Saturday, 31 January 2009

Quilting on the cheap

I'm a bit of a hoarder. OK, OK, a lot of a hoarder. I find it physically painful to throw away stuff I might need. So when Mr DC was turfing old shirts out of his wardrobe I knew I had to hang on to them. I was planning to make bunting - when all else fails, make bunting, right? But then I was browsing though Last Minute Patchwork Gifts, saw the (Sort of) Crazy quilt and realised this was where I could use them up.

This is a fab design, because it's meant to be faintly wonky, and look rather unplanned, and I must confess I've been putting off starting a 'proper' quilt because all those carefully placed pieces and the lining up of seams scares me a bit.

The blue floral backing is a set of 4 pillowcases picked up for a pound each in Oxfam, I had the batting squirrelled away from an earlier buying expedition and the binding is made from an old charity shop duvet cover - so now I can feel smug and virtuous about using what I have, and conveniently ignore the silly amounts of unused supplies hanging around drawers and cupboards ...

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Return to Planet Geek

So, I've been making lots of things, finishing off unfinished projects, stashbusting - and taking no photos at all because I forget when it's light and bright and only remember when it's dark or grey or rainy. Hopeless.

So, instead, here's a little video inspired by something we saw on a Brainiac rerun before Christmas (speaking of which, if those of you with little people haven't seen Richard Hammond's Blast Lab, it's worth a peek). As you know, this *is* the House of Kiddie Science and it's always fun to rope Mr DC into the proceedings. So we present - Bottle Rockets! Some warm water, a couple of Alka Seltzer and a plastic bottle with a sports cap (that bit is vital). Fasten your seatbelts and away we go ...


Monday, 12 January 2009

Self sufficiency

Somehow I'm not sure this is what Marshall's had in mind when they recommended growing your own mushrooms.

Here we have a piece of unashamed whimsy that has given me a lot of pleasure this weekend.

The flowers were the most fun; I think I've finally mastered French Knots though I never expect them to hold. And of course you can't have pretty flowers without a little bee - or at least I can't.

The pattern is from The Little House by the Sea and the gloriously soft felt which has so enhanced the entire experience is, of course, from paper-and-string.

Right, I'm off to build myself a felt house.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Once upon a time ...

... there were two little girls who longed for beds with fairy lights and princess netting and flowery quilts. And as they'd grown too long for their old beds, that's exactly what they now have.

Tall and Tiny Small's main Christmas present from us was one of Wee Wonderfuls fabulous Kit,Chloe and Louise dolls each, complete with a wardrobe of clothes I'd like to have, stashed in red velvet portmanteaux. Their names change daily but currently they are known as Theresa and Holly, and their sock wool hair is already growing bobbly with cuddling. This pattern is truly a joy to stitch (though I used waaaaaay more stuffing than I thought I ever could so I could achieve a good solid and robustly stuffed result). I've been told they need trousers and dressing gowns, so there will be more to come.

Anyway, it's lovely that they can now sleep fully stretched out instead of awkwardly folded up. I'm getting used to the idea that one of these days I am going to be the shortest person in this house. When people first see my children they usually say 'Goodness me, aren't they tall? And aren't they blonde?' - usually swiftly followed, after a cursory look at me by, 'Where do they get that from?' Well, it's all Mr DC's doing. I have never been either tall or blonde. Not even with the aid of heels and highlights.

Of course, new beds need bed pockets. And this was a good way to introduce some yellow in the room, because as soon as it was painted pink as requested, Tall Small changed her favourite colour ...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

What you will

Or, indeed, Twelfth Night. The decorations were definitely past their best, and now they're all down. Not packed away, but down, and the sun poured in through the unadorned windows and showed me how desperately they need cleaning - plenty of time for that another day!

I also used up the last of the Christmas two-for-one clementines in a chocolate orange cake. The photos didn't come out, but it 's definitely worth a try - and the kids have scoffed most of it already!