Thursday, 31 December 2009

hello to the teenies!

Well can you believe its all over! Months of preparation and anxiety, weeks of late nights glued to the sewing machine ( OK so in my case 3 evenings up till gone 2am, as i left everything till the last minute!) and that's it....Christmas come and gone in the blink of an eye!

I just want to share with you this 'very' last minute make ....
A new camera case to go with the new camera we got my mother in-law. This bad boy took me from 10pm till 2.30 am the night before Xmas eve to put together ( In-laws went away early Xmas eve morning). I broke 3 needles stitching the x2 layers of cotton, 3mm thick quilt batting, and interfacing so stiff, it is practically corrugated iron! I can honestly say it was the most challenging thing i have made so far, especially as i made it up as i went along! But it is bloody brilliant if i do say so myself! And even though i also received a lovely new camera for Christmas, i am in absolutely no hurry to make another one for myself!

Well i hope everyone else enjoyed the festive celebrations as much as we in the Conner/Gentle household did. It didn't take long for the Whirlwind to get a hang of all the unwrapping and was soon turning her hand to opening everyone else's presents.
So now here we are on the eve of not only a new year but a new decade. (I heard that this one will be known as the teenies!) and in keeping with tradition i have a list of New Year resolutions that i want to 'put out there'.(and in keeping with tradition i will no doubt have abandoned half of them by the end of January!)

1. Blog at least 3 times a week....I really do enjoy blogging and now my computer is fixed and i have a camera that works and takes excellent pics, i have no excuse. And create a bit of interest with monthly giveaways, and themed posts! this space!
2. Get serious about my little online shops, this means adding new stock and better self promotion....activate my sugarmouse page on face book (which i set up about 9months ago!)
3. Do at least 1 craft fair...i chickened out on the one i was supposed to before Christmas!
4. learn to love my overlocker!!!!!!!!
5. Join the gym......DONE! (Last minute New Years eve offer!).......go to the gym, ( induction on Monday!) and take the Whirlwind swimming at least once a week....twice in the summer months!
6. Become a better housewife. i.e move the sofa to hoover under it ,instead of just round it! Don't leave the clean washing in the washing machine for 2 days so that it smells....( admittedly i only ever seem to do this when it is full of Neils clothes! never mine or Roos!)
7. Stop hording all of The Whirlwinds outgrown clothes and put them on e-bay. By the time babbie no.2 makes an appearance, He WILL be a boy, and so well behaved that he will allow me to whip him up a new outfit every nap time!!!!! ( and NO im not pregnant for those whose ears suddenly pricked up!)

Well i think that's enough to keep me going for the time being. And to kick things off, check back tomorrow* for my first sugarmouse giveaway!
Me and my bottle of Cava wish you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

*Giveaway will now launch on Sat.


Friday, 18 December 2009

A game of Cat & Mouse

Remember this book! I got it for my birthday a few months back...

It is packed full of loads of fun, cute and most importantly, easy projects! There are about 4 of the projects on my Christmas makes list , time will tell if i actually finish them ready for the big day! But at least one is done......

As you may remember from a previous post ,The Whirlwind is obsessed with playing skittles and we have been using empty water bottles which always looks like someone emptied the recycling in the middle of my living room floor! So this was just perfect to make for my little monkey!
I have to say i really enjoyed making up this little project, it was about 90% hand stitching so i was able to do it whilst i was at work, (it really helped to pass the time when things in the shop were quiet.)

I'm really pleased with how it has turned out, There are 6 mice and I'm amazed how round i managed to get my little cat ball .....Roo is going to love it!

I do have just one little thing to finish for this....a bag to store them all in!

x K

Friday, 11 December 2009

Lady Gaga

I couldn't help it!
I got my little computer back from the fixit man this week ( its been M.I.A since Sept!) and the first thing i did was look in my bookmarks, find all the fabric shops i had saved and spend money i should be using to buy Christmas presents! This is the first batch of quarters which arrived this morning from Gaga fabrics. Yummy!

So instead of finishing off my Christmas makes i decided to have a play.

Now look at the case for my laptop.....How boring!

Dull, black, faux leather sleeve........Snooze!

1/2 an hour after the postman arrived.......... Pink, red , Apples and ribbon!

Now that's much better!......... Hello my little friend!....Welcome home!

My how I've missed you!

x K

Monday, 7 December 2009

snazzy new phone!

I got a new phone the other day, It's an all singing and all dancing kinda phone! So what better excuse to play with some scraps and make a case for it!

I do love my new little gadget (Nokia N97).......and I'm sure i will love it even more when i figure out how to use all the funky apps, other than just make phone calls!

My o/h got an iPhone the same day, so not that we are competitive!!!!!! But were both on a mission to make the other regret their choice and wish they'd picked the same! He is currently feeling smugly in the lead having downloaded all his music from his iPod. I haven't quiet figured out how to do that yet!.......but I now have a funky case whilst his will get all scratched up in his pocket!

x K

Friday, 4 December 2009

Helping Hands!

Today was The Whirlwinds Nanny's birthday. The lucky lady received a cozy pair of Cath Kidston P.J's and a hand/kitchen towel with Ruby'roos hand prints appliqued on them. This one pictured was not the one given to nanny, hers was done in a Midwest modern print and a blue bias trim, and i embroidered 'Ruby 20mths' underneath the hand prints. but in my haste to wrap all the pressies up this afternoon i forgot to photograph it ( and the P.J's!) This pink one here is going to be a Christmas pressie for the other Nanny (my mum) and will also have embroidery.

Just look how diddy Whirlwinds hands are!
We went out for a little lunch with Nanny and daddy's sister-in-law, where Roo provided the birthday entertainment, by literally redecorating the nice posh restaurant in Neapolitan pasta sauce! (Note to self...... NEVER order a sauce dish for her in a restaurant EVER AGAIN!)

I have been a fair bit busy on the sewing front the last few weeks, (hence the lack of blogging!) To start with i have sold 15 pairs of baby shoes, since last we spoke, both online and through friends including my very first folksy sale on tue! Yay me!
And i have started on my list of Handmade Christmas pressies, which are all works in progress, but some are very nearly now at completion, so will have lots off piccies to show you over the coming week!!!!!!
I cant believe Christmas is only 3 wks away!!!!!!
Looking forward to putting the tree up this weekend, I wonder how long it will take for the Whirlwind to knock it over?
Sweep stake anyone?
x K

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A sense of mortality!

Isn't it funny the way which having Children change's us!

I'm not just talking about the head on collision with gravity ( boobs, bum and tum!)
The inability to drink more than 1/2 a glass of wine without feeling smashed!
The loss of all sense of time! I only gave birth yesterday, so she cant be 20months already!....Yet haven't i known her all my life!
Nor the complete loss of marbles.....
Supermarket cashier - '' that will be £65 please madam''
Me - ''Bollox I've left my purse at home!''
'' Shit and my door keys!''
'' F**k AND my phone!''
And I'm not even going to mention the complete lack of fitness and the near coronary attack after walking 1/2 mile up a 90degree hill to wait 20mins in the cold with a bad tempered baby for Nanny to come home with a spare key!

I'm talking about an inability to watch horror/ disaster movies without balling my eyes out and having nightmares for a week!......even if the film is really crap or supposed to be funny!
Because i do not want my baby to drown in a tidal wave, get eaten by a vampire or turn into a zombie!

x K

N.b This post was inspired by Sundays 'Doctor Who' and yesterdays viewing of '2012'

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Vintage smock

Ive had this vintage fabric for a while now, I think it must have been a bed sheet at one point! It is my experiment fabric! know, when your just trying out a new pattern and you don't want to risk the 'good stuff'!

I'm not sure the colours quite right for The Whirlwind, It makes her look very white!Good job she looks like me, else people might think i stole this baby!

I think i may need to loosen the elastic round the bottom of the sleeve as they keep getting stuck half mast up her chunky arms.

This is The Whirlwinds favourite spot to watch T.V. It drives me mad! I mean seriously you could watch our TV from across the street its so big, but she is only happy unless her face is right in it and her greasy paw prints are all over it. We even bought her a cute chair from Ikea to sit in, ( you can just see it in the previous pic!) She does love this chair and will happily sit in it whilst munching a snack, but the moment Yojojo, Deli and the gang come on screen that's it, shes off to kiss the screen!

Admiring the new fishies!
Thanks to Louise at sewscrumptious for the link to that fab zip tutorial, by flossieteacakes (scroll down to the 2nd tutorial) Haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but went out and bought a hand full of zips in preparation, hopefully one eve this week will give itself up to me!
x K

Friday, 13 November 2009

Boxing day dress

Another shift dress i know, but they are just so easy to sew up during nap times! I found this wool check in my local fabric shop, it instantly shouted 'Christmas' to me! The picture doesn't do it justice as you cant see the silver thread sparkling through it!

My demented overlocker (yes still having issues!) actually came up trumps doing the ruffles, they were so much fun to do. I have also left the bottom flatlocked for now, still deciding if i will hem it or not, but at the moment i think i like the flatlock detail.
I think it makes the perfect Boxing day dress for the Whirlwind, teamed with a long sleeved red tee and some black tights.

I loved the way this looked so much, i couldn't help thinking that it would translate to a really cool bag or purse. So of course i had to give it a go.......
This was my FIRST EVER attempt at sewing a zip, and lets just say this 10cm purse took about 50hrs longer to make than the 2T dress!
Next time i will definitely have to look up instructions! Anyone know any good zipper tutorials?

Not toooo shabby for a first attempt. I feel there will be lots in the making for Christmas.....only 6wks Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!
x K

Thursday, 12 November 2009

R.I.P Boris!

This week our goldfish died!
He was 5yrs old...Yes that's right FIVE!......Surely this must be some kind of goldfish survival record?
Neil bought him for me as a house warming when we moved into our first flat in October '04. I remember him ringing me at work to tell me he had just bought me a gerbil!!!! WTF!
Needless to say i was more than relieved to find he was pulling my leg and he had in fact bought 2 goldfish.
Boris had many mates join him in the first 3yrs (all named Buffy) but none of the others lasted more than 6months.
We always bought different colours/ breeds of goldfish so as not to confuses which was which! some for ridiculous prices considering how long they lived, yet Boris only cost us 50p.
It was very sad, we could see he was 'on his way out' when he started swimming lopsided, and then bloated out like Marlon Brando!
Finally on Sunday he dropped to the bottom of the tank and bellied up!
The Whirlwind keeps going up to the empty tank, throwing her arms in the air and shouting ''Gone, ish gone, ish gone bed, byebye ish''
We took her to the pet shop on Mon to pick out some new fish.
We have decided to go tropical this time so only bought the heater to convert the tank, and will go back at the weekend when it has warmed up.
R.I.P Boris

Monday, 26 October 2009

what a difference a year makes!

I made this little fleece jumper for Ruby exactly one year ago! I was so impressed with myself doing it, as i had no pattern....just copied a dress i loved, bought from Tesco! and i had no sewing machine at the time so it is all hand stitched. I loved it, and the whirlwind wore it loads last winter. I cant find the original pics of her in it but you can see them on my facebook here and here

Today i found a secret stash of the same fabric that i never even knew i had! so obviously i had to make a new one for this year.

This time i just went for a plain shift jumper, with a front pocket.......i must have been sooo brave last year doing those button holes!

Isn't it just the cutest though!I bribed her to sit still for all of 5 seconds by letting her have ago on the hair drier!......And the green bottles all over my living room floor are homemade skittles, a game which the Whirlwind is currently OBSESSED with!

I also figured out a way to use all of last years tights that are now to short in the leg....Just cut the legs off about an inch from the crotch seams and voila....Knee length sox with matching pants......
Complete the look with one of Daddys beanies!


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Pattern testers r us!

I had a very exciting project at the weekend! I basically put myself forward to test a pattern for the lovely, amazing, wonderfully talented ( can you tell i have a huuuuge girly crush on her!) Amanda from Kitchycoo.

Amanda makes the most amazing, cute, cool kids clothing, using the maddest kitchest most fantastic fabrics ( Seriously! I want to be her, be her best friend and be her child all at once!)

After much begging and pleading from her committed group of fans...or is that fans who should be committed!...She has finally dipped her toe into the world of Adult clothing, by recreating her famed toddler reversible asymmetric coat into big girl size....yayyyyyy.

PICK ME! PICK ME! i shouted when her call went out for testers of different shapes and sizes to do trial runs for her.

I tested the 10/12 pattern. I used two shades of poly cotton, for the test, but i have every intention of making up another in a bold print....the hunt for the perfect fabric has commenced! I have yet to sew on the buttons so have just used a couple of brooches for now.

Can i just point out how bloody impossible it is to take a decent picture using the self timer function....i have about 10 pics of the back of my head, and what the hell are you supposed to do with your hands????

This is a really versatile jacket....i added a belt in the last two picks for a dressy look...i think it works!
I look like a right dork in these pic's, and most alarmingly.....I really look like my mother!
Amanda YOU ROCK!
x K

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Swine flu V's Man flu!!!!

IM STILL HERE! (she screams!)
My computer is still broke!
My' camera is sill broke!
And after a VERY late night, at a party with Alexander O'neil and Jakki Graham! ( love a bit of 80's soul!) ....i am feeling decidedly 'Broke 'myself' today!

Any-Hoo i shall be spending my afternoon Whirlwind free as she had a sleepover at nanny and grandpa's last night and they are showing her off at friends today....yayyyyyy!
I will be stitching up a storm, trying out a pattern for (the mad as a hatter) lovely Amanda over at kitchy coo.
I will be back tomorrow for a show and tell of the results!

Oh and the reason for my looong absence? My o/h has been struck down this past two wks with what started as swine flu....but definitely turned into man flu the last two days....anyway he has had his laptop glued to his abdomen.....whilst lying in a constant horizontal position for 12 days, demanding about a thousand cups of tea a day. He mad a miraculous recovery for the party last night!!! and football this afternoon!!!! and thank god he is back at work tomorrow, Call me heartless but once he was on the home straight, looking after two demanding 'children' was well!!!!!!

x K

Friday, 25 September 2009

Electronic meltdown!!!!

Why is it that when one thing breaks down it acts as a catalyst for everything else to go belly up!

Last week it was my sporting a lopsided lens which i need to physically pull out to make it work and then it truly is a case of pot luck as to weather its in focus or not!

Now this week my laptop has decided the stop working...Yup!.... Just stop!.... It doesn't want to play!
Oh it teases you!.......For about 2 minuets......The exact amount of time it lakes to boot up, and just as the wifi connects and Internet is about to switches off!
One minuet it was humming along nicely, feeding me my blogg/ facebook/ ebay addiction, happily distracting me from fulfilling any house work duties, or giving undivided attention to the Whirlwind (well Macca Pacca and co' are such great babysitters!, She hardly even notices me!)
The next its all.......
''computer says No!''

The only conclusion we can draw is that the battery needs replacing. In other words ......
''Its quiet literally knackered! ''
I have actually worn out my 9month old laptops battery! Is that 'normal' ???? Surly not! And it will now cost me £50 for a new one!!!!!!!!!
What is the point in it having a plug i ask?..... why does it need a battery 'and' a plug?.....Am i the only one who doest understand why, if the battery goes, you cant just plug it in!!!!

And then there's my sewing machine! It has started making some scary banging noises!....I don't want to think about it too much!......I'm hoping that if i ignore it, it will just go away!!!

On the plus side i am having a new phone delivered tomorrow, yippee! Its a Nokia N( sumatorother!) It has a 8mp camera.....that's almost as good as my proper fact it is a proper camera, which is the main reason i chose it, and it has wifi (coz lets face it, i don't actually need a phone, as no one ever rings anyone anymore, its all windows live and facebook right!)
So hopefully by the end of day tomorrow i shall be all multimedia'd up and wont have to wait untill gone midnight of an eve, to get my mitts on Neils hardware......oooh eerr Mrs!

In between tearing my hair out over hardware, i have been stitching up a fair few pairs of shoesies this week. These ones ( for a gorgeous little lady named Mai) are my favourite......

I love the bright contrasting colours of pink and orange and the way the flowers soften the effect of the stripe. I have started lining them in felt again, and today i bought some fleece to try out as it is much softer, although i am wondering if it will make them too bulky?...... We shall see!

x K

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Sleeves Glorious Sleeves!

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE This swing coat i made for the Whirlwind. it is another wholegrainbaby pattern (remember the dress) i must say Varenias patterns are so simple and easy to follow! This was my first ever attempt at sewing on sleeves and they are PERFECT even if i do say so myself. The only issue i had was i made if in the 1/2T size but it is a little on the snug side for Roo who is 18mths, so I don't think she will be in it for long! That obviously means i am probably gonna have to buy MORE FABRIC to make another!..... oh what a shame!

The action shots..........

And The great thing about it is its reversible!...2 jackets in 1!....... love it!
Please excuse the grainy pictures! The whirlwind has broken my good be fair she had had to suffer me shoving it into her face for about half an hour, and she finally lashed out knocking it out of my hand and breaking the lens! Im gonna have to start dropping some subtle hints for a digital SLR in time for Christmas, although i may be pushing my luck having just been treated to the overlocker for my birthday!

On that note! I finally got the tension sorted, so she is sewing like a dream now.........
I whipped up this little top in the week and the seams are all perfect! ......

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!