house, the reply of 'cushions' resulted in a somewhat non-plussed expression :)   But they look fab in the den on the $25 yard sale sofa, underneath the darts board and the gun rack ( one has to have somewhere to store one's water pistols) - all he needs now is the flat screen TV and beer fridge to sit back in man-heaven comfort.