Friday, 21 November 2008

Needle Case

I get so few chances to do any sewing, or even get my sewing bag out, as I can't do it when the kids are about. This means it's taking me a long time to get all my equipment in order and it's been bugging me for some time that I don't even have a simple needle case!

I finally managed to nab a copy of Sew Hip, a new sewing magazine, and lo and behold there were
two needle case patterns in there! I went for the pear one above but kind of jiggled and changed it a bit to suit some cute apples fabric I bought a few months ago.

Its actually a bit of a medley of the two patterns as the main part of the cover is material reinforced with card. I've never used embroidery thread in this way before and love the fact that you can be fairly haphazard with your stitching and it actually looks better for it! That was just as well as the added card made it tough to sew through! The centre of the apple is a scrap of red corduroy I found. Inside it has four leaves of red felt with all my needles now safely stowed away rather than rattling around my sewing bag! Now I just need to make a pin cushion...

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

House for sale!

We have lived in this house in Guildford for 7 years now and love it very much. Since we've been here we have married and had two children. Over the years we have turned it from a run-down house in need of update and repair, to a warm, colourful family home. It's not been easy; we have redecorated every part of this house! We've changed every floor and painted every room, the wiring and plumbing has all had to be updated and the garden has been given decking and a patio. We've put in a new kitchen and only this year we have put in a new bathroom.

We finally have the house just as we like it and could have seen ourselves living here for much longer.... if we didn't need to move to be closer to our daughter's school and my parents in law! It's just so typical that just as we've finished we have to go and start again... ah such is life!
We have luckily already found a house in the right area and now need to sell this place asap, but we don't really want to get estate agents involved... which is why I'm writing about it on here.

Are you (or anyone you know) looking for a 3 bedroomed house in North Guildford?
We're not using estate agents and we can put through a very quick sale. We're also open to negotiations so you never know you could grab a bargain ;) We've put together a website on the house (complete with floorplans!) which you can reach by clicking here. Please pass it on if you know anyone looking in this area, thanks :)

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Red and Aqua Swap

After reading about it in Apron Thrift Girl's blog I decided to sign up for her Aqua and Red swap, despite never having taken part in a swap before! I was a little nervous as I wasn't sure what to send, but luckily there was a budget ( $20... around £11ish) and my lovely swap partner, Maria, had a blog so I was able to get an idea of what she would like. I was quite proud of myself as I managed to get my parcel all bought/made and wrapped up in good time and sent it off in the post hoping that it wouldn't go missing.

A couple of days later I came back from a driving lesson to find my PIL and my children all eyeing up the lovely big box that had arrived for me from my swap partner. I agreed with Papaya that she could
help me unwrap it... which of course meant she did most of the unwrapping! We opened up the box to find lots of little parcels inside wrapped up in paper with little shoes all over it.

I just have to do a close up of that paper as anyone who knows me will realise just how perfect it is ;)

I negotiated with Papaya that she could have some of the maltesers if she let me do most of the unwrapping of the little packets. Together we got all the paper off to find this lovely collection of things... how lucky am I?! They're all so beautiful and thoughtful and perfect for me! I told Maria that I like 1950's and retro things and I feel she really captured the 1950's style with it all.

The two pots are a tea light holder and a ramekin containing little cooking supplies.

The little hand-sewn personalised cover on the notebook is just gorgeous!

I think my favourite though was the handbag, which is so detailed and well-made. I haven't really been able to capture how beautiful it is in this photograph.

I love the other little sewn bags too! She made me a drawstring bag, a plastic bag holder and a tissue packet cover, all in suitably retro fabrics.

What Maria didn't know was that the drawstring bag is the same fabric as my ironing board cover! When we move house I plan on using the spare room as a sewing room. I can't wait to have a proper space to sew, it will enable me to do so much more! At the moment I can only sew when the children are in bed, and then I have to get everything like the sewing machine out first. I will use those bags in there and they will all have pride of place. My ironing board will be able to stay set up permanently in there and I plan to use the drawstring bag and the gingham tube to hold some of my sewing supplies!

I'll definitely be doing another swap! Thank you so much Maria, I feel very lucky!

Monday, 10 November 2008


We have a fairly bad record when it comes to double booking things, so for a long time I've wanted some blackboards up in the kitchen so that we can all see at a glance what's happening in the week ahead. I've been toying with various ideas like painting chopping boards to hang up or using small children's slates as we're moving soon and I wanted to be able to take it with us. Then the other day it suddenly occurred to me.... why not just paint it on the wall and then we'll have the paint so can always paint it on the wall again in the new place!

I used some blackboard paint I found in B&Q by a company called International, which has the added bonus of also being magnetic!!

The comedian being super tall gave me a hand masking the area off and then I just used a little roller to apply around 5 coats with about an hours drying time between each one. Next time I may do more coats as whilst it was good enough to write on after two coats the more coats there were made a difference to how magnetic it was. The paint did really well considering that wall is far from smooth. The days have been written on using a chunky chalk pen so can be wiped off if the new owners want to use the board another way.... or if they really don't like them they can always paint over them. I'm already finding it super useful and have plans to paint blackboards all over the place in the new house; a days one in the hallway, a shopping list one in the kitchen and one in the playroom for the kids to draw on!

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