Pop Pop gets a treat??

I’ve not had much time to be too crafty this last week or so as we have made a start on Bubs nursery and I’ve been busy with visitors and work, but I did take some time out on Sunday, to enjoy some of my biggest obsession…TV.

As a massive Arrested Development fan I was incredibly excited for Sunday to finally come around so we got 15 new episodes on Netflix. My brother was visiting and our best friend came over to join in on what was planned as a 7.5 hour marathon to devour the new series in one go. So I decided to make a few show based snacks to enjoy throughout the episodes.

First up were Bluth bananas, 10c gets you nuts!:

 10c gets you nuts

Next I made this awesome Cornball recipe, that I found on The Food In My Beard; a great blog with lots of AD themed recipes, they were really yummy and we dipped them in ketchup and sour cream & chive dip, we learnt that the old saying ”every damn time!” really does apply when deep frying these, even without the Cornballer!

Every damn time!And we followed them up with Ice Cream Sandwiches….or the closest thing we could find to Ice Cream Sandwiches in the UK.

No Touching!!I wish that more of our friends loved Arrested Development so we could have made a bigger deal out of it and thrown in some Juice Boxes, Jellybeans, Mayoneggs and Hot Ham Water but unfortunately it was just the four of us. Some of the pictures on Instagram tagged #BluthParty really are amazing and some people went all out whilst welcoming our favourite family The Bluths back with open arms!

We started late due to getting bit in the nursery done and only managed 10 episodes in one go (what more do you want from me I’m 29 weeks pregnant!) but I wasn’t the only one flagging and after deciding that the episodes deserved our full attention, we awoke fresh and ready Monday morning and finished off the last 5, we all loved it and I can’t wait to watch it all over again!

Did you have a Bluth Party? Share your themed snacks and costumes!

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My Neighbor Totoro Patchwork Baby Blanket

As soon as we started trying to get pregnant, it was decided that whether Boy or GIrl, our Nursery theme would be My Neighbor Totoro. It’s one of my favourite animated films and I love the idea of nature being important to my little one, so the opportunity to make a nice foresty themed Totoro nursery where Totoro could possibly be joined by a range of woodland animals, seemed perfect.

As I planned and pinned away my inspirations for Bubs room, it became apparent that being in the UK, choosing a Japanese theme may not be the most convenient and cost effective choice…however, my Gran had already crocheted an amazing Totoro mobile for us (post coming soon) and I really did love the idea, so I decided I would just have to use some workarounds.

So when I found this amazing Totoro print fabric on Spoonflower and discovered that they only charge $2 for postage to the UK, it was decided, instead of spending a lot of money importing a blanket from Japan, I was going to make him a one of a kind, patchwork Totoro blanket with my own two hands…..once I found a way to cut the fabric to size and sew the blanket seeing as it had been 12 years since I last touched a sewing machine.

I checked out Pinterest for inspiration and tutorials suitable for a beginner, my post on my inspirations can be found here and as mentioned in that post the tutorial I ended up following is this one. And also sourced the rest of my fabric:

This cute one from frumble.co.uk

Aloe

and this plain fabric from plushaddict.co.uk

One of my best friends is an avid sewer so I recruited her, along with her rotary cutter, mat and ruler and we spent an afternoon cutting all the fabrics to 5”x5” squares, then I borrowed my Nan’s ”vintage” (read super old!) sewing machine, laid out my squares in the right order, took a picture to follow and got to work following the steps of the tutorial.

           Blanket LayoutPiecing the strips together

My blanket is 5 squares by 8 squares, so about 40”x25” give or take a bit due to my inexperience at sewing seams of the same width, my squares don’t line up perfectly and sewing the strips together got messy, but I don’t care as once it was all put together, it looked great and I was super chuffed with myself, it only took me a few hours and I was eager to find some backing material so that I could finish it off.

Fabric completed

I decided to get a fleece throw from Tesco for the backing material and found one that was the perfect colour, I cut it down to size, pinned it; right sides together, to my patchwork and got to work sewing a 1/4” (ish) seam, leaving one corner open so I could turn it right way out.

All backedThen after practicing my top stitch on a blanket of less importance, I pinned the corner opening, ironed the blanket and finished the blanket up with a top stitch.

I am so happy with the way this turned out as it was my first sewing project in years, and I have developed a new obsession with patchwork blankets and next plan on turning all my old gig shirts into a rag t-shirt quilt before starting work on another blanket for bub. I have my eye on this adorable Soot Sprite print fabric, just need to find some other fabrics to go with it.

We are starting the Nursery this weekend, so stay tuned for a before/after style post and also that post about the amazing crocheted mobile that my Gran made for us…here’s a sneak peek.

Totoro & Chibi-TotoroPattern sourced here.

Practice makes perfect….

So about a week ago I borrowed my Nans old…and I mean old, sewing machine because I wanted to give making a patchwork blanket for Bubs My Neighbor Totoro themed nursery, said patchwork blanket is almost finished and I’ll be posting about it shortly, but long story short, having not used a sewing machine for about 15 years, I’m not sewing so straight, especially on things blanket sized, so I am nervous about completing the last stage of the blanket, the top stitch.

I am so happy with it so far I don’t want to ruin it at the last moment with a wonky seam, so I grabbed some cute fabric I found in the remnants section of my local haberdashery and the fleece left over from backing the patchwork blanket and thought I would practice by making another blanket of less emotional investment.

Image

The fleece had been cut pretty wonky in the process of trimming it down to back the patchwork blanket, so I found the widest section I could and got to work on cutting it down to a relatively straight rectangle (in my eagerness to continue my newest obsession of sewing, I am cutting a few corners…worry not, the rotary cutter is on its way!). I pinned this to my lovely new found fabric (right sides together) and cut around the fleece so the fabric matched the ”rectangle”.

Then I got to work sewing a nice seam all the way around leaving one corner open so I could turn the blanket right way out, snipping the corners at an angle first so they would turn out nice and square, after pinning the opening ready to be closed up with the top stitch, I ironed the whole thing, making the edges nice and tidy and then got to work sewing a nice, straightish top stitch (considering the already wonky nature of the blanket…lets call it character, not wonkiness), and the result….

Bubs Animal Blanket

Bubs Animal Blanket

Not bad for an afternoons work, and it has left me feeling much more confident about tackling the top stitch for Bubs Totoro Patchwork blanket, so stay tuned, I will be posting the result in a few days time, but here’s a sneak peek, and even if your not a My Neighbor Totoro fan, check it out purely for my Nans super old sewing machine….

See…I told you it was old!

Here we go….

I’ve always been obsessive, it was probably the first personality trait I became really aware of at a young age. Back then it was boybands, movie stars and movies and its since moved on to tv shows, tv stars, man bands….only joking, it’s moved on to slightly more productive (though not much healthier) obsessions, like planning our perfect wedding and last year planning our dream road trip in the states. But one thing that has always been present within these desires to plan and perfect is creativity.

Whether it was learning Photoshop in my teen years to enable myself to make some pretty impressive Ewan McGregor screensavers and wallpapers, or teaching myself web design at 13 to create my own Friends fan page, right up to designing and making all of the stationary for my wedding, my sister in laws wedding and even designing graphics, scavenger hunt sheets and itineraries for our big US adventure, I love having the creativity my Granny taught me growing up, through card making and cake making to help me make the most of my ever present obsessions.

So in my latest obsession, preparing for the arrival of our first child, I have again turned to creativity, although this time most of it is taking the form of knitting, sewing, general ideas gathered from Pinterest and my ever faithful Photoshop skills. So I thought that I would start a blog to show off everything that I have been doing, and possibly some things from the past. Also expect the odd post about some of the wonderful things the MUCH more experienced people in my life have made for our impending bundle of joy.