Friday, 30 September 2011

Cosmic Playdough :-)

I recently posted a blog about how I am really enjoying creating gifts rather than buying them now which a lot of you seemed to enjoy.  I thought I would share a quick post about a gift I created for a friends little boy, this is quick and easy to create, some of you may like to try it out.

My friend has 4 kiddies so I know she doesn't want toys/gifts that fill the house :-)  I had a little brain-wave (very rare in my brain and I was surprised it didn't hurt :-)) to use 1 of the many coffee jars I had been saving for something (not sure what but they are too nice the throw out) as a jar to keep some sparkly playdough in.

Some time ago I posted a tutorial on how to make playdough.  You can follow the link here to view it.

This dough is really easy to create and when stored in an airtight container it lasts for ages.   I made two balls of this sparkly playdough for my friends little boy and then decorated the jar with stars.  I added a little label in the shape of a rocket with a note on the back saying 'Arthur's Cosmic Playdough'.   You could give this gift on its own or with some cookie or playdough cutters and a bit of oilcloth as a playdough mat.  You could also adapt it for girly girls with pink playdough and a girly theme.

This was a real hit, he really loved it and his Mum was chuffed too as it doesn't take up much room and keeps him amused for ages :-)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

New Toy :-)

Yey I finally chose a sewing machine to buy with my birthday money (my birthday was back in March!).  A lovely friend lent me her Janome machine around March time but I thought it best I gave it back now :-)  I looked around on the internet and found this fab Janome which was only £10 more than the basic model but seems to have loads of extras on it.

I got the manual out and threaded it up - ooh that was slightly daunting as it was a bit different to how you thread up my friends Janome.

I worked out how to wind the bobbin and pull the thread up from it.  Love this see-through bobbin case :-)  Then I just had to pluck the courage up to actually use it lol.  So a few days later I made these cute little curtains for the kiddies new playhouse in the garden - well I say it is the kiddies but I love it as much as them!  The machine sounds lovely whirring away.

I remember having an old garden shed that my sister and I played in when I was little and I used to love pulling the curtains shut in there.  I got the fabric from e-bay and it was only £3.50 per meter and about £1.50 postage.  I was hoping to use some up--cycled material but couldn't find any big enough or that I was brave enough to cut into.

I like the look of the gathering at the top - I saw the idea of adding an extra sewn line at the top in a book to make it look prettier.

They can now shut their little curtains and be all cozy inside.

I was on a roll then so finally, after many, many years made this cross-stitch pattern into a cushion.  I started this when eldest Sweetpea as in my tummy and then finished the pattern a couple of years back.  He is now 11 so I thought it a little childish for his wall but he still loves the design (probably because I was making it when he was kicking away in me :-)) so I thought a cushion would be a nice idea.

Here is the back of it - loving the green spotty material.

And of course I had to add some of that special ribbon!

oohh look what else I got free with my new sewing machine, loads of gorgeous thread.  They looked so scrummy that I had to pop them in my new glass jar - I found this jar in Wilkinsons for £5 - I knew I would find a use for it :-)  It now sits on top of my dresser looking very pretty with all those lovely coloured threads in it.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I am off to work tomorrow for a rest lol. x

Edit:  Nothing to do with this post but I just opened a fortune cookie and it says ' Calmness is the cradle of power' - loving that little bit of wisdom, I think I will keep that in my head as a mantra when things get a bit frazzled here :-)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Gorgeous Cards and Felt Creations :-)

Thanks for all your comments re the bees, I will keep you posted on what they are doing and how we get on with them :-)

Some time ago I received a lovely parcel from Andrea at the blog Fin and Gabs.  I was going to do an interview with her but what with me being very forgetful and Andrea being a busy Mum it hasn't happened so I thought I would do a post about her lovely creations.

Andrea is one very busy women, she not only creates these gorgeous cards but also runs a shop based in Hanover Road, Scarborough, writes articles for magazines whilst also looking after her lovely children Fin and Gabs.  How on earth she fits it all in I will never know!

Just look at this lovely bunch of cards  (minus one or two as I have used a couple already).

Andrea makes the original cards with fabric, ribbon, buttons and line drawing.  They are then printed by Creatives Inc and are fantastic quality.  The embossing of the cards really makes it look like they are still made of ribbon and fabric!  The only problem with them is that they are far too nice and I am having problems sharing them :-)

You can also buy original cards, lovely covered books etc from her on-line shop or in her real life shop below :-)  Click on the link or pop in to see some scrummy looking things.

She not only stocks her own items but many other items in her shop and she now stocks some of my creations  too:-)  How fantastic is that - I was really, really chuffed when she asked if I could send her some stock !  oohh if only I lived closer, I have a real urge to visit this shop!

Here is an idea of some of the things I sent Andrea:

I hope they sell well for her.  I have been selling a few things via facebook here Scented Sweetpeas.  I couldn't make a living out of it but am really enjoying creating for others and getting some lovely feedback.  It is so nice knowing people are enjoying my little makes :-)

Other news this week is that Eldest Sweetpea had his cast taken off.  It was a cast that can be removed yourself which was interesting.

We peeled off the blue cover and then had to cut down the soft part whilst avoiding the hardest part of the cast.  Slow and steady won the race - it was a bit scary having scissors so close to his skin without being able to see what we were doing !  Look at Ted looking on anxiously :-)  He has been really good the whole time the cast has been on, not once has be complained. 

Better be off now as the kiddies are all kicking off - take care everyone and I hope you have a fab Friday. x

Friday, 16 September 2011

We don't live on a farm!


Before I start my babbling I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your lovely comments on my blog post about hand-made gifts.  I am glad you all loved them and your comments really do make me smile :-)  Ever since I have been reading blogs I have been so inspired and it has really helped the creative side of me come out again which in turn makes me feel very happy so thank you all very much. x

'We don't live on a farm' is a phrase I often have to use in our house.  You see, my husband seems to think we do.  Not only do we have the gorgeous chickens ......

This is Petal our rather scruffy looking chicken.

Who are really cute pets, in fact too lovely as I would never dream of eating one (wouldn't make a good farmer's wife would I!).  We even have a little disabled chicken who was found limping (think of the ministry of funny walks from Monty Python) down a street in another village.


Here she is after a bath.  She had to live outside the main coup as the other chickens bullied her :-(

Little Sweetpea loves looking after her and after months of tender loving care she laid her first egg - she must be happy :-)

Sorry I digress ... but then Mr Sweetpea started talking about honey bees.  So look what he has now down the bottom of the garden !

I must confess I am rather fascinated and taken with them even after being stung by one.  Mind you if I had been trodden on I would sting too!

They have a little motorway over into the field next door and zoom in and out of their hive.  Here they are having a drink after a busy flight.  I have been amazed how placid they are, they are quite happy to zoom round me to get into their house, and also by how horrid wasps are trying to get in and kill their grubs and eating them if they get a chance!

And this is the field the bees zoom over.  As you can see the kiddies love it a lot too :-)  We are so lucky to live next to a lovely large field, I do hope it never gets built on, I would be heartbroken!

the kiddies watching the combine at work

It creates hours of entertainment for the kiddies .......

and the dogs :-)  Well I am now hoping Mr Sweetpea will be happy with the 2 dogs, parrot, chickens, snake and bees!  He has mentioned pigs and goats but I have reminded him again that WE DO NOT LIVE ON A FARM!  I am hoping he reads this :-)

I love having lots of animals but it does have its drawbacks.  Not only do they take time to feed and care for but you also get surprises like the above sock.  Little Sweetpea and I went to 'Music Mayhem' recently and she had forgotten her sockaroo.  She popped her shoe off and I went to put her sock on her hand to make a sockaroo only to see the above little footprint on her sock!  She had had that sock on for about 1 hour.  After a bit of questioning she told me that she had been to see to chickens in the morning, obviously with no wellies on :-)  Sockaroo got no kiss that day from the Music Mayhem leader :-)

Talking about chickens and farms, I recently got contacted by Al from All the Tea Towels to ask I could review some tea towels for her.

So I went to her site, wow what a choice!  There are so many lovely designs it was hard to pick.

I chose these designs as they were on Linen towels which I believe is a more eco-friendly material than cotton at the moment.  One is a garden scene and the other had to have birdies on of course :-)  Ali sent some great instructions with them on how to get the best out of my towels so I steeped them for a couple of hours and washed them with no conditioner to help absorbency.  They were such a joy to hang on the line and use.  Thanks Ali  :-)

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Creating birthday gifts

Recently I have been trying to make a lot of presents or buy them from artists rather than buying from shops.  I don't know why but I don't find much excitement in high street shopping anymore (unless it is whilst pottering round just looking at things whilst chatting to friends or family).

With my ickle Sister's birthday coming up I had to put my thinking cap on as to what she might like.  She recently popped over to give us a training course on how to ice cupcakes properly so cupcakes was one idea.  In fact she had bought me a day out with her in London to decorate cupcakes with her but I chickened out :-(  I don't know why but my confidence levels drop sometimes and the old shy me re-appears for some things - my sis is really understanding and let me chicken out - I love her so much for loving me for who I am (oohh soppy moment there lol).   Isn't the brain a funny thing - there are so many things I am confident about and people who know me probably wouldn't believe how shy the inner me is sometimes (especially when sleep deprivation takes hold) - I have to fight her quite often :-)

The kiddies loved their Auntie showing them how to ice with a piping bag and we made some funky retro cakes.

Here they are next to our retro phone which we are still loving.

So a little box of cupcakes it was.  I had a little brain wave to add love hearts on the top of them and some pink sparkly sprinkles.  I had to go through all the love hearts though as some of them were mean and not nice with things like 'grow up' written on them - when did that happen?

I then found some wonderful little cupcake boxes in Sainsburys to set them off nicely.

Now as you will know if you read my last blog post, my Sis loves tashes!  Not sure why but she does so I set about making her a key ring of moustaches that she could use for any occasion :-)

There were curly ones, little ones and long ones ......

I then I added a cute little heart with some ribbon on that I bought a while back especially for my family.  My Mum always tells my kiddies that she loves them 'this much' with her arms out so when I saw this ribbon I had to have it :-)

Just look at that cute girl in her hoody with her arms stretched as wide as they can possibly go :-)

Some time ago she asked if I could make her one of my daisy chains for some festivals she was going to so this was another pressie.  There is something lovely about making something for someone when you know they are going to get so much joy out of it - you smile all the way through making it :-)

Last but not least I ordered her a Scented Sweetpeas bath bomb box from Caroline's Creations, it must have been the best smelling item I have ever received through the post!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post, I really do love reading them and they always make me smile - thanks for spending your precious time doing that. x