Friday, 16 January 2009

How to use up a stack of sheet music

One of the side effects of leaning a musical instrument is the growing pile of photocopied sheet music. Now, I could recycle it but looking at it I thought 'That could make for some interesting cards' and then never got back to it. Until yesterday.

I have heaps of the oval shaped three-fold cards. So I found some musical motifs on the computer, printed them out in bright colours, added them to the sheet music and that's the result! A couple of the musical notes are from stencils I have that I cut from card and the rest are the ones printed off, just on normal paper. I stuck them on with 3D foam tape and I love the pop-out effect it gave them.

The top two cards I'm keeping to replenish my stock of cards but the bottom two will be available in out shop. But I'm afraid that won't be until after 12th February because we're going off on holidays tomorrow and will have little/no Internet access while we're away.

The stack of sheet music doesn't look any smaller. I've got a way to go yet. :-P

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Fabric Basket and Bean Bags

There has been some crafting happening. Some presents have been posted - late but finished. Some sewing has been done and the stitchings have been turned into bean bags.

The idea for the bean bags and the little basket for them to be stored in came from Mel's blog - Day to Day. There are a few tutorials I have come across for making the fabric basket. The particular on I used was from the blog - Pink Penguin. I think I originally came across the link via A Spoonful of Sugar.

The basket was very quick to sew and if your were short on time it could easily be made without the patchwork squares at the top. It fits four of my bean bags in it.

Each bean bag is about 14 cms square and has a plain fabric backing of Osnaburg which has a slight texture to it. I backed both fabric pieces with whisperweft interfacing (this interfacing is good for when you still want a drapy feel to your fabric but need a bit of stability) and each one has polyfil pellets inside. The seams are topstitched and the one with the opening has been stitched over twice so hopefully the pellets will not escape. The advantage of the pellets over rice or beans is that the bags are washable. I tested one using the gentle cycle of my washing machine. I put the bean bag inside one of those little zipper washing bags before adding it to the washing machine. It has gone through the washing machine adventure with flying colours - looks no different to when it when in.

All in all I am feeling quite pleased with the end result. I will definitely be making some more of the baskets.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Yay - We got an award!

Clare from Clare's Craftroom was very kind and awarded us this:

Thanks, Clare.

We are supposed to pass this on to five more crafty bloggers but how can we possibly choose from our combined list of over 200 blogs we visit? We think you all deserve it so consider yourself tagged.

Avid Crafter and

Wow, I've made more than I thought...

I was very lucky to win a cross-stitch chart from Cathy at It Will Be Funny Tomorrow. Janlynn's Just-a-chart The Gift of Music arrived safely in the mail yesterday. Thanks Cathy, I love it!

In other news, one of my crafty Christmas presents is all finished!

This knitted washcloth came as a kit with the cotton and instructions - all I needed was the pair of knitting needles. The cotton felt lovely and soft and the colours are just gorgeous! It was fairly quick to knit and has a great textured finish. I learnt to do side edgings for the first time :-) It turned out not quite square, probably because of my tension which has always been very tight. I could just go to bigger needles but I don't always like the look and feel of it then, and so long as it isn't clothing I'm knitting, I don't generally bother.

The sewing machine got a workout the other day too. My grandfather's second wife recently passed away and while Crafty Things was at the funeral she was offered her sewing machine and overlocker. Crafty Things already has multiple sewing machines (4 or 5!) so suggested I would find a use for them. At the moment we don't have any to put them so my grandfather is looking after them, but Crafty Things did bring back two crates full of fabric and sewing supplies.
Inside one we found a stack of aprons, all pinned together that just needed sewing up. We decided that I would sew them up when I found time and then sent them to my grandfather who could then do what he wanted with them.
I got the stack out and found two had already been sewn up and I sewed the other four fairly quickly. Now they're all ready to be posted away. No photos unfortunately because they turned out extremely blurry (still learning to use my camera properly!)

While I had the sewing machine going I made myself a second pincushion - the pink one on the right. It's a really quick and easy pattern from a patchwork book Crafty Things has on her bookshelf. I like being able to just pink the outer edge and leave it rough.

I managed a little more stitching on my Underwater cross-stitch last night while watching the Twenty-20 cricket. It's starting to be close to being finished! I am really looking forward to finishing it, it's the biggest one I've ever attempted so it's quite and achievement.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Stitchings Completed

Remember the stitchings I was experimenting with before Christmas. I have finished stitching them and they are now waiting to made into something.

The tortoise was from another Doodlebat font from Scrap'n'Fonts.

I used the red transfer pencil for the two birds and a pigma pen for the tortoise. The pigma pen had a very fine tip and I used a brown colour. The red transfer pencil showed through quite badly with one of the birds but not so much with the other. The other change I made was to increase the number of threads I was stitching with to get a thicker coverage. The brown pen worked well with the thread colours I used to stitch it. I still wonder what to use with lighter colour threads - possibly a washable one is the best bet there???

You can see the pink halo effect with the paler parts of the variegated thread I used around the border.

This was the last bird stitched and I found that adding the satin stitch to the beak gave a better look to the finished stitching. This was the one I was happiest with.

Look what is growing in our garden.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Late - but I wanted to share!

This is a very late but as has been said on this blog before things just got hectic. Before Christmas I was lucky enough to win a giveaway. Paper-and-String was giving away three beautiful felt penguins and I was the lucky winner.

This parcel turned up in the letterbox just before Christmas. Inside were the three little penguins in their own little felt box and some other unexpected goodies as well.

Felt ric rac and felt flowers! Wasn't that a lovely surprise. Thanks so much, Sarah from Paper-and-String. The penguins looked right at home on my Christmas tree during the festive season.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Still here!!

Ok, you could be excused for thinking we'd vanished for the amount we've been posting lately but we're still here!! The week before Christmas was pretty hectic and things didn't slow down until New Year's or so and this past week we have been away with no Internet access. Hence the small number of posts. Christmas itself was really good, we got to see some family we don't usually see including the littlies, we ate (lots) and of course there were the presents:

My haul, including having one of my cross-stitches framed, clothes, camera bag, DVDs and crafty stuff. Not to mention the vouchers (shopping spree!!)

My contributing for presents for the newest littlies went from this pile of fabrics (including a gorgeous vintage? Peter Rabbit cotton):

to these:

They are from the Softies book and I love them! They were easy to make and the only problems were the arms not sewing in quite properly but some hand sewing work fixed that. The blue one has been given and although the recipient is a bit young to appreciate the idea of Christmas presents, Mum and Big Sis were happy with him.

The pink one is going a way further and is waiting for a baby calendar to be finished before she and a texture cloth with her name embroidered on the back get sent away all together. It will be a rather late birth/Christmas present by the time it gets there, oh well.

And last but not least, an update on my underwater cross-stitch:

I'm more than halfway now :-) All of the right end is finished including backstitch and the left side only has 3 fish, 2 sea-weed plants, bubbles and a whole lot of water in it. I'm hoping to get it done really quickly, hopefully before June, but it should definitely be done before the end of 2009 :-) It's the biggest cross-stitch I've ever done but it isn't taking the longest, yay!

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and New Year's and that your 2009 is full of health and happiness.