Monthly Archives: October 2015


Victoriana Pergola

I have been busy making another pergola. This one is inspired by Victorian wrought iron work. It’s a slice-form and folds flat which means it can be sent in the post, with suitable, rigid, protection, naturally.

I used Conqueror Concept, metallic champagne, for this one. It’s beautifully irridescent and gives it a lustre that adds even more to the beauty of it.

Conqueror Concept is becoming very hard to get, though, and am on my last pack. Even Amazon don’t seem to get any in stock. I think it’s been discontinued but would be delighted if proved wrong!

Every step of the build was photographed and written up. Every photo was edited with Photoshop and the layout and text created with InDesign. It took me around thirty minutes to make, maybe less. I can’t be sure as I was trying to take pictures and write notes throughout the process. Not easy, especially with nosey kitty-cats that want to see what’s going on!

I’ve put it on Etsy so if you’re interested in buying the SVG template and making your own, just click the Etsy logo on the page and it will take you straight there.

Hope you like it.

Hugs, Ell

Free, Illustrator Tutorials

Make a quick and easy scalloped border with Illustrator

When it comes to knocking up something like a scalloped border, I like to keep things quick and easy. Illustrator is the perfect tool for creating useful little vectors like the one above. They can be welded to other elements and saved as SVGs to be cut with cutting machines like the Silhouette, for example.

I have written up a free tutorial, PDF format, and if you would like to create your own and follow my ten-step programme, download it here:

Hope you find it useful.

3D, Buy, Papercuts

Pergola Lovelies!

This post is a Thank You to Mary for sending me her beautiful and gorgeously lush photographs of the pergolas she made from my templates. Didn’t she make a really super job of them?!

I love the orange and white – juicy colours that really pop. I love all of them, actually, the Christmassy ones, the chocolate and white Woodland Pergola and the lilac and white. Finally, the classic and classy all-white snowflake dome – sophisticated and stunning.

Mary bought the templates from my Etsy site and had her first model made within the first day of purchase (I think that’s correct allowing for time zone issues – Mary is in the USA).

Thank you for sharing them with me and I’m delighted to showcase them here (with Mary’s permission).

Hope you enjoy looking – I do!

To see my other templates, click the Etsy logo on the page to visit my shop.

Chat, Other, Sewing

Case of the E-Reader Solved

I’m in proper poke, pull, tug and faff mode today. Cupboards are getting a sort out. Fabric mountains are getting folded into submission and am getting ready to start making my favourite Advent Jubblies.

I make sweetie Jubblies for lots of occasions and always love how they turn out, you can see them here here, here, here and here! This time of year I look for the little Christmassy chocolates, the Santas, Snowmen and Cadbury miniatures, etc, to fill them with. The miniatures are becoming as hard to find as hen’s teeth and reindeer poo, though. They must have been discontinued as I haven’t seen them in a few years now. The really hard part, though, is not scoffing them all before December!

The same goes for the Halloween sweeties. We always buy a couple of big tubs of Celebrations, Roses, Quality St, etc, and big bags of chews. The hard part is not eating them before the 31st.

Anyway, Getting back to what I started, first I tidy up then become MrsMakeMessFun – that is the way of things.

I made the basics of an e-reader case a couple of months ago. Straightforward construction. Three long layers in a sandwich. Top layer with long lines of embroidery stitching, a batting layer and a lining layer.  They fold down to form a case, raw end inside covered with bias-binding then stitched together all round and bound with satin bias binding on the outside.

I had got as far as pinning and tacking the bias binding then just left it. I’m a bit rubbish at machine stitching bias binding. I have seen a good few You Tubes that clearly show me how bloody easy easy is it but I cannot finesse it. Drives me bats. So it was abandoned in favour of nicer, easier things to do.

Until last night. I put my big lady knickers on and faced up to it and stitched it down with a pretty triple zig-zag stitch. It’s not perfect but it’s my best attempt yet. Just as well, as it’s for an e-reader and is to be a birthday present for a friend.

Am pleased with my progress so am definitely improving. Having battled the bias and battened it down, I made it a button hole and stitched on a pretty wooden button.  Done. There were a few pieces of embroidered wadding around so I pinked the edges and stitched onto a luggage label to make a gift tag.  They kind of go together, what do you think?

Someone asked me why I put the ‘www.thesingingtree’ on the pictures – it’s because they can end up on Pinterest. How many times have you seen something on Pinterest and thought you’d like to visit the site and read/see a bit more only to find it’s a link of a link….? I have and have given up on many occasions.

Anyway, if you post pictures and want people to see them on your site as well as Pinterest, add your link on the image and that way they’ll find you.

Be good and play nicely.



Woodland Pergola – now for sale on Etsy

Labours of love. Ah. Where would we be without some passion in our soul? Making this woodland pergola had my soul dancing, I’m telling you. It was hard work with lots of intense focus but I loved it. It will be tweaked because some of the cuts are so fine and flimsy they demand more care and caution than a clumsy mumsie like me can always give.

As first cuts go, though, I’m fairly (very!) happy with this. I designed it in Illustrator and cut with machine. The slots that connect the structure together need to be fairly closely aligned and quite slim and I didn’t trust my skills with the scalpel to do it all by hand.

It has foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, flowers, leaves and stars topped off with tiny little acorns and leaves at the top. And all put together in layers to form a lattice, slice-form structure. Up against the light you can see details clearly. It’s not so easy to see them when it’s not in direct light, though, so will be cutting the next one with contrasting papers.

This one shows the hedgehogs a little clearer.

I like the ways the foxes have come out, tail-to-tail looking back at one another.

See what I mean about some of the cuts being to fine? That’s a 1C coin being held next to the acorns to give you a better scale of it.

And, being a slice-form, it folds flat!

*** All tweaks accomplished. One thing I did change was to make the acorns on top far more of a solid to give them more strength and also, they actually look prettier for it.  Now for sale on Etsy: Woodland Pergola

Thank you for looking. Hope you like it.

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