Saturday, 25 June 2016

A "drop-in" purse making event

I tried a new type of workshop last weekend, a drop-in class where you could just roll up, make something and go on your way again.

This was a little coin purse workshop and cost only £5.00 to make your very own lined, zipped purse.

I only had three people attend, which in a way was good as I wasn't overwhelmed, and of course those people might return to other classes  :)  It was very quiet as it was the Cumberland Show that day too, so maybe everyone was away visiting that.

Anyway, they all got to work with their sewing machines - this young lady has never used a machine before so she did marvellously.

They got to choose their own fabrics of course, then match them with a zip.  These are the results.

A pink number with fabric from the same Fat Quarter pack so they team up perfectly.

Some Kirsty Allsop Charm Pack pieces which worked nicely together and that bright blue zip just finishes it off beautifully.

And last, but not least, teaming a teal and white design with a dusky pink lining worked really well.

Thanks to you ladies that came, I will pop this class back on sometime and try it again  :)

Friday, 24 June 2016

Snakes & Ladder Board

The summer is approaching and I needed to come up with some ideas for the Kid's Club I run throughout the holidays at Hobbycraft.   I can't keep re-doing the same crafts as the young folk that come along are going to get bored, so I have to shake my brain to come up with some new ideas.

What about something they can continue to have fun with at home?   A board game.... or rather a game board.

I got Daddy L to cut me some 12" square bits of card (he used to be a framer so has all the mount cutters etc.... I make good use of him sometimes  :) )  and I grabbed some pens and got to work.

First of all I sectioned it off into 100 squares and numbered them.

Then the fun part, drawing the snakes and the ladders.  I guess you could draw as many snakes and ladders as you like, but I just did three of each.

I ordered some counter and dice packs of the internet and voila!  We have a board game that can provide hours of fun.

If you think your little ones might like this workshop then it will be on Monday 8th August, 10.30am-12.00pm at Hobbycraft in Carlisle.  And the best bit... it only costs £2.00!!

£2.00 for an hour or so of crafting then numerous hours of playing once home again - bargain  :)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

A Tangle Workshop

I love Tangling - or Zen Tangling, or Doodling, whatever you want to call it.  And I love sharing the format with other people so they can enjoy the art too.

I like to use a metallic pen on black card as it creates the most wonderful effect - really dramatic.

These lovely ladies sat down and started to create.

Some chose a silver pen, some chose a gold - both worked equally well I thought.

And don't they look chuffed with themselves?  

The piece was never going to be totally finished as it takes a while to fill in an A4 sheet with tiny doodles, but good progress was made and I believe some have already been finished off at home.

From the left.... Lauretta, Winnie, Jenny and Vera.

Tangling is such a great past time, have you tried it yet?

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Giant Floor Cushion - Free Tutorial

I made a giant floor cushion for display in Carlisle Hobbycraft recently.

I love this fabric the colours just work so well.   I teamed it with a purple and a dusky pink for the back of the cushion and just used the print for the front.

If you would like to make one they are VERY easy, just straight sewing required - no zips or buttonholes  :)  The instructions are below.

How to make:
The Liner: 
·         First of all we will make the liner, from the lining fabric cut two squares each measuring  62cm x 62cm. 
·         Place the fabric squares together and leaving a 15cm gap for stuffing on one side, sew all the way around the square using a 10mm seam allowance.
·         Clip the corners neatly, turn the right way, stuff as required and hand-sew the gap closed.
The Cover: 
·         Using Fabric A, cut a square measuring 62cm.
·         Using Fabric B, cut a rectangle measuring 62cm x 42cm.
·         Using Fabric C, cut a rectangle measuring 62cm x 42cm.
·         Take Fabric B and fold over one of the 62cm sides by 10mm and press flat, fold it over again and press flat again. Sew down this seam neatly.
·         Repeat the last step with Fabric C.
·         Place Fabric A right side facing up on your table, and place B on top, right side facing down, with the raw 62cm edge matching the sides and the sewn seam towards the centre.
·         Place Fabric C on top of this with the raw edge matching the opposite side and the sewn seam towards the centre, overlapping Fabric B.
·         Pin into place.
·         Sew all the way around using a 10mm seam allowance - no gaps for turning.
Clip the corners and turn the right way in through the envelope gap created.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Pom Poms for Eden Valley Hospice

Our local hospice - Eden Valley Hospice - is having a crack at breaking the world record attempt at most pom-poms made (strung together in a continuous line, I believe).

I have mentioned it before as I have hosted a couple of events to help add to the collection.

The first one I did was way back in October 2015, where we made a start and created some wonderful looking woolly balls.  You can see that post HERE if you would like to recap.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was asked to host a pom-pom making session at The Lanes shopping centre in Carlisle.   I was donating my time, and Hobbycraft in Carlisle donated as much yarn as we could use (again, as they donated for my previous sessions too)

We were situated in the old Miss Selfridge shop right in the middle of The Lanes, and we got to work making pom-poms.

Then the most random thing happened, these two turned up to help!
 Rapunzel (I know this as I recognise the hair), and Peter Pan.

Only, it's not Peter Pan of course, it's Flynn Rider.  Shows how much I know about Disney characters  ;)  I got a stern look I can tell you.

I really should take some time to watch the films, I guess that will happen naturally when the Granddaughters grow up a bit.

Anyway, they did a good job, don't you think?  A big thank you to them for taking part.

And I believe the record number or pom-poms required has been smashed..... now just to string them all together and find somewhere to hang them!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Battenberg Beanbag - free tutorial

I recently had a request from Hobbycraft to create an easy to make beanbag.

Sometimes when I get these requests it takes me a while to think up something to fit the brief, but other times the ideas just "POP" into my head.  This was a popping idea.

Why on earth I had Battenberg in my head I do not know, although I do like a slice now and again.

So, I made a beanbag to look like a slice of Batternberg, completed with 'apricot jam' piping.

Are you hungry now?

If you want to make one for yourself, then pop over to the Hobbycraft blog where you will find all the step-by-step instructions.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Applique Initial Purse

I have been making little purses of late, you know those things that you just get caught up in making, for no particular reason other than that they are fun to create?  That.

Anyway, it was my daughter-in-law's birthday and my son was taking her away for the day to the seaside. I was going to give her some pennies to spend during the day - I don't usually give money, but in this case money would be most useful.  I decided to make a little purse to pop the pennies in.

I used a royal blue fabric, as blue is her favourite colour, and I appliqued an "H" to the front - as her name begins with H - did you work that out ?  ;)

I lined it with the same red fabric and added the zip.

Then I filled it with 2p pieces as when you go to the seaside you have to go on the penny push machines, don't you?

Of course, I popped a note or two in as well.... for an ice-cream or a windmill   :)

She seemed to like it very much, which was good  :)

Thursday, 16 June 2016

May Half Term Kid's Club

Gosh, these school holidays really come around quickly don't they?   All of a sudden I was having to plan for my half-term Kid's Club & Young Folks sessions.

It was only a week this time, so couldn't squeeze a lot in due to other commitments, but I did manage to put on these workshops.

Plate Weaving.   This is a lot of fun actually. Once the plate is threaded up, the young peeps then choose their own yarns and weave them in and out of the threads.  They end up with unique wall hanging which looks quite spectacular.

Just look how happy this wee chap is with his creation.

And these ladies too  - they were with Grandma and she wasn't sure about giving permission to put their faces out on social media, which of course is absolutely fine, so we took this arty shot instead as they really wanted to show their work off.

A "Young Folk" workshop followed, these are a little more structured as the attention span of the young people are higher at this age.   

They made bunting with Air-Dry clay, which they textured, patterned then glazed before taking them home to leave to dry out for a few days.

Can you see what this says?  I keep seeing "chocolate"!!

The last session was to make a cress pot, then sew some cress seeds to grow at home.

We wrapped the cups in yarn, round and round to cover each bit.  Then put some beads in the weight, followed by damp kitchen roll & cotton wool.  Finally we sewed the seeds.

My cress is growing really nicely on my window sill, must be ready for harvest soon.  Better boil some eggs   :)

If you are interested in Kid's Club and Young Folks sessions, keep an eye on my Facebook events where I pop them up.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Kielder Forest & Dam

A couple of weeks ago Hubster and I had a week off, with nothing planned.  At the start of the week him and me went to Whitley Bay for a couple of days, but when walking along the sea-front we found we really, really missed our Ruby pup, (who was staying at home with  my daughter)

So, once back we decided we would go away again, just for one night, and find somewhere Ruby could come with us.

We were heading to the seaside again - Morecambe, we thought, but it was bank holiday weekend and most places were booked or not dog friendly.  In the end, a pub in Kielder Forest popped up on my Google search - The Black Cock Inn.

So we would head there.  Now, this wasn't a case of getting the dog to jump in the car and off we go, Ruby is very travel sick - like, very!

We had a lining of an unused guinea pig cage which we filled with towels and put on the back seat of the car, then cajoled her in.  THREE times we had to stop on our journey of 1.5 hours to clean up the puke.  (Well, Hubster cleaned it up, I walked the dog around to settle her stomach - I think I got the best deal!)

The last few miles of the journey to the pub was through the forest park itself, and very beautiful it is too.  

Past the reservoir and dam...

... and onto the little village called Falstone where the pub was.
We booked in and got shown to our room.  Small, but nice and clean and comfortable.

But the best thing was when we settled down for lunch they had a doggy menu.  What a genius idea!

We had taken Ruby's own food of course, but we thought she deserved a treat as she had been quite traumatised with the journey, so she had a big bowl of delicious food, which she enjoyed, as you can see.

We had a snack as we were planning dinner that evening.

To earn our dinner (and my plan to have a good amount of wine) we took a walk from Falstone to Kielder Dam, and across the Dam itself.

It was a good hike, through forest paths, then all of a sudden, at the top of a hill, the reservoir appeared.  Beautiful.

We walked across the dam, which is much longer than it looks. Ruby was superb, I kept her off the lead and made her "sit" when a car passed, it was great training for her and relatively safe as the cars are supposed to go really slowly when crossing the dam.

She looks so interested in her surroundings here...

After a brief stop and a photo taking session, it was time to head back over.  This is the dam from the far side.

Time to head back to the village and pub, the wine was calling.

Back down through the forest...

Hubsters FitBit app showed we have walked 4.3 miles. Not too bad for an afternoon stroll.  It doesn't look that far on this screen.....

..... more impressive on this one I think   ;)
The little face (that's Hubster) is where the pub is, and I am sure you can see the Dam  :)

Anyway, time for dinner.  Vegetarians look away as Hubster is a carnivore, and he enjoyed a gammon steak  (Ruby enjoyed bits of it too - she wouldn't eat her own dinner as she realised that something nicer came out of the kitchen in this place!  Not daft are they?)

I had a Filo Pie with goats cheese, mushroom, spinach and redcurrant jelly in it. Most delicious.

Then Ruby went for a play in the garden with "Zak" while I topped up my wine level and Hubster threw tennis balls for the next hour.

Ruby doesn't usually bring back things we throw for her, but after observing Zak for a while she started to bring back the ball and drop it at Hubsters feet.   Clever girl!

We did another small stroll after dinner, but the midges were out and biting quite hard. So we weren't out too long.  Long enough to find a kid's play park with a zip wire though, so we had a few goes on that - at 11.00pm at night.

We slept very well. Ruby slept very well too, considering she has never shared a bedroom with us, she settled down on the floor on her bed and snored all night.  We did expect to have to keep pushing her off the bed, but she didn't even try to get up.  She might have been too shattered after her walks.

Breakfast was delicious, but Ruby was tied up in the bar (not allowed in the breakfast room) and I was concerned about leaving her too long, even though she could hear us, so we ate and run.

We decided we were going to walk until Ruby was so tired that she would be too tired to puke on the journey back.  And that's what we did.  All morning we drove a few miles, then got out and walked for an hour (as that was what the ticket on each car park was)

The views around Kielder are amazing, and surprisingly it wasn't busy at all, considering it was a bank holiday.

We walked through woods, through forests.....

.. around the lakeside paths...

and collected fir/pine cones for a project I have in mind.

We then stopped for a late lunch at a pub called The Anglers Arms right at the far end of the lake.

They served a lovely nut roast topped with goats cheese.

He had a burger.

Then we felt guilty for eating it, so had another hours walk before setting off for home.

We were right though, Ruby was too tired to get wound up and puke, she slept all the way home!