December 31, 2007

The face behind it all...!


I cannot say those words without thinking of that old Abba song!

* and please note, new camera, present from 'im indoors, new camera is very good, it's my photography that's a bit dodgy!

December 29, 2007

Secrets revealed...

This is the cushion I made for my mum for christmas, it is her family flower garden. There are three hearts planted, which are her three children and nine flowers growing to represent all her grandchildren. I made the cover with an envelope back, I guessed it was wise to have it removable in case it ever needs washing!

And, this one was for my mother-in-law, a sewing cushion as a passion for making things is something we both share.

Just a quick hello to any new visitors from Sew Mama Sew, please come in, make yourselves at home, have a mince pie and some mulled wine!

Plus a big thank you to Beth for mentioning my owls.

Next project is Lucy's birthday on the 6th January and she wants me to make her something, not sure what yet, so watch this space...!

December 23, 2007

We're getting there...!

Another owl and cushion made, ready for christmas...

...another owl still waiting (patiently!) for her cushion...

...but look, some 'Moo' cards have arrived, and is that a 'Lucykate Crafts' label there on the side of that cushion?. I think someone may be making preparations for opening an Etsy shop in the new year!

For now though, we are getting there. Car play mat is finished, along with some other gifts which will have to remain secret until after christmas. The 'to do' list is still quite long of jobs that need doing round the house, not only do we have christmas eve tomorrow but it is also Mr Lucykate Crafts birthday. Lets hope this year, he can remember how old he is and not have to ring his mum to double check!

Pre christmas postman brought me some little parcels, I won my first giveaway, look at this little selection of goodies from Paper & String!

I just want to thank you all who visit and leave comments. I have had a really enjoyable first year of blogging, made some lovely friends, seen the most wonderful, inspiring work, and read lots that has made me both laugh and cry!


December 12, 2007

Another WIP...

A variation on the toy bag/play mat linked to here, and inspired by this, (scroll down and you'll spot it!) to create a felt road applique. Firstly, all laid out as a paper pattern.

Then pinned together in felt and fabric, next... the sewing!

This is intended for one of my nephews as his christmas present, along with some little cars, but it is proving very popular with Luke already. He keeps pointing at in on the floor of my sewing room and saying his favorite word, 'mine!'.

... and how lucky am I?

Suzie Sews won one of the owls in the giveaway and sent me this as a thank you!

It's so cute!

Can I just mention something to all craft bloggers, do you back up your blog?. By backing up, I mean saving a copy of your posts and template on your hard drive. If you don't, I would suggest that you do, better to be safe than sorry.

December 7, 2007


Ellie the mini elephant...,

was not easy to do.

This is actually version number three...,

may be a (little) while before I make any more!

December 4, 2007

Easy peasy elf hat!

I had to make Lucy an elf hat last night, she is an elf in the school christmas play and, only having a couple of days notice to come up with a costume, had to think of something quick. So, after a bit of pondering, I went up in the loft, rummaged around in the bags of old clothes and found a pair of Lucy's red cropped leggings from last summer. Here is what to do -

You will need, an old pair of childs leggings (I used cropped, if you have full length ones, you can just trim the length a little shorter if need be), a felt strip - about 3" (8cm) deep and enough to go all the way round their head, scissors, a pom pom, needle & cotton, embroidery thread, buttons are optional.

1. Turn the leggings inside out, and upside down, cut all the way round the inside leg seams.

2. Open out the legs flat, sew a long triangle shape with the waistband forming the bottom edge, and trim off the excess fabric

3. Turn the hat right side round and trim off any clothing labels.

4. Cut the felt to give a decorative zig-zag edge (I just did this by eye, no measuring) and attach to the bottom edge using running stitch in the embroidery thread (a contrasting colour works best). Before finishing off the running stitch, try the hat on for size, as you will need to loosen off the running stitch first to allow the hat to stretch a little.

5. Attach the pom pom to the point of the hat.

You could also add buttons for decoration and a bell instead of a pom pom, couldn't be easier!

If you make something from one of my tutorials please do join the Flickr group, Lucykate Crafts... pattern pieces, to show off your creations.

December 1, 2007

Making stuff...

When I left my design job last year, it was something I had thought about doing for a while, in the end, the decision was finalised due to the fact that we, as a family, relocated from the North West to the East Midlands. The plan was always to go freelance when our youngest started his five sessions at nursery, which isn't until september next year, but, as happens often, fate stepped in!. My husband spotted an advert earlier this year, which he forwarded on to me, I quickly got some stuff together and sent it off. The next day, a reply came, saying yes!.

So, here is the result, you may or may not have noticed the book link in my sidebar to,'Making Stuff for Kids'. I have done two projects that feature in this book, firstly a how to stitch counted cross stitch section, and secondly, a pattern and instructions for this rag doll.

I am really pleased with how it all looks in the book and also proud to see I'm in the company of some very illustrious other bloggers in there, Soozs, Heidi Kenny from My Paper Crane, and also Cupcakes for Clara to name but a few.

So, why not have a go and make your own doll, you too could make a little girl smile like this...

November 28, 2007

I must be the last person in blogland... have placed an order with Superbuzzy! After seeing Soozs' playmat & toybag tutorial, I fell in love with this farmyard fabric and could resist no longer. I would have caved sooner if I'd known you get sweets in with the parcel!

Can't wait to make an owl out of it, it'll be a barn owl!!

Fabric is something I don't buy in abundance, being a great believer in the 'use what you have' idea. So much so, that I am hoping to organise some sort of a fat quarter swap in the new year, please do let me know if you would be interested in taking part. I have quite a few Kaffe Fassett fabrics I would love to share that are just sat here in a basket.

Thank you to Chandra, Monda loves.., and Celeste, you have all signed up to 'pay it forward', I will be in touch after christmas for your addresses, (although, Chandra, you will need to email me as I have been unable to find a way of contacting you through your blogger profile). There is crafting going on, but nothing I can share just now unfortunately, but will do soon!.

November 25, 2007

And the winners are...

(image is a page from my sketch book)

Corry from Dutch Blue, Suzie Sews and Melly & Rosie, a huge thank you to everyone who commented, I now have lots of new and very interesting blogs to read. All is not lost if you didn't win, it will be my blogs first birthday in March next year, and there will be another giveaway then, plus...


I have signed up to 'PIF' through I'm a Ginger Monkey.
The first three people to leave a comment on this post requesting to join, will receive a handmade gift, from me, at some point over the next 365 days, all I ask in return is that you make the same promise on your own blog.

Hope you've all had a good weekend...normal crafty service will be resuming next week!

November 21, 2007


What's that little owl...?, you're so stunned by how popular the giveaway has been, that you went to bed last night feeling all overcome with tummy ache, and woke up this morning sat next to an egg!. But the tummy ache still hadn't gone, until another egg popped out!

Two eggs!!!

I hope you are going to clean up all that mess now that they've all hatched...

So..., then there were three!, keep going..., everyone who comments on either of the giveaway posts will be included in the draw, remember you have until midnight (gmt) on Friday to win one of the three wise owls!.

November 19, 2007

An owl is not just for christmas...

...he's for life!, and this little guy could be YOURS!. He doesn't have a name yet, he (or she, as some bloggers have pointed out!), needs a new owner to choose one for him. You have until midnight (gmt) on Friday 23rd November to leave a comment and then I will get one of my little helpers to draw a name out of a hat. So, ready, steady, ...go!

November 14, 2007


Who is that peeping out of there???

It's me!, hello, my name is Jess...

...and here is my little home, a snuggly pillow with a pocket for me to sleep in...

...and a pretty butterfly for me to chase!.

Come visit me again next week, and I will introduce you to a friend of mine, Lucykate Crafts... first handmade giveaway, a christmas owl.

November 7, 2007

Agnes the Owl

This little one is to go with a yet to be completed cushion for another one of my nieces for christmas. I wasn't sure if these fabrics were going to work but am pleasantly pleased with the end result.

I have been nominated for a 'Smile Award' by Incy Wincy (thank you!), so I now have to pass this honor on. After a root around to see who hasn't already been nominated, my list is,

Dottie Angel
Janet Clare
Monkee Maker
Flossie Teacakes
and Prairie Mouse

The list could easily go on and on and on ..., but I'll leave it in the hands of the above to chose others to pass the mantel on to next!.

November 2, 2007

Bits & Bobs

Well, what do you know!, there is a little bit of crafting going on, just bits and bobs...

Another cushion in the making, flower applique, buttons and a little bit of crochet decoration happening on this one. The framed piece is something I made five years ago now, to celebrate the birth of my niece, I've borrowed it back as Jessica now has a little sister and I am going to do another one to match as the girls will eventually be sharing a room.

I used to do these stumpwork portraits a lot as presents, on this one, above, the dummy is made from something called 'funky foam'.

As it's been a while, I thought I'd better have a little practice, so here is another of this weeks WIP's.

On another subject, Bella, has been on her travels with her new family. You can catch up on her adventures here. This is the lady who made my lovely bracelet and her new blog.

ps, forgot to say, thank you so much for all the good wishes for our anniversary, we had a lovely trip to the Lake District, weather was dry, crisp, and very autumnal, kids had a fantastic time visiting family.

October 19, 2007

For Phoebe...

It's finished, the first of many. I am making all of my nieces one of these, a little cushion with a pocket and a mini owl softie. The fleece fabric is so warm and snuggly for little ones.

We are off to the Lake District tomorrow to visit my husbands family for the weekend, but also because on Thursday, it will be our 10th wedding anniversary, and we were lucky enough to get married in the church in the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere.

Then, next week is the start of the 2 week half term holiday. I have promised Lucy that while Luke is at nursery on Wednesday, we will have a girls dressing up day. She wants to wear her princess dress and she's asked me to 'marrying' dress as she calls it, I'm going to feel like a right banana if anyone comes to the door!!

October 17, 2007

This weeks WIP

I mentioned in another post about making something for my niece using some of the lace from my mother-in-law's wedding dress. Well, I've made a start, only just!. There is a list of handmade christmas presents to get through in the next few months (hands up, who is doing the same!!), so I need to get cracking with it all.

Also, remember Bella?, well here is my new bracelet which I got in return for the craft swap. It is the one with the turquoise beads nestling there amongst my growing collection, I am rather a big fan of bracelets.

Now, back to sewing all those christmas presents for me......!

October 9, 2007

Something a bit different...

As crafting has been a bit thin on the ground for the last couple of weeks, I decided for this post I would talk about other bloggers for a change. In addition to the links in my sidebar, I also have over 100 blogs on Bloglines, a list which seems to grow daily. There are so many colourful, inspiring, creative blogs out there, I love seeing them all, but there are 3 in particular which are favourites of mine, here's who and why.

Firstly, Molly Chicken. Needs no introduction, I love Lyn's work, the characterisation her soft toys have, and the little background stories that accompany them. I also like the honesty that shines through in Lyn's amusing and witty posts, I often laugh out loud when reading her blog.

Next, Prairie Mouse. Now, I can't remember how I came across this blog, but I'm so glad I did. The quality of Louise's stitching is amazing (and I should know, I've seen it in the flesh!) All her creations have the sweetest faces, since I already have one of her dolls, my next plan is to get one of the adorable rabbits for my daughter.

Last, but not least, Dottie Angel. Tif's words will not only make you laugh, you will belly laugh! She adds such humour into each post, it is well worth reading all the archives if you haven't already. Then, there is all her embroidered slips and other goodies to marvel at too.

So, there you go, 3 fabulous blogs in a little nutshell. Leave a comment and tell me your favourites. To finish off, Bella the cat has defied all odds and made it to her destination despite the postal strikes. Here she is in her new home, with the original Bella.

See, they even have a matching single black spot on one of their front paws!.

September 28, 2007

Best friends and 'Softies Central'

Polly has been featured by Therese at Softies Central, best friends with her little mouse! For the link, click here.

So far, using the same body template I've made an owl, cat and a dog, what next?, any ideas??

September 26, 2007

Bella, in black & white

This project has been fun to do, it all started last week as a swap suggestion. The cat in question is black and white and called Bella. I had no fabric suitable in my stash so hot footed it down to the local charity shops, always my first port of call in these circumstances. Found the perfect material in the form of a blouse which I've chopped up, a very successful trip as I also grabbed a bargain pure wool jumper which has already been felted in the washing machine. The body template is the same as used here. The biggest problem I had to solve with Bella, was that she has some white patches. After trying felt, fur, and fleece, it was obvious some lace was going to work better. The lace is actually passed on to me from my lovely mother-in-law, it was used in her wedding dress. This is the first time I have used it, but am now inspired to make something for my niece, wouldn't it be lovely for her to have something made using fabric from her grandma's wedding dress.

Bella has her name embroidered on the back, so she'll never get lost!.

While she is waiting to be sent to her new home, she's just having a little snuggle in the felted jumper to keep her warm!.

September 19, 2007

I snapped three needles .....

... finishing off sewing this tote bag together!. My daughter wants this one to store some of her dolls in so I added a little butterfly to the pocket to pretty it up.

I have two project ideas in the pipeline before returning to softies, one involves this little collection of wet felted balls, there were more but my son has been nibbling on them and bitten chunks out (grrr!), the other project involves cushion covers for some spare pads I have lying around.