Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas Cracker Swap!!

A few weeks ago I signed up for the Christmas Cracker Swap organized by the wonderful Tracy at Mad About Bags

A lovely little idea for a swap where you fill a kitchen roll tube with teeny tiny wonderful things and then wrap the tube in fabric, and tie with ribbons! (giving your partner a fresh new piece of fabric for their stash and two new fab lengths of ribbon!)

I was paired with Tracy herself and set about filling my cracker (kitchen roll tube) to send her!

Here goes..... 4 squares of fabric, 2 cards of vintage buttons, 8 little Christmas tree buttons, 6 small wooden buttons, a wooden reindeer peg, a copper charm, 6 tiny red bells, 3 books of seed sticks, some puffy red stars, gold and silver Christmas brads, a little magnetic bendy man, 4 red and white Christmas shapes, a charades game dice, 2 handmade decorations, a tiny cross stitch and a handmade pair of earrings!
All I'm missing is the partridge in a pear tree!

I had great fun playing 'Cracker Tetris' fitting in all the little bits!

I wrapped my cracker in some dotty blue fabric with blue dotty ribbons as these matched the knitted mug warmer I sent her (wrapped around the cracker as it wouldn't fit inside! My Tetris skills aren't that good!!)

The handmade items I sent included a teeny tiny felt gingerbread man (we have many on our tree!)
A little winter lady in a festive felt cape
A pair of earrings with red bows and keys
And a teeny weeny little Christmas Tree cross stitch which I had wanted to fix a small magnet to the back of but for the life of me could not find one anywhere!

 I was so excited when Tracy's cracker for me arrived!

It was wrapped in the cutest Christmassy fabric and tied up with Merry Christmas ribbon!

Inside I found lots of lovely little things!

3 candy canes decorations for the tree (we have a gingerbread and candy cane theme for our Christmas Tree!)
 Some very useful little 'handmade by' charms
 Some yummy little chocs (yes, one is missing from the picture, it fell into my mouth while I was taking photos!)
 Some wonderful crafting bits, gold and silver pens and Christmassy peel offs, beautiful flowery wooden buttons and dotty blue ribbon (which I'd just run out of!!)
The cutest little duck egg blue heart (our other Christmas tree theme) with bees on (I have a thing for bees!!)
 And last but by no means least my favourite thing of all (and possibly my favourite thing in the house at the moment!!) An absolutely gorgeous little sewing with tiny honeycomb hexies and perfect little bee embroidery! and Tracy even embroidered 'Busy Bea' on it! Which is co-incidentally the name of my (as yet empty) Etsy shop and my (as yet not fully launched) face-painting venture! That and it's something I'm always being called!
 I am in love with it, and am going to make a shrine to it in my craft room!

So that was the tale of the cracker swap! Good fun was had by all!

Thank you Tracy, not only for organizing such a brilliant swap but for all the wonderful goodies you bestowed upon me!!!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pumpkin Fun

I hope everyone had a delightfully ghoulish Halloween.

 This year I made some little pumpkin goodies to hand out.

My little pumpkin patch!

They are little gathered parcels of crepe paper filled with little sweets and Halloween goodies tied at the top with florists tape, it's an idea I saw on Pinterest (via Martha Stewart) and I just had to try them out!

And it wouldn't have been Halloween without some real pumpkins, I carved three this year, and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out, I set them all up in the window on our 'tree table' I think it looked suitably scary!
I did a 'haunted house' one, which was quite simple really, I just painted the house and tree on with black acrylic paint and then cut out the moon and windows.

A 'scary smile' one (for the more traditional pumpkin fan out there!)

And with the third one I found a picture online of 'trick or treaters' and couldn't resist giving this one a try!

The Husband and I snuggled in with some Halloween movies and Chinese take away, we watched Beatlejuice and a few Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes.

We had quite a few little Trick or Treat callers, all in wonderfully frightful fancy dress! And they seemed pleased with the little pumpkins!

All in all a good little Halloween!

Bea x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Christmas Cracker Swap!

I have joined another swap!

I love swaps!

I have big dreams of organizing my own swaps one day (when my follower count reaches triple figures!)

This fabulous swap is being organized by Tracy at Mad About Bags (but it's not just bags she's mad about, she's mad on lot's of crafty things really!)

The idea of the swap is this.... 

  • You tell her you want to be in the swap
  • She pairs you up with a lovely swap partner
  • You take a kitchen roll tube and fill it with lovely things (crafty bits, pampering things, small handmade item, your favourite Christmas joke/recipe)
  • You then wrap the tube in a piece of fabric and tie at the ends with ribbon
  • Post the cracker to your partner
  • And then await your own crackers arrival! You'll have a tube filled with goodies and a lovely little bit of fabric and ribbon to add to your craft stash!!
  • That and you'll have made a new friend in your swap partner!

Simply wonderful!

Anyone can join the swap! Just pop over to Mad About Bags before 31st October!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Project Linus

Hello Everyone!

I'm excited to say that I have recently taken on an exciting new voluntary role.
I am now the Cambridgeshire coordinator for Project Linus UK.

 Project Linus UK (named after the Peanuts character who always had his blanket with him!) is a volunteer organisation that aims to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers by providing new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets.
Project Linus began in America in 1995 when Karen Loucks saw a newspaper article showing how much a comfort blanket had helped a child cancer victim and decided to organise blankets for her local children’s cancer unit and started spreading the word. Since that time over 4 million blankets and quilts have been delivered worldwide. 
The organisation began in the UK in March 2000 as a result of a quilter’s desire to help children in need. To date the UK organisation has delivered over 228,000 quilts and blankets, over 11,000 of them this year so far!

As the area coordinator I'm responsible for finding the 'makers' of the quilts and delivering them to babies and children locally in need of 'a hug they can keep'. Premature baby quilts start at about 18" and the most popular quilt size is about 36" as this works well for comforters and lap quilts suitable for wheelchair users. The blankets can also be knitted/crocheted however tighter patterns are preferred as little fingers and medical equipment can get caught in lacy designs. Most hospitals however prefer quilted blankets as these are easier to machine wash.
Personally I think Project Linus is such a worthwhile cause, I am looking forward to improving my patchwork and quilting skills while safe in the knowledge that babies and children in need are benefiting from my ever improving crafty makes!

So far I only have contributed one quilt, which I sent to Project Linus before I became a coordinator, this quilt was a joint effort with an elderly lady I visit, between us we came up with a hexie quilt design, she has a wealth of sewing skills and knowledge and I have the sharp eyesight to put it to good use!

I am sure I'll have quite a few quilts to show you all before long, I have two on the go at the moment, I have been experimenting with big hexies and I've also just had a go at machine patchwork for the first time!


Bea x

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Our 28 Random Acts Of Kindness

So I'm blogging again, with a new look to my little blog and a very good reason to post..

After seeing some amazing stories of 'Random Acts of Kindness' online, especially on a lovely blog by Jessica Gorman called Thumba Lea. Jessica did 28 Random Acts of Kindness on her 28th Birthday, after showing her blog post to my husband he decided that with his birthday coming up (also 28th) he wanted to do the same sort of thing.

So we set about making our list of acts of kindness and places local to us that were in need of some.
We printed off some of Jessica's beautiful Random Acts Cards which she kindly shared on her blog

We were a little worried after planning and doing the list that there just wouldn't be enough hours in the day to do them all, but we woke up early, started the day with a lovely Birthday breakfast and opening of presents and spent the rest of the day ticking off all our random acts, and had a great time in doing so...

1. Plant a Tree
We planted a Wisteria tree in a small memorial garden near our local church.

2. Wash Someone's Car
We washed the car of our wonderful Vicar Gill.

3. Feed a Stray Cat
We took 'Church Kitty' the little cat who lives off tickles from people coming and going at Church a bowl of cat food.

4. Take a Bunch of Flowers To a Nursing Home
We took a large bunch of flowers to a local old peoples home to brighten up the lounge.

5. Give Chocolates to Emergency Services
 We took large tins of chocolates to our local fire, ambulance and police stations

6. Donate Magazines
We took a big bag of magazines to a Doctor's waiting room for waiting patients to read

7. Pay For Someones Drive-Through Meal
We paid for the person behind us in the McDonalds drive through (which was nice as they drove past us as we were waiting at the petrol station nearby and signed Thank you to us!)

8. Put Petrol in Someones Tank
 We sat at the petrol station waiting for a motorbike or a scooter (as we knew they wouldn't be putting in £70!) We actually saw a lady filling up to £20, so Mike rushed into the shop while she put the petrol cap back on and paid for her petrol and gave the Random Acts card to the cashier to give her, as we were driving out we saw her walking out of the shop, and it looked as if she had actually got overcome with emotion and teared up at such a kind deed.

9. Take a Box of Muffins into an Office
 We took a box of Fabulous Baking Boys muffins into a boring looking office building to cheer up the workers.

 10. Feed the Wild Bunnies and Critters
We sprinkled handfuls of rabbit food around a small piece of woodland with rabbit warrens in it.

11. Feed the Wild Birds
We hung coconut bird feeders in the trees for the birds.

12. Donate Food and Goods to a Homeless Shelter
We took a box of pasta, soup, teabags, coffee and toiletries to a day centre for homeless people.

13. Give Blood
We both donated blood at a blood donation centre, Mike also helped one of the nurses pick things up when she knocked a box of envelopes onto the floor, but I had to tell him we already had 28 things so his good deed couldn't make the list, he wasn't too happy! :)

14. Leave Money on a Vending Machine.
We left little bags of change on a few vending machines in a shopping centre.

15. Pay for Someones Parking
We left a bag of change on the parking machine in the shopping centre

16. Leave £1 coins in The Pound Shop
We left a few £1 coins in the shop where everything costs £1, we placed them near toys and sweets low down for little fingers to find.

17. Leave a Pound Coin in a Shopping Trolley
We put a £1 coin in one of the trolleys in Waitrose for someone to find and clipped the Random Acts card to the shopping list holder.

18. Leave Vouchers in Shops 
We left gift vouchers in shops they could be spent in near items they could pay for

19. Give Someone an Umbrella in the Rain
We bought an umbrella, attached the card to the tag and waited at the exit of the shopping centre while it was raining, I handed it to a lady who obviously didn't have one and it was so sweet to see her walk out and meet up with her husband and share it with him as they walked off together in the rain.

20. Buy a Big Issue and Give a Big Tip
We bought a Big Issue magazine from the Big Issue seller and told him to keep the change, we also gave his dog some dog treats.

21. Donate a Handmade Quilt to Charity
I had spent weeks making a quilted patchwork blanket with a lady I visit, she told me about The Linus Project a charity that gives donated handmade blankets to ill babies and children in hospitals and hospices, we decided to donate my first ever bit of quilting to them, so we posted it to the Linus coordinator.

22. Fill a Bag with Rubbish
We tidied up an area of footpath and filled a bag with all the rubbish we picked up.

23. Buy Lunch for a Homeless Person
We bought a hot baguette, a cookie and a cup of tea and gave it to a homeless man, we also gave his dog some treats to eat, they were both so happy and thankful!

 24. Give Someone a Free Phone Call
We left enough change for a 30 min phone call and a Random Acts card on a pay phone.

 25. Give Someone a Voucher for a Free Cup of Coffee
 We gave someone working outside in the city centre a card for a free coffee at the McDonalds they were near.

26. Give a Treat to a Street Cleaner
We gave a Galaxy Chocolate Muffin (with a card taped to it) to a street cleaner

27. Donate Food to an Animal Shelter
We found an animal shelter that someone had set up in their own home and garden, where they rescue rabbits, guinea pigs and cats, we took them two big bags of pet food (rabbit & guinea) a box of cat food and a big bunch of carrots (and a chocolate muffin for the lady who looks after all the animals!)

28. Be a Good Driver
Mike was very good all day not only by doing all the driving (we did a lot!) He was also very considerate and let everyone he could out or in and didn't get mad at anyone no matter how creative their driving was!

So that was 28!  We had great fun doing this and would recommend it to anyone, we certainly hope that some of the cards and kindness we gave out will have been passed on!

Much love and kind wishes

Bea x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tis the blog!

Well, it's been a while but here I am blogging again.

With a good reason to aswell! It's advent and I signed up for the advent swap organised by Hookin With Laalaa 
I was paired with the lovely Claire
and I was delighted to receive a box full of goodies from her all beautifully wrapped and numbered

My first advent parcel from Claire contained a gorgeous beaded notebook and pen, which will come in very handy! Day two brought something perfectly Christmassy and tempting - chocolate coins! Cadbury ones at that!!

Day three was a bath scrunchie net poof thing and some lovely Champneys bath bubbles which were the perfect remedy for the aches that followed the Christmas work do Friday night!
Day four was some pretty Christmas ribbons to add to my rather extensive ribbon collection! (I have a thing for ribbons)
Day five and I received a gorgeous little cross stitch kit, although cross stitch isn't something i've done a lot of, this is small enough that I think i'll be able to tackle it without too much fear!

Day six (today!) and I opened up my pretty parcel to find a silicone chocolate mould, which I'm sure will get plenty of use before Christmas. (The husband and I took a chocolate workshop a while back and loved the process of making them nearly as much as the sampling afterwards!)

Thank you soooo much to Claire for my wonderful pressies, it makes getting out of bed on these cold December mornings much more bearable!!

So that's me all caught up on my advent swapping fun. Other than that I have been busy with a couple of crafting projects for our local church's Christmas Tree Festival, which was a wonderful weekend.

I decorated a tree on behalf of the choir...
I made the colour scheme navy blue to match the colour of our choir robes and I tried to include lots of musical touches!
Judith the organist (who is one of my crafting idols!) made the little choir people peg dolls, the details on them are amazing and totally match our robes!

I painted a sign for the santa's grotto in the church (and turned the vestry into a grotto for the weekend!)

I have also been busy making Christmas trees for the Christmas tree stall...
..from felt

and magazines!!

So as you can see I've been a busy festive Bea!!