Our Summer holiday round up (Week 4)

The Summer holidays are rattling by and it’s time for Week 4 of our Summer holiday round up.

Last week Big Brother and I ventured into London to walk the Riverside Book Bench trail. We spent a lovely morning finding the decorated sculptures, painted to celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment. You can find pictures of all the benches we found on my other blog.

We enjoyed a family day out at Odds Park Farm as well as another trip to London for the launch of a new augmented reality game at the British Museum.


Big Brother and I made our first visit to the newly opened HEMA store in Victoria. HEMA is a Dutch value retailer which reminded me a little of Tiger (also a firm favourite of ours).  It’s a bit of a posh poundland and is full of beautiful products that you probably don’t need from make up to summer essentials, children’s toys, food and kitchen items. I picked up fluorescent washi tape, coconut biscuits and pretty notebooks.

With the weather cooling down we’ve been having fun with some autumnal crafting, apples and leaves are high on our list right now. We’ve been using some crafting kits from Play Merrily, we love loom bands and hama beads.

I was happy to finish my Autumn Stitching Club cushion and have been looking through my sewing books to find my next project.

Autumn Stitching Club



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How to make recycled envelopes

A couple of weeks ago I was at the V&A and found a great template for making envelopes. I’ve collected a few vintage annuals and magazines and thought this would be a lovely way to give them a new lease of life.

how to make recycled envelopes

The template couldn’t be easier to use. I found some pages from an old Rupert the Bear annual, drew around the template and cut out the shapes. I followed the instructions on the template and folded the paper into an envelope.

how to make recycled envelopes

You need to be quite precise with your folding otherwise you’re left with a small gap. However, you can use washi tape to close the gap and seal the envelopes.

They were so simple to make and we’ve been having fun with them. My children have been using them to write letters to each other and practising their letters to Father Christmas – you can never start too early!

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A trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show

This time of year (distinctly Autumnal!) makes me think of the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally. I’ve been every year since 2007 and I started blogging about my purchases from the Show. As there are just so many lovely to things to buy I have to be strict with myself so I blog my purchases and what I make to justify my purchases.

In 2010 I bought a Clothkits doll cushion, Advent calendar printed panel, gingerbread man cross stitch and Union flag quilt pattern. I made everything except the Union flag quilt as I couldn’t find the jelly roll I needed (I’m afraid I’m not the most adventurous quilter and need to follow instructions!). I wrote about it here.

2011 was the year I bought the fabulous London scene by etsuko furuya from the Eternal Maker shop. I made it into a crawling blanket for what became Little Sis and  we use it every day! That was a great purchase. Not so great was the 3D cross stitch gingerbread house kit I bought. It’s still in its packet but I will make it one day.

In 2012 I purchased lots of fat quarters for the patchwork Union Flag quilt I’m supposed to be making for Little Sis. Hhhmmmm. I’m enjoying the project but it’s going slowly and definitely won’t be ready for her birthday this November. Perhaps Christmas next year.

So you can see I’m a bit hit and miss with my purchases, I am easily swayed by a pretty store!

Last year was great. I got there as early as possible now we’ve moved to the other side of London but it was still quiet enough for the first hour. I visited the 200 odd stores first as that’s my favourite part of the Show. Deep breath. So I bought….. three magazine subscriptions, some seasonal cross stitch patterns, and the prettiest fabric from Eternal Maker (postage stamp by pushpin for kokka japan) and some soft pink minky fabric  which I made into a snuggly blanket for Little Sis.

My track record is pretty good which is why I’m looking forward to going again this year. The Knitting & Stitching Show is taking place at Alexandra Palace from 8–12 October and for the first time is open for an additional day on Wednesday 8 October as well as late-night shopping on Thursday 9 October.

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Filed under crafts, days out, handmade, Local Review, London, sewing