New use for old fabric

Do you remember the old 1970’s sun loungers?  The metal one with the legs and the two sides that folded out and if you didn’t get it right when you sat down either a leg collapsed or one end folded in on you.

Well, being a child of the 70’s I loved ours, so much so when I got my own place in the late 90’s it came with me.

Now with the rubber bands perished and the metal rusted I’ve had to say goodbye to it, but being the hoarder I am I kept the fabric cover.

70's Sun lounger fabric!

Iconic 70’s pattern!


It’s a bit weak in places, after all it had some use over the years but I managed to salvage some and give it a new life.

With its old life in mind, what else could I do but make a beach bag!


Got to love those colours !

I’m off now to recover an old vintage wooden deck chair, I really do hate to throw anything out.  I’ll post photos soon.


Cath.  x





Felt flowers by Em age 8

Today I’m looking after my niece who is a girly girl and loves her accessories, after a root through some of my things she decided she wanted to learn how to make felt roses. A nice easy project to teach her.

    felt flowers (6)     

After choosing her colours she cut out a (kind of) circle, then cut a spiral in the circle. 

felt flowers (1) felt flowers (2) felt flowers (4)

Beginning at the outside she rolled up the felt until only the middle circle was left,

felt flowers (7) felt flowers (10)

felt flowers (12)

Using my favourite craft toy, my hot glue gun, we glued the circle to the bottom of the flower to secure the swirl, then we glued a hairband to it before securing with another scrap of felt.


felt flowers (13)felt flowers (14)Once I had shown her she went on to make a few as they really are simple to do.

felt flowers (16) Nicely worn as a bracelet together and the other she will use as hairbands.



The ‘Art’ of Well Dressing

I have, at the beginning of this blog, alluded to a strange local tradition called Well Dressing.

2014 Finished Well Dressing

2014 Finished Well Dressing

It is I’m told native to Derbyshire and the small village of Barlow has been dressing its wells for a very long time, we have been able to trace it back to 1800’s.  It is believed to be a pagan tradition to thank the gods for water.

Currently a group of us get together at the beginning of August and put flowers in clay to depict a picture often based on a religious theme. Most of us have been doing this for many years (My uncle is currently in his 52nd year of ‘dressing’), I have only notched up 22 years so far.

So once again this year I put the sewing to one side and joined in.

In its basic terms a wooden structure is constructed around the well, clay (that we have had for years and soften every year by walking around in it in our wellington boots) is thrown onto the boards (very good messy fun) and troweled flat, then a picture drawn on it that we then ‘colour in’ with flowers.

We do that by putting large pieces of paper with a pencil drawn picture onto the clay then the lines are ‘drawn’ by cutting through the paper with a knife and then putting in pieces of bark before flowers are added to form the picture.

Here’s a few pictures for you to see

2014-08-08 19.06.48 2014-08-08 19.06.59 2014-08-08 19.29.47 2014-08-08 19.29.53 2014-08-09 09.46.00 2014-08-09 14.20.33 2014-08-10 10.36.40 2014-08-11 15.59.15

Its not all hard work though

Its not all hard work though

Should you wish to widen your knowledge of this odd tradition we have our own website where you can learn more

Cath. x

I’ve gone Bunting mad

Up-cycled bunting

There are so many projects that can use old and unwanted fabric rather than buying new, I have been looking at the different thing I can make, my only problem is choosing what to make as I have too many ideas!

One of the projects I decided on is bunting, it seems to be everywhere but I have never made any.

I had a search through my ever-growing stash of material and cut out a few triangles….

phone 047

There are bits of curtains, sheets, a duvet cover a dress lining and a shirt here.

I have to confess though some of the bias binding was bought new, although some is done with ribbon folded over.

My old fabrics have taken on a new lease of life and can be enjoyed for a while yet!

bunting 124   bunting 111 bunting 114 bunting 118 bunting 122 bunting 125 bunting 127

Now I’ve done it and its such a quick and easy make I’m going to be make lots.  I’ve already started some more…..


Cath x


Beach bag tried and tested

I was commissioned to make a beach bag.  The brief was it had to have enough pockets, be lightweight and not too girly as she hoped to persuade her husband to carry it!

So, I found a thin denim pair of trousers that had wide legs so enough material for a roomy bag, I checked Pinterest for inspiration and found that most beach bags did not have many pockets or the pockets were on the outside, this person is terrible for losing things so pockets had to be inside, and then I got to work.

And this was the result…


Now if you follow me on Twitter you will have seen the pictures I posted of this, I was quite pleased with the result, apart from it’s the wrong way around I had intended on having it wider than it was deep but after I finished sewing the pockets in the lining I realised I had put them in wrong!

As well as being denim which would stand up to being on the sand I lined it with a shower curtain, the theory running along the lines of some kind of waterproofing for wet towels inside or in case it got wet!?

This bag has now been on the first of its jaunts abroad and has been rigorously tested (unfortunately not by me) over the last two weeks and I’m told the outside pocket between the straps was just the right size for flip-flops, when walking in the sand,

LG Church display 012

the inside had two open pockets and a zipped pocket, all of which were used, one for sun cream one for her kindle and one for bits she didn’t want to lose.

LG Church display 011

And I am now happy to report it passed its tests and the customer was very happy and so I was happy.

I may just have to make some more, I shall try to get it the right way round next time !


Here goes, why its taken so long

Well as the title says, here goes my first post on a blog that I actually set up some time ago.
I’ve actually had lots to put on here but just haven’t got around to actually doing it, this needs to change! So here’s a quick summary of this summer that seemed to go too quickly.

At the beginning of the school holidays I was made redundant from my job, boo hoo, but hey saved on sorting out child care for my 5 year old!
August was then taken up with an old Derbyshire tradition of dressing a local village well, the art of putting flowers in clay to celebrate water, for more details on this unusual tradition check out our website

Well Dressing

Well Dressing

Then came the village carnival, our theme this year was a summer garden.

Carnival time

Carnival time

Then of course comes harvest what with elderflowers, apples, blackberries, marrows, plums and tomatoes to name a few, I have been busy in the kitchen.
So Elderflower champagne at the start of the summer gives way to elderberry wine now bubbling in the demi john, the marrow as well as making a rather good chutney is also bubbling in a demi john for my first attempt at marrow wine.
The panty is now also brimming with spiced plum jam, sage & apple jelly, various chutneys and there is some blackberry vodka maturing for Christmas.

Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower Champagne

Tomatoes, marrow, apples and plums

Tomatoes, marrow, apples and plums

jams, chutney and Jelly

jams, chutney and Jelly

So now after two months and still no employment, but lots to keep me busy, my son is now back at school, maybe its time to turn to my other hobbies of up-cycling and creating to earn my living until other employment opportunities come my way.

More on that to come…..