Saturday, 30 July 2016

Summer musings...

I’ve always fancied having a go at scrapbooking, but never seem to find the time...  And I would like to have a go at some more hand embroidery/applique for pictures or a quilt maybe, so one project I have decided on for this summer kind of combines the two ~ I am going to pick phrases or just a few simple words and embroider them with the odd found item to create some mini pictures of summer holiday memories.  

So far I have some little shells I found at the beach and a seagull feather.  I’m going to try to drill the shells so they can be stitched onto a picture, but if that fails it will be out with the trusty glue gun  ;)   

I found a great website that will put text into a spiral or waves (very apt for the seaside pics): 

And I found this rather sweet little ditty that I may try to embroider…

Sea shell, sea shell
Sing a song for me
Sing about the ocean
Tell me about the sea

I may also take some of my summer photographs and use them to make some applique/embroidered images and add a few words in the same sort of style, and maybe add some pressed flowers from the garden... I've lots of ideas, so will have see what works  :)

We're off to the beach again in the next day or so, so I am going to make sure I have a small sewing/embroidery kit packed so I can sit on the beach stitching while hubby is in the sea messing about with his boat  :D

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Summer is here...

Woohoo!  No school for 5 whole weeks  :D

I have so many plans for the summer and although I know I won’t get to them all, I am determined to fit in as many as possible  :)

So far we have escaped to the beach for the day ~ lots of lazing in the sunshine and paddling/swimming in the sea (I was only brave enough to go up to my waist!), the garden has been trimmed and tidied a little and I now have a swinging bench seat installed on one of our little patios ~ I’m planning many a lazy day reading and swinging, if the sun continues to shine of course!  

I have a stack of magazines that I have been given over the past year and not had time to even flick through, plus piles of paperbacks waiting to be read, so I have the perfect excuse to curl up on the swing seat and while away the hours…

I’m planning on making a seat cover for the swing from one the old patchwork quilts I acquired earlier this year, just to cosy it up a bit.  I think this one will fit the bill nicely  :)

And I may be adding some fairy lights for when the nights start drawing in.  I’ll share some pics as the decorating progresses.

Oh, and I thought I would share a few pics of some of the pretty things in the garden this afternoon:

And I couldn't resist one of Milly ~ she is the prettiest thing in the garden after all  :)

Right, time to grab a magazine and head for that swing…  happy days!  :D

Sunday, 26 June 2016

More jars...

Well, I think I am jam jarred out!  There was such a fantastic response to the appeal for jars and ramekins and last week I mananged to decorate 45, which is over half those needed for the prom.  So, I can now (happily!) hand over the reins to the other crafty folk and let them finish the job  :)

I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

Sadly the roses were a bit of disaster (they fell apart when cut off the garland), but the leaves worked really well.

All packaged up, ready for the big night  :)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Leaves & tea light jars...

A friend is organising the Year 11 prom this year and as the budget is super tight we have been enlisted to help out, and donate as much as possible for decorations.  The main room d├ęcor is in hand, but the tables need to be dressed.  Oh, and the theme this year is ‘woodland’.  

So… this afternoon I am setting to work on decorating some jars for tea lights.  I only have a few so far, but need to crack on as there is only a week to go! 

Someone kindly donated some pretty rose garlands, so I will be removing the leaves and flowers to stick on jars, plus rootling around my stash for some hessian and jute string. 

I am also going to cover one in tissue paper using PVA and add an owl silhouette to the front, similar to the ones I made for Halloween a couple of years ago ~ I've already started sticking bits on...

And my Sizzix Big Shot has already been hard at work over the weekend cutting leaves (these are cut using Tim Holtz’s Tattered Leaves die) ~ some will be scattered on tables as a kind of woodland confetti (with little silver stars added for sparkle  ;) ) and I may add a few to some of the jars.

I'll pop back with a progress update…  :)

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sun, sea and sand...

Last week was half term (seems a lifetime ago now!) and was all about days out and trips to the seaside ~ a perfect week  :)

We live in Wiltshire, close to the Somerset border and, although Wiltshire doesn’t have a coastline we are perfectly placed to travel easily to either the Somerset or Dorset coasts, both of which I absolutely love.

So… last week we did both  :D

We visited Weston Super Mare as part of the VW charity event ‘Cruise To The Prom’ and parked up on the beach lawns with hundreds of other VW owners/enthusiasts which come in all shapes and sizes ~ the vehicles I mean… although so do the people  ;)

We didn’t stay too long (the cruise is the bit we enjoy) but headed down the coast a little way to Burnham on Sea and on to Brean, where you can park on the beach. 

It wasn’t too crowded, but there were lots of small children and dogs splashing in the sea, sand castles and kites flying, picnics and paddling ~ it reminded me so much of my childhood holidays  :)

And for our visit to Dorset we went to Sherbourne Castle Country Fair, which was a wonderful afternoon out.  There was so much to see ~ rare breeds and a heavy horse display, boat racing, lots of wonderful foods to try and, of course, cider and strawberries with clotted cream… yum!

How adorable are these little guys?  :D

Amazing wicker work (elephants and boxing hares), and a swooping owl made from old metal (can you spot the little mouse?)

We had a couple of trips to Poole and Swanage too ~ more paddling in the sea, walks up the beach, picnics and gathering shells on the lovely Studland beach.  

We came home sun kissed and weary, but had such a wonderful few days.

Oh, and it was Lola’s first proper outing (with her camper unit and curtains fitted ~ I’ve still a few to make, but they do add a bit of colour :)   )

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Changes afoot in Blogland...

I’ve been blogging for some time for my little business, Milly and Me, and continually find I pop in bits about money being tight, upcycling and crafting on a budget, so toyed with the idea of starting a new blog so I can write more along those lines, together with days out (and in ;) ) and general bits and pieces.  But, as it creeps in a lot anyway, I figured I would just change this one to include more of the things I love   :)

I have a passion for making things, saving what little cash I make (if there is any left after paying the bills, of course!) for days out in our campervan, or trips to our local theatre, and get a real buzz out of bagging a bargain or making it myself.  I hope that others will enjoy reading about my ideas, makes, recipes and finds ~ I will also be sharing some of my Milly and Me patterns and (hopefully!) some tutorials, along with any fab blogs and articles I find en route, so..… here goes  :D

Firstly, a little bit about me and my passions for simple living and thrifty crafting; for making, doing and not spending  :)
I have written this as a page rather than a post, so there is a link on the righthand side, or please click here:

Until next time...  :) x

Saturday, 7 May 2016

More book folding... with a twist....

So… following on from my last post I have been doing some more book folding, but a simpler version this time, and have made some little bird houses  :)

And, of course, they were crying out for some textile decoration  ;)   
I couldn’t resist adding little birds and flowers:

I adapted my pin cushion birdie pattern into something smaller and cuter ~ and note the newbie… a little sparrow (rather pleased with this little fella)    :D

The flowers were made using the Sizzix 3d flower die I bought at Christmas ~ thought it was about time I mastered making them and, with the help of a few You Tube videos, I think they are a success  :)

I also added little leaves to one of them, and I particularly like the effect ~ they do add a little something...

These little bird houses are currently for sale at Made in Bradford on Avon, which is a wonderful gallery/shop a few miles from me ~ definitely worth a visit if you are planning a visit to the area.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The art of book folding....

This week has been about book folding… 

This was one of the things I wanted to ‘have a go’ at in the run up to Christmas and ended up making a few for my work colleagues.  Stupidly, I only took photos of this one ~ the others got whisked away to be wrapped up and placed under the tree…  ;)

Since these first ‘Love’ books, I have folded a few more ~ some have yet to be decorated, but I finished this ‘baby’ book yesterday for a lovely lady to give her daughter on the birth of her first baby   :)

I have only touched on this and have enjoyed it immensely ~ such a simple thing to do, when someone else has worked out the pattern, of course  ;)  

And it's great fun decorating the covers ~ I get to play with paper for a change...
I purchased a couple of patterns on Etsy and from a Facebook group I belong to ~ there are lots available to choose from, if you fancy having a go.  Watching the picture or word form as you fold is quite satisfying, even though the process has played havoc with my elbow and shoulder (tendonitis)  :/

I have picked up books at my local charity book shop:  and car boot sales ~ as long as they are clean and tidy (and the correct number of pages for the pattern), it doesn’t matter what the book is, as it will be covered and decorated anyway   :)

Sadly, I will be stopping this for a while, partly to give my shoulder a chance to heal and also to give me time to read the books I bought before I fold them (seems a waste not to read them first!)  ;)

Oh, and I purchased lots of books for folding before my buying ban, so these don’t count!  :D