Friday, 21 April 2017

If I were a.....



...pencil case! I would most definitely look like this one :) No really I would! 

Its amazing when all the pressure of making things to order goes away, the motivation to create returns. After making a bit of a faux pas on the amount of fabric I needed to make my first "Make 9" project, I decided that I would make something that had been on my list from last year while I waited for another delivery. 


Its been such a long time since I've made any of the make up pouches that I used to sell in my online shop. I could have used the original pattern and adapted it but I thought it would be good for me to create a new one, to kinda get back into the swing a little. It felt a little strange getting the pattern paper out and starting to mark out the measurements but I suppose its like they say "riding a bike". 


As I am totally obsessing over the colour that I painted my sewing room, I seem to be a magnet to anything in the same colour spectrum. This also goes for the fabric I've bought for my "Make 9" project, now if you can remember that far back, my plan was to make 9 garments before the year was out. Now I can hear you all whispering....but its April already Emma and you haven't even started. Dont worry...I'm not, its not the finish line that is important, its the journey along the way.

I plan on starting this weekend, even if its just the cutting out. I also have something else that I want to make but more about that later. Back to my gorgeous new pencil case :)


So of course it had to have buttons on it and a few little hidden sparkles purely because I love anything sparkly. Mr.B says I'm like a magpie! The fabric on the top section was literally some scraps I had left over from a bag I made a couple of years ago. I love the pinks and aqua combination. The problem that I had with my previous case was that it was wayyyy too small, so when I started to work out the dimensions for this one I knew how big I wanted it to be. 


I'd love to make some more, but I'm not going to pressure myself into anything. I've ordered some more of the gorgeous polka dot printed felt, along with a stripey version and whatever I create I will put up for sale. Its more about the creating for me, I really enjoyed making this one for myself. Its funny that I used to make lots of bags in lots of different styles for customers but I never really got round to making anything for myself....crazy I know!! At least this time I can say that the first one was for me :)


I'm also thinking of making another one to make a matching pair so that I can use the second one for a make up pouch for my bag. Its been a good distraction for me this week, and by god I've needed one. The day job 'issue' still hasn't been resolved, I'm trying to keep myself together on that one but its difficult. Creating is the thing that I say keeps me sane but I really think that is true. I feel like the 'real' me when I can make things.  Good things come to those who wait.....well if anyone has noticed I've been here waiting patiently all this time. Please bring a good solution :)


Well I'm going to leave it there for this week my lovelies, I do hope you all have a fantastic weekend whatever you have planned. We will be keeping on with the marathon that is decorating, we're on the home stretch now for sure. 

Take care, 
Emma xxxx 


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Taking time....


Its been sometime since I wrote a post of this nature but sometimes it good to look back and reflect to know where you're moving forward to, right? Glancing back through my blog I realised how long I was absent from my little space I once loved to disappear into when I felt the need to reach out in an anonymous type of way. There's been no kind of personal posts from me, no rants about what really peeves me or updates of any kind of general non important, who really wants to read this kinda stuff but I'm gonna write it anyway. I think for a while I shut myself off from it all as it didn't feel appropriate to write it down here.

I feel as though I had fallen into a bit of an abyss in terms of blogging and being creative, I guess that's what happens to most creative people when there are 'other' things going on in your life. Life in general is pretty intense and exhausting don't you think? And I am one of those annoying people where I have to cram in as much as I can to feel like I'm getting the most out of everything. But maybe I'm missing the point somewhat.

This weekend, being an extended one for me from work I'm trying to take things at a much slower pace, really thinking about future plans and where I see the next part of my journey taking me. The day job has been especially difficult the last few weeks. This situation should come to some kind of fruition in the weeks ahead and I'm hoping will bring a huge change for the better. So a five day break from it is definitely what I needed to keep my mind straight and my emotions in check. Gone are the days where I used to cry out of pure frustration from it all, I have grown and changed so much from those days and learned to let the less important things in life just go over my head and put my energy and focus into the things that do really matter.

As I write this post, I am sat in our cosy living room with Nell fast asleep on my knee with a cup of coffee and ginger biscuits to munch on, I can just about hear Mr.B mooching around upstairs and I'm sharing with you lovely lot! What more could I want out of life? 

This afternoon I plan on finishing the second cushion I am making for our snug and then helping Mr.B paint his office. Now I have a beautiful relaxing sewing room, its his turn to have his little domain personalised. It involves a paint colour named 'Cumin'. A strong and vibrant colour which reflects his personality perfectly. 

I'd like to finish this post by saying have a wonderful Easter weekend, metaphorically I will be sat under the tree above, relaxing and clearing my head of all non important thoughts....here's a quote I found on the internet this week that I think we could all have a little bit more of.

"Sometimes self care is exercise and eating right. Sometimes its spending time with loved ones or taking a nap. And sometimes its watching an entire season of television in one weekend while you lounge around in your pyjamas. Whatever soothes your soul." - Nanea Hoffman

Take care my lovelies,
Emma xxx





Saturday, 8 April 2017

Janome new vs old

Hey there, thanks for joining me for another post. I know I'm surprised too, I'm finally starting to get back into a flow again and it feels good. I think I had forgotten what drew me to creating a blog way back in 2008, I wanted a way of capturing my creative journey and although I got a little lost on my way, its really starting to feel like the old me is back again.


So this post is all about getting ready for the new chapter in my sewing journey. As some of you may know I am the very proud owner of a vintage (I think I can call it that, lol) 'New Home' Janome sewing machine. 


Isn't she pretty. 

I've had her for at least the last 8 year and she was given to me by a friend of the family (Hi Maureen if you're reading this *waves*). All of my bags and other creations have been made on this machine and I've had the best of fun along the way. She even has a secret, one side she is a sewing machine and on the other size she is an over locker!!! I know crazy right!! As far as I'm aware I've never seen another one like her. She sews like a dream too, probably because I have taken the very best of care with her, making sure she has an annual service. I have to say she has a very special place in my heart. 


Now I bet you are all thinking, if you love her so much then why can we see photos of a new Janome. Well let me explain.......


My 'old' machine (I dont really like calling her that) does all the essential stitches as you can see above and she does them all very well.


So let me introduce you to my new Janome DC3050 (I think this particular model is only available through John Lewis), now this one does an impressive 50 stitches, specifically I had my eye on the stretch stitch (No.05) and to be totally honest, I bet I will never use over half of them. It also does lots of high tech (well they're high tech for me anyway) stuff and there's a needle threader, which I love!!


I spent an hour or two having a little play with it, and had a go at some of the more decorative stitches. I love the scalloped blanket stitch (2nd from the bottom). Sadly I dont think I will have much use for most of them but I bought the machine because of the good reviews and the fact its a really good quality machine. 

This week I have actually spent some time making some cushions that I've been meaning to get on with for (can I really tell you how long....???) OK I'm going to tell you, 2 years. Please dont judge me on that, in my defence there's been a lot going on which has prevented me from getting started. 

So whats the verdict then, well the new machine sews just as well as the old, it is a little bit quieter, of course it has all those stitches and the needle threader its self is worth it :) Obviously its not an over locker but thats where my old faithful Janome comes into play. As you can see from the photo further up that I have them both set up on my work desk. Another bonus is that all the machine feet I have for my old machine can be used on the new one!! I'm looking forward to getting stuck into a dressmaking project to really give the new machine a road test.

I am a lucky bunny indeed, two Janome sewing machines!!! If you know me, you will know that I will cherish both machines and look after them so that they bring me many more years of sewing enjoyment. 

thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend,
Emma xxx


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

RECIPE : Banana bread


Happy Tuesday to you all :) Its been a while since I posted a recipe and since this one is a popular favourite and my go to recipe when I want something a little different for breakfast I thought I'd share it with you.

As always its an easy recipe and apart from the cooking time can be whizzed together pretty quick, my kind of cooking :)

You will need: 

150g of caster sugar or soft brown sugar
50g of softened butter
2 eggs
4 tbsp of water
3 very ripe bananas
200g of wholemeal flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180c
Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper
Beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy
Whisk eggs with the water
I use my nutribullet to combine the bananas and egg/water mix
Pour the banana/egg/water mix into the sugar/butter mix and blend well
Add the flour, bicarb and baking powder and mix until combined with the other ingredients
Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 55 minutes - top should be firm to touch and nicely brown

You could always add some walnuts to give it a bit of crunch....I love to have a slice with a handful of raspberries and a dollop of yoghurt. Perfect for breakfast, or on its own for an afternoon snack.

Enjoy :)

Emma xxx

Friday, 31 March 2017

Rolled hems - lets do this

Here we are my lovelies, its Friday again. Today I have locked myself away in my sewing room to try and get my head space in order! So there's been lots of coffee and some biscuits of the chocolate variety (I'm treating myself today as I think its more than needed. I still cant get my head round how fast the weeks are going by and I know I keep saying it but I cant work it out. Maybe I should stop trying to. 

Anyway still playing catch up with blog posts, now if you do follow over on Instagram you will have seen some of these photos quite a while ago. I bought a scarf for a friend from a lovely lady on Etsy, I have to put it out there first that I have bought many scarves and they are beautiful, the prints are gorgeous, they are well made, the packaging is so lovely and her customer service is second to non. 

So I made the purchase, it arrived in the post, I opened it to have a good look at the beautiful print and to my horror there was a hole about the size of an egg cup and some smaller ones......crikes!! It was for a birthday present and I didn't have time to re-order :( After a very lovely and apologetic email from the lady, we decided that I would have a think about it over night and I'd be in touch with my decision (refund, replacement etc).


Isn't it gorgeous!!!!!! 

So after thinking about it for a couple of hours, I thought I'm being really silly here, I can sew, I have a machine, it has a rolled hem foot, I've sewed a rolled hem before (given it was about 15 years ago lol)....maybe I could fix this??????

No, I couldn't possibly try?? Could I? Cut off the damaged piece and re-hem it.....are you CRAZY woman!!!


Well I bloody well had a go and this is how it turned out!!!!!!! I know I couldn't believe it either :D 
Now I'm not gonna lie to you, I was absolutely errrrmmmmm, well lets just say I held my breath for most of the time I was sewing it!!!!! 

How pleased was I with myself? Well I might have been a little bit smug about my efforts but when I emailed the lady I bought it from I was very modest about it all. She was so impressed and we came to an agreement about some discount and free postage on my next order....because there will be a next time, Oh yes! Don't you know I'm addicted to scarves?  They are my adults version of a comfort blanket lol

video

Here I am sewing the hem.......

video

And this is the finished scarf. My friend loved it and I was honest and told her what had happened and that I had modified it. She said that made it even better, that I had put so much effort into it. So big pat on the back for me. I love giving gifts, even more so when its something that I have sewn, even if it were just a tiny tiny rolled hem :)

thanks for stopping by my lovelies, have a fabulous weekend,
Emma xxx

Friday, 24 March 2017

Felt ball push pins - tute

Hello my lovelies, another week is flying by, I cant believe its Friday again! I seriously have no idea where the days go. Maybe its because I have so many projects on my To Do list, its keeping me so busy I don't notice the days passing by. 

After such a long time of being out of 'mojo' for blogging I'm finding 
it much easier these days. I'm not sure if its because I'm making stuff again or what but I'm not going to question it, it feels right and that's good enough for me. 

 So this weeks post is to show you how I made the felt ball push pins for my new pin board. I found this gorgeous pin board on ebay, it comes in different colours but I bought it in white with the idea that I would paint it myself. 


I bought a selection of felt balls from Blooming Felt, the chrome push pins also came from ebay and my little mini glue gun came from Hobbycraft which I bought last year. I have to admit, I've had so much fun with that little glue gun :)


I would suggest buying some decent quality push/drawing pins, you want them nice and sturdy for pushing into your cork board. I bought chrome coloured ones as I wanted them to look nice and shiny.


I chose a selection of 1.5cm balls which match the colours of my 'Follow your dreams' cushion that you can see in this post.


I did make a little video of how to make them but it didn't turn out too well and I couldn't figure out how to rotate it so that you could actually watch it the right way up.....if you have any tips or tricks please do let me know.

OK, its pretty simple so I'll just bullet point the process:

You will need:
Hot glue gun, glue sticks
felt balls (1.5cm)
Metal push/drawing pins

Instructions:
1. Heat up your glue gun
2. Take a push/drawing pin, hold it by the pin so that the head is facing you
3. Apply a pea sized amount of glue to the head of the pin
4. Take a felt ball and press it onto the head of the glued pin, hold it for a few seconds to make sure that the glue starts to dry
5. Leave them to one side to dry thoroughly
6. Snip off any excess glue with a pair of scissors


And there you go you should end up with felt ball push pins just like these :)

How can these not make you smile!!!!! 


They look fab on my pin board.


I love the fact they look like they are floating on the board. Each pin cost about 19p to make which I think is a bargain!!!


Thanks for stopping by and reading, I'd love to hear if you try it out, you could use different shapes, heart or pebble or even buttons, cabochons or anything else you find......what about Lego pieces???

Have fun,
Emma xxx

Friday, 17 March 2017

Sewing room tour....the reveal!


Hello my lovelies, I hope you're all excited as I am to show you my completely finished sewing room. Seriosuly I could burst every time I walk into it.....I absolutely love it! If you want to see it before, then have a look at this post.


If you follow me over on Instagram then would have already seen this little sneaky picture. I felt like I was teasing you all way too much so before I had a chance to sit down and write a blog post I thought it was only fair. 

So how did I choose the colour scheme? My lovely bloggy friend Rachel (*waves*) bought me a candle (quite a loooonnnng time ago) which I thought was the most gorgeous shade of mint green. I then snuck into Mr.B's office and borrowed his paint chart and tried to colour match the candle with a shade brighter and that was the colour I chose for the wall. I do think though that I have been slightly obsessed with this colour for longer than I initially thought, as since painting was complete and I started re-organising everything I found more and more things that I had either bought or been given that were almost the same colour. 

Any way I'm digressing, so this photo is of the main wall in my room, its the only wall that I painted with the mint green colour. I felt that the furniture was taking up too much of the wall and if I had put it back in the same place you wouldn't have seen as much of the colour as I would have liked. So we spent an hour or so jiggling it all about until I was happy. I also added an IKEA Lack shelf to the wall and painted it the same colour. I wanted some more space to display my favourite things. The hanging plant you can see, I've had for a while but didn't quite know where to put it, until we had moved the furniture around, then I knew exactly where it needed to go. I think the pot and hanging net came from Homebase and was only about £5 the plants I bought from our local garden centre. And you can also see that 'Sophia' my vintage Singer has pride of place in the middle of my shelving unit (also from IKEA, in fact all of my furniture, apart from the chairs is from the famous Danish store).


On the opposite wall is my desk (and the door to the room), I decided to keep my desk in the same place because this is where the best natural light is in the room. I know you're probably all thinking it would look a lot better without the TV on the wall, and I totally agree, but I do use it for listening to the radio and sometimes I sit in the other chair hand sewing whilst watching a movie. So for me, I just live with the fact its black and ugly on a pretty wall :D 
One thing you may have noticed is that there are two machines on my desk!!!! Yes I bought a new Janome!!!! I know how exciting!!!!! More about that in another post.


I pretty much re-organised everything in the room, trying to keep it all as maintenance free as possible. This has meant scaling down some of the crafty things I have stashed away :( I know how sad. Don't worry most of it has gone into a sealed box in the garage, just in case I need it lol.


My fabric drawers have moved into the corner, with my fabric boxes which hold all of my bobbins of thread. All of these drawers you see here will be sorted through in the coming weeks so if there are any of you out there that would be interested in giving some of it a new home, watch this space. I have since moved the iron after taking this photo, its an iron, who wants to see a bloody iron. Not me!! I want to see pretty, colourful and if possible fluffy or floral things.


And this is my chair in the corner, I know if doesn't look very comfortable but believe me its the perfect position for relaxing. I have sat in it many times with a tea/coffee/hot chocolate either hand sewing or watching a film or chatting on the phone....its perfect and its orange!


On the wall you might have noticed my new pin board, I decided to paint that in the wall colour too. Was it possible I could love it more? Yes, paint it mint green......YES.


Last year whilst shopping in Matalan, I saw this....in fact it wasn't long after I bought the paint, actually I'm totally lying there as we bought the paint back in Aug 2013, yes that would be a ridiculously long time to wait to paint my room, now do you understand why I was so excited to show you???? 

I thought it was destiny, a B, in mint green, with a floral pattern, surely it was made for me and me only? That's what I told myself anyway when I strode up to the checkout to pay £3.50, total bargain!


Sorry I couldnt resist showing you another shot, its just sooooooooooooooooo bloody gorgeous.


And here's my arty farty shot of my hanging plant.


So there you go, my before and after shot of the same room (sorry the image is a little distorted, far too excited whilst trying to take a panoramic shot on my iphone).

Hope my post didn't dissapoint? I'm sat in here now writing this and I have to keep glancing up just to take another look. Dont think thats gonna wear off any time soon.

Emma xxx