Yo Yos

How To Make Fabric Yo Yos

Fabric Yo YosHere you go, what you’ve all been waiting for; how to make fabric yo yos!

They’re really easy and cute.  Should I ever get my act together and sew something worth while like a fancy dress, or bed spread I might adorn it with yo yos aplenty!


  • Fabric Yo YosCut out a circle of fabric (the resulting yo yo will be half the size of the original circle), I used a roll of tape as a template.
  • Fold the edge of the circle over and sew with a running stitch.
  • Once you’ve sewn all the way around pull gently on the loose end of thread.
  • Add a couple of stitches to keep it all in place, then tie off the thread and cut off the excess.
  • Flatten the yo yo own.
  • Voila!
  • I glue on some little flower thingies my mum got me that I have absolutely no other use for.


Fabric Yo Yo

Helen Friel

Cool Find- Helen Friel Paper Artist

Helen Friel is a London based paper engineer which is one of those made-up sounding careers that I totally should have taken up.  It does seem that her job is just to make paper things for photo shoots for magazines to accompany articles but what she makes is quite cool.

IntotheVoid Helen Friel

This image was for the Time Magazine article ‘Into the Void’. 


This was a piece from a solo show she did at Coningsby Gallery in 2013

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How To Make An Easy Father’s Day Card

Here is how to make a super easy father’s day card using photographs. All you need is some photographs, card, scissors, and glue.  If you are using digital photos you will need to print them out.

How To Make A Father's Day CardFirst I printed out the word DAD is a large clear font onto plain paper and cut out the outline.

Then I found three pictures of my dad on my computer and lined them up in a word document and printed them out on nice glossy photo paper.   The reason I placed them in a word doc first is so that I could make them all the same size.  I used three images, one for each letter of the word DAD- so I needed to make sure my photos were the same size as each other and the letters I had already printed .How To Make A Father's Day Card

Then I placed the first letter onto the first word and cut around the letter.  You need to keep booth pieces of paper still while you do this which can be a little tricky.  Do the same for the other two letters.

How To Make A Father's Day CardThen I got my card and folded it in half .  Then I took the images (now cut into letters) and glued them to my card.

Ta da!


Football Brownies

World Cup Football Brownies

Boyfriend made these brownies and I thought they were soooo cute and timely (the football World Cup just around the corner*).  I was going to post the recipe for a cake I made but I’ll save that for later!

I don’t have the recipe for these bad boys as boyfriends used a brownies cake mix, in fact basically everything he used came pre-made.  He is a cheat.

Football Pitch Brownies

He used brownies for the base.  He made the grass from crumble mix with green food colouring (he used pre-made crumble mix despite me telling him you can just make it from flour, sugar, and butter at a ratio of 2:1:1).  He used bits of galaxy caramel for the goals, painted the lines on with white writing icing, and little meringues for the footballs.

*If you’re American and have no concept of how the UK reacts to the World Cup imagine Thanksgiving and the Superbowl, and all the other holidays put together but with more chanting and foreign names.

Celery Soup

How to Make Healthy Vegetarian Celery Soup

So if you were wondering what to do with celery here’s my answer: celery soup!  It’s really healthy and vegetarian which is how I roll.  I also like recipes where all the ingredients are things you can eat raw without dying!*celery soup


  • 150g chopped celery
  • chopped clove of garlic (fyi a bulb is the full thing, a clove is one of the little wedges inside)
  • chopped onion
  • 200ml veg stock
  • oil
  • single cream for garnish

This is a really quick and simple recipe.

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the celery, garlic, onion, and fry on a low heat.
  2. Cook for about 5mins to soften.
  3. Make the veg stock and pour into the saucepan.
  4. Pour everything in a blender and blitz.
  5. Pour into a bowl and add a splash of single cream

How To Make Celery SoupThat’s it.

I said this was a healthy recipe and it’s certainly low calorie; 150g of celery has about 15 calories in it!  But that’s obvs not enough to live on and it contains no carbs or protein to speak of.  I suggest doing what I did which is having the soup with cheese on toast to make it more substantial.  Or have the soup for starter (in which case I would halve the quantity).

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*I tried food poisoning once and I don’t recommend it!  I also don’t recommend drinking the tap water in Venice!

Manchester Costume Gallery

Manchester Costume Gallery

Finally had a long awaited trip to the Manchester Costume Gallery which features examples of clothes throughout history(from C17th to present day).  The museum isn’t very big but the clothes they have seem to be in excellent condition and are displayed well.

Costume Gallery Manchester


There was also a temporary exhibition of Ossy Clark clothes (who is a designer from the 70’s).

Manchester Costume Gallery
Ossy Clark

Fashion isn’t really my thing- I have big problems with the fashion industry which forces us to want things we can’t have, can’t afford, can’t fit into- but I do like clothes.   And while studying the history of fashion might seem frivolous it’s actually quite interesting to see how fashions have changed for social reasons like world wars and rationing or because women had a changing place in society.


Sherlock Bones

Book Review- Sherlock Bones by Yuma Ando and Yuki Sato

Sherlock BonesBoyfriend gave me a book for my birthday; a graphic novel called Sherlock Bones.  It is Japanese style meaning it reads right to left and confuses me every time I pick it up but it is in English so I can understand once I figure out which way to open it!  It is the story of THE WORLD’S CUTEST DOG who is the reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes, he can only talk to his teenage owner Takeru and they solve crimes.

I liked the book for a few reasons:

  • The dog is very cute! And referred to as Sherlock Bones in the title of the book, but Sherdog throughout.
  • There are nice references to Sherlock Holmes (who knew he was big in Japan?) such as Sherdog calling Takeru’s sister Irene after a significant woman in Sherlock Holmes’ life.
  • Much of Takeru’s motivation for solving crimes is to protect and help Miki Arisaka, the girl at school he has a crush on and is incapable of speaking to sensibly which rang quite true.
  • The crimes are more grim than the cuteness of Sherdog would suggest, there’s one story of an actress being stalked and murdered before she can reveal the truth about her friend’s suicide, and a creepy doctor taking naked pictures of schoolgirls and putting them online.  That last story is somewhat voyeuristic as although the story is about how awful the crime is the artist Yuki Sato still felt the need to draw these naked pictures for us to look at.  This sat a little uncomfortably for me which is a shame because there was so much else to like.
  • One of the main characters is Airin Wajima (Takeru’s sister) is a Police Office in the Violent Crimes Division.  In the tradition of Japanese graphic novels she’s quite a looker but she’s also smart and has a job worth coveting making her something of a female role model.
  • If you open the book the wrong way around (Western style) you are met with a big STOP sign and a little explanation about the correct way to read Manga style books- helpful!

In summary: it’s about a cute talking dog, set in Japan, who is or thinks he is an C18th English detective, and there are some dark storylines- what’s not to like!

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Steampunk Costume- Ruched Skirt

I did a post before about a fabric haul I had made with the intention of making a steampunk costume.  Boyfriend and I are thinking of going to a steampunk event and I’ve been planning my costume.  If you do a google search you will find some really cool outfits but also a lot of ladies who seem to forgotten to put there clothes on (there does seem to be a big steampunk/burlesque/porn crossover on the web, but then most things crossover with porn on the web I guess…), these are some of the pictures I’ve been using for inspiration:

Steampunk ideas1

I started off with the skirt which I felt would be the easiest part of the costume.  I wanted a ruched skirt (ruched in the front and flat in the back to accommodate the bustle I plan to make) with a tulle/gauzy underskirt.  I didn’t have enough gauzy fabric for a full skirt so I just made a poufy bit and sewed it on the bottom of the skirt!

Ruched skirt Steampunk Ruched skirt Steampunk Costume

1, I had a rectangle of fabric large enough to go around my widest point.  I hemmed the bottom.

2, I created the waistband which is a tube for elastic to go.

3 +4, I fed the elastic through the waistband.

5, I loosely sewed along the bottom of my gauzy fabric (without back stitching).

6, I pulled one of the threads which ruched the fabric.


1, I ruched the skirt and planned out how I wanted it to look.

2, I pinned the wrong side of the skirt where I wanted the ruching.

3, I sewed it.

4, This is the right side of the skirt.  I actually added some more ruching to it though.





Steampunk Ruched Skirt Steampunk Ruched Skirt



And this is the finished skirt- not totally convinced by the ruffly fake underskirt but I can edit the costume as I go.

I am going to add a long bustle on the back, and wear it with a blouse.  And then either a waistcoat or blazer (corsets are popular but hard to make and, I assume, uncomfortable to wear).

Evelyn Bracklow

Cool Find- Artist Evelyn Bracklow

Evelyn Bracklow has painted ants onto china, and I approve wholeheartedly, although I do feel slightly itchy.  She has made them for La Phille b decorating old porcelain pieces, each piece is hand painted and signed.  And as you might imagine they are really rather expensive, think £140 for a cup.

Evelyn Brackow Evelyn Brackow

T-shirt Adjustment

How To Make A Round Neck Into A V Neck- T-Shirt Alteration

I got a  t-shirt in New York in a child’s size because it was cheaper and fits fine apart from the neckline which is a bit tight and I would prefer it in a V-neck.  So I decided to re cut the neckline.  I could have created a new collar from spare jersey but I decided to use the original collar.  So here’s what to do:

  • Unpick the neckline at the front
  • Cut the neckline into a V shape (don’t cut the collar)
  • Stretch the collar as much as possible
  • Reattached the collar to the new neckline

v neck

v neck1

As you can see the result isn’t as smooth as the original collar because the jersey is being stretched but I quite like that.









If you want to see a video of how I do it it’s here: