Bling Book jewellery rolls

At the last “make it sew” sewing club I saw a little book on quick Christmas gifts with some great ideas in, so of course I got my own copy of Simply Sewing as soon as I could, just for the free book 🙂

One project I really like is the “bling book” small jewellery roll, so I made a little stack to wrap up and give. They’re not perfect, my sewing is still a bit irregular, but it’s a fun little make.


The little book folds out to reveal 3 clasps for holding necklaces and a pocket to tuck them into, and a pocket at the other end for any other pretty things. There’s a fleece lining to add some padding, next time I’ll spend more money on the fusible fleece and less time poking loose fleece back into the right place…

I added a few little charms and some contrast stitching in places to add a bit of decoration to the inside. Try not to sew through the charms, I’m surprised I didn’t break a needle on one of them!



And then it folds up and closes with a popper. My first time using them and only one went a bit off 🙂


Perfect for a short trip away! I might make a few more if I have time…but another project from the book is waiting to be sewn first!


Outgoing cards – history and art


I was down to 3 cards travelling and nothing received for a little while so here’s what will head off around the world tomorrow! I should catch up on my letter writing, but fighting off all the winter bugs at work means I’m lacking the concentration to write more than a card…

The collection of pink things is off to USA to a Postcrosser who likes art and bright things.

Queen Victoria is headed to Belarus, fits into royal family and national costume I think! It’s also got me thinking about the history the Victorian house I live in might have seen…nothing quite as grand as a royal visit 🙂

Wollaton Hall is going to Czech Republic to a new Postcrosser who likes architecture and local places. It’s a great picture of a lovely place.

And finally Derbyshire heritage is heading to Germany to someone who likes local views and multi-views.

I hope everyone will enjoy receiving them 🙂

Iterative scrapbooking

Skegness attempt 1:


I was never really happy with this layout, it looks a lot like the photos were just thrown onto a background picture with some random detailing. I’m so far behind on my scrap-booking, but I’ve still gone back to this one with some new ideas to create a new layout that I’m much happier with. And I have actually done something this weekend!

Skegness attempt 2:

skeggie 2

Brighter, softer and more cheerful. This is one for the album 🙂

Basic little cakes

Last night I wanted cake, but the temperature was suddenly arctic and who wants to go cake shopping then? So I made some basic cupcakes – 4 essential ingredients and half an hour later and I had enough cake for a whole weekend of unhealthy eating.

All you need is self-raising flour, sugar, eggs and butter.

Basic cake ingredients

The ingredients

1) Weigh the eggs to get the correct amounts for the other ingredients. A 2 egg cake will make about 12 fairy cakes.

2) Weigh out the same amount as the eggs in the flour, butter and sugar. It’s possible to use half as much sugar and still get pretty much the same cake.

3) Mix all the ingredients. Melt the butter if you want to make mixing easier. I think the traditional order is sugar and butter together, then the eggs and flour but I’m not sure what difference that makes about from not having everything loose in a bowl at once.

4) I added a small bars worth of melted chocolate for flavour, cocoa powder would work too for chocolate, or any flavouring or fruit bits or sprinkles or just vanilla essence – whatever you fancy and have in the cupboard!

     Chocolate batter

5) Scoop the batter into cake cases or a greased cake tin. About half full seems to work well.

Ready to bake

6) Bake for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees C until the cakes have risen, have lightly browned on top, and a knife poked into the cake comes out clean.

Fresh from the oven

7) Eat as soon as they’re cool or decorate however you want. I used marshmallow Fluff ‘cos I have an icing sugar shortage 🙂 It’s basic and quick but results in fluffy, tasty cake!


Bonfire Night on a steam train

What’s better than a great fireworks display? Travelling there on a steam train! I went to the same event at the Great Central Railway last year and it’s a lot of fun – excitement and bright lights in the winter darkness, what’s not to love about fireworks?!

(And I have a secret love of steam trains, I think it’s the romanticism of travelling in such old vehicles, the smell of the steam, the sound of the whistle and the chug of the engine, the old coaches with compartments…it’s like travelling into the past…)


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Upcycled coffee table

I got this coffee table from the BHF furniture charity shop a couple of weeks ago. I got a few funny looks carrying it home, but I’ve been really wanting something to put my drinks on while I lounge on the sofa…

The original plan was for a shabby chic sanded corners look, but of course I got the wrong paint and it looked terrible when I tried so it’s now just a plain white. All I really did in the end was paint it, but the table was so knocked around before that it didn’t take much to improve it. And with the corners being battered, sanding them down to show an extra colour really just showed the dents! It looks bright and clean now so I’m not too disappointed, and my real focus was the top anyway.

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I’ve been looking for a while for a coffee table with a glass top to display my growing stamp collection (14 years of pen friends and a year of Postcrossing adds up to a lot of stamps!). I didn’t realise until I got home that the glass is smoked but it works 🙂 There are stamps from 46 different countries on there, all except for 2 that I’ve received myself (Fiji and the old Isle of Man stamp if you’re interested). They’re lightly stuck on to a piece of picture mounting board cut to shape using the glass as a template. It should be easy to change them around when I get any particularly nice new stamps arrive.

I’ve already added some books to the shelf, but I’m going to try not to dump too much stuff on it, it took a long time to sort out the best stamps and how to display them!