Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Macrame bracelet - first attempt!



Yesterday I tried something new. Following this video tutorial, I made a macrame bracelet.

It didn't turn out quite as it looks in the video, but I guess it's not bad for a first attempt.
I used embroidery thread and just some beads from my girls' collection.  

I'm not sure if I didn't alternated both sides equally when I threaded the beads and tied the knots (got a little distracted), or if the beads were too big, or the thread too silky?


I'm going to try more - and show my girls the video so they can try too.
Does anyone have any hints or tips?
Have you made macrame bracelets before?

Any suggestions for materials or methods would be much appreciated!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cake shapes fun!


I did some fun baking with my girls at the weekend.
We had some new baking molds to test out:





So we made Hello Kitties - in the microwave!


Then the rest we baked in the oven:
 Puzzle pieces.

Fish..

And of course, the dinosaurs!




The cakes were fun, and were topped with blue icing! (sorry forgot to photo that, and they were soon all gobbled up and gone!)

Next time I'm going to try mini dinosaur quiches, or perhaps hello kitty puddings, or jelly - fish!!

Do you have any unusual shaped baking molds?
Any tips for what to make in them - or how to ice them so you can still see the shape?


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More Mini Pencil and Notebook Folders


Last week I posted a tutorial for making these mini notebook and pencil folders.


I really enjoyed making them, and have lots of these mini soccer notebooks, so I made a few...

Using lots of different coloured scrap fabrics..


And different denim jeans scraps colours too!

Dinosaurs..

And Dalmations!

Now I just need to list them in my shop!
(and keep them away from my girls who are trying to claim them for themselves!)

What have you been making lately?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chocolate, oat and cereal cookies



Do you always end up with a pile of crumbs at the bottom of your cereal box that no one wants to eat?

I decided that I need to make use of these crumbs, so I turned them into some tasty cookies - also using up some Chocolate milk powder (Sustagen) that my girls used to drink but decided they no longer like! 

Here's what I used (rough measurements)
135g weetbix (Cereal) crumbs
150g currants
150g oats
6 rounded spoonfuls of Sustagen (chocolate milk powder)
200g butter or margarine
150g golden syrup or honey

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl:

Melt the margarine/butter and syrup/honey in a pan.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then roll into balls and flatten onto baking trays.

Bake at 180C for around 15 mins.
Then enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

I also tried a few of these just rolled into balls and put in the fridge to set rather than baking them - they were a big hit! Really tasty.


I'm trying to reduce our food budget just now - and using what I have in the cupboards and pantry is a part of this.

Do you have any recipes for left over cereal crumbs? Please share if you do! These are really tasty cookies but I'd love some alternative recipes to try too!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Following The Green Bag Lady


Have you heard of The Green Bag Lady?
She's an amazing lady who started out this project in 2008, making bags and giving them to people in return for a promise that they would use them in place of plastic or paper bags when they go shopping.

She makes the bags, with help from other volunteers, known as Bagettes, using donated fabric and thread.  The bags are then given away worldwide through events, her website and Facebook page.

To date, over 25,000 of her bags have been given away and are being used around the world. If you visit her website you can see pictures taken and sent in by people who have received them in so many different countries worldwide.

What an amazing lady and project. Slowly helping to rid the world of evil plastic bags that pollute our environment, waterways and harm our wildlife.

So - inspired by this lady, I dived into my fabric stash and found a largish piece of pink princess fabric.
This fabric was bought as a remnant several years ago, and used for my daughters' roman blind. (you can read the story of that here!)

Then last year, things changed once again in our house and my girls have grown out of princesses so the roman blind was changed again to something more grown up!

So the princesses have been sitting in my fabric box ever since! Until yesterday.
I got them out, checked out the Green Bag Lady's bag pattern, and made 3 princess shopping bags:

They're basic tote bags, nice and sturdy, made with pre-loved fabric that has been given a second chance at life!




Why not make a tote yourself - I'm sure you if you sew, then have some fabric in your stash. The Green Bag Lady's pattern and video tutorial are really easy to follow. You could keep the bag for yourself, or pass it on to a friend!

Go on - help get rid of those nasty plastic shopping bags!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mini Notebook and Pencil Folder Tutorial


These cute little notebook and pencil folders are just a miniature version of my earlier tutorial. The older tutorial is a little dated, so I thought I'd make a new one for these mini ones with the smaller measurements.
This is a great project for using up fabric scraps - and another great way to use denim from old jeans!

Materials needed:
2 pieces stiff cardboard 10 x 12cm (4 x 4.75”)
2 outer pieces fabric (denim) 12 x 14 cm (4.75 x 5.5”)
2 pieces inner fabric (patterned) 12 x 14 cm (4.75 x 5.5”)
1 piece inner fabric (patterned) for pencil pockets 12 x 7cm (4.75 x 2.75”)
1 piece inner fabric (patterned) for notebook pocket 12 x 12cm (4.75 x 4.75”)
For outer feature strip, inner fabric (patterned) 14 x 5cm (4.75 x 2")
For flap to close: 1 piece each inner (patterned) and outer (denim) fabric 9 x 5cm (3.5 x 2”)
1 piece Velcro 4cm (1.5”)


First place the piece of inner fabric for your feature strip centrally on one of the outer denim pieces. Fold the edges under and pin into place then stitch.

     Pin one half of the Velcro to the inner fabric piece of the flap, just in from the long edge and centrally placed.  Stitch into place.

Place the two pieces of the flap, right sides together. Pin and sew along 3 sides, leaving the long side opposite the velcro open.


Trim the corners

Turn right sides out then top stitch around those 3 edges.


Now pin the other half of the velcro to your other outer fabric piece (the one without the feature strip). Pin 1.5cm (0.75") in from the long edge and centrally placed. Stitch into place securely.

Now place the two outer fabric pieces right sides together and stitch down what will be the spine of the folder:

Next pin the flap to the back of your outer fabric - centrally placed and with the velcro facing up like shown here. Stitch into place.

Now take your inner fabric pocket pieces. Double turn and stitch the top edge of each pocket to neaten the raw edge.

Pin to the larger inner fabric pieces, and stitch down the sides.:


Now take the side with the larger notebook pocket and slide in your notebook on the right side. Pin, then stitch along the edge. This will hold the notebook more securely in its pocket and also form an extra pencil slot:

Then take the side with the smaller pocket and mark even spaces for your pencil slots. 1.75cm (0.75") apart.

Stitch down these lines to form the pencil pockets. Stitch a little over the pocket edge on each line to give the pockets extra strength at the top.

Place these two inner pieces right sides together and stitch along what will be the spine of the folder.

Now you have your inner and outer fabric pieces done - time to join it all together.

Place the inner and outer pieces right sides together and pin around 3 edges. Leave the edge with the flap open.


Stitch around the edges, then trim the corners and turn right sides out.

Slide one piece of cardboard in between the outer and inner fabric. Then pin down the centre of the folder and stitch along the spine.



Finally, slide the last piece of card into the right side of the folder. Fold the end edges in on themselves to hide the raw edges and top stitch.


Now you have a finished pencil and notebook folder all ready to fill up!


Add a small notebook and some coloured pencils and you have the perfect little gift.







For more sewing ideas and projects see -
There are over 100 to choose from for all different sewing levels and abilities.