#100happydays (part 4)

I finished my #100happydays challenge a couple of weeks ago and here are the final 25 pictures.

#100 happy days 76-100 I definitely got in the habit of thinking about the day’s photo and it was a little bit weird when I didn’t have to do it (I know I never HAD to to do it, but I was determined to do all 100 days). So here in full glory is one hundred things that have made me happy (or grateful, pleased, content, or not-so-sad)

100 happy days

Picture 100 was taken the day I got discharged from the physio and she said I could try to knit again (as long as I take regular breaks every half-an-hour and keep up with strengthening exercises) so I’m hoping for a summer of knitting.

 

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Plans and goals for 2013 – A Review

Do you remember Karen started the sewlution jar in January? Well I threw my name into the jar with this main goal: I am going to make less but what I make will be better. Lets see how I did…

couture couture jacket liberty hawthorn Floral Cambie

I learnt some more couture techniques from reading and online tutorials, which I used to make my turquoise couture jacket; The majority of this was finished by hand, which took lots of time, but was to a finish I’m really proud of. I took my time making dresses this year, using higher quality fabrics, and spending much more time on the muslin process and using better pressing techniques to get a better finished garment. I’m not sure if I have really made less, but most of what I have made will be worn for years to come. I’ve made more classic quality pieces and less impulsive fast fashion garments, so I think I can say my Sewlution was achieved, oh Mistress of the Jar!

Other goals I set were:

  • I will not need to be so sentimental and protective of my creations.
    Did you see the giant bag of clothes I took to the charity shops at the end of Me-Made-May? It included many me-made garments that just weren’t getting worn. A couple of garments were kept for recycling, but these are still in the to-sew pile.
  • donationsI will finish what I have started (or get rid of it/recycle it). Errr… not as much success for this. When I moved house I did get rid of loads of scraps and pieces, but I also had to buy more storage for my stash :-S oops.
  • I will do some of the Craftsy courses I have signed up for! I have used the Block of the Month and Free Motion Quilting courses to make my Black and White and Red All Over quilt,  and I’ve been watching knitting classes to learn how to get a better fit in knitting garments (finished cardigan is still drying, must turn heating up!).
  • I really want to make bunting! I made some bunting for the Crafty magazine fox competition, but sadly I didn’t win (I think my tutorial was much too long for a magazine). But that means that I can now share my super cute tutorial with you all instead!
  • I am going to learn to take better pictures. I have a tripod and a remote control, and have been taking hundreds of pictures to get 5 decent ones for the blog. I set up a proper background to take photos of my girly cupcakes.
  • girly cupcakesI am going to be a better blog-reader. I am better at commenting using twitter, but there is still the issue of getting past comment validation systems on a phone. Still a point to work on as I have loved all the great comments I’ve recieved this week.

retro recipes

  • I am going to explore new recipes. I only made 5 recipes as part of my retro recipe plan, but they were all great dishes that I know I will return to. I will carry on trying the classic recipes, but found it tricky this year with my wrists bandaged up.

I think I had a pretty good go at those plans, but the main change has been my attitude to my crafting; more planning and precision has led to more successes. If you want to read my plans for 2014 you can see them here.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading and commenting this year 🙂 Hope you have a fantastic new year and I’ll see you in 2014!

A quick catch-up

I thought I should write a quick post before I go back to work tomorrow and get busy with real work again, so here is a quick round up of some of the things I’ve been up to this weekend.

  • I met up with some friends and we played board games and decorated cupcakes. L had got some amazing tools and cutters for her birthday, including some adorable teeny, teeny, teeny, tiny ones. I said I couldn’t eat mine until I took a picture when I got home, but they was a slight jumble in the tin as we power-walked for the train so there was only one photo-ready cake…
    cupcake
  • The train journey there and back, plus a movie night meant I’m making good progress on my red cardigan. I think I showed a swatch in the summer (August to be precise) and never revealed what it was for, so I will make sure I take some pics to show you what I’m knitting.
  • I whipped up a quick top using the purple floral remnant I showed you at the beginning of the week. Not much to say about it. It is my go-to jersey top pattern (a mish-mash of BurdaStyle Sadie and Lydia patterns). Since I was using a remnant I had to have some designer seams on the sleeves (there is a seam below the elbow and a wide cuff band) but the pattern is so busy you really can’t tell. The other change from my normal making is that I applied iron-on seam tape to the shoulders and neckline to minimise stretching (my black and white striped top is on its last legs now and much more revealing than it originally was!)t-shirt
  • I saw this picture online this week:
    It reminded me that I have to show you my dinosaur embroidery. A T-Rex trying to knit except his arms are too short! I love his puzzled face. I can’t decide if it is finished or not. Should I keep it as it is, or risk filling in the outline with colour (satin stitch is not my strength!). What do you think?finished

What do you think should happen to T-Rex? Have you been crafting this weekend?

A Royal Refashion

Yesterday morning I bought these rather large, shiny and feathery earrings on sale.Hmm… a bit big for my taste, what to do with them… What if I were to break them up with wire-cutters and pliers, what could they become?*
A whole sash-worth of medals fit for a Queen! Hem a long strip of lining fabric to become the sash, add some fur and ribbon to the top of a cheap bed-sheet for a ceremonial robe, and cover some card with LOTS of glitter to make a crown and… hey-presto! A fancy dress outfit fit for a Queen!

A friend had her annual birthday karaoke do and this year the theme was “Best of British”. She was Amy Winehouse, there were policewomen, cricketers, Olympic Games Makers, a traditional British gentleman, Boy George and Freddie Mercury (from the ‘I Want to Break Free’ video, complete with vacuum attachment) and I was HRH The Queen. Here is Her Majesty singing Total Eclipse of the Heart with Miss Winehouse – lots of passionate gesturing and pointing happens to look just like a royal wave. The crown barely survived the night -there was nobody to carry an umbrella over my head – but the rest is going into storage and is going to the top of my Best Fancy Dress Outfit list. I also sang The One and Only because it is an awesome song, but it turned out to be a good song for the Queen to sing.

I took some cakes and it was easy to make them themed with just some red and blue icing (and Haribo sweeties for the birthday girl). They aren’t totally accurate but under the flashing disco lights they looked good enough. And people were a little too tipsy to notice that some were a bit over-baked!

* It is slightly worrying how easily they fell apart, I barely had to use tools. I also have 14 feathers that I need to find a use for… any suggestions?

Cute cupcakes for a princess party

On Sunday I went to visit Vixie to watch lots of Disney films with Georgia and Yoyo the cat.

I got the grand tour of her studio which was FULL of all sorts of lovely crafty goodness. Remember my organisation of my sewing supplies– well Vixie has four of these units, and that is not even her main type of storage. I suppose she is making crafting a full-time business so she is allowed to have more than me, but I was still very envious!

She has a thorough breakdown of the day’s fun on her blog, but I thought I should share the goodies I made…

The purple cupcakes are classic vanilla* sponge, with pink buttercream, sprinkles and fondant butterflies. The pink cakes had fresh raspberries mixed in the sponge and were topped with buttercream, pink sugar and handmade fondant roses. This was my first attempt at making these roses (I’ve never had such a girly day to cater for before!) but I was really happy with how they turned out.

* Yesterday I listened to a really interesting programme about vanilla on Radio 4. Did you know that vanilla flowers are so tiny, only one or two types of bee are able to pollinate them? The farmer interviewed had to pollinate each flower by hand, which goes some way to explain why vanilla is the second most expensive spice.

Recent scientific discoveries

As a little thank-you to Kristen for her generous giveaway, I made her a little card. She is a scientist, so I found this super cute scientific embroidery design at The Floss Box. Of course I posted it before taking a picture for my records (I always do this with gifts), but luckily Kristen has taken a picture of the Cupcakeium.

If I remembered more of my chemistry lessons I might be able to work out what type of element it is from the atomic number…

Spring cupcakes

Yesterday was a friend’s birthday drinks so I made some cupcakes to give her. Despite the sudden chilly weather, I was feeling inspired by spring and decided to make raspberry and lemon cakes.

Start with a classic sponge recipe – half the mixture had vanilla extract and the other half had lemon rind and juice.

Cut the top off each cake, fill with raspberry jam or lemon curd, and trim the lid so it fits back on the cake.

Cover with buttercream  icing, sprinkles and decorations. If flavouring the icing with lemon juice, rind and then swirling with lemon curd (very highly recommended) remember to add extra icing sugar so it doesn’t get too gooey.

Cut or bite in half to reveal the hidden surprise in the centre.

And eat!

As you can see, the two boxes were appreciated during the evening (did anyone have real food for dinner?!)

Home is where the craft is

I recently moved house so things have been a bit quiet on the blogging/sewing front while life got in the way, but, with only two and a half boxes left to unpack I decided it was time for some crafting 🙂

I bought a second-hand sofa for my new living room that is a lovely burgundy-pinky colour, almost the same colour as some cushions I made from a felted jumper years ago. Notice the word almost – time to make some new cushion covers!

Cushion no.1 - patchwork

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