Thursday, 24 June 2010

Children's craft tip

Together with the rainy weather and a certain little boy being grounded, it's been a wearing time recently. In times like these, it's amazing what you can do with an empty toilet roll:

kids crafts

I found the idea for it here

Anyway, the weather is improving by the day, so I'm off to tackle the garden....

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Making a cushion from an old T-shirt....

Yes, I know. Those of you who know me will be pretty surprised at the title. That's because, when it comes to sewing, I am seriously challenged. That's challenged with a capital C. In fact, even thinking about getting the sewing machine out makes me break out in a cold sweat. By the time I have got it out, my hands are trembling...and not with anticipation or excitement. No, unfortunately I'm not the kind of woman who can rustle up a ball gown from an old scarf and a length of elastic. Alas. So, why on earth would I want to embark on a sewing project, I hear you ask? Well, maybe it was the lure of re-cycling something I had enjoyed wearing, or maybe I know deep down that I must, one day, get to grips with my sewing phobia.
Here's the T-shirt before...

recycled T-shirt

And here it is after my efforts...

Phew - it's actually turned out ok. I drew around a dinner plate to make a paper circle pattern, then pinned the circle over the silver writing on the front of the T-shirt, leaving the T-shirt double and then cut through both layers of material to get a back and a front to my cushion. I then used the sleeves for the strip around the middle. After sewing it up (only broke the thread once :))I hand-stitched the silver cord around the front seam (takes forever if you are me) and finally added the buttons at the bottom to hide the join of the silver cord, as I couldn't think of another way to hide it!

If you have recycled / re-purposed old clothes or fabric and written about it on your blog, why not leave me a comment with the link to that post. Or, if you have come across a good idea for recycling fabrics, please add a comment and the link.

Off to rummage in my sewing box now...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Children's craft tip

I help out at a children's craft group, which meets 4 times a year and this is what we made this time:

children's craft tip

This is a really quick project, with no specialized materials, great for a rainy afternoon. We did it with 6 to 9 year olds.

Coloured card
Old catalogue
Small piece of holographic paper or tin foil
Glue stick
2 x wobbly eyes (if you don't have these, you can draw the eyes on)
Piece of string

First, use a template to cut 2 fish out of coloured cardboard. These will be stuck together, so decide which 2 sides are "outside" and mark the tail of each fish with a small cross.
Next, take an old catalogue and cut out small circles for "scales". You will also need a small amount of holographic paper, as we used, or silver foil, to add the silver scales. Next, starting at the tail end of the fish, using a glue stick, stick the paper scales row by row on to the fish, overlapping them a little and moving towards the head with each "row". Don't forget to randomly intersperse the catalogue scales with shiny silver scales. Add a wobbly eye. Complete a second fish in the same way, making sure you check which side to stick the scales to. Finally, glue the 2 fish together with the scales on the outside, sandwiching a thread between the fish so that you can hang it up.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Although I've been pretty busy recently, I've still made time for reading and here are the last 3 books I've read:

Sophie Kinsella

I've read a couple of these Shopaholic books and they are always fun and light-hearted. Next came something a bit more spine-chilling:

Scott Mariani

This is the third book in a series with the hero Ben Hope, the first two being "The Alchemist's Secret" and "The Mozart Conspiracy". It's an action-packed thriller and hard to put down, but alot of blood is spilled - not sure if I could stomach this as a film.

Finally, I've just finished this book:

Marian Keyes

I always enjoy her books. The story is basically how one girl meets a new man and another breaks up with her man and their friend's struggle to come to terms with his cancer. However, the character portrayals are astonishingly detailed, very credible and at times, rather poignant.

Right, off to find a new book now....

Friday, 4 June 2010

Normal service to be resumed shortly...

I've been a bad blogger recently and deserve to have my wrists slapped accordingly. But I can explain! Shortly after finishing my CELTA course, I was lucky enough to be offered a couple of hours a week teaching. That has come to an end now, but I have enjoyed it immensely. In addition to this, since moving here last August, I have made such an effort to make friends and join in things, that suddenly, everyone wants to be MY friend. I've found myself inundated with things to do - coffees out, people coming over for coffee, Nordic walking, children's craft group and preparation, meetings for end of term presents for teachers etc, etc. Not that I'm complaining, of course, but it has meant that the blog and anything vaguely crafty have had to go on the back burner for a bit. Anyway, now I'm back with a vengeance and, to coincide with my very first pay cheque in Swiss Francs, I'm going to be ordering some supplies with which to re-commence my creative dabblings. Oh, that is, after I've deducted my speeding fine from my pay cheque...Note to self - continue to drive like a grandma - it's easier on the purse.

Bookworm post coming tomorrow....


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