Monday, May 31, 2010

Another giveaway!

A while ago, you 'met' Joanne, of Charlie Moo's. She's one of the people featured in my ongoing Creatives series, a series that, in true creative fashion, is not bound by a regular schedule but instead added to rather haphazardly :)

Joanne is an inspirational entrepeneur. You can read more about Joanne and her exciting business here. Recently she won Dorset Business Mum of the Year 2010. Congrats, Joanne!

Joanne's primary focus at Charlie Moo's is party bags and good quality toys to fill them with!

Thanks to Joanne and her genorosity, I have 2 cute handmade fabric Charlie Moo's Party Bags to give away; they will both go to one lucky recipient anywhere in the world.

CUTE, huh? Perhaps you know a child that could use them to collect precious treasures in; perhaps as a treat bag for your own children; as a jump start on more Charlie Moo's bags for an upcoming birthday; maybe as part of a stocking stuffer or gift bag in your Christmas/birthday stash.

Tell me I am not the only person with a gift stash. Please.

At the moment Charlie Moo's is not organising International orders through their site...but a little birdie tells me if you contact Joanne directly, something may be able to be organised for International fans.

To enter: please leave a comment! I will announce the winner here on my blog next Tuesday, please include your email address in your comment if you do not have a public profile so I can let you know the good news! I will send to any normal address worldwide.

If you want to be really wonderful, followers can head over to Charlie Moo's; pick your fave item and come back here to tell us what it is and why for a bonus entry (separate comment). Feel free to become a follower for this purpose!

I'm sure Joanne would love to hear your feedback!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Owl Softie

I have been on the look out for something to make for a friend's baby shower. She's having a baby boy :D

Well, I was running out of time, so I was really glad to see The Rubber Punkin's Owl Softie Ribbon Tutorial again. I had seen it ages ago and 'meant' to make it but had not gotten around to it. Ah. Like so many projects.

Here's Emily's version:

Cute, huh? I thought I would give the tutorial a try.

Here's my little owl.

I decided to topstitch around him in a constrasting thread to secure the opening and basically to reinforce it against little teeth just a little more.

He's really quite lovely.

Here's a picture for some size perspective.

Very easy to follow pattern and tutorial. Thanks, Emily.

I made up one of Noodlehead's Diaper Pouches to go with my little owl. I found it to be a very good tute.

Here it is (above) before a final iron...

It was quite fun to make, and they seemed to like it :D. I put a newborn nappy inside with a packet of wipes, and paired it with the owl and a bottle of baby shampoo.

It all went in a homemade (thanks to the overlocker/serger) orange organza bag, tied with organza orange and yellow ribbons.

Next time I will try a fabric flap, this time I used some cotton twill tape.

Fancy some homemade pasta?

Thank you to Blue Cricket Design, who shared the Pioneer Woman's homemade pasta recipe.

I've never tried making my own pasta, although I have thought about doing it for a while. I guess I never bothered because it seemed like it might be really difficult. Um. Not-so-much.

Have you got eggs, flour and a rolling pin? Cool. You're set. Really.

That recipe again is at this link.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Great Tutorial for inserting press studs/metallic snaps

I needed to insert some press studs today for the first time and just thought I would look for some instructions first. These are the neat and tidy looking ones you bang in with a hammer, not the sew in type.

I found a great (and amusing) tutorial on CraftStylish by PepperberryAndCo. Very easy to understand, unlike the odd diections on the pack.

I only made 3 changes/diversions from the tute. I interfaced (fusible) behind the stud site; hammered on my desk over a towel (naughty) and used a mini dumbell to bash it instead of a hammer. What? It was handy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DIY Watercolour Paints

Creative Jewish Mom's DIY watercolour tutorial is certainly worth a try. For your own kids, the neighbours or little nieces and nephews.

The ingredients are pretty common pantry items, so check it out!

She has a great blog, with lots of creative and crafty ideas.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Funky laces

Source: Craftzine

How cool is this idea listed over at CRAFTZINE?!?!

Toddler hat

Today I tried out this cuuuute tute on U-Create, a guest tute by Abby from Sew Much Ado.

The name - 4-In-1 Bucket Hat.

The verdict - yes.

What a great tute!

I really enjoyed making my first can be a bit tricky to get the seams right between crown and band, but now I have made one, I think it would be much easier next time. These ones are a bit crooked, but to be honest, when it's worn I could not tell. I've heard hat sewing is a somewhat learnt skill.

I still have at least another 2 to make, one for another hat needing child and one for a baby shower. The child wearing the hat in the pics actually had a head measurement of 1 and a half inches more than the measurement given in the pattern, it still fits fine and also fits a child of the pattern's head measurement. The child pictured was cajoled  asked once to look down for the photo, it doesn't actually cover their eyes but gives good sun coverage.

This was a great tutorial. Thanks Abby, and Kari too, of course.

Fabric is a cute Japanese print - D's Selection Tip Top. A beautiful medium weight cotton...a dream to sew with. Had that lovely, buttery designer feel to it. Yum. Thanks Mater, for the great pressie!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Apron

Here's the apron I have been hard at work on for a friend, I delivered it to her on the weekend. Excuse the picture. The apron's not wonky...but hard to get a good pic without a model! I wasn't that brave.

I spent a lot of time getting the seams right; neat and tidy. The apron is fully lined but I didn't take a picture of the lining. Here's a heads up - it's white :) I also interfaced the apron ties to help them keep their shape for as long as possible. The colours here are a little off. It's much pinker, not as blue. What is the deal with that??? Also the thread used was pink, not white as it appears here. Also the ruffly pocket is not wonky either, although it is placed on a slant for effect and ease of use.

The little flower is detachable in case the apron needs to be washed. Let's face it, a properly used apron will need a wash every now and then! I kept this in mind while sewing, and also prewashed and ironed the fabric.

I'm planning on maybe selling some of these. I just have to get my behind in gear and make some more.

Once again, threads have been snipped now - hehe. 

Here it is with me pulling a tie so you can see it's not actually wonky. Did it work? LOL. When I start selling my aprons, I will be using models and a photographer, for sure!

My friend seemed to really like it, which made me so happy. She said it was too pretty to bake in. SCORE.

Thanks to Modest Maven for the pattern; although I changed the strap, ties and added a ruffle pocket and ruffly flower too.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy Felt Applique Tutorial - No/Low sew!

My local 'discount' department store has some children's clothing on special in season. In winter it is $6-8 for a plain sweatshirt/pair of sweat/track pants; in summer it's around the same for t-shirts and shorts. It's an easy way to add to their wardrobe without costing too much money. However, they are plain and boring.


A good way to make their new piece of clothing look much cuter is to add an applique to it. I'm still new at applique, but thought I would share how I recently updated 2 cheap tracksuit tops to look a little more kid friendly and more personalised. These can be great for a gift too. 

You do not HAVE to sew to do this. Awesome.

I decided to use felt as my applique. It's strong and hardy, and you do not have to worry about it fraying too much. Bonus. You can also use fabric, but the edges will fray. That can be a cool look, just make sure you top stitch at the end.

Find an applique shape that suits the child you are embellishing the top for. I decided to not get too fussy with mine as I find simple usually looks best.

I chose this dinosaur  from and a some stars that I drew with the shape tools in Microsoft Publisher. You could use any similar program; you could even use the clip art in Word. Remember you will be cutting out the silhouette of the image, so it must be obvious by the silhouette what the object is, unless you are planning on getting fussy and adding heaps of detail.

Some ideas: dinosaurs, mermaids, stars, guitars, crocodiles, initial, robots, flower, hearts, bunnies, cars, tools, etc.

Next, print the applique pattern/shape and pin to felt. Cut to shape. Don't worry about being too exact, as you can trim later.

Take out pins. Trim any yucky edges to taste.

At this step, I like to pin my applique to the tracksuit top to see where is looks best. At first, the plan was to centre the images, but I like the look of them slightly off centre. 

If you have the child handy, get them to try on the top so you can see how it will look when it is worn. If they are not around, just keep in mind where the clothes may look when worn. For example, if you want to put an image on one side, make sure it is not TOO far over or it may end up being half hidden from view, or under an armpit :)

If child is cooperating, you can move the felt shapes around to get them where they look good.

It's optional, but at this stage I chose to interface my felt. Felt is much stiffer than other fabrics so you could *possibly* miss this step. I decided I would go with it and try and preserve the appliques' shapes through the many envisioned washes in the future. 

If you don't want to do this, sew shape to top. You're done.

Use some Wonder Under, Heat N Bond or similar double sided fusible (directions) and iron it to the felt shape. Trim paper so it doesn't show on the 'right' side (picture below pre trim).

If you're using double sided iron on interfacing, you can now peel the paper off and iron your shape in place on the top. 

Optional: Topstitch around shape; it helps it last longer and just adds a nice finish. You can do this neatly or in a crazy, messy modern style. I like it a little crooked - a lot of kids clothes are being sold that way at the moment and I think it's cute.

If you're not using double sided fusible, pin interfaced shape to tracksuit top in place. CAREFULLY, sew around shape. You can use a zig zag, but a plain stitch looks fine. 

Stitch around shape even when using double sided interfacing, if you can (warning, terrible picture below). 

DONE. Easy as. Now take that kid to the park and show off the handmade goodness. 

This is not just for kids, either. I can see some luuuuurverly adult tops being made the same way, perhaps with some layered flowers or scrolls. Hmm. 

Cuteness on a stick. Or, on a kid.

Oh and ignore that hanging thread in the last pic. Thanks :) It has now been snipped.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Some mummy-ness:

A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.  ~Victor Hugo

Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.  ~Pearl S. Buck

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.  ~HonorĂ© de Balzac

She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along.  ~Margaret Culkin Banning

Giveaway winner

Thank you so much to everyone that has entered my giveaway. Thank you to my regular readers for your support, and to my new readers - welcome!!! I like you already :D

The winner was chosen randomly, thanks to

Now, for the drum roll...

The winner is...

Congratulations, Chris! Please email me so I can pass on your details to CSN Stores so you may receive your prize!

I've been a follower of Chris' blog for a while now, it's great! Make sure you go and check it out.

Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon - this time open to readers from everywhere! Also I have some exciting news that I can't wait to share with you guys and some brand new project ideas.

To all the mothers out there - have a Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I'm really grateful for my wonderful readers. I just love getting your emails and comments, and I love exploring your blogs too! So when I was approached to do a giveaway, I just had to say yes! Mostly because you guys are fantastic and I want you to get PRESENTS! Haha.

The really great thing about Tempest Ahoy's very first giveaway is that YOU can choose what it is; whether it involves track lighting, soft furnishings, lamps, decals, whatever!

CSN Stores has been kind enough to offer one of my US/Canadian readers a $40 (US) gift voucher to spend online. You'll be sent the gift certificate to use as you wish on any of their 200 + websites.  Feel free to put it towards a larger purchase if you like. 

Here are some suggestions (in other words, what I might choose if I was able to be the lucky winner). My selections are each under $40. How great is their range?!?

(1) Become a follower, and let me know in your comment!
(2) For an extra BONUS entry, blog about the giveaway and let me know in the comments (with the URL!). Please link to Tempest Ahoy ( in your post.

That's it! I will be choosing the winner randomly on Saturday...get your comments in!

Once again, thanks for reading.

Please note that there may be shipping charges; or in the case of Canadian readers,  international fees, for certain products. 

Stay tuned; in future there will be another giveaway for more International readers too! I hope to offer many more giveaways to my readers in the future.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Upcoming Giveaway

I am very excited to announce I have my *very first Giveaway* coming up for my American and Canadian readers. It's a perfect opportunity to say OMIGOSH-like-totally-thank-you-for-reading-my-ramblings!

Can't wait to tell you more.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Buttercup bags

Recently, I've made 2 Buttercup Bags from Made By Rae.

One as a gift for a friend (which I forgot to take a picture of - d'oh! Bad blogger); and another for myself :)

A bit crinkled, but looks good! Oh, iron, wherefore art thou???

I made from the stash, so didn't get cotton to exactly match this quite unusual colour combo. I like the contrast.

The colour here is probably truest to form; but in real life it is more mustardy and navy, not quite this bright.
Thank goodness for sunny days - you don't need a flash.

I was really pleased with the way they both turned out. Because this one was for me, I rushed it a bit more, but I still like it :) I think I've worked it (making the bag) out now, the next one will be even better! It really is an awesome pattern. What do you think?

More Purl Bee Rose Barrettes in the making

Rose, ungathered ;)

These are so cute! Love them. Tute here.

Don't look at my hand sewing! I said don't! Hehehe.