It's Saturday Already...

Saturday 28 July 2012
Where had the week gone?  After a shopping trip this morning with Baby L, we settled down the watch the Olympics this afternoon as a family and cheer on Team GB with our London cupcakes!

I am starting to collect some fab bits to make cards and scrapbooks with.  I will post on the blog in a few days my creations!

I found these stickers and accessories in Monsoon, see link. They are really good quality and with a few cutters, gel pens I am looking forward to getting on...

I have some recipes I am working on for you which I am testing on my family and at the moment  also trying to make some curtains for the bedrooms. Plus with lovely weather and the Olympics I look forward to creating whenever I can!!

I hope that you are enjoying my creative posts.... I am thinking of what to write for next week already...

Union Jack Greetings in Red, White and Blue

Friday 27 July 2012


 British Love Through and Through!

With just three pieces of cotton fabric, a pack of Letraset and some hearts I found in a craft store - oh and a sewing machine, I created this Union Jack card to wish my wonderful husband Happy Anniversay!

I hope I have inspired you to open up your sewing box and make a Union Jack card to say 'I love you' in a very British fashion.

London Cupcakes

Thursday 26 July 2012
London Cupcake

With less than 24 hours before the games, make some red,white and blue cupcakes and sit back tomorrow and watch the games begin!

Time to celebrate all things London


125g butter
125g caster sugar
125g self raising flour
2 free range eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter cream icing
125g butter
125g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of milk

12 teaspoons of strawberry jam
Tube of blue icing for decoration

Makes 12 cakes

Cupcake cases - Union Jack theme of course
Cupcake Tin

Let's create...

  • Preheat the oven to 200c and put the cupcake cases in the tin.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one by one and beat.
  • Sift the flour and the baking powder into the mixture and fold in firmly until all mixed in.
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cakes.
  • Bake for 20 mins or until a knife comes clean out of one of the cakes. They should be golden on top and not biscuity!
  • Cool the cakes down on a cooling rack and then they are ready to ice!
To ice...
  • Put the butter in a bowl and whisk with a electric whisk until it is soft, slowly add the icing sugar slowly.
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract to the mixture.
  • Cut the centre out of the middle of the cupcake and spoon in the jam. Put the sponge back on top of the cake and pipe the icing onto the cake. Finish with the blue icing drizzled on top and finish with a London topper. 
And your ready to celebrate!!

Half cupcake / half chocolate brownie

Wednesday 25 July 2012
Best of both cakes..mmmm.

Well, I love vanilla sponge cakes and brownies can sometimes be too dry. This is my own recipe which goes down a treat with the family. I made these in 15 minutes plus 25 minutes in the oven.

Makes about 20.

Half vanilla cupcake / half chocolate brownie...


100g self raising flour
50g coco powder
100g ground rice
2 level teaspoons of baking powder
100g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of milk

2 x 20cm square cake tins (or similar)

Let's create! ....

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease both cake tins.

Then cream together with a hand mixer the sugar and butter so that the mixture is creamy and fluffy and light.

Beat each egg into the creamed mixture.

Then add the vanilla extract.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and ground rice into the mixture folding in (not whisking, folding get just enough air)

Then add the milk and fold again.

Pour the mixture into cake tins and in the over for 25 mins or until a knife can be put into the cake and pulled out clean.

Rest for 5 minutes out of the over and then place on cooling racks. Slice when cool and add icing sugar.

Store in an air tight container.


Baby Feeding Apron / Sling

Monday 23 July 2012
I didn't come across a feeding apron until Baby L was three months old. You can buy them for about £25 but this one took one hour to make one afternoon when Baby L was sleeping.

I have used it again and again, even taking to Italy with me and using it as a sling to carry her around in in the heat of the day. The most practical thing I made in the last eight months!

Why I love it?
  • The beauty about a feeding apron is that you can see baby down the curved opening at the top but no one can see you or baby. Very discreet. 
  • Baby always has an eye on you as she looks up.
  • You can feed stranding up and wrap the fabric around baby.
  •  You don't need to spend on feeding tops as this is discreet and money saving.

You will need ....
  • A piece of fabric measuring 100 cm x 130 cm in a soft cotton drape fabric
  • Sewing thread (self colour) I always use Gutermann sewing thread
  • 2 x 'D' rings (most haberdashery stores have these)
  • 40 cm corset boning, the plastic version
  • Ribbon or bias trimming for the edge over the boning
Go Create!...

1. Cut out your fabrics

  You will need to measure and out three pieces to the following measurements -

Apron -
 85 x 130cm
15 x 30 cm and 15 x 75cm

2. Stitch the Apron

  Turn all edges except the top in and turn twice and tack. Then over stitch each side and pull the ends through for a good finish. You are left with a rectangle. Press.

3. Stitch the Ties

  These are the ties and tie around the neck to create the curve at the neck line so as you feed you can see baby.

Short Tie - Stitch with the right sides together. Turn and press. You have two raw edges which will be stitches into the top of the apron.

Long Tie  - Take the longest piece and put the right sides together. To create a point at one end by stitching diagonally across the corner. Stitch down the raw edges together. Turn and press. You have one raw edge which will be stitches into the top of the apron.

4. Stitch in the Boning
  Take your boning and centre and stitch with a zigzag stitch to the wrong side of the top of the apron. This will be turned and turned again to create and tidy edge.

5. Stitch the Apron Ties on

  Turn the top of the apron in and tack and press.

Take the short tie and fold double to make a loop then take the D rings and thread through. Tack this 15cm from the top left edge (right side forward) so the tie will be trapped in the seam and the D rings are secure.

Take the long tie and tack the raw edge in top seam 15cm from the right seam. Please adjust to fit your neckline. These measurements worked for me.

You now are ready to top stitch and secure the ties in place. Then thread the long tie through the D rings like a traditional apron.

D rings on the short tie with the long tie threaded through.              

I top stitched around each tie to make it extra durable


And finish with a cute trim...

This trim was actually the tie for Baby L's first towels so keep your eyes peeled!

The apron neck line complete with boning, ties and fancy trim

  A great gift for an expecting mother or a new mum wanting to get out and about with little one.

 To use as a sling

 ....wrap around baby and tuck under babies back and legs. Always support baby under her body.She can look out of the top of the apron at you.

'B is for Bunny' Nursery Canvas

Sunday 22 July 2012
Hop, Hop, Hop!

Using four pieces of fabric, a little hand stitching and Bondaweb, I created this lovely canvas for Baby L's nursery in one evening. Is is 20 cm /8 inches square. The canvas is bought already stretched onto a wooden frame so all you need to do is create away. Here is how in three easy steps...

You will need -
  •  1 x 20cm square pre-stretched canvas
  •  Four pieces of contrast fabrics
  •  Packet of Bondaweb
  •  Embroidery Threads -   
    • DMC Perle 5 in two colourways 
    • DMC Mouline stranded cotton in one colourway
  •  Sewing Pins
  •  Embroidery Needle
  •  Grease proof paper
  •  Sewing Scissors
  •  Paper Scissors
Go Create...!

1. Templates

  I chose a theme of nature which you will see in many of my posts. I chose a classic rabbit motif and a leaf. For the letters I enlarged one on the photocopier and then cut it out. The leaf shape was also created as a template. Once I had my three templates I then cut these out of grease proof as you can see your fabric pattern through the paper!
   The templates were then pinned on fabrics and cut out.

2. Bondaweb

  The fabric was then ironed onto Bondaweb using a piece of greaseproof to protect your iron. The backing paper was then taken off. The the rabbit, letter and leaves for ironed straight onto the canvas. The greaseproof paper between your design and your iron stops any melted glue from seeping through.
A piece of fabric was cut as strip and Bondawebed onto the canvas 

3.  Stitching

  I used three coloured embroidery threads, red, soft green and white and the stitches open chain, french knot and running.
Diagrams are on the link below -
Running stitch around the leaves and open chain in green to make the stem.

Detail of the leaves
 Your creation is finished for you nursery. If you want to use the templates I have used please email me.

Baby Red Cat Note Book (Picasso Influenced!)

Saturday 21 July 2012
With all the tiny little things that Baby L is now doing, I decided to make a record of these in a note book. To make it unique in a few hours I covered a note book with a personalised cover to keep the notes preserved for the future.

First of all take a piece of calico fabric or similar, it needs to be strong as we are going to stitch on it. I stretched it over the book's hard backed cover and around the spine and secured with a few stitches on the inside front and back covers to the page a sew on pocket. I then went around the edge of the book and stitched the fabric taught.

Funky Cat was cut out and then ironed onto Bondaweb ( see earlier posts for how to use Bondaweb) and then the backing paper was peeled off and the Kitty was ironed onto the book. I used DMC Mouline threads in red and white to stitch on with running stitches the Kitty's face.

A few buttons were stitched on in red.

To close the note book a set of D rings (used for curtain tie backs} were stitched to the front and back of the book and ribbon was added to these to tie close.

Satin ribbon was sewn on onto the canvas with running stitch to compete the project!

Keep those secrets safe with our memory note book!

Vintage Tea Party China

Derby, UK
Ohh, very pretty and very vintage. 

Proper china cups. I picked up a few sets (including sugar bowls, cream jugs etc) from charity shops for a song. Oh, so happy!

Vintage shops are expensive and you pay £5 for one cup and saucer set verses a whole set of six place settings in your local charity store. Plus you can serve your tea the old fashion way and if it get broken - that's cool, it's not your favourite from your wedding bottom draw!

Add a few flowers to a pretty cup

They look cute just stacked on the side too
Lovely for tea but as flower vases, candle holders and soap dishes. The saucers are great plant stands to jazz up a plain plant pot. I even use little saucers for butter dishes, they lok quirky and always start a conversation!

How do you use yours?


Rabbit Nursery Laundry Bag

Derby, UK

With all the washing and more washing with Baby L...

 I decided that a pretty laundry bag was in order. How can I use a laundry bag that is plain and functional!

This project took me a few hours (all not together) to make.

You will need -

1 linen bag for life 
20 cm square pieces of old fabric in red, beige, green
40cm strip of fabric to stitch across the top
1 reel of organza ribbon
Sewing threads in re and beige
6 buttons
Embroidery threads in red, green and cream ( I used DMC Perle 5 in green and cream and DMC Mouline in red)
Sewing needle
Embroidery needle
Dress making pins
Dressmaking scissors
Paper craft scissors

Let's create! ..

Getting started with Bondaweb ...

First of all I bought a plain bag for life cotton bag, then traced on greaseproof paper the shape of a leaf and a rabbit. I then pinned the greaseproof paper to my rabbit shape and cut him out. Now to introduce Bondaweb by Vilene (available from most good craft stores).

Take the fabric rabbit shape and trace around it onto the back of the Bondaweb. Then iron the wrong side of the rabbit to the Bondaweb and let a few seconds to set. The peel the backing paper off and you are ready to iron on the Rabbit to your bag.

Tip - I always put a piece of greaseproof paper between the fabric and the iron as the glue of the Bondaweb can sometimes get on your iron. You now have you rabbit motif to decorate. I decorated this with DMC Mouline thread in blanc - a few french knots for a tail and whiskers and you are off!  

... and lots of leaves.

I made a few leaves in exactly the same way as the rabbit and ironed them on - such a quick result. Then for ribbon leaves. Take your Bondaweb and lay on the back strips of ribbon so they just touch edge to edge. Then iron the Bondaweb on in the same way as per the rabbit and peel off the backing paper. Iron this ribbon leaf onto your bag.

Add an off cut of fabric as a strip along the top (with small hand stitches) and a cute little contrast bow.

Now for a bit more of embroidery...
To finish off your bag and make it look really personal, dig out your needle case and stitch using three stitches, running, open chain, french knot.  Link below to diagrams.

I used DMC Pearl 5 in Soft Green and Cream and a DMC Mouline in Red (666) in three stitches.

Then some buttons and a bow...

I rooted in my button box for a few buttons and beads to add onto the bag and then last Easter's chocolate Swiss Easter bunny bow! The colour was perfect red and finished off my rabbit design.

Handkerchief Bunting

Thursday 19 July 2012

Handkerchief Bunting - how cute...

What a lovely way to use all those hanky's that Grandma bought me. First of all press them into a triangle and arrange in colours tones (all the pinks together etc) then it is easy, just tie them at each corner.

Quick and easy and display those pretty hanky's!

Handkerchief Bunting perfect for a garden party..

and what about using napkins as a larger bunting? Pin the triangles together with pearl headed pins...

In the Kitchen With Thifty Pesto

Wednesday 18 July 2012
Tonight, whilst making the dinner and feeding baby L, I made thifty pesto. Thifty Pesto is a fab addional to the fridge as you can add it to most things! I spread it on toasted breads, add it stews as well as stir through pasta (which most supermarket versions recommend). Make it really thick and you can always add some oil to make it runnier to stir through pastas.

The variety I made and is now sitting in our fridge is a green pesto with mixed nuts. The recipe is easy -
Ingredients -
2 white onion's
1 bunch basil
1/2 clove of garlic
tablespoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of dried basil (dried herbs are good, a different taste from the fresh versions)
100g mature cheese (has to be strong)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
75grams of mixed nuts
nut oil to saute
salt and pepper to taste

To make is easy -
Chop the onions up into small cubes and saute in the nut oil with the dried basil. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir and leave to cool.
Add the peeled garlic, basil leaves, cheese and olive oil to mixing bowl.
Take the onions and add to the other ingredients.
With a hand blender and a tea towel to cover the top of the bowl, blend until mixture looks smooth but will still some texture.

Season to taste and enjoy...

We will be having thrify pesto for the next few days in different disguises!

Let's Get Started ....

As a new mum of a beautiful 8 month old daughter, I have little time to create and make something beautiful for my new family, but I make time and this is what I create and make.

The easy option is to buy everything; from the clothing and decorations for my family, to the food we put on the table. I live within a 5 mins car drive from 3 - 4 hypermarkets so I could, but I don't and with little time I give you ..

Create it Mummy...enjoy!