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Saturday, 29 October 2011

My Memories Suite plus FREE GIVEAWAY

Hi

I am doing another review today. A few weeks ago I was given a copy of the My Memories Software and was asked to do a review.


I have never used digital scrapbook software before, so this was a real eye opener for me. I had no idea what to expect, but was amazed at the capabilities of this software, you can not only do digital scrapbooks but, cards calendars, invites and much more.

I found the software navigation very straightforward to use, even for a total novice like me. It is very easy to change paper colours (or add new ones), add motifs, design layout and import photos too.

Although this software is ideal for the beginner don't think it wouldn't suit the more experienced scrapbooker, because the capabilities are such that even the experienced user would be 'wowed' by it. It has the facility to add audio and video to your creations as well, something I did not expect to find in digital scrapbooking, but I guess in the digital age this is a must for the serious user.

There are a multitude of free designs which can be downloaded from their website, and of course additional designs which can be purchased.

These are a couple of my favourites:


I think these designer packs are fantastic and give you so much to create with, there are 90 free designs which you can download, and remember that gives you much more than 90 to play with, as most of them are packs, with papers, motifs etc included.


This one is so cute and easy to produce fantastic photo cards for that favourite person in your life.

As I am not a scrapbooker I decided to create a personalised Christmas card (also due to the time of year), and this is what I came up with - remember I have never used any software like this and for my first one I only spent about 15mins - This in itself shows just how easy this software is to use.


I also decided to have a go at a Birthday card


the only thing I struggled with to start with was finding the elements that I had downloaded, but once I had found them I was away. I would recommend this software to anyone who wants to design their own scrapbooks, cards etc. And for those of you that do I have a special giveaway which you could win. A COPY OF THE MEMORY SUITE SOFTWARE FREE

All I ask is that you visit the Memory Suite Website and tell me which is your favourite free download and why. The lucky winner will be announced on Saturday 12th November.
If you can't wait that long you can purchase the software direct from the site and as a thank you for reading my blog here is a discount for you


As a special for all of my readers, Memory Suite have given me my very own Share the Memories code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - ($20 value!)  Simply input the following code at the checkout -   STMMMS8902    Don't worry about delays in receiving your software as it can be downloaded direct from the site, so as soon as you purchase you can go ahead and start creating.


Hope you enjoyed my blog today, and happy browsing


Signing off for today
F xx

Friday, 28 October 2011

AccuQuilt Go

Hello again

Sorry I have not been about for a while, but been very busy. Toady I am going to tell you what I have been up to.
I have bought myself the most wonderful addition for my patchwork and quilting - The AccuQuilt GO

This machine is amazing, a MUST have for all patchwork and quilters out there. It comes with a die which had 2 different sized squares and triangles, and they are so accurate it's amazing. Makes piecing so much more accurate, quicker and gives a better finish.

I also treated myself to some additional dies:


I have plans already for this die, including a cushion cover and a wall hanging (I'll post pictures when they are done).
I bought this one to do some amazing baby quilts, and intend to combine with the round flowers (see below) to do some vibrant and batik wall hangings.

I used the 'leaf' from this one together with the circle below to make an amazing cushion today - my first real play with the Go
This is the first time I have used the Go and am really pleased with the results -
I used the squares from the value die (came with the machine) plus the circle and the feather, I cut 2.5 inch strips with my cutter (have added the strip die to my wish list) and away I went, so quick, so precise I am well impressed.

Tomorrow I plan to try out my heart die, so watch this space for what I come up with, but overall this cutting machine is so easy to use and so precise I would now not be without it, wish I found them years ago.

signing off for today

F xx

Saturday, 15 October 2011

CRAFTfest Lilac Group

Hello again,

Today I am going to tell you a little bit about some of the stall holders in CRAFTfest Lilac Group. There are still a few stalls left if anyone still wants to join us just pop over  HERE. It's a 2 day online craft fair that anyone can join from their sofa even!

Now to the important stuff: I have some amazing stall holders in my Lilac group so here they are:-

Aingeal Designs



Aingeal Designs creates affordable greetings cards and gifts that are suitable for many occassions. I like experimenting with different mediums and ideas, and am currently working on a range of cards and gift combinations to save time and money when searching for a gift and card together.
To view her designs click HERE
To visit her on Facebook click HERE
To follow her on Twitter click HERE
To read her blog click HERE

Random eyes boutique



I'm Ren, and I am the owner of Randomeyes Boutique. I make kitsch jewellery and accessories based on food, drink and other random objects...all with kawaii inspired googly eyes! I began making these items as a hobby in the Spring of 2009, but I officially launched the brand at the Clothes Show Live 2010, where I received a fantastic response! Since the launch, I have given my website a makeover and included lots of new limited edition products, as well as a ring category! I now have over 300 items in my store, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, pins, magnets, mobile charms, keyrings, hairslides and mirrors.
To view her designs click HERE
To visit her on Facebook click HERE
To follow her on Twitter click HERE

Cheshire Cat Crafts




I have always been a fan of crafting, ever since I was a child and since then the passion to craft has grown. I enjoy giving people hand made gifts and I have taken this a step further by putting some of my creations online. I create a variety of craft items, I especially enjoy making jewellery, hand painted glass, polymere clay items, hair accessories and a whole lot more. I enjoy creating items from recycled materials too, as well as giving some of my jewellery a vintage twist. These items would make great gifts, or why not treat yourself. 

To view her designs click HERE

To read her blog click HERE


Handmade by zenia


My name is Zenia. I design and make Fused Glass Jewellery and Gifts.
Each piece is individually handmade in my kiln. I mainly use Dichroic and Bullseye glass which make up my fused pieces.
Fused Glass is a technique that involves layering glass which is then placed in the kiln and melted or fused together at extremely high temperatures.Also I design and make Beaded glass jewellery. I source the beads from unusual suppliers and artisans.
I work from my home studio in South Northamptonshire and as well as having my on-line shop, I also attend craft fairs and events in the area.
To visit her on Facebook click HERE
To follow here on Twitter click HERE

The Dressing Up Chest

The Dressing Up Chest makes dressing up clothes, fancy dress and 
dance costumes for children. You can select from those shown on
the web site or commission a costume in the character or style of
your choice.
Based in West London, but serving the whole of the UK, Libby
established the business when her own children no longer needed
the stage and dance costumes she enjoyed making for them.
Each costume is lovingly put together using good quality fabrics
which can be washed and worn again and again. If you would like to
give the child in your life an alternative to mass produced, synthetic
fabric costumes then email info@dressingupchest.co.uk
To view her designs click HERE

Handmade by Claire

Well my name is Clare, I started my passion for handicrafts when I made my wedding invitations and all my favors for my wedding, it was suggested I went into business, so here I am trying to make a start, it's kind of drifted from just wedding stationary and now I seem to have ventured into making items of jewellery, felt brooches, decorating wine glasses, assembling wine glass charms, wire decorations with shelll beads and swarovski crystals as well.  
To view her designs click HERE
To visit her on Facebook click HERE
To follow her on Twitter click HERE


JustKjewellery


an eclectic mix of fun and quirky handmade jewellery and accessories. I LOVE working with resin and one of my favourite things to do is embed real sweets in the resin. Intrigued - then take a look.....
To view her designs click HERE
To visit her on facebook click HERE
To follow her on Twitter click HERE
To read her blog click HERE


Butterfly Bessie


Butterfly Bessie emerged in early 2011 with an eclectic mix of gifts and accessories carefully handmade in my home on the edge of the beautiful New Forest. Using modern and vintage, re-cycled and up-cycled, I hope that there is something for everyone to enjoy. From hair clips to cake-stands, cards to Christmas decorations,
To view her designs click HERE
To view her CRAFTfest stall click  HERE
To visit her on facebook click HERE
To follow her on Twitter click HERE


Happy Hands



 
Hi I'm Gayle mum of two and proud creator of Happy Hands, which produces a broad range of wedding accessories. Through out my life Art and Design has played a big part. My background is in Fashion Design and Manufacturing so I've always been creative. I opened the doors to Happy Hands when planning my own wedding. Starting with wands, slowly but surely I developed to other items including Tiara's, Hair pieces, Wedding Favour, Table Decor and my favourite Organza Bouquet. All my products are all 'hand crafted' and 'bespoke' for you. Happy Hands today continues to grow from strength to strength. I continue to progress with my passion (borderline obsession) with enthusiasm, pride and demand for perfection. My aim is to fully satisfy the customer's specification to budget and wedding scheme. 'YOUR DAY YOUR WAY'
No matter how 'Big' or 'Small' every girl dreams of their wedding day... You want perfection... So do we...
                            To view her designs click  HERE
                         To view her CRAFTfest stall click HERE
                          To visit her on Facebook click HERE
                         To read her blog click HERE

 All Things Blankets & More

"All Things Blankets & More, the home of handmade personalised cat beds, blankets, cushions & throws. (I cater for cat owners as well). Originally inspired by my 4 cats cuddling up with me under my homemade blanket on the sofa; I decided to make them their own blankets. All my cat range items have therefore been tried & tested by my own cats first for their approval.
To view her designs click HERE  or HERE
To visit her on Facebook click HERE
To follow her on Twitter click HERE

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the first of my group, there will be another blog, with the rest of my team members.

Signing off for Today 
Felicity xx
















Thursday, 13 October 2011

Local Pub under New Management

Hello again,

Today I wanted to introduce the new manager at our local pub; The Hungry Fox Pub. The pub has gone through so many management changes over the last couple of years, it's nice to have a manager (Paula) that is not only a lovely lady, but really has her heart set on making a success of the business, and truly bringing The Hungry Fox back to life. This will make a huge difference to our local community, and I wish her every success in doing this.


I have eaten with her on a number of occasions since she took over, and I've got to say her home cooking is brilliant, and the menu keeps expanding too, so lots of reason to go back again.



See what she has to say by way of an introduction to the local people:

The Hungry Fox,
Station Road,
Broadclyst Station,
Broadclyst,
Nr Exeter,
Devon,
EX5 3AS,
01392 460832,
07827576538.

Dear Resident of Broadclyst,

As you are aware The Hungry Fox, has changed management yet again. If I am correct I am the sixth manager/ tenant in six years, according to the latest edition of The Broadclyst Broadsheet.

Well if that is the case; let me tell you a little bit about myself & why I have taken on The Hungry Fox Public House, in your village.

My name is Paula & I was born in Plympton nr Plymouth in 1957, so I am 55 years old & have lived in various parts of the Med, Far East & back here in the UK; thanks to my Father who was in the Royal Marines. So as children; with my brother & sister; we traveled with my Mother & Father wherever our Government sent The Royal Marines.

After leaving full time education in 1973; in Chichester West Sussex; I tried my hand at a number of careers, but never settled until the end of that long hot summer in 1976. I found myself entering the catering industry, working in a friend’s Fish & Chip shop in Chichester,

After a number of years, I then progressed to run my first Pub kitchen at The Black Boy Inn, Old Fishbourne, and Chichester. During my time there I put myself through college to earn my City & Guilds.
I spent 9 years working for Jim Lindsay & at times I was running all of his Pub Kitchens.
While still living in West Sussex I also worked for Rank Leisure in one of their Night Clubs & also at The Body Shop factory in the Canteen in Littlehampton.

At the end of 2000, an opportunity to move back to Devon came around, so I took the opportunity to come home.
I first moved back to Ilfracombe on the beautiful North Devon Coast. I worked for seasonal coaching Hotels & The Terrace Tapas Restaurant.

Towards the end of 2003 work took me to Barnstaple at The Cork & Bottle, for nearly 4 years. After leaving I set up with friends, Catering an Outside Catering Company, but also working as a relief Freelance Chef.
The relief work has taken me to a number of establishments here in Devon, namely The Mulberry Inn Cheriton Bishop, The Hoops Inn Nr Bideford, High Bullen Golf Club & Hotel Nr Umberliegh, Shebbear College, Ashwicke Hall International School Nr Bath; both for Sodexo.


This now brings me back to why The Hungry Fox?

When I arrived back from Ashwicke Hall in Early August, Tony Lock; who had just reopened the pub; phoned & asked if I was interested in taking it on, either as an employed manager or would I like to take the lease that he had with Punch Taverns.
I came down from Barnstaple for a couple of weekends to check what the situation was, & I liked what I saw & felt about the Pub & it’s Location.

So I opted for the latter deal & took over the lease on the 29th August 2011.
As you are probably aware the Pub is up for Sale; this is Punch Taverns option if the turnover does not increase to an acceptable level. If the turnover does increase, I will be offered a rolling lease; so if we as a community want to see our local businesses flourish, through these difficult financial times, I need all your support.
I have taken this chance to help turn around The Hungry Fox, because I saw an opportunity to bring back to life a Pub with huge potential that is well known throughout the County.

I have just taken on 5 local bar staff, 3 who have worked here in the past.

The previous manager had gone along with the £3.50p all day carvery. We as a Local Pub; which serves good home cooked food at reasonable prices; have put in place an initial menu.

This menu includes Starters, Steaks, Fresh Fish, Pasta, Homemade Burgers, Home cooked Ham, etc along with Hand Cut Chips
But also check out our specials board for something else that is Home cooked or different.

Please call in for a drink, coffee or a meal & please make yourself known to me & my team, so we will hopefully remember you on your next visit.

All Major Debit and Credit cards now accepted.

Also we are developing a small Take Away Menu. A sample of this is included.

Yours            
                                                      
Paula Susan Milton.               
          



Take Away Menu.
Please see below a selection of food available for take away:

Beer Battered Cod & Chips……………………………….......................... £5.00p
Whole tail Breaded Scampi & Chips………………………………………  £5.95p
Two Pork Sausages & Chips……………………………………................   £4.95p
Home Made Burger in a Bap & chips……………………………………..   £5.95p
Three Pork Sausages, Mash & Onion Gravy………………….………..….  £5.95p
Sweet N Sour Chicken & Rice or Noodles…………………..……….…… £6.95p
The Hungry Fox Chicken & Vegetables……………………..……….……  £6.95p
9” Thin & Crispy Pizza……………………………….................................  £6.95p
9” Deep Pan Pizza - Cheese & Tomato ………..........................................   £6.95p
                                  Pepperoni………............................................. extra    £1.00p
                                  Ham & Pineapple…………............................  extra    £1.00p
Vegetable Fried Rice with Sweet N Sour Sauce……………….……….....  £6.95p
Portion of Chips………………………………...........................................   £1.50p
Portion of Cheesy Chips………………………………..............................   £1.95p

Now that you can see what Paula has to offer why not pop across for a visit and try some good home cooking while you're there; I'm really close by too so you could pop in for a close up of your favourite quilts at the same time!

Hope to see some of you local people in there soon.
Signing off for today

Felicity xx

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Glorious South West in Pictures

Hello again,

today I have decided to give you a brief view of my history in the Southwest, all in pictures; I hope you enjoy them.

Firstly Rock in Cornwall where I was born

now on to one of my favourite haunts as a child, and I often visit as an adult - Padstow, just across the water from Rock

one of my most favourite beaches of all time - Daymer Bay, not far from Rock and so unspoilt


and just behind Daymer Bay is the glorious St Enodoc church which was buried under the sand for many years, and dug out by the local people, and the vicar


I grew up in a small Mid-Devon town Tiverton


and went to the local Grammar school


now on to my teenage years, this is the sort of thing we got up to - raft races down the river Exe


then at 22 I got married, the reception was held at The Fisherman's Cot at Bickleigh


 I then went on to have 3 children, all born at Heavitree Hospital


I now live near the city of Exeter


but with the most beautiful countryside right next door - here's one of our local dog walking sites - Ashclyst Forest



I have the moors either side of me, to the North Exmoor



and to the south Dartmoor


and finally a 'less nice' side of Devon - work! I work for a company that looks after the trunk roads, and this is what we deal with in the winter - Haldon Hill



I hope you enjoyed that snap shot of my life

Signing off for today

F xx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Lilac Items in Honour of Lilac Group

I have decided to do a blog featuring Lilac items, in honour of my Lilac group in CRAFTfest, I hope you enjoy my selections, and please come back for my blog where I will be featuring members of Lilac Group and I'll tell you more about them. Happy browsing




Lilac Pinboard   Merudu






lilac mouse  needles and buttons



Lilac Coral  Jane Loudon Accessories




Flower Fairy Wall Hanging Lilac  Perfect Patchwork




Lilac Crochet Bead Earrings  Froosh Maroosh




Lilac Cupcake Flower Pot  Fabulous Coconut




Bag, lilac dreams  Marice's World


Lilac daisies card  Busybeecards handmade cards for all occasions



Lush Lilac Charm Bracelet  Creative Treasures




LILAC POPPY FASCINATOR  Melissa Jane




Lilac Elelphant Keepsake Box  Kippers Keepsakes



I hope you enjoyed browsing, and don't forget I will soon be posting a blog featuring members of Lilac Group

signing off for today

F xx

 

 


 


 


 


 

How to Make a Lap Quilt

Welcome back and firstly a BIG thank you to all of you that posted comments to my previous blogs.

This one is focusing on ‘How to Make’. I am going to give you a copy of one of mine, and then will provide you with links to a few which I found on the internet. Please feel free to add your own links in comments or post a blog yourself.

As you know (I hope) I specialise in patchwork quilts and quilted products so it will be no surprise to you that my first ‘how to make’ is a quilt. A quilt I hear you all cry, I can’t make something that big, well yes you can, it’s not as hard as it looks. This ‘how to make’ is for a lap quilt (not a full size bed quilt) and is made in 12 inch squares so nothing too huge to start with.

Lap Quilts can be of any size, but here I have based it on the traditional 12 inch block, usually used in patchwork, this gives us a finished size of approx 48 inches square; you can of course change this to rectangular by doing 12 blocks which will result in the quilt size being approx 48x60 inches.

This one has only 6 blocks but 2 borders to create the size I wanted, and features the log cabin block which will be in my next blog; I am starting you with 9 blocks and a single border.


Please read all the way through before starting, and always use ¼ inch seam allowance – this is a golden rule of patchwork and quilting.

Chose any patchwork block of 12 inches square (most designs in block books etc are designed to give a finished size of 12 inches square), you can use a larger block but remember this will affect the finished size of your quilt. (You can get a block design easily from the internet); or you can wait for my next blog ‘How to Make a Log Cabin Block’ (quilted as you go); yes there will be more patchwork and quilting blogs!

Choose your colours to give you some contrast, but remember to check the fabrics by standing about 4-6 feet away, if any fabrics jump out from the rest then these need to be removed and replaced by something that ‘blends’ better.

Make 9 blocks, these can be the same design or you can choose 9 different ones to give a ‘sampler’ effect, you can simply piece the blocks i.e. join all the pieces of the block together to create the finished pattern (which is what I’ll assume today) or you can quilt them at this stage. Arrange them in a way which is pleasing to the eye (3 blocks to a row, giving you 3 rows), join them together, by placing them right sides together and stitch (1/4 inch remember); do 1 row at a time, then join the rows.

Once you have made the centre of your quilt you are ready to choose a border fabric. I recommend you cut the border 6 inches wide. You will need 2 strips of 6x36 inches, and 2 strips of 6x48 inches, or you can cut 4x48 inches and mitre the corners depending on your taste, and skill of course, (I will work without mitred corners for ease).

Attach the 36 inch strips to the sides of the quilt (right sides together and stitch ¼ inch seam) and press, and then attach the 48 inch strips to the top and bottom of the quilt in the same way and press.

Now you are ready to make the ‘sandwich’. Choose your wadding and backing, I use 4oz wadding (80% cotton, 20% polyester) as this gives warmth and texture without being too thick and is superb quality and washes well, and I use fabric of equal quality and thickness to the front of the quilt; I only ever use 100% cotton fabrics for my quilts and never buy the cheap ranges as you can really see a difference in the quality.

Lay your wadding on a flat surface and spray with temporary adhesive (I use 505 spray), press your backing fabric and lay your it on the top of the wadding (I find it easier to start at one end and gradually smooth out the backing as I progress up the quilt – this is very important when doing a large bed quilt so a good technique to practise), ensure that you have no creases in it, turn this over so that the wadding is now on the top. Lightly spray the wadding with temporary adhesive and lay your quilt top onto the wadding (again easiest to start at one end and progress up the quilt). Traditional quilters could omit the adhesive and tack the layers together. I do not recommend pinning as I find there is too much movement in the quilt, and it makes quilting more difficult.

Now it is time to choose your quilting design. There are so many to choose from, it is impossible for me to recommend any one in particular. Check the recommendations for your wadding; avoid large gaps as these will result in movement and ‘lumping’ when the quilt is washed. The quilting can be done by machine or hand, depending on individual taste and skill (an easy method of quilting for the beginner is to stitch in the ditch (follow the lines of the seams) or stitch ¼ inch away from the seams to enhance the design).

Once the quilting is finished it is time to finish off the quilt. I suggest prior to binding that the corners are rounded off, as this gives a smooth neat finish to the quilt (one of my trade marks, you will see wherever the design allows that I do this). Draw a  curve around each corner ensuring they are all the same, (an easy way to do this is by placing a plate on the corner and drawing around it), trim around the curve.
You are now ready to bind your quilt, I recommend cutting the binding at 2.5 inches wide. You will need approx 196 inches of binding; this can be in the same fabric as the border or a contrast fabric. Fold the binding in half, giving a 1.25 inch strip, (I find it easier if you press this). Attach binding to right side of quilt, stitching along the raw edge of the folded fabric, easing it around the curves on the corners. Leave 6 inches unstitched at the beginning and the end, once you have gone all the way around (except the 12 inches not stitched) remove from the machine and determine the exact length needed to complete the binding. Attach the 2 ends together (from the back), then stitch the last 12 inches to the quilt. Turn the binding to the back and hand stitch in place.

Finally make a label for the back of the quilt and attach, or hand stitch a message, (I love being able to go back and re-read my labels as I date them, its amazing sometimes to find that I made a quilt much longer ago than I remember) and for customers this personalisation is often appreciated as I let them chose the wording.

I hope that all makes sense; you can always leave a comment on here if you need any clarification or message me.

Now that you have taken the time to read all of that, here’s an easier task; I went hunting around the internet and have picked a few different ideas for you to check out.

The first one is a very pretty Crochet Sweetheart Pillow, and comes with complete instructions, just follow the link; you should find all the information that you need. Happy crocheting.



And next I have found one that is topical for this time of year. This is again crochet and is a lovely Christmas stocking done in predominantly red, but the colours could be changed around to make it different, why not try it in green; just follow the link for the instructions.



And lastly a quick easy make, a very pretty bookmark, which could be made in any fabrics and even personalised, why not try some vintage fabrics for that real traditional look, just follow the link.



Thanks once again for taking the time to read this rather long blog, and happy crafting.

Please leave comments especially if you have some ‘How to Makes’ you would like to share, or write a blog for us to read, it’s really not that hard.


Signing off for today

F xx