Saturday 20 September 2014

Upcycled Jeans - Handbag

So I've had an idea in my head for some time but this week I finally brought it to fruition!
The whole bag used under 1 pair of jeans; I was left with one whole leg which I'm sure I will find a use for! The jeans I used for this were a ladies size 16 although size doesn't really matter other than to make the finished bag size bigger or smaller.  

Other than the pair of jeans I used around a 1\2 metre of cotton fabric in this stunning retro skull pattern.

The bag was straight forward to make. I cut off the legs at the relevant place leaving enough in the main section to give me the depth of bag that I wanted. Don't throw those legs away though! We use them a bit later.  The crotch was cut open and the front/back and bottom sewn up.  I then put boxed corners into the bottom of the bag.

Next strips for the cross-body strap were cut from one of the legs. I cut three 1 3/4" wide strips for the strap and whilst there also cut three 1 1\2" strips for the decorative belt. Approximately 1" at the end of the strips were overlapped and topstitched together with a zigzag stitch. 

Slightly narrower strips were cut from the skull fabric and topstitched onto the denim strips that were cut at the last stage.  This left me with 2 long strips, one wider one for the strap and a narrower one for the decorative belt.  I finished these steps off by fraying the long edges to add to the hippy look of the bag.

I sewed the straps into the bag, pinning and trying on first in order to get the strap the length I wanted.  I strengthened these stitches by double sewing as well as sewing in a cross to reinforce. 

Finally was the lining which I cut to fit the bag before sewing the sides up and boxing the corners to match the outside bag.  The lining was then painstakingly hand stitched into the bag ensuring to stretch the stretchy and elastic denim out to fit the lining.

So this was surprisingly easy to make, with the hardest  (for "hardest" read instead "most tedious / most likely to turn my finger end into a painful mess")  job being the many many teeny tiny overhand stitches to sew the lining into the bag. I did not want to machine stitch the lining in and spoil the outside appearance of the bag; so finger stabbing stitches through the thick denim was my alternative! 

Well, I'm very glad that I endured the monotony because the hand stitched finish is so much cleaner and attractive looking!

So that finishes this blog post!  I think I am going to add a small piece of Velcro into the from pockets just to keep them from gaping open whilst in use and may also add an applique of one of the skulls from the fabric to the front although I've not completely made up my mind on that point. 

Anyway, thankyou so much for stopping my and reading my blog.  Every view means a lot to me, and every comment means even more.

Sam x

Wednesday 17 September 2014

CRIPPLE - What's In A Word?

"You shouldn't call yourself a cripple"
Right, so this has been irking me for a few days after it was reported back to me that some family members seemingly took offense to the title of this blog.
Well, I must say that I take offense to them taking offense..... ugh whatever!
I am not alone in the disabled community to reclaim ownership of this word and flip it on its head.

Undoubtedly "Cripple" is not a nice word, but that is kind of the point! 
To put it in the simplest way possible, think of it like a trend which is emulating the now mostly accepted use of the word "queer" to describe a gay person (I am gay myself).  Similar, maybe more so, is the term "nigger" to label a person who is black.  This, like "cripple" still has some way to go until it becomes acceptable for non-disabled or non-black people to use the word in every day life.
When used as a slur the word cripple is clearly being used to insinuate that the persons disability is something to be ashamed of and/or ridiculed.  I have had this shouted at me, amongst other unimaginative choices of words, in the street on more than one occasion and yes, it bloody well hurts!  It also hurts to have people telling me that I should not use this word myself as though my disability is something that should never be talked about.  
Now that doesn't mean that I should not be free to use the word myself.  Only once the word stops having prejudicial connotations, or at least gets much nearer to that point, will it then be okay to be used in everyday talk.  I am a person who strongly supports minorities or oppressed persons in reclaiming so called offensive words.
WE CAN turn those words on their head so as to remove any power those which aim to oppress us may have in using them in an offensive way. 
After writing this blog entry I chose to do a bit of Googling on this subject and you would be surprised just how many disabled bloggers are out there using the word Cripple or Crip in their blog titles or blurb.  I did also come across  THIS DISABLED BLOGGER EXPLAINING THEIR USE OF THE WORD.   Well worth a read to those who want to read a little more about this subject.
I'll finish with a quote from the blog linked in the previous paragraph:
"It is up to each individual crip to decide their comfort level with the word,
and it is the job of their friends and family to respect that"
Sam x
P.S - The disability I have is called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (or CMT for short!).  It has nothing to do with teeth, but if you are interested in finding out more about CMT then pop over to for September is International CMT Awareness Month!... You are also welcome to ask me anything at all about CMT and how it affects me, I'm not shy!

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Peg Loom Weaving with a friend

Yesterday I had a lovely day out a Farfield Mill in Sedbergh with a crafty friend.  I met Joanna through my favourite Facebook group, CRAFT, CHAT, SHARE & CARE which is run by another crafty friend, Judith Taylor-Wright.
Joanna and I are not too far away from one another so decided to get together for a crafty session!  Joanna brought along enough sheep to clothe a flock of sheep and taught me Peg Loom weaving.
Oh my, how addictive!  I can see so much potential for  these strips and mats of woven wool! 
Anyway, here is what I came away with after a fun filled day!

And here is one of my mutts, thoroughly interrogating the new arrival!

Sunday 14 September 2014

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

CMT sucks, that's as pure and simple as I can put it! Charcot-Marie-Tooth is a very disabling condition and seeing as it is currently CMT Awareness Month I want to do my bit and direct my fellow bloggers to, the UK's official charity for those with CMT, or those who just want to find out a little more about the disease.
Anyway, Yes, I AM disabled but I still like to have a bit of a boogie now and then... in my very own style of course... The upper body boogie or chair dance haha!!
I made this the other day using an image I coloured a week or so ago. My very first art journal page! ... Also my first try with stencils and texture paste.
I think I'm a complete convert! I just love the free and easy way of laying down layers.

The image is coloured with Promarkers and is "Spanish Dancer" by Treasured Times Stamps.  The stencils are both by Dutch Doobadoo.
Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving comments.
I would please like to enter this journal page into the following challenges:

Sunday 7 September 2014

Oh yeah!... I won again!

Wow! Another Challenge win under my belt! I chosen as the winner of August's "Anything Goes" challenge over at Crafty Calendar Challenges!

I won with my favourite make recently too... my 52 Reasons Album that I made for my partner when we celebrated our 10 year anniversary last month.

You can find my 52 Reasons Album blog post HERE.

Thank you to the Crafty Calendar Challenge Blog for picking me as your winner, and thank you to Hobbybook for sponsoring!!

This week I'm working on another very large batch of Cat Cushions in between making a handbag using an upcycled pair of jeans. I'm also making myself a pair of trousers!  The first item of clothing I've made so it will remain to be seen whether they resemble trousers at the end of the project!

Friday 5 September 2014

Farewell dear little Sheldon

Some may know that I very sadly lost a beloved pet to a sudden illness on Tuesday night and this has just devastated me and completely broken my spirit.

I am struggling to regain any sense of normality and have found myself stuck in a cycle of very temporary normal moments, which the memory of my loss steamrollers through leaving me bereft once again.

I spent time with Sheldon today (he has joined our other rainbow bridge piggies in his own "pig pot" in the garden). I just started crying once more and couldn't stop

Many may think that Sheldon was "just a guinea pig" but to those I simply say "Frell You!"; Sheldon was the most laid back pig, always up for a cuddle session or to just sit with his head up my sleeve or in my jumper just chilling!

So please folks, if you are expecting anything from me at the moment, please give me time. (Fundraisers, Charity commitments, Make It Sew Orders....)

And yes, I do realise that it is 5.30am, and no I've not had any sleep.... sleep is seriously evading me to once again.

Regarding Winnie the guinea pig, the vet and I are exploring possible hormone treatment for her mammary tumors; which have worsened significantly since initial discovery. She has also gone and got herself a hay stick injury to her eye! Luckily I spotted this very quickly, cleaned the eye out and started treatment with eye drops. I am seeing an improvement already.

I do hope the vet can suggest a treatment plan for the tumors that gives her as much time with us as possible.

I just couldn't bear to lose another piggy.  Both the girls are noticeably quieter without Sheldon which is sad to see. Luckily they have each other and have a good bond.