24 November 2011

Fabulous Fifties scrapbooking retreat

I think I have finally recovered from the retreat I ran last weekend! For the last 6 or so years I have been making an annual pilgrimage to Eastbourne with my scrapping friends to take over one of the seafront hotels.

As this is a weekend I organise, it is of course no ordinary weekend! Due to some moustache jokes last year, Friday night this year was Moustache Night. Although my 'tache wasn't handmade, I was sporting a rather fetching t shirt which I had embellished with fabric and metal accents...

Saturday night is always themed, and people are crazy enough to join me in wearing some amazing costumes. I try to make my outfit, or at least part of it every year. This year was no exception, and I went into overdrive and made both mine and my friend Debbie's dresses.

Hers was a doddle, and looked amazing as she has a stunning figure - it was a pleasure to sew for someone who would do the dress justice.

Mine gave me no end of trouble. The skirt part was easy, but getting the bodice right proved to be too much for me. The red fabric was a slightly stretchy mesh with circles applied to the surface so it was 3D. Matching the pattern was tough, and when I attached the red fabric to the lining, it wouldn't match up properly so the bodice has an unflattering baggy appearance. Perhaps I should have interfaced the red mesh to prevent stretch? Anyway, I will never try to sew a fitted bodice with a stretch fabric again. I'm thinking of detaching the bodice and finishing the skirt so I can wear it with a different top as I do think the fabric looks cool... but it can hibernate for a while first.

Some of the girls who came have also blogged about their weekends, and there are some lovely photos of layouts they made:

And the layouts we made with our mystery kits have been featured on the Gotta Craft shop blog, as Sandra supplied the papers for the kits (I am the headless one with a LO about Lisbon - it was day 3 and I was looking a bit rough!!): http://gottacraftshop.blogspot.com/2011/11/take-one-collection.html

Only 357 days until next year's retreat, I must be off to get planning!

01 November 2011

Bad blogger!

Oh dear. I have totally failed to keep this up to date! I've been meaning to post and break the silence for ages, but it's even harder than a first post!

Today I thought I would share an in progress project that someone suggested I add, then hopefully I can add some things I've been working on over the last few months.

Today's project is a wreath decorated with flowers made out of book pages. I'd seen a few of these on the internet, and knew I needed one of my own, but I was only motivated to start it when my friend Ali got a die-namics rolled rose die. This has meant I haven't had to hand cut the flowers. I kind of wish the die made a bigger flower, as it's taking forever, but it does look pretty. So far I am on book number two - for some insane reason I decided to use two cuts per flower for a fuller appearance. Anyway, enough blathering, here's the eye candy...

Will take some more pics of this when it's finished and hung. I'm planning on hanging it from a square frame with a black ribbon. I might add a few beads in the flower centres, not sure whether I should embellish it or go for a clean and simple look.

Other projects I plan to share with you are:

  • Black corset with feather trim - started about 6 months ago, now languishing in a bag
  • Two 50s inspired dresses - I am making these for myself and a friend to wear on a 50s night in a few weeks. They're both red, one is a halterneck with black polka dots, and the other has 3D circles stitched onto the fabric all over - sounds odd, you'll have to see it to get what I mean
  • Some scrapbook pages - I only seem to scrap one or two a month, I don't really do quick makes, but I'm happy with that. I've been scrapping a recent trip to Cologne
  • A cute cupboard I made with an old washboard as the door - did this from start to finish in an afternoon and it's hanging in my downstairs loo
  • A beautiful old sewing machine with it's own cupboard that I got from a charity shop and am renovating

That's all for now, maybe I'll add another project next week!

28 April 2011

The more I have of it, the faster it goes...

Time for a little summing up I think. So far, in my first three weeks of not working I have:

  • Tidied my house
  • Been cycling twice
  • Used the Wii fit twice (ok, so that has been yesterday and today so it's a new habit!)
  • Painted one table (not quite finished)
  • Written two blog posts
  • Had one tea party
  • Finished zero corsets!!!!!!!!!!!!
Arrrrrrrrgh! I thought that working from home on something I love would make me super-productive, and I would have finished corsets ready to photograph and sell coming out of my ears. I am once again reminded that discipline and drive are really not my strong points.

Clearly I need to solve this problem now, otherwise I will be back to an office before you can say, "what about selling your corsets?"

Although I am enjoying doing what I want when I want, I think some structure is needed to enable me to actually move forward and get something proper done.

Luckily my friends Sandra & Jo set me some goals when they came over last week:
  • Start a blog (done, as you can see)
  • Finish the corset you've been working on by 7th May
They will be checking up on me, so I won't get away with  shirking. Pictures of the latest corset will be revealed on 8th May, please feel free to check up on me to make sure they're here. Now I'm off to have another cup of tea and browse my email...

23 April 2011

Now just where do I start?

Uh oh. I have figured out what I want to share with the world, sorted out my template, discussed ideas with friends and now there's nothing left to do but post.

But where do I start? The first post is an overwhelming challenge for me. the one thing standing between me and the blog-reading public... and I have no idea what you want to know!

Should I introduce myself: married for 7 years, live in 3 bed semi, graduated 10 years ago and have held a series of unfulfilling jobs since...

Or would you like to know about my creative pursuits?: always loved making things, liked to cross stitch in her teens which led to knitting, which led to scrapbooking, which led to sewing and corset making...

I guess both of those are relevant, and give you some idea of what I might waffle on about in future posts. So I will keep it short & sweet and leave it there for the moment - don't want to spew out everything in post one now!

Gaye, on a sunny bank holiday weekend