Thursday, 14 November 2013

Christmas Shoebox Time

Our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child 2013 have now been dropped off so will soon be on their way to bring a little joy to a child in another land.  It's quite amazing what we can achieve with very little money by looking for bargains all year and making some nice things.

Some boxes we've completed this year: 

Girl 5-9.  The most expensive thing in this box is the plasticine which was still less than £1.  I always feel guilty making boxes for this age group as they receive far more than any other but we've had some things a while which didn't really fit into the older or younger categories so 5-9 girl it is.

A jigsaw puzzle (made up and laid on the bottom of the box in 2 sections with a cut out of the picture for maximum use of space), plain paper, A5 hardback notebook, A5 colouring book, A5 dot to dot book, mini colouring book with stickers, more stickers, fairy wings craft kit (removed from box with instructions cut out), plasticine, pencils, colouring pencils, crayons, sharpener, eraser, novelty dog eraser, alphabet and number stencil, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb, 3 cards of hair accessories, pony bead bracelet kit, min baby born doll, skipping rope, barbie with knitted outfit, spare knitted outfit for Barbie, knitted hat, knitted puppet and a home sewn pencil case.  This box is 33cm x 15cm, a little longer than the recommended 30cm but not as wide with just a little space left for some sweets:

Another girl 5-9.  I made a ladybird purse (holding some hair bits) and pencil case for a little bit of continuation with the ladybird pencil topper, stitched some hair scrunchies and knitted the hat and barbie outfits:

Boy 2-4 with a little fish print lined drawstring bag to hold the puzzle (currently flat in the bottom of the box) or crayons or even the small toys or toiletries:

Another boy 2-4.  This box is larger than the previous one but they both contain a similar number of items just on a smaller scale:

Girl 2-4.  The doll was £3 in a 70% off sale, much more than we'd normally spend on a single item but irresistable at that price and compensated with a number of handmade things.  Knitted hat and mittens, a set of knitted dolls clothes, knitted puppet, stitched lined drawstring bag and hair scrunchies.

Making little fun things and browsing for bargains all year that we'd otherwise have no use for gives us immense pleasure knowing that they'll bring a little joy elsewhere in the world.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Christmas Shoeboxes

This is probably one of our favourite shoeboxes and for a boy 10-14

For this box I made the Dennis the Menace hand puppet, matching hat, Desparate Dan pencil case, beaded bracelet and a small lined drawstring pouch to store the marbles in.  The majority of the items in the box have been bought at reduced prices as and when we've seen them ......... the Chelsea FC bag was free with items purchased from the megastore, football stickers free with the newspaper and the small magnifying glass from a Christmas cracker!  Hidden is also a bar of soap, compass set, notebook and sheets of plain paper.

Monday, 10 June 2013


 So many ups and downs this year but the latest project has been fun!  

"Can you make me a sh*t shirt mum?"  "Well actually you can make us all one if you want for our boys weekend".  Here's a few of them:

 McCalls 8409

 McCalls 7720

 McCalls 7720

McCalls 7720

I hardly do any dressmaking but the eyes aren't so good for embroidery these days so I may be doing a bit more .............. I'm rather pleased with these :)

I've used McCalls 8409 before ............ it comes up big, very big!  However, the collar sizes are pretty normal for the pattern size ................. small is a 15" collar but the chest measurement of the shirt is 49" .......... not exactly proportionate!

The Palmer Pletsch 7720 2 hour shirt is a much better fit for the smaller sizes though I'm not keen on the lack of front band.  If I were to make more I might think about drafting one.  I used the two piece collar.  I couldn't envisage me ever finishing one of these in two hours but I do prefer a nice finish (French seams etc.).

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Romany Quilt

 A mini quilt actually just big enough for a baby in a car seat or buggy inspired by the rich reds of an old painted vardo.  Quite randomly patched from an assortment of "red" squares ......... a little darker and richer than showing on my screen here and I actually really like it!  I can just envisage some small space in a wagon storing these small jewels of fabric until there were enough to create something useful yet beautiful ............ the meandering lines of the free motion quiting fit nicely too.

Is there really a distinction between excited and terrified?  Local artists of any media have been invited to submit work for consideration for an exhibition later this year ............ I have expressed an interest!  Haven't even got the form yet but the thought of a portfolio seems somewhat terrifying.  I'm not sure that it should be but it is.  I should know how to put some stuff together, perhaps 10 things but what?  First I need to sort out or borrow a decent camera to get some better pics and sure once I get started it will start flowing together.  Then there's preparing a design or two and I keep changing my mind about that.  I did really want to do something more creative this year but didn't really have a reason until now and feel a bit lonesome and lost now I've said I will!

Friday, 8 February 2013

I Spy Quilt

Another I Spy quilt finished.  Black isn't something I would normally choose for the border but it was hard finding something to work with this one ................



I don't yet have enough different squares for another on but there's plenty of UFOs and other "must do things" to be getting on with.  

The knitting bucket looks better with the handle shortened a bit .........


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Yarn Stuff

It will be much easier to do a bit of knitting or crochet in those spare moments now I've made myself a bag ............. no more hunting out needles/hooks and carrier bags full of yarn I'll have it all to hand.  The handle's too long (I was worried about getting "into" the bag if it was too short but it will be ok) so I'll be unpicking that and then this will be nice enough to leave out and I'll know for next time.  The machine (Juki Exceed) was playing up a bit with wonky stitching until I remembered that I'd altered a dial by mistake (instead of a lever) when setting up for free motion the last time it was out so it's fine now.

I've had this "Desparate Dan" fabric for a while (ebay bargain) without really knowing what to do with it so am pleased with the pencil case to go with the "Dennis the Menace" (or my interpretation of lol) puppet and other bits for a shoebox later on in the year.

Just a few more knitted puppets that I finished last year ........................

Thankyou bois-fleurie and Puppet Lady for your lovely comments about the lampshade, I'm really looking forward to seeing them all soon.  Bois-Fleurie I'm so sorry that I can't comment on your blog ........... every time I fill the box in it reverts back to an empty box.  The painting's you've been doing are beautiful ......... such pretty colours!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Crochet Lampshade

Purl Queens (organiser of the display of poppies all the way down the Road of Remembrance) is co-ordinating the decoration of 60 lampshades to be hung from the trees as part of Cheriton Lights Festival to be held over two nights next month.  I asked for a lampshade.  Duly collected the shape was a bit daunting but with just a little bit of thinking ..........

My forays into crochet are very few and far between but with plenty of different yarns I soon got to work.  Exciting stuff!!

Initially I thought about covering the shade with fabric but learnt (it was a learning curve having taken about two hours to work out how to double crochet over parts of the actual frame lol) how to crochet over the whole thing thus providing a background for the smaller elements:

I'm very much looking forward to seeing all the shades displayed!