Glitter joy.

glitter jarsWell what brought this about? Well I’m (finally) getting married this August, yes this August..that’s not far away in planning terms. As a song once went”money too tight to mention” and this has lead us too the D-I-Y weeding of the century. I’m no stranger to doing parties on the cheap..looks like pintrest, came from e-bay kind of thing. But this is hardcore, multiplied by a thousand.

Were going for bright laid back BBQ so I have confetti punches and round punches and glitter all over the house. So I started making the centrepieces. I have seen jars very similar to these in my local fancy department store selling for about £4.50 each.  But I thought I’ll give it a crack see how it goes. Was pleasantly surprised. Even though my kitchen has suffered.

This is a good thing to do with kids too , Rockette made some mess but on the whole did a good job after I touched it up.

All you need is old jars, PVA glue and some glitter. (look for big tubes at discount stores like b&m bargains for  £1.69 and e-bay etc as you do use a lot of it. I know paper chase have nice colours but your going to push doing even 1 jar with their little tubes.
DSC_0153First just squiggle the glue round the jar. If you wanted to do a half covered jar, you could always cover the point with masking tape for an extra neat finish (I was lazy)

Then get a paint brush, or like me a cheap plastic kids knife and distribute the glue evenly around the jar. One important point here. If you are doing a half jar, make sure you don’t have any glue on your fingers when holding the jar from the inside. Its very difficult, nigh impossible to remove later on.



On the first go we laid the glitter on the plate and rolled the glue in it. This didn’t give proper coverage. Its better to shake the glitter over it and let the excess catch in a plate underneath.










Let it dry. Let it dry then put on another coat of pva glue…thats it..looking good.

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Just make sure it’s evenly distributed, sometimes dabbing works better.

finished product

Not sure how robust they will be, but they have been sitting on the microwave for a couple of days with no probs.

Like I mentioned earlier, my kitchen suffered. Put down some sort of newspaper or cover. I can’t vacuum or mop it off the floor either . Im not complaining too much about it, it looks a bit magical.

messy kitchen


In the shop the big news is that I’m taking pre orders for Tula Pink Hardware! This is a first for the UK  (I know can you believe it?) If you wanted some awesome sewing gear just head on over to the shop!

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Im now on etsy!

To Pay pal or not to Pay pal has been a touchy subject when I was building the shop. If I included it, it would have made the website less clean, clunky and difficult as there was no program to automatically include it. But it’s been annoying me that I couldn’t include it . So the easiest way around that was to open up a fabric only store on Etsy.

etsy store

etsy store

To make things uncomplicated for now I’m only shipping to the UK via this site, if you are of International ilk and would like to purchase stuff. Or if you would like to purchase patterns and habdash it will still need to be placed via the shop www.the

Yay well that’s now done!

Kitty Lacy needs a utility belt.

It was world book day last week, Initially my lil rockette wanted to go to school dressed as Sleeping Beauty, which was a boring idea. So after a thought about what costume I could cobble together in a week I managed to convince her that maybe she could go as Kitty Lacey the hairdresser in the Fairytale Hairdresser series. Im not a massive fan of these books in one sense mainly because of the formula. All of the princesses have a problem (wicked witch, not human, evil step mothers etc.), normally they haven’t met their prince but after a make over and a new hair do, they do and they normally get married. She is really very effective.

Of course all is well now they are married, which makes me question what message am I giving my child. Why would any of these princess’ want a career or anything like that? (This why I prefer the book Interstellar Cinderella which is much better, she just wants to be a mechanic and refuses the princes proposal preferring to be head mechanic, it is brilliant).It is targeted at 4-6 year olds so I suppose I’m not the right kind of audience.

Even so, I still thought this was a better character than Sleeping Beauty… I stated my case as such , lets rationalise-, Kitty Lacy is an independent business owner and an expert in her field, she’s a problem solver and has a creative eye, which is perhaps why you should consider going as her for WBD Instead of that lazy Sleeping Beauty ,Rockette agreeded. The real reason I suggested this was because the costume is made up of jeggings, a t-shirt a blazer and a pair of boots. She has pink & purple hair which I sorted with pink & purple hairspray (she was thrilled with that!) So it took little effort.

Until I thought that she would need some sort of hairdresser utility belt to hold all of her tools in.



There was little on tutorials online for a hairdresser belt, so I made it up as I went along…

(Sorry about the bad photos it was late at night, the light isn’t great in my front room)

I cut two rectangles of contrasting fabric for the front and the back of the main pocket piece and then put some wadding in the middle. For this I just guessed the size on my child and then held it up against her to make sure it wasn’t too big or small.Lazy I know, but it’s not rocket science. I put that bit to one side.


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I then did the same with the front pocket, I cut a piece the same size as the first pocket, then folded it in half.  I sandwiched the two pieces with wadding and the sewed the lines to make the pockets. Again I just looked at what needed to go into the belt and made the pocket sizes accordingly. I finished the top part of the pocket with bias binding.



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Once this is done, I put the front pocket on top of the back and clipped bias binding all around it, except for the top and top stitched the binding to sew it all together. If you wanted to add an elastic loop to add some hair straighteners then do that at this stage. Fold the elastic in half and put it flat against the binding on the back.

bias top

To finish sew the bias binding to the top making sure you leave enough either end so it can be comfortably tied up.

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It came back in one piece but the hairdryer was too big and that ended up in her school bag.  It only took about an hour, piece of cake.

Is it to early for Eurovision chat?

On a different subject entirely, the UK entry has been selected for Eurovision and for once the public have voted for the best song. I liked this song by a long shot, fingers crossed the UK do better this year….but better than Australia? Doubt it, and I’ve just seen Russia’s entry and’s really very good and so is France’s. It’s only 2 months away and I’m already listening to my best of Eurovision play list & planning the party I’ll bring back this year.



May the felt be with you.

wpid-20151104_135218.jpgI’m sorry I didn’t realise how long it had been between posts. Hopefully this will be only for a short time and in a few weeks we can get back to normal. While there is still a lot of planning going on at Crafty Mastermind towers I have forced myself to not to work 24/7 and take a few hours away to do something relaxing and requires little effort.

I still have my mum’s gift to finish (yeah it’s now October so almost 3 months overdue) and there had been progress. But then a friend of mine was getting rid of an unusual craft book called Star Wars craft from his collection, and as Rockette is such a fan I thought I’d give it a crack.

But in the end I just took inspiration from the book and from Pintrest.  I started with a Wampa. In the book this was meant to be made by face cloths. I do have a ton or Ikea wash cloths, but I am also partial to a bit of felt so I just made it up, yes his rough and his horns are sewn badly but his cute and angry and quite a lot of comedy.


Inspired I took to Pintrest for ideas. Rockette loves Chewbacca so I found something kinda similar and then just cut in to the felt. Yeah I had no template or anything I just reckied the whole thing. I’m impressed they all turned out the same size (after a few cutting errors). Especially as they were mostly done after 11pm.


Princess Leia is my favorite, after I attached that roll neck, she looks weird without it.


Ok and my Ewok, bless him isn’t perfect but his cute.



They were all made with normal felt and sewn with normal thread all with a dodgy blanket stitch. They really didn’t use up a lot of felt at all .Rockette did try to sew some stuck the stitches in the wrong place and then got bored, maybe when shes a bit older..(and I’m not so precious about how they need to look) .

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Now I’ve got the itch to make more, but time poor. I’ll get round to Yoda next.

While on Star wars stuff I was in Carnaby Street yesterday and went past my favorite shoe shop in the whole world. (even though I haven’t actually bought anything from there yet, I need an occasion) and saw an amazing window display.


Yeah R2 D2 heels! God knows how your supposed to walk in them. I wouldn’t except on carpet only. There were more delights inside…


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Oh I can’t afford the likes of them (£110 for ballet pumps!) but for sheer creativity they are boss.


Just a bit of show and tell

wpid-20151011_104848.jpgIt was that time again, I prepared myself with a shit pair of boots, a bag that was too small, a phone with only half a battery and a sandwich that resembled a squashed wafer. Satisfied that I was well equipped ,off I took myself over to the knit and stitch show. I wasn’t expecting lots, which was good

I got there later (1pm) on a Thursday because I hate crowds. I hate throngs of people, I hate personal space invaders. Trying my best to avoid , but my best wasn’t not good enough, I was still crushed against haberdashery stands and  suffered bruising from aggressive Nan’s who hang out in gangs . But things began to settle after 3pm (My guess was some people needed getting home, countdown was just about to start ).

By about 3 I was bored, my eyes were overexposed, I had already criticised a self embroidering sewing machines and I hadn’t bought anything except some ruler grips..I know “gripping”.

Problem was it was all the same as previous years. Other than the odd new stall replacing the odd old stall, everything was a replica of last year. Aside from being proper impressed with the Merchant and Mills stand, which I’ve taken no photo of, almost everything else was uninspiring. Maybe I’m hard to impress.


Loving the movement of this liberty lawn

But the main purpose I mainly go to this mainly white ,female, over 30s show.. (snooze, doesn’t anyone else sew?) Is for the Eternal Maker and  Alice Caroline stalls. ( Alice Caroline trades in liberty  and I am all about the scraps for a  quid each. I also  bought some Alice in Wonderland fabric off bolt in very small measurements, it suits my tight arsed life model.




As I’ve been collecting bits over the last few years to make a quilt (and I only refill when I’m at the show) this was mainly my whole reason for going. They’re very nice too. Wish I’d spent more regrettably.


soz, should have ironed them.



ahhh all silky like

Like I said It was all a bit meh, anything else I went there for had already sold out (boring) I did pick up my Tiny dancers by Heather Ross finally. Which I plan on making a cheats fast dress whenever I can find a spare five fu*king minutes. That’s not happening soon. (Should I be doing that instead of this?..probably).


All in all it was a good day, even if the coffee was awful, I did meet a few nice stall holders, did buy some fabric and I did look at haberdashery which is the whole bloody point . It just needs some glitter or something to make it a bit more exciting..Magician maybe?



The joy of a birthday wreath

This will be part 1 of 3 for birthday news I’ll start with the easiest one making a birthday wreath.


I’ve made one of these before for christmas but that time it was with wool . As last time the idea for this  came from the book Everything Oz  by  Read-Baldrey & Leech. It is so easy and fast to make I think I finished it during an episode of Taskmaster (half an hour in earth time).

It’s not rocket science, just pin the back of the ribbon to the polystyrene ring. (note I bought my ribbon at 79p a meter and then found 15 meters in Tiger for a pound. It’s worth shopping around).

Then wrap it round until they meet.  I then cut down some fake flowers I bought (man fake flowers are expensive) and secured the base of each one with dress pins.  I had some mini cards so in they went and then I glued some photocopy pictures of Alice In Wonderland  to card stock and secured them with dress pins too.


The number 5 was reduced in Hobby craft so I just pined that one to the back.



I think it works better than the crappy foil banners you buy at every card store.


Before there was quilting

It took me into my 30’s to get into sewing/quilting . Before that I had a huge amount of creative energy with no real outlet. I tried drawing and painting (oh my god I suck more at that than knitting) , baking (as you all know I still do) and even scriptwriting (one completed script which I still think is funny and a lot better than a lot of dross that comes on film. Just wasn’t happy with the main story line.)


In the middle of all of this I did a stamp piece. I thought of this when I had gone past an art gallery widow a few days ago and someone had made something not as great, more like a Pantone chart and was changing £300 for it.

I had just moved to York from Australia in the early 2000’s and I was still half heartedly collecting stamps and postcards(Still do if I find a particullary bad one from the 70’s) .

I went past a small stamp shop that was selling huge bags of 1st and second class stamps for about £2. Kind of like a magpie, I was taken in by all of the colours in the massive bag and it was a bargain. I took it back to the shared house and spent the next 2 months cutting them all out neatly (a lot were still attached to corners of envelopes and postcards).

occasionally there would be a hidden gem printed on these.

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It made me think of the life of the letter, what was attached to the stamp? What secrets did it hold? Was the recipient please to receive the letter?

I painstakingly  glued each small square in a straight line and laid the out. I loved it. I have moved all over the UK and it has hung on my walls wherever I’ve lived.



As I’m putting together a rainbow quilt now I realised that this was my first quilt, my first paper quilt.


Office bunting


This week I was asked to whip up some bunting to decorate a colleagues desk who was finally escaping.


Still trying to get my stash levels down some of these fabrics I’ve had for a couple of years, so these projects are helping. Few hours later all done. I could make these things with my eyes closed.


Maybe I should do one for my desk, the slogans I could put on it are endless , though probably not approved by management.

Mojo only back temporarily, I spent 2 hours sewing in a shirt sleeve, upside down. Another hour in front of the t.v unpicking it all. I don’t even want to look at it for the time being.

And I just wasnt in the mood for trying to put more blocks together after getting about 4 done half heartedly in a few hours. I gave up and started watching Chennai Express (Bollywood films are always done in about 4 viewings).

In ride news

On an up note, finally got some tickets to see Ride at Brixton academy. Which I prefer as when I was a teen I had bought the video Ride live in Brixton in 1992, which I must have watched a hundred times (despite disliking live videos of any sort, I still find them boring). So when I first came to the UK I went to watch Stone Temple pilots at Brixton it was a big deal just being there.

So you can still get tickets now, which I’m not surprised about now that all of that insane over inflated 6 music hype is all gone.


Little by Little

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus the last two weeks, I’ve been doing a world of bit’s but not a load to write about. Most of my time has been filled up with trying to arrange a Hen’s do (past post) and trialing the wedding cake I’m baking for the event. It is taking up so much more time than I thought it would. Just trying to sort out the pop playlist is making me feel quite ill and cringe worthy…yes yes I’m a bit of a music snob and the list is reminding me of when I used to work in a shopping centre record store in the 90’s and had to listen to this kind of stuff ad infinitum. (just remember it’s not for me!).

So in light of all that, I’ll give you a round-up of the bits I’ve been doing.

The hen’s glitter top…


I saw this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess website    and said well instead of buying one of these tops for the Hen this will be easy to make. “WRONG!”

I sprayed temporary glue on it (5×5) and then just laid the sequins  inside the template (wish I had taken  a picture of that). Once I removed the template it looked great. Now I needed to sew every 4th sequin. Cracker what a nightmare, I am so bad at hand stitching this was hell. Sequins weren’t holding, I had wished I used the glue gun or just bought a small bottle of glue (like the instructions say, tight arse strikes again).

In the end I had to undo the whole surname as the stitching looked crap and start with the only template I had left which was smaller.

You know when you have an idea in your head that is so stupid and crazy that it may just work. I am so lazy and hate hand stitching and it will take me hours ,what about using the sewing machine?


Long and short of it was that it kinda worked but it was fiddly, sequins were flying off everywhere it took about two bloody hours, and for some weird reason the back-stitch didn’t want to work so I still had a bit of hand stitching to do. There are extra holes and I probably should have used a yellow thread instead of orange, but it was raining outside and I was carrying massive parcel of wadding so I couldn’t be bothered going to the shops.

Important lesson don’t sew the sleeve to the middle of the top…


It’s only for the evening it will be fine. I’m sure I’ll be picking up sequins for most of the night.

The Quilt

I have been working on Sarah Fielke’s Love Beads quilt as the wedding gift, which has been surprisingly easier to put together than I thought. Thinking I’d be clever while I was waiting for some fabric to arrive ,I would sew this in two halves…Im suffering for that now. Me and my bright ideas.

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More on that once it’s completed and given away.

The Fabric

I pre-ordered some Cotton and steel in December and it finally made its way to me…how exciting!


There’s a lot of music to write about so I’ll do a separate post for that shortly. For now I’ll leave you with these wise words. If you put deep heat on your neck and then touch your face it will give you an almighty burn and make your face bright red. This is not helpful when you’re at work in public view.





What I did on my holiday, the sequel.


In the last blog I wrote what the Aussie contingency were gifted. Now here we are with the UK recipients…

The crochet needle case...


This was by far and away the nicest tutorial I had seen for a needle case.

The tutorial was from one of my favorite blogs very berry handmade you can find the link here

It was more simple to make than I though as I had set aside a lot more time.The thicker upholstery fabric worked well but I did iron in some stabilizer anyway. Being thrifty I Frankensteined together a whole heap of Interfacing for the wadding but it made it pretty bulky. This is what happens when you get a bit lazy and don’t follow tutorial advice.

If I were to make this again I would make the pockets fit the needles more snugly and make them an exact measure. As soon as you turn it 90 degrees the needles start to fall out.


But the thing I loved most, so much so I almost kept it…


I had spent a lot of time looking around pintrest for table runner inspiration and not really finding “the one” . From some random recess of my brain I thought about turning Anna- Maria Horner’s feathers quilt  into a table runner instead and only doing a few blocks! Genius!

I have wanted to make this for a lonnng time, in it’s quilt form. The tutorial can be  found on Anna Maria Horner’s website.

While trying to find the right fabric for the project (I love doing that!) I tried to look for as many leaf themed fabric I could find in my stash (I know it’s supposed to be feathers) which surprisingly was quite a few.

This was a brilliant stash buster project, the only fabric I needed to buy was the white backing. (Even the wadding on the inside was excess from another quilt).


The construction is quite straight forward, it’s just sewing lines of random size fabric together and then cutting on an angle. As usual I messed up on the seams in parts, but they were easily repaired. It turned out better than I thought it would, even if the feathers were uneven at the ends. I like to think of it as charming.



I would like to make a bigger version on this whenever it is I have the time.

Happy Australia Day to everyone for this coming Sunday! I’m praying my oven is fixed by then to make some Lamington’s and crossing my fingers for no rain at my outdoor winter BBQ.