Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Swaps, swaps, and more swaps!

Eep! It's been a whole month since I last posted, naughty Moogle!

I have been crazy busy this last month between roller marathons, bouts (playing and watching), my niece's 1st birthday - lots going on!

I've also joined in several more swaps on Instagram (like I haven't been busy enough, lol).

The first one is the Verry Cherry Swap. Pretty much like the Strawberry Swap, but I've been paired with the person who'll be sending my gifts. She likes ginham, polka dots, aqua and red, so I'm hoping she'll like what I've made so far!

With Halloween coming up soon (one of my favourite times of the year!), I've joined not one, but two Halloween swaps. 

Kawaii means cute in Japanese :) For this, I have to make something small, include something small that my partner can use to make something themselves, some themed related goodies and candy. 

For the second one, we've to make a Halloween themed drawstring bag from a pattern we've been given and fill it with Halloween goodies.

The last swap I joined is a mini quilt one. I've only made a few quilts, with a few issues, so I'm hoping I don't mess this one up! But I have until December to finish it, so I'll just be taking my time.

And lastly, no so much a swap, but a lovely idea - a penpal list. You can send anything you like to those on the list, any time you like. Random snail mail that might just cheer someone's day up :D

Now, better get back to finishing off some Cherry Swap goodies!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Strawberry Swap: Update

I've been very busy working on this! Here is what I have so far:

Firstly, I knew I wanted to do something with the fabric I got with my subscription to Mollie Makes Magazine. My swap partner wanted pinks, greens and whites, so this fabric was perfect! I also saw a post on Wild Olive's blog about hexies. One person commented on making stuffed animals with hexies. So I started making hexies to join together to make one big panel of fabric.

I then had a little browse on Pinterest and found a tutorial for making a strawberry pincushion. And then indeed, the scary part came - cutting a circle out of the hexie fabric!

Which didn't go as badly as I thought, phew!
And here is the finished product!

I'm quite pleased for my first attempt, however, next time I won't stuff them quite so much!

I then took to my second love, cross stitch, to make this (pattern found here):

I've ordered a smaller hoop, which I'll decorate with the pink gingham fabric.

I also made a bracelet using these charms:

And I bought a cute little strawberry iron on motif too:

So far, the package is looking good, but I still have a few more items to add in there before it's complete! I hope my swap buddy likes what I've done!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wild Olive on Etsy

At the beginning of the month, I entered a competition by the lovely Mollie of Wild Olive to celebrate her 10th anniversary of blogging! I was one of 10 lucky winners to receive $24 of credit for her Etsy shop! It was difficult to chose, I'm sure you'll see why as I take you for a little tour of her shop.

One of the first embroidery patterns that jumped out at me was this one:

When I finally get my own place, this is going up in the bathroom! It's a total bug bear of mine!

Another one for the future home:

Chores of the week! But I'll admit, the thimble was the pattern that clinched it for me, how cute!

And I had to get the SeaSiders patterns to go in my room:

Once I've stitched these up, my room is going to look amazing :D 

Along with the embroidery patterns, Mollie also has gorgeous printables available, such as these owl lists:

And not forgetting the Blog Buddies printables, which I will use over and over again!

And I love this pencil case pattern! My nephew will love it :) 

There are also offers available in her shop, for example, choose 3 embroidery patterns from a range in the shop and save $2.
This is also where you'll find access to Mollie's stitching clubs and embroidery classes. I joined all of the season clubs and loved each one. The newest addition is the 50 States Stitching Club. 

Once I've finished with my freebies, I'll heading over to buy more! If you love all things cute, this is the shop to visit :) 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Strawberry Swap

I am so excited to be taking part in my very first swap! The lovely Frampuna (aka Jamie) has organised this :)

All I have to do is craft something strawberry related using a few key requests from the person I'm sending to, like which colours they'd like in their item and what kind of crafted item they'd like. Simple!

I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration! Here are some ideas:

Strawberry Gift Bag

I have so many ideas!! But I think I'm very certain on a least two things I will definitely be making ;) The item(s) have to be sent out by the 20th of August, so watch this space!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Little Moments

Today was the day I have been waiting for since Fat Mum Slim (aka Chantelle) announced that she had designed her own app! Fat Mum Slim is a blog I've been following for a few years since discovering her Photo A Day challenge. So when the app, Little Moments, was finally ready to buy, I had to get it!

Only available for the iPhone or iPad at the moment, you can use this app to edit your photos. Here's a few I've played around with today:

When editing your photo, the first option you have is which size you'd like it - 1:1, 3:4 or 4:3. Once you've cropped your photo, the fun starts! Like Instagram, you have the option to add a filter. Only Little Moments filters are so much more fun! With names like "candy", "popsicle" and "daydream", what's not to love?
You also have the option to add text, in a range of colours and fonts! Can't think of anything inspiring to write? Little Moments comes with it's own sayings for you to chose from. There's also a selection of images (like the heart I've added on my photo of Bailey sleeping) which again you can change the colour of.

Not only does this app come with an editing feature, if you are taking part in the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day challenge, the app will send you prompts (as long as you have it turned on) to let you know what the day's photo challenge is. You can also have a look at the list for the month and see what photos Chantelle has picked for her fab four for that day. You never know, one day, I might be lucky enough to have one of my photos picked!

Monday, 23 June 2014

No Buy July!

I follow a few crafty people (crafty as in those who make things, not crafty as in shady people, although I think I follow a few of those too! Haha!) on Instagram. I came across a post that immediately appealed to me from belloquacity entitled No Buy July. Here are the rules!

- No new fabric purchases
- No patterns, no books, no fancy rulers or non-essential notions
- Goodies to accompany swaps allowed
- Existing club commitments/bundles or subscriptions already signed up for allowed
- Thread for current project allowed
- Wadding for current project allowed
- Zippers for current project allowed (but no large quantities of these!)

We then write out our list of projects (here's mine) and post our lists up on Instagram using the hashtag #itstimetostopbuyingandstartsewing:

Now, it might not look like too much, but there is a lot of work in this list! The cardigan makeover is basically just replacing buttons on a cardigan that my sister was going to throw out, then trying out some embroidery. I got these adorable buttons in a Hobbycraft sale and I think I'm going to use those along with some tips from my Doodle-Stitching book by Aimee Ray.

My Spring Stitching Club Quilt is getting there. I've got most of the coloured hexagons do, but I really have to get cracking on the embroidered ones.

My summer quilt....well, I haven't even started this yet and I've received 40 issues of the magazine (Sew and Stitch) with fabric for a square from each issue! This is what it should look like:

And then we have the cross stitch that I am slightly ashamed of.....It was supposed to be for my niece Niamh's first present from me and well, she'll be 1 in August....bad Aunty Shelly. As excuses go, this is actually one of the most complicated cross stitches I've done so far - there's about 10 different shades of grey thread and the thread isn't the best quality in the world, often snapping half way through. Now that I've finished the solid part of the cross stitch, I have to do the tatty bear part and this is the part that's making me feel like I'm totally hashing it all up :( 

And lastly, what I have been saving up ALL the corks for (this has taken a looooong time!), a home made cork board for my mum (not stitching, but a project nonetheless).

The birthday gift is being kept secret/a work in progress! But let's see how much of this I can get through in a month. And how long I can last before I sneak into Hobbycraft!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Jaunt Around Glasgow

On Sunday, I had the lovely opportunity of taking a wee wander around Glasgow (with some very good company). As my Saturday photographing trip got postponed (car issues), I decided to take photos of the trip!

After a ride on the Underground (which I sadly realised was the first time in over 10 years.....) and a walk down memory lane (in the form of Byres Road), our first destination was The Hill for food! 

As soon as I saw this wall, I was immediately glad this is where we chose to eat! I tried to do something similar in my old house, but it was nothing compared to these amazing photos. 

Next up was a walk to the Botanic Gardens. A short walk in, I was shown this:

Old underground platforms for a station that was opened in 1896. I had no idea this existed! I love history, so this definitely appealed to me. 

We decided to go into the glass dome (which we almost instantly regretted after being met by the humidity) and managed to get a look around in amongst the screaming kids. There was a little art exhibition and this painting caught my eye (I wonder why....):

After all that heat, it was time for ice cream!

Toffee fudge and after eight ice cream is probably the best combination ever! 

More walking later (apparently we walked 7 miles altogether, which is a pretty good "jaunt" I think!), we walked past a live band with a huge crowd.

The sign next to them was promoting their band and lessons, but after this performance, they did mention something about not quite beating the world record for the number of people dancing. 

We also walked past my old university. Lots of memories! 

And just before it was time to get the train home, a little seat (after all the walking....) in George Square. Trying to get a photo of this with no one trying to hang off/sit on it was quite difficult!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Encouragement Cards

As I sit here in the mess that is my room, I thought what better time to start writing on my blog again!

I came across these gorgeous Encouragement Cards as designed by Mollie on her Wild Olive blog.  At first, I thought they'd be great to write down reminders for my mindfulness training.  After writing a few though and seeing my mum come home from a bad day, I decided to put my project down and start one for her.

Here are my version of the cards, with a few sayings to keep my mum smiling if she's ever having a bad day:

The photos are of my gorgeous niece and nephew :)

To make the pouch, I used some fabric I got free with my subscription of Mollie Makes (lots of Mollies in today's post!), and some quilting fabric to give the cards a little protection:

And here's the finished project!

Mum loves them! Although she did ask if they were meant to make her cry....she got the point though, lol!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Hello 2014

So here it is, 2014! A new year, and new chapters in our lives awaiting. So, as usual, I had a little look over my goals from last year (New Year, New Start) and I'm a little disappointed.....

Firstly, my blog - 5 times a week was probably too ambitious. This year, I think 4 times will be my max, maybe not always the same days each week, more like when I feel like there's something to write about. 

Secondly, my derby goals. I managed to accomplish most of them, but my 180's are still far too slow. I would like to feel more confident on my skates by the end of 2014. I feel more confident than this time last year, so it's probably not a bad goal to aim for. 
At the ARRG bootcamp this year, I attended a little session about mental prep. After the last year in derby, I now understand how important this is. Part of this prep was to write down your goals for derby, a yearly one, and then goals with different time frames. For mine, I've decided that, by the end of 2014, I would like to be back on the FVRG jammer rotation. I had a terrible game against Wirral and was taken off jammer rotation in the 2nd half. I was devastated of course, not just for myself, but I felt like I'd let my team down. Awful feeling. And I didn't handle it well. It made me realise that I was letting derby become my life, not part of it that I enjoy, and I really was starting to lose the reasons to why I started skating in the first place. Not good. It knocked my confidence, then line ups didn't play me so much as jammer for other things and then there was more confidence knocking - a vicious circle that I'm removing myself from. I know I can be a better jammer, I just need to focus and work hard. So that shall be my goal for the end of 2014. 
In the next 6 months, I'd like to be back on the team. This means passing that god damn awful backwards skating (my calves hate it), but I'm determined. If there's one comment that always comes back to me from feedback, it's that I'm determined. 
My monthly goal is to get fitter. I've been resting due to a knee injury and my shoulder is getting physio, but I'm feeling a lot better and ready to get back into the swing of things. We've also had the festive season with lots of drink and too much food....
I think these are achievable goals. At least, I hope they are and that I'm not being a complete eejit. Guess we'll find out!

And then we get to my "life" list. Oh dear....
* Read at least one book a month
* Bake/Cook at least once a month
* Craft once at least once a month
* Start taking more photos!  Get out once a month and photograph landscapes.
* Keep up with the Fatmumslim photo a day challenges!
* Sell the house....
* New job
* Dye my hair a new colour
* Try sushi
* Try a ghost chilli
* Get a new tattoo

My book reading went majorly downhill. It got busier at work during the year and I didn't have as much time to read. So, instead of saying I'm going to read a book a month, I think I'll say that I'm going to read more at night. Maybe an hour before sleep. Might actually help my irratic sleep patterns, rather than sitting in front of the tv or computer.
My baking/cooking also went downhill. I cooked a lot of soup though....I have bought myself a little book though, where I can write down my recipes, so I'm hoping that encourages me some more.
I'm quite happy with how my crafting went last year. I'd already been doing cross stitch and playing with the perler beads, but I've also started embroidery and making jewellery. Who knows what new craft 2014 will bring :) 
Ah, photography.... :( I really have no excuse for this, aside from laziness. I definitely intend to start taking more photos this year and keep up with the FatMumSlim photo a day challenges. I've actually been looking into a new zoom lens.
As for the rest, I didn't sell my house (ugh), get a new job or new tattoo and I haven't tried a ghost chilli. However, I did dye my hair (pink of all colours!) and tried sushi. Yay? 

So, life goals for 2014? 
1) To be happy. Regardless of what life throws in my way. 
2) To see the best in each day. My "feel good" jar was emptied at the beginning of the year, time to fill it with more smiles.
3) To read more - nothing wrong with getting lost in a good book.
4) To be more sociable. I still have to work on my social anxiety, but after the New Year day skate (which I walked.....), I realise the only person missing out is me. Why would I deny myself fun with friends?
5) Watch at least one movie a month that I haven't seen before. 
6) Be more organised. I have an awesome diary, personal planner and about 100 note books along with my phone, I have no excuse to be disorganised!

Hopefully I won't be disappointed at myself this time next year :)