Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Foggy fish sewing

It's been a strange day. The weather started as a beautiful spring day, by mid afternoon it was wet, gray and windy. Which all left me feeling very foggy and a little jittery.  I had trouble settling on doing anything to big or in need of to much thinking, so I decided on a small project out of this months Simply sewing this FQ friendly project. Isn't it cute? 

I decided on a mostly pink fish. If I do this again I will use interfacing in the top fin, it's a little floppy.

I just need some buttons to finish as eyes.  And I realise not the tail fin is the wrong way round.   I swear I read those instructions at least ten times. I was also messaging my wonderful sis so I might of been slightly distracted ;-)  So it took me a little longer than it should do.  The instructions were very clear though.  A I have said before it's the simple things that give me the most trouble usually

So now this pencil case holds my marking tools for sewing, my chalk pencils and pens. I have filled this one with something fast as my 2 cat pencil cases went fast.  I had one in mind for a gift for someone and my youngest asked for the other one.  Nice to know my sewing is appreciated at least.
I think I am going to make another one or 2 of these without zips as stuffed toys or beanbag type toys for the granddaughters toy box they have here.  Both girls absolutely love animals and fish so should appreciate these I think.

If you are wondering about the glass jar there on my desk? It's my snips jar.  I got into a really bad habit of snipping threads and dropping them on the floor. Which is fine but my sewing set up is in a really small room which can make hoovering every time I sew a pain in the neck.  So I grabbed a large empty coffee jar and place all my snipped threads and small cuttings of things.  Amazing how fast it fills up.  I love looking at it as it holds memories of things I have been sewing and usually is quite colourful.

So now I am going to go hunt out some buttons right for a pink fish
Take care and stay crafty

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Blast from the past

A little while ago we were very lucky to be given some old cookery books and sewing bits.  More recently I bought an instant pot from Amazon in a lightening sale.  Being I remembered there was a pressure cooker recipe book in this box I was delighted to grab it to look up a few recipes to try. As I opened the book a double page from the Daily Express fell out dated June 14th 1984.  It took us down memory lane to say the least.  I was only 13 when this was published.

It turns out Dungeons and Dragons was dangerous and might cause children to kill themselves.

What sounds like a eccentric professor, I am going to have to look him up on Google and see how he got on with that one.

And music systems all us teens wanted, top of the range at the time 

And how young does Toyah look here? Wow.  I have had the song 'it's a mystery' going on in the back of my mind on and off for days now.

And my Instant pot. Which is still fairly new.  Has 7 functions. I have been craving rice pudding lately But waiting over an hour in the oven or stirring a pot for ages is not my idea of fun today.  So I used the instant pot.  There was still a little stirring going on and not quite as fast as people would of had us believe before we bought it. But it was good rice pudding.

Here it is after it had finished cooking and ready for eating still warm.

Here it was now cooled down and had absorbed more liquid so was thicker. With a lovely blob of wild strawberry jam.  Not my bowl I am sad to say as it tasted so good.  But after a roast dinner and being on a diet I allowed myself a smaller portion.  Was so good but none of us managed to finish it all.  Got a feeling the boys are going to be eating the rest of it for breakfast.  Made enough for 6 big portions and there are only 3 of us now.  Definitely a make again recipe. Only thing I would have to complain about is there is no skin on the rice pudding. We will live though.

All this nostalgia has me thinking of roller skates with a key, spangles sweets and long summer days spent with family and friends as a youngster.  Ahhhhh the hazy days of times gone by.

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Kitty cat fabric

Not much sewing or crafting time today.  Was a morning focused on family time out and about, which I always love. I did get an hour or so to myself, so I crept off to my sewing machine and decided to have a go at some lined pencil cases.  This kitty cat fabric from Ikea really is one of my most favourite designs. Luckily I had 2 orange zips ( thank goodness for job lot of zips on eBay a while ago)  and zoomed along making these.  I started off with cutting 10.5" X 6" outsides and lining pieces.

And inside we have spots. So cheerful aren't they? 

That pretty much is all I am going to achieve today I think. Feeling rather wiped out after a few very up and about everywhere few days. Going to spend the evening with Mr Bradhen, youngest son and a DVD. Lets hope I don't fall asleep halfway through!

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Friday, 25 March 2016

Quiet day

Quick post. It's been a very tiring few days. Not a lot has been done. We did a go to IKEA yesterday for drinking glasses. And this cat fabric grabbed my attention so a metre came home with me. Now I'm kicking myself as should of got 2. So answers on a postcard of what I should make with these awesome kitties 

I often sew with a cup of coffee beside me and a drink of Pepsi too. I was using clips today as was sewing oilcloth and nearly ended up with clips put in my coffee. Luckily I just managed to avoid it.....just 

I've not sewn with oilcloth before so gave it a go with this tote bag. I put the walking foot into my sewing machine and had no problems at all. I'm pretty impressed with it. 

So for now. Take care and stay crafty 
Jules X 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

What a day.

None of our plans went to plan this morning.I have been driving all over the show today.  My trusty phone decided to switch off earlier when I wanted to take cool photos, and of course I didn't have my camera. Small things, which I will not dwell on as life is not meant to be swallowed up with negative thoughts.  I gave up negative thinking for Lent, really has been interesting catching myself starting to think negatively and turning myself around. 

So onto todays fun bits. 

Bobbin clips I think they are called.  How awesome is this idea?  Keeps the right bobbin with it's matching spool of thread until needed next time. I got these free with a quilt magazine today and will be looking to get more of them I think

With being all over the place I really had not a lot of time for crafting this evening.  I did catch about an hours time to watch a YouTube video and a quick trial of a tutorial by a Fate so Twisted Renee Gomez for turning a mens tshirt into a more feminine garment.  This is done by softening the edsges and ruching the arm and shoulder sleeves.  I may add more to it tomorrow.  By the time I had finished for the evening it was almost 9 pm and a quick phone photo is all I got.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get someone to take a better photo. I have been subscribed to Renee's channel for a while now.  I have made a few of her tutorials and they have always come out great. 


More amazingness this week happened at slimming world.  I lost 3 lb this week taking me to a 3 stone 8.5 weight loss, my 3.5 stone award and a slimmer of the week.  A pretty impressed with myself :o)

And finally the postman brought something I had forgotten was on the way. I bought this from ebay. Cotton panels with animal designs and a few others. Ideal for cushion covers or tote bags.  I fell so in love with these I bought 2 panels.

I have an urge to colour in this owls eyes orange/yellow

Stunning fox picture. I envisage that one as a tote bag.

Although they are ace I have an urge to get out the colouring pens and start filling them in. We shall see if they will end up coloured or not

And back to my what I want to do list for this week

Finish the skirt I started today
refashion a tshirt in style of tutorial I saw 
make a tote bag for a swap I am participating in (this is a must and really looking forward to it)
cushion cover from an item of clothing per friends request
sew my daughter a make up bag 
choose new audiobook to craft by

Not to bad as halfway through.  Son did suggest I stayed home tomorrow and played with sewing machine instead of going out shopping. Kind of get his point as I don't really love shopping. Although I think it was more a case of he wanted to stay home and play on the Xbox instead.

Long day and my bed is calling me. so for now
Take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Finished project

This skirt amazed me.  It looked simple enough reading through the instructions.  If I think it is simple I will usually find the pattern finds someway of not working out right. But it did yay! I even got the zipper in without even one curse word under my breath. Last few zips in garments I tried ended up with me threatening to throw garment and sewing machine out of the window.  

I used a very very fine light cord with some embroidered swirl details on it.  Not the perfect fabric for this as maybe, as a touch to heavy for the flounce to be flowy enough maybe? I like it though.  I plan on making some more flowy, brighter versions for spring and summer. And after over 3 stone weight loss I am getting more confident to wear skirts and show off my legs a bit more

The post arrived with a lovely parcel of patterns I found on sale on line at the weekend.  6 were for children so not all for me. 

5 patterns for me :o)  

These bananas are driving me slightly mad. Doesn't take much really does it? The bunch on the right I bought almost 2 weeks ago and are a bit greener than the picture shows.  Are still a little to unripe to eat but are getting black spots. The ones on the left got bought today by Mr Bradhen so we could actually eat some. Just so strange how long some can take.  Some days you can't get yellow ripe bananas as they are all green wherever you go to buy them. Just a rambling thought.  Been a bit difficult to get edible to eat now bananas sometimes  when sometimes there are a small tribe of children who want them. I bet I will end up with a sudden glut of over ripe bananas to deal with very soon.  The fun will be finding new ways to use them up   

We have had the dreaded lurgy of a bug sweep through the house lately.  It suddenly knocked me out last night.  I was feeling  better this morning but very tired and achy tonight. By the time I had done my sewing and cooked a butternut, carrot and ginger soup for tonight's tea I am ready for bed again.  I am hoping for more energy and less pain tomorrow as have plans with a friend and to see my daughter. So for now I am going to curl up quietly and knit for a while until bed time.  Time to catch up on some TV while on the sofa knitting

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x

Monday, 21 March 2016

Few views of Monday

Good news is I found the camera charger where it should of been.  Bad news, I didn't use the camera yet as battery was charging.  Photo quality should improve soon.

Today went pretty well all considering I have driven to school twice today due to bus issues. I spent a lovely morning with a friend getting my nails done and wandering around a few shops. I wasn't 100% sure about this nail colour but it's growing on me slowly. 

I needed to pop into FabricLand for a few zips and came out with ribbons, giant ricrac and buttons.  Fell in love with the large blue buttons and have an idea of using them on a coat or shawl or something. 

I managed to cut out my skirt pattern and interfacing etc, sewed in the first dart and then received a text from the school, so I didn't get to far with that at first.  I managed another hour after I got back, then had to give up again due to I have caught youngest sons bug he has been suffering with.  Hopefully it will be short lived. 

I have a few things on my to do list this week and am going to type them out in hope having a list I can't lose might help me remember when I am having a forgetful moment.and motivate me to finish something.  We shall see. 

Finish the skirt I started today
refashion a tshirt in style of tutorial I saw 
make a tote bag for a swap I am participating in (this is a must and really looking forward to it)
cushion cover from an item of clothing per friends request
sew my daughter a make up bag 
choose new audiobook to craft by

Usually while I craft I listen to audiobooks.  Strange thing is 5 years ago I would of considered audiobooks cheating. Then I got a cochlear implant after almost 19 years of deafness, amd part of my learning to use a cochlear implant  was listening to an audiobook.  Once it became easier I listened to a few more and now it is really strange to sew or paper craft without an audiobook playing too.  I sometimes change to music but rarely these days do.  

My copy of simply sewing magazine arrived in the post today.  There are a few or more 'must make' projects for me so it has cheered me up to read this magazine while trying to not look to ill this evening. 

Am hoping for more energy and less illness tomorrow. Meanwhile I shall try and get some sleep and sort the camera out. My phone may be great but camera on it doesn't seem to do a great job once photos get uploaded to the blog 

take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Weekend fun and review

It's been an eventful weekend here at the Bradhen household. I always forget from one sleepover with the grandchildren to the next how much energy a 4 year old and a nearly 2 year old have. So many giggles, cuddles and noise. Can't be anything but fun right? After we got the youngest one off to bed the eldest GD and I broke out a pompom kit from Hobbycraft and some glue.  So many giggles and things sticking to where they shouldn't be. We got there in the end.  Straightforward enough for a 4 year old to follow and achieve.  So without further ado meet Rapunzel and Nana. For a £1 we got a good half an hours out of this and still have enough to do  blue and a white bunnies too.  These went home with GD today with her haul of Easter egg finds this morning.

This morning I broke out my new pancake pan.  It's a Nordicware pan.  I bought this from Costco before Shrove Tuesday but haven't used it before now.  So cute right? I am easily amused so it came home with us. Mr Bradhen doesn't even question me these days just lets me get on with these things. Anything for an easy life maybe?

After a quick spritz of Fry light we loaded up each section with 2 tablespoons worth of the thick and fluffy kind of pancake batter and over a low medium heat we waited for them to dry out a bit and bubbles to pop on the top side before turning.

We did 2 lots and one batch was lighter than these but all cooked and infectiously cheerful.

We broke out a few chocolate chips and chopped strawberries. There wasn't much left so must of gone down well.  

They are a novelty and I am not sure how often I will actually get to use the pan to be honest, But the pan cooked the pancakes well and you could really see the smiley faces well.  They released without any faff.  I have a few of their bundt tins and they have never not released well either. I think the other design in store was farm animals, might of just been funny animals.  I can't remember more than it was some kind of animals. We shall see if it becomes a tradition for sleepovers in the future. 

It's been a busy Sunday.  After dropping the girls back off home I managed to escape upstairs to do a bit of sewing.  I finished a top I had almost finished,  Will show it off later in the week, I need to find my camera charger to get some decent photos.

While son was in the bath I took the time to trace off  the pattern pieces I needed for this pattern.  I saw it made up and reviewed on the youTube channel Sewn in her transitioning for spring vlog and loved how hers looked so got the pattern.

The bit I don't usually  like in the process of creating a project is tracing off the pattern.  I think it goes back to years ago when I used to get Burda magazines.  Not only did you have to work out which pattern pieces you needed in what can only be described as a spaghetti junction of pattern lines, you also had to put on your own seam allowances afterwards. Really put me off tracing for a long time. With only 5 pieces to trace tonight though it went smoothly and quickly. And I cannot wait to get into this tomorrow afternoon hopefully. I have chosen view E, second from bottom on left of pattern envelope.  It's a bit longer and with my legs that's a good thing. We shall see how it all goes. I have 2 fabrics in my stash that I am deliberating over at the moment so we will see how I feel when it comes down to cutting it out and if I have a matching zip for it.

Pattern is McCall's 7287

Excuse the photograph quality,  I really am not doing well indoors in the later afternoon/evening/night time lately and my camera charger is top of my list to sort out for blogging some better photos with. 

But for now I think a cup of coffee while the house is quiet and a catch up online before bed. So for now

Take care and stay crafty
Jules x 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

who me?

I have blogged before.  Mostly cooking posts.  I love to bake and cook. Put me in a kitchen and let me loose with a new recipe or idea and I am in heaven. Bread is my passion baking wise though. And maybe cake. A few years ago a friend introduced me to paper cutting and next thing I know I was madly cutting extremely fiddly bits out of paper with scalpels and loving it.  Fun as it was it seemed wrong to start blogging about this new passion on that blog.  Last year Sewing grabbed my attention again and I am hooked.  I also knit, play with bits of paper, felt and glue too. I just love being creative in many mediums.

Long story short, I was missing blogging badly, but very undecided about what to do.  Do I do one blog per topic? Or one blog for it all? After a heart to heart with the love of my life, I finally decided on one blog. A lifestyle blog I guess you would call it?

I plan on sharing works in progress. Reviews on patterns I use, books I have read, products I have used and recipes. And probably a few random topics thrown in here and there. Topics so far that come to mind will include Sewing, quilting, cooking, baking, reading, colouring, knitting, failing at crocheting maybe!, paper crafts, photography, trips and outings, entertaining children ideas and mad musings of my mind and life. How can you not be interested? ( don't answer that one please lol )

I am a 40 something Mum of 3 amazing children. A Nana to 2 beautiful Granddaughters. I have a mind that never seems to fully shut down, even when my body has given up it seems. I have a million ideas or 'intentions' and definitely not enough time to do them all. I am hoping though I might get more organised, but if the past is anything to go by there is no way I can become organised.  Could be fun trying though.

So enough of the rambling and I will be back with a more, or hopefully more, ordered post very soon  

Take care and stay crafty