catch up

So thought it would be nice to give you an update on previous activities I have blogged about…

I blogged about learning something new every month, and yes Ive certainly learnt alot. Not only craft based activities but DIY too. I can now completly change taps (had a dripping tap for months which eventually turned into a stream!),unblock all drains in a bathroom by dismantling a bath and sink (yuk) and overhaul a dishwasher to actually get clean dishes out ( equally as yuk).

During my developing of Jophiel I continue to learn but to date have discovered the different qualities of stabilizers and threads…actually vitally important to the finished article. Ive taught myself how to draw a design, convert to embroidery and stitch out. Ive also discovered how to design my own in the hoop projects which was a little more tricky and involved hours of you tube videos. Ive completed several items of clothing but only for myself as dont consider them good enough to sell, but I love them….thats good enough for me.

What else?? Felting, making bags, crochet, shabby chic, decoupage,…..the list goes on!

Tomorrow I will get on to the bucket list and activities Ive managed to tick off so far.

Peace and love to you all.x

Challenging myself.

I have spent a year learning new things and experiencing great moments but…..havent blogged about a single thing…or shared it!!
Well Im challenging myself to rectify this and blog once a day for 30 days.
Since my last blog I have ;spent a year building my businesses, travelled to Tunisia, ticked off several items on my bucket list and had numerous life challenges to try and smile through. So stick with me and spend 30 days hearing about the highs and lows. Thankyou, see you tomorrow.xx

Getting back on the horse

In my last post I introduced you all to my new business, Jophiel, personalised items I had sewn myself. Well I can report that my venture is proving very successful and fun!!! So much so that I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties :)….but im getting back in the saddle and even have a new challenge to rise too, thanks @andthenallithoughtaboutwasyou. So watch this space……

love of sewing.

So Ive started sewing again.Yep Ive resurrected my old machine and invested in an amazing embroidery machine. This machine embroiders anything, just by using software I can create amazing designs to embroider.
Firstly I had to get back to the basics and recall all that I had learnt at school and tips I picked up, many moons ago from Karen Hope.

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These are a few of my first projects.
Aswell as rediscovering how to sew I needed to create a name for my new business. This was actually harder than I imagined. I really wanted something that could cover more than one type of creation and I didnt want to use my own name. I have an interest in angels so I came upon the angel of creativity….welcome Jophiel!!
All I need now is to get creating….cant wait.Please visit my facebook page and like for all new projects or if you have something in mind that is personal to yourself.

Valentine shop launch.

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This is a photo of the amazing Amanda at the launch of The Making Room in Fontwell.I was fortunate enough to notice a last minute fb post mentioning the opening and, despite it being Valentines evening, couldnt resist visiting.
I wasnt disappointed. As I entered the bright little shop I was greeted warmly and had all my questions answered before the next throng of people arrived. The making room is not only a craft space but also a tea room offering drinks and home made cakes….I can highly recommend the Sussex blend tea, and D recommends the chocolate and nut cookies…he loved them so much he bought the whole lot!!!

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The shop is quite small but everything has its place, down to the buttons, banners, ribbons, gifts….and much more hidden in little drawers just asking to be explored.

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When you visit, as Im sure you will, notice the wall decorated with an old gardening book pages which just adds to the overall quaintness of the place.

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Just a quick pic of the Valentine card I made…I might add this is pre embellishment. ;)

Happy Shrove Tuesday

So hope you are all prepared for that pancake flippin time again. Im fortunate in that Ive been invited to my sisters due to the fact that we have foreign students staying and thought it would be more fun to all get together…..just sounds like double the mess to me!!!
Well I have been keeping up with my ‘learning’….I have learnt how to shoot an air rifle, not sure how practical that is, but at least if zombies do attack Im fairly ready.
On a more practical level Ive started meal planning and going back to basics and cooking from scratch…like I used to do before my little children turned into teenagers and would only eat pizza. This Saturday managed to produce a passable toad in the hole. I had forgotten how much more tasty it is and how filling, also at a fraction of the cost of shop bought.

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As mentioned in my previous blog I have a new toy, the squeeze quickutz. Its a machine for die cutting and I love it. I have spent lots of time producing cards and tags etc but have now decided I need a bigger version to be able to do bigger projects ( any advice as to best product to buy appreciated).

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Yes, at long last, have been abke to experiment with my Sharpies…thankyou Kiri for the pressie. I used them to write on a regular white mug and then baked it in the oven, on hottest setting, for 30 mins. The results were amazing. I had used all the colours I had just to test and all the colours worked well but obviously the brighter ones worked best.As yet I have not tried this item in the dishwasher but would advise to hand wash anyway.
Having done the design on my mug I was looking for another blank canvas haha….and there it was! Darrens nice white sweatshirt, here is what I did….

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Over and out for now. Peace and love.x

second week of project

So what have I done/produced this week??Well I learnt about tapping, also known as E.F.T (lots of links etc, especially on you tube). Its a system that can be used for many ailments or just for well being of mind and body. Its very easy to learn and incorporate into your daily routine.
I also produced a  knitted steering wheel cover for my friend. I made one of these for myself before Christmas as had seen the pattern on pinterest and it was a perfect solution to my cold hands on school runs….gloves just slip round the wheel for me….just a little bit dangerous!?

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It was a very simple project:measure circumference of your wheel and this equals the length of your cover.I used chunky wool and 4mm needles, with 8 stchs. Once knitted I actually sewed it onto wheel to keep it on with no movement.
This week Im tackling decoupage and projects using my new toy…the squeeze quickutz.
peace and love.x

Starting the New Year as I mean to go on.

Happy new year to you all, and so leaping right in ..I made no resolutions this year except to learning something new every week. By this I mean something practical that I have not done before.
On to my first project…inspired by an item in a recent Ikea catalogue, I decided I really, really needed an over the bed table. The picture portrayed a white wooden “n” shaped structure which I figured would be pretty easy to cobble together!?
I assembled my materials (so I thought), took measurements of the bed and even drew a design.(see first pic)
Bearing in mind that on this day it was raining I reluctantly decided to do this project in my lounge, ( yes the one with the newly laid cream carpet!!). I had a large sheet of MDF and marked out all the measurements, had some preliminary tuition on how to use a circular saw, nd so I began cutting……eek….sawdust everywhere!….not sure where I actually thought it was all going to go…lets face it I didn’t think at all ;) here was where i learnt that if you stuff the hose of the hoover up the exit hole in the saw you capture all the dust,(thankyou Darren)…..could have told me before i started!!! (2nd pic)
Anyway eventually managed to cut my 3 pieces as per my plan….hmmm…the legs seem to be different lengths??? trying not to have a major strop I re-thought my design. My over the bed table became an on the bed table with wooden legs as opposed to all MDF.(see pic)
The whole ensemble looked considerably mediocre and rough around the edges, this is when I decided to cover it with some hessian I had floating around, which did improve the overall look of the disaster.lol.
overbed collage

I do have a liitle postscript to this post, and that is whilst I was busy on my project darren was busy with his….
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So what did I learn?
1. the simplest of projects aren`t always that simple
2. how to use a circular saw safely and with no mess
3. when measuring out your design onto the wood allow for the size of the cutting saw
4. even a failure can be turned into a sucess.
Get ready for my next project!!

should we stamp on spiders??

So in my role as childminder I currently care for 8 children, ranging from the ages of 3 to 11 but on this particular day I had seven children. I had collected them all from their respective schools and they were all chatting in the car on the way home…all fighting for attention…then one child proudly piped up, “I stamped on a spider today.” After a moments silence they all started discussing the does and don’ts of what this child had done and how would he feel if someone had stamped on him??The debate continued until we arrived home and I was happy that the final consensus seemed to be that stamping on spiders was wrong…phew, no intervention needed.

The area where we spend most of our time together, and where all the equipment is available, is about the size of a double garage and over my 11 years of childminding is constantly being reinvented to make the area more appealing and learner friendly. During the summer holidays I had done exactly that but also felt we needed some upgrading or maybe more age appropriate equipment. I decided to ask the opinion of the children that day….well i got some interesting feedback: an ice rink,baseball court,swimming pool…..and the list went on, none of them very practical…so out came the Argus catalogue. We finally decided on a 4 in 1 table that had pool,table tennis,football and hockey. the total price for this item was £70 and we next had to discuss how to get the money!

The children got paper and pencil and elected one child to write down the ideas, “As he is the best writer.”and the brainstorming began;

bake sale,sell all our old baby toys, 5 hour sponsored skate, sponsored silence (I liked this one!),empty our piggy banks (So sweet),..

I decided to intervene and suggested we Google for some ideas on the computer, which we did and eventually came up with the smartie tube idea. We had already worked out that each child needed to raise £10, so we would send the empty tubes home with a letter explaining what we wanted to achieve and that each child was prepared to do an odd job for a pound and then we would collect in the tubes after a designated time and see how much we had raised.

The reason I wanted to blog about this was because after they had all gone home and I was reflecting on the day I realised how much learning had been achieved in those few short hours; they had covered a lot of Ofsteds EYFS guidelines. Literacy; writing,discussing,conclusions. Numeracy;totals,division,currency. Knowledge and understanding;discussion on spiders,researching ideas. creative; as well as all the brainstorming they came up with an idea for a display so we could see how much we had raised and how much more we needed. |PHSE; debating,deciding,praising,sharing. Physical; maybe not so much of, at least until we achieve our goal!

So as you can see just in a day to day activity it was easy to incorporate a lot of learning in to one three hour session,in which all the children participated on some level and felt a sense of belonging and excitement as to the end goal.

If anyone else has some fun and simple ways for us to raise some funds please advise.
It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.
Leo Buscaglia