Monday, 25 February 2013

Kilt to corset

I took a felted kilt, a 4m lace, bias binding and some cotton lining to a 2 day course in Glasgow at the weekend and turned them into this -

A traditional boned Victorian corset with 16 steel 'bones' and 26 brass eyelets!  It just needs a wee hook and eye fastening at the top to help it sit flat.

The rear view with the lacing (it slid down the mannequin, it isn't really higher at one side!!)

And the view from the side.

I really loved the 2 day course.  I am so thrilled with the finished product.  It was made to fit me but I'll be taking it to craft fairs to show what can be done with my felted tartan.  I'm hoping to make them to sell.  The tutor showed us many samples of original Victorian corsets and a vintage Vivienne Westwood one with a zip up the front.  She also showed us ones she's made herself including one made from a PVC tablecloth and one from a pair of old jeans.  I'd love to try that idea as it appeals to my upcycling senses!

Friday, 22 February 2013

A favourite blog

This has got to be one of my favourite how to blogs. But this is my favourite post ever!

I've been planning a mosaic circle in my garden for ages since I saw one in Stirling.  It used a variety of recycled things. Sadly I didn't have my camera with me but I'm planning on going back in the Spring to take photos of it. But I decided not to make it as I'm moving.  However I'll be making one when I move to my new house and using this as inspiration!

Saturday, 16 February 2013


I love makeovers especially when you compare the before and after shots. I especially love ones that don't cost a small fortune where people have re used what they already have.  Consistent feedback from viewers says my house needs updating.  I agree but I just don't have the funds.  But I have some crafty ideas ;-)
My house has a one bedroomed annexe.  My oldest son lived in it before he moved out.  I recently painted the living area white and bought really cheap white cottony curtains from Ikea.  There are 4 windows in that one room!  So I needed a lot of curtain fabric that didn't cost much.  I think in total it was £35.  There was a lot of fabric leftover as some of the windows were small.  I added it to my stash :-)

This is the annexe bedroom upstairs.  Now a dumping ground for my laundry, tartan stuff and my middle son's belongings that he didn't take to Vienna. The walls have been painted cream (cos I had lots of leftover tins in the garage) but I've still to paint the orange (yes, it's really orange!!) woodwork.  I still have white satinwood paint left. The carpet is a strange shade of green.  It's a good quality one so I'm not changing it (mainly due to cost) so I'm stuck with it.  Note the handmade pink and green bag to the left of my bike.  The green in it matches the carpet!! 

So I'm thinking of making some curtains from the leftover curtain fabric and some of that pink/green fabric to replace these orangey ones.

It's an Amy Butler fabric.  I've just ordered 2 metres at a cost of £14.80.  My plan is to make plain white curtains with a bold broad stripe around the edges.

I already have white satinwood paint, white curtain fabric pieces and a couple of old picture frames.  My plan is to turn that room into my workroom!

You've seen the before pictures, now watch out for the after in a few weeks :-)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Meal planning

I'm conscious that the Teen and I haven't been eating as well as we could recently.  Despite having a well stocked storecupboard and freezer we've been rather lazy in our meal choices.  With various after school and evening activities we've got ourselves in a rut of same old/same old meals.  So when he asked for his favourite macaroni and cheese the other night I made an effort to change it up.  Instead of a flour/butter/milk cheese sauce I did a very quick cream and grated cheese one (using up the reduced cream) and I cooked some chopped up broccoli (also reduced!) in the same pan as the pasta.  Very nice!

Dessert was the reduced papaya, perfectly ripe.
So it's back to weekly meal planning.  I used to do this all the time when I cooked for 5 and we had so much coming and going in the evenings. With the Teen's help we've decided on the following vegetarian menu:
Mon (gym/tkd)    Chinese/stirfry
Tues (tv)              Pizza and salad
Wed (gym/tkd)    Pasta
Thurs (gym/tkd)  Rice dish
Fri (tv)                 Soup and pudding
Sat                       Meat night
Sun (gym)           Traditional (roast potatoes etc) and pudding
On Saturday night he usually stays with his brother so I get to cook a meat based meal for OH.  It will be much easier (and cheaper!!) for me to cook just 1 meal each night that we'll both eat.  Seems obvious now I've written it down but I think making 2 different meals most nights was ruining my interest for cooking.  Here's hoping things will improve.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I haven't made a card for ages but dug out my supplies to make one for my OH.  I really do have a lot of craft stuff!!! I spent a happy hour sorting through boxes of inks, stamps and toppers.  No cost as I had everything. Hope he likes it. With a little bit of work I could save a lot of money by making cards again.  They seem to have shot up in price.  I saw a card of similar size in the shop selling for £3.99!!

I also baked him a cake.  He has a very sweet tooth!  It's a lemon drizzle cake baked in 2 wee heart shaped tins. I used my bargain eggs and lemons ;-)  I sandwiched it together with my home made apricot jam and drizzled the lemony syrup over it.  I also made some heart shaped cupcakes from the mixture for my other sweet toothed guy.

I saw an idea where you put a marble in the tin to create a kinda heart shape.  I used some baking beans.  They came out ok ish.  The hungry Teen won't mind what they look like!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I passed!!

For the last year I have been studying.  Yesterday was the final day of the course and I passed!  I now have my COSCA Counselling Skills certificate.  My original intention was to go on and do further training to become a counsellor but I've decided not to continue atm.  My life is just too busy and the special people in my life need my fullest attention.

At the end of each module (there were 4) we always had a shared lunch where everyone contributes something.  Yesterday I made a chickpea and pepper salad and an egg mayo salad.  Mainly as that's what I had lurking in the fridge and storecupboard!! Both were delicious and there was only a wee bit left for me to take home for my supper!

A late visit to the supermarket last night after the gym scored a few bargains.  Not been lucky for a while.  I got 4 organic lemons (10p), a papaya (10p), organic broccoli (10p), Greek basil (10p), dwarf beans (10p), 6 free range eggs (54p), organic double cream (29p) and a quiche (59p)

Another lucky bargain find was a dog guard for my car.  Emma needs to be contained as she jumps around inside.  So far she's been in a crate but really it was too small as she's now fully grown.  I had been searching for one but they were all so expensive.  Then I spotted this RAC one in a factory outlet reduced to £15 as it was the last one.  It's now fitted and both dogs can safely travel in the back of my car :-)

Now my studying is done I can concentrate on my tartan stuff again.  I need to decide if I'm going to go large and attend a few of the bigger craft fairs/events this year.  I'm going on a course on the 23rd/24th Feb to do something rather exciting.  More details to follow ;-)