Keep calm and cross stitch

Family dramas, my husband being away on business and catching up on housework are my excuses for lack of posts and lack of progress on my cross stitch. However, I’ve had a bit of a spurt on it in recent days, which brings me back in the game, so to speak. The game being the challenge I set myself of finishing this cross stitch by the end of the month. Here’s how it’s looking.

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I just might finish it in time. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll be familiar with me missing my self-imposed deadlines. I think I need to take a leaf out of a motto we came up with at work a few years ago: however long you think something will take, times it by 5 and that’s how long it will take. On that basis, I won’t be finished this cross stitch til July though, which even at my slow rate, would be pushing it.

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*Keep Calm photo blatantly stolen from Google images.

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Liebster award

I was excited to be nominated by Jana at https://meandmyveritas.wordpress.com for the Liebster award last week. I’d seen other people get it over the months since I started blogging last May. In fact, I’m probably one of the few who haven’t yet received it, but I’m pleased nonetheless. Thank you, Jana!

For those that know all about it and just want to read my answers to Jana’s 11 questions and to see my nominees and 11 questions, please skip ahead. For those unfamiliar with the Liebster award, I’ve stolen this summary from Jana’s post.

This award is given from bloggers to bloggers. The idea behind this award is to welcome and recognize new bloggers (baby-bloggers, like me…) to the blogosphere (depending on the source, blogs with <200 or <1000 followers are considered NEW). Once the nominee has answered 11 questions, (s)he nominates another 11 bloggers, and comes up with 11 new questions. As these bloggers then do the same, it is kind of a chain letter.

So, here goes:

These are the 11 questions Jana set:

1. If you have to move to Mars and are allowed to bring only 3 things what would it be?

The first two are easy – my husband and son, if they count as ‘things’! My third thing would have to be my photo albums; I love looking back at old photos.

2. Would you stop working if you could live from blogging?

Yes, I think so. At the moment, I can earn more from my day job (copy editing/proofreading/project management) than making things, which is fine as I do enjoy my job. That said, part of the reason for doing this blog is to put myself and my projects out there as you never know what may come from it …

3. What are your life goals?

It’s cheesy, but just to have a happy and healthy family.

4. If you would be an animal in the jungle, which one would you be and why?

An elephant? I like that they travel around in herds and have a good memory. I have a terrible memory for most things, and remember the most insignificant things. Although, much as I enjoyed being pregnant, I wouldn’t fancy doing it for 6 years!

5. Would you survive one week without your cell phone?

I dropped my phone down the toilet last year (don’t ask) and lasted all of a day before having to buy a new one. So, probably not. Depends if I’m on holiday, in which case it’s much easier. But, in day to day life, it’s so useful.

6. Stairs or elevator?

Stairs if I’m on my own, I like the opportunity to burn an extra few calories. But I’ll take the lift if I’ve got the buggy.

7. What came first: chicken or egg?

Who knows?

8. How many types of love do exist?

Bit deep for me. Familial/platonic love and romantic love? I’m converted to the sentiment that having a child brings a whole new meaning to love.

9. What is the secret to happiness?

To quote a rather famous self-help book: wanting what you have.

10. What languages do you speak and verstehst Du auch etwas Deutsch?

I understand a bit of German, yes? I learnt it at school; I also did a year of French. I studied Spanish whilst at university doing my English Language degree. As I don’t ever use any of these languages these days, I’m pretty rusty.

11. What does the name of your blog stand for?

Having lots of projects on the go, but not often finishing them. I’ve toyed with changing it to ‘the impatient crafter’ as I’m always wanting to start something new before I’ve finished an existing project.

Now, for the tricky part, I found this hard. Despite following nearly 80 blogs on WordPress – I still haven’t got to grips with Bloglovin (any tips?) – it was hard to find some that met the criteria of being ‘new’ and having less than 200 followers. So, I am cheating a little by nominating two people I know in real life, who are also relative newbies to blogging like me. These are:

1) Lucy at https://squirrelconfessions.wordpress.com

2) Asha at https://thecottoncake.wordpress.com

I’ve failed to nominate the required 11 blogs, but I have a few more nominations. This has been a great opportunity to seek out some new blogs. So, I hereby nominate:

3) https://thecraftnewbie.wordpress.com

4) http://ambrosiastitches.com

5) https://notes12.wordpress.com

6) https://sewingbutterfly.wordpress.com/about/

Apologies if you have already been nominated and I missed it.

My 11 questions for you are:

1) What is your favourite craft and why?

2) Are you an early bird or a night owl?

3) What’s your guilty pleasure?

4) What did you want to be when you grew up?

5) What’s your dream job now?

6) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

7) What’s your favourite season: winter, spring, summer or winter?

8) What book are you currently reading/What is the last book you read?

9) If you won the lottery, what would you do/spend it on?

10) If you could time travel, would you go back in to the past, or forwards into the future?

11) Do you have a favourite thing you’ve made?

The three bears and their sleeping bags

I completed the Mummy Bear and Daddy Bear sleeping bags this week, so the set is now complete. All three sleeping bags went through the wash before being tested out by some willing participants.

The pattern, by Flossie Teacake, costs £5. I mostly used scraps, except for the Daddy Bear’s sleeping bag, for which I used a reversible duvet cover I picked up in a charity shop for £3.50. Obviously, I have plenty of leftover fabric from that to play with. Just as well, as I suspect I may be making a few more of these.

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Here’s Baby Bear’s sleeping bag, which I made last weekend.

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Mummy Bear’s

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And, last but not least, Daddy Bear’s.

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I think this one is my favourite.

The edges of the sleeping bags are a bit wobbly. I think, in part, due to me overstuffing the pillows. But, I like to have two pillows, so I was trying to ensure their comfort. And they do look cosy, don’t you think?

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All that remains is to wrap them up ready for the birthday girl next week. Meanwhile, I have another blog post to write. Very excitingly – for me – this week I’ve been nominated for the Liebster by Jana at meandmyveritas. I’ve now got to do my post and choose some blogs to pass it on to. I’m a bit late to this party, so I may struggle to find blogs that haven’t received this award. But I have a few in mind 😉

Where do tired teddies sleep?

In sleeping bags, of course! But more about that later.

New-project-itis struck again this week. Firstly, when I purchased a copy of The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon magazine on Thursday. As you know, I like a Crafternoon, so my Crafternoon buddies and I were very excited when we heard about this. Fortunately, Thursday isn’t a working day for me, so Little Man and I headed over to Sainsburys to get our copies (one for me, one for my Mum). Both of us are suffering with colds. So when LM went for his nap, I snuggled up in bed with my magazine. Perfect!

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I was feeling very inspired after flicking through. However, I have my usual problem: too many things I want to make and not enough time. I’m tempted to change my name to The Impatient Crafter. Anyway, we’ve set a Crafternoon date, so I’ll have to decide on what to make by the time that rolls round.

Meanwhile, one of my many nieces turns 3 a week tomorrow. Naturally, I thought I’d make her something. Not forgetting I still haven’t made what I was supposed to be making for her birthday last year. Unfinished project no.3. Anyway, I offered my sister-in-law two options: a teepee or dolls’ bedding. She opted for the latter, as it’ll take up less space.

Daisy, my niece, is at that age where she’s really into dolls and looking after them. I was really excited to make some dolls’ bedding for her to play with. Having drawn a bit of a blank on a Google search, I scoured Pinterest for ideas. Amongst many other lovely things, I stumbled across Flossie Teacake’s three bears’ sleeping bags.

Yesterday morning, I had a few hours to myself so – having purchased the pattern – I cut out the pattern pieces and then selected the fabrics to use. All leftovers from my giraffe cot quilt, apart from Daddy Bear’s quilt, which comes from a duvet cover I picked up for £3.50 in a charity shop. Also, whilst charity-shop-hunting, I couldn’t resist this.

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Perfect Mother’s Day present for my Mum, who loves poppies. If I get round to making it in time!

Back to the sleeping bags. After two hours, I had all the pieces cut out ready to begin. For each sleeping bag, there were three components – mattress, quilt cover and pillow.

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I decided to start with the smallest sleeping bag – Baby Bear’s – as a practice. The first step was to quilt the quilt cover.

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Next, I had to make some bias binding. More leftover fabric used up. The first bit of binding went on the quilt cover and then the quilt cover was sewn on to the mattress. The pillow had been sewn on at an earlier stage – leaving an opening for stuffing.

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Then I added binding round the edge of the mattress. By machine, then finishing by hand whilst catching up on this week’s Great British Sewing Bee.

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This is the finished sleeping bag.

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All it needed was a bear.

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Mummy Bear and Daddy Bear’s sleeping bags to go. I should be able to finish them for the weekend.

Speaking of bears, when putting Little Man to bed, I found another candidate for the teddy bear’s hospital.

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That’s the second animal to have its arm partly ripped off. We need to put a sign up: ‘Stuffed animals: enter at your peril’!