A Surprise Present

A couple of days ago I arrived home to a lovely surprise package. I first thought maybe it was a Christmas gift that I had ordered but had forgotten about, had a good prod and poke before opening it and found I had won a tote bag. Recently What Katie Did asked for votes to chose their new bag design then gave away 25 of them. These bags are not available to buy so I feel really lucky to have received one. Isn't it gorgeous .. I think the hair and gold colour give it an Art Deco feel. My favourite design period.

What Katie Did sells vintage inspired lingerie from the 1940s and 50s. It was my love of vintage underwear which soon led me to WKD years ago. I'd bought some new Lady Marlene pieces from US Ebay but soon I noticed the prices rising, not as many listings appearing then saw the company had ceased manufacturing. Then I found WKD online. ( I think it may have been before their London shop opened ) I've purchased several items, all of exceptional quality and arrived quickly, beautifully packaged. There is always something I'm drawn to, currently 6 strap garter belts. When we married in 2005 I wore a WKD under bust girdle under my 1940s style dress. 
The designs below are on the bags that I have bought from What Katie Did previously. ( my teenage boys are never too happy if I ask them to hold one of these in public )

My Mum and Gran both think it hilarious that I love vintage style underwear. My Mum has seen my things drying and said 'Come on !, I bet Anders thinks he's married to an old woman '. Actually my husband prefers vintage style to modern underwear so that is not a problem in our house. My Gran ( who is 91 years old ) told me that she couldn't wait to get married and move out so she could wear a garter belt because my Great Gran would only let the girls wear lace up corsets. When I asked about lacing up, she shared a bedroom with two of her sisters so they laced each other up. 
I have to put this in about my Grandad who has now sadly gone. Before I married I rang my Gran and asked about what she wore, the subject moved on to underwear and French knickers. My Grandad shouted down the loud speaker on the phone ' You don't have any do you ?' .. I replied that I had ... He started chuckling then said ' Well aren't you kinky. In my day we called them easy feelers '. I'd never heard that before nor been so embarrassed by my Grandad for that matter.

Christmas Jackalope Ornament

Today I've been making some Christmassy jackalopes to hang from our tree.

I drew a silhouette of a rabbits head using a photo then added some antlers. The head and antlers were cut from thin vinyl taken from showroom sample books.

A hole was made with a hole punch in the top of the head and the antlers were painted. I didn't have any metallic paint and wasn't keen on Little L's glitters so I painted mine using nail polish.

When the paint (nail polish) had dried, the antlers were then glued on to the head and a length of thin ribbon was used for hanging up the ornament .

This is the template that I made to make the jackalopes.

Woolly Christmas Ornaments

At this time of year I start searching the internet for Christmas ornament patterns. Usually I look for something using felt but this year decided to make some knitted and crocheted ones instead. Once I began looking I founds loads of free patterns. These are the ones that I made. I've put the links for the patterns that I used underneath each photo.

Knitted mini Christmas stockings

These are what Little L has made for both of her Grans. They just need some magnets gluing on to the backs now. As long as the charts aren't too complicated she makes these on her own but I tend to get the job of being the bead sorter. 

Grandad's Presents

This week Little L decorated some mugs as Christmas presents for both her Grandads. I printed out this alien design for her to use. 

The pen we used was a Posca pen which I purchased from Hobbycraft. This range of pen can also be used on metal, plastic, glass, textile, wood, paper and cardboard, there are seven different sizes of nibs to choose from and are available in a wide range of colours. 
Little L is undecided as to what she wants to make for her Grans but its looking like either Christmas decorations made with Hama Beads or make them both a candle.

This Weeks Sewing

This week I've mainly been machine sewing. Little L now has her skull print pj bottoms. This ended up being a very speedy joint project with my Mum. I had asked if she would mind overlocking the fabric to prevent it from fraying and when she returned them she had sewn the body and leg seams together so all I had left to do was to add the waist band and hem the legs. I used an old pair of Little L pj bottoms for the pattern.

Little L's doll George has his dungarees.

The body seemed very baggy so I sewed in a line of elastic at the back leaving enough room for clothes underneath. One of my cousins commented that the dungarees looked very nice but reminded her of the Chucky doll which I can see myself now she's mentioned it.

Last week I made this neck pillow for Little L to put in the car ( I should have used a thicker fabric or doubled it over so the thread at the back couldn't be seen ). When my Mum saw it she asked if I could make one for their car and I made this one.

Its meant to be a panda but I'm not sure if it looks like one especially after my Mum said 'well you can tell it's supposed to be a creature'. The tutorial for the first neck pillow can be found here.

A Day In Southport

Today we went on a child free day out to Southport. A new place for us both as I have never been and Anders found out that had been as a child but he can't remember going. Although the weather wasn't great I was still looking forward to visiting a new seaside and better still .. it has a pier.

We headed straight for the pier and sea and to reach it from where the car was parked walked through King's Garden. A lovely park with a lake, playground, crazy golf and miniature railway ( the golf and railway appeared closed for the season ). The gardens look like they would be an extremely popular place during the warmer months.
The pier wasn't far at all from the gardens. I have never been on a pier which starts so far inland but saw that it went over a marine lake (the lake in the gardens). 

Much of the pier after that is over land .. a skate park one side with a putting green on the other .. a retail park one side, a retail park on the other. Not very sea sidey at all. It is only when you reach the half way point along the pier that you actually reach the sea. 

Blackpool Tower and the big roller coaster could be seen from the pier even in poor weather. 

Trams run along the pier to take passages from one end to the other. The tide was fully in so there was no shell collecting but by this point I couldn't feel my toes and my cheeks felt so cold I think I could have resembled Father Christmas.

After the seaside we headed towards town. I've never seen so many chip shops in one place and so close together, some next to each other. 

Jewellers is another thing there is no shortage of but I do love a nosey in those windows especially the old fashioned jewellers which seemed to be every other shop. There were plenty of main retail shops about but I think that the majority in the town were independent shops which is really good to see and not many empty premises. 

Still in town we reached the end of the row of shops and crossed the road where it seemed to be mainly residential properties. There were some very nice houses and I couldn't resist taking a snap of this one which looks to me like a sea shell over the door. 

Along the same road we found the mermaid fountain.

 This is one side of the war memorial. 

This style of street lights are everywhere. With the lights lit, it must look beautiful in Winter when it snows.

Back over the road I took some photos of the shop fronts.

While taking snaps I saw this and we decided to go for a look.

 Definitely our kind of shop. One to have a good rummage in. Baskets of shells and crystals. Cabinets of oddities. Lots of old books. Anders spotted one that was dated 1773 with a £2,500 price tag.

Heading back to the car we nipped in to an arcade. I had a couple of goes on a grabber machine then put a pound in for Anders to have a go. He won both of these with that pound. He's so pleased with himself I never heard the end of it all night.

There was a hall of mirrors on the way to one of the arcade exits. I've not seen one of these for years.
We had a great day out and we'll certainly make a return visit  with the children.

Dressing Dolls

A while ago my niece gave Little L all her Barbies and furniture that she had when she was little. This was kept in my mums loft for years until Little L was old enough to play with them but she has only started to take interest recently so this week I've started making some items for them.

First I set to detangling the dolls hair. They looked like they had been in a fight before I started. I brushed out as many of the knots as I could, losing quite a bit of hair along the way. Then I wet the hair with very hot water (almost boiling), smoothed some hair conditioner through it then rinsed with the hot water again. After another brush through they were left to dry overnight. My Mum was really inpressed with the results because they looked like they were destined for the bin beforehand. I've done 5 now and still have about the same amount to tidy up.

I made this underwear set using stretch lace. Very fiddly to sew on my machine and might have been just as quick to do by hand.

These very simple skirts were made using a rectangle piece of fabric which was gathered along one long edge and hemmed at the other. The waist band was made by folding over a length of wide ribbon then sewing it on. They fasten at the back by tying the ribbon in a bow.

This crocheted blanket with sleeves ( I don't know if they have a special name ) was made using this pattern

and new bedding was made for the bed.

After going for tea at her Grans this week Little L came back with these fabrics. They were left over from some things that my Mum had made. At first Little L asked if I could make her some socks with the skull fabric but because this isn't possible has settled on some pj bottoms. The vehicle print fabric she brought home so I could make her some clothes for her baby doll George. Looks like some of my next week is planned out.

A Forest Walk

This afternoon we decided to take advantage of the surprisingly mild weather and take Little L for a walk in Delamere Forest. She prefers this much more than going to the local playground.

There was plenty of den hunting, tree climbing, leave collecting and general exploring going on. 

We must have spied at least eight different kinds of fungi. I don't have a clue what any of them are though.

I don't think the weather will be lasting like this for much longer so I think we are going to try and fit in a last trip to the beach before it gets becomes too cold.