Creative Upcycling Competition


Have I ever told you I’m a last minute person? Today is the closing date for an upcycling competition being held by Korbond, with a prize of a sewing machine its got to be worth an entry!

This week I read a great article “It can take an incredible 2700 liters of water to produce the cotton for just one single t-shirt. With only one percent of the world’s water supplies being clean and accessible, this is highly significant. Cotton farming also takes up agricultural land that could be used to produce food for local communities and it uses an extremely high number of chemicals during production.” (1millionwomen) Any competition which encourages extending the life of clothes needs to be supported.

The competition is to upcycle two garments into one. I new straight away that I wished to experiment with an old patchwork liberty waistcoat I made for a school project (25+ years ago) with sashiko inspired stitching.

A plan formed to create a skirt from a pair of cotton trousers, to be embellished with sashiko stitching and pieces of the liberty waistcoat.

Yesterday I finally spotted a pair of suitable trousers in a charity shop – today I spent stitching whilst listening to the radio, bliss.

Firstly I made the skirt (if you would like to know more about how to do that check out this tutorial).

Then the fun bit, I played with pieces of liberty fabric patchwork.

Lastly I hemmed the skirt – initially the plan was to turn under the hem ad hold with bondaweb. However this didn’t pan out so instead I used bias binding.

The project took the morning, what a lovely morning.

Plus I was treated to a great radio program “Tunes from the Trash” all about trash turned into musical instruments in Paraguayan. A program after my heart:)

Shortlisted garments will be shown at the Sewing for Pleasure event at NEC on the 19-21st March, with the winner chosen by the public. I expect there to be some high caliber entries, I look forward to seeing the upcycled garments.


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DIY Valentines heart and key picture

DIY Valentines heart and key picture

Remember the large box of keys my husband bought home for me to upcycle?? It prompted some thoughts about keys, the symbolism of our homes. If we are fortunate our home can mean so much; warmth, stability, security.

I thought it would be fun to create a picture of former childhood homes brought together to our married home (especially with Valentines coming up).

If you would like to make map heart picture for Valentines (engagement, wedding gift etc) you will need a printer, keys, and a box frame.

Start by searching for free maps on line (in the UK you can use Maps4free). Enter the location. Using the snipping tool highlight the area you wish and copy onto a word document, repeat for the second two locations. I copied snippets across which filled approximately half the word document per image. Print off the map for the three locations.

Cut out three hearts, the first two of the former homes being identical size the third a little larger. Mine measure approximately. You can download a template here.

Print two templates. Use one as a guide to cut out your hearts (I suggest cutting slightly larger), place on top of your outline shapes and adhere with a glue stick.

Using copydex place a key on each map (this covers the red your are here marker from Maps4free). Allow to fully dry, trim to size and frame in a box frame.



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Product Photography At Home, Craftsy Class – Review

Product Photography At Home, Craftsy Class – Review
This post contains affiliate links

I am always striving to improve my photography skills. Good images are essential to running a blog and Etsy shop. But it is always an area I feel I can improve on. I am fortunate to have a DSLR and am comfortable using the aperture settings, but that’s about it… The camera is capable of so much more.

I have treated myself to the Product Photography at Home Craftsy Class by Jessica Marquez.

The course is broken down into seven sections:


How did I find the class? Would it be useful to you?

Personally I feel the course is perfect for people who are new to product photography, or new to a DSLR camera. It is particularly helpful about taking great photographs with the equipment you already have – such as maximizing window light. There are lots of helpful affordable tips for creating your own reflectors and back drops. The course is great for those wishing to take sharp clear styled images for selling products, but this is just as transferable for taking good images for blogging, social media etc..

These are the tips which resonated with me.

Lesson 2-
ISO- this is the old fashioned speed of a film, explains the difference between a 100 and 500. Jessica helpfully give suggestions for appropriate ISO numbers for different light situations

Lesson 3 –

There are lots of useful tips to help you understand the impact of different light. Jessica demonstrates the same image taken every hour through the day. Its interesting to see the impact of the sun direction change.

Lesson 5 –

Using models, this something I avoid! But Jessica is great at explaining ways of working with models, how to encourage them to relax. She demonstrates the real advantages of using a person to give a sense of style and product size.

Lesson 6 –

Product styling, this is an area I am keen to improve. I felt I gained some valuable tips but feel as though personally I need to continue to experiment and play with ideas.

Overall: As a result of the course I feel comfortable playing with different settings on my phone. The biggest lesson learnt is changing the ISO on my camera to it is suitable for the light I am shooting in.

Would I recommend the course? Definitely. Even if you have a fair grasp of your camera there will be something in this course for you. The course covers far more than I can mention!

Today only the course is £24.61 half price! click here to find more info and read other reviews,


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I am inspired by our wonderful world, creation is constant and yet changing. I feel it is important to respect the environment and where possible to upcycle/recycle. Blessed with creativity I try to appreciate it and develop it:) Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please do sign up to follow my journey:)

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