A Creative Break

This week has seen a lot of us returning to pre-Christmas routines, with school, work and even social commitments changing back to a familiar and at times unwelcome pace. For my own part life is often so busy that I have lists that tell me which list to tackle first and that leaves very little time to actually sit back and enjoy doing something creative.

So when I found myself with time on my hands I did what any creative sort would do and started a new project. I decided to tackle a kit that I was given for Christmas, of course it was Christmas 2010 but sometimes that’s just the way of things.

Many of you will know that I’ve given needle felting a ‘stab’ (excuse the pun, I couldn’t resist!) I loved sitting in front of the TV jabbing at wool and actually creating something at the end of it. Unfortunately I put down my needle felting when other commitments got in the way. I was therefore more than a little apprehensive when I picked up this little kit, aside from my extended break, the designer is one of the most renowned and talented needle felt artists out there Dominica More Gordon.

My finished dog (pic above) may not have the precise features of Domenica’s, I’m sure she spends many more hours then I did on this little fellow. He also exhibits the same kind of facial expression that all my needle felted creations do (I assume this is my own personal look coming out) but I’m really very pleased with him. Now the only thing I have to do is keep him away from my youngest son who is determined to try and play with him.

I wasn’t the only one jumping on the creative bandwagon though. My daughter was given a lovely Buttonbag bunny kit and being the kind soul she is shared it with her brothers, here are their finished bunnies. I think they’re absolutely adorable, you’ll have to forgive a soppy proud Mum moment 😀

Even my husband has joined us and taken up ragrugging. A hobby that we find suits both of us, he shreds up and uses the old scraps of fabric/clothes I couldn’t bare to throw away and I get a tidier house! So far he’s shredded up old jeans, sheets, curtain offcuts, nothing is safe! I’ll have to remember to post a pic once it’s finished.

Have any of you been especially creative over the festive break?


Reuse, Recycle, Rediscover!

If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you will know that I have a special place in my heart for recycling/upcycling. Not because I have a Scrooge style clamp on my wallet, but because I hate to throw things away. Pretty much everything can be reborn if you have enough time and inspiration. Sometimes it even creates something better than the original!

This was certainly true with my last project. I set out with a mission to find my youngest child some new pyjamas. The problem being he has the most sensitive skin and everything from labels to seams irritate him. So I needed a very gentle solution. I began with the wonderful Oliver & S pattern for their Bedtime Story Pyjamas, unfortunately this is out of print now, but you can still purchase (stocks permitting) from some stores, I got mine from Saints & Pinners.

Next I moved onto fabric choices. I knew I wanted Flannel/brushed cotton, but I couldn’t find any I liked in this country. The US puts us to shame when it comes to selections of this fabric. So I began raiding my stores and found two plain white flannel sheets from when my son was a baby. They were beautifully soft from washing and I had just the right amount. But I thought he might look like he was doing baby karate if I made them in white. Enter Dylon! I had a box of Purple washing machine dye left over from a previous project, so I set about dying the sheets. The results couldn’t have been better (unfortunately I forgot to take a pic).

Next came the cutting and sewing, this pattern really is easy and before long I had these amazingly soft, label and side seam free pyjamas! My son adores them and wants to wear them all the time, I will certainly be making a second set soon, I may even treat myself to some imported flannel so I can use a cute fabric pattern.

Happy New Year!

The festive season seems to have whirled by as usual and here we find ourselves in a brand new year! I can’t say that I’ve made any resolutions, I learnt many years ago that just because I decided something at new year, it didn’t make me any more likely to stick to it. But new year always feels like a fresh start, time to rethink or restart. My house is often the lucky recipient of new paintwork or rearranged furniture at this time of year for that very reason.

But first on my agenda this year has been the beginning of a big sort out. I’m something of a hoarder so this is always a mammoth task. But in my usual spirit of reusing/recycling I like taking something new and giving it new life. This time it was an old ripped pair of jeans. The denim had got to that stage where it was lovely and soft to the touch, so even though the jeans were no more we couldn’t resist using the fabric again. Above is my new needle case, finally I will have organised needles!

My daughter also got a new skirt (seen above) and bag (her name will be sewn on in due course). The bag is a particularly whimsical one as it’s made out of the old jeans pocket.

Never one to leave someone out my son also got a new bag (again name to follow). He is going to keep some of his character cards in here. So happy child as he has a new bag and happy Mummy as his cards are kept together 🙂

I hope the new year begins the start of fun times for all of you as well.