Friday, 30 August 2013

My First Dress

Ta-dah!  Here’s my first dress:

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The pattern is Simplicity 2247, from the Amazing Fit collection.  The fabric is (cheap) cotton from Fabricland.  I’m lucky enough to have a shop fairly nearby, in Brighton.

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I am really pleased with the fit!  I think it’s the first time I’ve ever really fitted a garment.  It was a lot of fiddling getting DH to pin it up, or struggling with the zip myself!  But worth it I think.  I originally made the dress in the larger size, but it was way too big, so cut this one down a size, and it fits with not too much adjustment! 

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I don’t usually wear dresses, except out in the evening.  (I am usually in jeans/trousers, especially as I cycle to most local places) But, I have already worn this one out in the day!  It is very comfortable and feels great – success!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Scavenger Hunt Update

We took a trip to Southampton recently.  The real reason we went was to have a look at the Harley Davidson Electraglide motorbike – similar to what we will be riding in California in just over one month’s time.  It looks a bit like this.  It is a big beast!

Whilst in Southampton we visited the Sea City Museum, which has a great exhibit about Southampton’s story of the Titanic.  It follows several local residents who worked on the ship.  It was a really good exhibition, and we came away knowing far more about the sinking of the Titanic than we had known before!

But of course, on my day out, I was on the look out for scavenger hunt items:

Cloud in the shape of something?  How about this snail?

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or this deer with a gigantic antler?

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As we wandered around the back streets, we came across this magnificent mural:

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Here’s a close up of the mosaic of the Titanic

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Other scavenger hunt items I have captured recently include:

My local Town hall:southampton 005

I don’t know why there is a pink flamingo on display, I’ll have to find out!

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and some candles.  Nicholas bought me a candle back from his holiday and I was inspired to light all my candles on my mantelpiece:

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Are you playing along with Rinda’s scavenger hunt this year?


1. Open air market
2. Theater for performing arts (not a movie theater)
3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building
4. Airplane
5. A sunset
6. Someone or something taking a nap
7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
8. A tower
9. A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong
10. A bench that is outside
11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.
12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
13. A fence
14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
15. A fire truck or police car
16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Counterfeit Challenge Kit–August

I love the CKC blog!  I love that it inspires me to make up kits from my own stash, and gives ideas and tutorials on how to make some of the bang-up-to-date embellishments, and of course the challenges inspire me to actually get scrapping!

The August kit to be forged is this one, The Confidence Kit from Scrapping from the Inside Out:


Here’s my ‘forged’ kit:

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I decided to go with the colours, dark red, aqua, and kraft, but chose brown instead of black, as I don’t have much black.  I blew the dust of my cricut and cut the ‘TODAY’ negative, and the ‘imagine’ speech bubble.  I threw in the Heidi Swapp memory file, as this includes polaroid shaped frames that are so popular at the moment, and I’d like to have a go at this tutorial.

It was my local crop on Saturday, so I did this page with photos of a great nephew’s 1st birthdaySmile.  Look at him eating his chocolate cake!  I did this page as the leftover challenge, the blue piece at the bottom is from my scrap drawers.

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This page was for the page of the day ‘10 facts about me’.  I didn’t use the kit for this, these papers come from a stack I bought at Hobbycraft last week.  I cut out 10 little jars – one for each factSmile.  I decided to buy the ‘Dear Lizzy, Lucky Charm’ stack to add to my older papers and try to bring them up to date!  The 10 facts all relate to what I am spending my time doing at the moment. 

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I am linking up with the Counterfeit Kit Blog August kits.

Friday, 9 August 2013


I have just bought this rose.  It is a floribunda rose called Ruby Celebration, and has these gorgeous deep red flowers.  But look at how many buds it has!  I have counted and there are at least 40 flowers to come – can’t wait!

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Here’s some of my favourite flowers which are flowering now in my garden:

A gorgeous frilly double day lily.

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A delicate pale pink single day lily:

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Cool blue agapanthus.  I have several varieties – this is the largest.

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Blue hibiscus.  I love those  purple veins!

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My lace cap hydrangea is not doing so well this year, but the japanese anenomes always do well.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Glass Fusion

I went to a ‘taster’ lesson for glass fusion recently.  What fun!  It was another course advertised on Groupon, so one Saturday afternoon I took myself off to Hove to meet my friend Burnice.  We did the course with a lovely French lady, Chantal, at her little workshop called Inlight Design.  Check out her lovely pieces! 

The idea is to fuse different coloured glass to make a design.  We learned to cut coloured glass to place on top of the glass plates to make our design, and then used smaller pieces of glass in between the two glass plates.  We could also use bright shiny copper leaf between the plates, which oxidises in the kiln to a lovely dark colour.

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Here are my 2 coasters before being fired.  I decided to go with a seaside theme.

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And here are Burnice’s coasters.  The first one is a log cabin quilt!  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of her finished coasters, but perhaps she’ll put them on her blog.

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Here are my finished coasters:

First one – the fish.  The ‘seaweed is made from copper sheet – see how it has gone a purpley colour?  The ‘waves’ are made from knitted copper wire (like one of those scourers you use in the kitchen).  The air bubbles have really enhanced the look.

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I have used more copper leaf for the sky.  Some of it has gone blue, and the thicker bits look black.  A stormy day at the beach!

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Monday, 5 August 2013

Sew Madly!

I have become a bit obsessed by dressmaking lately.  Here’s some of my creations:

First off, a baby outfit for my niece’s baby.  Not sure she will be able to wear it as it is too big at the moment, and by the time she fits it the weather will have changed!   I learned a lot of ‘new to me’ techniques, including machine applique and making my own bias binding for the neck and armholes.

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I have been studying dressmaking blogs such as this one and this one, and am inspired to post photos of myself wearing my creations!  I am also inspired to alter shop bought clothes to fit better.  Here is my first attempt.  I bought this red top a couple of years ago in the Monsoon sale, but had never worn it as it feels too big.

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So I took it in!  The fit was Ok across the shoulders, so I just took the sides in, and shaped it a bit.  I think I will get some wear out of it now.


Next up, a blouse.  I used a pattern from the August issue of Sewing World magazine, and some very cheap fabric from Fabricland.



I machine basted it at first to check the fit, adjusted it and then tried another new technique, french seams.  I must admit to undoing each seam about 3 times before I got it right.  But, again, I learned a lot. I think if I made it again I might try to make it longer, as I don’t usually wear such short tops.

Finally, here’s the toile for my dress.  Excuse the orange fabric (it was £2 per metre from the local market), I think it makes me look like a cleaner!  Think that might have something to do with the baggy fit too!!   I made the mistake of cutting the dress too big, as I went for hip size.  I tried to fit the top, but I’m not sure I’ve made a really good job of it.  Next time I will cut it at the smaller size and adjust for hips.  I haven’t finished off the armholes or the hem, as I am keen to get onto the next sewing project!  (Bunting for my summer houseSmile)


So that’s my crafting challenge for July – make something to wear. 

My August goal is to do some art journal pages, and have a go with a Smash book.  I’ll be back later to show you what I’ve done.