Monday, 15 December 2008

Bits n Bobs

The Bento boxes turned out to be too small. According to Japanese guidelines they're about the right size for a two year old! So I'm using them as snack boxes. Here's a little snack I made the other day.

What else... well I made a few nappies. Finished them off really. They were cut out ready to sew.
They're the top three. The yellow, orange and ocean (I think!) colours.

The touchtape looks kind of horrible already. It seems thinner than aplix, so its more see through. I think that adds to the grubby look. I don't like aplix loop much either. It looks horrible after a few washes, and it tends to hold crummy bits. The coloured touch tape is good though. So I'll probably stick to that (haha - unintentional joke).

This is my nice Ikea baby changing unit where my nappies are supposed to live. It's looking a bit bare....
Because most of the stuff is dumped on the floor next to it. What a mess....

Sunday, 30 November 2008

I DID IT!!!!!

I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. I uploaded my novel to be verified 15 minutes before the deadline! Better than last time, when I uploaded it just a few minutes before the deadline. I was hoping to actually finish the thing tonight. It's about a chapter away from being finished (must admit I haven't put any chapters in at all - its something I plan to do when I edit it.) R didn't go to sleep tonight till after 10pm. I think he knew my plans! Kind of sad I didn't finish it. Without a deadline I probably won't get around to finishing it. At least not for a while anyway. I can't wait to get back to doing some sewing at last. I've worked on this novel every single night since the 1st of November. Feel quite proud I managed to do it :-)

Some Goodies!

Before I start, may I direct your attention to my word count -------> 49,100! Only 900 words to go!!!!!!!!
Alright, these are some things I got just recently.

Some fabric from Purely Patchwork. Got some fabric for something I'm making for my mums birthday and some Christmas fabric too, to make some Christmas nappies. I spent a whopping £5.99 on a reel of variegated Christmas coloured thread. And I got some pins and needles.
Moving on... a delivery of stuff for my new obsession from The Japan Centre in London.

I've got 3 child sized bento boxes, farm themed plastic cups, farm themed mayonnaise containers, paper cases, rice ball maker, triangle paper cases, soy sauce bottles, teddy bear mould - for cookies, cutting sandwiches or a mould for rice, star and heart egg shaper and cocktail stick sort of things.

Aren't they so cute!! They're for picking food up, like sliced sausage, or maybe fruit that's a bit messy.

These are the sauce bottles, it says you can fill them with tomato sauce too if you like, but they're a bit on the tiny side.

This is the inside of the bento box - it cost a whole £3.99! The bottom part is probably for rice, and the section with the divider sits on top of that. Some of them came with bits to put your chop sticks in, but they were a bit more expensive. These ones seemed the best value. Can't wait to try them out!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Bag Swap

Finally got a chance to upload some photos. This is one of the weirdest projects I ever did. I've never done so much preparation! Usually I just jump straight in. But for this I very carefully traced all the pieces, I marked everything that needed marked, ironed on all the interfacing, ticked off all the pieces on the pattern sheet once they were ready. I even used pins!!! When I actually got down to sewing it all came together very fast. Apart from the gusset part. There wasn't a pattern piece for that. Just measurements for the piece, but i think they must have been wrong. There was no way the piece i cut could fit anywhere on the bag. The instructions really weren't clear. It looked from the drawing that there were gussets on both sides, but not the bottom, but there was no mention of sewing up the bottom part. So I just made it up as I went along.

Front of the bag: I wish I'd put the panel on then interfaced the whole front, instead of just the corduroy.
The back of the bag.

Inside. I put a little label under the zippered pocket. I also only had a FQ of the print fabric, so I had to use cord for the inner gusset part.

Don't look too hard at the zippered pocket! It's actually the best zip I've done, but it's still far from perfect. I'm not sure if the fabric I used for the pocket inner matches that well, but it's inside the pocket, so it won't be seen.

Another view of the inside.

I put some stuff in it too. A 2009 calendar and a postcard too.
I'm very nervous about it now. I hope it gets there ok and that my swap partner likes it. Some things I learned about doing a swap are:
1) Use fabric you have in your stash. Don't order from Japan! It takes too long to get here.
2) Get your notions and stuff locally. I ordered my bag handles online and one was damaged when it arrived. They're really quite sturdy plastic though. The post office must have run over them or something to break them! Anyway, I had to wait on a replacement. Afterwards I found out that my local shop had handles in stock!
3) Don't lose your your dies from your die set! I put one snap on then couldn't find the other die to put the other one on. I spent a whole DAY looking for it! S found it for me :-)
4) Don't sign up to a swap when you know you are going to be doing something ridiculous - like trying to write a 50k word novel in 30 days. I'm not very good at balancing what needs to be done.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Little Update

I'm at 11,445 words now! I was quite stuck the last few days, and really had to force myself to increase my word count. Last night I managed a decent chunk of writing though. I only stopped because it was after midnight and the baby was waking up. I'm going to try and write some during the afternoon, when R has a nap if I can. But I have mountains and mountains of laundry that's somehow appeared from no where. And Saturday is a day we do our work home education-wise. Both S and E are starting a maths block this week. I kind of want to give up this novel thing. i just don't have the time for it. And if I don't have the time I won't make the 50,000 words. But I hate to fail...

The main fabric arrived for my bag I'm sewing yesterday, so I've got that prewashed. Just waiting on the Japanese fabric arriving and the bag handles. If I get a chance I'll trace the pattern pieces and cut out the main fabric. It shouldn't take too long to sew once the Japanese fabric arrives.

Better go and get on..............

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


That's National Novel Writing Month. You have a month to write a 50,000 word novel. If you reach the 50,000 by the end of the month then you win! Well, there is no real prize. Just a finished novel. I put a little ticker thing on my site so you can see how I'm doing ------->

It's going ok so far, I'm already slightly ahead, which is good because I have quite a lot on this month. I've been writing every night from 11pm till midnight, which is my usual sewing time. But I'm signed up to do a bag swap (things are coming along quite slowly with that - I'm still waiting on some yummy fabric arriving from Japan) I've a few custom sewing jobs to do (but they're all quite simple) and I've got a couple of things to finish off. I just realised that my mums birthday is at the beginning of December and I wanted to make her a knitting bag. The pattern looks quite complicated, so I think I really need to start it before the end of the month. I need to think about getting some fabric for that. How am I going to fit all this in????

It's Free Film Education week here, so tomorrow we're going to see The Spiderwick Chronicles. On Thursday we're off to see Horton Hears a Who and on Friday we're going to see Charlotte's Web.

I'm also trying to keep up with the Flylady babysteps, but that'll be the first thing to go if I find I have too much to do!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Sewing Challenge Results!

Here's what I made on my mini sewing challenge week...

Thursday: A small Chloe Toes pocket nappy. Yellow PUL outer and a mocrofleece inner.

Friday: I made the star print pocket Chloe Toes, and also put snaps onto the AIO. I used red lycra binding on the microfleece inner pocket edge. I don't know if it is the same stuff as FOE. It looks and feels exactly the same, but I decided not to make the whole thing with the red in case it leaked or something. Cat was getting in the way when I was taking the photos! He was trying to catch the cord on the camera.

Saturday: Medium sized Poquito Pants. This is the 1st pair I've made using FOE. I wasn't too sure if I'd like it or not, but it turned out really nice. It's fast and easy to make them this way too.

Sunday: Made another pair of medium Poquito Pants - t&t version this time. The knit fabric is really stretchy and seems quite fragile. I didn't sew a size tag on. Might go back and do that later. I also added snaps to the small pair of Poquito Pants - they're the pink ones. I had to seam the fabric at the crotch because I didn't have a big enough piece to make them with. They are VERY tiny!

Monday: Another pair of medium Poquito Pants. I seamed the fabric on these too so there would be a chick facing up the way on each side. I also tried putting the size tag under a snap, but I don't think that was very succesful. I think the raw edge at the top will fray.

Tuesday: A final pair of medium Poquito Pants. The outer fabric is sort of a brushed cotton knit, and the inner is velour on these. Ran out of interlock. I also ran out of white thread while I was making them, so I top stitched in red. I don't think it looks very good. Black might have been better and black snaps too, rather than red.
Wednesday: Didn't make a thing! Came in at 9pm from a meeting, and by the time I got R to sleep it was too late to start anything.
Here's my weeks work! Not too bad I think. I really need to make an effort to get a couple more things finished. I have a project to work on this week, but I need to give myself a few more challenges to complete.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sewing challenge update

It's going quite well!

I've got 6 completed items. Two more almost prepped to sew tonight. After that I'll probably be making snap in soakers for the nappies I've made recently. I've also joined a bag swap on my sewing group - which is kind of exciting! I don't have my swap partner yet, so I don't know what I'll be making. I want to make some bags for Christmas gifts this year too.

Here is a little preview of some of the completed items:

x3 Chloe Toes - one is an AIO the other two are pockets.

Here is what the boy was up to while I was trying to put snaps on them.

Tipping a bag of snaps out all over the window ledge....

Playing with the snap press. He was trying to put a pen through the hole in the handle.

And, his all time favourite thing to do... fiddle with the radio!

He has been sleeping a bit better now. I noticed he has some new teeth at the back, so maybe that's what was causing him to wake up all the time. Poor thing!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Mini Sewing Challenge

I'm giving myself a mini challenge. To sew one item or complete one UFO every day this week. I've started the week on Thursday since we'll be out all next Thursday evening. I completed one item on Thursday, and one last night. So its going well so far! Not too sure what I'll work on this evening, but hopefully I'll get a chance to cut or apply snaps during the day so I'm ready to start sewing this evening when R goes to sleep. Will post pictures of everything next Thursday.

Once I've done that I'm going to start on some Christmas sewing!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Home Education

Well, I got my fabric! I also got some really lovely patterns this week too. All I need now is time to sew with them. With a boy who seems to wake every half an hour after he's been put to sleep time isn't something I have much of :-(

I just wanted to make a post about home education. For the first time ever I feel like we are getting somewhere and that I know what I am doing! I've finally got all the stuff together that I need for this school year and I've been busy scribbling down some sort of a time table. I wanted to post it here so I don't lose it!

This one is for S - who is nearly 7. He is doing Christopherus 1st Grade, and his time table pretty much follows what they've set out.

2 weeks - getting ready for school
2 weeks -Language arts (introducing the alphabet)

2 weeks - Language arts (introducing the alphabet)
1 week - Nature
1 week - Holiday

4 weeks - maths (introducing numbers)

2 weeks - Language arts (introducing the alphabet)
2 weeks - Holiday

1 week - Nature
3 weeks - maths (introducing 4 processes)

4 weeks - Language arts (starting writing & reading using Fairy Tales)

3 weeks - Nature (planting a garden etc)
1 week - holiday

1 week - holiday
3 weeks - Maths

2 weeks - Language arts (fairy tales)
2 weeks - Nature

For this we are using the Christopherus 1st Grade Curriculum, The Seven Year Wonder Book, Grimms Fairy tales and Painting with Children. We have several library books for read alouds too. In between the lessons we've got painting, drawing, baking, cooking, knitting, nature crafts, playing the recorder etc.

E is doing 2nd grade. Here is her schedule.

3 weeks - Language arts (Fables)
1 week - Michaelmas

2 weeks - Language arts (Fables)
2 weeks - Language arts (The King of Ireland's Son)

1 week - Language arts (The King of Ireland's Son)
1 week - Martinmas celebrations
2 weeks - maths (odd & even numbers,vertical sums)

1 week - Saint Nicholas celebrations
1 week - Saint Lucia celebrations
1 week - Winter Solstice celebrations
1 week - holiday

4 weeks - Maths (Months of the year, days if the week, seasons, time, place value, 3 & 11 times tables)

4 weeks - Language arts (Saints and hero's)

3 weeks - maths (place value, carrying & borrowing, more times tables)
1 week - spring equinox celebrations

1 week - Easter celebrations
3 weeks - maths (money, times tables)

1 week - May Day/Beltane celebrations
3 weeks - consolidating what we've learned/ finishing up unfinished work.

For this we're using A Little Garden Flower 2nd Grade curriculum, Christopherus 2nd grade maths book, Christopherus Saints and Hero's book, The King of Ireland's Son, Aesops Fables and a ton of seasonal and nature books from the library. Plus some read alouds. We've already read Georges Marvelous Medicine, Gobbolino the Witches Cat and Diary of a Killer Cat. We're also doing knitting, painting etc to go with this.

I think that's everything! Hope to have a sewing post soon.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

No fabric yet...

Gah. Still waiting for my fabric. I found the tracking thing on Paypal and it said that it left the US on the 3rd of October. So that's not too bad. I'm sure last time I looked at it it said that it had dispatched on the 25th of September! I was starting to get worried about it. It'll probably be here by Friday.

I made my 1st Chloe Toes nappy last night. Its a pattern I've been wanting to get forever! It was actually a bit trickier and more time consuming that I had expected. And the blades of my overlocker made a horrible job on the soaker :-( I looked them up online and they are very expensive :( We have ordered a family railcard, and when I get that I think I might take a trip to Stirling and see if they have any - and probably eye up the embroidery unit for my sewing machine. I think its £495. Eeeks. But maybe it might be on special offer or something.
Not sure if I'll have an awful lot of time for sewing (not that I ever had much time for sewing!). We've booked tickets to see Horrid Henry at the Kings Theatre in Edinburgh. Thats in a few weeks time. November is National Novel Writing Month (also known as Nanowrimo) and I plan to do that. You have to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I did it in 2006 and won. R was just a few weeks old last Novemeber so I didn't do it then. I'm spending a bit of time over the next few weeks planning for that. Then it'll be December. Yikes! We're going to see a Christmas panto in the Tron theatre in Glasgow. Its a home ed trip. So I'm going to be kind of busy.

Can't really do a blog post without pictures, so here is some of E's work that she's been doing. We've been doing fables. She took the photos herself, with a close up of the peacock that she drew because she was really proud of the way it turned out :-)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Did I already post these?

I'm sure I must have put a pic of them somewhere...

These are some KCK Ones I made for someone from our home education group. The flower and ladybird one is a modified KCK One. I put a snap down rise on the front, something like a Bumgenius - not that I've actually seen a Bumgenius in real life. I might make a snap closing one at some point. I think the wings would need to be shortened just a little bit, and I'd probably put two rows of snaps to stop wing droop. The paper in the pic is an instruction sheet I printed out.

I think the colours look really pretty together. The royal blue seems a bit out of place I think. I did have a yellow and a red cut out, so it was a selection of primary and pastel colours - but I've run out of labels and aplix now. I used microfleece for the inners of these, but I'd like to try suedecloth. I plan to order some to try out, and I think I'd like to get a few cuts of PUL in colours I don't have. Like some greens maybe. I think I will probably make more of these for R because we use them so much.
I'm actually waiting on a delivery of PUL. Hope it arrives tomorrow! Most of it is colours I already have - I'm just topping my stock up. But I've got chocolate brown ordered. I'm not a brown fan, but it seems to be an in colour at the moment. Brown and pale pink, brown and turquoise - they're all nice combinations. Please let it arrive tomorrow!!!!!!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Another Sneak Peek

I haven't updated for a while, so I thought I'd put these (really bad) pictures up. Just a little pile of stuff I've been working on.

These two are very long overdue gifts. I really don't like the way they turned out. Still need to put snaps on the front.
My overlockers blade needs replaced - but I can't afford another one. It really didn't like the birdseye and flannel combo and chewed it up at the edges. These are newborn Darling Diaper AIOs with snap in soakers. PUL outers, 2 hidden layers of birdseye and flannel inners.
These are two bamboo velour Little One Sizes. Without soakers. Haven't got round to doing them yet. I got tired of messing up with blind elastic so I decided to try a different way of putting it in. Don't know if you can see the difference between the two. I'm not sure if the new way is any faster though, but it is less frustrating.
You can't really see the snaps on the front, but they have cute little penguins engraved on them! I've made two blue ones and a pink one. I've got another one cut out to sew.

These are Sprightly Soakers made with wool interlock for the body and wool/lycra blend for the waist and leg cuffs. I had 1yd of interlock and 1yd of blend and managed to make 4 large ones and 2 small ones.
Just a close up of the labels I got to sew on them :-)
Here is R modelling his. These are my new favourite covers. When I can afford it I will buy some more of the wool blend and maybe make some longies with it. And more covers. It is expensive though. Something like $20 a yard. Plus a hideous amount for postage. Apparently it dyes really nicely too.
This is the inside of another Little One Size. I made a fold out soaker for it. Looks like it'll be good for boys. I have a whole load of these at various stages. Some needing threads trimmed and some needing completely sewn.

Aw look - a little hand! These are medium Little Starter covers. With gussets. They were a bit tricky to do.

Cute labels on the back. Bad picture though.
I hope to get some more stuff finished off soon. I just don't seem to be getting the time to sew lately. And the Jeff Show has been taken off the air! I can't sew without listening to the Jeff Show!!! Will have to find some more late night listening.