Monday, 29 April 2013

Handmade Monday

I've been taking part in Handmade Monday for the last few weeks and it's been lots of fun looking at the various blogs taking part and seeing all the goodies they make.

This week, I've mainly been making things for a friend who is hosting a charity coffee morning in aid of the WRVS.  After reading the Handmade Harbour Blog this week and spotting the lovely Fabric and Pebble Hearts I decided it was time to stop looking at lovely sketchy/doodle stitched items on Pinterest and give them a go myself.

To start me off I had a go at a few hearts but then I drew out some flowers and butterflies and was quite impressed with my results.

A collection of them, some as you can see are still to be finished.

I need to make some monsters and I fancy having a go at a stuffed sketchy bird too but I need to get all these in the post on Tuesday so I have run out of time.  Ah well!  Another project for another day.

Roux adores crafting and he's sewn from just turned 3 years old.  Today he decided to move on from a needle and thread to the sewing machine and insisted on helping to make a heart.  He's only just turned 4 but I controlled the pedal and he happily fed the heart through keeping the line as straight as he could.  Unfortunately, I think this means I won't be allowed to sew without him from now on so I've gone back to only machine sewing on an evening I think

 I've also been sorting out a new (very cheap) purchase that I made today.  Below is a car boot tidy craft bag courtesy of the lovely Percy's Scrapstore.  If you've never been to a scrap store or even heard of one and you like crafting you need to change this fast and google for your closest one.  Percy's is an absolute treasure trove of crafting goodies and is run by a bunch of fabulous volunteers that work hard to rescue unwanted items from local businesses that could be reused and recycled.

Take these carboot tidies craft bags as an example.  From the logo on them I'd think that they were possibly giveaway items made by the insurer or perhaps gifts for loyal customers etc.  For whatever reason they had a surplus and without Percy's I'm sure they would have been destined for landfill but now I hope a bunch of them will be re-purposed.  They're so spacious and with a zipped top on one half I knew exactly what mine would become...

Ta-dah!  A fabric bag!  I've put all of my scraps of fabric and felt in the section that can be zipped up and my embellishments in the other half.  Well, this is all I can find right now.  I've got bits all over the house but now I've got a place to collect them all to I can attempt to keep my stash tidy.  It's absolutely perfect and will hopefully be the first step in organising my crafting.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you've all been up to over this last week, Hello Handmade Monday.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Victory Roll Goodness

Another weekend, another Vintage feel to my spare time.  Since my children were born I've had very limited free time but due to circumstances, I'm currently having every weekend 'off'.  it's taking some getting used to and I'm coping by immersing myself in a world that I've always loved but seen from afar.  Today was my first trip in full costume so to speak.  I bought a lovely black and leopard print dress from Rockabilly Rosie last weekend  that I took up so it was knee length, heels of course, a faux fur wrap, vintage handbag and I attempted a vintage hairstyle but was being harassed by small children so failed miserably, thankfully, the organisers of Little Red Wagon had thought of everything and had the very talented Little Gem providing vintage hair styles for just £5!

The fair was at a lovely garden centre in Peterlee that provided good food, a nice gift shop and the undercover nursery was jampacked with lovely stalls and then the icing on the cake was a live band.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough space to practice some of my new moves but it certainly got my foot tapping.

Why did I not buy this Pirate sign?  Roux has a Pirate theme to his bedroom and he'd have loved this for our new house.  I think I'll have to pay a visit to Pin Up Clothes to rectify it. 

There was so much I never got to photograph as there were lots of eager shoppers that kept getting in the way.  I'd urge you to all go and check out

Time Traveller Vintage Boutique

I was so impressed with my hair that I wanted to show everyone.  I had a few random people ask to take my photograph and I felt like a million dollars.  

 I was so taken with it that I decided to use an old trick and see if I could save it for another day.  For the first time in my life I purchased a hair net and borrowed one of my Mums old silk headscarves and wrapped up my hair before bed.  I had my Mum in hysterics, she's one of 5 girls (she's the youngest) and the sight of me with my hair like that took her back to her childhood watching her teenage sisters preening before bed.  It was worth it though, it only worked!  I saved my hair for Sunday.  I need to practice, practice, practice so I can do this too.  Tomorrow, my 70+ Aunt is coming over with her foam rollers and setting lotion to have a go at making my hair take an early 50s curl.

At the moment, I have no upcoming Vintage fun and I feel slightly bereft.  I need to look for some more rockabilly blogs I think.  I'd love to hear suggestions. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

52 Weeks of Happy 17/52

Getting the opportunity to sit for a whole evening trying out a new technique (to me) of doodle or sketchy stitching.  It's fun to do but you've got to forget years of training of straight neat lines.

A spot of sunshine on my tulips 

Planning a party fit for a Princess.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Rockabilly Rolics and Handmade Fun

Yesterday was spent with the wonderful ladies at Rockabilly Rosie, they are a duo based in the North East that run fabulous Rockabilly workshops teaching hair, make up, dancing and lots of fashion and shopping trips with copious quantities of tea, cake and fun thrown in for good measure.  I've been to two so far and honestly, I'd go to as many more as they put on.  The atmosphere is fantastic as both ladies are a lot of fun and you leave feeling like not only have you gained them as friends but you've also got all the other people that attended too.  

The workshops are sort of led by the people that attend so if you want to focus on a particular hair style or gain more make up tips then that's what we'll do.  Emma aka Sugar Doll always has time to show whatever you want and while the others are having a spot of tea she'll give you a bit of one to one tuition.  My only complaint is how quickly the time goes, I really could spend all day there.  

All set up and ready to go

Our essentials pack - bandana, cocktail umbrella, band and kirby grips, CD, lip liner, red lipstick and eyeliner

Victory rolls!  My hair was still a little too soft from where I'd had it dyed the day before so these weren't easy to put in

Emma aka Sugar Doll showing us how it should be done

Rockabilly Rosie also have a shop selling clothing and vintage homewares.  I may have come home with a black and leopard print dress.  I can't show it at the moment as due to my shortness I need to do a little alteration to the length this week.  I need to get it done and continue practicing my victory rolls so I can showcase myself at The Little Red Wagon Vintage Market next weekend at Peterlee in Plants 'R' Ross.  Rockabilly Rosie will be there so if you do go, make sure you pop over to their stall and say hello and sign up to their next workshop - if you don't, you're missing out.  

After the workshop I was planning on coming home and spending the afternoon and evening sewing and crocheting but Roux demanded I took him to a car boot sale as it's his favourite thing.  After spending an hour jiving, walking around the car boot sale and carrying home our toys I was absolutely shattered so didn't get anything done.  A friend of mine is hosting a fundraiser for WRVS and I said I'd send her some bits to sell, the plan being I'd make a lot tonight but it didn't happen due to Peanut making me feel so exhausted.  The plan was that I could link up some of my goodies that I made to Handmade Monday  so I feel like I'm cheating as the only thing I 'made' today was some Lego!  I'll have to make up for it this week.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Squirrely sort of a day

Not much crafting took place at Casa Kitsch Stitch today as it's been really hectic.  My sisters children have unfortunately been ill (not that you would know!) and weren't allowed to go to school this week, after a long and boring week for them the sun finally came out and I arrived at my parents with Roux and Hurricane so there were lots of fun playtimes from them this morning.  

Mum has been sorting the lofts and let the children up this morning to have a mooch about and find all of mine and my siblings toys - some dating back to the late 60s!  After that, we had a spot of lunch and realised that the four of them were quickly becoming bored.  The cousins were absolutely mended and will be returning to school on Monday so we thought we'd be quite naughty and take them to a massive park nearby.  It houses a museum for a local hero, a lake, woodland, animals to feed and has just had an upgrade giving a brilliant play park.  

We started with a spot of football and frizbees then took a walk, it was such a sunny day with just a slight sharp wind but once you were walking you didn't feel it.  

The sunlight was breaking through the trees and there were daffodils scattered everywhere along with buds on nearly every bush and even some flowers breaking through

As I know my little family well I made sure that I had a couple of bags of these...

So we could feed these..

Which resulted in 4 very happy children, they all managed to be lovely and quiet and had fantastic fun spotting squirrels.  I find this fun but a bit difficult as in my last job before children I worked for a large country Estate that was in a red squirrel conservation area so we demonized the greys to quite an extent meaning that standing here merrily feeding them makes me feel a bit odd.  

On the way, we collected twigs, leaves, daisies and Hurricane decided this branch with leaves was absolutely critical to her enjoyment of the day.  It went everywhere with her and when we stopped to play in the park I had to care for it and for the ice cream break it was handed to her Nanny for safe keeping.  

Unfortunately, when we went to say hello to the goats one of them took an interest in Mr Bush and tried to eat it.  Hurricane gave him a severe telling off screeching "No Billy Goat Gruff, it's mine!"  We were all in fits of laughter as she was so indignant.  After that it was kept firmly at her side or behind her back while the goats were fed bits of cabbage and she kept an eye on them all.

After that, we had a quick stop at the museum and did some posing around the anchor and totem

Then back to the car (not an easy task), an attempt to convince Hurricane that Mr Bush did not need to return home with us and would be better off left with his 'friends' hidden for when she came next time.  Roux asked if we could go to a restaurant aka pub to eat.  He's quite the boy that likes dining out, sometimes I worry if this is because my cooking is so bad but he's just a fan of choosing from a menu and being served, also, eating out generally means he gets dessert.  They both went to bed incredibly happy and exhausted this evening.  Days like this mean not much crafting gets done as quite frankly, I'm exhausted too but it was worth it.  A friend is doing a fundraiser soon so I need to spend the weekend making monsters, hats and anything else I get time to do to donate to the stall.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

52 weeks of Happy 1/52 or 16/52

I've been seeing a lot about this on various blogs that I read such as Little Tin Bird and Bunny Mummy to name but two, quite frankly if I named any more I'd be here for an hour cutting and pasting links!

The idea behind it seemed to be to find a few things every single week that make you happy. Such a simple concept but really something everyone should do, find those little things in life that lift your spirits and make you happy no matter what.  I think it might be something good for me to look over and read my posts when life gets stressful and I'm wondering where the light is at the end of the tunnel - I can remind myself just how lovely life can be sometimes.

Despite seeing it on so many blogs I'd struggled to find the source of this idea so I've spent a little while googling and here it is - Little Birdie is the clever lady that came up with the concept so if you like it, have joined in or are thinking about joining in then do pop over to her blog and say hi.

So even though this is my first week it's the 16th of the year and I know I'll get a tic if I try and start at week one 4 months into the year so I just have to cheat.

1. Having a sunny trip in the car and actually being able to have the windows down, the three of us wearing sunglasses and singing along to the very chirpy Mr Blue Sky by ELO 

(photo courtesy of

2. Every night before Roux goes to sleep he likes to cuddle up to Peanut and shower my bump in kisses and squeezes whilst nattering away (generally saying he loves it) and often the odd song. It's very special and is a great way to end our day together.

3. The Sea. I grew up in a seaside town and have pretty much spent all my time living near the sea apart from a little stint of a couple of years. Even then, at least once a month I had to drive to the seaside and would hang out of the car window sniffing the air.  No matter how stormy the weather is seeing the sea always brightens my day. It also normally makes my children break into song, either oh we do like to be beside the seaside or Peppa Pig's I woke up one morning.

4. As much as I love my children, these lighter nights make me happy as it means when I put them to bed there is still enough light to sit at the window in sunlight and have a bit of time crafting.  Some of this is going to become a needle case eventually.

So that's it for this week, it's been nice looking back and finding a number of things that brought a smile to my face, I think taking part in this weekly challenge will be a lot of fun.  

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Early Birthday Gift

I am incredibly lucky but also incredibly unlucky at the same time.  I have a bunch of wonderful friends that I absolutely adore and see as extended family but due to the RAF we've all been posted to different corners of the UK (and the World) so I rarely get to see them.

Due to a few issues I'm working through at the moment one of these fantastic friends sent me a little cheer up/early Birthday present.  I'm not ashamed to admit she made me blub a bit.

How amazing!  Along with Bees I do have a thing for Matryoshka dolls and she's so talented that she sewed this for me, it will make me think of her every time I use it. 

The crochet hook is in my favourite size (3.5) and is made with fimo I think. It took me an evening to get used to as the weight is different but now it's an absolute gem, it also warms in the hand as you use it which makes it so much better than a plain hook.  

Just one lonely hook in there at the moment, I'm tempted to buy a full set of these hooks and might leave this case to put my special ones in. It'll take time as they're handmade and do cost a lot of dollar when compared to the cost of a standard hook but they're worth it. Using this hook makes me smile and I feel quite honoured that she's done such a special thing for me.

Now for the bit that made me blub, she sent a card explaining the pattern.  Butterflies hold a very special meaning to my family so it's covered in butterflies because they mean something to me, a heart because I'm loved, a flower because I adore them and a star because I am one.  Like I said, I'm so lucky that I've got such wonderful friends but it makes me so sad that we're all hours away from each other so I just had to be content with thanking her minus a massive hug.  

Monday, 15 April 2013

A Vintage sort of Sunday

Today is one of my favourite days of the month because it means it's the For the Love of Vintage Fair

This is a fabulous fair that I only discovered at the beginning of the year, it's packed to the rafters with handmade goodies alongside vintage clothing, accessories and tit bits.  Mum and I absolutely adore it and for such a small little fair (approximately 17 stalls) we're there for HOURS.  It's the sort of place where you need to look around then go back to a few things that caught your eye, then start from the beginning again then have a cup of tea then go around again.  

It doesn't just have lovely stalls but it's such a wonderful atmosphere, everyone is so friendly, the stall holders actively want to have a natter with you as do most of the people attending it, there is such a vibe it's an absolute delight to be there and I'm usually still smiling a few hours after.  

Live music is such a wonderful thing and Becky who organises the fair always has a very talented (or two) local musician there to entertain us all.  This month I had Roux and Hurricane with me so frequently ended up jiving away with one of them.  Hurricane was quite taken with the music and spent a lot of time standing in the way of everyone swinging her hips to the beat.  What it is it about good live music that just lifts the spirits?

It's hard to know where to start first to tell you about this little treasure trove of a fair, I think I'll start with some absolutely DIVINE dresses courtesy of Devine Dolly.  I am such a Rockabilly girl at heart and it's a style I've drooled after for years but I never had the confidence to go for it, I'm getting there slowly but surely and for the last few months I've been styling my make up with a definite Rockabilly theme and am rarely seen without my bright RED lipstick.  Anyway, the fabrics the ladies at Devine Dolly use are such good quality and they have a collection of styles that I just can't wait.  Once Peanut is skin side and I've lost the baby weight I'm going to invest in some pretty dresses from here, it would be criminal not too.

Now to this scrumptious stall from Typically English.  I'm sure that she makes nearly everything on this stall herself and it's using the most gorgeous vintage laces and pretty vintage style fabrics.  This is one of those stalls that I kept returning to so I could touch things and on every visit (I think I counted 6) I noticed something else.  I'd love to spend an afternoon with Helen, as I'm sure her home or workshop is a very fun place to be.  Those 6 trips back to this stall may have, ahem, led to some purchases

Look at all these sparkly things! Courtesy of Ragtime Vintage.  They were also the sellers of the pink dress below.  I absolutely feel in love with some crystals in a bowl on this table but I'm on a budget so couldn't stretch this month.  If there still there at the next fair they are mine!

Look at this beautiful little number.  I drooled over this for a long time and I'm gutted to have left it behind but it's a few sizes smaller than I was pre-pregnancy (not many now I'm losing so much weight) and I'm not sure of my body shape after Peanut so the sensible thing was to walk away.  Ragtime Vintage is ran by a Mother and Daughter team and the Mother said that she'd be able to make me one whenever I need so I'm making sure I keep her contact details so I can hold her to that.  I need this dress in my life.

Next up was another treasure trove of a stall and another one that I kept going back to time and time again.  Also a peek of the Hurricane touching *rolls eyes*  I know she gets this from me but she just touches every thing and she's one of these children that always manages to get grubby no matter what I do.  She's cute with it though so I let her off.  Thimble-Stitch have some vintage haberdashery that my Mum laughed over as it took her back to her childhood along with the tins below, threads, buttons and pretty fabric. I may have made some purchases here too.

Well all that shopping gave me an appetite and I'd promised Roux and Hurricane that if they followed me around and let me browse without too much trouble I'd gift them with cake.  Roux latched onto this and declared "Ok Mummy, we get to choose it and you have to pay for it".  Hmmm, my boy is a bit too worldly wise for a 4 year old.  He's right though, that's what generally happens.  

The tea room at the fair is always ran by The Sitting Room (who coincidentally was where we stopped for cake yesterday) and they follow the vintage theme with an abundance of home made cakes and a very good cup of tea served in tea cups on crisp white table cloths.  

Roux was taken by some rocky road, Hurricane saw the rainbow cake and giggled that it was so many colours, Mum had Victoria Sponge and I had this lovely chocolate and hazelnut gluten free cookie.  I could have eaten this all over again and I wish I'd got one to take away.  Never mind, it gives me an excuse to visit their quaint little tea shop again.

This isn't my picture, I've been naughty and lifted it from their Facebook page.

So now to my purchases... the best bit.  I've been making lots of the monsters that I've briefly mentioned and family and friends are demanding more.  They only take scraps of yarn and I love making them so I'm using them to pay for baby sitting and other favours.  The jar of vintage buttons are intended to be monster eyes, a beautiful necklace from an up and coming business that isn't currently hooked up to the internet (Kitty Franks) She's now online, check the link below, the fabric, sequin trimmings and brooches are going to be needle cases for myself, Mum and a few as gifts. 

Hurricane spotted the flowery lace and asked if I could make it into something for her hair.  She's nearly 3 but very demanding! and the pin cushion is very strokeable.  I was considering making one myself but my wonderful Mother decided to buy this anyway as it so pretty.  

I should have been making a start on the needle cases tonight but I've spent so much time looking at the websites, facebook pages and blogs of not only the ones I've mentioned here but others that I couldn't photograph due to the sheer amount of people crowding the stall that I've ran out of time.  I'm itching to make them though so it won't be long!

I've recently been introduced to Handmade Monday, I'm not too sure how it works right now but I'm definitely a fan of home made, especially when you've got fairs like The Love of Vintage to go to and gather inspiration plus local goodies - spoilt for choice.

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In an effort to buy local, hand made beautiful things I'm trying to keep a record of shops/individuals that sell amazing creations and items.  Here's todays list of places I think you should visit.

Typically English - Helen,

Ragtime Vintage -

Thimble-stitch - Kate Watson,

Devine Dolly -

Kitty Franks -

Freda's Vintage Clothing and Accessories -

Niamh's Boutique -

The Profile Gallery & Sitting Room -