Lost in the midsts of work…

Has it really been three months since I posted anything? It feels like 5 minutes ago! It’s been a pretty crazy three months, I’ve been on three holidays (yes, you read that right, I’m not sure how it happened either!) and a trip to Portugal with work. Between that, actual work, helping my brother prep for his GCSEs and trying to have a social life, everything else has fallen by the wayside. However, I have squeezed some crafting in even if I haven’t managed to post about it!

One of my favourite people departed our team at work in February, I’m lucky enough to be friends with her outside of work so it’s not the end of the world but I still miss her face. I wanted to get her a present but I knew the team were covering that with some amazing gifts (a Rainbow light anyone?) In the end I went with a framed photo of us and another work/life friend. I had an Ikea Ribba frame already but it seemed a bit boring as it was just plain white. I found a gold sharpie and coloured the corners on it to make it look a bit more fancy:


Quick, easy and relatively risk free, my kind of crafting!

About two weeks later, we were off on a girls holiday to Disneyland Paris and, of course, we decided that having matching t-shirts was a great idea. In hindsight, matching hoodies would have been more weather appropriate for early March! We also failed to get a photo of the four of us in those t-shirts but mainly because we were too busy having fun!

Here’s me, in mine, at the hotel before I put two jumpers on for the day (Yes those are Minnie Mouse ears…):

Disney Tshirt

This was made using Powerpoint to create the design which was then saved as a JPEG. I Googled for the Disney Castle logo and used a Disney font from here to write Disneyland Paris 2015 and each person’s name underneath.We each found a silhouette of our favourite character for the back of the shirts as well. These were then printed onto Iron-On transfer paper from Amazon. For some reason this paper is really hard to come by in high street shops or even Hobbycraft. In fact, the girl who worked at Hobbycraft told me it had been discontinued by which I presume she means that Hobbycraft have discontinued it because you can definitely get it on Amazon! We messed up one of the transfers and I had to buy some more at the last minute, I managed to get some from Rymans but it was much lower quality than the stuff we had from Amazon so I won’t link to it as I don’t recommend it!

I also finally got around to making that Build a Fort Kit for my cousin’s kids that I talked about here. This is going to be a post of it’s own here.

I managed to finish a project that I’d had going for more than 9 months, back in April last year I found this tutorial for a Shark bag. My lovely housemate got very excited about it and I offered to make it for her birthday in July. Clearly that didn’t happen! I totally lost my mind when I was sewing and didn’t follow the instructions properly (I basically sewed the middle up completely and this made putting the zip in totally impossible rather than just mildly difficult.) Rather than unpick the most ridiculous amount of stitching, I asked Lucy how she felt about having a shark shaped pillow/cuddly toy instead of a shark bag. I’m pleased to say this went far better than the whole bag concept and I found a use for some of the leftover stuffing from this dog bed project!

Shark Pillow

Shrinking a giant dog bed!

I recently got a little bit over excited by an email from Groupon about waterproof, washable dog beds. In my excitement I didn’t follow the cardinal rule of shopping online. I didn’t check the measurements of the dog bed I bought. Historically, the internet has underestimated the size of my dog in every respect so I’ve usually had to buy XL things for Apple despite her only weighing about 25 kg.

Not this time…

Dog Bed

This bed was FOUR feet long and THREE feet wide. Honestly, it was ridiculous. Apple looked like a tiny pea in the middle of a sea of bed. In fact it was so big that she wouldn’t accept that it was a bed for her, she would get on it if I asked her to but she’d jump straight off 5 seconds later and lie down as far away as possible from it. It was also massively overstuffed and because of the waterproof material it had a lot of air trapped in it, this made the surface uneven and it was difficult for her to manoeuvre on it.

So long story short, it needed to either become something useful or be sent back. I’m notoriously bad at remembering to return items that I’ve bought from the internet and the idea of trying to wrestle it back into the packaging brought tears to my eyes.

I decided to make it into something useful!

This turned out to be more straightforward than I was expecting. I measured Apple’s crate to work out how much of the bed I could use and suddenly realised that if I cut it down the middle widthways I would have a bed that fit perfectly in Apple’s crate. I then realised that if I bought a large zip I could turn the redundant half into another washable, waterproof bed 😀

The first thing I did was remove the inner pillow and put it to one side.


I then folded the cover in half and pressed it down the line I wanted to cut.


I cut the bed in half:


And put the end without the zip to one side. I turned the other end inside out and sewed the open end up with a straight stitch.


Then I grabbed the pillow and cut a whole through the middle of that as well.


I pulled out a full bin bag of stuffing before I could find the other side of the pillow to cut through both sides of the material. I put this bin bag to one side while I decided how much stuffing would be required for one dog bed.

I laid the pillow on top of the new cover to gauge it for size, then sewed up one side and cut off the excess material.


I turned the cover right side out and put the pillow inside. It fit perfectly and looked great when all zipped up.

Dog Bed

Apple patiently waited on her bed the whole time I was doing this (with a few grumbles)


The final bed fits perfectly in her crate and she’s no longer scared of it!


before and after

Monogrammed Sharpie Mugs!

I pinned this tutorial way back in June last year to my Gift Ideas Board. I finally got around to doing this yesterday for Tom and Beth (two of my best friend’s) Christmas presents. Time got away from me a bit this Christmas, I’m aware it’s quite late in January!

You will need:

  • Mugs (I got mine from Amazon but I think Asda or Wilkinsons would have been cheaper!)
  • Oil Based Paint Pen (I used a gold, oil based paint Sharpie)
  • I didn’t have scrapbook stickers like Stacey did so I thought I’d just use ordinary address labels. As I discovered later, these aren’t really thick enough but I couldn’t find any proper stickers to use and I preferred being able to choose the font of the letters.
  • Oven

I typed the letters I wanted to use into Word and then played with the fonts until I had the ones I wanted. I printed these onto address labels and then cut them out. I held the letter against the mug to decide where I would position it before I peeled the back off and then stuck it on firmly.

Starting Mug

I dotted all around the letter, I concentrated on the edges of the sticker to start with and then randomly dotted away in a rough circle:

Halfway Mug

I left the mug to dry for 20 minutes or so and then I peeled the sticker off. That’s when I discovered that the paint pen had bled through the sticker a bit. It wasn’t horrific but it wasn’t perfect either. Since I’m a perfectionist I spent 5 minutes just scratching the excess paint off (I didn’t have any rubbing alcohol to clean up with, anyone know where to get that in the UK?!)

I then baked the mugs for 30 minutes at 170° C. When the time was up, I switched the oven off and left the mugs to cool for another couple of hours.

I’m so pleased with the final present (even if it is basically a month late!):

Finished Mugs

I’ve asked my friends to let me know how they get on with washing these in the dishwasher if they decide to risk it!

I’m also planning to make a geometric shapes one using masking tape, I’ll post it when I find five minutes.

I enjoyed this project because it didn’t take forever and looked really great as a finished product. The actually painting probably only took 20 minutes per mug plus 5 minutes for cleaning up around the edges. Once the mugs were in the oven I could go off and do whatever else I needed to and just come back when the timer went to switch the oven off.