Sunday, 24 June 2012

Tidgy Tote Tutorial

Happy Handmade Monday to everyone!
This Monday's offering is a very simple tutorial for a tidgy tote bag that can be made from a fat quarter. Big enough for a knitting project, or purse, phone and keys or just perfect for a little person. You could even use them as party bags.
Pickle-Lily and I started making them to use up leftovers from her cushion making,  the fabric in the tutorial is one I picked up in my travels.
 So here goes ....
Cut out from your fat quarter four 23cm by 23cm squares. In my tutorial I've used plain cotton for lining so you can see the different parts, you could do the same or use another fat quarter and make two co-ordinating bags. Fold the rectangle that is left in half to make two handles, short end to short end, and cut down the fold.
Fold and pin handles in half length ways, good side in.
Now seam along the raw edges, turn right ways out (the trickiest bit) and press flat.

Now, lay out the outside bag piece, good side up, and pin the handle 4cm from outside edge on both ends.

Then pin a lining piece on top of this. Do the same with the other outer, liner and handle.
Now seam along the pinned edges, then open out and press seam open.

Now, lay out, one side good side up and the other good side down, with the two fabrics matching, pin and sew around the rectangle, leaving a gap in the lining at the bottom for turning through.
Turn through and seam across the opening. Tuck the lining inside the outer and press flat.
A Tidgy Tote!
Have a good week!

Jo x

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Surprise Giveaway.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Begun the Crutch Wars has

A warning - If you like to read  blogs of idyllic lives with colour washed photos and beautiful children, then look away now!
Look what I did to my tape measure!
An update on my week ...
The story so far - son, hurt ankle last week playing cricket, little local hospital said it was an avulsion fracture (when the ligament pulls out a chunk of bone when it gets ruptured) and put angry son in a plaster cast. He has had to miss school camp and is not happy.
Daughter has an ongoing problem with both knees - called Osgood-Schlatter - which comes and goes and all we can do is pain management until she grows out of it. A couple of weeks ago she tripped over and hurt her ankle and has been complaining since, we've been dealing with it as we do with OS (you just know what's coming next don't you..)
So .... on Monday ( after a week-end of Mr Frustraed bashing and crashing around) I finally pay what is about my fifth visit in one week to the MIU (I now have my own parking space) with Pickle-Lily. I'm feeling like I'm in that episode from Outnumbered and any moment now the social workers are going to appear. We've dosed, strapped and rested but she is still complaining. They decide that her ankle is a soft tissue injury, but because her knees are bad at the moment, she isn't weight bearing properly and so a week on crutches to rest it! We are also referred to physio to look at her walking.
Monday evening Crutch Wars breaks out! Two large children both on crutches and in pain and they start having a Star Wars light sabre fight with crutches and then they start to take out all their frustrations (I'll  leave the rest to your imagination!)
Tuesday morning Mr P-L takes son to the big hospital - they decide he has ruptured all three ligaments and the bone fragment isn't going to be a problem, so the cast comes off, and a big boot thing is strapped on instead and crutches for three weeks. But it means smelly son can shower and can weight bear, as long as he is wearing the boot. But I still have two bad-tempered children on crutches crashing their way around  and struggling to fit in my little car!
The saga continues ... Pickle-Lily's turn to go to camp on Monday...
My friend Corinna made this
This week I have been making little tote bags - you can make one from a fat quarter and I'm working on a tutorial now! It's also my in-laws Golden Wedding Anniversary, so we have a 'do' to attend.
I'm off for a therapeutic visit to Dunelm and The Range, have a good week-end!
Jo x

PS - Don't forget the Surprise Giveaway

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Surprise, surprise!

Surprise Surprise!
Well, I spoke too soon didn't I!
I posted on Facebook that everything was now back to normal earlier this week, then Tuesday afternoon a phone call from son, 'Mum I've hurt my ankle playing cricket', so I dash off to collect him from school and off we go to visit the Minor Injuries Unit - again. It's too late for an x-ray so we have to go back next morning and discover he has an avulsion fracture (I think that's how you spell it) so he is now crashing about on crutches with his leg in plaster. Local little hospital have had to refer him to big hospital, so the next instalment is on Tuesday!

This week I treated myself to a cross stitch kit. I haven't done cross stitch for some time, but everyday I pass the one I did for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, so I decided to do one for the Diamond Jubilee.

On with the surprise - a Surprise Giveaway! Lots of goodies inside an Annabelle bag beautifully made by my friend Claudia.
All you need to do is....

Follow my blog and then leave a comment to say you have done this. If you are already a follower (thank you) please just leave me a comment.
For extra chances to win you can....
'Like' me on my Facebook page and leave a comment on my blog and on my facebook page to let me know you have done this. If you already 'like' my FB page then please just leave a comment here and FB!
If you would like to blog about my giveaway this will give you another entry. Again leave me another comment here on my blog.
Please ensure that I am able to contact you. This giveaway is open to the UK only as it is rather heavy!!!!

The giveaway will stay open until 23rd July and then all the names will be put into a hat for Pickle-Lily to choose from.

Have a good week and I'm off to start visiting all the other lovely blogs over on Handmade Monday.

Jo x

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Time for tea

Version 2!

Funky pink

After I posted my tea cosy cover on Thursday I had a re-think and changed the French knots for buttons on the flowers and I love it! So I have made a few more to sell (just to see how they go) including a funky pink one.
But you can't have tea without cake, and .... pauses for dramatic effect .... I have finally made edible flapjacks! The easiest of cakes you may say, but mine were either too crumbly or rock hard, so here is the easiest, most idiot proof recipe!
You need -
100g butter or margarine
75d soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
200g of porridge oats
a 20cm x 30cm well greased baking tray

Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat.
Add sugar and syrup and mix well.
Stir in the oats.
At this point you can add dried fruit or chocolate chips - whatever you like!
Spread mixture evenly in the tray with the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 25 minutes at 110C or 90C (fan assisted) until golden brown.
Leave to cool for about 5 minutes then mark into squares and leave to cool in the tray.

I often bake a batch now when I've finished cooking the evening meal and the oven is cooling down.
In fact I think I'll go and make another batch now to go with the bread pudding I've got on the go already!
During the week - barring computer problems - I'll be visiting all the other blogs on Wendy's Handmade Monday, why not take a look yourself?
Jo x
PS _ Have decided the giveaway will be a Surprise Giveaway - keep watching!

Friday, 8 June 2012

A poorly computer

Little Monster
 I'm back ! Well rather the computer is back up and running!
About two weeks ago - so apologies to those lovely people on Handmade Monday who commented on my last post, and I didn't return the compliment, in fact I couldn't visit any other blogs, or reply to emails or anything really, as the computer caught a very nasty virus. When I told Mr PL the message the anit virus had flashed up, it was immediately disconnect everything!  To cut a very long story short, the virus was a very nasty, clever one which meant the hard drive had to be deep cleaned and then everything reinstated bit by bit, but Mr PL, being Mr PL things were upgraded, reshuffled and generally made better than before, and we had no computer for a couple of weeks! Son very graciously, allowed us limited access to his laptop, so I managed to put my little shop on holiday, but that was about it!
The upside is I now have a sparkling fridge, freezer, oven and extractor unit, a big pile of washing and ironing done! Can I just say that Lakeland's Oven Mate is the most amazing product ever - if you want to clean baked on food and grease off metal, it's the thing to use!
I have been busy making things as well!
 I've made my teapot a cosy

tea anyone?

another Little Monster
 and I've been knitting Little Monsters as well.
We had some Jubilee fun - including sitting watching the entire river procession, loved the Gary Barlow programme and the concert.
P and I spent a lovely girlie day in Wells swan spotting - but that is for another post!
I have also decided to have another giveaway - this should be starting next week, so watch out for it!
Have a dry week-end - I'm off to Lakeland tomorrow as I need some cleaning supplies!!!!
Jo x