Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A Jar for March - Pin Cushion Jar

Would you like to make this sweet little pin cushion jar. It's really easy to do, and would make a thoughtful gift.
You will need:-
  • a small jar. Mine is one of those little sample pots from jam that I saved from afternoon tea on a day out.
  • a small amount of stuffing/wadding
  • a small remnant of plain cotton fabric. You can use tea or coffee to dye it a nice vintage colour.
  • some ribbon or trim for the edge
  • thread - in this case I used strong thread for gathering and a single strand of red cotton for the bird embroidery.
  • some thick card - but not so thick that you can't cut it with scissors. I recycled mine from some packaging.
  • a compass - or a saucer roughly twice the size of your jar lid.
  • scissors, needle, and a glue gun

You will need two discs of card. One will be a template for your fabric. Make this one about twice the diameter of your jar lid. I did this and then when I cut the fabric out I added a quarter of an inch extra for gathering. The other disc is just fractionally smaller than the lid of your jar. This will be going into the pin cushion.
Cut out your circle of fabric and then transfer your chosen design being sure to place it in the centre. I used my favourite pen that disappears when you spray water onto it. My fabric was thin enough to see through so I could trace the bird from my paper. You can use this simple design or you can make your own .
Using a single strand of red cotton thread, I backstitched the birdy. I like the look of redwork.
Now, using a strong or doubled thread, use running stitch around the edges to gather the circle of fabric. Please do use a strong thread, as there is nothing worse than being in the finishing stages and the thread snapping!
Gather the fabric and stuff as firmly as you can whilst placing the disc of card on top of the stuffing before tightening the thread. Now this is a bit fiddly, and another pair of hands could come in useful here so if you have a friend handy - ask them to help. You can make the cushion without the disc of card, but it gives it a much better shape and a nicer finish, so give it a try.
Tie a secure knot to finish off this part .
Now it is time for the trusty glue gun. Glue the pad to the lid, and then glue on your trim around the edge of the lid to make it all look neat, sweet and complete.
Using this technique, you can make a whole family of jars, big and small. You can use a variety of fabrics, or embroider your own designs. I have a few of my own and I find them very useful as well as pretty. Let me know if you make one!

Chicken Pox

On Friday, my poor little girl came down with Chicken Pox, (you didn't really want to see a picture of that did ya?), and since then, she has been quite poorly. In fact she has hardly moved from the sofa for a couple of days. I think I can just about see a spark of life coming back now, but she is covered from head to toe in spots, and has been feeling pretty miserable.
Seeing as how she was stuck in front of the TV watching movies and didn't have energy to do much else, I managed to find a wee while to get on with my March tutorial! (Yes, I know it is now April, but better late than never! ) So look out for it in my next post. See you soon!

Friday, 23 April 2010


Well, the fashion show went well. I made some sales which I am very thankful for, and also I was able to observe and take note of ways I could improve my display should I ever get the chance to do something similar. I sold my Sea dragon necklace and some heart pendants and rose pendants. I didn't sell any earrings which surprised me as they were the cheapest thing to buy, and I was sure they would have sold first. Perhaps because the crowd was mostly older ladies who didn't want dingly dangly ears!
The even greater miracle was that I managed to play without too many bum notes (by God's grace!) I even had a few ladies come up to me after to say how much they enjoyed the piano playing. That is an answer to prayer for sure - I was so very nervous my stomach was in knots!
...And even better still the evening raised money to help a charity group in Milawi. I'll post a link to their webpage as soon as I get a hold of it.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Ebony and ivory...

Hi there! I thought I'd fill you in on my crazy creative life this week.
On Thursday I am going to a fashion show run by a friend of mine. She is the manageress of a posh clothes shop. Thing is, I am supposed to be playing the piano for the show.
It's in a really lovely setting and it will be a beautiful piano - same as the one in the picture- such a treat to play- but I am busy trying to rack my brains to think of enough tunes that I know and can play to fill two 1 hour slots. I am mostly an ear player so I don't use music much. I hope she isn't too disappointed with me - at least I came cheap (free). My friend also asked me if I would like to have a table with my jewellery on it, and I can't possibly turn down an offer like that, so I have been busy making one or two new pieces and sorting out all that I have and thinking of ways to display it and price it etc.
Also, in keeping with the ebony ivory topic, I have been trying out a bottle of photomagic that a friend gave me about 15 years ago. It still works! This is going to be a cushion. I bought the linen a little while ago and have been wanting to try it out and see how it sews up. Does anyone have any tips for ironing linen? It seems like once you have washed it, it is virtually impossible to get it crease free. Maybe that's just the look of linen? Any opinions ?

Monday, 12 April 2010

excuses, excuses

I'm just full of excuses at the moment. Life seems so hectic. My parents are staying this week, so I don't think I'm going to get much time to do any crafting. Instead, I am showing you this lovely picture of the moon taken by my daughter Naomi. If you want to see more of her photos, you can check out her site here. If you have time, why not leave her a nice comment - I know she'd be thrilled ! :-)

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Hi ! It's me!

It's been rather hectic here for the last few weeks, so the blog has been a bit neglected.
We've been preparing for and then celebrating Passover. Plus we're all suffering from horrible colds, so we've been drinking a lot of this...

Ginger tea with lemon and honey - very soothing and warming! Just slice the fresh ginger root and infuse in boiling water for 5 minutes, then add lemon juice and honey to taste.

We've been eating lots of matzah brie . I grill mine with sliced banana and drizzle honey on top to serve.

This Passover, I must have made about 450 coconut pyramids ! We had a special meal (main course cooked by a friend of ours - thankfully) About 65 people from different churches came and learnt all about the Passover. My husband and I did the presentation and it seemed to go well. This was our 5th time, and it is always a joy and a privilege to share with others.

BTW, I know that I have failed and missed a month in my upcycled jar tutorials, but I do hope to catch up soon as I am feeling better.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I really appreciate all my visitors and followers.

I hope you have a great day wherever you are!