Sunday, 28 June 2015

stash happy

This week I received some fabulous exclusive Fat Quarter Shop Aurifil Thread Boxes from the Fat Quarter Shop. I always use 50 weight Aurifil for piecing and love the 12 weight for hand quilting. I haven't tried the AuriFloss yet so I'm excited to use it! The boxes are a great way to get a variety of colours, there are four colourways: Macaroon and Tart are gorgeous and have really pretty colours, Biscotti has lovely warm neutrals and browns, while Scone has a deliciously rich selection. Tough to chose between them for a favourite!

Family life has taken priority and I haven't had as much time to sew this week but I know these will get my sewjo going once I get a chance!

Today I went to visit my Nan and I admired this lovely vintage basket, in total grandmother fashion she insisted I took it home with me and I didn't argue! I love it and will probably fill it with fabric :)

Digging the plastic yellow weaving!

Molli Sparkles

Thursday, 25 June 2015

own your own crazy

Sometimes the best thing to do is listen to music. I don't do it enough. When I listen to songs I love it makes me so happy.

I just can't get enough of this Kacey Musgraves song...I'm probably playing it way too many times every day!! And as if the lyrics, light up suits and gingham aren't just amazing enough, there's a Muppet towards the end of the video!

And if this isn't your thing go and play your favourite song now... go play it and smile :)
Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

doing everything and nothing

I seem to have spent this past week flitting about, organising things in my mind (ha!) and trying to keep on top of the housework and general life stuff. It's been hard for me to stay focused though and so I'm still working on my Bee A Brit Stingy row, part of it is finished but I'm waiting until it's done to show everyone:

Voting has started for the Sewing Bee we had at Black Sheep Wools, I made this appliqué cushion. I would be so happy if you could go and vote for me! 

Simply like the photo on the Black Sheep Wools Facebook or Instagram, if you're on Pinterest you can favourite it or repin too - those links will take you to my entry but please do check out the other entries too. Thank you!

If you're looking to get some fabric there are some great deals on right now:

★ Until 9pm tomorrow (25/6/15) you can get 15% off everything at Black Sheep Wools with code: BSW15.

★ If you are very quick you can get 30% off yardage, bundles and notions at Pink Castle Fabrics with code: SUMMER30
(coupon codes are not applicable on Glamp Stitchalot tickets, Janome products, gift certificates, and pre-sale orders).

★ There are a few more days left of the Fat Quarter Shop Birthday Bash - check it out for some great 24hr flash sales.

Green Fairy Quilts have lots of lovely new precuts (including some perfect ones for anyone already getting ready for Christmas) and great deals on the adorable new Moda Frivols (love those tins!).

Hope you're all having a great week! I think I'm going to collapse on the sofa for the rest of the night, how is it only Wednesday?!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, 18 June 2015

put on a happy face

We had a really nice time this past weekend and went into town to visit the Manchester Art Gallery. They have a beautiful exhibition called Cotton Couture, which features designer dresses and suits commissioned by the Manchester-based Cotton Board to promote the use of cotton in fashion during the 1950s. Some of the outfits took my breath away. It was so fascinating to see pieces of history created by British and Parisian couturiers using simple cotton. If you are able I recommend going to see it!

There is also a fabulous area for the kids to be creative, the Clore Art Studio:

All those shapes on the wall can be moved and hung on the hooks, I could do that for hours. They also had fun big blocks under a projection light that kept changing pattern and a colouring table with an inspiration board, which also focused on pattern - I loved that too!!

I love living in Manchester and it's so wonderful that we have such amazing galleries and museums that are free and child friendly. Do you visit galleries or exhibitions where you live?

I planned out a project this week, I quite often do that on my floor:

I'm a natural optimist, I practice gratitude and appreciate those small details that make life wonderful. I have also, however, had depression (twice) so I do work hard to keep positive. I saw this on instagram and it made me laugh:

On the same note the kids and I have been really enjoying this song (Lois does the best little version, I will try to video it if I can!) - watch both versions if you need something to make you smile! My kids giggled through both and want to watch them over and over!

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

back to it

Now that my thumb is healing nicely (so everyone tells me but it still looks and feels horrible to me!) I decided to get motivated and do some sewing.

I've been working on a Bee A Brit Stingy row for Di:

I am loving her garden themed row on row and hope to get this finished in the next couple of days.

There are a couple of other things I'm trying to get finished up and I'm enjoying the process. While I've been sewing I've been watching the Fat Quarter Shop videos on YouTube. Have you seen them? I've been catching up and really enjoyed the ones they did with Jen Kingwell. You can search their channel to find specific things or just watch great tutorials and interviews! Click here to check it out! I find it really inspiring.

And a heads up if you haven't heard already, the Fat Quarter Shop is celebrating their 12th Birthday and are having a Birthday Bash sale. Happy Birthday!

The Birthday Bash will last for twelve days and began on Monday, June 15th, at 10 am CST. So be sure to check back on their website to unwrap new deals daily!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 14 June 2015

single ~ le challenge ~ cuff bracelet

I will begin by saying this month's challenge is a slight cop out. I had so many great ideas and I love the theme 'single' - it made me think of music and records, being alone, the idea of 'one' - maybe one block or pattern. Ultimately life took over though, I've been so busy and since having my operation I hadn't sewn one single thing until my day out. So I took the easy route and used a little kit I got in my last subscription box from My Little Box.

This summery cuff was an easy little project that let me do a bit of stitching without having to work too hard! It came with two colours of cord, I chose not to use the turquoise because it's not my favourite and just used the deep blue. I made cross stitches and was going to do backstitch on the top and bottom rows but I actually like it with the holes so I left it.

Now I have a bit of bling, using a single colour of cord and a single stitch :)

If you have a creation that ties in with the theme 'single' come and link up at le challenge, one random entry will win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop! A new theme will be announced tomorrow and it's a good 'un!

Le Challenge

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Sewing Bee at Black Sheep Wools

This week has flown by and I have felt so busy with my to do list running on to two pages. There have been so many little things to take care of and not much sewing but I did have a whole day of sewing in wonderful company!

I was fortunate enough to spend Wednesday at Black Sheep Wools in Warrington. They hosted a mini Sewing Bee and I was challenged to make something in one day along with fellow bloggers Ali - Very Berry Handmade, Diane - The Cheshire Quilter, Jo - JoZart, Rachel - mammafairy sews and Barbara who works at Black Sheep Wools. 

We were able to make a selection from their gorgeous fabrics and the pretty bundles were waiting for us next to the Pfaff sewing machines. It was such a joy to be able to sew in such nice company and we all quickly got to work.

Although I had an idea of what I wanted to do I had been distracted by my thumb surgery and did no prep work. Instead I grabbed my supplies and decided just to wing it, in fact I changed my design idea while I was driving there! I decided to make a modern flower cushion. Templates are always good and my trusty geometry set proved useful :)

I drew the templates onto fusible web, three circles and six teardrops. I made some bias binding with beautiful Kaffe Fassett shot cotton and then appliquéd the flowers in layers. I think the Tula Pink worked especially well for this design. Despite taking some thread with me I just didn't have the right colour for adding some hand quilted detail and after a quick run into the shop with Barbara I was able to use this crochet cotton instead! It worked so well and resulted in nice big stitches:

I used of my favourite Amy Butler prints on the back and am happy I actually managed to finish it!

I loved spending time with the other ladies and it felt like being on quilting retreat for a day! They all achieved beautiful finishes too and I was able to learn new things from each of them just by watching them work:

You will be able to vote for your favourite soon, I will let you know when :)

We were also given a fabulous goody bag from Coats Crafts, with a beautiful tin of thread; fabric; a dress pattern I really want to make and useful notions:

A huge thank you to Black Sheep Wools for organising such a brilliant day! 

Remember Charm About You readers get 10% discount at Black Sheep Wools using the code CHARMED10 at the checkout, which is valid until 20/8/2015!

Friday, 5 June 2015

random, veganist and a bit of pain

This is going to be a random ramble about various goings on...

First up I finished this hand appliquéd Igloo block from my green tea and sweets beans quilt the other week but forgot to share it. I've been working on this block for what feels like ages so it feels good to have it done, I've started working on the next one and hoping it won't take quite so long.

Although right now there is no sewing going on because I had a neurofibroma (nerve tumour) removed from my thumb. The operation took about half an hour and quite honestly it was slightly scary, I've never been in an operating room before. The first thing I said when I walked in was 'oh there's a lot of people in here'! They were all super nice and comforting, thank goodness for the NHS and their amazing staff. It was all nicely bandaged up like Mr Bump until I took it off last night, I won't share pictures because some people might be squeamish but it's all bruised and swollen with seven stitches. It hurts like a mother****** and I don't say that lightly.

I've been wanted to blog but we had a busy weekend and then since the operation on Tuesday I have felt exhausted. I don't think I had really anticipated needing time to heal. The surgeon told me I would need to rest and I laughed (because I have three kids so 'rest' is rare) but I had to admit defeat last night, even doing a bit of light housework in the day was too much. Thank goodness the weather has been nice and Lois and I have been able to just play and hang out outside:

I thought I would mention a quick update about my decision to give up processed sugar in April, I did it for the whole month and a little longer but slowly it has crept back in. There was definitely benefits, I lost a bit of weight, I slept better and my energy levels were more even. I have stopped putting sugar in my coffee but I have allowed myself to slip back into my Coca Cola addiction, so that has to stop! It's hard because every time it's sunny I want a Coke - total advertising win there! Sugar really is addictive and I am so much more aware of how many things contain processed sugar.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about my diet in general because I do need to lose weight and I want be healthy... and get back into some much loved jeans. I have been overweight before and lost it through healthy eating and exercise but since having kids I haven't made much of a prolonged effort. I think summer is always an easier time to kick start healthy eating because fruit and vegetables are so appealing and I always want to eat lighter anyway. 
I have been looking for good recipes for my family, I prefer that we all eat together and I can make one meal to serve us all. I don't eat red meat so I will occasionally cook something with meat just for them or do pasta, for example, and just add meat to everyone elses meal. It's important for me that we all eat healthily and I want to incorporate more vegetables into our diet so I have been looking at a lot of vegetarian/vegan recipes. I also bought this book because I'm interested in learning more about plant based diets:

I have never labelled the way I eat and don't intend too but I would like to think more about where my food comes from. I currently eat chicken and fish, though I wouldn't find it hard not to. I get really bloated when I have milk or ice cream so I stay away from them but I do love eggs and I eat a lot of cheese. I've read a bit about the blood type diet too though I haven't read the book, I'm Type A which apparently benefits from a vegetarian diet. Would anyone recommend it? I don't want to 'diet' but make gradual and healthy changes and become more conscious about my eating. Counting and weighing food doesn't interest me at all, I would just like to feel healthy and enjoy my food. Once I have a bit more energy I will get back to exercising too, weirdly I've been dreaming about doing weights!! 

Live A Colorful Life
(even though it's late!)

and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

all eyes

Now that I'm wearing glasses full time I was looking for some new frames, I really wanted some that would go with everything so black seemed like the best option. I also needed some prescription sunglasses. A while ago I was contacted by Firmoo but at the time didn't need new glasses; having recently got a new prescription though it was super convenient to order frames online. I chose these simple black glasses:

Firmoo provide all the measurements and details of the frames so I used my existing glasses to compare, which made it easier to judge the size of the frames and what would fit me well.

I am really pleased with the quality and Firmoo provide great customer service, they will answer any questions quickly and send updates about when your glasses are being processed and delivered. The glasses come with a hard case, a soft case, a microfibre cloth (which is amazing for cleaning!) and the most handy little screwdriver keyring!

Since I'm hoping the sun will eventually show up in the UK I also bought some prescription sunglasses. A must for me since my eyes do not like the sun at all! It was harder for me to pick frames for the sunglasses because I wasn't sure what look I wanted. I ended up choosing these classic looking tortoiseshell frames, with gold detail on the side:

Here's hoping summer arrives soon :)

If you would like to get yourself some new glasses or sunglasses Firmoo are offering a discount for new customers, just click here!