Those of you who enjoy crafting possibly, like me, also work.  If so, you have proabably heard colleagues and friends ask “Oh, can you just make …….”

Next year there will be a monthly craft evening for work colleagues when they can learn to make wonderful things themselves.

Until then .. here are some pictures of things I have recently made for colleagues:


I really will miss the family of 4 bears who sat looking down on us from their perch on the cupboard and horsey is just to photogenic – and loves posing!

Horsey was roughly taking from this page = minus unicorn horn and I made his legs longer.

And now those little tasks have been completed, I have started to make my own Christmas Tilde …  can’t wait to continue that!

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Christmas Panel

My first quilted Christmas Panel

Whooooo – I just finished my first ever panel.  The panel itself costs about £2.50 from a shop I visited just outside of Norwich.  The machine embroidery took about 4 hours in total, not that you see much of it in the photo – but I enjoyed this process.

An early Christmas present for my brother!

Christmas Cushion

3 Wise men?

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Happy Things – Workshop

Happy Things – Purse Workshop

Nobody knows everything and there is always something else to learn, a new technique to master and new people to meet.  I ticked all 3 boxes yesterday (well, I’m not sure about the master thing) but really, I went to a workshop yesterday and made the most fabulous, lush clutch bag you can imagine – the photos below really do not do it justice.


However, I would like to find out what this fabric is – do you know?  If so, please email me and let me know as I would really love to make more clutch bags in this fabric (complete with a single turquoise sequin which I just had to add).

So please either leave a message below or email me at magsiesss at gmail dot com if you know what the fabric is and, more importantly, let me know where I can get some (or similar).


Clutch bag

My first clutch bag

The workshop I went to was held at Patch Fabrics    Don’t be fooled by the name, Patch Fabrics has way more than fabrics, it has yarn and loads of other things too (in addition to great workshops and bi-weekly groups). ps … the lunch provided was excellent – thank you Claire.

The workshop itself was given by Alexandra.   I will be looking forward to attending her other workshops she will be giving next year too!  I enjoyed using the free motion quilting foot on this fabric and used a turquoise coloured thread.  I love this technique.



If you have ever thought about going to a craft workshop – then go!  They are great fun and you will meet different people who already have something in common with you, they want to learn whatever is being taught at the workshop.  Many people go with a friend, but many also go alone and by the end of the session, you will have learnt something new and will probably have exchanged information with others attending the workshop.  For example, the ladies who own Panda Pop and Bear also attended the clutch bag tutorial and are very talented indeed.

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Holiday – Happy times 3

Holiday 2013

Yep, just had our annual holiday and a very lovely holiday it was too!  We went to Scotland to a little place called St Fillans.  We crammed so much in on that first week, it was nice to come home and catch my breath.

Loch Earn

At the head of Loch Earn in St Fillans

Red Sqirrel

Red Squirrel

We arrived at the cottage on Saturday and spent our days travelling:

Sunday – Oban
Monday – Stirling (Castle)
Tuesday – Pitlochry
Wednesday – Edinburgh (Fringe Festival)
Thursday – Inverary
Friday – Perth

The picture of Loch Earn (above) was taken on our first evening walk in St Fillans and this was taken just a few hundred yards from the cottage we stayed in.  The photo of the red squirrel was also taken from in the garden.  Lovely to see a red squirrel don’t you think?

We went to the NEC in Birmingham on Sunday to visit the Festival of Quilts.  I purchased quite a bit of fabric (that I don’t really need) and several tubes of beads (which I am already working with).

I had my first full crafting day yesterday – my fingers had been itching to do something, so I came up with this tea cozy.  In retrospect I would have made in somewhat taller and given it an extra inch around – but it looks really pretty (I spent quite a bit of time working out how to do the bunting on it!)

Tea Cozy

Tea Cozy

Fabric Bracelets

Fabric Bracelets


The bracelets above have been based on a tutorial found here.  They are really a joy to make and I can imagine making these for so many occasions – Halloween, Christmas, etc.  Don’t tell any of my sisters about this one, I can see me making a few of them for prezzies …

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Happy Little Things

Happy Things – week 2

Its the little things in life that makes me smile and can brighten me up for the whole day … whether its an appreciation of thoughtfulness by another person (I am thinking of David here who was kind enough to send me a book about Pakefield I had lost long ago – but more on that in a Pakefield specific post soon).  Perhaps it could be seeing a £2.99 clock in Gt Yarmouth (picture below) or even making something …. small things are the sunshine in a rainy day.

I am so far behind in my blogging and posting pages about our English Heritage days out – but never mind, one thing at a time.

I mean, just look at this wonderful clock, only £2.99 and you really do have to smile when you look at it ….

Seaside Clock

Seaside Beach Hut Clock

And then there are these really lovely brooches …. Suffolk Yoyo pattern.  I don’t think I have the patience to make a whole quilt made up of these flowers – but brooches, hairpins, handbag decoration, even make smaller ones for an unusual bracelet.  Very vintage in this spotty red fabric …


Suffolk yoyo


Look out for the small things that make you smile ….

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Happy Things

52 Weeks of Happy.  Week 1 of 52

Things that make me feel happy or make me smile.  And why not!

I followed a link on twitter and read a blog post from somebody whose work/blog I really admire – Petals to Picots ( 52 weeks of happy ).  I understand that the original idea for this came from Jen Little Bird – such a lovely idea and a lovely, happy blog too

This made me think about doing something similar, I am not sure whether I can remember to post weekly pictures of what makes me happy or makes me smile – but hey, perhaps the 52 posts don’t need to be consecutive weeks – so that would be the first thing that makes me happy.

  • 1) Deciding to create this set of blog posts of things that make me happy and deciding it does not have to be consecutive weeks (as that could become a chore).
  • 2) Visiting the Bead and Textile fair at Norwich on Sunday 28th April 2013.  I really hope this will be an annual event as I met so many lovely people there. Just look at the beads and buttons I purchased – simply gorgeous!
  • 3) Also on Sunday, before visiting the fair, I purchased a new camera as the camera in my phone is rubbish.  Of course I had to make a case for it on Monday night, so on Tuesday night I made an improved version of the case.  I love both of them.  I love the retro fabric used for the outside which is really yummy and the bright orange polka dot lining which just makes me smile.
  • 4) Today I purchased a new bag.  It only cost £14 at the Gt Yarmouth market.  But it was just so lovely, I could not resist it.  I went into a fabric shop in Bungay using the bag for the first time and somebody working in the shop commented on how she loved the owls on it.

Being happy is good.  Knowing and noticing how often things make me happy, makes me smile.

Norwich Bead & Textile Fair

Norwich Bead & Textile Fair Purchases

Camera Cases - Quilted

Camera Cases – Quilted

New Owl Bag

New Owl Bag

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Busy Weekends

Yet again, it seems as if the weekend has been busy, busy, busy and it has been — sort of, but in a really good way.  On Saturday I went to Bungay.  Never having been to Bungay before I discovered 2 separate shops that I will return to again and again.

One shop (so sorry I don’t know the name or address of this shop) is just an Aladdin’s cave of everything.  Affordable fabrics of all kinds, equipment, bits and bobs that you would not believe.  I will be returning to this shop soon as I saw some really fantastic beach hut fabric that I would love to make new bathroom curtains with …. watch this space!

Another shop I found was Sew and So’s.  Fabulous if you love fabrics.  So much choice and colour in fabrics and loads of books and so much inspiration with quilted goods and examples all around the place.  Love it.

Sew and So's

Sew And So’s of Bungay


The picture above shows the brown paper bag that my purchases were placed in … I even love the paper bag!  I purchased some freezer paper as I’ve read so much about this.  I spent all Sunday night tracing out patterns from a book I recently purchased.  From what I gather, you trace and cut out the pattern onto the paper.  You iron on (without steam) the shiney side to the fabric then use that to cut around. No pins required and you can re-use the freezer paper several times.  Sounds great heh?  I will let you know how it all works for me.

I cannot wait until I start to create a Tilda doll or animal (from the Amazon book listed below), but saying that, I might just have to return to Bungay and purchase a pattern of the cutest elephant you ever did see.  I also purchased a bias binding maker, the wrong size I think as its 2″ finished size, not the width of the fabric.  Never mind, I am sure I will use it at some point.  I also want to attend some of the workshops that Sew and So’s organise.

Something else I have taught myself recently, is how to make these fabulous Shamballa type braceets.  I’ve always loved beads, and the Chinese cord is just so lovely to work with too.  I am teaching other people how to make these too.

Shamballa Bracelets

Shamballa Bracelets


As I said, it seems so busy, but its a good busy.  All craft related stuff this weekend.

Blogged today …. and changed site somewhat

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WIP Easter Sunday

What craft activities have you been doing this weekend?  My WIP (work in progress) is shown in the photograph below.  I have finished another scarf today too – one made from Park Avenue type of wool – extremely odd to work with – but I will post photos  of that tomorrow (when the light is better).

Meantime, this photo shows my current WIP.  Another odd type of new “wool” just out.  My local craft shop (Craftmania) posted they had this in store so I went the very next day and bought some. 

This wool is a mix of chiffon and lace.  You have to knit into each second hole … each row only has 5 stitches.  I am not yet convinced this will become long enough to be scarf.  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, what do you think of this?  There are several projects (bag making?) that I think I could use this “wool” for – but as it costs £10.99 a ball, I would have to consider carefully before purchasing.  A lot will depend on how far this one “ball” goes.


Scard WIP

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First Baby Quilt

A quilt.  Complete.  I have finished (well, almost finished) my first baby quilt.  This was quite some piece of work and its down to having had a taster session in quilting last year at Patches in Lowestoft. 

This to me, proves that quilting can be quite expensive as all the animal fat quarters that I purchased mainly from Sew Simple in Norwich were quite expensive but its a shop I can spend hours in as it really does cover just about every single craft you can think of!  On the other hand, passing a fabric shop in Gorleston (sorry, cannot remember the name so cannot link at this time), I decided to pop in and see what fabrics they had available.  Wonderful stuff and extremely affordable!  I had already purchased a little girly type of fabric that I would use for this project, but fell in love the Winny the Pooh fabric which cost only £2 a metre!

To be honest, the quilt I made was taken from this pattern.  Well, it might have taken Leona only a day, but it took me several weeks to make.  Thank you Leona for providing the inspiration for this project.

As usual, just click the pic for a larger image!

Baby quilt

This shows the full baby quilt.

First Quilt

Close up of quilt

First Quilt

Quilt hanging from line

Quilt back

Amazingly good value fabric and such fun


Onwards and forwards with the sewing ideas – I have such a wishlist of projects I would like to complete.  I would like to make some things for my kitchen (pan holders) to match the colour of my kitchen walls … I would like to make a few Tilde items.  So much to look forward to.


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My new mannequin

My new mannequin – just who would have expected me to be totally over the moon about the dummy I have just received.  I purchased this beauty a couple of days ago, I even spent the whole morning deliberating as to which dummy/bust I wanted then settled on this one.  I then spent the afternoon deciding which wigs I would purchase for her – I will edit this post and show the pictures when I receive them!

I made this crochet hat based on the barrowmean rings – but I will take pictures tomorrow (better lighting). 

This bust will really be handy for showing hats I will be making and selling – not only that, but I can use the same bust for all my handcrafted necklaces, neck warmers and scarfs.  I wish I had bought one of these years ago!


Mannequin dummy

Mannequin head
My gorgeous dummy!


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