Thursday, 31 October 2013

all hallows eve

happy halloween everyone :)

this year j and i took our pumpkin carving duties very seriously, and we've had these guys burning all week.
we carved away whilst watching the nightmare before christmas followed by carrie (the original!) and spent the next day whipping up some toasted paprika/cumin and cinnamon/sugar pumpkin seeds - yum!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

diy: washi tape ringbinders

today's post is all thanks to |angela| and her post last week about washi taping notebook spines.

as i've already said, life has been very busy and the other day i decided to re-organise all of my paperwork; nothing beats that tidy desk/tidy mind attitude!
so, i went and bought new ringbinders and spent an afternoon organising everything - from pixel's vet paperwork to bills (yuck).

angela's tip to use washi tape as decorative spine covers seemed like the perfect addition to my newly organised paper life, and they definitely add some colour to an otherwise very monochrome system! the only extra tip i have is to use a scalpel to cut the washi tape away from the metal rivets if you have those on your spine - just for an extra finishing touch :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

apple & rhubarb pie

there might be a bit of radio silence around here for a while; i've got so much going on at the moment and it's interfering terribly with my crafty life!
yesterday however, i had to take a break from it all and bake this apple & rhubarb pie because, let's face it, food makes everything better.

• 1 tin rhubarb
• 2 cooking apples
• 50g caster sugar
• 50g light brown sugar
• 25g flour
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 400g pastry (i would normally make this, but the ds one is pretty good!)

• peel and dice the apples, drain the rhubarb and place both in a bowl with the sugars, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. leave to one side whilst you prepare the pastry.
• split your pastry into two pieces. roll out one piece to fit your pie dish (for these quantities you need your dish to be approx. 20cm), grease the dish and place your first half of pastry in.
• roll out your second piece - this will form the top of the pie.
• add the filling to the dish, and then place the second piece of pastry on top. crimp the edges to seal the pie, then brush with milk, and pierce two holes in the centre.
• bake at 190°c for 30 minutes, then check and cover with foil if necessary for another 30 minutes.
• leave to cool (or don't & burn your mouth like i did!) and serve with custard... yum!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

the innocent big knit

just a quick post to shout out to anyone else taking part in the innocent big knit this year.

i've always wanted to get involved and after seeing an advert the other day i decided to go for it. the hats are so quick and easy to make, and as well as supporting a great cause, they are also the perfect way to use up scrap yarn if you need any more convincing.

you can find out more about the project |here| and there are loads of patterns for you to choose from - so many cute choices!

let me know if you're taking part, i'd love to see what everyone else is making :)

(oh, and if you're wondering about the fork, check out |this awesome tip!|)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

my first quilt

well here it is, a post dedicated to showing off my quilt :)
as i write this, i have it thrown over me on the sofa with pixel nestled next to me - i think she may love it even more than i do!

i know there are tons of resources for quilt inspiration, but i'm gonna throw my own tips out there for any first timers like me who need that extra push to start their own quilt...

• don't be put off by lack of space. this was one of my biggest fears, but you find ways to work around it. check out |my first update| for tips on how to organise; post it notes, paperclips and a willing volunteer definitely help with this!

• love your iron. pressing your fabric is a tip ingrained into my skull from uni days. seriously, it makes such a difference to the finished look and also makes sewing with the fabric tons easier.

• ditto with pins. get as many pins (& safety pins for the basting) as you can lay your hands on!

• you don't need loads of quilting gadgets. this was another worry of mine, but i made do with what i had or was easily available to me. the tools i couldn't have made this quilt without are:

|pilot frixon pens| which can be erased with heat, so i could draw on any seam lines, the quilting lines etc., and then just iron the ink away - genius.

|bias tape maker| this made making the binding for my quilt so easy, and is really satisfying to use - owning one of these opens up a lot of doors for finishing clothes/quilts etc. coz you aren't restricted by the (usually crud) selection in haberdasheries.

|pinterest| & |youtube| these sites were my best friends during the harder stages of quilting. pinterest is an amazing place to go for inspiration and i have found so many new amazing crafty blogs through it, and youtube is a lifesaver when it comes to tutorials. sometimes all you need is to see someone quilting on their machine, or basting the layers together to push you forward, and videos like |this one| were super helpful.

• learn to love the imperfections. this was a hard tip to follow as i can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to stitch lines. in the end though, feeding the entire thing through my machine with half of it rolled up and half of it swamping me, i gave in with perfection and have tried to appreciate the wonky lines as part of the hand-made charm (!).

and that's pretty much it!
thank you so much to everyone who has commented and followed my quilt progress, it's been so fun to share it and get feedback.
to anyone who has commented and said they'd love to make their own quilt, just go for it! honestly, it's one of my favourite projects and dare i say it, i can't wait to make another one day...

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

kempton antiques fair

last week i got to spend a day off with j so we ventured to kempton antiques fair which is one of our old favourites.
i adore mooching around and thrifting (if you hadn't noticed!) so thought i'd share a few snaps of the day as well as a few finds.

i've been looking for a letter rack for ages, and yes i know that this is technically a toast rack, but shh! it's cute and does the job perfectly.

the silk was given to me by j's nan; it's a parachute from the war (!) and is incredible. i cannot believe how fine it is - it's crazy to think that it could save a life. i have no idea what i'm going to make with it yet, but it will have to be perfect.

and finally, a totally design/geek find. these are original linotype drawings that were salvaged from the linotype foundry and are so cool! the stall had loads of them from a-z and j was browsing for ages. now we've just got to find some frames for them and get them up on display :)