Monthly Archives: May 2013

Explorer Maps

Ever since we had an explorer’s day at home where we sailed choppy, crocodile infested waters; dug for gold treasures on sandy beaches; rescued each other from dark and gloomy caves; making maps has become a favourite activity. In fact if you rummage through my Minou’s toy boxes the faint scent of coffee will escape from the many ‘weathered’ scrolls.

This activity is best started with a ‘lounge picnic’ to fill stomaches ready for hardy adventures. Throw out a table cloth on the floor and enjoy your feasts.

You can then craft your map to lead you to hidden terrors and delights. Just soak a teabag in some diluted instant coffee and spread liberally over your paper or card stock.  Whilst your map dries heighten your littlies’ anticipation with “We’re Going On a Bear Hunt’ to get you all in the explorers’ mindset:

We're GOing on a Bear Hunt

weregoingonabearhunt1

You can even listen to Michael Rosen read it to you: We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (his facial expressions are wonderful!)

I’ve learnt with time (and disaster) to burn the edges with a match BEFORE your littlie devotedly draws precious images. Believe me you don’t want to see their face as you burn their drawing to a crisp when the authentic burnt edging gets out of hand. So post-burn, elaborate your map with crocodiles, dangerous waters, spikey trees and dark caves with big red bears. :

Treasure Map How to

We now have an explorers rucksack filled with essential kit: magnifying glass; rope; compass; keys; crocodiles; treasure; pots to fill with unidentified species; and of course maps! It comes along on each adventure and sometimes even when we walk her dolly’s pram outside because YOU NEVER KNOW when a crocodile may appear in London.

Have fun and go explore!

naomi x

DIY Bathroom Makeover!

To start off my holiday I got stuck into some good old fashioned DIY. I got grout under my finger nails, paint in my hair and fumes in my lungs. All good. Except the fumes bit.
Over the past year the bathroom suffered several leaks. You know the ones that drip through the ceiling and onto your favourite crafting books downstairs. Sad times. After 4 leaking incidents and 3 plumber visits later all was fixed. The bathroom floor however was a different matter. The previous owners had left me with cork tiling (thanks for that) which with the numerous leaks had caused each one to slowly peel off the floor.
Finally, I could leave it no longer. The bathroom needed some TLC.

Bathroom Make Over 1

See, it was bad. Really bad.

So the other afternoon my maman came down and we took to slowly removing each glued tile.

Bathroom Make Over 2

We then set about laying the new lino. This involved me straddling the toilet in various positions and squishing in the cupboard:

Bathroom Make Over 3

My uncle (who provided said lino) is a carpet fitter and would have had this down in minutes with a swift swipe of the stanely knife. I however, do not possess these skills and I certainly don’t have the confidence. So, as I’ve said before work to your skill set. There I am in the middle photo making a toilet pattern with a seam allowance. No joke. My maman and I actually had conversations using the terms: quarter-inch seam allowance, pattern, self-heal cutting mat.

Several hours later, after much cutting, jigging and exclamations of WOW! It was finished. There were some wrestles with the bath panel, shouts at the cupboard space and constant warnings to keep fingers (and toes) out of reach of the stanley knife. Finally all was complete.

Taadaaa:

Bathroom Make Over 4

And here’s a little photo to proudly show off our mad cutting skills:

Bathroom Make OVer 5

We went on to re-grout and jazz up the gorgeous *cough* 1990’s tiles so I will post that DIY soon. I am amazed how a little bit of paint can really transform the look of a space. So if you have a lovely 1990’s bathroom in need of a frugal *re-fit* check back in.

 

This is what Bank Holidays are made for.

naomi x

SYTYC Audition Piece – I’m Through! (And yes I did do a boogie in the middle of the supermarket when I recieved the confirmation email!)

Yahoo, Huzzah, Hooray! The ‘So You Think You’re Crafty’ audition results are through and yay I’m into the competition! I am so excited about that. The pressure is now on. I’m dreaming up lots of crafty projects so keep in touch.

Here’s a little more detail about my audition piece:

I decided to showcase my love of sewing whilst including the little crafter side-kick in my life. So what better way than to make a dress embroidered with my daughter’s own drawing. She willingly obliged and drew herself. I love how she has captured her brown hair which she did as a dot-to-dot!:

Child's Drawing

I used the 4927 Simplicity shift dress pattern. It was a simple design so I knew it would allow me to make some personal alterations. After perusing rolls of fabric I decided on a sombre grey suit material. I loved the juxtaposition of the serious fabric embroidered with the fun and carefree drawing.

I wanted to add a little extra pazzazz so decided to line the dress instead of just a top interfacing. I hunted through my fabric stash for a light stripey pink pattern. Reflecting a hint of suit pinstripes with a happy punch.

So You Think You're Crafty audition piece 2

I have fallen in love with collared dresses this season so I knew I wanted to add a tiny peter pan collar to the pattern (the fist collar I have ever made!). Firstly I altered the neckline to sit a little higher:

Altering dress add collar 2

I cut out a pattern for the collar size. Practice makes perfect!:

Altering pattern to add collar

The collar was also lined with the pink stripe which will peek out as she runs and jumps. I added interfacing to give it a little stiffness so it sits nice and crisp on the dress:

Collar Dress

The hem and sleeves are trimmed with a floral print which accentuate the colours used in the embroidered drawing:

So you think you're crafty audition 1

Here’s my littlie’s self-portrait next to the embroidered version:

So You Think You're Crafty audition piece 4

Instead of a button and loop fastening at the back I wanted a zip closure so I adapted the dress pattern so I could add it to the dress. Instead of hiding the zip I chose a pale pink one to stand out as a fun detail on the back.

SYTYC Audition Piece Back final

Finally, the dress in full:

SYTYC Audition Piece Dress Final

The dress has already been worn several times and I can see it becoming a firm favourite. The Artist already has made a request for another ‘drawing dress’ and has frequently disappeared to her colouring table, each time producing too many drawing for me to keep up!

I am so excited about my project for the 1st SYTYC challenge. I’ll post my piece in full after the results are announced so check back in if you want to see how it was created. Or just check in to say hi because that’s always lovely.

Happy end of May

naomi x

Paralysis of Too Many Projects (and why there is a photo of the Made in Chelsea crew on this blog)

I have too many projects on the go and I feel overwhelmed. I’ve lost my mojo somewhere. This is my first proper creative dearth after nearly 7 months of starting my little blog when I committed to making one crafty project a week.

I currently have a house to tidy, holiday bags to pack (which should be fun but I find stressful) and a heap of crafty projects I want to complete. However, these last couple of weeks I’ve sat down and watched trash TV. Absolute trash TV. Maybe everyone needs to do that once in a while but I feel my creative voice shrieking and melting inside (Wizard of Oz style) as I hit play on ‘Made in Chelsea’ yet again. It is all wrong. The balance is askew.

Made_In_Chelsea_cast2

Part of the problem is having too many half-completed projects. I’m lost and don’t know where to start. How have you got through these creative dry patches? I’ve Pin’ed like never before, I’ve devoured my crafty magazine, I’ve made copious mugs of coffee and sat mulling like an “arteeeeist” but alas de nada. Just my brain calling for ‘Made in Chelsea’ and ‘Eurovision’. So I have succumbed. The worst thing about this is that I actually feel guilty! I feel like I’m doing myself a wrong by not crafting. It has become such a part of life in the last half year and has been so good for my sense of wellbeing. What a tangle. And it’s not even a tangle of yarn.

So, dear crafty friends or blogging lovelies, at the end of this week I’m packing up my sewing machine, computer and paint brushes and heading away for a few days. After a good dose of more trash TV with my brother, a couple of baked white blooomer loaves and a few lie-ins (I know!! I’m excited about that!) I’m going to jump back on the crafty bandwagon. (I have a scotch pancake recipe that needs some air time and I promise to share it soon-seriously it will revolutionise your Sunday breakfasts). And finally, with almost perfect timing the audition pieces at So You Think You’re Crafty are now up and online ready for you to vote (so hopefully I will have the jump-start I need *peeking through my hands at the results next week*).

So to rev me up and get me back in the crafty mode my list of projects to start and/or finish are:

* Bag for a friend

* Bag for my maman

* 2 quilts

* Spring dress for the minou

* Bunting

* T-shirts

* Cushions

* Sofa Cover

and that’s just the sewing!

Please, please, please do have a little look at all the amazing audition pieces here. I love the diversity of this competition. So many crafts, different styles, different mediums. Perfect in fact for inspiration and awe. And please, please, please cast your votes!

 

And finally what’s a post without another somewhat random photo. Plus everyone has time for Maggie Smith, Downton and a meme huh..

 

Downton-Abby-Yarn-Meme

 

Send me your crafty vibes crafters and your de-craft-funk fixes

naomi x

So You Think You’re Crafty – A Virtual Sewing Bee (Kinda)

So, one of the reasons behind the quiet is that for the last few days I have been beavering away for my audition piece for ‘So You Think You’re Crafty’. Its like a virtual Great British Sewing Bee except the entries are not limited to fabric or sewing *gulp* that leaves a lot of options! It is hosted by the lovely Missy. She explains the whole process if you click here.

Missy-Harding-So-You-Think-Youre-Crafty

I’ll give you all a heads up when the voting is open for the audition finalists. Its a blind voting process so I have to keep schtum about my entry until the results are revealed and I know whether I made the cut. Eeek and eeep! Its exciting. My head is swarming with ideas and a little dose of panic as this competition is heavy! Past seasons have shown extraordinary creative skills so I know it will be a tough ride. I’d love to make it to the top 3 so I’m ploughing all my energy and waking hours (once the minou is in bed) into drafting, planning and creating. Phew.

SYTYC

 

Wish me lots of crafting skill!

naomi x