Bloggers are lovely – it’s official

I started reading blogs about seven years ago. When I joined an online writing forum and met lots of nice, helpful people, I began to read their blogs. I read the blogs they recommended and followed links and soon, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I found myself in a magical new world. Anything at all that I was interested in – craft, recycling, parenting, thrift, writing, reading, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I could find someone who was writing about it.

I’ve made friends, been entertained and informed, learned new skills, and even gotten freelance work via blogs and blogging, but I’m still constantly amazed and thrilled by the sheer number of lovely people doing interesting, creative things, championing issues and trying to make the world a better place, or just supporting each other on t’internet.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying ‘thank you’ to one of my more recent blog discoveries. Lulastic and the Hippyshake is run by Lucy. She covers activism, parenting, recycling and re-using, and craft, and is very funny to boot. Do go and say ‘hi’.

I recently entered (and won!) a giveaway that she ran and look what arrived this morning in the post.  A beautifully wrapped parcel of goodies from a new blog friend. Thank you so much, Lucy. I can’t wait to get crafting with my new fabric, book, and glue gun, and I *love* the china. What a fabulous way to start the week!

Craft: Screenprinted textiles by Solitaire

This is one of those times that unpromising phrases such as ‘fox bag’ and ‘snail cushion’ turn out to be rather lovely.

Husband and wife team, Em and Matt Bruty, screenprint their illustrations onto cotton and linen to create home textiles inspired by the British countryside.

I like their placemats, too. They’re available in a range of colours and are priced £6.50 each. Visit Solitaire for tea towels, lavender bags, cushions and more.

[Thanks to Fay for the recommendation! *waves*]

Penguin procrastination

We’re all pretty keen on penguins in the this house, but my son is especially enamoured. If I were a first-rate mother I would whip up one of these adorable stuffed-toy penguins.

Purl Bee not only offers comprehensive instructions, but also sells the perfect fabric pack for the project, so there’s really very little excuse not to…

Except for the rewrite. Oh yes. That.

Speaking of lucky…

Yesterday’s post made me think about my blessings and, without wishing you all to lightly vomit, they are legion.

Top of the list this week has to be this gorgeous dotty apron which my daughter made for my birthday. She had the help of a talented (and wonderful – thanks Mum!) Gran and it was her very first sewing machine project.

To say I was overwhelmed when I opened the parcel would be an understatement. I won’t lie to you, dear reader; tears were shed. How could it be that my baby girl* could’ve executed a surprise present so perfect? How? My mind, it boggleth. My heart, it squeezes with joy. Seriously; how did I get this lucky?

[Thanks to Mum for the photo, too. Read more about the fabulous apron-project on her craft-filled blog The Turtle Moves]

* Anybody who wishes to point out that my baby girl is now eleven years old is perfectly at liberty to do so. I have my fingers in my ears.

Craft round up

I’m still neck-deep in my novel revision and that, coupled with the school holiday, means I haven’t had an awful lot of spare time for crafting. I’m still (slowly) knitting, but in the time it’s taken me to advance a scarf a few inches, my daughter has learned to crochet and completed a stripy hat.

Still, there’s always time to scour the internet for new projects…

If you’re also short on time, how about sewing a skirt in an hour? The video tutorial is here and it (should) be a quick and useful make. [Via Craftzine]

This pixel painting project is one to do with the kids – and the results are super-pretty, too.

Finally, this beautiful card wallet is a good way of using up smaller pieces of fabric and the tutorial looks easy-to-follow. Visit Very Berry Handmade for more.

Right. Back to work…