Friday 24 January 2014

Grow Your Blog

Hello and welcome to my blog post for the Grow Your Blog party hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full
I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself in case you are new here, and if you stick with this post to the bitter end you'll find details of a small giveaway. A little Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoy looking around and that you'll come and visit again.
So, my name is Christine and I live here.

Well, not exactly here, that would be a bit damp. About a mile inland and 800 feet up from here, in a village in North Cornwall, though originally I'm from the North East of England. I'm married to David, and we have two daughters aged 17 and 19. The elder one (Eloise) is away at University studying Maths, and the younger one (Naomi) is doing A levels at a local college. That's local by Cornish standards, so a 90 mile round trip every day.
What will you find on this blog? A bit about family, a bit about Cornwall, and a lot about crafty things. If it uses needles or fabric I'm all over it. I also love upcycling and repurposing stuff so you'll find a lot of that too. It is slightly possible that you might also find just the tiniest hint of geeky stuff. Well OK, so you'll find a lot of geeky stuff. (Although we run a photography business these days, David and I both trained as chemists and used to work in research.)
Anyway here are some examples of the sorts of crafty things I do.
Every month on the  Needlcraft Haven online forum, we have a challenge where we make up a free cross stitch design from the internet. This year they are all going to be Christmas themed designs and this is my version of the first one for the year.
Design From The Little Stitcher here

I saw this wonderful printed panel from Cat and Vee on Etsy and knew it had to come to our house and become a cushion.
Why the pompom trim? Because pompoms, that's why.

And finally, after I showed my upcycled denim baskets on the last post Kate commented that her boys only wore skinny jeans, and we joked about tall thin baskets. That got me thinking, what would you use a tall thin basket for, then it came to me. Wine! (I'll be honest here, it's not the first time the idea of wine has come to me) So here is a bottle bag made from the leg of a pair of discarded skinny jeans and a lovely wine themed print cotton.

And finally finally (admit it, you thought I'd forgotten) the giveaway. I made a second bottle bag - well a pair of jeans has two legs right? If you'd like a chance to win it just comment on this post.  I'll draw the winner on February 15th. I'll send it anywhere in the world, so anyone can enter. And just in case you were getting your hopes up I should point out it won't have the wine in it any more by then. It may not have the wine in it any more by bedtime actually...

Sunday 19 January 2014

Fings Ain't Wot They Used to Be

They used to be some old pairs of jeans and a coffee sack. Now they are a set of handy organiser pockets and a couple of baskets.
The organiser pockets were made following this tutorial, except that I got David to stretch the hessian over a canvas frame rather than a chunk of wood as in the tutorial.
The denim baskets were made in a similar manner to this one. The one on the right is lined with a piece from a vintage pillowcase, the one on the left I cheated a bit because that pair of jeans already had the ditsy print turn-up so I  just used that and didn't line it.
I must say thank you to Anna at StitchBitch as well, as she posted a round up of upcycled denim projects yesterday which was where I found the two tutorials I used.
Oh and pop over to The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe where Nancy is having another of her wonderful giveaways. Knock three times and tell them Christine sent you...

Saturday 11 January 2014


I have a new toy! I saw this in Lidl of all places, and figured it sounded like fun. Who doesn't like burning things?
It is a lot harder than it looks. Making dots is relatively simple, but even looking lines are tricksy.
Anyway here is my practice piece
And a small chopping board (just a cheap one from Asda). Like I said, mostly dots.
Naomi seemed to get the hang of lines better than I did and made herself a "Box of Many Fandoms".
Here you can see "Not all who wander are lost" in elvish, a Supernatural anti-possession symbol, and the Avengers logo. It also says "Hello Sweetie"
in circular Gallifreyan on the lid and Dracarys on the back. I can't begin to imagine where she gets her geekiness from can you?

Friday 3 January 2014

Presents - Part 2, An Old Year Round-Up (With a Winner) and A New Year Finish

Christine's Blog proudly presents Christmas Presents Part 2 (The Makes). These are some of the things I couldn't show before Christmas in case of sneaky blog peaking.
Here Eloise is modelling the Harley Quinn Dress, (adapted from Simplicity 3833 by cutting the upper bodice as two pieces and adding applique diamonds to the skirt)
And here is Naomi in the Supernatural Dress (New look 6208, as pattern except cut much shorter, fabric with a pattern of salt, holy water, enochian symbols and assorted weaponry from Spoonflower here) Note: I will never ever make a dress with piping in curved seams again.
And here is a rear view

Still on the sewing front, a pinny I made for my friend using a combination of vintage and retro fabrics and buttons. Not a great picture I'm afraid.
I made the girls one of these Supernatural charm bracelets each. Why yes, that is real salt in the little bottle.
The Sam, Dean and Cas charms are made by gluing tiny photos onto frame shaped blanks and covering with copious quantities of varnish.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show (it isn't big in the UK) here is a link to the IMDb page and, for your edification and the further beautification of my blog, here are Sam, Dean and Castiel.
I also made the girls a magnetic chalkboard each for their rooms. They are made from MDF, painted with three layers of magnetic primer, followed by a couple of layers of balckboard paint, then the slogan is just painted on in white acrylic. The button magnets are from No More Lost Needles. This is Eloise's. Naomi's says "Plans for World Domination".
Last January I started keeping a tally of how many projects I completed, books I read, and pairs of shoes I bought during the year. The final tally was 57 books, 73 finishes and 17 pairs of shoes. I offered a prize for the nearest guess. You were all way out on the books, but Kerry was the closest to the mark on the finishes with a guess of  76.  I think I've got your address Kerry, so watch the post for a small prize coming your way soon.. I've reset the count for this year now, so if you want to win a prize this time next year just pop your guess for the 2014 totals in the comments.
And finally the first finish of 2014. Inspired by this necklace on Flamingo Toes, I made this assymmetric necklace from a a couple of broken vintage pieces and some new beads. (Shhh, dont tell anyone, but the tiny teardrop shaped dangly rhinestone charm came off an old bra)