in praise of slow!

Thank-you to: Matt Hunsberger
Danbury, CT

‘Even small steps in the right direction can add up and make a big difference in the long run. As long as you keep working toward your dreams and goals, even if it’s just a few minutes each day, you can achieve them.’

Have been feeling pretty disappointed in myself for the slow down in blogging!

Three children and the UK school Summer holidays are not conducive to writing!

I always have plans, ideas, targets spinning around my head…perhaps too many to focus upon and too many to realistically achieve!

By now I should have cleared out every cupboard in my house (3 out of 10 done!). I should also have been swimming and played tennis with my boys each week, produced a monthly meal plan, organised a back to school crafternoon and have a business plan for my vintage craft parties in place… I nearly forgot, I have to make 38 fabric diary covers for my boys’ school!

I am slow! I know I am slow, but I do need to achieve. I keep researching, researching, looking for suppliers for eco cutlery, for paper lanterns, for vintage china, the list goes on. I love the process but then when I get to the end of the day I do not feel that I have achieved very much at all.

The plan for the vintage craft parties is clear in my head, but I have not committed it to paper…big mistake!

I need to decide on my basic format and work on that…the quest for perfection means I am getting no-where fast! ( or in fact no-where slowly!).

Next week my boys are at sport’s camp from 10-3pm and I am planning to focus only on my work during this time; no washing, cooking, ironing, shopping, cleaning etc during these hours, just as if my kitchen table was in an office.

I want progress by the end of the week ( although Friday is my birthday, so perhaps a four day week is in order!)

Underlying my slowness is my fundamental difficulty with decision making…a life-time’s affliction ( could this be genetic, my eldest son suffers in the same way!).

Give me a date and a target and I am there, without this structure I play to my strengths and do research and ponder the merits of this and that.

Slow is positive if moving forward, but my slow sends me round and round in circles; if someone knocked on my door and asked me to plan and set up a party for 10 next weekend I could do it. However that is not going to happen and I need to make it happen…fast!

Thank-you for reading.


spray paint dreams…


Thank-you to :

Just imagine if this was not just a concept but reality! As this image is from 2009, it would seem that Pantone spray paint may well remain just a dream.

I was inspired to investigate spray paint projects when the following arrived in my in box one morning:

There have been so many times that I have passed over naff tins because I knew that covering them with paper wouldbe slow and painful! Spray paint is the answer!

I often spy baking tins too…no longer safe from my clutches!

Of course a major part of the success of these two projects has been the use of  Krylon spray paint.

An hour of fruitless internet searching led me precisely no-where…it appears this make is firmly an American beauty!

None-the -less I carried on searching for tips about spray painting techniques.

Thanks to Becky Higgins for the following pdf which gives loads of top tips for beginners:

Inspiratation is all around:

This was made for a baby’s nursery, and I can envisage something similar for craft storage.

After a little more investigation I came across something called Marabu Do-It Spray. This sounds like it covers a multitude of surfaces and comes in a wide range of colours:

Of course I will need to  road test it…

Thank-you for reading.

remake it: sewn pyramid paper pouch

A new series of posts using recycled and/or recyclable materials.

1. A gift pouch.

Inspired by a 1970’s fav! Not sure if these were/are peculiar to the UK?

So evocative of long, sunny, carefree days!

Lovely Jubbly!

I used  paper that was free in ‘Craft Seller’ (issue 13/August 212). This project would also be a great reuse of wrapping paper (although not really thin stuff!), and also old magazine pages;  something with some weight because of the sewing and to hold the final shape

I wanted to make a little sweet bag to give to one of the girls leaving sewing group this week; I enjoy machine sewing paper and  knew that this would be a quick project!

Fold a piece of A5 double sided paper in half, but without making a crease:

Next up sewing! I used a zig-zag stitch as when I used a running stitch the paper perforated too easily.

You should now have an open top pouch:

The pouches are now ready to be filled! I chose smarties!

The pouches could hold all sorts of things, including small gifts. I will be making some more for my boys to give out at school as thank-yous to the staff.

If putting in something like biscuits, then popping the biscuits inside a small glassine bag or wrapping them in greaseproof paper first will prevent staining the pretty paper!

The final stage is to sew up the pouches. This could be done by sewing straight across the top.

However, I like the ‘pyramid’ effect created by taking the side with the seam and ‘pushing’ it across to meet the opposite side of the pouch. The photo below will do a better job than me with this explanation!

Instead of sewing the sides of the pouch they could be closed with the use of washi tape for a pretty edging, or plain sticky tape.

I also think these would make lovely invitations; the invite itself could be printed onto the paper and thus hidden inside, or a slip of paper could be popped inside with all the party details.

I am sure that there are many more uses for pretty pyramid pouches!

Thank-you for reading

t-shirt monsters: week 2

It was week 2 of t-shirt monster making at the remakery this afternoon.

So lovely to see the girls…keen and raring to go!

Unfortunately we are going to need a third week to completly finish.

It’s something to consider when I plan the course for next term; I sense that they would prefer to finish one project each week, and certainly in two.

I will need to try to keep an eye out for projects that can be completed in an hour!

Speed sewing here we come!

Thank-you for reading.

polka dot peg doll

After many hours searching for red and white striped straws at an affordable price ( why are they so inflated?), I clearly had red and white fever!

This is one of those projects that came about without any real planning…just a desire to make something!

I hope that the following pictures and words are explanation enough should you wish to remake!

I used a transfer for the peg doll’s face, as I had some left over from previous peg doll makes!

Fine markers can be used to create a face full of personality with hair to match!

Once you have sewn to the end of the cup cake liner, pull your thread gently to ruffle up the skirt some more.

Place the peg doll into the centre of the ruffled liner, pull (gently!) to close around the peg and secure with a couple of stitches.

I decided to use embroidery thread in a contrasting colour to make a feature but it would be just as easy to use matching thread to avoid this.

This would make a simple summer project for a beginner sewer…the potential for variation is huge!

I have mine displayed on my bedside table: she makes me smile.

Thank-you for reading.

things to do?

Things to do

Thank-you to :

When I woke this morning I had plans to write a to do list for the weekend. The focus was to be my blog. To learn new things, to join new communities,  to follow new blogs…etc, etc, etc.

Well. after spending two hours on Facebook to set up a fan page and upload my picture I was done. I managed both tasks, but for something so simple it was so time consuming.

After finally realising that I needed to ‘add a page’ to promote the remakery as a separate entity from myself (I think this was what I needed to do, please correct me if I am wrong?!), I then had to subject myself to the task of uploading my personal photo.

I had previously created an image I was happy with via Gravator, and so aimed to upload this to Facebook.

Too simple…I found that this could not be done and so uploaded a photo that included my children (not my aim at all).

Facebook would not let me crop my photo, so I used pic monkey (my saviour). This has worked to a certain extent and I am happy with the final picture (no children), but I can’t seem to get rid of the original photo (with children) which is still displayed.

The problem is that I don’t understand how Facebook pages work…something definitely to work on!

This makes me feel a real failure, I have set up a blog, know how to use twitter but still struggle with Facebook…

Whilst searching for a pretty things to do list I came across this image below:

Thank-you to:

This has now become the inspiration for my weekend to do list. The boys will on holiday from July 20th and I need a structure to ensure we make the most of our time together.

I am going to produce something similar to an advent calendar to enable me to plan a variety of activities and to create some memories of our time together.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions that have worked for you…my boys are five, and pretty much up for anything!

Thank-you for reading and have a good weekend.

a {t-shirt} monster mood board

At yesterday’s remakery sewing club, the girls and I tackled t-shirt monsters!
I decided to collate a mood board to introduce the concept and I took in some of my own children’s monster softies.
I wanted the girls to design their own creatures on paper first ( we used old brown paper which gave the process a realistic ‘designer’ feel).
The shapes were varied, and, by its’ very nature the project lent itself to simple outlines.
Fabric choice was next! Lots of old t-shirts were harmed in the making of these monsters!
I was really pleased to see the girls give their selections a lot of thought and they all decided to have a different colour for front and back.
Lots of lovely chat took place; I was particularly pleased that they related the making of the creatures to the making of their pin-cushions.
‘This is like the pin-cushions, we will sew the pieces together, turn them inside out and stuff them.’
Next week we will begin the process of adding features and in so doing will learn how to sew buttons, add patches and generally give each creature lots of personality!
vintage textile softies
This image, above, is amazing! I have spent a long time looking at it and spotting something new!
The simplicity is totally deceptive…this must have been quite a process, selecting, disgarding until the creator was finally happy.
Denise Litchfield is the artist.

This article is so hard to read ( a little easier via the link). However it is worth squinting at, to gain an insight into Denise’s  process.

This would be perfect for me to have a go at…the combination of linen and Liberty would work particularly well!

Thank-you for reading.