Friday, 27 January 2012

Kindle Case

I know I’ve already done a ‘show and tell’ of my crafty Christmas gifts.  But I didn’t mention my ‘main’ pressie – a Kindle! 

I have to admit that I felt a bit guilty for coveting one, as I’m a real book lover, and hate the thought of books being replaced one day by computer-type-things.  But, still, I wanted one.  I was mainly thinking of how it would save me from having to pack 4 or 5 books in my suitcase every time we go away anywhere (freeing up more space for bags, beads and brooches).  So, I wrote a little letter to Santa – and he granted me my wish! 

And......  I LOVE my Kindle!!!  It’s small, and it’s light, and it’s super-easy to use (even for me)!

But, in order to be dragged around everywhere with me, my Kindle needed a case!  And I wasn't too keen on the standard leather/plastic/rubber ones I found on Amazon.  So, I decided to make my own.  It didn’t take very long to make, and I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Now my Kindle can accompany me on all my adventures!  The colours are very nautical, don't you think?  Maybe, then, we should book up another cruise.....  

In fact, I might make another Kindle case (a girl can never have too many different Kindle cases, you know) and take some photos as I go.  Then I can post a tutorial on here.  I’ll get on to it.....

Until next time.....



P.S.  In case you were wondering, my first Kindle read is 'Laura's Handmade Life' (by Amanda Addison).  I know it could be deemed 'chick lit', but I don't care - I think it's fab!  I think there may be a review coming up..... 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

'Everything Alice' Book Review

Thank you SO much to all of you who commented on my last post, asking for reviews of the books I got for Christmas!  I decided to review ‘Everything Alice’ (by Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech) first, as lots of you said you were interested in it. 

The problem is..... I think it’s the hardest one for me to review!  I was SO excited when I unwrapped this pressie on Christmas morning.  BUT, I’m not sure that I’m going to be making many projects from it.  I included it on my ‘need’ list because I’m a total sucker for anything (let alone ‘everything’) Alice-related, and because the front cover (the colours and style of the illustration) really appealed to me.  And I thought that the inside of the book (and the projects) would have a similar ‘look’.  So, I was a little bit disappointed to find out that this was not the case.

It has to be said that there is a HUGE (and very eclectic) range of projects in the book!  Maybe a list would be helpful if you’re considering buying the book.  There’s.....  jewellery; a toy rabbit; a letter holder/pin board; photocopiable paper dolls; lavender dormice; embroidery samplers; a cushion; two different bags; masks; a nutty snack mix; cordials; a Humpty Dumpty doorstop; cat hand warmers; cake and hat-shaped boxes; a wonderland mobile; a decorated (Humpty) egg; rose fairy lights; shadow puppets; teacup candles; fabric-covered teapots and furniture; cakes and biscuits; felt slippers; aprons; various stationary items; a cake stand (make from old plates and upturned glasses); cake/sandwich toppers; jams; a tea cosy; teas; napkin rings; paper playing card bunting; AND hats!!! 

A few of the projects would be suitable for children to make, and some of them would make nice gifts for Alice fans.  For me, though, the BEST thing about the projects is that lots of them could be incorporated into a little girl’s Alice-themed birthday party.  OR, indeed, a big girl’s afternoon tea party!!!  I'm planning mine already.....

[how about this for a table centre?]

Aside from that, these are the projects that appealed the most to me:

[I know I'm a little old for this one, so shhh]

[I like the idea of cushions that look like envelopes...]

[... and shoes with curled-up toes!!!]

[these would make cute pressies for friends...]

[... and these would make cute pressies for ME!]

One thing that really stuck me about the book is that projects vary massively in their aesthetic, and in the quality of their finish.  Some (like many of the baking and millinery projects) look VERY impressive and – to be honest – pretty unattainable (for me, at least):

Other projects, though, look (dare I say it.....) a little makeshift and unfinished (the ‘shabby chic’ look, perhaps?):

Some may see this mix as a good thing, in that there’s something for all levels of crafter.  And they's be right, I guess!  But these projects just didn't really inspire me.  My favourite crafty books are the ones with some kind of overall aesthetic or style, and this isn’t one of those books.

Even though I have to say that I was a bit disenchanted by the projects in the book, I do LOVE the drawings and quotations from the original story, the Alice 'facts', and the beautiful paper cut illustrations that pop up now and again throughout the book.  I think that, for me, this will be more of a coffee table book to flick through and read snippets from, rather than a crafty project book.

I feel like the odd-one-out here, as most of the other reviews of ‘Everything Alice’ I’ve read have been 100% positive.  I think that whether you’d like it or not depends very much on your taste and expectations.  If you like crafty books with an eclectic mix of projects (or if you’re after ideas for an Alice-themed party), I say visit Amazon and buy it right now – you’ll love it!  If you prefer books that are based around a particular ‘look’, though, you may end up (like me) a wee bit disappointed.

If you have this book already, I’d love to hear what you think of it!  Do you agree with any of my waffle, or do you think I’m just too picky?  Have you tried out any of the projects yet and, if so, what did they turn out like?

See you soon.....



Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Crafty Christmas Pressies

Now that I've shown you some of the things I made for my friends and family for Christmas, I’d like to do a little ‘show-and-tell' of some of the super-duper pressies THEY gave ME.  I must have been a VERY good girl this year, as Santa was exceedingly good to me!  Although I got all sorts of wonderful gifts, I’m just going to post photos of the crafty ones here..... 

[I can't get enough Christmas crafting books!!!]

[my cute CK knitting bag]

[I LOVE Alice!!!]

[some more CK goodies]

[possibly THE prettiest Tilda book yet]

[yarn inside, strap on wrist, off you go - INGENIOUS - from madebyloumms]

[I can't get enough Scandinavian crafting books!!!]

[gorgeous vintage ribbons and CK badges]

[a bit of Kirstie]

[someone dropping hints that I should spend more time in the kitchen, perhaps???]

[a colourful crochet book]

[some shiny little birdie embroidery scissors]

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my fantastic family and fabulous friends!!!  You (clearly) know me VERY well!!!  With SO MANY new toys, I don’t know which one to play with next.....  
After I’ve had a bit more time to look through the books, I’m planning to do a few reviews to post on the blog.  If you’re interested in any of the books I mentioned (if you’ve been thinking about buying any of them or putting them on your ‘wish list’), let me know and I’ll try to review those first.  Likewise, if you have any of these books already and have tried any projects from them, I’d love to see some photos and/or hear about how it went!

Until next time.....



Friday, 13 January 2012

Carly's Handmade Christmas

Thanks for the inspiration for this post's title, Kirstie Allsopp!

I know that it's a bit late in coming, but I wanted to show you some of the Christmas presents I made for friends and family.  I guess it would have made more sense to share these with you BEFORE Christmas, but I didn’t want to risk spoiling the surprise for any of the recipients who may have sneaked a look on here!  Now that all of the gifts have been given, though, it safe to post photos.....

[a make-up bag for Mom.....]

[... and a make-up bag for Nan]

[a felt flower corsage for my sister]

[a case for Nan's new mobile phone]

[my first felting project - a brooch for Mom]

[a hat for a friend's baby - great 
free pattern from the lovely Susie F]

[Köln/Cologne - giant letters for my 
sister, who moved there in the summer]

[a carry-all bag - also for my sister]

There were quite a few MORE handmade pressies too.  But these were finished-off after we left for the UK, and I didn’t get around to photographing them.  I knitted a scarf for my granddad, a hat for my nephew, and some THINGS for my dad and Simon (they were quite funny and might give you a laugh, so I’ll get some photos and share with you another time.....).  I also made a project bag for my mother-in-law, an iphone case for my sister, some Christmas decorations.....

Phew!  That sounds like a LOT now I’ve listed them all!  I’d better get started on NEXT year’s Christmas gifts NOW.....  ;-)

I’ll be back soon, to show you some of the goodies that Santa left for ME.....


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sorry I'm Late!!!

During December, I was very excited (and flattered) to receive two ‘Liebster Blog’ awards.  One was from Emma at 'The Log Cabin', and the other was from Saritha at 'Rainbow Bunting'.  Thank you so much, lovely ladies!

The 'Liebster Blog' rules are as follows:
1.  Copy and paste the award on to your blog.
2.  Thank the person who gave you the award, and link back to them.
3.  Reveal your top 5 blogs (with less than 200 followers), and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4.  Enjoy your award, and hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers!

I SHOULD have posted about this as soon as I received the first award, I know (hence the title of this blog)!!!  BUT, as I didn’t, I guess I should now choose my top 10 blogs???  I hope I’m doing the right thing here...

It’s really hard to choose 10 (let alone 5).  I love ALL the blogs I read, and ALL my blogging pals.  BUT, I'm giving the award to:

1.  Tracy at ‘Pixie’
3.  Kate at ‘Signed with an Owl'
4.  Rachael at ‘Sew Ray Me'
5.  Nikki at ‘Sew Quine’
7.  Lou at ‘Poppy'
9.  Lauren at ‘Wilde Snapdragon’

If there are any of these blogs that you don’t follow already, you should pay them a visit – I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I do!  

Thanks again, Emma and Saritha!!!



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Small-Scale Crafty Projects

I’m enjoying my 3-week-long Christmas holidays IMMENSELY!  Who wouldn’t want to be a teacher?!?  We’ve been back in the UK for the whole time, visiting our families in Staffordshire (mine) and Devon (the in-laws), and celebrating New Year at a hotel in Cheltenham.  We’ve had a wonderful time over here, and it’s going to be pretty hard to get back into the routines of ‘real life’ when we go back to Düsseldorf tomorrow.

I have to say, though, it will be nice to get back into my crafting room!  Being away from home for so long, I haven’t achieved very much crafty-wise.  I only brought some knitting needles and a little bit of yarn with me.  So, my crafting has been on a very small scale (hence the title of this post).

I found a fantastic tutorial for little knitted knot brooches on the Cornflower Blue blog.  I’d tried lots of different ways of making knitted ‘BOWS’ prior to finding this tutorial, but they all turned out looking not-quite-right after I’d tied them (even my mom, who’s the world’s best bow-tier, couldn’t get them to look good).  But these ‘KNOTS’ tie up easily, and sit really neatly when they’re attached to a pin and then to a cardie!  So, I've been making lots and lots of bow brooches while we’ve been away.  My favourite (of course) is a red one!  And here it is (looking christmassy) on my favourite green cardie.....

My other mini-project has been making up the freebie gift that came with the latest issue of ‘Mollie Makes’ – a Belle & Boo needle case.  

It took about 10 minutes to make, and is cute, Cute, CUTE!!!  Definitely my favourite magazine freebie to date!  I fell in love with the orangey-red cotton I found in my mom’s sewing basket (and it looked great against the turquoise felt), so I decided to add a little something extra with it, and embroidered a little ‘C’ for ‘Carly’ in the corner.  Here’s my finished needle case.....

If you haven’t seen Belle & Boo stuff before, by the way, you should check it out.  I think you might like it!

Although it’s not actually a ‘crafty project’, I also wanted to show you these.....

I had a mooch through my nan’s button tin, and picked out these beauties!  Every time I visit her, there seem (magically) to be more buttons in her collection.  This time, these red, brown and creamy-coloured ones caught my eye.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this show-and-tell.  Until next time.....



Monday, 2 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions 2012

Firstly, I want to say “HAPPY NEW YEAR” to you all.  I hope you had a happy and fun Christmas, saw in 2012 in style, and have eaten as much as I have!!!

Because of my over-indulgence over the past week or so, I guess I should be starting my 'New Year’s Resolutions 2012' post with a promise to diet or do more exercise.  BUT that’s no fun, is it?  And we all know that we should NOT make promises that we can’t keep!  So, no more impossible-to-stick-to resolutions for me!!!  I’ve decided that this year’s resolutions will be fun, feasible and CRAFTY!!!

I’m hoping that, having written down this year’s pledges for the whole world to see, I’ll feel under some pressure to MAKE SURE I keep them.  Well, we’ll see how it goes.....

Here they are:

1)  Learn to crochet. 
2)  Make more things for myself (including some clothes).
3)  Make more (and hopefully buy less) greetings cards.
4)  Have a go at knitting things that are not just sewn-up rectangles.
5)  Experiment with making more home accessories.
6)  Improve my photography skills.
7)  Post more tutorials on my blog.

What are your crafty new year’s resolutions for 2012?



P.S.  My 2012 calendar (in the photos) is from They sell some really cute organisers, diaries, address books, etc.  AND they have a sale on at the moment!  ;-) 
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