For The Man Who Has Everything

A colleague of mine with a penchant for fancy socks is retiring this year.
To honour him, I was commissioned to create a bouquet of…. socks.

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It was exactly the kind of challenge I love!
I spent a week or so thinking about how to go about it and then I sat down and got started.
I had six pairs of socks, so ended up with twelve “blooms.” Each sock became a single flower. After some trial and error, I ended up using some embroidery thread to gather each sock, using a running stitch along the bottom of the sock and pulling it tight. You can see in the photo where I stitched each one, indicated by the red dotted line.

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Once each sock was gathered, I just wrapped the gathered edge together, using the toe as the centre of each flower. A few stitches secured each one in place and soon I had twelve rosette-style flowers.

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What do to for stems? I decided to use a black button for each flower’s centre, securing it to a paper straw with a dab of hot glue (I stuck the shank of the button into the opening at one end of the straw). Then, I slid the straw through the centre of the rosette; the button stopped it from falling out. A few more stitches of embroidery thread through the paper straw and the sock to hold each flower together and, ta-da! Twelve sock roses!

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Next up, I used garden twine to make a French-tied bouquet and then tied on a jaunty polka-dotted ribbon I’ve been saving in my stash for just such an occasion.

When he is ready to wear the socks, all the recipient has to do is snip the embroidery thread (I was sure to use contrasting colours so that it would be easy to see) and unfurl each sock. The perfect bouquet to extend the length of time between loads of laundry!

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My colleague was delighted with his bouquet, I am happy to report.

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Hop To It

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Recently, I was overcome by the NEED TO SEW SOMETHING. It had been far too long since I had made anything from scratch and I was longing to get out my sewing machine and some fabric. Serendipitously enough, I stumbled upon this post about Mandi‘s home-sewn bunnies.  Aren’t they adorable? I couldn’t wait to make a few of my own!

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I put my own spin on the size and shape, but I really loved the mis-matched eyes and the quirky personalities of Mandi’s bunnies, so I made sure to give my funny bunnies similar.

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These ones will be making their way to some little ones I know and love. This weekend will see me whipping up a few more in order to get them off to their destinations in time for Easter.

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What are you up to this weekend?

I’m Crackers for Animals

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One of my favourite booths at IDS 2014 was Imm Design.
They sell cheeky little storage solutions, kitchen tools, mirrors, hooks, even stationery!

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I fell for their stuff immediately and wanted to Buy All The Things!
Of course, this  reaction was not a practical one, so I set my cap for one of their crowned cookie jars to put in my kitchen (you know, the one that exists only in my head…) and contented myself with a more useful little treat in the interim.
I’ll show you that on Wednesday.

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In the meantime, here are some of their pretty bits and bobs, designed to bring a hit of charm and whimsy to any room.

Be Mine

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Around Delovely HQ, Valentine’s Day is a total non-event.
Which, I admit, makes me sad.
{see: colours, imagery, general froufery}

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The good news is, I get to indulge my passion for all things crafty and theme-y by giving my students Valentines. This year, good ol’ Target hooked me up with some cute-as-a-button supplies from their dollar bins. I scored some pretty favour bags, some pens, pencils and stickers, to which I added a few chocolate lips and (my very favourite!) cinnamon hearts. The pretty ribbon I also picked up at Target and some grocery store Valentine cards helped me personalize the packets.

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The girls were delighted!

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However you celebrate (or don’t), Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

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Photobomber.

Flag Day

 Last week I was able to squirrel away a single chocolate cupcake from M’s birthday treats before I gave them to him. I popped it in the freezer to save it for my friend and colleague, R– her birthday is three days after M’s.

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To make it fun and celebratory, I spruced it up in some cute packaging.

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I made a sturdy cardboard base and wrapped it in pretty paper, then I made some washi tape flags on paper straws. A cellophane goodie bag and some glittery ribbon and ta-da!
A sweet treat for a sweet lady.

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I think these would also make cute party favours– you could serve slices of cake at the party and send guests home with cupcakes.

{Tip: use glue dots to secure bottom of cupcake wrapper to cardboard base.
Your cupcake will stay put and not slide around inside the cello bag.}

Get the Skin-ny

I must have been a VERY good girl this year, as Santa went waaay off-piste (or is that “off-liste“?) and, rather than bringing me the humble e-reader for which I had asked, he brought me an iPad Air!
You could’ve knocked me over with a feather!

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He also brought me a case for it.

Um….
I don’t want to seem ungracious, but Santa and I do not have the same taste in iPad covers, it would seem… And so it is that I will be sending that part of the gift back to the workshop for the elves to give to someone else next year. In the meantime, I have been exploring case options online.

Let’s just say that there is a vast gap– more of a gaping chasm, really– between the beauty and slickness of the design of the iPad Air and the cases made to protect it. I do have a pretty gold leather envelope to keep my new toy in, so perhaps I can get away with not having to buy any of the hideous purpose-built cases. I am, however, considering getting a “skin” to personalize my iPad. I am wracked with indecision– there are so many pretty options! I want to choose wisely and well– it turns out that an iPad skin is, basically, the most expensive STICKER a gal will ever buy! 😉

Here are some of the options I found at Society 6.
(I am also quite taken with their other products– how about a glitter-printed tote?)

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Or, how about one of these? You know I love the paint-dipped ones!

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Maybe something to encourage creativity?

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Or a little something sweet?

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Of course, one can never go wrong with the “pretty in pink” approach:

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I’m Just Dotty…

…for gift wrap!
Seriously, I might have an addiction.
Which is how I have ended up with roll upon roll of pretty paper.

This past weekend, I got a chance to use some of it when I was invited to a baby shower for my friend S. She LOVES grey as much as I do and, like me, is a sucker for a polka dot. So of course I had to break out the dotty grey paper I snagged at Marshalls. I also had a gorgeous interlocking circle patterned paper in a darker grey (it’s not paper at all, actually– it’s made from STONE! Don’t ask me how… but it is very cool and has the silkiest, most durable texture), also a Marshalls find.

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A Tiffany-blue ribbon, some stripey washi tape and a polka-dotted clothespin in pale blue completed the packaging. S loved it (I knew she would!) and she also loved the contents of the package: mini Chuck Taylors!*

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*Tiny Converse sneakers are my favourite baby gift– I give them to EVERYONE who has a baby, ever since a colleague of mine told me that the very best gift she got when her little guy was born was a pair of miniature Chucks. Feel free to borrow this idea (as long as we are not invited to the same shower 😉 ).

Peggy Goes

There are so many exciting projects afoot here at Delovely HQ, but no time for photo-taking and documenting, so you will have to be patient while I restore a semblance of order to our daily lives before I can share with you some of the fun stuff we are up to around here.

In the meantime, I must introduce you to someone who stole my heart the second I saw her. Meet Peggy.

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When I was little, I made clothes-peg dolls by the dozens, taking hours and hours to make each one unique, making clothes, hair, faces and dreaming up individual stories and personalities and relationships for them. My mum found them stored in her basement and gave them back to me– they are hilarious! And I can still remember each and every one of them, as though they were real people. If we ever find my sewing room again in this chaos, I will be sure to post them for you to see so you can have a laugh.

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Knowing how I feel about clothes peg dollies (and about a certain someone named Peggy), you can imagine how my heart skipped a beat when I saw this enchanting little lady at Liberty! Peggy is busy– she goes on holiday, to the shops, to work, to Mexico…. Isn’t this a clever idea? What a sweet gift she would make for a sewist or other crafty sort.

 

Thanks Ever So!

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Recently my fella and I went away for a weekend to attend a Very Fun Wedding with his family. We had an amazing time (see: laugh until your sides are sore), but before we could go, we had to find someone to look after our fur children for us while we were away. Enter my fabulous friend, D. She willingly volunteered to be our cat-sitter and did a bang-up job of providing food, water, litter-scooping services and the all-important playing and snuggling duties.

Of course P arrived just in time to act as Supervisor and Photobomber-in-Chief.

Of course P arrived just in time to act as Supervisor and Photobomber-in-Chief.

I knew I wanted to thank D with a basket full of all the fixin’s for Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, but I had no basket. Our house is in an uproar, so all my crafty supplies are totally out of reach, leaving me without any suitable vessel for corralling the supplies. Serendipitously, I stumbled upon the perfect curbside find on my morning walk!

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A scrub, a few coats of paint, a bit of Liberty fabric to tie in the British theme and ta-da: a Pimm’s-worthy basket to load up with all the necessary ingredients to thank a kind friend.

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N.B. There is NO WAY to include a cucumber in a gift basket in a way that does not provoke snickering. Believe me, I tried. 🙂

Here Comes Peter Cotton-Tail

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The Easter Bunny is a busy guy.
Sometimes he drops stuff off at the wrong house because he is just too busy to remember where he’s supposed to be.
Here is what he left with me for my two favourite kids this year.

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Egg-shaped sidewalk chalk, “magical” zoo animals that expand in water, and bubbles in ice-cream cone-shaped bottles.

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Being a crafty sort, the Easter Bunny popped each set of goodies into a cellophane bag, painted some wooden tags with neon pink and pearly mint paint & hand-lettered each one. He plucked some brightly-coloured feathers from his Easter egg-laying hens and tied them on with some pretty bakers’ twine.

Did somebody say "Feathers?!"

Did somebody say “Feathers?!”

Hoppy Easter!