Drawstring bag for marbles

My eldest was given loads of marbles this year and although I am a fan of traditional toys they were a nightmare to start with as they were rolling every where with no decent storage. So I saw a need to get out the sewing machine and this is what I came up with. I used some spare yellow fabric I had lying around in my scrap box, a patch worked handle recycled from another bag I had made ages ago and a crossed stitched label. The perfect solution to not losing my marbles. 
Drawstring bag for marbles

Close up of cross stitch label for the drawstring bag for marbles


Experiments in tone, depth and colour using machine embroidery

 Just thought I would share a set of resources I made a while go that show the possibilities of creating tone and depth and experimenting with colour when using the sewing machine. I know a lot of people have become away of free machine embroidery but these ideas show how you can push your machine to produce a much wider range of textural qualities.

Using a combination of zig zag and straight machine stitch , the aim was to produce patterns that looked at the relation of spacing. 

Using a combination of zig zag and straight machine stitch, the aim was to look at the range of tone and depth  that can be produced 

Demonstration of density and tonal qualities that can be produced by using machine zig zag stitch 

Demonstration of density and tonal qualities that can be produced by using straight machine stitch 
Demonstration of colour mixing using cabling. 
Colour mixing using cabling, the bottom colour stays the same and the top colour changes. 
By either working on the background, the shape or both , you can reveal or disguise the motif.
Reveal / disguis. The creation of a shape by filling the background and then revealing or disguising it by the use of stitch on top. 

Using cabling as a demonstration on density and the use of a negative shape 

Looking at the qualities of colour mixing using machine whip stitch and the benefits of letting some background colour show. 

Christmas tree cross stitched decoration continued…

Here’s the second batch of cross stitch motifs I’ve made from my library book I borrowed earlier in the week. I’m very pleased with the robin and the Christmas cake but I’m not so sure on the father Christmas. I just cant help thinking that french knots for eyes make everything look at little bit zombiefied and a bit scary. I’ll have to find a different stitch to use or experiment with small seed beads instead.

Christmas tree cross stitched decoration

Christmas tree cross stitched decoration

Christmas tree cross stitched decoration

All the designs were from Quick and Clever cross stitch. Which is well worth buying and at 1 pence who can argue with that!!


Christmas tree cross stitched decorations

I’ve just picked up a great book from the library and it had so many lovely motifs for Christmas inside I was inspired to start making the decorations for the new baby’s advent calendar  If nothing else you can call me organised. So I started last night and here are the first five motifs I’ve stitched. I’ve adapted some of the colours to suit my personal tastes and what embroidery thread I had in my bag! I’ll back them with scraps of Christmas fabric I’ve got in my stash and some red and gold ribbon to hang them from. I’ll add more pictures as I sew them. Only another 19 to go!

Christmas tree cross stitched decorations

Christmas tree cross stitched decorations

Christmas tree cross stitched decorations

Christmas tree cross stitched decorations

Christmas tree cross stitched decorations

What do you think?


Heart book mark

Whilst I was in the mood for looking through my craft books and magazines the other day, I made a sweet bookmark from ultra suede and some left over patch working cotton scraps I had left. It would be perfect gift for someone for valentines day, not to over the top but still romantic. I’ve photographed it her marking these little mice I am looking to find a reason to make from Martha Stewarts encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts.
Amazon.co.uk Widgets

New baby cross stitch

Welcome baby cross stitch card

new baby sampler cross stitch

Just finished these for my brother in laws baby who is due in July. All I’m waiting for is to find out the sex and  the name of the baby and they’ll be finished. The top one is a welcome baby card that just needs name and a ring on the dummy in either blue or pink and the bottom one is larger and will be framed for the nursery once I’ve added the name and date. I got the patterns from a old cross stitch book my mum bought for me from a charity shop one day, and I must say it’s been well worth the £1.25 she spent on it.

Monster face pizza and basic pizza dough recipe

I love to involve the kids in the kitchen, not just when we make sweet things but also preparing the evening meal. Last night we made pizza which is a family favorite and the little one put his creative input into decorating the top – hence a monster faced pizza. 
Basic pizza dough recipe
400g strong white flour
7g sachet of fast action dried yeast
300ml of warm water
  1. Stir the yeast into the flour in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the warm water.
  3. The mixture will look like it’s too wet and you may be tempted to add extra flour but that is when you end up with too hard dough. The wetter the better in this case. 
  4. Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for around 10 minutes – you will find the dough becomes less sticky as the gluten stretches and activates.
  5. Grease the mixing bowl with some olive oil and roll the ball of dough in it
  6. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise somewhere warm.

My favorite place to leave the dough to rise
For a about an hour – or longer if you have the time.
It’s now ready to press out and top with whatever you desire on your pizza. 

William’s monster face pizza 

Bake at 200c for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown and the crust has browned.

Origami book marks

Origami bookmarks 
I was doing one of my favorite activities when I had a spare five minutes, which is to flick through my stack of old magazines. I keep all my craft magazines as I often leave project ideas until I have the right materials or I’m in the right mood. I also like to flick through them when looking for inspiration. On this occasion I came across a little tutorial for origami bookmarks in Issue 9 of Making magazine. I didn’t find the instructions very clear, so it was a good job they had plenty of pictures. Anyway the basic principle is very easy and once I made one a knocked out a whole stack of them in no time. Perfect for marking all those projects I want to come back to (and marking my mention in this months Making!)

close up of origami bookmarks 

Cross stitch 1st Birthday card

Cross stitched 1st birthday card
Just made this for my nephew who will be one in about  a week. I had been wanting to use the letters from a nursery sampler I’d had for ages. So I picked out his name to stitch, then finished the card off with some papers I’d had free in a magazine ages ago and some die cut letters. 

Close up of the cross stitch 1st birthday card