toy car case for little travellers

I have been busy here last couple of weeks, sort of making mood has hit me and lots of organising and cleaning happening too. Spring is in the air, I really feel it! Today I spent five hours in the garden tidying this massive place up and getting it ready for spring. Under lots of overgrown oregano I found first blooms – two crocus plants desperately stretching for some sunshine. I rescued them, this old oregano had to go anyway. Now making long list of plants what to have in our garden, and also veg list for my little veg patch! I’m overly excited about that!!

Anyway, back to making and sewing. Last week Oscar had two birthday invitations in his bag, his little nursery friends are turning four. He’s not happy as he wants to be four too, unfortunately for him he has to wait another five months for it to happen… But he’s very happy about being invited to the party, of course:)

Some time ago I stumbled across a tutorial how to make small travel playing mat with little pockets for matchstick cars for it. Bit of research and I found it again – Homemade by Jill has her tutorial how to make cozy car caddy, very easy tutorial to follow with clear instructions.


I used some fabric I already had – I am big fan of recycling and upcycling and remaking, whatever you call it – old jeans make perfect heavy weight fabric for projects like this. Also some lighter fabric, velcro, bondaweb and scrap fabric for applique bits (I didn’t use acrylic paint but instead made little applique numbers).


It took me about three hours to finish (and no, I didn’t forget to add my new label to it!), most tricky part was to get the velcro strap in the right place, so when the case is folded with six matchstick cars in it stays closed properly too. Glad to say it worked first time around.


Oscar had a go at playing with the mat when it was ready. He absolutely loved it. Firstly because it has numbers on. He’s seriously into numbers. But he loved driving the cars into their ‘garages’ and driving them out to the road again. The cars even had few crashes. Luckily no injuries though:) I really hope his little friends love playing with this mat too!


I think I don’t need to add that I have next order lined up already:)

more baby bean bags

A while back I posted about some baby bean bags I made for presents. My friends absolutely loved them and that encouraged me to keep that project in mind for future baby present needs. Now there’s two little girls 1st birthdays in this month, so I thought they would love to play with something like that.

This time around I was planning of trying some different looks for the bags.

Here’s my first alteration to the ‘original’ bean bags – the round ones:


Although slightly less material and less ribbon they still took me about the same time to complete as the square ones. Going around and trying to keep nice even stitch is not easy at all! I’m glad I tried this version and I might do it again but probably will stick mostly to the square ones.


And here are the new square ones with numbers on:


I think it’s a great alternative to the name bean bags. Especially if the baby’s name is way too long. Oh, and another idea – these counting bean bags can be also made for older kids, without the ribbons. You can make up all sorts of games with those ones! I’m thinking of making some for my 3-year old boy, he’s really into numbers now, everything in this house gets counted at the moment!


I really enjoy making these little bean bags. It is not the most fastest sewing project but that’s not the case if the end result is truly unique and oh so much fun to play with!


I really must arrange a photo session with some happy customers:)

fabric labels – with my very own name on!

Few days ago my lovely husband gave me an idea to add labels to my sewn items. He thought this would make lovely addition and make my makings look (more) professional. It’s not like I’m selling any, sewing and crocheting are not my business but it’s a nice little touch to add to the finished project. I have no idea why I haven’t thought of that earlier!

Had a busy afternoon searching the web but could find any personalised labels I liked. Well, when I did they only offered minimum order of 1000, for example. I was thinking more like 20.

Off to search how to make my own labels then. It’s so easy! Found lots of online tutorials but this tutorial on Gwenny Penny’s blog looked most straight forward and she has such a lovely blog too:) I already had some transfer paper and the rest of the ingredients, so in the end my labels didn’t cost me anything!

And here’s the result:


I absolutely love them!

it’s all organised now!

I love organised life! Everything has to have its own place, mess-free house is so much more relaxing. Mia is not very good at it. Yet. So I’m here to help her out:) Being a girl with looooong hair means she has few hundreds hair related accessories and I’m so tired of looking for right ones in the morning when we need to be out of the house in the speed of light.

So I made a framed organiser for her hair stuff!


It has four pockets for hair bands and the hair brush, and across the frame there’s three ribbons which hold all of her hair clips and bands. The fabric and the ribbons are secured with vast amounts of hot glue. Spare frame I had in the house was luckily in Mia’s favourite colour, she chose the fabric from my stash and also decided that she wants buttons glued all around the frame. It probably took me about two hours from start to finish and we are both very happy with the end result.


I’ll make anything to make my home more organised and stress-free:)

wire angels

Last year before Christmas I wasn’t as busy making as I would have wanted but still found time to attend yet another workshop organised by Make, our local community project. When I noticed their busy schedule had wire angel making workshop I just had to sign up!

They look so delicate and honestly I thought it will be lots of hard work but actually it wasn’t too bad. Time consuming – yes. Fiddly – oh yes. Lost of fun – definitely yes! Best part was dressing the angel and finding accessories. I went for more fairy looking angel, with floaty dress and small round wings. Had an idea to put something in her hair too but didn’t have any time for it on the day and later decided to leave it as it was. Simple is sometimes the best look:)


Although Christmas is long gone she is still in our living room looking after us!

crocheted hairclips

Another Christmas was approaching and yet another school Bazaar with it. This is the annual event our school PTA organises just for children to go in and buy little toys, jewellery, little knick-knacks really, so they can learn how to manage their money and (hopefully) make a little Christmas present for friends/siblings/parents. Last year I made some tree decorations and button hairclips for it. This time I decided to crochet some flowers instead. After they were all ready I just used hot glue gun to stick plain hairclips to them and that was it. Quick, easy and pretty!


The flower pattern is from Attic24 – I find it’s fantastic blog and always handy for all crochet-related emergencies!

I think I managed to make between 30-40 hairclips, didn’t actually count them in the end. All different mixed colours, of course, as choice is always very important:)


Now Mia and quite few of her friends wear them to school nearly every day – it’s quite warm feeling to see something I made being loved by someone else:)

another baby blanket

After long summer holidays I am getting into making mood again!! When kids are off school there seem to be too much running around and day trips here and there, so by the time it’s evening I’ve got no energy to sit down behind the sewing machine or pick up the crochet needle. But now it’s September, it’s quieter in the house during the day and kids are in bed (slightly) earlier in the evenings which means I have more time for myself!

So back to crocheting! One of my friends had little baby boy about month ago and since last baby blanket was big hit I decided to make him one as well.

I started with a little blue granny square having no idea how to mix the colours or if I should add any other colours to the blue ones. In the end I decided to just keep going and make just one big granny square! Well, actually the real reason for that was it is so much quicker that way – no joining the squares :)

I quite like the end result and it only took me two evenings! To the three blue colours I only added white and red, keeping it sort of in Union Jack colours. Because baby’s name is George I think it is very suitable choice :)

flowers in the snow

My second crochet project is all for me me me! I love granny blankets and after searching for ideas online I came across pretty ‘Flowers in the Snow’ blanket tutorial on Sols(tr)ikke blog. I loved the beauty and simplicity of it and the idea of using white background. Like the name of that pattern says it really looks like a snowy field:)

Decided not to use one colour scheme, instead of that I’m using about 15 different colours of wool, mixing those colours absolutely in random.

The flowers (or the biscuits like my kids call them) are very quick and easy to make. Still haven’t decided how many flowers I need for my blanket as I have no idea how big I want to make the end result to be. At the moment I’m thinking 144… Have made about 40 flowers so far, still long way to go…

All the flowers are joined as I go along – like Solveig recommends on her blog and it makes sense, it’s just so much easier to see what colours go together and what not. I’m using cream wool for the background and I really like the result.

I did change the original pattern making the 4th round (the white one) as it didn’t seem to work for me. I did count the chains and spaces and all of that but somehow after joining the squares it was all wonky and bit uneven.

I have been working on this blanket for few months now, it is perfect little project to take anywhere with me or just making few flowers while watching tv. Hopefully it will be done by end of this year, it would be perfect to snuggle under on the cold winter day, with a cup of hot chocolate and a book to read… Bliss!

family favourite – banana cake

We discovered banana cake. Always wanted to make one but never had all the ingredients and never any too soft bananas. We like bananas in our household, they always get eaten too quickly. But the other day I bought a whole lot of them for a pound, you know, one of those market stalls what sell fruit and veg by the bowl. Bowl for a pound. And that was way too many bananas:) Soooo, we made a cake. It came out utterly delicious and now I’ve been making this quite regularly. Perfect with cup of coffee!

Here goes the recipe. Mia kindly helped me to write it down and now this cake is officially called Bana Cake:

You’ll need:

two ripe bananas

150 g caster sugar

170 g self-raising flour

170 g soft butter

3 eggs

bit of vanilla

60 g chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven 160 C. Slice the bananas, add all the other ingredients and mix well with the mixer. Line the loaf tin with baking paper and pour the mixture in. Into the oven and bake for about an hour. Let it cool in the tin for about 5 mins and then lift it out onto the cooling rack.

Best enjoyed warm with glass of cold milk (that’s only because it is very hard to wait until the cake is cooled down!) But yes, equally yummy eaten cold with lovely cup of tea or coffee.

The recipe is the most simple one I found and it is so delicious. Sometimes back to basics really works!

I am crocheting again!

I haven’t held the crochet needle since secondary school, I think. But the time has come again. Don’t want to think it’s to do with getting old, I actually remember liking crocheting back in the days. I’m not into jumpers and cardigans, and also very happy to leave making baby booties to anyone else. There is something I always wanted to have in my house though – a granny blanket. They just look and feel so soft and comfy and absolutely perfect for my (endless) reading sessions!

Well, I do need practice. So back to babies BUT definitely not booties or miniature cardigans. Looks bit too complicated. Baby blanket sounds much more straight forward and possibly the easiest project to start with.

My good friend had a little baby girl recently – the perfect customer! I decided to use simple basic granny squares, join them up and add a pretty border. Light and dark pink, red and white – only in four colours but in my opinion it worked quite well.

Big thank you to Michelle from Owl & Slipper who’s workshop few months ago gave me the boost to make this blanket. She’s absolutely lovely and has the patient of the saint, honestly! She also runs her own crochet workshops, one in Steyning Tea Rooms. Been there once and planning to go back as soon as I have my next free Wednesday morning.

I am working on my own blanket now but this one probably won’t be finished this year. Or maybe even next.. Will post some photos of the working process soon though!


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