Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A Gentle Read

Today I decided that after all this spotty material I have been sharing, I should also share a little of my reading material with you. I love reading almost as much as I love creating, so what would be the ideal? Reading a book about creating, of course!

I was lent this fabulous book, "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" (written by Jane Brocket) by my Auntie Judith and what I loved most about this book when I picked it up from her coffee table, was the little note she had slotted in on a recipe page with a little shopping list. To me this is the best review a book can have. It suggests that the book has been read, pondered and then something has has been made from it- for a few moments, it was an inspiration to somebody.



I took my new found treasure home and flicked through all the gorgeous glossy photographs and lost myself in the literature. This is an easy read that simply appreciates the beauty you can find so close to home and is often lost in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. If you ever have a chance to read this- do it!

Hope you've had a inspiring day and find a little time, to appreciate the little beauties.

Toodlepip! xx

Monday, 28 September 2009

Naked Ambition

This weekend, I took a deep breath and accompanied my lovely Auntie Judith to one of her favourite haunts- a Car Boot Sale. Unlike me, Auntie Judith has an incredible knack of finding all sorts of gems at car boot sales and her home is full of fantastic goodies that I envy. So, what with having my new house renovated and in need of all sorts of items, I decided to go along and see if I had the "eye" for treasure.

It turns out I didn't. Auntie Judith assures me this was the first sale of the season at this particular site, so it wasn't going to be the best but something positive did come out of it- a new craft project! Woo!

Judith bought (for her Grandaughter Issobelle, not herself of course) a sparkly Barbie type doll with a glitzy top and pink hair but she was missing one thing- a skirt. For 50p it was a bargain and I knew I could rectify this problem. So this morning I set to work on creating a puffy pink tutu to complete the gift for Issobelle.

It was really very simple to make and could be easily adapted into many other projects.



To make the puffy pink tutu I needed one pair of scissors, one skinny hair band and some coloured (in this case pink) netting. I bought the netting at a fabric store in Liverpool for £1.40/m and I think I used about 10cm by 10cm today so about 14p worth of netting! Yowza!

1. Cut the netting into strips about 10cm long and 2cm wide. This is an approximation and you can alter as you feel happy with.
2. Tie the 10cm strips round the hairband so there are 2 5cm strips hanging off (connected by the knot of course).

3. Continue this all around the hairband until you have a full tutu.



You can add more or less strips, trim to create a more or less puffy skirt and add different colours and textures- what about incorporating ribbon for a more floaty effect?

This is a great project to do with young children as the only risk is the cutting with scissors, which you could do for them. I have even done this project on a much larger scale, using a long piece of knicker type elastic (the type used for the scrunchie I made earlier) and made adult tutu's for an office fancy dress day. For my own dignity, I won't be posting a picture of this!

Well I hope Issobelle and her fashionista doll are as pleased with my latest creation as I am!


Toodlepip! xx

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Catch a Falling Star

Since moving into my new house in July, we have been having some major renovations, and this has meant all our things have been displaced and covered in dustsheets. Yesterday, whilst foraging for a some cream card (more on that later) I came across three little red stars that I made a few months back as little Christmas presents.


It was somewhat comforting to find these little stars- a tiny completed project amongst the completely unfinished project that is my home! If I see a shooting star, I know what I'm wishing on!

Toodlepip! xx

Friday, 25 September 2009

Mindy's lacking that 'Friday Feeling'

This is my gorgeous cat Mindy. I've only had her 2 months and so far discovered her favourite thing to do is hide in bushes outside or hide behind the sofa, so you can imagine my surprise to find her tucked up in her new cat bed! She must've had a really tough week.



Enjoy your weekend,

Toodlepip! xx

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Tugging at the drawstrings



After being asked to make my 4 year old Niece a PE bag for her first year at school, I set to work with my spotty cloth to make a fun yet functional drawstring bag.

It was really quite simple to make, just took a little patience and a lot of crossed-eyedness from all that spotty cloth!!


There is no set way to do this, but the way I created this masterpiece is as follows:

1. Cut the appropriate size of cloth. To do this, imagine the size you want your PE Bag, double it because you will have to fold it over and add about an inch round all sides as this will be folded over for sewing/making the drawstring bit.

2. Fold over the edge that will be the drawstring part (IE. One of the longer lengths of the rectangle) about 2 inches and pin to secure.

3. Sew along this, leaving an inch/inch and a half "sleeve of cloth" (IE don't sew straight along the fold, leave a gap) that you will be able to thread your string through later.





4. Fold the cloth over inside out and pin the sides so that when you sew them you can do a reasonably straight line. At this point, mine looked a little like an inside out pillow case.

5. Sew along lines as mentioned about. Turn rightwayout and thread the string/ribbon/cord through the little sleeve you made earlier.




6. Tie the ends of the string and TAADAA you have a basic drawstring bag!


I know my instructions are rather basic, please don't feel pressured to follow them to the letter as this is a very adaptable project and I am sure there are many other ways to achieve the same end result- Is the phrase "there are more than 2 ways to skin a cat??"- Who wants to skin a cat?!?! More on my gorgeous cat Mindy later.



Not content with the basic bag, I felt the need to glitz it up a bit and so added S.O.P.H.I.E and some pink sequins. To make the applique name, I simply cut the letters (free hand) out of a scrap of purple felt and stitched them on with a simple running stitch, looping a few sequins through along the way.


Gorgeous Sophie collected her bag today and seemed pretty pleased with herself when she proudly told me the letters in her name. Well Sophie, as every girl needs a great bag, let's hope this is the first of many!




Toodlepip! xx

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Heads Up

Embracing my challenge to make as much as I could from one cut of cloth (see below), I promptly cut out what I would need for the main event- the PE Bag. With the left overs I had a think and decided rather than make a batch of unlinked items, why not make my Niece a few bits so that she has a "set" of spotty cloth items. I have decided that I will make the PE Bag, a zippy (I've never sewn a zip so brace yourselves) cosmetics bag for her hair clips and a little brush (4 year olds don't tend to have many cosmetics after all!) and a scrunchie to keep the hair off her face during PE. If I still have cloth left I shall have to get my thinking cap on and see what comes up.

So my first accomplishment was a cute spotty scrunchie, and I shall tell you how I got there. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin!

To make the Spotty Scrunchie you will need a strip of cloth approx 20cm long and 10-15cm wide. These measurements are incredibly flexible so please don't worry about getting your ruler out. A few pins to hold it all in place before you sew it, a needle and thread or a sewing machine and a length on elastic approx 10cm (I go for the kind that looks like knicker elastic and you can buy a bunch for about 40p at most craft shops or haberdasheries).




Fold your strip of material in half length ways with the spotty side on the inside and sew along the length edges of the material. I pinned mine in place first so I could get a reasonably straight line but it's not too crucial as it will obviously be scrunched up.

Then, turn your now tube of cloth inside out so you have a sleeve of material that you can wiggle your fingers in.
Slip your length of elastic in, with about 3-4cm sticking out the top and pop a couple of stitches in to secure it in place.

Next is the fun bit! Scrunch all the material up the elastic and tie the two ends of elastic together to make a little stretchy ring with all the material scrunched round it. It will now look like a scrunchie bobble but will need the ends tidying up a little. Carefully smooth out the ends and fold over the edges to hide frayed cloth. Then add a few stitches to secure the ends together and Bob's your Uncle- a Scrunchie!!




Next project coming soon, until then, Toodlepip! xx


Monday, 21 September 2009

Cut Your Cloth Accordingly

When my friend asked me to make a PE bag for her 4 year old Daughter (also my Niece and God Daughter), I readily turned to my fabric collection to pick out a fun material for my lastest task. I had thought I only had a tiny bit back but when I happily found I had about 1.5m, I decided to set myself a little challenge: How much could I make from this one cut of cloth?



I'll keep you informed!


Toodlepip! xx

We came, we saw, we conkered!

'Tis the season to be rustic, tra la la la laaa la la la laa!



Autumn is upon us and this is a fantastic time to start bringing nature into your home in a decorative fashion. We are all aware that a vase of flowers on a mantelpiece can bring instant style and class to a room, but what about looking a little further a-field and using other elements of nature to create a stylish focal point?
At this time of year you will find red, orange, golden and pink leaves, conkers, berries, and of course flowers, all of which are free and easily accessible if you know where to look.



I took advantage of the season, went out to the countryside and collected a huge bag of conkers! All I have done is lazily poured them into this blue glass vase and VOILA! a lovely rustic accessory for my front porch!




Even if you don't have a suitable container for your rustic finds, why not dot a handful here and there to add a touch of nature to your nest?

Toodlepip! xx

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Starting from scratch

Welcome! I have finally decided to set up my own blog. A glorious space, selfishly dedicated to glitter, buttons, coloured thread, handmade inspirations, art, domestic bliss and a few other bits on the side.
I hope my totterings will inspire you to pick up a sewing needle or a piece of coloured card and create something beautiful for your home or for a friend. I don't think there is anything more lovely than receiving a gift that has had love and time spent over it by the giver, or being complimented on something you created yourself. To know you have created something from scratch can truly give a real sense of achievement.

Scratch is an amazing material, with a little motivation, you can quite literally create anything from it!

Toodlepip! xx