Repurposed blind

We recently had a change of display at the curtain company I work for and they were taking down some old roman blinds to replace with some new designs, not one to let things go to waste I took the old ones home, not that I had a window they would fit but I knew Id find a use for them.

You may have noticed I have a thing for bags and as its coming up the summer here in England this fabric just screemed beach bag!

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So this one has one large pocket on one side, on the other side I did the same but stitched up the middle to make it 2 pockets.  I used curtain lining for the inside and made another pocket there too.

So there we go a nice light bag with plenty of room for the essentials ready for summer, and another use for fabric that was being thrown out!



My boy turned 7 and I made a cake

This weekend my son turned 7, I have no idea where the time went!

Knowing I bake, he ordered a cake.  This year he was having an animal party, he has a bit of a thing about reptiles at the moment, so we had a visit from a chameleon, a skink a few snakes a bearded dragon and the cutest pygmy hedgehog to name a few.  So with all these visitors it could have been worse, but the cake he ordered was a snake…..easy I thought!

I can bake and do a mean sponge but decorating…and in fondant, is not my strong point, however I’m quite pleased with the result, even though it does look rather ‘homemade’, the kids loved it.

Snake Cake!

Snake Cake!

So technically its a short snake but I realised that I hadn’t got a long board and no time to make one (I only got around to decorating it 2hrs before the party)

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I started off with 2 ring cakes, a vanilla and a chocolate, to try and please everyone, I chopped them up a bit, tried to fashion a tail and the head was kind of made up of the leftovers.  I then ‘glued’ it all together with butter-cream, again I made chocolate and vanilla and covered each cake with them.

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I used one of those bags you get fruit in and put it over the fondant when I rolled it out to get a snakeskin look to it, a little tip I picked up on Pinterest.  Now the hard bit… getting the fondant on the cake.

I did the head first and then layered a large piece over the rest and kind of tucked it in.  I had to blend the edges together, apparently the way to do this is with vodka, the theory being water makes it soggy but vodka evaporates.  Now I know this is a kids cake but I’m told its perfectly safe, any how it worked lovely I didn’t use to much (I saved most of it, after all I was about to host a party for 16 7 year olds, I may have needed it later!)

And there it was a snake cake that my boy was very pleased with.

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We had a great time and after all my effort the cake disappeared in minutes, the kids had a ball and I enjoyed it too, I didn’t even need the rest of that vodka to aid my recovery after it all.

Cath. x

Summer dog and craft show

Hi there, I’ve had lots of little projects on the go recently and over the next few days I’ll share a few with you.  One of them was to add a few extras to my craft stand.

I don’t do many craft shows but when I do I stick to the small local ones, it’s as much about letting people know I do clothing repairs and alterations as it is selling my handmade items.

The latest event has been The Inkerman Buzz, this is a local park, where a group of like-minded folk get together and have a dog show, show off some weaving and woodworking skills promote green living and enjoy the local park.

I thought it would be an ideal show for my up-cycling products, and to promote my business, so in the spirit of the show I added a few doggy things to my usual range.

I put my macramé skills to use and turned some t-shirts, tights and leggings into dog toys.

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Some scraps of material became doggy bandanas

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When walking the dog I often didn’t have pockets for keys, phone and poop bags so created these little bags to attach to the lead

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I also made some insulated water bottle bags, handy for carrying a nice cool drink on these warm days

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I was all prepared and raring to go until I heard the weather forecast, no one had predicted that during the little heat wave that the UK is experiencing that day would be a day of continuous rain and thunder!  I went ahead anyway and set up as did all the others and a few brave souls ventured out to support us, a few sales were made and business cards were taken, so not a total loss, but it could have been so different.

Oh well better luck next time as they say.




End of 2013 starting 2014

Happy New Year to you all!

I had good intentions towards the end of 2013 I had been very organised in the run up to Christmas, I had been busy with Christmas makes for selling at craft fairs and a few clothing alterations for people but left myself just over a week to make some handmade gifts for family and friends.  That was until I got a quinsy on my tonsil, which effectively stopped any plans I had and resulted in an overnight stay at the local hospital, still I recovered by Christmas day and lost weight too, you have too look on the upside!

I didn’t get to the hand made gifts and had to do a quick dash to the shops but I had some nice craft items as presents,

box of craft goodies

box of craft goodies

Thank you to Aunty Christine, who also gave me a bag of scraps left over from her sewing projects.

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lots of lovely fabric

and a new sewing box with a few bits in from my sister.

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So now I have no excuses apart from finding time, I’m not sure where to start. I suffer from the same problem as many crafters, too many ideas and not enough time!

One things that keeps me away from my sewing machine is my friends dog.  When I got made redundant I volunteered to walk her (the dog that is not my friend) as the family are out at work all day and well I needed the exercise.  Another thing is my son and I don’t mind that either of them keep me from my work, well most of the time I don’t mind.  I started the new year off with them both on a walk in our local park.


It had been full on rain here on new years day so when the sun came out on the 2nd we made the most of it

The river was full !

The river was full !

A view through the trees to the lake

A view through the trees to the lake

Jumping in muddy puddles

Jumping in muddy puddles

Yeah there's a park for my son

Yeah there’s a park for my son

Stepping logs

Stepping logs

Even some art here

Only a few more days until my boy is back at school and the decorations are packed away.  Then the plan is to start the day with a lovely walk in the park for me and my (borrowed) dog before getting on with some work.

2014 will hopefully see me build the alterations side of my business, so I don’t have to go out and get a proper job, there will be some more crafts and tutorials showing up on this blog (not just the reasons why I’ve not done any) and hopefully in the very near future I shall be announcing the opening of my Etsy shop.

Wishing you all you wish yourselves for 2014


Craft Fairs

As most crafters already know and I am learning, local craft fairs are a great way of letting people know what you do, there is nothing better than getting honest feedback direct from the people you hope to sell to.

Its ok to list on sales sites and find out what’s popular by waiting for sales but face to face you get so much more feedback and hopefully confirmation that your ideas and creations are of interest to people.

I am yet to decide if I should stick to a specific craft, such as my sewing or keep to the general idea that if its something I no longer need or use can I up-cycle it.  Some fairs I get no sales (boo hoo) other sales people love my bags and recently it was my paper crafts that won the day (see previous posts for some of my book projects), so maybe mixed crafts are the way to ensure some sales as I cannot as yet predict the public!

I am hoping that the clothing alterations I do will be my steady income, but while I’m building up that side of things I’m having fun creating things with the things I’ve got.

Here are some of the things I’ve been creating

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Off now to see what else I can create…


‘Relaxing’ break

I have just returned from a very nice weekend away with my sister and her family.  We headed a long 45 minute drive away to Centre Parcs to visit their Winter Wonderland. We have been going to Centre Parcs for the last few years as the kids love it, my little man is five and my sister has two girls age 8 and 11 so just the right age.

They go to town on the Christmas theme and so we have visited Santa in his woodland workshop, seen his reindeer’s, walked along through the Christmas lights and watched the fireworks over the lake where Santa took a tour in a boat.

Big Christmas tree

Big Christmas tree

There are animals everywhere

some very friendly animals

So we stayed in a comfy little villa in the woods, nowhere near as fancy as the treehouses they have, and nowhere near the cost of the fancy villas but suited us fine as we didn’t intend spending much time inside. However my son decided to be poorly sick on the Friday night although he found the energy to join in with most things after a lazy Saturday spent in the villa. Luckily I had taken a few craft bits knowing we wouldn’t be too late back at the villa in the evenings so had plenty to keep me occupied while he lounged on the sofa.

Our little villa in the woods

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As cars aren’t allowed in the village we got about on bike or by foot so plenty of exercise, together with the swimming, adventure golf and playgrounds we are all worn out.

The only problem with a weekend away though is that they are over too quickly… back home now with my feet up bags unpacked and ready to start another week.

This weeks jobs include making a draft excluder and a peg bag for a customer, finishing touches for a craft fair next weekend and I have to go to see my nieces horse as his blanket does not fit properly and I have been asked to alter it, can’t say I’ve ever given a horse a fitting before!

Santa’s workshop

Pretty lights

Pretty lights

love fireworks

love fireworks