Monthly Archives: May 2013

Chat, Free, Other, Sewing, Tutorials

Free heart sachet templates and tutorial

Hello  Dare!

A quick and easy tutorial today on how to sew little heart shaped sachets. These are perfect for Christmas fairs, ‘Thank You’ teacher type gifts and so on.  You can make them fairly small and use oddments of fabric or go as big as you can for statement pieces. I’m giving away a PDF template for three different types of heart: Asymmetric, Basic and Primitive – you can scale them up or down to suit yourself.

I’m making mine to accessorize a room makeover. You’ve seen the headboard in the post below. The mount board is still awaiting a second coat of paint before the headboard itself can be glued and screwed back in place – I’ll post a pic when it’s ready.  We have a bank holiday weekend so we get three days to do some work and I think it will be done by Monday. That’s my plan, anyway! I’ve also re-covered a lightshade with some more of the remnant and there’s precious little left to do much more with now.  Again, will post a pic when the headboard is finished. Am quite pleased with progress though. We’re painting a dresser and some wardrobe doors as well as the walls and buying new curtains and some lamps and other bits so there’s a fair bit to do.

Anyway, the hearts have come out lovely and there’s a bunch of them to play with. Maybe a garland. Not sure. I have the candelabra that I posted recently – was thinking of hanging a few from that and then draping it with ‘jewels’ so it drips with some bling. I will have a play and see what works for me.

Onto the tutorial:

Download the template. Cut two pieces of your chosen heart.

1. If you want to add a length of ribbon or other notion to embellish your heart, arrange them on the right side of one of your pieces.

2. Place the second heart shape on top (right sides together) and pin in place, making sure you catch the ribbon or other notions.

3. Sew around the template leaving the all-important gap that will be used to open it out in a minute.

4. Trim off any excess ribbon or lace, etc.

5. Clip around the curved bits and cut a straight snip across the tip of the heart making sure you don’t cut through your stitching! This is to cut down on bulk and make for a smoother heart shape when it gets turned the right way out.

6. Turn your heart the right way out and use something like a bone tool – something smooth but tapered to push the curves through and define the heart shape neatly without poking a hole through the seam.

Roll the edges between your first finger and thumb (damp them  with a tiny dip in water or lick them!) to really define the shape then press with a hot iron. I press mine through a linen tea towel on ‘Hot’ with a short blast of steam. Fold in the opening so that it follows the line of the heart and press that down as well.

7. Fill with herbs or lavender or other scented oils. I folded a couple of pieces of paper; one to act as a funnel and the other to catch the spillage which then becomes the funnel… you get the idea.

8. To save on the amount of lavender or if you want yours for decoration only without any scent, add or fill your heart with toy stuffing or pillow stuffing, something soft and squidgy, anyway.

9. When it’s nicely plump, hand stitch (over or whipstitch the opening).

10. Time for a bit of bling, if you want to swish it up a bit. Beads, buttons, bows. Whatever takes your fancy.

11. I’ve added a chiffon bow for a final touch to glam mine up. Just a simple bow, stitched through the knot in the middle to secure it and fix  to the heart.

There, all very quick and easy.

To download a copy of the templates, register and click on the link:

Sachet heart template PDF

Have fun making some yourself now.

Hel x


Chat, Crafts, Other, Sewing


Another project on the go. We are doing up what we grandly call ‘the guest bedroom’ at the moment – on a shoestring. So having to be nifty and thrifty in lots of ways. We’re even calling a pair of new cream curtains from Penneys (or Primark as it is in UK) ‘splashing out’! Anyhow, we had this tired old headboard, a decent piece of fabric from Hickeys – a remnant at a fraction of its original cost per metre, a set of doll-makers needles (very long), some nylon fishing wire, some Fray Stop, a staple gun and some hot glue. Nothing we had to run out and buy. The technique is really easy – I won’t write up a proper tutorial – Google ‘upholstering a headboard’ and you’ll get dozens of hits from pictorial guides to You Tube videos on how to do it.

Basically though, remove the buttons and rip off the old cover. Cover the whole area with new fabric and pull  taut over the padded section. Staple down securely all around the edges. Feel for the indentations for where the buttons go, squeeze a little blob of Fray Stop in the middle and before it has time to dry,  pass your long needle and strong thread (or nylon fishing line) to  go through it and and come out on the other side where the button holes are. Staple and/or hot glue the thread tails in place at the back and continue until all the buttons have been threaded through. That’s the ‘hard’ bit done – simples, eh?!

Next step will be to attach it back to the wooden mounting board. It was wooden,  it was tired and fairly horrid so painting it was the easiest and cheapest option. We wire-wooled it down, washed it with sugar soap and gave it a  first coat of paint and will get it finished over the weekend. We’re painting it in a rich cream colour.  When it’s ready, we’ll glue and screw the padded bit on and attach the headboard back onto the bedframe. It really is as easy as that.

I had some fabric left over so have made a few heart-shaped lavender sachets, ooh la la-ed up with some beads from my charity shop find the other weekend. A scrummage in my ribbon box found a nice length of chiffon to finish them off with lovely flourishey bows. The pic shows one finished and one all nudey waiting to be gussied up. Got another few cut out ready to be stitched – three, I think.

Another junk yard find. This was a rusty candelabra. It’s been spray-painted using a tin of Rustoleum (not a whole tin!). It’s dry and I’ll be giving it the rough treatment this weekend to make it look more shabby chic. I’m not sure if I want to hang some of the fabric hearts from it (it will be hanging from the ceiling) or maybe some paper flowers and a few beady jewels. I’ll have to see how the room takes shape and go from there.

Finally, I think I have enough fabric left to make a bolster pillow. I found a great tutorial to do this online somewhere so need to go through my history to find it. Some clever person used a ratty old towel and some spongy stuff to swiss-roll together to make the pillow then covered it in nice material. She then finished it off  by sewing circles of fabric onto each end and stitching some furniture cord around the seams.

I think I’ll make mine easier still by making it longer and adding a drawstring channel at either end so that it looks like a Christmas cracker – a roll with a gather. It”ll  make it easy to wash or change the filling, if needs be. And make for a very simple sewing project. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get started on it over the weekend, if not it’ll have to wait till next weekend. A long bank holiday weekend. Ah.

Chat, Other, Papercuts

Butterfly pop up card with cherry blossom cut-outs

There. Finished tweaking it.

The card front is a variation of the design I posted about the other day (Love at first site). You’ll see I used my latest butterfly design and changed the embossing folders for the backing mat and central strip.

Added a few cherry blossom cut outs to the inner mat. But I may remove them again. Not sure if I like them or not. They’re hard to photograph so the picture doesn’t do them justice but I still am not convinced they go with the rest of the design. They seem to clash with the design at the sides. So, should they stay or should they go now?? C’mon and let me know. Should they stay or should they go?

(**Just looked at it again – they gotta go**)

Modded the butterfly with a few more doodlies around the wings for extra prettiness. And I used another precious sheet of harder-to-get-than-rocking-horse-poo Conqueror Concept paper in metallic champagne. My reserves are shrinking… and then what? sob sob

Anyway, the card turned out nicely (despite the Anita’s brown card – just not nice)  and it’ll  keep it for the next birthday or whatever occasion comes along. Now to get on.  Can’t sit here all pom poms, twiddles and belly buttoneering all day.  You know if you fiddle with your belly button your bum will unscrew, don’t you? I had an uncle who used to say that to me when I was little.

Now where are those ukeleles?

Other, Papercuts

Cherry blossoms and butterflies

Hello to the lot of yers!

I have my washing on the line, drying in beautiful sunshine tickled with a light breeze. Two loads. When I put the second load out I took handfuls of the nearly dry stuff hanging out there and pressed it up to my nose for a good, deep sniff. Oh, gorgeous! For years I have used Lenor – it’s blue – April something? And from time to time, Bold’s two-in one lavender and camomile. My absolute favourites. I did a load with each of them this morning. It’s smelly heaven for me.

The garden is starting to bloom and come alive with colour! I never used to like African Marigolds that much but I have big clumps of them growing with French Lavender against a backdrop of indigo blue pots and bunches and bunches of Lily of the Valley… and they look just fantastic! I can’t help myself from stopping just to gaze at them.

Saw a Cabbage White this morning. Just doodling about as they do. Maybe not such a welcome sight for the farmers and vegetable growers but its wings were a radiant white against the verdant green of the hedge. I have two apple trees, an eater and a cooker and they’re in blossom, looking white and frothy like communion frocks. All so, so lovely.

As Florence Shinn would say ‘Look with wonder at all that is before you’. See things with fresh eyes and give thanks for being alive to drink the beauty of the day.

When summer hints that it’s on its way, I get the urge to make butterflies. Every year. This year I have made a pop-up card based on the butterfly I  featured in my last posting. It’s nearly there. I just need to tweak it a little to get it exactly as I want but you’ll get the idea from the picture. I’ll probably sell the template and put it up for sale in a day or two.

Until then, hope you’re getting lovely weather and enjoying it to the full.

Chat, Papercuts

Love at first site

I was inspired to make this card after seeing one made by Mary from another site. She, in turn, had been inspired to make her own version after seeing another on the web.  Guess it was love at first site!

White on white and the pretty edging gives it the fresh look of laundered Broderie Anglaise petticoats. This one is for a late May birthday and should be a delight. I hope so!

May is still changeable with hooley winds and cold rain but I have been getting the garden ready for the summer (hoping that we get one this year). The birds are nesting happily. We have hedge sparrows and robins as well as blackbirds, songthrushes and others.

We call our latest blackbird Anton Du Beake because of the way he cuts a dash across the lawn in his smart black tails… don’t blackbirds have a sweet tooth – or beak? They love sultanas – they’re like crack cocaine to them, I swear. Every time I make cakes with dried fruit I throw out a good handful and Anton fills his beak and comes back for more until they’re all gone.

Then we have the three little maids (though they are probably male and probably not the same three that swoop in for fly-by snacks every time). These are starlings that seem to come in threes, anyhow. We call them Pritti Sing (note the play on words there?!), Peep Bo and Yum Yum.

Now that we have a pair of robins – obviously a mated pair – who are either egg sitting or chick tending, we call them Robin redbreast and Bobbing Bedrest.

When I was getting up the dandelions with my Fiskars gadget I could hear the birds chittering and whistling in the trees. Sounded like something very exciting was going on. The minute my back was turned, they had swooped down and were wandering around the garden poking at the little holes looking for worms. And the squabbles that break out when one finds a juicy worm and another one tries to pinch it! Break it up lads! I’ll take my red and yellow cards out with me next time.

Changing the subject, do you ever watch The Apprentice? Where do they get their contenders from? Egos the size of hot air balloons. Loved the line last week ‘we’ve got to run like hell to sell these ukeleles’ – not something I could ever imagine a shit-hot executive coming out with.

I keep promising myself I won’t get sucked in to another series but I watch one installment and I’m hooked. Am sure the contestants have to have a hyper-inflated sense of self to make the show watchable. If they were all modest and retiring it wouldn’t be much of a show. It needs us to really like and really dislike individuals to keep us tuning back in to see how they get on. Remember the ‘you got talked into a tube of jelly beans’ line? and the winner from 2007 (?) who profiled his target demographic into the very succinct ‘he’s definitely the kind of bloke who waxes his ‘back, sac, crack and definitely shaves his balls’?. Mr Tree rolled his eyes at that one, I can tell you. Lines like that are priceless!

Still, they can all talk the talk. And they’d all  gouge their grannies hernias out with a wooden spoon to win, I’m sure. Maybe I should try a more aggressive approach myself: Get in my way and I’ll stand on your corns or kick your bunions. Baggsy may have claimed ‘I’m not a pony, I’m a field of ponies’ but I’m an angry mutated sea bass, so there! Grrrrrowllll, burble, burble, bubble, blop.

Till the next time.


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