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Monday, 17 December 2012

Finally all the Christmas Cards have been made

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here? The last month has gone by in a flash. Big apologies for not much posting in the last couple of weeks but I have had my head stuck in accounts preparing a VAT return and year end accounts. Not much fun but keeps the brain cells ticking over! Sadly this has meant not much time to do any crafting. So it was with great pleasure that I sat down yesterday to finish off my Christmas Cards with the Christmas tunes playing!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Burp cloths

Here is the other work in progress project I have been working on. A couple of my friends have recently had new babies and so I wanted to give them something that I had made. I had in my head an idea of an all-purpose cloth along the lines of burp cloths you find on Etsy and Folksy. Looking online though, I didn't quite find a pattern that matched what I was wanting.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Sew Blissfull

The name of the blog has changed! I was thinking Sew Blissfully Happy was starting to sound a bit twee and also rather lengthy for making up labels as I know now I want to sell my goods too. So I have shortened it to Sew Blissfull which is a bit more manageable I think. What do you think?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Felties on Etsy

The fair on Saturday was successful for the books but not so much on my hand made goodies. It wasn't really a craft fair though, it was more old ladies queuing up at the cake table to buy their Christmas cakes and not wanting to buy decorations. But I did have time to make lots of little felt flowers which was great fun and now I have a stash of little embellishments to add to projects.

Friday, 23 November 2012

I'm going to try selling tomorrow....

Well I have a Christmas fair tomorrow where I am selling my books so I thought I would make a few bits and bobs to put on the table and see how my handmade goods were received by the general public. It has been a great spur to make projects that have been in my head and I want to realise them.

Monday, 19 November 2012

My first sale on Etsy!

I'm so excited. I have actually made something that someone wanted to buy! There I was just pottering around on Thursday afternoon preparing the little one's supper before my book fair and I thought I would check my emails.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Blow me down with a feather....

Etsy UK have only gone and pinned my Christmas Stocking Advent Calendar Bunting onto Pinterest!!!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Craft room tidy and Christmas Cards

So my poor old hubby hardly saw me over the weekend as I had the urge to tidy my craft room as I could hardly see the top of my table and I just couldn't remember what fabrics I had collected over the years.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Another addition to Etsy

Sorry for the absence but I have been away for a week as it was my father in law's funeral. I did some sewing whilst I was away but I will show you those another time. I really want to show you these:.......!

 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

CraftyRie: Universal Craft Blog Directory

Well, I've only just gone and done it.  I have added a button to my blog which took some technical wizardry on  my part! 

Monday, 29 October 2012

I will be back and poppies

We have had a family sadness over the weekend and so I will be diverting my energies elsewhere. I will be back though once things have settled down.

Disappointingly, this post was going to be about two projects that are finally finished and have been photographed ready to put on Etsy and Folksy. But under the circumstances I think it would be wisest to put these plans on hold for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Changes to the blog appearance

Well I have been doing a bit of blog reading and I came across one blog post by Espiritpatch which alarmed me. It is warning about the dangers of blog scraping and I don't know if this is perhaps happening to me as I have had a couple of odd websites listed in the Traffic Source section of my blog stats.

I copy Espiritpatch's post here as she explains it so well and I want to pass on the possible dangers:

Have you heard of Blog Scraping? No? Read on then... it is not nice

I hadn't heard of it either until Vicki posted about it yesterday. Basically, somebody copies one or more of your entire blog post and post them on their own fake blog. So what's the fuss you might think? On these fake blogs, where your own post is replicated, they are adverts on the side bars. It seems that most of these ads are for porn sites or else. So not only money is made out of your work (your post generates some visits and visitors and visitors might click on the ads) but you are also associated with sites you might not want to be related to.I don't think I have personally been a victim of blog scraping, my blog is probably not popular enough but then who knows? I don't want to be associated with sick and horrible people promoting inappropriate content. My blog is where I share what I enjoy doing in my precious free time, what I have enjoyed creating and taking part in and I want it to stay this way only. My blog has also made me "meet" at least virtually some wonderful people and I don't want those people to be put off me for the wrong reasons.I would encourage you to go and read Karen's post, she has been a victim of it and she is also telling you how to protect yourself by truncating your blog post. If the posts are truncated, the reader needs to click on read more to have the full blog post. But it also makes it impossible for an automated program to copy the entire blog post. So more work for the readers I guess but most probably the only way at this stage to fight back and try to keep our blogs and reputations safe. I think it is worth it. Don't you agree? I hope you will still read me as I am going to put Karen's advice into practice now.Better safe than sorry as they say. Keep smiling, keep crafting and hopefully, keep popping in! All together we might win!Celine

To this end, I will therefore start truncating my posts and I do hope this is not going to be a problem following my blog. Please just press 'read more' to continue reading the post. Who would have thought there are such horrible things happening. Thank you Celine for posting about this.

Another change is that I have finally added the banner to my blog to match my Etsy and Folksy shop. I will at some point redo my banner but this is a good solution for the moment until I get more time.

And finally, I am working on quite a few projects at the moment, all work in progress but I'm hoping that they are all going to be finished in one final flurry over the next week and I can show you what I've been up to!

 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Door stops!

Our best man and his wife invited us to Sunday lunch yesterday to visit their new house. So I thought why buy something from a local gift shop when I can make something that looks similar? Recently I bought a door stop as a present for another friend and as much as I really liked it, I thought that I could make something along the same lines but my own design.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I have a craft room!

This is a very exciting development. So far, I have been lugging my sewing machine around the house according to which room is the warmest and having to pack things away every time so that Jessica doesn't get her hands on things. I think this has also been detrimental to the amount of crafting I have been doing as it was such a chore to get everything out.

However, two things have happened.......

  1. I have purloined a table from my parents' home which has enough room for my cutting mat and sewing machine
  2. And I have bought a chest of drawers for £40 which will need a bit of TLC, however already the chips and knocks are starting to grow on me as a weathered piece of furniture. This is going to house my files and fabric away from prying little hands yet keep everything accessible.
And lo and behold, I have a craft room - which also happens to be J's playroom. This is intentional as she wasn't actually using her playroom even though toys were in there as the room wasn't used and so she didn't really know about it.

This is the playroom before...

 
And this is the playroom/craft room after.....
Yesterday afternoon, after nap time, we all settled in there, me, J and the dog, with the heater on and had a really cosy couple of hours with me doing crafting and J playing happily with her toys. What a revelation, a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Hopefully many more times.

 

Monday, 15 October 2012

A well deserved break

We are back from our holidays. It was truly deserved as it was the first break away we have had since last October and we have some family illness at the moment so good to get away from everything. We went to Applecross in the remote Scottish Highlands. Glorious first part of the holiday followed by a very wet Thursday and Friday but we really didn't mind as we had all our food and drink and logs in the cottage that we needed. We just holed up and had some lovely family time and enjoyed the log burner.

It is also very refreshing to break your home routine and I realised that I need to simplify my life. I had no mobile phone reception for a whole week which was absolutely bliss. I was receiving far too many emails which were disrupting my day and they did not require my attention so the first thing I did on my return was to filter out a lot of junk emails that were just not important and did not require my attention. Half a day into my working week and I have hardly checked my mobile as the red flashing light is not going off any more.

Also, I jumped on the Internet so many times a day to do various bits and pieces, it was breaking up my day too and I wasn't doing anything properly. So I'm going to read blogs in the morning before I get out of bed and that's the only time of day I do that.

Most importantly, I was so busy researching blogs and looking up how to do different crafts etc that I wasn't actually spending any proper time crafting really!

So my priorities are to keep the house clean, feed my family and do some crafts. Internet is going to take a low priority and it feels really quite good!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Holiday time!

Well, it's holiday time again and this time for two whole weeks, hurray! It's going to be a mixture of being at home and going away for a few days which will be so nice. I'm not guaranteeing any posts but it will be nice to get back into routine after we come back for the gentle slide towards Christmas!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and see you mid October!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hems and more hems!

As I have said before I have a problem with my hems. What an issue! I handsew my hems as I just didn't know how to tackle hemming on a machine. So I bought a sewing machine foot for rolling hems. I tried it on the fabric I used forJessica's winter nightdress but it's just too bulky so it didn't roll very well but I did get the hang of it on lighter material. So I will definitely use rolled hems for summer clothes and maybe my napkins if I'm looking for more of a casual look.

Sooooo, I looked out my sewing machine manual and manoeuvred my way through the diagrams to work out how to blind hem the nightdress. And after quite a few tries, I had a light bulb moment and I got the hang of it! Brilliant! It definitely cuts down the time required for hand sewing. You can't really see the hem on this photo - but that is kind of the point to a blind hem!

I also extended the sleeves on the nightdress as you will remember that I had problems squeezing the pattern into the fabric I had ordered. I took a couple of scraps and sewed them onto the sleeves. It looks rather fetching and as if it was a deliberate cuff to the sleeves so quite pleased with it.

Autumn has arrived and in a cold blowy way, not a lovely leaves underfoot, nice crisp walk kind of way. Let's hope the nice autumn days do arrive! I haven't seen the sun all morning, just grey!

And if you have problems with your workload, think of my friend (who already has a 15 month old) who has just announced she is going to have twins in April so she will have three children under the age of two! She will cope brilliantly though.

 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Hello!

Hello! I'm back again. Accounts all done, VAT return filed and back to normal this week. The accounts next need to be done in a couple of months time so I have all that time to do crafting and enjoying my little girl! The only thing is that we're on holiday at the end of this week for two weeks so I'll probably not be posting properly again until mid October but bear with me until I get back into a rhythm again.

Over the next few weeks I'm planning to make more things for my Etsy shop and also I have discovered the combination of felt and embroidery. It's great fun! I'm hoping to tackle a stash of felt with me whilst I'm on holiday and really get to grips with how I want to use it. Exciting times.

Now that the nights are drawing in with the curtains being closed just after supper, less time will be spent on the garden jobs which demand to be done and there will be more time by the wood burning stove tucked up inside out of the elements. Oooo, it's almost tomato soup time of the year, a cosy time of the year. Lovely.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Are these tables the right colour?

Mmmmm, I don't think so. I painted the other wooden furniture which we have in the sitting room to match the test lamp table I did last week. I thought that even if it was the wrong colour then at least I have done the long job of sanding, priming and first coat of colour.

So here are the other three tables primed

And all painted

However, when they are all in the sitting room, they are just all too green, it's too blue a green. You can't really see this in the photograph though I definitely need to find a sludgier green so that's my job for this weekend: to go through the paint charts and try to find a better shade!

I bought all my hyacinth, tulip and daffodil bulbs today so will get potting those up for some colour and fragrance through the winter.

I am doing my book-keeping again next week as the VAT return has to be submitted by the end of September. I will try my very hardest to post Tuesday and Thursday as normal but it may just slip by as next week is looking incredibly busy. I'll be pleased to get back to blogging though when I can.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

My Etsy shop is open!!!

Well, who would have thought it?! I certainly didn't think I would be opening it this week as I was toying with the idea of opening it on my return back from our two week holiday at the beginning. But I have opened my shop on Etsy!

I had done all the work yesterday that I needed to do to finish it off and then I thought, why wait for a month or so, why not just do it. So I did!

And here it is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewBlissfullyHappy.

So far, I have just got some napkin sets on there at the moment which I made before all my blog reading and perfecting my sewing techniques. But I'm working on some 'all purpose baby cloths' for catching all those spills you have through the day with a baby. I'm making them for a couple of friends at the moment but I'm going to make some more for the shop. Here's a sneak preview:


 

It's just a prototype at the moment, a couple of things I want to perfect before I give them to friends or put them on the shop. And I have so many ideas of things to make! The only limitation is going to be time....

Go check out the shop, it's exciting times!

 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

That was a head scratcher!!

I left you last week with a bolt of fabric and an altered pattern for Jessica's autumn nightdress. It proved to be a bit of a challenge but we got there in the end! I was worried that I didn't have enough fabric for the pattern. And I didn't - when I tried to layout the pieces in a conventional manner with the fabric folded along its straight edges.

However..... I thought why not see what happens when you fold the fabric on the diagonal (the bias). I had nothing to lose apart from another search for appropriate fabric and another wait for it to arrive. The pattern has lots of fabric in it anyway to allow for a full dress so I knew that some of that could be sacrificed by altering the pattern slightly when it was laid out.

So here we are, the fabric has been folded in a triangle,

 

then folded again to allow for two pieces of the body and the sleeve to be cut out at the same time.

Oooo, the anticipation.... It looks like its worked but you just don't know until you separate the pattern from the fabric....

Hurray! It worked. Just a little separation on the main dress section was required. It did help though that it was a non-directional pattern and so patterns didn't need to be matched up. What an efficient use of the fabric though. Note to self: must remember that when using other non-patterned fabrics.

 

Here it is all pinned up and ready to be sewn. It reminds me of a snow angel that you make in the snow.

 

And finally, it's all sewn up and ready for the hems. It's so cute! You could almost use it for a day dress.

Oh and huge congratulations to Andy Murray who has finally done it!! He's the first British tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament in 76 years - beat Djokovic in the US Open last night, woo hoo!!

 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Something different...

So I've done something different to sewing this week, painting! I have quite a few pieces of furniture in the sitting room which need a good paint to make them all look like brand new. So I did one table as a test:

 

I think it looks really good and it's a new home for my sewing machine! But I'm concerned that the green is a bit too 'green' for the curtains and may need to be a bit sludgier, a bit more of a muted green. I'm going to use up the paint I do have on the other items and if it doesn't work then at least I will have done the hard work of sand papering and applying the undercoats. I can then just do one top coat in the chosen colour!

I have adapted the pattern for Jessica's nightdress to make it longer for her to grow into and longer sleeves to keep her cosy.

However, I have a feeling that I don't have enough cloth for it now that it's a larger size.... I'm going to try to figure that one out this afternoon!

 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Comfortable chairs at last.

I have finished my seat pads, hurray! They are now in pride of place and have been sat on. My kitchen chairs have gone from bearing old, tatty Ikea chair pads, I'm almost ashamed to show them.....

To sporting lovely new shiny chair pads which have proper stuffing and are comfortable which is the main priority

 

The one thing I would change is maybe making the pads a little bit bigger so that they reach the bottom edge of the chair. The stuffing took a little bit of the length out of them but it's all a learning curve isn't it? I'm considering making them for my Etsy shop too.

Speaking of which, I am busy working behind the scenes on my Etsy shop on setting it up, so I'm hoping that it will be up and running in a couple of weeks. However, I may delay it until I get back from our holiday. We have our two week holiday coming up at the beginning of October and the countdown has most definitely started...... It probably makes more sense to launch after the hols with a clear run up to Christmas.

So today, I'm hoping to get going with Jessica's autumn nightdress. The shirring elastic has arrived and on Amazon this morning, I found a special sewing machine foot for shirring - bonus! It should be winging my way for the end of the week when I should be finishing the dress.

Big treat of the week tonight.... The Great British Bakeoff! Can't wait, get the slippers on and snuggle down for a good hour of television!

 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Seat pads in the making....

Quite exciting, the next lot of fabric has arrived for my next projects! You can see the thick cosy red brushed cotton for making Jessica's Autimn/Winter nightdress; the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric for jazzing up the plain fabric in her playroom and some fat quarters for making Christmassy things like bunting.

Yesterday, I made the ties for the seat pads. You can see here the 16 lengths which I folded

then folded again to make them neat. This all took a surprisingly long time, the whole of Jessica's nap.

In today's nap time, I just about finished the seat pads! I sewed all the pads, but spot the mistake..... I sewed the ties into the inside of the first pad which wasn't so clever. But then I repinned the other pads so that the ties came out on the right side! Doh!

Here, they are with all the machine sewing finished

And here they are, all stuffed.

I just need to finish off the holes for the stuffing by hand. I'm really pleased with how they have turned out, with all the patterns just about matching between the pads.

Oh, and my first order of Usborne books arrived today I just need to package them up ready to give to my friends who bought my first order!

 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I have been brave.

 

So as you may now from previous posts, I am a new gardener and I had Beechgrove Garden filming at the end of June. There was quite a lot of downtime between filming so George Anderson, the presenter, and I spent a lot of time chatting. I mainly used this time to get tips from him as to how to treat various plants. I had lots of overgrown shrubs and didn't know how to tackle them so that they didn't die.

His main advice was 'BE BRAVE'! So I was and have pruned them all down to practically bare stumps. Sunday was lovely and sunny and I knew that it would be my only chance for a while to be able to coordinate nice dry weather and my husband being around to look after Jessica. So I did it. I felt like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland - off with their heads!!

 
 

I now have a nude garden but we have so much space now. We will be able to control the speed and the shape of the shrubs which are all lovely but they had become very tired and overgrown. Now there is sun where there were shadows. Hopefully now, they will grow back with renewed vigour.....

As it was a holiday weekend, it rained if course yesterday! However, we didn't mind as we could just hunker down and relax into it. So we did absolutely nothing apart from stickers up in Jessica's room of flowers, butterflies and rainbows. It now looks like a little girl's room.

I did manage to cut out my seat pads and they are already to be sewn up now. Quite exciting, I'm so looking forward to having nice seat pads that don't slip all over the place and fall off the chair. They will definitely be finished this week.

 

Friday, 24 August 2012

I feel that Autumn is on its way.

So we had the chimney swept this morning and there is a slight chill in the air in the mornings now. I don't think we'll be lighting the fire this bank holiday weekend but I don't think we're too far off lighting it if an Indian summer doesn't materialise.

It's almost time for big cosy jumpers, the smell of rotting leaves in the air, bonfires and cosy nights with a bottle of wine by the fire. This is the reason I love living in a place with many seasons. Fair enough, Summer has been a washout but you can't really go wrong with Autumn and then before you know it we'll be into Winter and Christmas. Winter always drags at the end with the dark afternoons but the rejuvenation of Spring makes up for that with the lighter days and warm air returning.

So I had a go at shirring the sleeves of the nightdress today. It worked on the sample test piece I did but it wasn't so successful on the sleeves themselves. I'm not sure if maybe this was because the sleeves were less flexible as the hem was already in place and so more structured so there was less give or whether the elastic thread wasn't substantial enough. It's a great technique though and for her autumn nightdress I shall buy some proper elastic thread as I think it was a very lightweight thread that the local shop had and play around with the tensions on the sewing machine. I had a great tutorial for the shirring on the Make it Love it blog.

Here's the finished dress taken in the late evening sun, at 6.30pm we are already getting the long shadows, summer is on its way out. It's been a really enjoyable project, especially as it has been the very first thing I have made for Jessica. It was a very special moment when I dressed her in the nightdress tonight after bath time.
It's a bank holiday on Monday so I won't be posting then as it's family time. See you later in the week, have a great weekend!

 

 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The dress is almost finished.....

'Although we may get a lot to deal with, we never get more than we can handle' (anon)

So finally yesterday, I had some time to myself as Jessica was away having a lovely time with the childminder yesterday morning (who was amazed that she was walking so proficiently!). Sooooo, I started the raglan nightdress which I loved so much on the ikatbag blog! I spent the morning measuring and cutting out the pattern so that it would fit Jessica

and then I cut out the fabric. In the afternoon, I tackled the sewing which was so quick and easy that it took form really quickly.

Then ten minutes later,

It was only as I got to this stage of sewing the side seams that I remembered I was going to do long sleeves, oops!

But it doesn't matter as this was a really good trial run and I'll make a cosier one for her for the Autumn. This was it all pinned up ready to hem the sleeves and the bottom which I did by hand last night and it took forever. Next time I'm going to make a note to learn how to hem using the machine. It would make it so much quicker.

I'm off to have coffee with my NCT girls this afternoon so I'm going to buy some elastic to finish the neck and see if the local shop has some elastic thread for shirring the sleeves. Shirring is going to be a new technique that I'm going to be learning so let's see how I go once I have found some elastic thread!

Oh, and my husband tried to joke last night that Nutella had gone out of production - but totally didn't believe him as a, it's totally infeasible as its just the tastiest thing and b, it just wasn't funny! I know I'm gullible but I'm not that gullible. Tee hee!


 

Monday, 20 August 2012

A thousand apologies.....

'Each experience prepares us for the next' (anon)


A thousand apologies for not having posted for the last few days. I have been soooo busy! First of all, I have had my head deep in the accounts for a local bed and breakfast. It's all done now - for now! I'm sure when I have to do the next load of accounts next month so that I can file the VAT return I will have a similar period away from blogging But at least then it will be two months until the whole VAT cycle happens all over again! That's the not so interesting bit....

The second thing is that I have started selling Usborne books which is really exciting! They are brilliant children's books which are written so that they are fun and interesting so the children love them but they are also educational and well written so the parents love them too. They sell by people having parties and then you earn the commission from the books that are sold at the parties or by direct purchase from me. Because I have been involved in the accounts, I haven't put too much time into making contacts but hope that will change this week!

The third thing is that I did lots of gardening over the weekend. We have a wood at the back of the garden which is in a state of cultivated weeds! Bit by bit, I am trying to change this! As I have posted before, I had planted potatoes and I thought that the ones that we had not eaten yet had been affected by blight. So when I tackled trying to lift them this weekend, I was all set for disappointment but look at this:

I went from these sad rows of wilted foliage:


To lifting plants full of potatoes:


Halfway through!:

To my full harvest, how exciting:

I now have a clear patch ready for when my spring vegetable plug plants arrive:


You may recall that I also received some lavender plug plants a while ago and I thought it was time to plant them so that they can grow nice and big before the winter sets in. So I cleared the ground of weeds for where the new path will go and I planted the lavender down the side to edge the pathway:

I thought I would also show you the 'hedge' of sweet peas which is just giving me masses of lovely vases of flowers. One of the joys last week was introducing Jessica to the smell of sweet peas and see her little nose wrinkle with pleasure and wonder at what this new sensation was.


Also, I had planted lots of lily bulbs earlier in the year and I had almost given up on them but to my amazement they have started to flower:

 

so that's it for now but I'll be back later in the week! (oh and that raglan nightdress is going to be started tomorrow!)