Monday 30 July 2012

Its nearly time.....

for the Great British Blog Hop - I have been busy beavering away in my craft room these past few days and have made five items for the above blog hop (my showcase day is Thursday) and I have also managed to find time to make three tabletop quilts for the "Think Christmas" blog hop (my showcase day for this is Saturday) so I have been having lots of fun!

I also managed to get this finished last week just before the children broke up from school:

It's a kit that caught my eye when we were in the States.  However I thought it was a lot more patchwork than it actually was - this is just made up of one big central panel, two strips either side, two more panels either side of them and then eight more strips around all of that.  It's also a lot bigger than I thought - it's actually a wall hanging but I haven't got a free wall in my house anywhere (one of the perils of producing so much artwork I guess!) so maybe we will have to start celebrating halloween from now on!
I also had my first attempt at quilting on it (up until now I have only put a quilt under my free motion foot and wiggled it about randomly to do my quilting!):

I might even put a few more cobweb strands on it if I get a spare few minutes!  You can't see it so well on the other picture but I have done the strands in orange on the front and it looks really fantastic. 
Let me all know what you think!
Thanks for looking - busy preparing for blog hops from Solihull

Friday 27 July 2012

Stop the Press

My baby is on the front page of the local paper!

He is the one kneeling at the front!  The photo was taken on 3rd July when Ben Smolden came into his school with the torch (yes when I managed to get a hold of it!) and Benjamin was chosen to be in the newspaper picture with him.  So for the past two weeks we have rushed to the front door in excitement to look through the two free papers we have delivered to no avail.  So I actually thought he wouldn't be in it now as it was so long ago but yesterday imagine my delight when there he was smiling up at me from the doormat!  To make it even it more special the paper was printed on 26th July which would have been my Nan's 90th birthday.  One for the scrapbook I think!

Anyway you can tell it's the holidays as yesterday I managed a couple of hours on the xbox with the children, cleaned out kitchen cupboards, steam cleaned the microwave, sorted out old school uniforms, tidied up the pile of junk that had accumulated in our bedroom, put two loads of washing on the washing line and scrubbed the kitchen.  Worn out now!

A big hello to my newest follower Angela - nice to see you.

Thanks for looking - Off to buy big school uniforms from Solihull, Gulp.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Great British Blog Hop Schedule

Welcome everyone
Here is the schedule for the Great British Blog Hop.
 August 1st

August 2nd

Thank you all so much for participating in this blog hop. 

 On your assigned day.....
Post on your blog showing clear, crisp pictures of your  artwork - remember you can show just one piece or lots if you are feeling creative! 
A tutorial if you wish, a giveaway if you wish.
When you post please copy and paste the schedule showing all the others that are posting for that day.

Please mention that the full schedule can always be found by clicking the button on my

If possible can you schedule your post to be on your blog by 08.00am GMT so that all the early birds (or late owls if you are Stateside) can view all the blogs in one sitting - thanks
- the original post and instructions are here
Try and advertise this blog hop as much as you can - the more people that know about it the more visitors you will get.
Most of all enjoy!
Thanks for looking - Feeling Crafty from Solihull

Wednesday 25 July 2012


Thought I would pop by again this week as this is my last day in a quiet house for a few weeks!  Children break up tonight so I will be busy going out on day trips, playing in the park and, no doubt, getting to grips with Lego Batman II that I have bought them for a surprise (more for me really as I love the lego Xbox games! tee hee).

Anyway this is my desk as of early yesterday evening:

I always work on more than one project at a time - need to wait for inks and glues to dry I guess!  Tags are for workshops I am planning in the Autumn, that window die I bought at Hobbycrafts NEC last November and I was mortified to dig it out of the packet and find that I hadn't even opened it! could have sworn I had already used it - oh well, Studio 490 door there - need some inspiration for that, the sewing bits and bobs are to go on a Wendy Vecchi Art Part cake stand, again for a workshop, union jack flag card I have had prepared for ages just need some inspiration for that too!  Sewing machine has been put away (briefly) and modelling pastes and dies have come out!  No idea what that black and yellow thing is - looks like a catapult - heaven forbid! That big button was from a jacket my friend was taking to the charity shop when we met up for coffee so I nabbed it quick!

So that's whats on my dining room table on a sunny Tuesday evening - what's on yours? If  you care to share and join in the fun then pop over to Julias.

Thanks for taking a peek at my desk this week - So excited it's end of term and both of my babies are moving on to new schools from Solihull
edited to add:  Oooh forgot that lots of you had been asking to see the finished Alice in Wonderland bag - well here it is! - this is the front, the keyring and wooden button were lovely little finds in an Alice In Wonderland shop in Oxford:

and here is the back, the button is holding one huge pocket (it's the whole side of the bag so six squares big) closed:

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Quick Teachers gifts

Only two more days left and then the children break up for just over 5 weeks - whoo hoo - although I must say it has been very busy both here and at both of my childrens schools these past two weeks.  We are all shattered and are just looking forward to have some time to slow down (well I am anyway!).  This three day week is consisting of two leaving discos, two leaving dinners, a dress down day, a sports day, a waterfight and a t-shirt signing session - a lot quieter than last week eh! oh and autograph book signing (hand made book of course!).

Anyway in amongst all the shennanigans I have been busy sewing, not only have I finished my halloween quilt and made a table topper for a blog hop I am in (can't show either of these just yet) but I have started preparing some workshops for September/October - I have been having lots of fun with texture pastes and art parts with these!  More importantly I have been able to put together two very quick and cheap gifts (I just used scraps of material in my stash pile so they didn't really cost me anything) - I have made each of my childrens teachers a mug rug (honestly who thinks up these names??):

They are a bit bigger than a normal mug rug (is there such a thing?) I think but I wanted to keep most of the patterns in place. DS2's teacher adores Dr Seuss and fell in love my quilt that I took in to show her which is what gave me the idea of mug rugs in the first place - there are two here because obviously I need one!  The top one is for DS1's teacher - I am not sure what she likes so I thought a London theme during 2012 was a good option! I have also cut out another six of these (all different patterns) for use at my dinner table and round about the house but I just need to sew them up before I show them.

For those of you joining in with my blog hop (we are up to 13 now - how exciting!) I will sort out the schedule tomorrow and post it up on Thursday - if anyone else would like to join us then click here to go to the post - sign ups will close tomorrow.

Also I would just like to say a big hello to Mrs Regan - thanks for following me :)

Thanks for looking - Need chocolate from Solihull

Friday 20 July 2012

More holding of THE Torch!

Went to my son's sports day today and a torch bearer turned up!

Chaps name is Paul (didn't catch his surname) with my two very pleased children (I think they were a bit envious that I got to hold THE torch the other week and they didn't!).  My eldest son is extra pleased as he is House Captain for the Chestnuts and they won this year so he also got to hold the School Cup!  what a lovely end to his four years at this school.  I don't have any photos yet as I was at the little son's school picking him up but lots of Mum's all rushed in and took some pictures for me (they all know I am a scrapbooker) so bless you all and hugs all round!

I now have 9 of us signed up for the Great British Blog Hop but there is still room for more so if you want to join in click on the picture to the right and it will take you to the right post - I will get in touch with you all and post the schedule here next Thursday.

Can I just say big hello to my three new followers Mindy, Deb and Annie thank you so much for joining me!
Thanks for looking - Travellin Light from Solihull (that ones for you Jackie!)

Thursday 19 July 2012

Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge No. 13

Have finally managed to rejoin in with the above challenge over at Studiol3  - where has the time gone?? 

The technique this week is Spritz and Flick distress which is on page 42 of T!ms Compendium of Curiosities Vol. 2, and as it's the second Friday of the month Simons Says Stamp are sponsoring the challenge and will give a $25 gift certificate to a randomly selected participant - how cool is that!
Here is my tag for the challenge:

after completing it I realised that not only does it look like most of the other tags I have made recently but that I have also covered up nearly all of the background which was the challenge technique! Oh well - it did mean I had a, sort of, relaxing afternoon playing with new inks.  I say sort of as both of my children are leaving their schools next week - one to move up into Juniors and the other, gulp, into Seniors - so I seem to have had weeks of endless last plays, last discos, last this, last that to go to or sort out - stressed isn't the word! I am not the only one though as the Year 2 playground is full of frazzled looking parents so we are all in it together!  Roll on next Wednesday....
Anyways the tag is made up of Salty Ocean, Picked Raspberry, Vintage Photo and Mowed Lawn distress inks.  The sewing material is shop bought and inked in Picked Raspberry.  The mannequin is T!ms die and is covered in script tissue tape, ric rac, tulle and inked with Vintage Photo and Mowed Lawn inks, finished with a row of pearls.  The On the Edge sewing die is again T!ms, coloured with metallic rubon, the same distress inks and the cotton threads I have tied through the buttons and wrapped around the cotton reel are also coloured with the same inks.  I then used Indigo Blu stamps for the quote and the tape measure which were stamped onto calico with Coffee Archival ink.  Finished with two rather large pins and a needle to tie the theme altogether.

I would also like to enter this tag into two other challenges:  Simon Says Stamp Show and Tell whose theme is "No Rules" and Sunday Stamper whose theme is Embellishments.
Thanks for looking - Off to a last Infant school assembly from Solihull

Wednesday 18 July 2012


163 - wow where does the time go?  I first joined in on this at about week 48!  Not been on for a while again, always seem to be so busy at the moment, but thought I better aim for this week and hopefully next as I have no idea what will happen during the holidays when the children are off - we are not going away (boo hoo -although we have only just come back from two weeks in California so its not all bad!) so will be doing lots of day trips particularly on the days OH works from home (Wednesday being one of them!).

Anyway I am digressing - here is my desk as of yesterday afternoon:

as you can see I am still in a sewing mood - this is a Halloween quilt kit I bought in the States - I thought it involved lots of piecing together but its actually two big panels with eight strips around them so it only took me a couple of hours yesterday - am hoping to go up a level with my quilting skills and put a big cobweb on there rather than just sew around in all the ditches which is what I have done up until now! (I feel its time to move on!).  Have just edited this to add that the cupcake sitting there is actually a really cute needlecase - made from a pattern I bought ages ago and the mushroom house is a pincushion which was a Christmas gift from my friend Julie at our crop - hadn't noticed that I had such things on my desk this week that would cause so much interest!

I would just like to say a big thank you to all my new followers - 22 of you in just the past week! - wow, I am delighted to have you all following my endeavours!  And also a big thank you to everyone who has already signed up for my Great British Blog Hop - there are eight of us so far which is more than I thought for my first blog hop but sign up is still open for another week so watch this space!

If you would like to know why I am baring my workspace with an UFO on display then pop over to Julias to see what all the commotion is about but be warned its very addictive!

Thanks for looking - Worn out from end of term activities from Solihull

Thursday 12 July 2012

A papercrafting blog hop?

I have had so much fun these past few days joining in with a quilting blog hop that I thought I would have a go in a papercrafting one but I have had a quick search and can't find one anywhere - so I thought I would set up my own - would you care to join me??

I haven't run one of these before but the general idea is to submit your name, you will then be put onto a schedule - depending upon numbers the schedule may be completed in one day or over a number a days, your task is to complete a piece of artwork and publish it on your blog on your scheduled day along with a list of the other participants.  Then other blog hoppers can pop round and visit your blog.  This is a great way to increase traffic to your blog helping you to find new friends and maybe a few more followers on the way too!

I thought a great theme at the moment would be "Something British" due to the fact that we have a lot going on in Blighty at the moment what with the Queens Jubilee, nearly winning Wimbledon and, I have also heard a rumour that there is something rather sporty happening here soon too.  So if you fancy making a piece of artwork of anything your imagination conjures up when you think of Great Britain then please join me.  You don't have to be British to take part, this hop is open to anyone anywhere in the world and you can make any type of artwork from a card, ATC, scrapbook page, art journal - whatever you fancy.

So what do you think? do you fancy joining in?   If so please leave me a comment below or email me via the Contact button above and I will organise a schedule.  Please spread the word about this blog hop by copying the "Great British Blog Hop" button on the top right hand side of my blog and displaying it on your own blog - the only way to get artists to join in is to advertise and what better way is there than a blog button!

Sign up for the blog hop will be open until Wednesday 25th July and the blog hop will start on Wednesday 1st August.

Thanks for looking - Hoping you will join in from Solihull

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Red, White and Blue blog hop

Oooh its my turn!  I have been following this blog hop since 1st July and have so enjoyed looking at all the talented entries so far.  I made my first block as soon as I signed up, the first thing springing into my head for red, white and blue was obviously the Union Flag:

Now I already had a pattern to make a Union Flag cushion so I thought it would be easy to scale it down to fit on a 12.5" block - well how wrong was I!  I have to confess that this was a right fiddle as it needed to be completely redesigned, although I feel it was worth it in the end!  I used just plain red, white and blue fabrics and finished off the quilt appliquing letters and numbers that have been cut out using a sizzix die.

By now on was on a roll and thought what else is typically English?  Well, tea of course:

Here I drew a cup template then replicated it three times in each of the colours (the red and blue are appliqued on and the white is just stitched).  I found the fancy font on the internet, printed it out and traced it onto the block and then stitched it using my machine (first time I have tried this!), by now my mojo was really on fire so I did a third:

I spotted the picture of a shield in a magazine so redrew it and appliqued it onto the block.  The England letters are from a word font and appliqued on.

I left it then at three blocks and went on my happy holidays feeling very pleased that I had accomplished my blocks before hand.  However last week when I started looking at all the blogs I noticed a lot of people have done pieced blocks from quilt block patterns which reminded me that I had one of those books somewhere..... (squirreled away and I have to confess it has never been used and I have had it longer than I have had my first child who is now 11.5!).  So I found it, dusted it down, had a look through and decided to have a go with some British fabrics I have lying around waiting for inspiration.

I chose to do the London Stairs block even though my fabrics were a bit busy.  Less than half an hour later the above block was completed!  I was amazed at how quick and simple this was to put together (it took me longer than half an hour to just design each of the above blocks let alone cut out the materials and sew them up!), so now I am on a roll:

This one is Patience Corner:

which took me 23 mins to make - including the cutting out! - so no patience required!

This one is Bird of Paradise:

a little bit wonky - couldn't seem to get perfect points on this one!

This one is called box:

This one is called Bright Hopes:

and this one is called Tea Leaf:

told you I was inspired didnt I!

And here they are all pieced together in either a wide table runner or lap quilt (not decided which yet!):

I used a black border to make all the blocks "pop" and then bound the quilt using a fabulous stripe that matches all the material.  Also I put another fabulous fabric on the back:

as I am not sure what else to make with it!  Hope you like my dining room table cover of London there too!  This whole quilt took me a bit of Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday (it's was non stop rain here in England at the weekend so I took advantage and got the sewing machine out!).

Thank you all so much for looking and please leave me a comment so I know you have passed by.  I would just like to say a great big thank you to Mdm Samm and Jane for hosting and organising this swap - I have had such fun and can't wait to take part in another one.

If you would like to join in the rest of today's blog hop here are the other blogs:
July 11th
Nancy R
Sunshine Girl  (you are here)

if you would like to view all of the blogs in the hop (over 100!) then go here.

Thanks for looking - Up to my eyes in blocks from Solihull

Sunday 8 July 2012

T!ms July Tag

Here is my take on T!ms July tag:

I actually finished it sometime last week but have been too busy to blog - am hopelessly addicted to some British fabrics I have at the moment that I am making into 12" blocks for a blog hop I am taking part in on Wednesday - check back then to see them all (yes all - am about to start my eighth one! also I have finished my Alice In Wonderland bag too and it's even been out in the rain already! - will blog about that later in the week).

For this tag I used:  Kraft card and Picket Fence stain, Red and Blue core cardstock, Glossy card, Red Pepper, Stream and Pearl alcohol inks, Jet Black archive ink, City Of London Stamp is by Artistic Outpost, the 2012 is done with white and black card and then coloured with a silver metallic rubon and I used the Upon A Time sizzix die to cut them out.  I used one of T!ms metal discs which I used the silver rubon again to tie it in with the numbers and then Black dymo tape as I don't have any metal pieces that say "Come On England!".  I finished the tag with red, white and blue twill, those cute little union flags cut out from a piece of ribbon and a piece of muslin that I dyed with Barn Door and Broken China stains.

I wasn't too keen on how the alcohol inks turned out - bit too blotchy for my liking - so I had a play with plain cardstock and distress stains and came up with this:

which I actually prefer.  I don't have T!ms fancy air gadget so I have to rely on a trusty old straw and just hope I don't dribble!  Much prefer this effect though as I love the spidery lines the stains have created - have no idea what I am going to use this for as I can't see me finishing it to put on a card so it might just have to go in my book of experiments!

Can I just say a big hello to Quilt Happy and Elanva - thank you both so much for following me.

Thanks for looking - Rained in and Busy Sewing from Solihull

Oooh edited to add that I have just uploaded this to T!ms blog and it's nice to see lots more British themed tags on there now!

Wednesday 4 July 2012


Hello everyone,

I haven't joined in for a while - not at all through June due to holidays, birthdays, school stuff and such fun.  But I have had a couple of quiet days this week so I have been getting on with some more sewing (it's my in thing at the moment!) and little ones sports day has been cancelled this morning (due to the weather!) which has freed up a couple more hours for me so I have come along to join in and have a nose at some of your desks (hoping for some crafting inspiration here!).

Here is my desk this morning (yes can finally take photos on a morning and not the day before because the light is ok this time of day isnt it):

Am sewing a bag using some lovely Alice In Wonderland materials I have been hoarding stroking for a while now.

If you want to join in the fun and have a mooch at other crafters desk (which is actually very  addictive!) then pop over to Julias and join in the fun too.

Thanks for looking - Should really be going to the gym and not sewing from Solihull

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Holding THE torch

Whoo hoo - go me...

Just been to an assembly at my youngest's school where Ben Smolden one of the torch carriers through Birmingham on Saturday paid a visit.  A very informative and wonderful assembly - so glad I got the chance to go.

Thanks for looking - All Lit Up from Solihull

Sunday 1 July 2012

We've been to see the torch!!

What a fabulous morning we have had today.  We walked into town at 7.30am ready to see the torch go past at 8am.  Firstly there was a parade of sponsor vehicles then our very patriotic town crier walked past (walking the wrong way but no-one told him!):

then the first torch came past:

This is Melanie Easter running past.  One of the joys of living in a small town meant that the torch did a circuit around the town centre and then back out the same way (although on a different street), so we quickly ran across the street and round the corner to get another glimpse.  Here the children got a chance to do a high five with the police:

and then the second torch came past with a different carrier:

This is Paul Tergat.  We then wandered back into town to find some breakfast (had a bacon butty whilst sitting on a bench as town was quite busy!) and I took a nice picture of my boys by the BBC van:

all in all a rather fun morning!

Thanks for looking - Feeling Sporty from Solihull