Monday, July 25, 2011

Hearts of Clay

Hello my friends, how was your weekend?

My weekend flew by just like my two weeks holidays flew by.

It is all over and today I was back at work and Nicholas was back at school.

I really enjoyed having some time at home, hanging out with my boys and getting creative.

I managed to get a few projects finished that I'll share with you over the next few posts. 

Do you remember when I made my clay tags here?

I had some left to play around with so I made this clay heart hanger.

I used some floral wire, satin ribbon and some pearls on wire that the florist ties around my flowers. 

I still have another one of these to make that says HOME, maybe I'll have it finished in another six months time or so!

I'm still loving my bag ; )

Have a great week my friends.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Tray

My projects are slowly progressing, 

slowly because hubby downloaded 2 seasons of the Tudors for me and I have become slightly distracted watching them.

Remember my $4 tray I bought?

I thought about painting it white

but I found a home for it in the kitchen holding bits and pieces, you know, bills that need to be paid, letters that need to be mailed and change for milk and bread along with the control for the reverse cycle.

For now, I quite like it silver, 

so it will stay as it is. 

For now.

Thank you for the lovely comments on my ruffled bag, I am still loving it and have it hanging where I can admire it often!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making a Ruffled Bag

It is finished!

What do you think? I am really happy with the way it turned out and better still it cost me $0!

Gotta love a bargain like that.

I'll attempt a tutorial for anyone who is interested but be warned I am no expert and I made it up as I went!

* * * * * * * * * *

I used leftover drop canvas (from my lounge covers that I made) and I used a magazine as a guide to the size that I wanted. I will mostly use the bag as a book bag for when I am teaching kids church etc so it needs to be a good size for books! I allowed enough room for a few magazines/books to sit comfortable in the bag along with my purse, phone etc. Make sure you allow enough material for seams (I left about 1cm all around). I cut out two rectangles about 32cm x 40cm. I allowed an extra 3cm at the top of the bag to fold over the lining and leave a tidier finish.

I stitched two long sides together to leave one rectangle 62cm x 40cm

I cut out four strips of material 10cm wide, 1cm either side for hems leaving my ruffles 8cm wide. Each length is about 2x the total width of the bag (120cm). I hand stitched loosely along the top of each strip and then pulled the thread until achieved the ruffles and a strip that was 62cm long, then tied of the thread. This is apparently not the easiest way to do this. After my bag was finished I was informed that you use the sewing machine on the longest straight stitch setting to sew three lines along the strip and then pull the threads together to create even ruffles, work with about 40cm at a time.

I arranged and pinned the ruffles along my 40 x 62 rectangle starting at the bottom of my bag, I pinned then stitched each ruffle before starting on the next ruffle up as I overlapped the ruffles. Each ruffle is 8cm wide however because I overlapped them they take up 28cm of the bag (remember to leave 1cm for a seam at the bottom).

Fold the bag along the stitched seam with the ruffles on the inside and sew along the bottom and the other side, being careful not to catch the ruffles in your seam. I don't have an over locker so after using a straight stitch to sew the bag together I trimmed the seams neatly and then used a zig zag stitch to prevent the material from fraying.

Once the bag was sewn on all three sides I measured the inside of the bag and made an inner bag to become the lining using cut off jeans (an old pair of Nicholas' that I shortened for him). I didn't have a lot of the denim and in order to have enough material to make the lining I had to unpick the seams and hem to stretch as much out of what I had. Fortunately I had just enough to line my bag. I stitched the right sides together same as the bag then turned it out the right way. I made pockets using some more scraps of canvas.

Because I used offcuts I worked with what I had but I made sure I had a pocket for my mobile phone. Any thing else was a bonus. I hemmed/edged the canvas pockets and then pinned them onto the lining remembering to allow for the hem/fold at the top of the bag. It would have been easier to sew the pockets on before I had sewn the inner bag together but I didn't think of it before hand.

 Once the pockets are in place the inner bag needs to be turned out the other way and then slipped into the ruffle bag. Once you have it all lined up then pin both bags together at the top.

I made the shoulder straps by folding a long strip  of material in half and sewing it together than turned it inside out. I ironed the straps so that the seam was in the middle.

To finish putting the bag together I sewed the lining and the ruffle bag together at the top about 1cm in from the top edge. Once I had zig zagged around the edge, I then folded the top over to create a hem of about 3 cm. I folded the straps in under the hem and pinned them in place. This way once I had sewn around the top of the bag the finish was all neat and tidy. I decided to stitch around the hem three times because I like the way it looked and it held the shoulder straps in place better.

I attached a safety pin to the back of each of the material flowers I made, that way I can change them around whenever I want.

Not perfect but it is handmade and I love it!

I hope I explained it well enough and if you want to know anything else please ask I will try to help you as best as I can!

Happy Hump Day!


PS. My inspiration was this bag from Jeanne Oliver Designs.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

We went to Sydney to celebrate my nieces birthday and then stopped in Bathurst on the way home to celebrate my Sister in Laws birthday, very family orientated and nice.

I have finished making my ruffled bag and took it with me to celebrate. It must look alright because I had lots of lovely compliments, but then again they are my family and should be encouraging : )

I'll show you some time this week when I have uploaded the photos.

My bookends were a nice and easy makeover and look much better with a bit of white paint.

A reminder of what they looked like before

and after dabbing on some white paint, here and there

I wanted a worn shabby finish so I used a paintbrush to apply the paint in layers until I had a look I was happy with.

Another project ticked of the list.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The White Shed

I have had some gorgeous bookends from Letitia's store on my wish list for a while however I have been on a spending budget (and still am unfortunately) but after what seems like ages I finally was able to buy them and seeing as The White Shed had a sale I was able to buy a little extra as well.

Getting parcels in the mail is so exciting,

especially when they are packaged so prettily.

We needed a new oil pourer as our old one below has had enough. We got it for a wedding present and it worked really well until the rubber seal that sat on the inside of the bottle died and disintegrated then fell into the oil!

We are also looking for a refillable oil spray bottle that works for longer than 2 weeks. We have unsuccessfully tried a few and have not been able to find one that we like the look of and that works. So if you have any suggestions please let me know!

See my $1 version of a salt pig? It works well!

Thanks Letitia for the great service and super fast delivery.

If by some chance you haven't visited Letitia or her shop please do. Her blog is here and shop is here.

Have fun and don't forget she currently has a sale on.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

White Paint

I love how paint can transform something so easily and dramatically and inexpensively.

I whipped out some white paint that I had and in no time ended up with this

A reminder of what it looked like before

and now

I had a little sample pot left over from some touch ups we made at our last rental house so I used that. I don't intend to use the board and dome for cheese or food of any kind so I wasn't concerned about the type of paint I used.

I wanted a shabby finish so I used a chux cloth to wipe on the paint and then wiped it off again after each coat. I ended up doing three coats of paint to get the finish I was after.

I managed to salvage the last few roses on our bushes before hubby pruned them.

What do you think? $4 for the board and dome and paint for free , leftover from a previous job.

I also had a go at making some material roses and I am pretty happy with the results

I had some denim offcuts lying around. I think there from a pair of Nicholas jeans that I had to hem up as they were too long and the fake pearls are from the flowers Nick buys me. The florist  winds them around the bouquet and I always keep them just in case.

I tried a few different ways to make them and watched some tutorials on YouTube then just made it up as I went. What do you think. I quite like them. Now I need to find something to use them for.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hitting the Shops

Op shops that is! We have three decent op shops that I like to check out when I get a chance and in order to make my holiday projects I decided to see what I could find.

I had a great day and found some bargain items that I can use for some of my planned projects and some of the other things will get a quick makeover and a new home.

Queen size bedspread for $6. It does have some stains and if I can't get rid of them I will just use the material to make some cushions etc. 

120 x 120 table cloth in excellent condition for $2

I loved the shape, size and colour of this serving plate and for $1 it was a steal.

Footed silver tray for $3. I might paint it white or I may just leave it as it is.

Beautifully scented, unused candle for $2.

Set of six small placemats for $1. Smaller thanI was hoping for but all that I could find. Good practice set.

Bookends for $4, a little bit of work on these and they will be perfect.

Cute little bud vase for $3, a clean and a few coats of paint and it will have a new lease on life.

Lovely little white bowl with lid for $1, perfect for my version of a salt pig

$4 for this cheese dome with board

I don't plan on going to this many weddings in the near future but I do like to make my own cards and these will make a great base to work with.

So far my holidays have been pretty productive with my bargain buys, a visit to the accountant to complete our 2011 tax  - very early but given it was Nick's first full year with his own business and he hasn't paid any personal tax through the year I figured we should bite the bullet and just get it over and done with : )

I have made a start on the ruffled bag and I have a whole new appreciation for the amount of work that goes into ruffles and would never be able to make these to sell them unless someone was willing to pay me hundreds for each bag!

Fingers crossed that I can keep this up and hopefully I will have some finished projects to share with you soon.