Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Pretty Cups And Saucers

Old China Crafts

piled cups and saucers
Old Zara china

Tea cup cake stand
Make a simple cake stand with superglue and old china
teacup candles to make
Make a simple candle for a romantic bedroom

We all have those odd pretty cups and saucers lurking in a cupboard which are seldom used and so here are a few suggestions for what you can do with them. You can of course use them for tea ...

Afternoon tea table

There is a trend at weddings and big gatherings to serve tea in individual cups and saucers (often a trio) and this provides for wonderful photos such as this one.

You could also make a simple cup and saucer candle ...

Simple candle with charity shop china

To make this you will need a teacup and saucer, soy wax, eco wicks, scented oils, two pencils, double boiler and a thermometer.   (Some types of wax flakes can be melted in a microwave)

Fill teacup with water and weigh it. This is the quantity of soy wax you will need.
Put the wax in a double saucepan (or bowl on top of pan with boiling water or in the microwave).
Add scented fragrance - around ten-percent of total and mix well.
Place the wick in the centre of the cup - it will come with a flat disc to hold it upright.

Melted wax with wick in place

Pour the melted wax gentle around the wick. 
You may need to lay the pencils across the cup to keep the wick centred and upright.
There should be a little wax left over for a second pouring.
Let the wax cool - it will shrink a little and develop holes and cracks.
Re-heat remaining wax until very hot and top up until smooth on the surface.
Cool totally and then trim wick to around half an inch.
You now have a pretty candle - makes a perfect gift for a tea-lover.

All materials available at www.devonscents.co.uk

Booths 'Real Old Willow' cakestand
Use superglue and old china

A closer look

Antique Chinese cup and saucer

'Havilland Limoges' cup and saucer

These pretty pieces are ...

The cake stand made from a dinner plate, a tea plate, a fruit dish, a coffee can, a coffee cup and a tea cup all from Booths 'Real Old Willow'. We have inherited hundreds of pieces of this beautiful china but it is rarely used.

The Chinese cup was bought from an antiques fair and has no distinguishing marks. I have had it for many years and it is very delicate and beautiful and would make a wonderful candle gift for someone special.

The 'Havilland Limoges' cup and saucer are on display on a mantlepiece and could look so much better on a bedside table with a fragrant candle in it.

Why don't you have a go?

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dazzling Weekend

Olympic Weekend

First The Extravaganza ...

Courtesy of flickr

Sadly we were unable to get tickets for the opening ceremony and like many thousands we watched it on TV. I appear to be in a minority when I say I was not wowed by it. However, I did really enjoy the two local cycling events and hope to see the two remaining road time trials this week. They will take place again around my village and we shall be having a picnic on the village green while they whizz by. We also have some tickets for the fencing, which promises to be interesting.

And Then The Cycling ...

Local map with route
We live right in the middle

Local map with route
We live in the orange section

We live right in the middle of the Olympic cycle routes and so the last two days have been rather exciting (particularly if you like bikes). We have hosted both the mens and womens road races and over the next two days we shall again be marooned in our village while the time trials take place on the roads surrounding us. The only way out of the village will be by train.

Our family have a great interest in cycling, and in fact my son owns two local bike shops. You can read all about them and see them here... 


Surbiton High Street

Thames Ditton Marina


Unfortunately the weekend was extremely wet but even that did not deter the many thousand lining the streets to see the amazing Olympic cyclists.

Sadly it was a very wet weekend!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Too Scary To Contemplate?

Some NASA pics

Have a look at this amazing video from  NASA,  which purports to show just how our world will end.
It shows how the night sky will behave over the next four billion years. The Milky Way is apparently on a head-on-collision course with Andromeda and this will result in the destruction of this planet.

I think we should not worry too much about these beautiful and scary events as we shall all be long gone!

The Sky
Milky Way
Meets Andromeda
3.75 Billion years from now
Total extintion
Don't worry!

Keep calm because you only live once.
Have fun!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Beads And Buttons

Bead Time


Strings of beads


I am sure that I have told you all before about this amazing shop -  Beadtime  - in Castle Street, Kingston upon Thames. I was introduced to it six months ago and am now a regular visitor. I make bracelets and necklaces for friends and family and enjoy the ease and cheapness of this craft and also being able to produce pretty gifts for next to nothing in just a very short time. 

Today I made a pretty bracelet for my little friend ...

A so simple bracelet


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bags Of Fun

Yet Another  'Lots Of Pockets Tote'

Last week I found some lovely new fabrics in my local shop  Creative Quilting  at Hampton Court. The shop is full of fabrics, craft books and any kind of notion imaginable, (and the staff are very friendly).  They also hold regular classes. It is far too tempting to be on my doorstep! 

'Grey Steel Spot' by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman

'The Grey Steel Spot' by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman really caugh my eye and the lime green 'Backyard Baby' by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller is enchanting ... can you see the little snails crawling along it?

'Backyard Baby' by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller

As I am still perfecting this fiddly bag pattern by Keyka Lou  I decided to give it one more try with these lovely fabrics. So here goes ...

That snazzy bag again!

I have cut the twenty one fiddly pieces, which was very time consuming and I have even chosen a pretty button and bought a magnetic snap.  Yes - this time I really am ready to go.

Pattern cut and all ready to go

The chosen button - isn't it cute?

The lovely button came from the same supplier as before - Blumenthallansing.com and costs just around £1.00. I bought mine (they come in packs of three) at  Creative Quilting  along with too many others.

Now to iron on the fuseable stiffener (did I tell you a million times just how much I hate ironing?) Now with the horrid bits out of the way I can go and say 'Hello' to Jolly Janome and enjoy myself a bit.

Ironed - I'm loving that button!

I have been on jury service these past two weeks with very little time to myself ... and then there was a family dinner, the farmer's market, and a pub lunch to fit in, and of course the sun to way-lay me so I quite like these small items that can be made in the hour or two that I just may have to spare.

I shall update this post later in the day - if the sun will allow it!


Well the sun is too hot for prolonged outdoors (I am a very pale person) so the bag was completed in a quiet moment .

Ta Da!

Sewing went well on the exterior

And also in the interior

And the button looked great

It was only at this critical point that I realised that I had cut all the lovely lime green fabric with the snails crawling UP the bag instead of ACROSS!   


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Swap Fabric Cuffs

Pretty Fabric Cuffs

I have received an email from  Kirsty  asking if I should like to be part of a fabric cuff swap. I can only imagine that it was because of this post, which I posted so very long ago ... as you can see it mentions Christmas preparations!


Original Post
Pretty Fabric Cuffs

It said ...
I have spent the past few days making Christmas items. Mostly small stocking fillers and tree decorations. I saw some lovely 'cuffs' on Etsy and felt that they were just the type of thing that young teenage girls would like and found them very easy to make and very pretty and original ... and perfect stocking fillers or small tree gifts.

Ragged Twisted Cuffs
Fabric Scraps From My Pincushion Swap Partner
Padded Cuff With Velcro Fastening
More Fiddly Satin Roses
Larger Satin Rose
Easy Cuffs

I found them very easy and fun to do I (have now made ten in an afternoon) and very quick, simple and cheap. I shall now embellish them with buttons and beads and a little embroidery to make them a little bit more special.


Now ... if you want to join in the swap and make some of these easy accessories (and receive something pretty yourself!) do go to join the swap ... go to http://fourhappyviolets.blogspot.com.au