Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Teacher Appreciation

End of Term Treats


As this academic year draws to a close, it's time to get stitching and crafting to remember all those hardworking individuals who make such a difference to the world of our children.  

Alice requested a little handbag mirror, made using my trusty badge machine for her teacher.  I based the cute applique on the 'Apple Thanks' digital stamp which available exclusively at Handmade Harbour. 


It's such a versatile design and looks equally gorgeous when used in paper crafting, as this fabulous card expertly demonstrates.  It was made by the very talented Teresa over at The Fat Cactus, a beautiful blog well worth visiting.


George wanted a string of bunting for his French teacher who has had the pleasure(?) of teaching him for the last two years.  He reports that she always goes the extra mile for her pupils, and has even been known to bring in enough home-made crepes for the entire class!

We found a fat quarter of fabric which was absolutely perfect for what we wanted, as it features various French patisserie recipes, including pancakes and crepes.  Another plus point was the black background, which will complement any colour scheme, and also shouldn't need washing too often when hung in a busy classroom or steamy kitchen!


In order to use the fabric as economically as possible some flags are actually upside down but they still look pretty cute and really rather shabby chic.   Bunting always makes a perfect gift and I posted a nice and simple tutorial here should you fancy whipping up some up for yourself. 



George then designed and printed an elegant bag topper to use as packaging, which I inked and glittered.


Thank you to all the wonderful teachers who have touched the life of my children!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Teacher Appreciation Gifts ~ Tutorial

Upcycled Gift Box

Scroll down for step-by-step instructions....


The children and I got creative over the weekend and made some adorable school themed gift boxes.  They are the perfect size for holding small presents or perhaps a few yummy home baked goodies.  We also designed and printed various tags including 'Back to School', 'First Day of School' and 'Top Teacher' versions.


They were very easy to make, simply using the bases of two upcycled fizzy drink bottles.  The little polka dot fabric leaf was free motion embroidered onto a scrap of green felt.  To make it an even more family friendly project, you could draw a leaf shape onto card or paper for a young child to colour.

I am going to put one on the breakfast table for each of the children on the first day back to school in September, filling them with cute rubbers, loom bands and a new memory stick for holding homework. 


Tutorial

Materials
Two empty plastic bottles
Red tissue paper
Red ribbon
Gift tag
Twig
Small scrap of green felt
Small scrap of green material
Twine

Equipment
Scissors or craft knife
Black thread
Sewing machine
Computer for tag (optional)
Glue

Step One
Carefully cut the bottom from two plastic bottles. They often have a line around them which can be followed but a height of anywhere between 4 and 8 centimetres is ideal.

Step Two
Cut or drill a hole in the base of one of the plastic pieces and insert a twig as the apple’s stalk.

Step Three
Cut a leaf shape from the scrap of green material and layer it onto the felt.  Using your sewing machine, stitch around the leaf, adding in veins.  Go over each line twice and aim for a ‘sketchy’ feel to create texture and interest.  Glue the leaf into place next to the stalk.

Step Four
Wrap a little gift in red tissue paper and pop inside the bottom apple piece.

Step Five
Create your apple by placing the two bottle halves together.  Depending on the thickness of the plastic you might be able to gently insert one piece just inside the other.  If your bottles are too rigid for this simply use clear sticky tape to hold the two halves together.  Glue or tie a length of red ribbon over the join.

Step Six
Create a gift tag with suitable wording, ‘Back to School’, ‘First Day at School’ or ‘An Apple for the Teacher’ all work well.  Tie to your gift box with twine or ribbon. 

   
What will you put in yours?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Appliqued Journal Cover

You might remember this appliqued linen gardening journal which I made for my father-in-law's birthday last year;


Well, he loved it and it now seems someone else did too......


Tania used it as the inspiration for her new tablet cover!


Isn't the blogging community great?  I just love that we can all visit gorgeous blogs and find stitching inspiration from every corner of the globe!


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Vintage Fair Bunting

Lest we forget



One of our local schools is holding a Vintage Fair next week and all proceeds are going directly to the British Legion, a charity which supports past and present servicemen and women and their families.


I happily stitched up a few strings of bunting to help decorate the stalls.  I've had the Union Jack fabric since London 2012 and the red gingham flags were upcycled from one of Alice's old school dresses, whilst the blue floral fabric is from a pair of vintage curtains. My great granny would definitely have approved of such a thrifty approach and like me she would also have simply utilised whatever was at hand!




Friday, 27 June 2014

Free Motion Embroidery - Owl Keyring

Cuddly Buddly Craft Challenge


This month's Cuddly Buddly Craft Challenge is 'Beads and Charms'.  This is a great theme as just about any craft is improved by the addition of a few beads or charms!




I actually chose to widen an already loose theme even futher, stitching up a cute little owl using this Marianne Design die, rather than just adding beads to an existing design. It is now perfect as a keyring or handbag charm!  I've written a full tutorial which will be published on The Cuddly Buddly blog during the challenge.




Now that you've seen my attempt, it's time for you to whip up your own creation.  Once you've finished upload a picture to the Cuddly Buddly challenge page to be in with a chance of winning a lovely £25 gift voucher to spend on any of the 12,000+ products stocked in the Cuddly Buddly shop.
Good Luck!

Friday, 13 June 2014

SewforSoul ~ Reloved Magazine Feature

Beano Comic Book Table 


Last year the children and I created a 'graphic novel' decoupage table that I blogged about here.  I included a tutorial, which proved to be quite popular, and so a couple of months ago I was asked if it could be used as a feature in 'Reloved Magazine'.  

Well, it's in the July edition and copies are on the shelves and available for purchase now;

Reloved Magazine July 2014

 SewforSoul Decoupage Table

Those of you with keen eyesight might also have noticed another SewforSoul creation on the front cover of the magazine, I actually have two features published there this month!  It's all very exciting, although they did manage to get my name wrong in both articles, but at least the blog address is correct!

Next week I'll share a couple of pics of the vintage bunting article, it looks lovely and is a gorgeous three page spread!  If you can't wait until then pop along to your local WHS and nab a copy for £4.99.

Friday, 30 May 2014

'Sew Sweet' Cupcake Charm

Appliqued Keyring


Most schools in England have a 'half-term' holiday during the last week of May (a bit like an American 'Spring Break'), so the children have been at home this week.  I deliberately don't sew much when the children are around but did manage to stitch up this cute little handbag charm;


It uses small scraps of fabric free motion embroidered onto a piece of pink felt and backed with a piece of upcycled denim.  The cupcake icon was based on this 'Handmade Harbour' digital stamp.