Friday, February 29, 2008

mothers day, holidays, haircut days

As most of the UK bloggers would know, mothers day is this Sunday. With 'the pussy cat and the owl' finished, all I needed to do was post it off to my mum. Oops! I did forget one tiny thing though, a card! Once you've given someone a handmade card they often expect handmade cards as par for the course, so this morning in a frantic rush I made this card - well I say card, but it is actually a brooch which I have attached to a card - so more of a pressie than a card, or a multi function card at least
When Mr Monda was made redundant we thought it was a good idea to book a holiday - maybe something a bit special because for once we had a bit of money to do it. We've been looking at either Canada for Whale/polar bear/wildlife watching, or maybe an African Safari, but we just haven't found the right thing yet.
As an interim break, today we booked a little European trip to tide us over until we find the dream holiday - we are going to Stockholm (Sweden) for 3 days, Copenhagen (Denmark) for one day, and then taking a cruise back to the UK - 6 days in all. I'm really looking forward to it as I have never been to any of these places before (except the UK of course!), and the best thing about all this is that it was 51% off the regular holiday price. 3 days in Sweden though - I fear for our pockets because there is some seriously stylish design in Sweden.

I also treated myself to a much needed hair cut today. It's only a trim, but a hair cut always makes you feel better doesn't it.

The other things I wanted to blog about a couple of days ago but didn't have the time were:

New fabric stash - I don't strictly need all this but I can justify it as I have been using quite a bit recentlyI bought these vintage embroidery magazines (from 1939 and 1940). I love stuff like this - will probably end up sing them in some sort of paper collage project. I paid £1.99 for them, in 1939 they cost 2d (I wonder if i got a good deal on them?)And lastly this fab book, which was bought for me as a gift from someone quite unexpected who thought it was such a great book when she read it in the airport bookshop and had to buy it even though she doesn't knit. I think I should knit her something as a thank you, but I'm only good at knitting uncomplicated things like scarves, so this might be quite a tricky test for me.
Here is a pic of what I think I'll go for. Can you guess who it is? P.S. MonkeeMaker, I'm sorry you won't be getting the mothers day present from me that you were expecting.
An almost reenactment from the famous star wars film follows:

MonkeeMaker 'monda, I am your mother'

Monda 'noooooooooooooo... You can't use the power of the force on me MonkeeMaker, what mother would forget 32 years of birthdays?'

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

nearly there

I have quite a lot of things to post about today, but they will just have to wait because I need to finish up my mums pressie. I've just started sewing the backing on, but here's a pic of the finished front piece. I also stopped by at Habitat on my way home from work and bought a nice box frame to put it in too:you can see some more detailed pics on here

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

it's getting there...

Another WIP pic I think I should be able to finish off the sewing tonight, and maybe do the backing tomorrow night.

For my birthday, I was given an amazon voucher. Anyone who has been to my house knows that I have way too many books, however I decided to buy a few more and they arrived todayA couple of these books I'd seen a book shop a few weeks back, but didn't buy them because they are much cheaper on Amazon.

Here are a few pics from 'play pen - new children's book illustration'

Monday, February 25, 2008

the WIP and a Skootum!

I had quite a good sewing session yesterday - I sewed until I was too tired to sew anymore - so I'm quite a bit further along with my mum's pressie:it was going to be 'the owl and the pussycat' but I had a moment of uncertainty whilst working it up so I cut it in half and rearranged it - now it will be 'the pussycat and the owl'. I never was one to go with the status quo.

I did a plush swap over at the needle recently. With this swap, you only found out the person you were sending to, and they were not the same as the person who was sending to you, so it was a massive surprise when this arrived for me today:
This is a 'skootum' and it was made for me by Erin and Jill at Dolls for Friends.
The theme of this swap was to make a softie which has some relation to where you live. The Skootum is a native american word for monster apparently (like bigfoot) and he's travelled to me from Vancouver, Washington.
He's been hanging out in my yukka, although I'm told he has a taste for garbage and yard clippings (mmm tasty).

What a nice swap package. How lucky am I?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday best

Well not strictly the best Sunday I've ever had but I feel so much better than I did the last time I blogged. Was I grumpy or what? Anyway I'm over the dentist experience now and I don't have to think about it for at least another 6 months.

I was kindly reminded by Mr Monda that Mothers day is only next weekend (eek). As I didn't have time to make my mum a birthday pressie (although I did buy her a couple of pressies) I told her she would have something extra special for mothers day. So, I started it today - this is a very early WIP pic:
I was reading a blog the other day, I can't remember which - as I read an awful lot of blogs these days, but the blogger had posted a picture of her co workers. I took a pic of my co workers today. This is the latest bunch, although staff turnover is pretty high around here
One of my co workers here actually belongs to Mr Monda, but he's having a sabbatical and spending some work inexperience time with me. The Robots came from habitat in the post christmas sale - I think they cost about £3.50 for the both of them (bargain). I bought them purely for research purposes of course.

Well I'd best get off back to my WIP. It will be finished by Thursday as it needs to go off in the post to my mum. Progress pics will follow in the next few days I'm sure,although I'm back at work tomorrow, so will only be sewing in the evenings.

Also, my easter cards on now in my shop. There are 2 in a pack for just $6, so about £1.50 each - another bargain!

Friday, February 22, 2008

feeling sorry for myself

After my trip to the dentist this morning I am feeling well and truly sorry for myself.
My appointment was for a check up, but as I suspected I needed some work doing. The dentist said that he could do the work today if i wanted, so I decided to be brave and go for it. 1 hr 40 mins later I left the dentist - I opted for no injections for numbing too (because I am quite scared of them) so my mouth was pulled around and drilled and filled and all for the princely sum of £190!
All I can say is that I hope my teeth are happy
I've put some finishing touches to my gocco printed easter cards, but I've really not had any energy or enthusiasm for it today. I decided it was best just to lie on the sofa watching the last few episodes of 24 season 6
To answer Maureens question from my last post about where I purchased my little bundles of linen - I found them here, in namolio's etsy shop.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

finishing up day

It's been a finishing up day today.
I quite happily finished off this this morning:
I have finished off the egg cosy's which Lina won in my 100th post freebie:
Lina they will be winging their way to you tomorrow (pardon the birdie pun!)

I've been gocco-ing again - more colours this time, but the light was gone by the time I was finished so I don't have any photo's. Tomorrow I'll bag them all up in readiness for my shop.

Also tomorrow, I have an appointment with the dentist. I'm not a big fan of going to the dentist (a childhood dental trauma is to blame). This is only a check up, but invariably they will end up drilling holes in my teeth. I do look after my teeth well, electric toothbrush, mouthwash etc, but I do also have a very acidic stomach and have a fair few fillings (nice white ones which you can't see when I laugh). Anyway, to say I'm not looking forward to it is an understatement. Wish me luck (please).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm gocco-ing mad!

Today I tried out my gocco printer for the first time. I thought I'd go with an easter theme as it will be here before we know itThere was a bit of trial and error in the form of an unexposed bulb, which meant a wasted screen, but you can't expect things to be perfect first time. I used 2 screens for this one, although possibly could have done it on one screen (? still learning).
I've left the birds wings deliberately blank, so I can infill them with some of my scrap book papers.
What do you think? I'm pretty chuffed with my first attempt.

Today I also made a crown for the bunny from yesterday - She's called Elizabeth - a very regal name - to go with her not too regal looking pink crown

For Lucy Locket - here are a couple of pics of my printed fabric from my uni days. I didn't get around to chopping it up today - maybe tomorrow? although I am a wee bit obsessed with gocco right now
Finally after an anxious few days on my part since I posted it, Heleen has received her valentines swap gift from me. Phew!
He's a little pic of what i made for her
You can check out her blog here to see the finished/final piece. I'm really pleased that she loves it - after all valentines is all about the love!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

bunny rabbit (of sorts)

Well today was maybe not quite as good as yesterday, but not a bad day all in all. I made the fatal mistake of checking my work emails (well I really had to - something that I needed to check/sort), and found myself feeling grumpy for about an hour afterwards - probably because I'm on holiday and as much as I like my job I don't want to think about it this week when I'm having a holiday from work. So a remedy of a funny film was in order. It worked, we watched 'knocked up' and it made both me and Mr Monda laugh out loud, so I would recommend that you see it - maybe just don't watch it with your kids though - too much adult humour/swearing etc.

I've signed up for the easter 'bunny hop bunny swap' organised by Lucy Locket. I am slightly scared about this as I've never created a bunny softie before, well before today that is. This is my first attempt at a bunny - its looks vaguely like the picture I drewI didn't bother with a pattern, I just cut the fabric and away I went. I'm going to try to few more bunnies over the coming weeks too - this one incidentally is not for the swap.

Today I dug out one of the fabrics I designed and printed on my degree course. Looking at it now, I'm not particularly impressed with the entire design (I completed my course 10 years ago, and I liked it at the time) - it has nice elements though, so I washed some and will cut it up to use in some of my work. Might try that tomorrow...

Yesterday I found this magazine in WHSmith:
It was fairly expensive at £8 but it is pure eye candy and even the paper smells and feels great. This is one mag I'm sure I'll be reading from cover to cover.

Monday, February 18, 2008

such a good day

I've had such a good day.
It started with my valentines swap parcel arriving from the Heleen in the Netherlands. I was secretly hoping that the sneak peek on Heleens blog was one of the little matroushka that she has been making - well it wasn't just one - it was two!Heleen also sent me a stash of brightly coloured fabric, some embroidery silks, a piece of braiding, and some dutch chocolates which Mr Monda has reliably informed me was very nice (I'm saving some for later). Thank you very much Heleen - I hope you like your swap gift as much as I as like mine
As soon as I know Heleen has received her parcel, I will reveal what I made to send to her.

Next was my opticians appointment. As I suspected, I needed a slightly stronger prescription than last time (which was in 2003!). I only really wear glasses for about 40% of the time (for driving mostly, but also when my eyes are tired) but I'm seeming to rely on them more and more of late, especially at work. I spent a long time choosing new glasses - I tried on loads, and me and Mr Monda had a real laugh when I looked like either Nicky Hambleton Jones (a harsh look I think) or Alan A Allen (Rupert Grints character in the film Thunderpants)The opticians must hate people like me.
Anyway, after narrowing it down to three pairs, I was stuck for which to choose. They were buy one pair, get the second free, so I was planning on getting 2 pairs. After much deliberation (and a nice 50% discount from the optician) I bought 3 pairs of glasses! I'm not really a frivolous person, but today I threw caution to the wind, and it felt really good. Now this must say something about me mustn't it - probably that I'm a sad individual who gets her kicks from buying 3 pairs of glasses.
I'll pick them up next week, and may post a pic of my eyes with specs if I feel brave enough.

Another good thing about today was that the pesky time stealer was nowhere to be seen and I got so much done.
This monster is for another swap I'm doing (I'm swap crazy at the moment)
Quite a departure for me because this one is much bigger than my usual monsters and he was sewn mostly by machine. I usually hand sew my monsters right side out, but this one was done inside out and then turned out (does that make sense? I'm not really good at this technical speak).
Here he is with his smaller cousin:
I'm hoping for an equally productive day tomorrow. I'm off to eat my valentines swap chocolate now...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

the time stealer

I've decided that there is a little creature out there called a time stealer. He nips into your home when your back is turned (probably whilst you are emptying the washing machine) and runs away with your time. He has been here on several occasions this weekend.

I spent some time with my mum yesterday/today as she was visiting her mum (close to where I live) and also it is her birthday. We went out for a wagamama, then we ambled around the shops in Windsor for a while and bought huge chunks of chocolate cake for everyone on the way home - sadly no pics though. My poor mum didn't get her handmade present from me yet - I bought her a couple of other gifts and she'll now have an extra special gift on mothers day instead. I blame that time stealer I mentioned earlier.

I'm not at work this week (phew) and I plan to do a fair bit of crafting/making. With this in mind I decided not to do very much today, although I did spend about 2 hours tidying up my workspace in readiness all the planned work.
Last night my mellie cat snuck onto the table to sleep on a pile of felt that I had got out and left, so I decided a cool wash in the machine was in order. Well lets just say, it's all twice as thick as it was before, and of course half the size - never mind, I know I'll use it for something eventually!
I have some boring stuff on the agenda this week too - I've booked an eye test for tomorrow - I hope I don't end up needing a massive pair of new glasses like this little fella:
ciao for now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy valentines day

the thing that I don't like about valentines day is that it is so commercial. I couldn't think of anything worse than going to a restaurant full of couples staring at the other half of a couple opposite them.
Buying handmade/making presents for valentines is perfectly acceptable, and indeed I did get a couple of handmade gifts for Mr Monda, and Mr Monda got me nice flowers yesterday as a 'it's not a valentines' gift
In a valentines day protest I'm staying in tonight and making a broccoli and cauliflower cheese, with bacon and tomatoes. Tasty good.this pic is a sneak peek at my valentines swap
and these flowers are for anyone who didn't get some today

For my birthday, Mr Monda bought me a print gocco. It arrived yesterday and I'm itching to get my hands on it, but I'm being good and waiting until next week when I actually have some time to commit to doing it properly.

a short while ago, I found Abigail Brown's website. She makes some lovely stuff, like this little rabbit:Go and have a look at her cool website, and her etsy shop.

and also, once again, just a quick thanks to all the peeps who have left comments for me recently. It is so nice to hear from all of you :o)
The sick child from my last post belongs to my sister. My sis and her hubby were in the hospital with him whilst I looked after my other nephew. He is doing much better now - thanks for all your well wishes.

Monday, February 11, 2008

strange birthday

a bit of a long story, but my birthday was a bit strange - It involved a very sick child, a hospital, anxious parents, and more sick. A hectic day, but you can't really expect too much when you get to 32 can you.

Birthday presents amongst other things were one of these which hasn't yet arrived (and i am very excited about this one), a Silver pendant, a glass heart charm for my charm bracelet, an amazon voucher, some chocolate, a sudoku game, a half knitted handmade scarf (from my sister - she took it away with her to finish it so I have no pics) and a little knitted brooch (made by my sis, which she said was rubbish, but I like it):I ended up making my little cakes at a late late hour last night with the commotion of the day, and took them into work with me today. They have strawberry flavouring in them, they were quite tasty (if a little sugary):
I've almost finished my valentines swap - it just needs a bit more work tonight and I'm done. Pics will follow in a week or so (so as not to spoil the surprise)
I've got lots to do this week. My mum's birthday present (for Sunday), and a new softie for the swap I'm doing over at the needle
Sometimes I just wish I didn't actually have to go to work, I'd get so much done if I didn't just have evenings to do stuff. That said, I have a week off next week - and I hope to do some serious sewing :o)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

101 and 32

101 is the number of posts on my blog and 32 is the number of me!

Firstly to the 100th post freebie.
Once again in a non technical fashion - the draw took place this morning and the winner is Lina! Congrats Lina - egg cosy's will be on their way to Canada very soon. Lina as I already have your address, there's no need to send it again.

Now to other things. Finally I can reveal a little of my valentines swap - which will be on its way to Heleen in the Netherlands at the end of this week. I can't show you more yet because I don't want to spoil it
Lastly, today is my Birthday. I'm having a tea party (along with my nephews) I hope the cupcakes I am about to make will look like these lovely specimens from crumbs and doilies I may post a picture of them later/tomorrow if they are worth a photograph!

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Groan. Bad title I know.
Still, something much better is this, it's my 100th Blog post! and to celebrate I have made this egg cosy prototype (one of many more to come) to give away as a freebie. Now one egg cosy is nice but surely 4 would be better, so I have selected fabrics and felts for 4 egg cosy's and will make 4 for the freebie (they will all be different)

If you'd like to win this freebie, then please leave me a comment in this post between now and Sunday at 9am when I will draw the winner.

For Lucy Locket - Sunday is also my Birthday.

Monday, February 04, 2008

the fabric

the fabric stash has arrived (imagine drooling in a Homer Simpson style - this is me right now)I need an early night so I won't be doing anything with this today, maybe tomorrow after I have finished making pancakes - because tomorrow is pancake day (shrove tuesday). I'm not a religious person but I do like an excuse (and a day) to eat pancakes!

Note - pancake image comes from google images - my cooker top is much cleaner that this :o)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

monsters in love

I've been busily sewing away on some monsters over the last day or two.
Firstly, the monsters in love - Clarice and Clement (Isosceles monsters). They come as a pair - with a felt love heart to prove that love is in the airand then Zeb, who is a Zesty little fella and one of my fave monsters I've made actually. I chose the colours for him because we were told we would get snow (it was a lie) and also I noticed the other day that the trees have started to bud too

I've had one of those weekends where I've had too many ideas for my head to cope with. I need to write everything down or I won't be able to sleep again tonight.
I've ordered a stash of new fabric which will hopefully arrive tomorrow and then I can get cracking on some of these ideas of mine (when I'm not at work of course).

I also wanted to mention a fab website I found. It's called much ado books and they make fab journals/sketchbooks out of old book covers (books that are too old to salvage)