Wednesday, 31 October 2012

It's my day to be WICKED!!!!!!!

Whoo hoo - have been so excited about this hop:

you might want to grab a cup of tea (I'm English don't you know!) as this is going to be a long post!

Remember for the Leafs Me Happy hop I said I was limiting myself to only one block as I am amassing a huge pile of these mini quilts (the scarecrow was my 19th!) well that all went completely out of the window for this hop.  Probably because I love Halloween stuff or probably because I am just plain wicked - you decide!

Anyway my head was spinning with two ideas - I wanted a haunted house block and skeleton block - I started with the house:

I got a cut out of a sizzix haunted house and drew it larger by hand onto some freezer paper then drew a circle around it with a side plate.  I then ironed on the freezer paper and cut out the moon, windows and house outline from the black material and added some yellow fabric behind.  I then just straight stitch appliqued around the edges - this seems to be my go to favourite method of applique at the moment - I didn't have time to hand applique all my blocks and I am not keen on the blanket stitch my Bernina has, didn't fancy a zig zag either so straight was the way to go!  I then decided the block needed a bit more (I was still trying hard to keep my blocks minimalistic as I do have a tendency to go overboard with embellishments and little extras but with what I had planned there was just too much so simplicity was key!).  However there was far too much yellow space for me so a T!m Holtz witch was the solution - this is actually from his mask and not his die - I placed it on freezer paper, drew the outline and then ironed and cut it out of black fabric - then attached it the same way as the house.

One block down onto the next...

How cute is he!  Found the picture on the internet - cobbled it together onto freezer paper and cut it out all in one piece of white fabric.  I then stitched around all his bones and ribs etc to give him features.  Eyes and nose are appliequed on the top and the mouth is stitched on.

By now I am on a roll and there is no stopping me:

Next came a cat who flies amongst the graves
Along with a ghost who has arms like sea waves

Then a pumpkin with a liking for hats
Followed closely by lots of flying bats

Then a witch flying high through the air
Followed by Frank - don't they make a nice pair!

And finally last, but certainly not least
A web that is home to a big scary beast:

Told you I went a bit overboard didn't I!  The reason I did nine was because I decided that we all needed a nice quilt to cuddle under on All Hallows Eve:

Here it is bound with some left over halloween fabric I had from a kit I bought in the States in June.  Also you will spot I added stitches to Frank's face - much better now!

I was going to leave you all in peace now and ask you all to come back tomorrow to see the back of this wicked creation but I have decided that that would just be too ghastlie of me!

So here it is:

whoo hoo finally got to use some of the ghastlie material I have been hoarding!  I have come to realise that I have the same aversion to patterned materials as I have to patterned paper and that is I find them so hard to use!  Give me a blank canvas and plain material/cardstock and the world is my oyster and my imagination is unstoppable but patterns - gosh where to start? As soon as you cut them you lose half of the pattern - so they take me way out of my comfort zone!  As you can see from this I didn't change anything much but just cut out the pictures I liked and framed them with grey - but can you see that I have had a go at free motion quilting?? can you ?? so exciting!

Here is a close up:

sorry it's a rubbish picture - but I have quilted it with frankenstein stitches! Very pleased with myself although doesn't it take an age! I had no idea.  Anyway I quilted this side only to the wadding - not sure if that's right or not but I didn't want the stitches coming through on the wicked side and as it's just me bumbling along teaching myself quilting in the comfort of my dining room I just decided to go for it.  I then bound the wicked side to the ghastlie side with a black edging.

This was finished last Thursday and me and my two boys have been cuddling up underneath it in front of the tv since then so much so I had to iron it take the final photos!

Thank you for keeping up with me this far - sorry it's such a long post, also a big thank  you to Wicked Wendy and Head Witch Madame Samm for putting together and organising all of this hop.

My fellow halloween hoppies today are:

Please go check them all out and show them some spooky love.

Thanks for looking - All spooked out from Solihull

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A sign that Christmas is on its way.....

I have been playing with my sizzix dies again and I discovered that with a little bit of imagination and fussy cutting I could turn these:

into this:

isn't it cute! also see what I did with my blog post title there too?  tee hee.  Obviously feeling very inspired this morning!  After a few more hours play I got this:

I used T!ms snowflake stamps from the mini Holidays 2 stamp set and inked them up with versamark, covered them with clear embossing powder and then inked over the whole card with Stormy Sky distress ink.  The sleigh I had prepared beforehand by cutting up the above sign pieces, covering the black cardstock with orange inka paint (I do have gold but the orange just looked a lot better), inked it gently around the edges with Vintage Photo and then filled it with lots of sizzix presents from their Gifts sizzlets strip die.  The reindeer is from T!ms Reindeer Flight die set and he is cut from kraft card and inked with Vintage Photo, finished with bling for his eye and nose, some cut down tinsel and red/white striped twine for his ropes. 

The houses are just cut from black card and covered with paint and glitter to look like snow.

Here is a quick tutorial on how I get my snowy effects on dark cardstock:

Get your black diecut:

Load a paintbrush with a white paint or gesso and then drag it from front to back over the areas you want to have snow on:
(sorry its a bit blurred - bit early in the morning for my OH!)

Then sprinkle it liberally with glitter and leave for a few minutes:

Then give it a good shake and you should get this:

the dark cardstock will be covered up nicely with no greyness.  If you want to add more snow use stickles and then more glitter over the top.

Hope you have enjoyed my Sunday morning inspiration card - sorry the pictures aren't the best but it's a dark overcast morning here in England and there is only so much my daylight bulbs can do!

Thanks for looking - Showing the Signs from Solihull

edited to add - I have just seen that this post has been selected as one of T!ms blogworthy holiday links - whoo hoo - how cool is that!  If you want instructions of how to make the sleigh using T!ms sign die please email me or leave a comment (please ensure that I can reply to you via email) and I will send you a pdf. Thanks and Happy Christmas!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Someone I follow I noticed has entered this:

so I have decided to enter a quilt too.

I haven't been sewing quilts for long - ok I did a couple a few years ago when my boys were little, but really its only been since I finished a Mandy Shaw hand quilted quilt this year that I suddenly have gone mad and made six large bed size quilts and numerous small quilts - yes all since May.

Anyway I thought I would enter this quilt into this festival:

You need to enter a quilt with a story so here is mine: I discovered quilt blog hopping in June and took part and showcased my first quilts in July.  Since then I have made 28 quilts (19 have already been showcased and my next 9 are due to be showcased on Wednesday).  This one is part of my second blog hop - Think Christmas.  I won a fabulous prize of 32 fat quarters of wonderful Christmas fabrics which took seven weeks to arrive from across the pond (Canada to England) so you can imagine the excitement when they finally got here! 

Until then I had never realised that there was such a fun set of quilters out in the big wide world (I get together with 3 or 4 friends regularly to sew and we go to quilt shows together (yesterday been one of those days!) but other than that I haven't particularly looked further afield.  My online friends (which are many) are mainly all papercrafters which is the other creative passion of mine.

However since July I have found a wonderful new community of friends - again both online and in real life - who encourage, help, guide and share this wonderful hobby with me.  It's such fun - it's just a shame I now need a bigger house to keep all my quilts in!

My quilt details are:

Measurements: 12.5" x 12.5"
Techiques used: Dyed fabric, appliqueing of my own designs, yoyos for snowman (had only just worked out how to make these!)
Quilted by: Me
Best Category: Favourite applique quilt, favourite home machine quilted quilt, favourite quilt photo, favourite mini quilt and favourite wall hanging (I can't wait until 1st December when I can hang this on my wall to look at everyday for five weeks!).

The link to the festival is here at Amys Creative Side - such a wonderful blog to have found!

Thanks for looking - All shopped out and inspired from the Quilt show yesterday from Solihull

Friday, 26 October 2012

Guess where I am going?

Malvern Quilt show!

It's today - whoo hooo

Sew I am off shopping with the girls - whooooooo hoooooooooooo

Thanks for looking - Sew Excited from Solihull

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Thought I would join in again today as I am having a day crafting at home (after a trip to Starbucks for coffee and cake with friend!) but the next few weeks I am busy on other blog hops (I know - I get around!) so here is my dining room table as of yesterday afternoon:

PC is turned as I have finally taken the plunge and started some free motion quilting (have only wobbled a quilt around under the needle in a random pattern before) - the quilt I am sewing you can just in the foreground there and so is the orange piece behind it (don't worry it won't clash - it's all been planned out!) this is for a "Wicked" quilting blog hop I am on next week.  Another tag has been added to the birdcage which is for T!ms October tag challenge - that's shown on the post below and yes all the other skulls I made last week are still in pile on my desk by the big shot - takes me ages to clear away!  The sheet of paper with houses on was used in my next class I am teaching at the crop - see it's been a busy week!  desk is slightly tidier this morning due to having to spread the quilt out but not much!

If you want to join in the fun and showcase your workspace to the world then pop over to Julias.  Anyone else going to Malvern on Friday?  (whoo hoo) or the NEC in November? (double whoo hoo).  Can't wait to go to both although I not only have no money I also have no space for new stuff! oh well.

Thanks for looking - Still Busy Being Wicked from Solihull

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

T!ms October Tag

Well this has taken me an age - it took me a week to decide on how to incorporate a British theme into this months tag! In the end I went for a map of the British Isles using a template I made earlier in the year and modelling paste - I love this effect as its all bumpy and looks just like land when finished.

I didn't have Black Alcohol Ink (oh woe is me!) but I did have Slate which I think makes a fabulous gravestone colour - dont you all agree? the graves are cut using T!ms on the edge gravestone die and then cut up into individual graves.  I then used Wild Plum alcohol ink for the letters which are cut using T!ms alphabet die.  The ticket is also one of T!ms and is held on with a paperclip that I think is supposed to be an apple but I dyed it with Sunset Orange and Bottle alcohol inks and put it on backwards so now its a pumpkin! (there is a leaf on the front which is how I am still able to use it as a clip so I haven't had to glue it down or anything - neat eh!).

The background is done with 7 Gypsies tissue paper which is of a London newspaper (so helps towards the British theme too!) but mine is coloured with dylusions sprays (how fabulous are these!) in Pure Sunshine and Crushed Grape and I inked around the edges with Black Soot.  The land is coloured with Frayed Burlap and Mowed Lawn inks.  The skull I made last week using my melt pot and a skull mould that I found in Poundland - the twine I have been hoarding for ages and haven't yet used so I popped that on the tag rather than dyeing ribbons to match which is what I normally do.

Hope you all like it!  I like to look at this and think that I live in the dead centre of the world - hee hee hee.  It's also strategically positioned in front of my Trick or Treat countdown box and for those of you who are following the childrens daily delights with this will be pleased to know that every day so far has been a treat for them!  Yay.

Thanks for looking - Feeling spooky from Solihull

Saturday, 20 October 2012

So was it a Trick or a Treat?

Today is the first day of my gravestone trick or treat countdown:

you can't see the lights behind the house or graves very well as its still daylight - but anyway today was a:

Treat - yay!

Thanks for looking - still sewing from Solihull

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Well here is my bomb site this very dark autumn morning:

as you can see I am still in a sewing phase, I will be joining in with a Wicked Blog Hop on the 31st so I am busy preparing for that which is why there is a plan strategically placed over my blocks! Other than that its much the same here - not many more tags on my bird cage as I havent been making many and that cute little trash bin on my desk was a find in Poundland.

So who is going to Hobbycrafts at the NEC in a couple of weeks then?  I am going on the Thursday and will be meeting up with Hettie so does anyone else want to join us?  If you want to know why I am showing my workspace to the world then pop over to Julias where all will be revealed.

Thanks for looking - busy being Wicked from Solihull

edited to add - I forgot! I am going to the Malvern Quilt Show next week on the 26th - is anyone going there too?

edited yet again to add:

I am so easily distracted! so much for the sewing I was planning to do!  arent those skulls just fabulous though! found the mould in Poundland yesterday - honestly what did we do before poundland???  I have also managed to visit the first 100 of you all today too - busy, busy, busy.....

Monday, 15 October 2012

Too busy to blog

Have had a busy few days since DS2's birthday - I spent the whole day in school Thursday helping a textile artist put together a quilt made by the children, Friday was my art class, lunch out and by then school pickup and then Saturday and Sunday we spent two days at Legoland - one of the highlights of which was finding:

who were tucked away in the middle of London street scene, we also spent ages looking for the dalek in Centre Point but he has now disappeared!  Lots of ghosts around too although I don't seem to have a photo of those now I am back!

Do have this one though:

which is the birthday boy peeking out from inside the new Star Wars exhibit.

I also wanted to showcase my prize winnings from the Think Christmas blog hop way back in July.  The goodies were posted out to me on 24th August and took a whopping 7 weeks to get here!  Still they arrived safely on little ones birthday with both me and the postman doing a happy dance upon their safe arrival!  I felt like it was my birthday too!

can't wait to get cracking on making something with these but at the moment I am knee deep with Wicked things for the next blog hop (the "only making one" idea has gone well and truly out of the window for this hop) but then I love all things spooky so its only understandable really!

A big hello and thank you to my newest follower Helen, and I wish you all a lovely day of craftiness.  I am about to nip out and meet the other Mums for our Monday morning coffee and am then off to a Harvest Festival at little ones school (which means no aquafit which I really could have done with going to after a three course meal on Saturday and cooked breakfast yesterday! oh well there is always tomorrow).  Then this afternoon I can get inky and stitchy - whoo hoo.

Thanks for looking - Lego'ed out from Solihull

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Look who's eight

with his much wanted Darth Vader quilt - the middle section is done by printing off a black and white image of Darth, placing it over the black material and just sewing around the lines with white thread - had never done this before and I was thrilled with the results - I spent ages (basically since June) wondering what to do with the Star Wars material as I wanted to do something really fancy but in the end I decided it was far too fussy to cut up and that he would love it regardless of how complicated or simple the pattern was so I just cut it up into 7" strips and put it around the sides.  Still took me a week to complete the quilt though!

Here is the back (even simpler!):

where I just used the material as is.  It was a good call as he loves it and I am glad he has had it for this birthday when he can appreciate it and not for his eighteenth which is probably when I would have finally settled on a pattern and completed it if I had gone that way!

Here is his card:

again based on the sketch over at Mojo Monday but made too late to enter into their challenge - he claims I paid for it (in other words bought it from a shop) - high praise indeed from an eight year old!

Thanks for looking - Mom to the birthday boy from Solihull

Saturday, 6 October 2012

International Card Making Day part 2

I have had time to do another card! whoo hoo

This one will become a workshop hopefully on the 26th November so if you are interested let me know - I will email out details shortly though:

Again lots of T!m goodness on this one along with a super snow stamping technique.

Again I would like to enter this into the three challenges I have found for International Card Making Day:

Again thanks for looking, Off to do the party washing up from Solihull

International Card Making Day

Today has been a busy one for me as its my little boys birthday next Wednesday so we have been busy all morning and afternoon preparing and having a family party for him.  However as it's International Card Making Day, and I haven't made a card for ages, I thought I would grab the opportunity to make a quick card this morning whilst he and his Dad went into town to get the free lego in the paper (which turns out isn't today at all! oh well).  Here is the card I have made for my OH's sister whose birthday is next week too:

I used up some Basic Grey Lime Rickey bits and pieces, a piece of washi tape (finally - whoo hoo!), Spiced Marmalade distress ink and a Whimsy Stamp for the greeting.

Even though its only a really clean, quick and simple card it still took me over an hour!  Hopefully I will get a chance to play a bit later and make DS2 his birthday card too!

This card is based on the sketch over at so I would like to enter it into their challenge and also I have spotted three other challenges specific to International Card Making Day so I would like to enter it into those too:, and

Thanks for looking - Party Girl from Solihull

Friday, 5 October 2012

A scrapbook layout

believe me these rarely happen in my house these days - I seem to craft most days but at the moment not on scrapbook layouts - however I have had this title on my mind since seeing it on a school leavers sweatshirt in Disneyland in June, and as it involved 2012 I thought I ought to get the layout done this year!

as you can see I have managed to use up one whole sheet and about 5" off another sheet of paper from my mountainous stack of patterned papers - still Rome wasn't built in day eh!

Papers used are Penny Lane Passion - swirly bird and Robin's eggs based on a page map sketch.  I then used crimson and coffee archival ink, frayed burlap distress ink, a Stampin Up notebook punch, Fiskars school stamps, 7 Gypsies "Friends" stamps, Stampers Anonymous "Life's Possibilities" stamps.  I also used a T!m ticket, Wendy Vecchi's wall stencil, red wooden heart, metal owl embellishment, T!ms mini attachers and I had to finish off with a swirl of red twine - have no idea whether this is still in vogue or not but I still love them!  I love the title I saw on the american sweatshirt "Class of 2012 - do you wish you were ONE TWO" which I changed to say don't. Photo is of DS1 holding his first Junior school picture on his last day at the same Junior school - such a sweet idea I thought.

Whole layout only took me a couple of hours on Sunday but I think it has rekindled my love of scrapping as I now fancy doing another one (after all I do have 170 photos of our Disney trip printed out to get on with).  We shall see, although I do have a busy weekend ahead as its DS2's birthday next week so its party, party, party at the moment!  Bless.

I would also just like to say a big hello and thank you to my newest followers:  Jean, Char, TwoOldDuffers (what a fab name!), April and Teresa - welcome aboard my rollercoaster of crafting.

I have also been busy this week both starting and finishing (I know!) a quilt for DS2's birthday - will post that next week on his big day - all I have to say about that at the moment is "May the Force be with you" so you have some idea of it's theme!

Thanks for looking - worn out from Forest School in Solihull

Monday, 1 October 2012

Leafs Me Happy blog hop

Leafs Me Happy Schedule

Oooh today's the day!  I have so enjoyed creating this quilt:

This is called "I'm Not Scared" as I thought a birdie resting on a scarecrows arm was a cute idea.  Don't you just love the scarecrows carrot button nose and I also gave him a bowler hat to make him look English.  The Union Flag was added as an afterthought (in fact I found it lying on my craft table!) and thought it made a nice patch for his coat.
To build up the leaves at the bottom, I sewed them on in stages.  This was the first stage where I had just ironed all the main background pieces into place using Heat n Bond:

I then sewed around all the edges using a brown thread like thus:

I joined all the leaves on this layer together as I knew that the stitch lines would be covered up by the next set of leaves.  I added another set of six leaves on top of this layer and stitched in the same way.  For my last layer I ironed on all the leaves but then went round them all individually.  I finished the quilt by adding the birdie and the scarecrows facial features.
I would have loved to have created more quilts - in fact I did design a few more and also had cut out lots more leaves (these ones are cut using nestibility dies although handcut ones would look just as nice), but as I am already amassing a huge pile of small quilts after only being in three blog hops and I am also signed up for the Wicked Hop and the Holiday Lane hop I decided to just stick at one - very disciplined if you ask me!
To join in and follow all of my other blog hoppers today please click on the following links:

Monday 1
Sunshine Girl - this is me

 To view the whole schedule then please go to Cherrys blog at I would just like to say a big thank you to Cherry for organising this hop and cheering us all on and also a big thank you to Madame Samm who does a lot of organising and cheering on from the sidelines too.

Thanks for looking - Not scared either from Solihull