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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Impending motherhood…

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So, birth pool is in the lounge (well, originally it turned up at my work and sat in the middle of my open plan office, all massive and logo’d up for three days that I was away = mortifying) 43 hand me down baby grows are washed and I had my last day at work yesterday. At 38 weeks this little bun is pretty much just getting a good crust on. I am still loving pregnancy, it is all pros and no cons- i.e still able to ride my bike but get the joy of people’s double takes, hehe.

I am having a luxurious day reading the paper, listening to my lovely new Brooke Fraser album, watching the odd delicious youtube video while Tim gets on with painting the halls. In the last week we have had all our halls plastered, hoping to paint and get Carpet Derek in before this baby checks out.

I just saw this image and love it – thanks Juliet.

Tomorrow we have our first Make in our lounge. Make is a monthly craft afternoon, tomorrow we are crafting up social justice patches for the Craftivist Collective’s social justice quilt. Exciting!

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The 6 minute felt slipper

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I think I have mentioned before that I am a rubbish sew-er, an impatient, corner cutting seamstress. This was proven to me big time today when I tried to make some simple felt slippers.

You see, excitingly, our house is progressing. This morning Carpet Derek came and laid 100% wool down on our bedroom floor after a good week of plastering and painting. This is fab, as it means that when the baby comes (I am 37 weeks today!) we will have at least one snug little room. However, today’s dillemma was that we have this lovely new carpet in one spot, and rancid, dusty (cool looking though) floor boards everywhere else. It will be far too easy for that muck to creep into our creamy lushness. Clearly, I need some slippers to leave at the bedroom door!

Having just been to a jumble sale at the Camberwell Sallies, organised by Mel, and picked up a wooly jumper for 10p, I quickly stuffed it in the machine on hot and felted that bad boy.
I then googled “simple felt slippers” and came across a couple of really lovely options. Rather than limiting myself to one recipe, I thought I should sort of mix them. I was aiming for Martha’s neatness but rolling with Mary Jane’s more freestyle feel, and um, just like when I do baking combos, it was a fail. I got one slipper. It was properly ugly and about 3 times too big. I was pretty mad after measuring my foot and cutting out newspaper and Everything.

In my madness I put my foot in the armpit of the jumper. Hello!!!! I had stumbled upon the easiest felt slipper ever- it was basically ready made! How I have managed to make the most simple of all sewing projects even more basic I will never know.

It goes like this:

  1. Put foot in armpit of felted wool jumper. Toes pointing toward wrist end of sleeve.
  2. Snuggle your foot down till it feels cosy.
  3. Cut off the excess jumper hanging off the back of heel, and excess sleeve hanging from your toes.
  4. So a straight line up from your heel (should be about 8cm or so)
  5. Sew a point around your toes.
  6. Turn inside out.

Done! Then, if you have some lace, or other goodies you’ve picked up from a carboot, wack that on and voila.

If this takes you more than 6 minutes per slipper then you are a worse sew-er than me! (Or perhaps it just means you are meticulous which means you can go far in sewing world, my friend.)

Above- the corner of my original attempt next to the proof of my practice on newspaper (it’s not worth it, even when I do practice it doesn’t pay off)
Below- the six minute beauts that will save our new carpet, hurrah!

Bunting fiend…

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I love bunting. It is transformative. It turns a room into a party and turns grotty pajamas into a lovely decoration.

We have about 400 metres of bunting stowed under the stairs because we make a new batch each year for the Fair Christmas Fayre that we run. So we have miles of it, even despite having left at least 200 metres of it strung up around Bishopgate after the Climate Camp last year (it features in a lot of the photo’s of the day, like this one, really set off by the luminous coats of the riot police).

Normally I make it quick and dirty, sawing off triangles with whatever pair of scissors I can find, stitching it inaccurately to balloon ribbon. This is what you have to do when you are aiming to smother the world in bunting.

But this week I took my time, I was only hoping to acheive a metre and a half of it to give as a gift to our little two year old friends at their christening today. I sewed each individual triangle inside out (Yes! Seams and everything!) and scouted out some real bling ribbon.

Recent free or frugal finds

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We went to Cornwall last weekend, for a little holiday. What an amazing and exotic place! We had the luxury of a; a car and b; being outside of London – a combo that could lead to only one Saturday plan: CAR BOOT SALE! It was with expectation and excitment coursing through our veins that all six of us (Tim and I, bro and sis and Tim’s mum and dad from NZ) piled into cars after breakfast, navigating in trepidation the windy lanes, to discover that I had the time wrong and it wasn’t until the afternoon. But after an exploration of a beautiful little fishing village and a scrummy pub lunch we headed back to that muddy field.

And what joy it did bring us. Amongst the endless piles of VHS’s and foot spas, we found an old working typewriter for £2, and several old games such as Scrabble, Pit and a dominoes set (that’s what you see in the cream case) each bought for between 50 and 70p.
Last week I gallavanted off on the 176 to East Dulwich, in particular the fabulous vintage street of Northcross Road, with it’s gourmet fudge and French like antique shops. Not that I could afford anything there; I spent my pennies in the equally delicious charity shops on the main road. I found the little wooden box in the games picture above, which houses a chess set. I also got this fun frame, which with a lick of white paint and a selection of my old Happy Families playing cards inside is pretty cool. It sits atop a ravishing old wooden ladder that Tim pulled out of a skip a few weeks ago, complete with splashes of paint and rust.
We also thought we had found a miracle in a pair of curtains from the Mind charity shop in East Dulwich, they were lovely; thick, simple, perfect width for our bare lounge windows… just 8 centimetres short.
Oh dear!