Sorry, it’s been a year…

… and what a year.

At the turn of the year my Dad was seriously ill, on and off, for a few months and although we expected him to recover, sadly, he unexpectedly died leaving us shocked and absolutely devastated.

Within a week we had to say goodby to our much loved friend, our rescued labrador/great Dane cross, H who was getting too “creaky” at nearly 16 years old.

So as excuses for absence go I think these are fair enough.

Family, work and life and death and everything associated with these just have to take priority over the fun stuff but in the meantime life does go on and I have been trying to stay positive and creative in-between all of this, I just haven’t been inclined to blog about it.

Now I am finding there is a different sort of normal which I can live with so I might just get myself organised and get ready to start posting again.  So please watch this space.

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Some things just can’t wait …

… having had a lazy Saturday morning on Pinterest and looking at the posts on various blogs I follow I discovered this recipe for  bacon and egg toast cups … looked very easy … “late breakfast?” … “Sounds good to me, don’t mind if I do”.  Instant success which might not look particularly professional because I didn’t have a cutter large enough so had to use the bottom cup from a lemon squeezer like this one

but the improvisation worked and they turned out really crisp and very tasty and M has already submitted his request for different variations

  • sausage & egg
  • bacon, sausage & egg
  • sausage, cheese & egg

(whereas I thought mushroom would be a tasty addition, yummy)

bacon egg and toast cups

Now the dilemma, do I make them again tomorrow and if so which filling?

Upcycled Jeans Bag

I have been saving up our old, worn out, jeans for a the last year or so and now have quite a pile to work with.  Having found a number of pins on Pinterest which have served as inspiration now is the time to make a start and actually do something with them.

The first project, is to make a couple of small bags.  To spread the love of this hobby I have taken some pics to serve as a tutorial for anyone else who might be inclined to make one!

First of all when cutting out all the pieces I decided that it would be possible to make one bag out of the front and another out of the back (seat) section of the jeans. So I cut these out (by cutting the legs off at crotch level and cutting across the middle crotch join) then I cut straps (2 for each bag, about 2″ wide) out of the full length of one of the cut off legs.  Using the main bag pieces and straps I then cut the lining fabric (in this case I used some scraps of a brown and fuchsia pink striped fabric which I had in the stash) these should be the same size and shape as the strap pieces and for the bag lining I used the main bag piece as a template and left an additional half an inch at the top to turn over as a top hem (this shows in the photo below).  Also, if you want a pocket, cut a piece sufficient to make a double-sided patch mobile phone pocket.

Cut lining to shape of bag body with extra for hem at top

Brown upcycled jeans bag cut pieces

When sewing a bag I always prepare the lining first so it is ready to pop in when the main bag pieces are done.  Decide if you want a pocket, position and sew  that in place.  For this bag I have just added a simple patch pocket, with tuck pleats at the bottom so that it opens to fit a phone.

Brown upcycled jeans bag, stitch pocket to lining

Once the pocket is positioned and sewn in place sew up the side and bottom seams of the lining.

Brown upcycled jeans bag, stitch lining seams

For the main part of the bag the first job is to sew the side seam and the bottom.  If there are any studs please be very careful to avoid them when stitching up the seams (see below, I have pinned this so that the stud is on the top and will be visible when sewing and encased in the seam.  If you are not confident about this remove any studs before sewing).

Brown upcycled jeans bag, stitch side seams

You may need to flatten out the curve of the crotch, I did this by creating a pleat, as shown below, and stitching through all thicknesses along the line of top-stitching to make the curve sit flat.Brown upcycled jeans bag neaten crotch

For this bag I also decided it looked best if the “side” seams were offset which would leave the detail (the zip and button) to one side, rather than in the centre front of the bag.  You can see the off-centre seam in the picture below.

So that the bag will “sit” I made a gusset by stitching across the two bottom corners (sewing line as shown in the image below).  If you decide to do this you will need to do the same with the lining.

Brown upcycled jeans bag sew bottom corner

Next stitch the strap and lining pieces together (right sides facing) then turn them through as shown below.  Iron and top-stitch as required.

Brown upcycled jeans bag turn through handles

To attach the straps I put the bag piece down flat and made sure that each strap was positioned an equal distance from the sides and that the two straps, front and back, would also be in line with each other.  I left enough of the strap below the top of the bag to allow for two lines of stitching (which would be “hidden” along the top-stitching of the original jeans).

Brown upcycled jeans bag attach handles

To insert the lining, fold over the hem which you left at the top and then pin the lining inside the main bag with wrong sides facing.  Sew around the top (which I did along the row of existing top-stitching) being careful not to catch the bag handles.

Brown upcycled jeans bag insert lining

To finish the bag I attached one of the fabric flowers I made and used hot glue to glue down the fly section (this is optional but I wanted this section to lay flat).  Hey-presto a finished bag.

Brown upcycled jeans bag

I still have to make the other bag, from the pants back but it will be very similar to this one.

I’ll post another pic when it’s done.

Pdf tutorial

Some more fabric flowers …

… this time made from brown denim taken from some jeans which I will be making into a bag (or two). Sorry for the quality of the image but it was a really bright, sunny, day in my conservatory craft room (for a change).

Brown upcycled jeans fabric flowers

The inspiration came from Creations by Kara but I made a few changes: 5 petals instead of 6; two rows of petals instead of one; a neatened square of the denim fabric for the backing; an ordinary button for the centre.  Very pleased with the result though.

Have a look at these and more ideas which I have pinned on my Fabric Flowers board on Pinterest
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Fabric Flowers, first attempt

For these I copied a brooch which I’d been given for my birthday.  They haven’t worked as well as I would have liked because the fabric hadn’t felted properly (I should have hot washed it again) but too keen to wait I made them anyway.

Felted fabric flowers

These will come in handy for something, maybe at Christmas.

There are a number of tutorials for similar flowers pinned on my fabric flowers board on Pinterest.
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Crochet and bead bracelet

I had a few bags of colour coordinated beads, bought from a craft stall at work, and had no idea what to do with them until I saw a video tutorial from Creative Kismet and pinned it on Pinterest for future reference.  See my Jewellery DIY board for this and other ideas.
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Now that I’ve broken free to actually do something, voila, some colourful crochet and bead bracelets.  For the first one I added some lilac seed beads bought from a craft fair and used a random cotton yarn (lilac and pink) for the crochet.

Purple crochet and bead bracelet

For the others I used orange cotton yarn and because I made two one of them can double as a necklace if I want to have a matching set.

Orange crochet and bead braceletsI love these funky beads and hadn’t a clue what they could be used for so I’m really happy to have found a way to use them.

Confessions of a Pinterest Addict …

… because it takes over your life.  I have spent such a long time away from my blog spending (too) many pleasurable hours looking at other people’s wonderful creations, art, architecture, photography, crafts, upcycled clothes, DIY projects etc etc (I am sure any other pinners out there will know that this list goes on) so I have decided it is time to actually start making some of the things which I’ve pinned as I was planning to do some months ago!

I have decided to start with the aim of using up some of the (numerous and various) bits and pieces which I have lying around the house which I have been waiting for inspiration before using.
Follow Me on Pinterest More to follow soon. B