Top Secret

Christmas is just around the corner! Well it is if you make your own gifts 🙂  

I’ve been enjoying looking at all the Christmas makes from the recent blog hop over at Sew we QuiltIn fact it spurred me on to get started on a few gifts I’d already decided to make. And I’ve been busy stitching away at them – they’re not finished yet but soon I shall have some gifts to put away ready for the season.

However, because the eventual recipients of the gifts do occasionally read my blog I can’t reveal the items which is a great shame as it’s one of my original designs and I’m as pleased as punch with the way they are turning out.

Here’s a tiny peep of it, and if it’s any consolation I’ve taken a few progress photos which, if I remember, I’ll post after Christmas!


Now onto something I can show you…

(sorry about the colour, the photo came out too bright, in real life it’s a bit more subtle!)

This little wall hanging is part of a series of hangings I’m making to decorate my sewing/dining room. Over the months I’ve been inspired by the way bloggers from around the world keep their homes looking fresh by changing their home decorations to match the seasons.

I’ve seen rooms transformed by simply changing a quilt throw on a settee, putting up a new wall hanging, arranging different pillows on chairs, even to putting out a new table runner on a table or sideboard.

I’ve only ever done this kind of decorating at Christmas and to a lesser extent at Easter and thought it was such a good idea.

So I challenged myself to produce a little hanging each season and this is my summer one. It’s my own design, the little baskets are foundation pieced and decorated with pretty yoyo flowers.





The beads inside the flowers are from an old necklace belonging to my Gran, I’d kept them safe in a little tin for years wondering what to do with them and now my hoarding has reaped its reward!


This is my small start but in time I hope to have a stash of ‘temporary’ decorations for each season which I can use to zuzz up the whole home 🙂


What do you use to decorate your home?

Until next time,

Chris x

Flying the Nest part 2

Daughter and I have been busy, busy, busy bringing the old, neglected wardrobe back to life. I could almost hear it sighing with relief that finally it was going to escape its cobwebby corner in the garage and be loved again!

I was chatting to hubby earlier and we worked out that the wardrobe was a part of a set of bedroom furniture his parents bought or were given for their first home. So it is indeed old and although not at all valuable it does have a bit of sentiment attached to it.

The process of reviving it wasn’t without its problems though.

Daughter sanded and primed and we both painted and painted again and then painted again BUT a horrible brown stain kept seeping through the paint on the doors – not very attractive.

After much pondering we finally solved the problem by spraying the doors with a special sealant and then repainted – much better.

New funky crochet covered handles were attached and tassels added for extra artiness. What do you think?



These handles were spare ceramic ones from my kitchen units – no cost spared 😉 Surprisingly they were harder to cover that the wooden handles – any ideas why?!

The shelves have been lined with the spare gorgeous wall paper from my bedroom make over.


And finally Daughter has a wardrobe for her new home which hasn’t cost her a penny 🙂


Now I wonder what the next furniture project will be 😉

I’m feeling a warm glow of satisfaction now, I love this sort of project. Thinking back I can remember doing my first furniture makeover when I was about 16.  I did up an old chair my Gran gave me under the guidance of my Dad who is a talented woodworker and fixer of all things 🙂

Do any of you like this sort of thing? What have you ‘done up’’?

Until next time,

Chris x

Flying the Nest

As you know my lovely daughter graduated this year (read all about it here!) and on the back of that happy event comes the bittersweet one of her setting up her own home. This will happen at the end of the month and we are busy trying to find everything she needs for her to take with her.

Some kind people have given her a couple of pieces of furniture they don’t need anymore and my daughter has been busy sanding them down and painting them up so they fit with her decorating scheme (assisted by her Mum, of course!)


This unit was donated by a friend and was one of those orangey pine units which were so popular in the 80s. Daughter set to work and sanded it, painted it with primer and painted it with some eggshell off white paint to turn it into this…


The original handles were little pine knobs which were going to be replaced with ceramic ones. We needed 14 handles and when we found out how much it would cost we had to do a rethink!

This is the solution – little crochet covers for each of the pine handles! So cute!


The pattern is here although we did adapt it rather a lot. We used the left over cotton from my little crocheted giraffe – hmm wonder if this is a plan to get him to move house too?!



The effect is quirky and artistic – just like my daughter 😉


Slightly distressed for added shabby chic.

Now the next project, which is as yet unfinished, makes me smile. A lot.

This is a wardrobe which has been sitting in our garage for years, and I do mean years. It used to belong to my in laws who gave it to my hubby when he set up home and along the way it got demoted to storage in our garage.



The poor wardrobe was very much worse for wear but my daughter has always liked it and when you see the little details you’ll understand why…

Inside the wardrobe is this lovely drawer all labelled up with what to keep in it 🙂
I suppose this was a gentleman’s wardrobe and this little ledge was for his collar studs.



A handy mirror showing off my overgrown garden!

This is still in the process of being brought back to life – more photos when we’ve done it 🙂

The two pieces are for my daughter’s new bedroom, only a bed to get now – anyone got a bed they don’t want!

Until next time,

Chris x

Happy Dance

A big thank you to those of you who have encouraged me along the way while I have been renovating my chair – it’s made a big difference 🙂

I am pleased to announce that the chair is now officially finished. The final stitches and tweaks have been done. And just in time too as my final lesson was on Tuesday – thanks Sue 🙂

This is a reminder of what the chair started off like and its journey of being stripped back and built back together again…

chair 1

chair 2

These were the final stitches in my final class…


and now…


lovely deep buttoning, comfortable seat and gorgeous fabric; cleaned and polished legs and the cotton reel which saved this chair from a skip still in place 😉


Until next time,

Chris x

Up in Flames

On Sunday it is the Christian church’s birthday – Pentecost.

I had hoped to make a couple of banners but after making the Easter banners I simply wasn’t inspired to make them for Pentecost too (maybe next year 🙂 ).

My church has circular candle holders which hang down over the congregation and in the past we have had paper doves hanging from these.

But after seeing this picture (link here)

First Presbyterian Berkeley, CA - Pentecost 2

I thought it would be rather cool if flames were hung from them instead – as if the flames were over the members of the congregation.

I found an origami leaf pattern which looked like a flame and asked our church youth to make lots of them.


The youngsters made these…


Today a group of us hung them all up



‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. ‘ Acts 2:1-3


And now for something completely different (unless you burn them that is 😉 ). Lucy over at Attic 24 has discovered an amazing recipe for cookies, no really they are delicious, try them you wont regret it! Here’s the



Until next time,

Chris x