Thursday, 18 January 2018

A word to the wise

If like me, you get an email notification when someone decides to follow your blog, do you ever take the time to look at their profile?

I have to confess that I don't always, often I recognise the name from a group that I have joined or a blog that I have commented on, but equally as often they appear to have come out of the blue. Recently, however, I have been checking the profiles and it has definitely been worth it.

In the last few weeks I have had several "new follower" notifications from Bloglovin that when I have checked the profiles this, or similar, is what I have found.

Each time I notified Bloglovin and each time they have responded after a couple of days expressing dismay and informing me that the so-called follower has been deleted. I have asked if there is anything that I can do to stop this happening but they have just ignored that, so I don't know if that means that there isn't or they just can't be bothered to tell me.

The profiles show several other blogs already followed so I am not alone in receiving this kind of attention. Have you ever had this happen to you and, if so, was there anything you could do to stop it?

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Braving public scrutiny

It is time to celebrate the swings and roundabouts of trying out something new again, welcome to November's New to Me link party!

If you have tried something for the first time this month, link up and share your experience with your fellow bloggers, who knows you might inspire them to try it out too! If things didn't quite go to plan then share that too, you could save a fellow blogger some angst :)

This month New to Me's are a bit thin on the ground but I have added a new tutorial to the blog here for the Scrappy Christmas Tree trim.

More daunting, I also entered my Camera Club's competition for the first time!

For reasons beyond my control I had to submit my entries the morning after the deadline so it was a rather hurried selection process. Getting the entries into the format needed though took more time than selecting them did!

These were the photos that I eventually submitted with some trepidation it has to be said :) Turns out I was right to be worried.

Although I did crop the Anchor photo before I sent it off, (the image above is the uncropped version) I clearly didn't crop it enough as the external judge added a huge arrow with question marks to the (to my mind!) tiny little bit of white that I had inadvertently left in the bottom left hand corner. That didn't bode well for the review of the other two photos but fortunately they fared slightly better. It was a very public learning experience :)
The judging seemed to be as much, and sometimes more, about the entrant's ability to manipulate a photo with software, which seemed a bit strange to me but who am I to know ??

So, you have seen my New to Me's now it is your turn. As ever the link will remain open until the end of the month, so if you are planning to turn your hand to handmade gifts for the first time then don't forget to link them up! Check out our lovely linkers too as a little bit of encouragement goes a long way when everything is new and daunting.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Scrappy Christmas Tree trim

For the Bernina "Sew Something Special" appeal I made this Scrappy Christmas Tree decoration and here is the tutorial if you would like to use up some of your scraps too.

To make your own Scrappy Christmas tree you will need the following :

  • 9 scraps of fabric increasing in size from 1.25" square to 5.25" square
  • Sew Easy Circle Template or a compass
  • Scraps of toy stuffing
  • Approx 50 seed beads or other embellishments
  • 18" thin cord/embroidery floss
  • Scrap of Christmas ribbon
  • 1" wooden thread spool
You will also need a large wool applique needle or similar and textile glue

Step 1


Using the Sew Easy Circle Template or a compass draw a circle on the wrong side of each of your fabric scraps and cut out using pinking shears if desired. The circles in the Template set range from 1" to 5" in diameter, increasing in 0.5"increments, so use the same measurements for your compass if using that instead.

Step 2

Machine or hand baste around the largest fabric circle approx 1/8" from the cut edge. Pull the thread up to gather the circle in on itself. Tie off the threads and pad the resulting yo-yo lightly with scraps of toy stuffing. Don't stuff the yo-yo too heavily, you only need a little to give the tree some body.

Repeat with the rest of the fabric circles. I didn't pad the smallest two yo-yo's as they didn't need it.

Step 3

Attach your beads/ embellishments to all of the stuffed yo-yo's except the smallest one.

Step 4

With the gathered side facing upwards, attach the largest and next largest yo-yo's to each other, stitching through the centre of the yo-yo's.

Continue stitching in this way until you only have the smallest two yo-yo's left.

Step 5

Turn the smallest yo-yo gathered side down and slip stitch it to the second smallest yo-yo, which will be gathered side up.

With the fine cord/embroidery floss stitch through all of the layers including these last 2 yo-yo's leaving a tail at the bottom of the layers. Stitch through the bead/ornament for the top of the tree (I used a small bell) and leaving a hanging loop stitch back through all of the layers again. Knot and tie off the excess cord at the bottom of the tree. Knot the cord behind the tree top ornament to secure.

Step 6

Spread the textile glue around the sides of the thread spool and wrap the ribbon scrap around smoothing the ribbon as you do.
Glue the cotton reel to the bottom of the yo-yo tree.

Bring out the mince pies and mulled wine and start decking these halls! 
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