Topper - Teapot

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Adventures in the Garden: Flower Close Ups

If you didn't already see, I've started a new blog series called, Adventures In The Garden, which follows and documents my creative pursuits in my garden. Today I'm sharing some close up shots I took of flowers from my flower border, which is currently bursting with colourful, floral goodness!

Are you a fan of gardening and flowers? What's your favourite flower in the garden? I'd love to hear, so please do share all your gardening or floral thoughts in the comments below :-)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Five Top Sewing Tips

Here are some handy sewing tips I've picked up along the way, which I thought I'd share with you all.

Pre-shrink your fabric
If you're sewing something that is going to end up in the washing machine, always pre-shrink the fabric before you even think about switching that sewing machine on. Cotton is especially prone to shrinking. As soon as you get home from the fabric shop, pop it straight in the washing machine and wash at the temperature you would wash that type fabric at normally. If you're not sure, check the recommended washing temperature for some clothing you have in the same fabric.

Read the manual
I cannot emphasise this enough! For getting to know your new sewing machine or trouble-shooting or simply to find out things you never knew your machine did, read the manual. It saves tantrums, tears and throwing in the towel on sewing!

Sharpen those tools
I remember a whole day of sewing that was a complete and utter nightmare. It felt like my sewing machine would not work, despite trouble-shooting every little part of it....except checking if the needle was blunt and ahem, it was. I might as well have been sewing those hems with a large knitting needle. So folks, remember to check the needle on your sewing machine is sharp enough and that you have spare needles in different sizes (see below!). 

Also, remember to keep those sewing scissors clean and sharp...and no cutting paper, it ruins them! Want to know how to keep them nicely sharp? Check out Claireabellemakes fab tip for sharpening scissors.

Different size needles
Did you know that different fabric requires different sized needles? Check your manual for guidance on which size needles to use for different fabrics. I remember the first day my Mum said "Have you tried a different needle size?" as we were going through a list of possible problems. It was like getting the right key for the lock. It worked. I now make sure I have a range of different size needles...and spares too!

Clean the machine
Try and clean your sewing machine/overlocker on a regular basis. It's incredible how much fabric and dust builds up...and that dust can cause some time consuming problems, like birds nest. Haven't heard of birds nests in sewing? It's that little bundle of thread and dust below your feed dogs that builds up and basically stops you from sewing.

Do you have any other handy tips for sewing? Please do share in the comments below.

Happy sewing!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Tutorial round up!

Hola, it's Friday, woohoo!

I'm looking at the weather forecast and thinking hmm, if I wasn't already excited about friends coming over for the weekend, I reckon I'd be getting my craft on! On that note, I thought I'd do a little round-up of crafty tutorials featured on my bloggity blog.

Japanese Bookbinding produced by Vicki of By Me For You
Card Bunting
Fabric Covered Notebook/Diary
Dried Chilli Display
Birthday Card by Simone of Vintage With Me
Kilnar Jar Flower Display
Lavender Pin Cushion
Bead Embroidered Earrings by Megan of Megan's Beaded Designs
Gift Wrap Ribbon

And oooh, what's that? Yup, if you haven't already heard the news, I'm looking for guest bloggers who would like to feature their craft tutorial on my blog. If you know someone who would be interested or if you fancy a go, then please do pass on the word and get in touch! There are more details here.

So, back it to it being nearly the weekend. What's everyone got planned? Anything crafty or maybe a break from craft? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

New Series: Adventures in the Garden: Before and After

If you follow me on Twitter and especially Instagram, you'll probably have got the hint that I luuuuurve gardening, plants, veggie plots, flowers and generally growing stuff! Soooo, I decided I love it so much that I'd not only keep a record in my trusty notebook but I'd also keep a record on my bloggity blog! 
The kind of things I'm planning to include in the series are: veggie plot progress (and failure!) reports, queries about gardening in general, garden photography, and my feelings and passion for all things flora and fauna! If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can follow me on Bloglovin, so that you never miss a post!
Righto! Lets get digging! 
This is the first garden I've ever owned, i.e. hubby and I have just bought our very own home. We've been here since August and well, lets just say, the garden didn't get much love from the previous owner. Here's a before and after shot. If you look closely you'll see a gorgeous, brick work edging all around the lawn. This was so overgrown we had no clue it was there until I started digging the borders. And the shed, well, why on earth would you put a shed in the sunny corner of the garden? And a shed with holes in the roof. Several hours and lots of hammering later, that bad boy was brought down! Ahhh, much better!

6 months later, we've replaced the fence (the picture doesn't quite do it justice but lets just say it was ready to collapse), weeded both borders, planted LOADS of flowers, filled our greenhouse with seedy goodness and created our very own veggie patch. Here's a little before and after shot. Due to the size of this sunny corner, I created four plots, with a pathway around them, so that they are accessible and easier to manage. I've planted a load of seeds and covered them to protect them from the birdies.
And ooh, did I mention? We have a little pond. It's teeny tiny but has about 15 frogs in it. How do I know this? Well, we previously empted the whole thing, rescued all the froggies, with the aim of them being adopted by a fellow pond owner. Life then got in the way, it rained A.LOT, the pond filled back up and the frogs jumped out of their temporary home and back into the pond. They seem to be happy, so rather than put them through that ordeal again, they're staying put...for now.
Ribbit ribbit!
In my next post, I'm going to be sharing some flower close ups, so stay tuned if flowers and photography are your thing!
Do you have a veggie plot? What do you love about gardening? I'd love to hear all your gardening thoughts and tales, so please do share in the comments below!
With lots of flora and fauna love,

Monday, 14 July 2014

Ice cream anyone?

The talented Fran, from Not Your Grandmother's Handmade (awesome blog name!),
has been putting together some gorgeous collections of handmade finds, including this Ice Cream themed one. Recognise anything? ;-) Hee hee, yup my Ice Cream necklace has been featured. 
Thanks so much, Fran!

As well as putting together lovely handmade collections, Fran is also an illustrator and has just opened her very own Etsy shop; it's full of gorgeous cards. I love this Talk Nerdy To Me postie! Pop on over to Fran's blog and shop for a look-see at some handmade loveliness.

Happy Monday!

See You Soon