Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Happy Surprise Birthday Dear Brother

One Saturday we celebrated my brother's 40th with a surprise birthday party at his home in Bournemouth.
One of my brothers had arrived early from London with his family and took him out to watch the footie. 
I travelled down on a later train with my mum, daughter and older brother, 
whilst my sister, her partner and my niece drove down from Milton Keynes.
Is name isn't really Bert, that's just a nickname given to him by my daughter and has just stuck. 
We all arrived around 1:30 which gave us over an hour to say hi to everyone, blow up balloons, lay out the food and wait. His wife had prepared a delicious lunch and he did wonder why she was cooking so much chicken.
My sister had arrived laden down with even more homemade food and everyone else contributed with drinks and snacks, creating a truly scrumptious spread.
He actually returned ten minutes earlier than planned, almost surprising us.
It was so wonderful watching his face when he arrived to a house full of friends and family.
Those who couldn't make it called later and my brother from Manchester even made a brilliant recorded message for him, which had us all in stitches.
 Mum set the fire alarm off as she came downstairs with his homemade birthday cake.
 Checking we'd put on the right amount of candles.
  One puff was all he needed!!!
 Pretending mum's cake was hard has rock!
 He'd asked me to make curtains to put up in his garage. This was a bit of a challenge for me as I've never made curtains before. I'm very pleased with the result. We hung them using a bamboo garden cane and secured it with string. Yes, I work in a school!
Today he is officially 40!!!

Happy Birthday Fitz (Bert), Love You Loads xx

Barri xxx

Monday, 23 January 2012

Photography #2 Greenfinch

For about the last six years I've had a bird feeder right outside my second floor window. Greenfinches used to visit often, but I hadn't seen one for absolute months, so I was really thrilled when one arrived the other day giving me another opportunity to play around with my new camera. The details of the feathers are so amazing!

Have a fabulous week!

Barrina xx

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Little Bag and Matching Apron

This bag was made as a gift for my mum and it came out way better than I'd hoped.
Lining the bag wasn't as tricky to do as I'd first thought, although adding the strip of velcro did make me curse. 
The button came from my mum's old sofa which she had bought way back in the 70's and had only parted with a few years ago. She'd cut the buttons off as a keepsake.

 The apron turned out a little bit wonky, but hey, it was my first apron and mum loved it just the same.
Next time I might even try to add pockets.

Have a great weekend!

Barrina xx

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Photography #1 Sunrise

Now that I have a new camera I can really begin to experiment with my photography. It makes such a lovely change from using my mobile phone. When I say a 'new' camera, I actually mean my daughter's 'old' camera.   She now has a flashy one which was given to her for Christmas by her dad and I.
I love sunrises as well as sunsets and I'm always fascinated by their beauty and how different they are each day. I've been lucky enough to have the pleasure of watching beautiful sunrises recently, and to have the opportunity to play around with different settings on my 'new' camera. I really love how these unedited photos came out.
Just in case you didn't notice, I have changed my blog name and address!!! 
Bits and Pieces was the first name I could think of when I started but I wasn't really happy with it.   
Lets hope I'll be happy with this one!

Barrina xx

Lavender Heart Cushion Giveaway - The Winner

Ok, time to choose the winner in my little giveaway...

And the winner is...

You will receive a green and yellow lavender heart and a little something else too...

...and as I'm feeling a little bit generous today I will also make a lavender heart for everyone else who entered...you know who you are!
Please email your names and addresses to barrijayne@googlemail.com

Congratulations to you all.

Better go and start making your cushions...

Have a great day!

Barrina xx

Friday, 6 January 2012

Simple Cross Stitch Cushions

I made these cushions for my niece and nephew. It was meant to be their Christmas presents, but I hadn't realized how long they'd actually take to make, so they got them for New Year instead. 
This was my first attempt at cross stitching and I'm very pleased with how beautifully they turned out. 

I'd wanted to create pretty designs like flowers, boats and so forth, but it was all a bit too daunting for me. Instead I played around with different stitches and threads to get a good feel of it and I absolutely love it. I hadn't realized that Sophia's design was not completed until after I'd finished putting the cushion together, so she got some pretty buttons and a flower sewn on instead. Another nephew has requested one for himself, after seeing these, so I'm thinking Easter presents...

Have a great weekend!

ps. I am also doing a little giveaway of a handmade lavender heart here.

Barrina xx

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A Little Giveaway and a Happy New Year!

Wow, I started my blog exactly a year ago (actually it was the 3rd, but what's two days), as a place to record my attempts at being creative. And I must say I am very proud of everything I have done, from my first pin cushion, to creating my own recipe for gluten free almond and lemon cake, to selling my makes at a Christmas fair.
 Last year (seems weird saying that) a lot of my Christmas gifts to family and friends were handmade. I've actually amazed myself with my growing crafting skills. They were far from perfect, but everyone loved their homemade presents, which included tote bags, zipped make-up bag, hot water bottle covers, apron and more. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos before giving them away...I even made a padded camera case for myself without a pattern and it turned out okay. I hope to make even more gifts this year...
I received lots of lovely gifts to help me along my creative path, including scissors, ribbon, glass jars for storing buttons etc, and the 'sew!' book by Cath Kidston, which has loads of wonderful projects for me to try out.

 So, to start the New Year I'm going to do my first ever giveaway!!!
The prize will be a handmade lavender heart cushion in your favourite colours.

To enter you need to follow my blog and leave a comment letting me know your two favourite colours. That's it! 
Closing date is on January 14th. A winner will be chosen at random the next day.
(updated on 3rd Jan. If you do not have a blog please leave your email address)

Good Luck and a Very Happy New Year to you  xx

Barrina xx