Friday, 18 January 2013



I have admired from afar the Zakka style makes cropping up all over blogland, and have been lucky enough to have two beauties made for me

My fab sewing kit from Jan


and my pen holder from Sarah


But I have never fully understood what Zakka style meant, so I went investigating..... found the Zakka style book in the local library, and went googling.

According to Wikipedia.....

Zakka (from the Japanese 'zak-ka'(雑貨)or 'many things') is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin, but it can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. In Japan there are also so-called Asian zakka stores; that usually refers to Southeast Asia. The interest in Nordic design or Scandinavian design, both contemporary and past, is also part of this zakka movement. Zakka can also be contemporary handicraft.
Zakka has also been described as "the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane". The zakka boom could be recognized as merely another in a series of consumer fads, but it also touches issues of self-expression and spirituality. "Cute, corny and kitschy is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, and laden with subtext."

Mmmm now that's quite a tall order for a small handmade item. 

But with that book on loan, I obviously I had to have a go at making something.

Here's my first attempt

DSC_0807 With a bird theme DSC_0801

This is not for me, it's going on it's travels hopefully to improve 'home, life and appearance' for someone else!!

Right I'm off to practice "the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane".


Friday, 11 January 2013

moan, moan, moan

I don't usually grumble on my blog.....  so close this link now if you like.

But I would quickly like to get some things off my chest.

When we were away over Christmas my bike was nicked out of the shed.   So, no bike at present.

Last week I left Mark's good camera (the one I use for my blog photos) on the kitchen work surface.  Small person managed to reach it and pull it onto the floor smashing the lens.  So, no camera lens at present.

Spent this morning at A and E with same small person who had a piece of lego stuck up her nose.  Fabulous service from the NHS, so no lego up nose at present.


Attempted to make stash bee block today.  Despite this being a "stash" bee I had already had to buy £10 of fabric to make the block as once again for this month's block my stash did not contain the colours specified.  Also needed was a dresden ruler.  Not owning one of those, I did some creative improvising.


My creative improvising did not work.  Currently the peppermint wheel is huge..... like ridiculously huge. 


Now, I have a dilemma whether to continue wasting fabric on this pin wheel (and possibly turn it into a cushion for myself), or send it as it is (not sure about that plan as I think the queen bee would be horrified), or start all over again, at the moment there is a risk of almost the whole tenner of fabric being wasted.

On the brighter side...... because there always is one!

I have made two more birthday presents - for twins.

DSC_0799 DSC_0800

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Hello 2013

I love this time of year...... a whole year stretching ahead, empty diaries waiting to be filled with fun things. Plans and thoughts of how to spend the year, do things a bit differently this time.... hopes and fears for what is to come.

As this is primarily a sewing blog, I won't bore you with the non sewing related ideas I have for 2013, but I looked back at my thoughts at the beginning of 2012. (You can see them here)

How did I get on with my intentions for 2012?

1) Participate in a sewing swap - any good (and not too difficult ones) that anyone could recommend would be good.

I have enjoyed three swaps this year..... mouthy stitches and scrappy swap

2) Do another Sew Mama Sew give away

Yes, did this in December

3) Work out what exactly a 'bee' is, and hopefully make some squares to go towards a bee or charity quilt.

Oooo I definately know what a Bee is now! I have enjoyed a year of the Stash Bee, and sending blocks to Bee Blessed, and joined the fabulous HipBees part way through the year.

4) Make a small quilt

Well if you count my Christmas table runner and Dad's bookshelf quilt then yes (wouldn't really keep more than one knee warm, but hey)

5) Get my sewing machine serviced!

Yes.... it was slightly quieter for a while!

6) But...... huge excitement for me in 2012 - with trepidation I have booked a one day ticket for the Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat in London.

One of the highlights of my year was my day in London at the retreat last year.

So..... what would I like to acheive in 2013

1) I have set myself the challenge to make all the gifts that my kids give to their friends for birthdays.

2) Finish the quilt I have started

3) Do some more craft fairs

4) I will be Queen Bee twice this year..... so that's 2 more quilts to complete

5) Get a new sewing machine....... (this might well be possible as I have a big birthday coming up this year)

6) Hopefully our little 'Stitching it Together' group will continue and thrive and have fun sewing together.

So, starting as I mean to go on, the first birthday is here...... I have made this apron using this fab tutorial for a 4 year old. And will give this with a packet cookie mix and kids icing set. That's one down. I have decided each time I make something to also make a spare (so if birthdays surprise me there will be a stock, and these could go towards my next craft fair).


The scooter bag is finished.............

And Bee Blessed blocks for this month. They are for a Mums and Babies HIV unit in Ireland, this is an illness close to my heart so I might even make a few more, they were quick to whip up. Anyone else fancy joining in with Bee Blessed - then have a look here.

Which were made much easier with my new 12.5 inch grid that I was given for Christmas.....

This blog post has taken about a week to complete, because the button I usually use to upload my photos has disappeared!  Thanks so much to all of you who made suggestions for new ways to upload photos, I have managed to fetch these from my flickr photostream..... I really need to update my techy skills!

Happy New Year


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Help - can't upload blog photos!

Does anyone know what I can do to try and upload my photos again????

I have been trying to write a blog post for several days now, but when I click to add an image the usual 'browse' button is not there to choose a picture from my camera memory stick.....

Does anyone know where this might be? how I can get it back? or another way to upload camera images??


Tanya xx