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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Simple and Gorgeous Laptop Sleeve

My sister had three kids... Yes you know that by now of course. But yesterday I only showed you what I made for the boys for Christmas and not yet for my niece. My niece wants to buy a laptop for Christmas so everyone is giving her some money instead of a present and together with her savings, I'm sure she will be able to buy a lovely laptop. The problem with sending money is that I live in the UK, and they dont. Hence we dont have Euros. Small problem there... Of course I would send Pounds but then she would only waste half of it on exchange rates and bank fees. So I thought of something else. A little while ago my my mother made her a pillow of this gorgeous rose print cotton fabric and gave the rest to me. So I asked if she would like me to make a cool laptop sleeve for when she has her laptop. Luckily she agreed that that was a cool idea (told ya, am the 'cool auntie' LOL).

After browsing online for a bit, I found the perfect tutorial for the perfect laptop sleeve. No kidding, this was one the best tutorials I have ever seen! Even I couldnt mess this one up, totally blonde-proof :) Oh yes, this is the link btw. The Cottage Home has killer stuff, you NEED to check it out! Since the tutorial is brilliant, I wont bore you to death with the exact same pics, but rather show you the result of my version:

This fabric is wonderful but a disaster the photograph... this was the best I could do... Ignore the creases pls, I just couldnt get them out, no matter how hard I ironed...

As my lining was orange fleece (orange, orange???), I added orange buttons to pull everything together. Yes I know, orange was defo not the best choice here, but it was the only colour I had enough of and since it's the inside it's ok I think. Plus in the current light it looks ok LOL.

Of course I had to embellish a little with my trademark rosette and added one with two layers and another orange button. I think it looks very cute and girly, dont you?

I wasnt sure how to sew the fleece as the tutorial uses fleece that is the same on both sides. Mine was hairy on one side and soft and smooth on the other. I used the soft side (so the 'inside') for the inside of the bag to make sure the laptop will be all snug and undamaged. I really hope she'll like it! And of course a massive thanks to The Cottage Home for this great tutorial!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Star Wars Bathrobes

My sister has three kids. Joy... No, they're really nice kids, I was just never one for having any myself so we always joke around that she had one for me so my mom is happy at least ;) However, even though I dont want kids, I get to be the cool auntie :) Nothing wrong with that! Hihi... My sister has a girl and twin boys who were born about a week before Christmas (yes all three of them!) so the present thing is even more difficult. They're slowly getting to the teenage stage of life, so all those lovely baby tutorials are a little wasted on me. But that doesnt mean that I didnt come up with some of the coolest presents this year :) I was quite adament that I didnt want to spend too much money (still being frugal after all), didnt want to send toys yet again, and I wanted something really cool that they would also be able to use. And I didnt want my sister to send me a wishlist, I wanted a surprise. That's a lot to ask right? Oh yes... The whole sister-not-knowing thing didnt go down that well as I have no clue how to shop for boys so there was the first dilemma already. We managed to come up with something that was affordable and practicle, only missing the cool factor. We came up with: BATHROBES! Winter is coming and what is better than coming out of the shower in a lovely comfy bathrobe to lounge around on the sofa with?

Problem: my usual shop doesnt have the same sizing as the continental EU. So I had to call my sister who gave me sizes. Guess what? The size in question didnt exist! Honestly... so we decided a size up (always better than a size down really except when dieting). THEN they only had ONE of the bathrobe I wanted. Since they're twins, I really needed two of them. This particular bathrobe was dark blue and very soft and the others were fleece and had print. Well, I wasnt going to wait a few weeks for the delivery so I had to make a decision. I spotted some fleece robes with black/white camouflage print. Not bad I thought, I can surely do something with that. So here it goes:

The original bathrobe. Nothing special really, but comfy and warm :)

First I had to take off the massive age label that they put inside the back of it. But in the end that only took a few minutes. I like that the tying up thingy is actually attached to the back, I always lose mine LOL

Remember my post from yesterday with the tease?

Enter Star Wars fabric.

And some more SW fabric. A few years ago, I made a few SW pillows for some friends and this fabric has been lying around ever since. I got this fabric on eBay via a really lovely seller in the US called 'tabberone', but I dont think she's trading anymore :( I just thought it looked way too cool to throw away. Time to start using it...

I had read so many of your blog posts about appliques and really wanted to try it. So I dashed off to the shop and actually found some Wonderweb. The tutorial paper that came with was TINY! Yes I'm not kidding, it's like 5x5cm or so, really small. So I found this very handy tutorial that I can highly recommend.

So with my Wonderweb and my iron, and my SW fabric, I got to work. And work, and work... I didnt end up using wonderweb on everything as it was a lot more hassle that I thought it would be, but as my sister loves to use her washing machine, I had to make sure it was all safe and secure. Also, the first few attempts failed miserably so it was a good thing that I'd bought extra ;)

Ready for the results?? Luckily I agreed with my sister which one of the boys would get which character as I did want to theme it a bit. We agreed on a Yoda and a Darth Vader. Kind of good vs evil which was fun to do.

Each bathrobe got a large character print on the back. Darth Vader in red...

Yoda in green (and blue for the alliance)

Then I had to think, what to do next? I didnt have too much fabric and I didnt want to overdo it either...

Each robe has the Star Wars logo on the left-hand pocket...

...and General Grievous on the right-hand pocket.

Both pocket patches had to be sewn by hand as I thought it would take more time to take the pocket off the robe, machine sew the patch on and sew the pocket back. In the end it still looks good though.

Since the boys are twins, I wanted them to have the same bathrobe, but each robe has its own theme and small differences in the borders etc.

I wanted to add something to sleeves as well, so I placed Darth Vader on the sleeve of the Darth Vader robe...

...and fighting Jedi's on the sleeve of the Yoda robe.

The Yoda robe now has a border that is sewn around the collar. That way, no matter if my nephew wears the collar up or down, you can still see the border.

The Darth Vader robe has the same fabric but the border is on the sleeves...

...and on the bottom hem.

The Yoda robe just has a blue ribbon hemmed to the sleeves to create the border there.

Are you ready for the final result? Here it comes!

The Darth Vader Robe:

As you can see, I added a red ribbon as an addition to the neckline hem (wow is that even English, I cant think anymore...) which you'll only see when the hood is down like it is now. Nevertheless, I didnt want to overdo it on the one. Oh, and in case you think of Rocky when you see this picture, just imagine my nephew in it with his head in a towel!

The Yoda robe (front only since the back is only Yoda as seen in the picture somewhere up here):


I think all in all the camouflage print works quite well... Obviously I havent heard their thoughts on it yet, but I can hear yours! What do you think? IRL they look better as my photo-taking-skill are awful (hopefully only today!) and please ignore the mess in the background of the pics btw.

It was a lot of work (well, I spent about a day on both which is quite alright really) and some things are a little crooked, but I like them and I hope my nephews will do too! All is cost me were bathrobes (very good price if you know where to look) and some wonderweb :) Now I just hope the Royal Mail doesnt lose them...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmassing - Presents Presents Presents

Hello everyone!
It's been a while... I know! And I had so many things planned and so many things to blog about that of course I managed to do nothing and have forgotten most of my ideas by now. Typical... BUT this weekend things finally turned around and the sewing machine came out for the first time in a good few weeks :) Christmas is nearing and as much as I love the vacation part of this holiday, the present stress is something I would rather avoid. Of course I love to give my loved ones presents, although I do that all year round, but this whole 'have to' business is not for me. So I told myself that this year I would be prepared and only have minimal (if at all) purchases to make in December. And guess what?? I've done it! I'm as good as finished with my Christmas shopping/making etc. All the Christmas deco is unpacked and 'pimped' as needed, most of the presents are finished (apart from a couple for the bf), and the last box will go in the post tomorrow for family overseas. No more December Christmas rush for me! Westfield in December together with half of London? No way! Being run over by mad shoppers with gigantic bags on Oxford Street? Not me! Ok, I gather that everyone is trying to save the VAT bit but they can go really mental here... (for anyone not in the UK, they're increasing the tax by 2.5% in January for all shopping). So: I'm done. Yay! *falls exhausted onto sofa* We were supposed to go away yday to Dragonmeet, the ultimate nerdy gaming day, but one of our friends got a stomach bug so we got to stay home and I could finish my stuff. Want to know what I did this weekend? Well, I need to prepare the posts, but let me give you a few hints... It has to do with this:


And this:


Wondering how this fits all together? Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Oh no! With all these presents I forgot to start my Advent Calendar!! I have the contents but not the actual calender.... It will be a busy few days trying to get that sorted...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Fairy Stocking Giveaway Winner

Good morning everyone!
Just came back from seeing HP7, not a bad movie at all (except for the other people in the cinema who were eating, talking, giggling, or indeed very smelly) and I can highly recommend it. This might indeed be a movie worthy of the series :)

As promised, I picked the winner of the Fairy Stocking Giveaway via random.org:
And the winner is: Theresa at Fairy Moon Creations!


Congrats Theresa, please email me your address so I can send the stocking to you :)

Now, off to do some more crafting/cleaning/enjoying Sunday, whichever comes first hihi...

Saturday, 20 November 2010

88 Followers and Gogo Yubari

Good morning everyone!!
I checked my blog last night and saw that I had 88 followers, 88!!! So I thought I'd share this costume that I made last year for a Japanese themed night and had this whole chain of events in my head: 88 followers -> Crazy 88 -> Kill Bill -> Gogo Yubari -> Share costume. Now, on this lovely Saturday morning while the bf is still sleeping, I find that I have 90 followers, 90 followers!! I am so pleased :) Thank you all so much for following my little blog and the things I create :) It means a lot to me, especially as I feel that a lot of negativity is coming my way from people I know IRL so to see that there are still people that care and leave positive comments sure means a lot :)

Not wanting to deprive you of my Crazy 88 mind set, I still want to share the costume with you. The party was in January 2009 so a little while ago already, and it was Japanese themed. Obviously not very Japanese looking, I had a challenge. I love a good challenge! I went through so many ideas for a Japanese costume, thinking about manga characters like Lacus Cline, Rozen Maiden Mercury, and even Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service. All this could be made with stuff I already partially had, but then no one would really know what they were since this was bound to be more of a piss up (I am in London after all) than a convention type event.


But THEN I had the best idea ever! And one that I thought was fairly easy to make. Gogo Yubari from Kill Bill. I was inspired after seeing the episode 'Go Go Gilmore' of the Gilmore Girls (a series I love and the last DVD had just arrived yay!) where Rory Gilmore dresses as Gogo Yubari. Enter £2 week at the charity shop as my blazer creating skills are far from good. I dont really have a how-to of this costume but let me decribe it first and wow you with the photographic evidence after :) I had to buy a food few things for this as a school outfit is not readily available in my closet. I didnt go to school here after all... So I bought a blazer for £2 (and a perfect fit and colour!) and bought some gold buttons as well to match the movie costume. I printed off a patch that I found on Google and stuck it on cardboard to have the right logo. Here is the link to another blog who actually has a great template too: Link to Patch.

Yes, someone else painted it, but it was only for one night so it was fine. I also bought some white sporty shoes (£2 at Primark), a white shirt (£1.50 at Primark), and white knee high socks (£1 at Primark). For those not from the UK, Primark is like Target but they only have clothing. And no, I dont own a white shirt, yugh... not really my style... Then I got some red ribbon as well for the necktie. Luckily I still had a skirt I could use at least ;) The wig was the worst, as all the wigs I checked were so ugly so a friend brought me a decent one. Not the cheapest but at least it looked ok.

No, no pics yet because the worst was yet to come... Gogo's Ball of Death or however you would like to call it... I googled reference pics all day and found a good replica here. When I found this, the image was actually linked to another site and said
replica cost $150 which was not going to happen. Enter creativity.

I bought a styrofoam ball at the craft store and the same friend also bought some chain at the DIY store as he lived next door to one rather than me having to travel for like forever. Only a few weeks later did my colleagues tell me there was a DIY store really close to the office. Handy...

So anyway, as this was right around the time that London was going a bit crazy about knives in public (some crazy kids decided that stabbing people was fun), this ball had to look dangerous but had to be completely harmless to avoid any problems. I used craft foam to make the rim, and... wait for it... earplugs on toothpicks for the spikes!! I then cut the earplugs to shape and asked the bf to spraypaint the whole thing silver. Little did I know not to use normal spray paint on styrofoam as the whole thing started melting... He didnt know either so I guess am not that blonde ;) NOW I know this though hihi... So the Ball of Death had a few dimples... Nothing major though. One silver spiky ball achieved.


Close but no cigar. I still had to add the chains... Luckily my friend brought me a range of chains to chose from so I went off and checked what I could use for this. I chose the smallest chain tp glue around the ball:

Looking pretty good already huh? Really, I cant tell you how proud I was of this...

The hole where I stuck the ball on a very large toothpick (one of those shashlik ones) came in handy when having to attach the large chain. I painted the top of a milk bottle silver, cut a slit in it, screwed a hook into the ball where the hole was, and glued the bottle cap on top with the hook sticking through the lid. Sounds confusing? I mean this:

Because, looking back at the reference, this is what it looks like. -Ish anyway LOL. Oh yes, I also need to add the chain... so I looked a keyring through the hook and attached a large plastic (also health and safety approved) to the it as well. The chain was a white one that I had to spray paint silver also. It was a little larger than in the reference but it still looked good. This is the final result of Gogo's Ball of Death:

The handle was a toilet roll covered in tape with yet another keyring. Not bad huh?? And it worked too!

Here I am on the night itself happily swinging my Ball of Death. Yes, I look way too happy about that LOL

This was my best reference and comparison. Ignore my posing, I really must practice... But with a few items from the charity shop and some craftiness, I managed to get the look quite well :) And at least everyone recognised the character and I had no problems getting in with my very dangerous looking but really kitty-safe Ball of Death :)

I hope you enjoyed reading about this as much as I did making it :) I know Halloween is over, but my costuming never stops ;) You'll see as it will be SantaCon in a mere three weeks, wait until you see my costume for that!!

For all my new followers, thank you so much and dont forget to enter my giveaway! You have until midnight tonight UK time. I'm off to get some brekkie now, enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Christmassing - Felt Gingerbread Couple Ornaments

The felt ornamenting continues... Well, when in Hobbycraft... ;) No seriously, I was there anyway and I saw this great tutorial I just knew I had to try this. They were so cute!! So I bought some brown felt while I was there, and knew I had the rest to off I went. These are is my lovely gingerbread couple:

Arent they cute?! Yes, I know they look more like the creatures in 9 than the gingerbread couple in the picture of the actual tutorial, but I think it gives them this extra nerdiness which is also very The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season. Hihi...

I kept to the original colour scheme, using more tiny cut-offs from the felt glitter ornaments and other felt leftovers I had. I didnt have red glitter felt, but I added some glitter glue so I still got the sparkling effect. So far I've only made this pair but I'm tempted to make more! How about you? Are you going to make some gingerbread men (and women!) to hang on your tree?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Christmassing - Felt Glitter Ornaments

Of course I didnt only just glitter up some normal ornaments (which by the way only cost 99p and some glitter), I also made some ornaments from scratch using some black and silver sparkled felt that I bought at Hobbycraft last week. Hobbycraft is pretty much the only hobby shop in the vincinity and even then it takes about 40 mins to get there.

I got the idea from a colleague who saw some owls at Habitat for like £2 and decided she can make those herself. Of course hers look so much better ;) I also got a lot of ideas from the flyers that they had lying around at Hobbycraft.
I started off with some very basic shapes, I made a circle and a star. After all, I needed some practice first! ;)

The circle is quite flat but I still really like it, and I love the star also. I used a cookie cutter to get the shape. I used some leftover silver ribbon to tie them to the tree.

Then I upgraded a bit to this circle with a bow on top, and I also made a heart. So after seeing this flyer at Hobbycraft, I just had to make some more hearts :)

On the left: White felt, red thread, black ribbon, black and red buttons
In the middle: Red felt with black/silver leftover bits, silver thread, and black ribbon
On the right: White felt with red dots, black/silver felt, black thread, and red ribbon

I just loved making these! I think (hope!) the colour scheme will really work and these will kind of put everything together. Plus I got rid of some ribbons and buttons that I had leftover so the only thing I had to buy for this was the black/silver felt, and I only needed one sheet of that (which at 85p was quite cheap) and it was the perfect find! Black to match our current baubles but also sparkly to add that extra Christmas feeling. Also, on a side note, nothing on this is glued. Everything is sewn on. It might take a bit more time, but I think it looks better this way (but thats just me, glue is of course totally ok also. As I was sewing anyway, I thought I might as well sew it all on.)

Of course I had to make some more intricate felt decorations after this, but I'll share those tomorrow! Have you made any felt decoration yet this year? Feel free to share :)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Christmassing - Glitter Ornaments

Hello again :)
Finally, the camera has been located, only to find that it is really taking bad pics today (yes that is the camera and not the person taking the pics hihi) so I had to use the bf's one which had no battery. It has really been a day for lying on the sofa in front of the telly or things would go wrong. I even tried to make some soup for lunch tomorrow... I cut all the vegetables, put it on the stove, lit the fire, and left the kitchen... can you guess what happened? About an hour (!) later, I remember the soup, which has by now turned into this yummy black cakey stuff on the bottom of the pan. I guess we're going out for lunch tomorrow then ;)

In exactly 4 minutes, it will be Monday morning and my holidays will be over. Sadly I didnt get as much stuff done as I wanted to, but I did finish a few project such as the purple rosette top, the cupcake pincushion, and the teacup pincushion. I also darned my medieval dress as it was full of holes (wear and tear or moths, am not quite sure yet) and mended a lot of items that were quick fixes but that I just never had the time for. I used normal thread for the darning instead of wool, I hope that's ok too... have never darned before so am now just waiting for someone to tell me off for darning my woollen (not knitted) dress with thread haha...

AND I have also started the Christmas tree decorations. Yes, I'm sure you remember me saying that decorating for Christmas isnt really my thing, and believe me that it will be nowhere near as big as it was for Halloween, but you lot on Blogland have totally infected me with this craftiness so I really wanted to make some stuff. Plus the bf wanted new deco as only black is a little somber. Although I did use a bit of silver here and there over the past years so it didnt look that bad. This was our tree last year:

Not too bad is it? But yes, I would like to have some colour also. So I went looking everywhere (read: the cheap shops) for purple baubles. Bad news for me, the only purple comes with pink and lime green. Honestly, whoever thought of that combination?? So that's a no go on the purple. I did have a few red items left from way back when so I have now chosen red to be our added colour, so our deco will be black, red, and white/silver. Which also happens to be the colour scheme for London so that's kind of funny. Anyway, I still needed to buy red ornaments but since it's red, it wasnt that hard to find. Getting exactly what I wanted was though, so I needed to improvise. This is what I bought:

Yes very boring and basic but ultimate glitter was just too much. I did also buy some plain ones which will look nicely with the black baubles. I also bought some glitter and after being inspired by Sunny at Life in Rehab, I started glittering. This is the result:

Not bad if I say so myself :) The glitter doesnt really show here but I'm sure that it will look lovely once they're in the tree with the lights and all.

This is when they were drying LOL

Oh and I just have to share this. Remember my shopping trip to Stuttgart? I also bought this cute little cupcake bauble which I can now also use because it's red :) Isnt it just darling?


Well, that's it for now... I have done more but one thing at a time ;)

Dont forget to enter the Christmas Stocking Giveaway!

Fairy Christmas Stocking Giveaway

Good morning everyone :)
I cant seem to find my camera and therefore cannot take any pics of the lovely and cute Christmas decorations that I've been making this past week. So in the mean time, I wanted to host another giveaway. This one is for an item made by myself, and is a Fairy Christmas Stocking. Personally, I dont really like the regular stockings very much and they're always so big that I can never fill them completely (also because then they usually fall off the hook). So I decided to make one that is small and cute and fairy style:

It is made out of cotton fabric with stars and glitters and has a baby blue velvet ribbon twirling around it. The curled toe also has a bell and is stuffed with fiberfill to keep the shape. It also has a loop on the back to hang it anywhere you like. I made some of these for myself also as their great for chocolates and a little gift since the bf's presents never fit into a stocking anyway hihi.

The stocking doesnt have a name on it, but what I did with mine is I put a charm on it to represent the person it's for. I would prefer to send the item as is, but if you trust my embroidery skills I can of course attempt to add the name. Anything is possible :)

The rules are the same as last time, with 4 chances to win:

  • become a follower and leave a comment saying that you're a new follower (current followers please also leave a comment to get your entry)
  • blog about this giveaway on your own blog and leave a comment linking back to it
  • Twitter or Facebook will also give you one entry each (please leave separate comments)
Very important: this giveaway is open to followers from outside of Europe as well so feel free to enter everyone :) I will try to send this as soon as possible so that you'll have it before Christmas.

The giveaway will end at midnight on Saturday 20 November UK time (so in the night from Saturday to Sunday) and I will post the winner on Sunday morning. Good luck everyone!
PS: Please make sure that I have a way of contacting you, so please leave your email address in your comment if it is not already in Blogger. Otherwise I wont be able to get in touch with you if you win!

Now, where is that camera....

Saturday, 13 November 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway Winner!

Good morning everyone!
I totally forgot to pick the winner last night as I was trying to get my comments to be numbered which actually worked thanks to this excellent tutorial, so this morning I jumped out of bed and worked out how to use random.org. So without further ado, the winner is:
Comment number nine which was:


Sunny from Life in Rehab!

Congratulations Sunny, it seems that luck it with you this week! LOL. I'll let CSN know so that they can send you the voucher asap. Let me know what you end up buying :)

To everyone else: thank you so much for entering this giveaway, it has been a lot of fun :) So much even that I am thinking of having one giveaway a week until Christmas, how cool would that be! Now that I've worked out how to do this, I think it's a great idea!

Ok, must get ready and actually leave the house and do some much needed shopping in the Saturday crowds... yay... But tonight I'm sure I have some more craftiness to post!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Teacup Pincushion

Hello again everyone!
Oh no, it's Friday! The last day of my holidays!! And of course I stayed home the whole week and did not take advantage of the crowdless shops during work hours, but preferred to stay dry and warm rather than being outside in the awful weather we're having. So time to do some crafting :)

Do you remember this teacup I bought a few months ago during my thrift shopping spree?

I bought it to make a pincushion for a friend. See, we were in Liberty's a while back and I saw that they were selling teacup pincushions for like £27!!! Thats about $45 for anyone not living in the UK. Now that is a LOT! Granted, their cups were better looking than mine but mine definitely has the cute factor :)

So I added some baby blue felt to match the bows on the cup and bought some pearl white sewing pins as well to completely the look. I even got a pretty teaspoon and glued that on it as well :) I did consider brownish felt to give the coffee look but all it did was make it look awful and old, so the blue is better. The pins were a good idea as my friend is very practical and owns only normal pins. As I love the coloured ones, I thought she needed some pretty pins also :) The result? Here it is!

I glued the cup onto the plate with Mod Podge, which works much better than my gluegun for this type of things :) I glued the spoon onto the plate as well.

Dont you just love it? I know I do! All I need now is to find some sort of witchy teacup and make one for myself also :) Now let's hope my friend doesnt read this before I have a chance to give this to her...

On a final note: just a quick reminder that my CSN giveaway ends at midnight tonight UK time so if you still want to enter, hurry up! *yawn* back to my sofa now... Holidays can make you so sleepy! LOL
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