Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Hen Weekend = Success!

The bride to be had a great time. There were a few minor hiccups, but it all turned out for the best in the end. They loved their goody bags with the ears and t-shirts, and the Funny Girls show was brilliant. I'm so glad we had a table though, I wouldn't have survived standing up in the crowd!

So I'm back from Blackpool, trying to settle back into my routine, but it's thrown me. I have plenty to do. I've got 5 costumes to finish for the nursery by next Wednesday (when I'm supposed to be going in to try the costumes on all the kiddies), I've got posters that need to go up around the area for the toddler group, I've got the hen weekend album to assemble, and there was a little gift I wanted to make for a friend, but I may not get around to it.

I'm sitting here at the computer feeling guilty for not doing any of these things, but coming up with very good excuses for why I can't. I need supplies to finish the animal costumes. I'm waiting for the girls photos and bits of writing to go in the album (even though I took over 500 photos myself) The posters for toddler group would probably be better going up towards the end of the summer holidays, when we're due to return (we only have 2 weeks of term time left). I have yet to make an excuse for the gift other than I'm being indecisive about fabric. I need to find my mojo.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

My little ringmaster

Just thought I'd quickly share Alexandra's costume for her nursery fancy dress tomorrow. They're all going in Circus themed costumes because it's their summer fair tomorrow (yes, I'll be there helping after work).

Short on time, I used her own t-shirt and stitched a black felt bow at the neck, it's her own waistcoat and leggings (I know they're a bit short, but the only black trousers she has are these cropped leggings!) I got the hat from a fancy dress shop and added the red band, then I (very) quickly stitched the jacket after work today. (Don't look at my seams, or the fact it's not lined! Shhhh, don't tell anyone!).
She seemed happy enough, until she looked at me and frowned, and asked where her moustache was!

How I made my bunny ears.....

The hen weekend things are just about done. I just need to check over the goody bags tomorrow night and finish the last bits on the t-shirts! 5 sets of fluffy bunny ears are ready for a party!

To make bunny ears, you need some strong wire, a solid headband (plastic, not stretchy and preferably not padded), and your chosen fabric with matching thread. Depending on your fabric, you may also need iron on interfacing.

  • First draw an ear template. They're your ears, so you can shape them however you like.
  • Cut 4 times out of your chosen fabric.

  • If you are using thinner material (like I have - Satin) then use iron on interfacing to give the fabric some weight.
  • Pin right sides together leaving the flat base of the ear open.

  • Sew each ear along where you have pinned (leaving the bottom of each ear open).
  • Tie off the ends, trim and clip the seam allowance.

  • Turn right sides out and press well.

  • Cut 2 lengths of strong wire long enough to fill around the inside of each ear with an overhang that will wrap around your chosen head band 3 times.
  • Bend the wire to a soft point in the centre and insert one wire into each ear.
  • Move the wire around until it sits as close to the seam line as possible.
  • Pin to hold in place.

  • Stitch along where you have pinned to permanantly hold the wire in place.
  • Bend the open base into a 90 degree angle. The folded piece should be the same depth as the head band you have chosen.
  • Use the over hanging wire to wrap around the headband and hold the ear in place. (Experiment with your spacing).

  • Cut a strip of the same fabric to 4 time the width of your headband.
  • Fold each side into the middle and press.
  • Wrap this fabric strip around the head band overlapping the pressed edges on the top side of the head band (This allows the ears to fit through) and pin.
If You're working with a fabric that keeps moving, use a little double sided tape to help hold in place. If You are using a fabric that does not fray (such as felt) you need not cut such a wide strip and press the edges under. Just cut enough to cover the band with a small overlap.

  • Hand stitch where you have pinned with a small whip stitch and voila! Bunny ears!

You can leave them as they are, or decorate with various trims like I have. Just be careful not to use any trim that is so heavy it will weight the ears down and make them flop (like I nearly did!).
Sorry if that is hard to follow. I wasn't really sure how to lay it all out. If something's not clear, just ask and I'll hopefully put it right.

Anyway, pics will follow of these ears out on the town partying in Blackpool! They promise to behave themselves (a little bit) and not drink too much (or too little!)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Happy Daddy's Day!

Well, the flower festival went off without a hitch. We had some splashes of rain earlier in the day, but it stayed dry once the festival was open. Unfortunately the turn out was a bit disappointing. There weren't as many stalls as advertised in the newsletter, and the signs to draw passers by in were far too small to read. Oh, well. The flowers survived the night and still looked as they should, Everyone else's flower displeys were very pretty, we spoke to people we know from around the village, Alexandra bought some dressing up things with some pocket money from Grandpa, and we all had lovely cake and tea at the old rectory. Mmmm, lemon cake. Love it!

Anyway, getting to today. Little bit and I took Rob a cup of tea in bed and his prezzy and cards (that's right, more than one). Alex gave him a box of homemade marshmallow fudge (from her Usbourne cooking cards kit) and a book entitled Things-to-do-with-Dad.

Despite the fact we only have the one child, Mr Man was given 3 cards! The handprint card was made at home with Mummy, the boat was made at nursery with the teachers, and the picture of Daddy card was made at toddler group, again with me. Can I just state for the record, Rob does not have ginger hair, Alex just thought it would look nice :)

Having been the super organised (and very tired from early mornings, and over worked from volunteering to help with everything - but loving it) wife that I am, I did not get the bacon out of the freezer for his special fathers day breakfast, so we piled in the car and went for breakfast at the supermarket cafe. Very filling. (Little bit only stole one egg from daddy, one rasher of bacon from mummy, and baked beans from both of us, so not too bad! It's all about the food with my girl.)

These are the cards I made for my Dad and Grandad. They were a little bit last minute. There I was thinking about how organised I'd been, getting the fudge made with Alex and her cards etc, when I suddenly realised I'd been so busy helping her with her fathers day things, I hadn't done any from us! woops!

We called in on my Grandad (Alexandra's Grandpa) when we got home to take him his gift and cards. Alex made him a coaster to put his mug on from those little plastic beads you iron together. He started on his home made fudge straight away. He has a sweet tooth (or twenty).

Rob's choice, we took a trip to Coombe Abbey (again) for a picnic. It was quite busy, but we found a bench at a nice spot near the lake by the hotel. We stopped for dessert at the ice cream van on the way back to the car! (Yup, that's me sitting on the steps looking all moody. I wasn't, I swear!)

We finally managed to catch my dad in (for once) on the way back from Coombe. He also got fudge and a homemade coaster from Alexandra. They were all trying to juggle, quite unsuccessfully.
I made maple pork medallions and mash for proper dinner at tea time. I haven't washed up. I have no intention of washing up. Instead I'm going to curl up with my hubby, the best daddy in the world, and watch a movie. I can get back to the real world tomorrow.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Rainbow flowers

Just a quick post. Here's my flower arrangement for the church's flower festival tomorrow from the toddler group. It's supposed to be rainbows and butterflies. Well, it went better than expected, I just hope it lasts the weekend!

Finished flowers.

With the kids butterflies in place.

In place at the church ready for tomorrow! So what do you think?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

New Record!

Wow! 2 posts in a day! That has to be a record. For me anyway.

I finished the tags off, and I'm reasonably pleased with them.

You can't quite see in the pictures, but the writing on the back is in the same style to the black stamped writing on the front and is written with pink gel pen. Can you guess the theme of the weekend is pink and black? I used ordinairy white and black card, hot pink paper from the local craft shop, some of that funky pink sticky ack plastic (for the little hearts) a black whispers in pad and an alphabet stamp set from studio G, (but I have no idea what the name of it is) and the swirl corner stamp from another studio G set. The ribbon is from Dovecraft.

These were the invitations I made, so you can see how they tie in. The pictures aren't really very good, but it was an of centre trifold with a pocket flap on the inside right (where the white paper is sticking out). The main information was printed on hot pink paper in the centre, the the full itinerary, dress code etc was on an information leaflet slotted in the pocket. The front has an embossed playboy bunny head (using a clear stamp pad, home made stamp and clear embossing powder). The bride to be is very into her playboy, hence our bunny ears to wear!

Also, progress on my prototype bunny ears. My sister wanted to know if I was going to wear them with the pins in. Not the brightest lightbulb in the pack, but she's great with Alexandra!

What have I been doing? What haven't I!

I've still been working on the many costumes required for Noah et al. The butterflies were quite a quick job. Fixing stitching here and there and replacing elastic. I just have 2 more straps to replace on those and they can go back to school. The headmistress gave me some green fabric to make the crocdile and two more green tabbards (in case they have to have frogs, aparently), but it's horrible to work with :( It reminds me of jelly. Now that may seem like a strange description, but every time I touch it, it moves. Unfortunately, not like jelly, it does not return to it's starting position. So, I've put it in a bag, and I'm pretending I don't need to work with it. Until I have no choice.

I can't make the kangaroo costumes because I need to take a trip to the shop and it's just not happening at the moment. It'll have to be the weekend. I can't make the parrot costumes because the headmistress has got the fabric and I wont be able to pick it up until tomorrow. So that means animals are taking a break.

Instead I've been organising the bits and pieces I have for a friends hen weekend coming up on the 27th. I've got some decorations, but I've been making pink glittery 'L' plates with some funky sticky back plastic. That's right Blue Peter, sticky back plastic now comes in "funky"!

I've got some tags to make (that match the invitations I made a month or so ago) for gifts, because we're playing a little warm up game. We've asked her husband to be a list of questions which we will ask her what he answered, and every time she gets one right, she gets a gift. On the girls invites, we were each given a theme of gift to bring. Mine was " a gift for luck". There's also a gift for pampering, a gift for friendship and a gift for the wedding night. So I need to make matching tags that say what the theme of that particluar gift is. I've also been doing these....

It may look like I've taken this picture on an arty angle, but actually, I'm just trying not to get the messy kitchen junk surrounding my ironing board in the photo! Anyway, these will then turn into these....

And from there, I swear (hopefully) they will get better. Then I'll take some pics of the finished product. I also have the t-shirts to finish. I'm using t-shirt inkjet printer paper. Then I just need to put the goody bags together to take with us.

Toddler group was really quiet this week. I think it's the good weather making the mum's decide to go to the parks and make the most of it. We did make fathers day cards this week though. Here's a few finished ones. We had cut out people shapes and various cut out clothes and bits of wool and fur for hair so that they could create their own version of their dads and grandads. I love the bald beardy one in the green top! I can't say which (if any) are Alex's on here, in case someone's being nosey!

Further plans for the week? It's our village flower festival this weekend and all the village groups create a flower display to go in the church. I'm doing the toddler group one (again) so I'll be making that friday evening after work and picking Alexandra up. I had the kids at Toddler group decorate butterflies to go on wires in amongst the flowers, and we're doing a rainbow theme. In theory, it sounds like a good idea, but it could go very very wrong. A florist I am not. I'll also have to turn my attention to Alex's Ringmaster costume soon. I've never known a June be so busy! I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

"I'm not a Monkey! I'm Lilo!"

Or so I've been hearing most of the day.

My lovely boss actually let me leave work early today (it was his birthday and he wanted to go too) so I didn't miss the birthday party Alexandra was invited to like I thought I would. I'm so glad I didn't. The kids looked lovely in their costumes, the kids entertainer was really good, especially at balloon modeling, and Alex had lots of fun and was on super best behaviour (and without bribes or threats! Yay!). The birthday girl was dressed as Daphne from Scooby Doo, and both her Mum and Dad dressed up too as Velma and Fred. I love it when the parents get really involved! (and now I wont feel so silly in my pirate gear in December!)

Being the very organised person that I am, I left the birthday girl's present until last night to finish (I think that could have something to do with the flying fur around the house taking over). I made one of my many times repeated mini crochet bags. This one is girly pink with a few added trimmings. (You can't really see the crochet flower very well in these pics.) I then filled it with a few hair clips and bracelets. I hope she likes it. Because I didn't finish it until last night, I had no good light to photograph in either. That seems to happen alot round here.

Anyway, the party was a huge success with everyone including me and Rob. We got to do the Hokey Kokey, eat cake, and play pass the parcel. And that was just us grown ups :D

Lilo and Stitch seemed to gave a good time too.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Another one bites the dust

I finished the bear yesterday morning with just enough time to get me and small person ready and catch the bus to nursery. So it's not only finished, but it's delivered too.

The fur I used for the bears is so thick, you can hardly see the little ears or tail sticking out!

I helped out at the nursery yesterday with some tidying, snack preparing and story reading. The summer fair is Friday 26th, so my name will be going down to help for that too (after I finish work). All the kids are going to nursery in circus fancy dress (so I've just found out) that day, so one dressing up costume completed (lilo) and now another one to put together. Alexandra would like to be a ring master. Figures. She likes being in charge and centre of attention!

Delivering the 2 bear costumes left me with 5 more costumes to do. 2 Kangaroos, 2 parrots, and 1 crocodile. 5, until they sent me home with a bag of 9 butterflies that need repairing/finishing. Oh well. Thank goodness I like sewing :)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tiger girl

Yesterday and today I've been working on the Tiger and bear costumes for the nursery "Noah's Ark" concert. Here's the small person showing off her tiger stripes.

I can't show you the bears because I haven't finished the heads. I would have if it weren't for the fact I could swear I had another reel of black thread, but can't seem to find it. I probably wont get to finish them this week either because I'm helping out at the nursery tomorrow afternoon, going on a "date" with Rob tomorrow night, then I'm back in work again!
I've been losing things I know I have all over the place this last few days. I lost my crochet bag project (it was at the end of the bed under the duvet), I lost my hair brush overnight (and had to borrow one from my Nan), and I lost the tub I was going to do a collection at toddler group in (for a fellow volunteer who is leaving us at the end of term) so it will have to wait until next Tuesday. It seems to run in the family. Last night tiger girl obviously got too hot and stripped her PJ's off. She did this whilst never leaving her bed, but can I find the PJ top anywhere? We must have pixies.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?

I've finally finished Alexandra's fancy dress costume that I mentioned here. It's for a party she's going to next Saturday (I figured this was probably my last chance!) and she was super pleased with it. We had to go and show Grandma and Grandpa and then walk down to my Mum's to show Nana and Auntie Steph. She was really getting into her role!

This is part way through.

This is all finished! Do you know who she is?

As a side note, we also made microwave play dough. Everyone, meet play dough Daddy head with spikey hair!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Tick an item off the list

I keep giving myself jobs to do. I keep making lists. I am definitely a list maker. I keep adding to my lists, but there's nothing more satisfying than crossing off an item that's been sitting on the list waiting for some attention for a long time. Meet Alexandra's wash bag.

I love the little cow! The whole thing just evolved as I was working and is made from left overs of Alex's coveralls.
Alexandra gets really bad eczema especially on her hands, so we have to take her own soap, towel and cream where ever we go, and also send it into nursery. We've had many make do and borrowed bags up until now, always with the intention (and the promise to Alex) that there would be a special bag made just for her. I'm so pleased with it! Since the photos I've added 2 press stud fastenings and hidden the stitching behing two round pink buttons.