Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Bunny treats

The Easter Bunny visited my house today much to the delight of my 2year old son. It's the first Easter we've introduced the Easter Bunny.... Someone visits and leave chocolate....amazing my son thought!

If you follow me on twitter or Facebook (if you don't links at the top left if the page) you will know that I started work on some Easter tags last week but in true Becca style was finishing them off last night! (I've never been one of those people finished days before the deadline.... I'm a midnight oil girl!)

I used this template from nanaCompany, 4 different designs - chick, bunny, egg and carrot. Fabric and ribbon scraps from my stash were used to make these so practically free just a bit of thread and some time



I scattered them round the house and garden to indicate a hidden Easter egg.


Meant I didn't have to remember where I'd put all the eggs and they help to direct my little man. Brilliant.


Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Patchwork Paper Piecing

I mentioned in my summary of the Spring Knitting and Stitching that I'd been to a couple of classes.


One was on Patchwork Paper Piecing which is a technique I remember learning at school but had forgotten all about. So simple but really effective and really quite therapeutic in doing the tiny stitches


I got round to stitching the remaining pieces together last night. Not entirely sure what I'm going to use it for but pleased at how this had turned out. Maybe an interesting feature on a quilt or placemat? We will see where this end up.




Friday, 22 March 2013

Great British Sewing Bee - new TV show

I'm quite excited......I'm sitting on my hands bouncing excited....I've just heard that the BBC are due to broadcast a new craft programme in April - The Great British Sewing Bee. I understand it will be based on The Great British Bake Off format and will be presented by the fabulous Claudia Winkleman so I'm sure we are in for some great dry humour.


Roll on April, looking forward to a nice cuppa in front of the TV, willing on the contestants as well as hopefully learning some new tips....


Fingers crossed this grows into the enormous success of The Great British Bake Off and we can look forward to some great episodes and competitions year after year.


How exciting.....AND IT STARTS NEXT MONTH ..... Bring on The Great British Sewing Bee


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Craft domination at a newsstand near you

We all want to believe we are individual

We all want to believe we had the idea first

We all want to believe we are acting solely as a result of our wishes


Unfortunately we also know that there are super duper clever people and organisations out there with the skills to manipulate our every move. I'm concerned that I've been tricked....


Now I have to admit that I am a bit of a magazine addict. I love seeing them lined up on the newsstand, brimming with possibility, bursting with ideas and calling to me to take them home to dream of that aspirational life style. I've been through many phases of magazines

- cosmopolitan etc in my late teens / early twenties

- vogue, in style etc in my affluent mid / late twenties

- red, ideal home and various other lifestyle magazines in my thirties although my purchasing is now only once of twice a year

I've dabbled in crafty magazines across this entire time, but had always stuggled in having to choose a specific craft - I may not want just cross stitch or just crochet. Until recently i had to choose, but the relatively recent launch of Mollie Makes which offers lifestyle, crafts as well as a cute project each month is exactly what I wanted and made me think someone was listening to my cries. I loved it for a few issues but was quickly put off by the £5 price tag. I've watched as the Mollie Makes empire has exploded, there are baking and home editions now, so there is clearly a market and people willing to pay, they have even expanded into a weekly iPad craft edition called Gathered


Just before christmas there was another like minded magazine launch - Homemaker magazine, a beautiful magazing packed with practical ideas and step by step instructions to making household items which are really useful, but again it has a hefty price tag of £5 a month


It was at the Spring Knitting and Stitching show last week that it really hit me, the launch of another craft magazine - Crafty. Really? Is there room in this already super crowded market for another monthly publication? I was frankly amazed. And yes it matched the others in price!


Of course I will be avidly reading all of these editions, purchased at show prices, for research purposes :)


But these launches have got me thinking. I'd like to believe that I've been enjoying my crafts recently as I've got my life settled and I'm picking up something I have loved for many years but I'm starting to worry that somehow I've been caught up in the media frenzy and am merely another sucker who is tempted by the magazine at the newsstand.


Who is buying the magazines every month? I wonder if you pay for these magazines (£5 x 12months x 3magazines) at £180 a year do you have time to be creative? and can you afford to be creative?


Do you read any craft magazines? What are your thoughts?


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Google reader is going ....

As Google Blog reader is soon to be no more you can continue to follow me on 'Bloglovin' and of course through Facebook and Twitter. But Bloglovin is the best place to get all the latest posts directly to your feed to read at your leisure

I have to put this code in a post apparently - just doing as I'm told!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


My Day at the - Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

Well what a wonderful day I had.


I've been to the Spring craft show at Kensington Olympia for the last few years and generally leave with mixed feelings. Not sure if it was the place I am now with my crafting and this blog or the fact that I was there with a very good friend or what it was, but, I had a thoroughly wonderful time there on Thursday.


I attended 2 workshops

1. Free Hand Machine embroidery - always been too scared to give this a go. I love it, totally hooked although I obviously need a lot more practice

2. Hexagon patchwork - using a paper piecing technique I haven't tried since school


I purchased fabric, kits and a new sewing machine so more to come on these soon. Machine arrives this week - excited :)



Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Finished Patchwork Scottie Dog

You may remember that part 1 of my first Patchwork Scottie Dog didn't go well.... I started well drawing the design and cutting my pieces but it descended into disaster when I realise I'd created 2 of the same side...and then plummeted into an abyss when my sewing machine jammed a few pieces before finishing the final side. Someone was clearly trying to tell my I wasn't going to be finishing that dog in one sewing session.

Well my machine seems to have needed a rest rather than a full repair/replacement as with a kind word and some very minor tinkering this weekend by my parents it sprang back into youthful action.
So this morning I picked him back up again and got him finished

He's all ready for some action when my little man comes home from nursery this afternoon.
Did you have a Patchwork Scottie Dog when you were little?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

More Shrink Plastic

I've continued with my shrink plastic playtime. This time using a single colour to create a portfolio on a punched circle shape
I'm really pleased with the result

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Shrink plastic playtime

Do you remember the urban legend at school that you could put a crisp packet in the oven and it would shrink? I remember some girls wearing these miniature Skips and Space Raiders packets as badges, never sure whether to believe the production method, and always a little afraid it'd set something alight, I never had a go. Do you remember these? Were you one of those girls with a trendy mini crisps badge?

As those of you who follow me on Facebook will know, I've been playing with shrink plastic recently, I wanted to share my initial samples and what I've learnt so far with you.

The instructions on the packet stated that the plastic would shrink to 1/7 of its original size, just make the desired shape, colour if required and put on tin foil lined baking tray into 175degree oven for a couple of minutes. Well it really couldn't appear to be easier.. Why didn't I try that crisp packet trick all those years ago?
I started to play with my shape cutters, colouring pencils and hole punches to see what really does happen.

Here are my first experiments - this first block is really just a sampler. This started 2"x2" and I hoped it would shrink to 2cmx2cm. I coloured with pen (corner stripes) and pencil (tree and tent)

Secondly I used my butterfly punch to create 2 shapes. I coloured one with pencil and left the other plain.
Note how pale the colours are at this stage.

Off into the oven, this was a little scary as the shapes twist and curl they shrink
Here are the cooked and cooled items.

This is what I learnt -
1. The square did shrink to 2cmx2cm
2. The colours are so much more vivid - look at the butterfly and tent colours
I even tried the crisp packet but it didn't go too well!!!
Oh well, I'm looking forward to playing with this material more, think there are some really cool things which could be this space

Monday, 4 March 2013

#imapiece - Installation live in Manchester

In January you may remember I mentioned the #imapiece work started by the Craftivist Collective in aid of Save the Children. The craft community, schools, group and any who heard the message were asked to create a jigsaw piece using a set template to with a poinient message. This is the jigsaw piece I created and submitted, the words are something I think about regularly in relation to my own little man. 

Over 600 jigsaw pieces were submitted (truely amazing) and on Friday 1st March they were carefully pinned together in Manchester's People's History Museum and shared with the world.

Doesn't it look amazing... (I can't spot my piece on the sure it is hiding somewhere)

(photo from Craftivist-Collective website)

The aim of the installation is to raise awareness of the global food crisis, with a special focus on child malnutrition. A great cause. I hope it makes a a step to making a change.

Read more from the Craftivist Collective and see more of there photos here

Its amazing what can be created when a talented bunch rally the craft world together and ask for support, I'm really pleased I was able to support this cause.