December Daily

Ooh-cha Beastie! I’m taking my scrapbooking obsession to a whole new level this month and participating in December Daily where I scrap every day for the whole month! This excites me to no end as I love both Christmas and Scrapbooking, and this is definitely the month where there’s a lot going on!

december daily title card 2015

I’ve decided to use a small 4×4 album which I picked up earlier in the year by We are Memory Keepers but I have purchased a few special things to make my album all the more festive. I thought it would be a good idea to make up a bit of a kit that I could have on hand, ready to go for the whole month so that I’m not raking about for supplies every day. This also means that my scrapbook will have 1 general colour scheme running through it for the whole month which will make it a bit more cohesive.

Most of these supplies are from Hobbycraft which I bought during their Black Friday sale weekend – can’t beat 20% off the entire store! I’ve checked their website and most of the thing aren’t there but I’ve tried to link to as many things as possible so if you see something you fancy, I’m making your crafty shopping that bit easier. Call me an enabler 🙂

december daily scrapbooking kit

I’ve put the whole December Daily kit together in a small carry folder so it’s easy to grab when I have a minute to update the album. For photos, I’ve just decided to print them at home to save me having to go to boots every few days. Thankfully my printer is pretty good for photos – it’s a HP Photosmart 6520e if you’re interested!

As we’re well into December now, I’ll leave you with a peek at some of the completed days 🙂

december daily title card 2015december daily title card 2015imadecember daily title card 2015edecember daily title card 2015december daily title card 2015december daily title card 2015

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Christmas Bedroom (part 2)

Earlier this week I was all excited about my new Christmas bedding and the joy hasn’t subsided one bit! I was contacted by the lovely people at Aspace* who challenged me to make a Christmas decoration for my bedroom. Cue me running about Hobbycraft the mothership like a mad-man on the hunt for supplies 🙂 Once the hysteria dissipated, I composed myself enough to gather everything I needed to make a couple of festive cushions to compliment my Christmas bedding 🙂

merry bright diy chritmas cushions

I’m certainly feeling merry and bright, even in these dark mornings. The one problem about loving your bed so much is that it’s a MAJOR struggle to leave it for 10 hours every day. These cushions were pretty simple to make. Not to mention that the supplies are easy to find and they certainly won’t break the bank! I used about 1m of calico fabric, an A4 sheet of red adhesive felt and 1m of pom-pom trim to make both cushions.

First I printed off a template of my words, cut out the letters and stuck them (wrong side facing down) onto the back of the adhesive felt. Then I cut round each letter carefully and was left with my two words. I then peeled off the backing of the felt and stuck each letter down onto a 50cm x 27cm rectangle of calico fabric. I sewed around each letter using my free-motion quilting foot on my machine. This is the part of the process which took the most time. It was a bit fiddly but you could totally skip this step by using fabric glue on the back of each letter to secure them instead. I quite like the stitched look, though!

diy merry and bright cushions

The next step was to cut four 50cm x 25cm rectangles of calico. Hem one long side of each piece – I just used a zig-zag stitch for a decorative effect. With that done, I then laid 2 pieces of the calico on top of the piece with the letters, making sure the hemmed edges are in the middle, and sewed around the outside edges with a straight stitch.

festive bedroom cushions with pom pom trim

Once the cushion was turned right-side out, I attached the pom-pom trim to the top and bottom edges of the cushion with a simple straight stitch. I really love the effect this gives the cushion – it’s even more festive now! To make them all plump and lovely, I ripped apart an inexpensive Ikea pillow form and stuffed each cushion with filling. The great thing about making your own cushions is that you don’t have to stick to a set size or buy an expensive form which I love.

I’m really chuffed with the final product and now my bedroom is certainly ready for Christmas. Thanks to ASpace* for setting this task! Definitely check out their range of home-wears, and for you guys with kiddies, they have an amazing selection of Children’s furniture.

*Collaborative post. All views and opinions are my own.

 

November Project Life

My November Project Life spread is probably my favourite one to date! I went with an autumnal theme using papers from the American Crafts Autumn Crisp collection and embellishments from My Minds Eye.

american crafts autumn crisp project life spread

I didn’t have a great deal of photos to include this month but I actually like that there was space available for separate explanation cards. The first page for November details our night out to see Kevin bridges, some more engagement celebrations and also the stress of looking at wedding venues.

page 1 November project life american crafts autumn crisp

The title card is really simple; I just used alphas from Hobbycraft and a big poppy embellishment from a 12×12 MME chipboard pack. The ‘What a Pair’ chipboard piece is probably my favourite thing in this whole spread!

page 1 november project life american crafts autumn crisp

The second page covers a family birthday, some baking, my favourite engagement gift of all time, and Black Friday!

page 1 november project life american crafts autumn crisp

I used a different page protector layout for this spread and I love the way it looks. I think this is design S from the Project Life line and I’ll definitely be using more of it next year. I definitely used more embellishments than usual this month and I love the way it turned out. I especially like the Black Friday section with that wood grain card which makes my heart beat a little faster.

page 1 november project life american crafts autumn crisp

I’ve been wanting to use that large arrow from My Mind’s Eye for ages and I’m so glad I finally found a place for it!

I’ll definitely be doing Project Life again in 2016. It was definitely the best decision I made this year – especially with everything that actually happened! I’m still trying to finish our Engagement spread which I’ll be showing in the new year but I’ll be back before then with December’s pics and possibly a dedicated Christmas spread 🙂

A Bedroom fit for Christmas

The tree is up. The fairy lights are on. Garlands have been strung and there is glitter EVERYWHERE. Christmas is finally here! I have upped my game with decorating this year to include adding a bit of festive cheer to the bedroom. I decided that we needed to have appropriately christmas-sy bedding this year so I went on the hunt which was one of the more fun things I’ve done recently. The selection of festive bedding out there is phenomenal – both online and in stores. Here are a few of my favourites.

I’m pretty obsessed with the Christmas selection on the Yorkshire Linen website* especially this plaid set! It looks so cosy and is only £14.99 for a full double duvet!
yorkshire linen plaid double bedspread

Asda have some lovely designs in too, especially this Scandinavian style set.

george SCANDI duvet set

After a fair bit of searching I finally settled on this gorgeous flannel set from Matalan. Yes, it’s already been pre-washed, ironed and thrown on the bed! I love the plaid contrast underneath and even though it’s got a Christmas feel to it, I can total see it still being used in January and February because it’s so cosy!

flanel plaid stag duvet set matalan

Even though my house is completely decorated I think this is the room that makes me feel the most Christmas-sy. Sleeping is probably my favourite activity at this time of year and what better way to treat yourself than with some ultra-cosy bedding! The best part is that this little luxury doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and it makes such a big impact. I feel like my whole bedroom has a much more welcoming feel and I can’t wait to go to sleep every night.

 

*This is a collaborative post

Crafts Beautiful

As part of the magazine.co.uk blog network, I get my hands on some pretty sweet crafty magazines. This month I sat down with a glass of mulled wine (seasonally appropriate) and had a good old flick through Crafts Beautiful and I was not disappointed.

crafts beautiful magazine

This issue came with a really handy bow maker as the free gift so I thought I’d give it a try. Holy perfect bows, Batman! This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time considering all the Christmas wrapping I’m about to undertake. It’s such a simple little device that takes all the effort out of making perfect bows every time. Using the two posts, you simply wrap your ribbon around a couple of times, pass one end under and over the middle and tie a knot – a child could do it 🙂 There’s a much more in-depth tutorial in the magazine and I also found quite a few helpful YouTube videos.

bow maker crafts beautiful

I spent all of 5 minutes putting together a couple of trial bows and I love them!

image image image

I can totally see me using the string of bows idea above quite a lot this Christmas. The bow buddy has measurements along the edges so you can line everything up and make sure you’re making the correct size of bow each time. Not only was I impressed with the free gift from this mag, I loved the content! There are some fantastic Christmas card ideas that I’m definitely going to save for next year.

If you’re the crafty type – and I assume you are if you’re reading this blog – you can subscribe to Crafts Beautiful from magazine.co.uk*. It would even make a great last-minute gift for a crafty little elf!

 

*affiliate link

Wonder Tape

I’ve recently discovered the wonders of Prym Wonder Tape and I need to share it will all of you!

prym wonder tape stay tape

This probably isn’t new to the advanced sewists amongst us, but to me it was an absolute revelation! I LOVE sewing with knits, that’s no secret. However with certain fabrics I’ve had a bit of trouble stopping them from warping and stretching out of shape. Case in point: The most cringe-worthy example of this is shown below:

image

Silly, silly Amy! I will say that this disaster occurred whilst using a walking foot so I did at least try to take some precautions before I battered in. Anyway I’ve held onto this piece for quite some time now in the hopes that I can salvage it. I’m not optimistic but now with the help of my new BFF I should avoid failures like this in the future! I really love it because it’s so easy to use – just place the tape around the folded edge of the neckline, take off the backing and fold under again. Not only does this stabilise the hem, but it also negates the need for pins as everything is glued in place. Once you’re finished, bung it in the washing machine and the tape will dissolve leaving you with a beautiful finish. I LOVE this stuff.

prym wonder tape stay tape

prym wonder tape stay tape

So you have any sewing tools that you just can’t live without? Let me know as I’d love to try them out!

Christmas Quilt

Last year’s Christmas quilt is finally finished! If you’re not quite ready to immerse yourself in Christmas cheer quite yet then look away now.

simple christmas quilt

FINALLY. This is probably the most simple quilt that I’ve ever made but due to it’s seasonality, there was no chance of me working on it in months that never dipped below 4 degrees. Why was it so easy? well for a start the only shapes involved are 4.5inch squares all sewed together in straight rows. The most difficult part of this project was figuring out the square placement which was a bit of a headache considering the bat-shit-craziness of the fabrics – all purchased from various dubious sellers on eBay.

simple christmas quilt

I use the term quilt very loosely. I used my cheats method of free-motion quilting on this project which took out about 70% of the work. You can read more about that here.

simple christmas quilt cheat free motion quilting

Finally, I bound all the edges with simple fold-over bias tape which was also saved a lot of time and effort. I even tried doing mitred corners and semi-successfully sewed one! It’s pretty wonky but it really doesn’t bother me at all.

simple christmas quilt

So that’s the first official Christmas-themed piece of decoration out in my house. In less than a week I’ll have my tree up and I can’t tell you how much joy that thought brings me. Tis the season to go bat-shit for Christmas!

DIY Selfie Wall

We had a bit of a do on Halloween to celebrate our engagement with our extended family so obviously that called for the creation of a DIY selfie wall. It was a great addition to the party, was so easy to make and cost all of £7! Supplies:

  • Crepe Paper – 2 sheets of black and 2 of white.
  • Gold Foil Strands (I got mine from Ikea back in May for 25p a packet).
  • A large piece of cardboard to act as your background
  • A smaller piece of cardboard for the sign.
  • Black and gold poster paint
  • Sticky Tape
  • Some garden wire to hang it all up

We shall start with the sign…DIY selfie wall sign

I cut the corners off my smaller cardboard rectangle to give my sign a nicer shape and then painted it black. I then took my gold paint and drew the outline of the sign and then painted the words… Pretty straight-forward and not very neat, but this was a last-minute addition which was successfully thrown together the night before the party!

We made the backdrop by taping strands of cut-up crepe paper to the larger piece of cardboard and separating each row with a layer of gold foil tinsel. All that was left to do was to hand it up on the back door and BAM… A DIY selfie booth! Here it is in action.

diy selfie booth

diy selfie booth

Some of the photos we have from our party are fantastic simply because of this wall. We also had a box of props which you can see being well utilised by my mum and I above! I know it’s quite popular to have a photobooth at your wedding but I quite like the thought of having a selfie station instead, and it’s a fraction of the cost! I’ll leave you with one last picture of me because I spent a crap-tonne of time on my hair and make up as the Bride of Frankenstein and I think I look fierce.

check that contour though.
check that contour though.

 

October Project Life

10 months down and I’m still not tired of scrapbooking! Today I’m showcasing 2 spreads from my album for October Project Life. First up is the standard monthly spread

october project life

october project life

I used cards exclusively from the Favourite Things Project Life core kit and kept the embellishments very simple. That’s what’s so great about Project Life – you can let the pictures do the taking and you can spend very little time making a spread which looks really put-together. I quite like that there’s quite a lot of explanation of some of the pictures in the first half of the month, for example I used a full-size group picture to document our day out at Go Ape and added a gold arrow paper clip to point to the description above. The second half of the month is dominated by my best friends which is unfortunately a bit of a rareity. I asked them to be my co-maids of honour and they in turn thanked my with the most beautiful bunch of flowers and really heart-felt card.

The second spread this month was devoted to our engagement party. My parents really wanted to throw a bit of a do to celebrate with our family and it just so happened that the best weekend for everyone seemed to be Halloween so we made it a fancy dress party. Now I LOVE HALLOWEEN. I love everything about it, but most of all getting dressed up. I put a bit of thought into our costume choice and decided it would only be right if we went as Frankenstein and his bride.

october project life halloween spreadoctober project life halloween edition

october project life halloween spread title card

I love this whole spread! The title card is made up of a shot of our DIY photobooth sign and some halloween stickers which I think looks pretty good! I used a black and white colour scheme with some gold glitter because I couldn’t leave it well enough alone. The photos really do speak for themselves though – everyone made such an effort! In the 2nd picture above you can see Tee-Total Ken and Clean & Dust Barbie! Their costumes were absolutely fantastic! Special mention, however, goes to my betrothed for his Frankenstein face paint which he insisted on doing all himself. Just look at that skill!

frankenstein face paint halloween costume diy

Colette Wren Dress

I’ve been sewing! After wearing myself out over the summer I didn’t make a single thing for 8 whole weeks. It was actually quite refreshing so when I was ready to go back to it, I jumped in with a great deal of enthusiasm. My return was actually prompted by 2 patterns; the release of Cashmerette’s Appleton wrap dress and the Colette Wren dress. My past successes with Colette patterns swayed me to start with that, so that’s what I have to show you today!

colette wren dress

My day job’s been pretty intense recently (I’m killing it like a damn boss) so it was about time I mixed up my workwear wardrobe. I think its actually pretty versatile as I wore it on the day that I went straight from work to drinks in town with Roisin, Elaine, Nuala and Elise. We went to Gin71 in Glasgow which I can do nothing but recommend for gin lovers young and old. It was lovely to have a good natter with some fellow sewing ladies and to meet Roisin who’s blog I’ve been following for a while. Seriously, I can’t get over this little section of the internet – everyone is so bloody nice!

I bought this grey ponte fabric from Gold Thimble in Glasgow and the quality really is lovely. It gives a fair bit of structure to the overall dress which was the look I was going for with this version, although I would really like to try the pattern with a more drapey knit too. Speaking of the pattern, lets point out a few things my amateur brain noted when putting it together.

  • I like how easy it is to cut and tape Colette PDF patterns. There’s clear grid lines to trim which makes life A LOT easier.
  • The instructions are very clear without being too hand-holdy which I really like at this stage because I’m pretty comfortable with sewing knits.
  • The skirt was WAY LONG. Like crazy long. I made version 2 with the gored skirt and (stupidly on my part) didn’t even notice the length of the skirt pieces. I swear it came down t my shins! I hacked off 7 inches and then hemmed to get a length I was comfortable with but I wish I had thought to shorten the pattern piece before I cut! The skirt would definitely look better with the intended shaping rather than me having to cut a massive chunk off the bottom. Le sigh.
  • The bodice is a bit of a funny one. I have only ever made 1 other wrap bodice but with this one there is a fair bit of excess fabric at the sides when it’s on. I thought I had maybe secured the wrap pieces in the wrong place but not according to the line drawings. I actually had to unpick this part because the first time I sewed the bodice to the skirt, I ended up with a very wonky waistline. It’s still not perfect by any means but I really don’t know how to fix it! The wrap is also quite gape-y (hence the black tank underneath) but it doesn’t really bother me too much as I hear this is a standard complaint of busty ladies.
  • I like how the instructions have you finish off the neckline seams before the bodice is constructed. I think I might try to do that with more garments as I definitely took a bit of time on this stage whereas usually I end up rushing it at the end to get the thing finished.

So lets have a look at some closer bits… Firstly, I really like the gathers at the shoulder seams but I might extend the basting stitches a bit further than suggested to spread them out a touch more, especially on a bulkier fabric like this.

colette wren dress shoulder gathers

I know I mentioned the bodice is a bit gape-y but I really like how wide the neck bands are.

colette wren dress wrap bodice

Also with my new-found enthusiasm I actually took the time to overlock all my seams.

colette wren dress finished seams

Even with that extra step, this took no more than 4 hours over 2 nights to put together which I’m really pleased with! Even though I’ve noted a couple of problems I had with the pattern I would still make it again (and I already have). It won’t take the place of my beloved Moneta, but it’s definitely a nice alternative when I fancy a bit of a change.

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