29 Sept 2011

House shoes

 {and enjoying the weather}

Autumn is really here, but it actually feels more like summer…warm sunny days…the kind of days we should have had in the summer but didn’t really have. I am not complaining but actually enjoying the Indian Summer despite the fact that Lovely Little Daughter is sick and off course I will be the next to get that cold.

Well before the weather warmed up I decided to make some house shoes. A certain little person in our house loves to walk barefoot but with the cold days just round the corner I though I’d make something she might actually like wearing in the house.

I made a pair of slippers from and old issue of Ottobre magazine. And although I even reduced the size the slippers turned out huge.

Well, I am sure they’ll fit next year but what about this year…so decided to make a pair of sock slippers, and making my own pattern by drawing around her feet.

I am not completely satisfied with the outcome, so I guess a third pair would be in order.

I saw this lovely idea for a hand print autumn tree on Pinterest and knew we should try it. So Lovely Little Daughter made it especially for daddy. She used wine corks dipped in colour to make the leaves. 

Hope you are enjoying some warm weather too!

Irina xx

23 Sept 2011

Twenty ways with piping

 { a collection of piping ideas}

There are two reasons as to why I decided to write this post – first, there is a common belief that piping is not easy to use and second, people seem to relate piping mostly with cushions and nothing really exciting. So I am on a quest to show you that piping is not only easy, but versatile and beautiful and there is no limit to the ways it can be used. I for sure will be using more piping in my projects.

So to tickle your imagination and in the hope that you might find some inspiration and courage to use piping, I have collected a few lovely projects all made with piping.

I won’t bother you with words; photos work better for me so here are no less than 20 fabulous ideas including piping, all made by fellow bloggers.

For the home

1. Piped cushion – this is a little set I recently made for a birthday present for a little boy and it will go all the way to San Francisco. I love the way the contrasting piping complements the light gingham.

2. Floor cushions – so fun to have around the house and I will definitely be making some of those. I love both styles - there is a round one I found on a great blog called Living with Punks

And also a square with a nice tutorial  from Sew Mama Sew.

 3. Here is also a great idea about a piped bench seat by The SCI Project…the white piping looks so lovely with the blue fabric.

 4. Off course there is no limit when it comes to cushions so here is a star shaped cushion by Sew A Straight Line - lovely...

And the letter shaped cushion you have probably see in one of my prevous posts.

 5. You didn’t think it was all cushions did you – how about a kitchen utensil cover. Check out this lovely toaster cover by T Party. I know I have a mixer in my kitchen that needs covering.

Something nice for us

6. Include piping in your project and make a lovely weekend bag like the one below from Done Well

7. Threat yourself to a gorgeous clutch – also with piping. Check this beauty from Titus 2 Homemaker.

8. Invite your friends around for tea – and show off with a beautiful tea cosy like this one from My Creative Eye. It's so sweet!

 9. If you have never attempted clothes – what better excuse to make some new trousers and to add contrasting piping like these from Scruffy Badger Time

 10. And if you like a very girly and not too complicated project to try piping than have a look at this lovely sleep mask by Roubidou…adorable!

11. Look at this - a piped cover for the sewing machine…I would love one…this one comes from Pammie and The P's

For the little person in your life

13. For the tiniest person in your household – why don’t you give the old car seat a new look – I am completely amazed by this tutorial  by Make It Love It – fantastic!

13. The baby boy cot bumper also uses piping and I think it is amazing from Sew Dang Cute.

14. Check out the cutest Ladybird baby bottles ever – with piping…sooo sweet! From Is Five

 15. If you fancy trying out piping but you need  a simple project than have a look at this lovely bib with piping – so clever! By the lovely Soule Mama
16. For girls the options are endless – piping is a lovely way to embellish a dress – check out the gorgeous Pipe Dreams dress  from Me Sew Crazy – now isn’t that adorable!

 17. And what about this lovely piped skirt from Leafy Threetop Spot – OK, I realise there are more piped ideas for girls…sorry mums of boys!

18. Oh, here is something for the boys…an absolutely lovely idea how to make piped pockets by I Kat Bag…I think it is adorable – red gingham combined with denim!

19. I loved this brave idea by Me Sew Crazy to use piping to make a butterfly!

 20. An absolutely fantastic Back to School idea from I Kat Bag - pencil cases at Sew Mama Sew – I love the colours!

And now I would like to show you two very interesting ideas – have you heard of scalloped piping? No! Neither did I until two days ago when I found this tutorial by Sew Blessed – the piping is absolutely gorgeous!

So you are familiar with piping now, but have you heard about cording…check out this tutorial about how to make this fabulous bowl made by Ooops I Craft My Pants…you can choose any colours for any ocassion – I can’t wait to give it a try!

I hope you liked this collection of piping projects and soon you’ll be trying it for yourself! 
If you make something using piping that please leave a comment with your blog link – I would love to have a look!

Have a lovely weekend!

Irina xx

19 Sept 2011

Playmais miniature pumpkins

{ a rainy day activity}

We recently bought some playmais in preparation for less warm days and more days spent indoors with a slightly bored three and a half year old.

If you have playmais at home you can help your little one make some mini pumpkins for decoration or garlands for Halloween.

To make one pumpkin you’ll need three orange, three peach and one brown playmais pieces.

Squash each of the orange and peach coloured pieces on once side only. Wet on of the sides and stick together to make the pumpkin.  Roll the brown piece between your fingers until it becomes half size in length and width. Wet and stick on top of the pumpkin.

Irina xx

Being frugal

{and the felted jumper}

I bought this jumper a couple of years ago for Lovely Husband. It is 100% merino wool and I quite liked the colour. Only after a few months in shrunk in the washing machine and became mine. Well it shrunk again and than it found its self in the pile of clothes destined to the local charity shop. 

I have been wanting to make something using felt for ages and so I decided to recycle the jumper and make something for Lovely Little Daughter.

I found the inspiration between the pages of Marie Claire Idees – I love those little cardigans…

I wasn’t sure about the quality of the felt and how it is going to turn out, so first I made a jumper for my girl's little teddy – which in her case is a giant mouse.

Well, you know I am not good at making clothes but the result was actually not too bad.

I made my own bias tape and if you haven’t got a bias tape making tool than I suggest you to get one – it is easy to use, the tape is done in no time and I love the fact that I can use any fabric…in this case some Liberty prints would have been great but sadly I had none left.
Both Lovely Daughter and Lovely Giant Mouse were very pleased.

Wishing you all a lovely week!

Irina xx

P.S. Off to clean my sewing machine now as felt leaves so much fluff, it’s unbelievable.

16 Sept 2011

A post in between

{ Goodbye summer, hello the 'Bers}

Well it is official …the summer is over…until next year! We went to the park last weekend to collect conkers and acorns and the ground was covered with yellow leaves…

We had a nice summer! Not as many sunny days as we would have hoped for…but many nice days spent in the park, meeting friends, enjoying the little girl who is growing up by the minute, turning into this amazing little person, and trying to take pleasure in life and see the world through the eyes of a three and a half year old…

So here it is…in as fewer words as possible…our German summer…

At first we were all anxious and waiting for it…

Than it was suddenly here…but not as we expected it…Lovely Little Daughter didn’t seem to mind…only her mummy did...

We had lovely time at the Baltic Sea ( Ostsee) with the parents in law and we had the most delicious home made smoked fish…

We enjoyed nature…

Than the summer was suddenly back in all its sunny glory…

Back in Frankfurt we attended our first craft fair…the whole family was there…

And than there was more summer…

Lovely Mum visited from England ...and we also did the tourist bit and went to Heidelberg to meet some lovely friends from London...we also had a surprise visit from Lovely Best Friend and her husband…

                 We had a fabulous summer…

                                                                  Hope that you all had a great summer...

                                      Welcome autumn...

Irina xx

9 Sept 2011

Home Made Craft Labels

{ or labels on a budget, or in the last minute}

I would like to share with you a great idea for DIY labels that I found many months ago. It is so creative and clever that I wish it was mine, but I actually saw it here, at the lovely blog Patchwork and Pottery.

You’ll need the following:

T-shirt transfer kit
Twill tape
Exacto knife and board (this one is optional)


I used the Avery T-shirt transfer pack, and I bought the one for white t-shirts, as my labels are white. I know that they have a kit for dark t-shirts. I am sure you can buy a cheaper version. I bough mine on Amazon.

Yes, you will need to reverse your image, so when you iron it, it will show from the right side!

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

I have undated the instructions since I first published this post as many people e-mailed me with questions:

Download the free software Avery Design Pro 5.

Open the software and select the blank page just below File. From the list of templates choose the number of your product - T-shirt transfer. If you are not using Avery, than look for C9045. And from there on it is like using a word document.

Remember to leave spacing and also make sure that the height of your labels is smaller than the width of your ribbon or twill tape.

The good thing about the Avery Design Pro Software is that you don't have to worry about reversing your image. It will know that automatically because you have selected the T-shirt transfer template. Clink of Print Preview to check this. Do print out a couple of test pages. Once you are happy with the colour or the spacing than print it on the transfer paper from your T-shirt transfer kit.

Another tip is to check the settings of your printer. Many modern printers have the “Reverse image " option in the printer settings. If you have this option, than you can use a Word document to create your labels and use the printer settings to reverse the image before printing.

After you have printed your labels on the transfer paper use an exacto knife a board and a ruler to cut strips of your labels. If you do not have an exacto knife, than you can use paper scissors.

Once you have cut out your strips, you’ll need to iron them on the twill tape. At this point you will have to follow the description of your T-shirt transfer kit – but basically use hot iron, no steam and leave the labels to cool off completely before peeling off. A tip from me - try to press your labels, it works better than ironing.

When completely cool, peel off the paper and cut your desired labels. Ready – your very own, hand made labels in less than an hour!

 What I love about this way of making labels is the variety - you can choose any colour of twill tape, use colourful writing, personalize your labels or even have little images like flower or butterfly. Or you can make a continuous label tape.

And while I was waiting for the  labels to cool down, I made this absolutely delicious Italian herbs and parmesan bread. OK it took more than 5 min, but the bread is very quick and easy to make. I found the recipe here. I also cheated and used a packet of brown bread mix and the flavour is still amazing.

Have a lovely weekend!
Irina xx