Saturday, 10 October 2015

Viva Las Vegas!

Vegas is one of those places you either love or hate and we love it!  My husband even collects used Las Vegas casino dice and playing cards and has built up quite a collection in his man cave.  Each to their own.

Last year, whilst I was lurking in a local fabric store, I found some Las Vegas print fabric featuring the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign as well as various hotel neon signs.  I had to buy it for him and decided I could make him a pair of curtains for his man cave.

Fast forward a year and the fabric was still sitting in my fabric stash.  I never seemed to have the time to actually make the planned curtains, there was always too much other sewing to be done or just other things in life generally.  It eventually dawned on me that I was avoiding making them as I wasn't actually sure how to make a pair of lined curtains.   I had never made any, in fact I had only ever made one pair of curtains before and they weren't lined.

Having finally realised why I was putting off making the curtains, I decided to look on the internet for instructions on how to make them.  Not sure why I didn't think of that earlier, as when I did a search there was plenty of instructions.

The first site I tried was We're In Stitches which gave really good detailed instructions on how to measure your windows, pattern match your fabric and eventually sew your curtains.  I quickly realised that I couldn't actually be bothered to read all of the instructions, sometimes it is just easier to watch someone show you.

My next stop was You Tube. I found a fantastic video by which gave really good, step by step instructions from start to finish.  To be honest, I don't know what I was worrying about really, it made perfect sense when I knew how.   (

Having decided that I was far to lazy to hand stitch the hems of the curtains, I also found a really good You Tube video showing my how to blind hem with my Brother sewing machine.  It worked perfectly and took minutes to do.  (

The curtains took my four hours to cut out and stitch in the end, plus the year of thinking about it!  I am really pleased with the result ...

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Craft Book Review

I have probably said this before, but I can't help browsing all of the craft magazines whenever I am in the newsagent.  I always hope to find a really good sewing magazine I haven't seen before and often end up buying a magazine based on an eye catching project on the front cover.  However, when I get home I soon discover the only bit of interest in the whole magazine was the item on the front cover!

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to come across a new publication amongst the magazines simply called "The Craft Book - Techniques and Projects".  Needless to say, the cover image piqued my interest and a quick flick through prompted me to buy it.  I didn't even check the price.

Having got to the checkout, I was slightly taken aback to find it was £9.99.  As I had found the publication amongst the magazines, I had expected a magazine price, of say £4.99.  With nearly 170 pages of content, "The Craft Book" is actually what it claims to be, a softback book and not a magazine at all.  Given the amount of content, I think it is actually a really fair price.

The book is split into five main sections, Textile Crafts, Jewellery, Ceramics & Glass, Candles & Soap and Eco Crafts.  Each section then gives really clear written information and photographs of all of the tools you will require and instructions on a wide variety of projects, from silk painting and needlefelting, beading and metal clay to basketry and rag rugging.  Also included are crafts I hadn't even heard of at all, including ribbon weaving and cold enamelling.  I was really surprised to find such a wide range of crafts included in one book.  Whilst each subject offers only a taster project, it is enough to give you the confidence to experiment further.

I would really recommend a buying a copy of "The Craft Book" for yourself or a gift.  It is ideal for anyone with a love of crafts, from mid teens upwards.  The only problem you may have is finding enough time to try out all the crafts!

If you can't find the book in your local newsagents or for more information, click here.