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Framed Pokémon

A couple of years ago a lovely friend of mine created a A-Z of Pokémon cross stitch for Robin. It’s taken me this long to finally frame it but I got there in the end.

The frame was from IKEA, however I purchased it from someone else. I decided to repaint the black frame as there were a couple of dents in the woods. I simple sanded these down and applied some filler where needed.

I had the cross stitch with me when purchasing the frame, the lady who sold it to me suggested mounting it within the frame and maybe adding a couple of Pokémon underneath. So glad she suggested this as I never thought to do it. Luckily Jerry had a small stack of cards that were giving to him a few years back.

Rather than getting proper mounting board, I decided to purchase a piece of thick card instead.

I’m very happy with the final result, and it’s now hanging proudly downstairs rather than Robin’s room.

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Toddler Bow Tie

We are attending a family wedding in late April, and this will be the first time I’ll dress Robin in smart wear (well, smart casual). I’d purchased a cute blue/yellow shirt from a charity shop a couple of months ago, and managed to get some coordinating chino trousers from Primark. However, I felt the outfit was missing a little something…

Onto Pinterest I went! After a good gander I realised what the outfit needed was a bow tie!

I had a look on Etsy and generally around the internet, but I couldn’t find one that was right. Then I remembered I had some leftover fabric from the lampshade I made.  So back onto Pinterest I went and soon enough I came across this step-by-step guide from Simply Being Mommy.

I did however not use a glue gun, did a tiny bit of sewing and added some elastic instead of a brooch pin. But I did however follow the fabric measurements and how to create the bow. I think it turned out pretty well in the end! Let’s hope Robin doesn’t yank it off on the day, I’ll be sure to update this post with a photo of him when the day comes 🙂

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My New Obsession

I think it’s time to come clean… I’m obsessed with Facebook Marketplace.
There, I’ve said it!

Since moving into the house I can’t stop checking it on my phone. It amazes me what stuff people want to sell or sometimes even give away for free!

I’ve already saved myself so much money by looking on Marketplace before considering going to the shops. If you can get the exact same thing that’s only been used for a few months for a fraction of the cost in store or online, you’d be silly not to get it. Also it’s good to recycle unwanted items.

TV Unit – This I didn’t actually find on Marketplace. I was actually going to pick up a box of Duplo for £5, when I turned up to collect I saw this sitting outside their house. I assumed they had put it outside waiting for someone to collect, however I was wrong. I inquired and they responded ‘We were going to take it to the tip’. I then asked if there was anything wrong, they replied ‘Some knobs missing, couple of the draws need some screws and it could do with a fresh coat of paint’. They didn’t want anything for it, we needed a new TV stand, so in the back of the car it went!
(For sale on Dunelm.com for £144)

Side Table – We no longer have the space for a coffee table, so I was on the lookout for a little table to go beside the sofa. I then spotted this adorable little table with shelf, drawer and patterned top for only £3!

Drawer Knobs – Now that I had the TV unit and the side table, I was on the lookout for some replacement knobs. Browsing through I came across these, which are apparently from Anthropologie. These knobs are a mixture of acrylic and wood. I managed to get all 6 (including P&P as the seller wasn’t local) for £20. I thought this was pretty reasonable knowing that a lot of the knobs in Anthropologie are at least £5 each.

My plan for the above is to repaint the TV unit and side table (not including the tops of both) in a light grey paint. For the TV unit I’ll replace all of the knobs with the new fancy ones, remove the black decorative dots and likely replace the door hinges (Any ideas what hinges to go for?). And for the side table I’m going to attach the remaining knob to the drawer.

Rug – I had previously purchased a play rug for £5 from Facebook, however we (well, my husband) felt it was a little out of place in the room. So I discovered this one for £10, and then resold the previous rug for what I paid for it. Making this rug only £5 in the end!
(For sale on ebay.co.uk for £35)

Coat Stand – Three weeks after moving into the house, we were still putting our coats on the back of the dining room chairs. The entrance to the house isn’t that big and there isn’t any hooks on the walls. Then I spotted this coat for £8! It even has a low enough peg on it for Robin’s coat and hat.
(For sale on wayfair.co.uk for £21.99)

DIY Drum Lampshade

We’d recently bought the LAUTERS tripod floor lamp base from IKEA, but I wasn’t really a fan of any of the shades that were on offer there. I had a good look online to see what I could find, but either the patterns or the prices were not right.

I then came across a lampshade making kit on Amazon (which can also be purchased directly from Dannells website) and thought that I should just try and make my own! I popped to my local fabric shop and found some lovely fabric that I thought would go well with the lamp base and the rest of the room.

When I first saw the instructions I was a little overwhelmed, however it was a lot easier than I thought. My first challenge was cutting the very long piece of fabric correctly on the floor (obviously I had chosen the largest shade at a whopping 45cm diameter!).
I then improvised with the sticky back plastic weights (seen above as two bottles of Fairy fabric conditioner and a candle).
Somehow I did manage to successfully roll the plastic backed fabric onto the very sticky hoops. The instructions recommended getting a friend to help, but typical me was determined to do it myself.
The final stage involved a lot of tucking with a small piece of plastic. Now this part took some time and patience. I now understand the work that goes into making a simple lampshade, kudos to those who do it for a business!

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After all of the tucking and poking, I finally had a complete lampshade! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. Quite tempted to make one for the landing…

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Etsy Shop Haul

After the iamacrylic workshop yesterday, I popped along to the shopping centre in Bristol to a popup Etsy shop (Thanks to Etsy Made Bristol). So great to see a mix of local crafts all in one place! I would love to be able to have the money and ability to one day have a shop in Bath where I can sell local makers items. I really think it would do well and there are so many amazing creators in and around Bath! Alas, with the rents that the council charge, this dream would only become reality with a lottery win I feel.

Anyway… onto what I picked up from the shop!

 

Okay, so the cheeseboard I actually purchased from iamacrylic after completing the workshop. I’ve always wanted this necklace because, well, it’s a cheeseboard, what’s not to love!

Next up is a lovely sewing coaster made by Fiona Clabon Illustration. I plan to give this to my nan for her craft room for Christmas. I should of bought one for myself too really…

And finally… an awesome David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust necklace by YayRaeFlay. As soon as I saw it on it’s display in the shop I just had to own it! A great mix of wood and acrylic.

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i am acrylic WORKSHOP – Take 2

After my last visit to iamacrylic, I jumped at the chance to do another workshop with them. This time I wanted to step up a gear and give myself a bigger challenge.

I’ve always wanted a necklace that showed two things that I like and go well together… Tea & Biscuits! Surprisingly no one had created this yet (well, all the searches I had done I couldn’t find anything). Not that I wanted to copy, just inspiration. Anyway, I did some sketching and came up with the below.

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Because I had done the workshop before, I kept in mind the tips I was given. Layering was the main thing I remembered, making sure not to make it top heavy and to be sure that everything would fit.

Come the actual workshop, I made a couple of modifications to my design.

  • The tea sitting behind the cup shape as this made more sense
  • The handle of the cup was now part of the overall cup shape
  • The teabag tag would dangle on a bit of chain from the tea

I managed to just about get this done within about 4 hours! I’m actually really proud of this piece and was overwhelmed by the lovely comments I received with iamacrylic shared it on their Instagram.

I’m that happy with it that I’m looking into purchasing all of the tools and acrylic to make some more to sell.

Would you be interested in purchasing one if I were to do that? What would you be willing to pay for it? Please let me know in the comments 🙂

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i am acrylic Workshop

I’ve become a little obsessed with statement necklaces lately, wither they be made from wood or acrylic. I can’t remember when I started following i am acrylic on Instagram but I can certainly tell you why! Ruth and Brendan produce wonderful pieces of acrylic jewellery from their shop in Bristol (interesting fact: they live there too!). One day they posted an image on Instagram promoting a workshop. I jumped at the opportunity to create my very own piece of art to wear.

I was greeted warmly on a wet Sunday morning, being the first to arrive. With the wonderful offer of a nice cup of tea and promise of some home baked treats for later (these were cookies by the way). Soon I was joined by a local lady and a couple who had traveled from London.

My design started the night before the workshop, a terrible drawing on my phone. I then drew out a far better version when I got there, and decided to remove the rain drops. Mainly because I didn’t think I would have enough time but also because rain and hot air balloons don’t really mix…
Once I had figured out what my design was going to be, it was time to select my acrylic colours! There were a few sparkly options, so I knew I had to figure a way of using some of that.

I then cut out my paper templates and drew round these onto the acrylic protective film with a ballpoint pen. Then it was time to get the saw out and attempt to cut out the pieces making sure not to break too many blades (thankfully I only broke two). The key to this was to move the acrylic and not angle the saw, which is a lot harder than it sounds!

Once all of my pieces were cut out, it was time to finish off the edges. You smooth these out using metal files and wet/dry paper. Again there is quite the technique to doing this, making sure you don’t file too much but doing it enough to get rid of the cutting marks.

Finally it was time to piece it all together. Ruth advised on hole placement and created the holes for me. She also added the chain from the balloons to their baskets, clued the sun onto the cloud and then added the main necklace chain.

Here you can see my masterpiece in all it’s sunny glory! I’m pretty proud of this, from start to finish in only 4 hours.

It was such a wonderful experience and I hope to do it again soon. In fact, I’ve already booked myself onto the next one, however this time I’m taking a friend along with me.

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Kitty Quilt

Our lovely neighbours have a lovely kitten called Munchkin and we (more my husband) look after her from time-to-time. I said to her owner (Charlotte) that I would make her a kitty quilt at some point. Did Munchkin really need a quilt? No. Was I going to make one anyway? Of Course!

For this quilt I actually used some pre-cut squares I found in a Julian House charity shop. I bought 3 little bags of these squares but only really used one of them for this quilt. The dimple fleece backing was from a Hobbycraft fat quarter bundle.

This was the first time I had worked with smaller fabric pieces, I really enjoyed it actually. When stitched together I thought it looked very much like a Kaffe Fassett quilt due to the stunning mix of colours.

I was very happy with the final quilt, however I think next time I might but a thin layer of wading in between as I  felt it could of been a little ticker.

And finally, here is the lovely little Munckin enjoying her little quilt. I’ve been told that its been great for the chilly evenings 🙂

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Marvel quilt

This is a lovely little quilt I made for little Theodore’s first birthday.

I had previously bought a Marvel Comics III Charm Pack by Camelot Fabrics when out with my nan, so thought this would be a good enough opportunity to use it.

I also wanted to give it a bit of a personal touch. Now when creating this I didn’t have access to the dry cleaners whom also do embroidery. So… I gave it a go by hand! Now, I didn’t think it was too bad for my first attempt, but I must admit in future I think I might leave it to the industrial machines.

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Fairy tale dragons quilt

This time last year a friend asked if I could make a cot quilt for her son. Yes it really has taken me nearly a year to make it happen. To be fair I was still working on the whole ‘being a mum’ thing at the time.

Once my friend had decided on the theme (dragons) I started researching fabric asap! I discovered that Lewis and Irene had a Dragons collection and happened to find someone selling some fat quarter bundles of it on eBay.

After a few (quite a few) months and with the return of my creative spark, I managed to pull it all together. Even having some fabric to spare so I could make some cushion cover panels. My friend will be finishing them off.

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Apologies for the poor photographs, it was a very cloudy day when I took them and I really wanted to get this in the post to my friend.

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Back to it!

It’s been 13 months since my last blog post.

During that time I thought about posting on here, but for some reason those thoughts went no further. But now is the time to get back to it!

With my creativity returning and feeling the need to express my thoughts somewhere other than social, I think it’s time to get writing (and crafting) again.

Let me know in the comments if there is anything you’d be interested in me talking about 🙂

Helen
x

I now understand.

Before becoming a mum I recall reading stories in the papers or hearing on the news how a parent had shook their child so much that they had caused great harm or even worse, death.

How? How could they do such a thing? How could they bring themselves to that level?

I now understand.

I’ll be completely honest here, there have been moments during the first 2-3 months of my darling sons life that I scared myself. When you’ve had very little sleep, you’ve changed and fed them and still they cry. Those are the moments when you can feel it, those are the moments when it can cross your mind. I’ve thought a few times ‘just chuck him off the balcony’ ‘throw him across the room’. I bet you’re thinking how dare she say such things, but I’m not the only new mum out there to think them. The difference is I know that I won’t action them, the only time I scared myself was when I held Robin firmly in front of me and in a stern voice said “shut up”. I know that doesn’t sound bad but when it’s not in your nature to act that way, it’s scary. The moment when that happened I finally understood how people can crack and end up shaking their child. I never understood how easy it could be even for the nicest of people.

After speaking to friends and them admitting it had crossed their minds too, I didn’t feel as bad. Not that those thoughts are a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but it felt better knowing that I wasn’t alone.

Some good bits of advice given to me, if your child is pushing every single button and the anger grows:

“If your partner is at home, no matter what time of day or night it is, pass your child onto them. If you’re home on your own firstly put them down in a safe place and walk out of that room. Lock yourself in the toilet or something if you need to, then count slowly to 10. You may feel bad that your child is screaming at the top of their lungs but surely that’s better than you ending up doing something you’ll regret.”

 

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