Tuesday, 29 November 2011

On the Road Again...

This post is a day late...we've left Turkey for our respective destinations...me to London and my folks back to Cape Town - I don't envy them their long journey.

We had the most fantastic trip to Istanbul...made memories to last a lifetime (and gained a few pounds from the delicious baklava and Turkish delight that will sadly probably also last a lifetime!) but it was SO worthwhile!

Jen also managed to finish up a few stitchings. I'm not sure how she finds the time but here is a lovely little lorry that she made:

Bye Turkey...we will definitely visit again!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Rudolph's lesser known cousin...

...Randolph - the white nosed reindeer!

 I made this cute little Christmas tree decoration mostly out of felt with a jersey body - since we were between houses and I didn't have any of my supplies, he is filled with cotton wool so he's a little lumpy in places!
He has Incomparable flower button eyes, a pompom nose and a snowflake button for decoration.

Here he is chatting with his reindeer button friends.

This year instead of eating turkey for Thanksgiving (which would be unusual for us South Africans anyway) we are visiting Turkey.

Here is a snapshot of a street outside the Grand Bazaar:

and outside the incredible Hagia Sophia:

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American followers...

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Tambani Project

Today I am showcasing another South African company whose main aim is creating meaningful employment.  
The Tambani Project is an initiative set up to create economic empowerment for a group of disadvantaged rural African women from the Venda tribe. The ladies are taught quilting and embroidery skills and their works embody local Venda folk tales. These embroidered blocks are then used by quilters, knitters and crafters and incorporated into their own works, thereby preserving the Venda oral tradition. 

You can read the personal stories of some of the women here.

The bright and vibrant scenes each tell a story. Read more on the Venda folktales here.

The Tambani project was started by Ina le Roux and currently employs more than 65 embroiderers who create 400 hand embroidered appliqué blocks per month.

The blocks are exquisite. You can see the range here.

Tambani also use our Incomparable buttons in some of their works of art...

The Tambani blog has great posts showing creative ways to use these lovely embroidered blocks.

This is a wonderful initiative and has transformed the lives of the people who are involved with Tambani. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Just Plane Stitching

I am meeting up with Jen (my mum) at Heathrow next week and then we're travelling on to Turkey together...we are SO excited to be travelling together and exploring a place that we have only heard wonderful things about...
 Just hope that our aeroplane is slightly more aerodynamic than this one!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


This is another page in my fabric book.

Two ladybirds made using leftover scraps. The ladybird on the right is made with a circle of fabric with a print of Incomparable terracotta heart buttons strung on ribbons.

I've used some fabric paints which according to the manufacturer should puff up after being ironed so as soon as they dry in about oh, 6 hours or so, I'll be going to the ironing board which has been left out for days! getting the ironing board out. The paint gives them another tactile dimension which I hope will be a hit with the littlies who get to scrunch, chew, throw 'read' this book!

It's not Harry Potter but perhaps it might instil a love of books in the very young! Here's hoping! 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Our Next Give Away...and Newest Buttons

These gorgeous Incomparable buttons are the newest members of our ButtonMad family...
and we love them SO much we cannot wait to share them with you.

We are giving away 10 sets of these yummy buttons...
This give away is being hosted by the ASpoonfullofsugar ladies and in order to stand a chance to win, you'll need to take a look at their blog and leave a comment on their post about this give away.

Although leaving a comment on our blog is not considered an entry...we always love to hear from you anyway!

On Sunday week there will be 10 lucky winners. This give away is open to anyone anywhere in the world...and has a total value of $100! Now that is great news to start the week with.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic Pleat Dress/Top

I made this little dress today in between preparations for our big move back to the small island. Yes, we are taking the freezing big step of moving to London for the next 12 - 18 months. After our wonderful year in Oxford I was hoping thought that we would be headed home - or even to Zambia - one step closer to home...but that will have to wait for now...I must say I'm looking forward to unlimited theatre (unlimited opportunities - limited budget!), super speedy internet and of course, online window shopping!

I love the fabric combinations - this vibrant green dot works so well with our Incomparable teddies fabric range as an accent.

Shirring on the back...

This dress will hopefully fit a 9-12 month old. And in fact, it may be a top - all depending. It's rather tricky without the intended recipient in front of me. Although I imagine that if she were in front of me, I would get no sewing done whatsoever which would make things even trickier!

A close up of one of our sweet teddy buttons...

I pleated the front and sewed down the pleats a little way. 

Here's a shot using all the furniture I could round up in one go:

I had plans to make this about 10 days ago but it has taken me this long to cut the fabric - I get absolutely terrified at the thought of cutting it - am I alone in this?! Are there support groups out there? Anyway I finally took the plunge and am so pleased with the result that I'm furious that I didn't do this 10 days ago so that I could have made a few more in the interim!

One other thing I am really looking forward to...the build up to a cold fingers crossed for white Christmas...exciting times ahead!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Dreamy Worm

I'm in the process of making a fabric book.
This is a sneak peak at one of the pages - a wriggly worm constructed out of our Incomparable 'assorted green and yellow apples' fabric...available on spoonflower

This happy worm has eaten so many apples, he's turned into an orchard!

He's eyeing out those Incomparable flower buttons with an intensity that makes me wonder if he'll be metamorphosing into a bouquet worm soon!

I've made sure that the buttons are sewn down really really solidly but it will still be a book that requires supervision.

Friday, 4 November 2011

In the Dog Box...

Last night my hubby and I had a little spat...and I wondered to myself how we will be 10 years on...considering we've only been married for 10 months!

While things are back to normal now (and I'm fast coming to realise that normal means it looks like there has been a hurricane sweeping after him wherever he goes in the house - and not sweeping 'up' after him either unfortunately!), for a short while he was definitely 'in the dog box'

Which reminded me of this cute little stitch pattern Jen did a while back...I think this fabric covered box she created is just adorable...the perfect covering for a little trinket box.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Cupcake Booties

I made these little booties following this tutorial from Stardust Shoes.

The fusible interfacing that I used made the fabric on the upper part of the blue sheep shoes too hard and more rigid than the soles! Since these are not for walking in, I left it out of the pink cupcake booties and I prefer the shape and softness of these.

For the blue booties, I used some of our own Incomparable 'sheep on ribbon' fabric available from spoonflower and sewed a little sheep button on the back.

For the cupcake booties, I used Incomparable cupcakes fabric and sewed a cupcake over some ribbon for a bit of flair.

While I'm still fairly new to sewing and am loving it, I don't think I'll be opening an etsy shop anytime soon! Still a long way to go on neatness and finishes but I hope the recipients will enjoy seeing these covering their munchkins' toes!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Green Smoothies

And in this case, green bananas too (sorry didn't have any ripe ones for the photo!)

These green smoothies are incredibly healthy and delicious too.

I take a few handfuls of raw baby spinach and throw them into a blender along with a banana per person and some plain yoghurt (full fat Greek style - I'm not into low fat or fat free - cells need healthy fats to regenerate and these others are loaded with refined sugars)
those are the three basic ingredients...

then depending on what is in season and more importantly, in the fridge, I add:
a handful of strawberries,
kiwi fruit,
raw broccoli (I know!),
sunflower seeds,
pumpkin seeds...
I've also added citrus fruits - oranges, ruby grapefruit, some lemon juice.

Any or all of the above in varying combinations depending on what is on hand. If you don't have plain yoghurt, use a fruit flavour or leave it out altogether...this is the most flexible recipe ever!

and there you have a generous portion if not all of your five fruits and veg for the day.

It's great that they are raw so you are getting all the goodness.
It's even better as this is a really delicious drink.
And you can even con convince the kids to try it by telling them it is monster goo or was left behind by aliens in the night or is the staple drink of forest fairies...be creative...they're sure to love it.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Recycled Magazine Page Bunting

This has to be the quickest and easiest bunting out there - and it's fairly eye-catching too...

I bought 4 white cotton shoe laces, snipped off the ends and sewed them together into one continuous line...

Then found some fairly striking pictures in an old magazine that was lying around.

Cut out a template of an isoceles triangle (short on one side - the top, longer on the other two leading to your point - it's been a while since high school maths!) I left the top the same size as the top of the mag which left only 2 sides for trimming.

Cut out the pages using the triangle guide (I did them all at once which is probably not great for the scissors but a super time saver). I used pinking shears to get the lovely zig zag edge look.

Sewed with a straight stitch on the machine leaving a 3cm gap between each flag.
Ta-da - all done!

Next take your bunting around the house (and garden) for a photo shoot. My dear hubby was very enthusiastic initially and patient and put up with all my bossiness great direction!

If you have a particular theme in mind, start looking for magazine pages that suit it and keep them aside...for instance keep any suitable blue pictures for a boy's baby shower.
But really this bunting is so easy you could have a different one for each day of the week.

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