Sunday, 19 October 2014

About a Sewing Box

My Dad's next-door neighbour sadly died on Friday morning.  I didn't know her well, but she was a very good friend of my Dad's.  She had no immediate family, so when she went into a nursing home last year, she asked my Dad to empty her house for her.

He mentioned to me that there was an old sewing box, in need of repair, and would I be interested in it.  Obviously, I said yes.  So a while ago I picked up the sewing box and brought it home.

It's got some staining on the lids and the old hinges on one of the lids were completely broken.

I bought some new hinges, slightly bigger than the originals, but the smallest I could find and then put them away and did no more.

So, on Friday afternoon, after hearing the sad news about my Dad's neighbour, I thought it would be an appropriate time to try and repair the sewing box.

I intended to replace all the hinges but it took me so long to replace the broken ones - dodgy screws, a broken drill bit and several attempts to line up the lid with the box.  Not the prettiest of D-I-Y jobs but I was happy just to get the lid securely attached.  I'll replace the other hinges another time and maybe sand and re-varnish the lid.

There's plenty of room in the sewing box for storage.  I kept hold of some of the original contents of the box - cotton reels, bandages and some Christmas decorations!

Then I remembered a selection of craft papers I had.

The sewing theme of the papers would make them perfect to use to line the trays of the sewing box.

And here it is with it's colourful make-over.

I added a little piece of paper with Friday's date on it - just to remember my Dad's neighbour.  The paper is pale lilac with a white polka dot pattern - totally appropriate for a lady called Dot White!

It feels good to be able to give a new lease of life to the sewing box.  Now I can't wait to fill and organise the trays with my crafting bits and bobs.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

All Set For the Cold Weather

Knitted hat - done.
Knitted mittens - done.

I'm ready for whatever weather this winter brings.  I have finished my mittens and they are lovely and snug.  

The cuffs have a snug soft lining and fit neatly around my wrists.  

There's a neat i-cord edging.  

And best of all, I'm completely co-ordinated!

Full details of this project can be found on my Ravelry page, here.  

Thursday, 16 October 2014


I love buying new yarn, but I also love re-using old yarn.  I have a pile of cardigans I've knitted over the years but never fell totally in love with.  They're all waiting to be ripped out and re-knitted.  There is almost as much recycled yarn waiting to be re-knitted as there is new yarn.

The latest candidate for frogging was this very red scarf.

The pattern is lovely, an intricate lace panel.

I knitted it back in April 2004, but I've hardly worn it.  The problem is I wear a lot of pink and that red, is just a bit too red to co-ordinate with anything I've got.  Don't ask me why I chose to buy that colour.

So this is what the scarf has become.

The yarn is still very, very red but I might be able to work it into a Fair Isle pattern and tone down the redness.  Whatever it becomes, it's a good feeling giving new life to something that was unloved and unused.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Christmas is Coming...

There are many people out there who seem to dread the onset of Christmas, referring to it as the "C" word!  They don't want to talk about it or even think about it.

I don't like the commercialisation of Christmas, but I do love the build up, the planning, the preparing and the thought of Christmas.

Christmas is the one time of the year that the home takes centre stage.  It's decorated and given such special treatment and most importantly, it's where families, who are geographically spread out, get together.  I'm so looking forward to having both my girls home, even if only for a short while and I can't think of anything better than to spend the time now, planning treats and surprises for them.

I like to raid our local library for Christmas books to find new inspirations, and just to feel all warm and tingly.  Here's a lovely book I found this week - such gorgeous photos.

Plenty of inspiration there.  Christmas is best when it's home-made, full of love and fun.

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Isn't paper wonderful!  It's amazing the things that you can do with it.  It's just so versatile.  I've recently been having fun doing some papier-mâché - up to my elbows in bits of newspaper and paste.

Here's what I made.

A rather elegant cup and saucer!

Totally useless and impractical, but nevertheless, fun to make and quite challenging to get the shapes right.

As you can see, both the cup and saucer are a bit skew-whiff.  But I think it adds character to them.

There are some lovely items made with papier-mâché to be seen on Pinterest. I'm a big fan of Julie Arkell's work.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to make a little figure, or a doll or even a head.  Something to work on - but I'll need a lot of practice!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Complete Cross Stitch Hanging

Remember the little piece of cross stitch I showed you last month?  Well I've finally got round to completing the hanging.

I added a border using some lovely blue and yellow check fabric.

I found this hanger at the back of one of my drawers - bought years ago at a craft fair and put away to use for something special!

I think it works well.

I added some heart buttons and now it's hanging up in the hallway, ready to greet loved ones returning home.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

So What Next?

Well, I've now started the mittens to match my Tantallon Hat.

I'm using the Tantallon Fair Isle design but following the pattern for the Ursula mittens I made last winter.

I'm modifying the pattern to include a lined cuff - for extra warmth, and I'm making them slightly longer than the Ursula mittens.  I'll also add an i-cord edging to the cuffs, to match the hat.

I'm not sure my bits and pieces of pink 4 ply will last so I'm knitting them simultaneously to keep track of each colour.

The weather has turned rather nasty now.  Summer is definitely over.  Time for some comfort food, so I made a carrot cake using this recipe.

Very moist and yummy.  Knitting, carrot cake, a hot mug of tea - sounds perfect to me.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunrise Cushion Cover

I've finally finished making all of my little squares - 162 in total.

I've sewn them all together and now my sunrise cushion cover is complete.

I love the abstract design and the way the colours blend together.

Reverse side of cushion cover

My favourite colours and early morning sunrises have been my inspiration.

I think it looks wonderful and it provides a lovely splash of colour that will see me through the long winter months - yellow and pink never fail to make me smile.  What are your feel good colours?