Is it Time for Tea?

About two weeks ago I went into my local Charity store to have a look around and see if there was anything I needed which I didn’t know I needed until I saw *it*. (what ever *it* might be).

Amongst the china were some little cups and saucers which someone had made into pin cushions. “One of those would be great to replace my current pin cushion, because the one I’ve got has really had its day!”  I said to Mr. Cobs.  So I duly bought said pin cushion and took it home.

The following day I found that this ‘pin cushion’ didn’t want to the job it was supposed to do at all.  The felt which the maker had used as the ‘cover’ was that thick childrens felt – and it just didn’t want to accept that it’s job was to allow pins through it.  After a week of trying to jiggle (force) pins into it, I was about to throw the whole thing in the bin in frustration,  but something told me I should try removing the red velvet ribbon around the rim of the teacup, and the white felt – along with whatever was inside that felt,   and, if the cup was still in an OK condition, perhaps I could re-make the pin cushion.  So I did.  And it was.  So I did!

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Cleaned up nicely!

I cleaned up the glue and bits of velvet threads stuck to the cup by using an emery board, then gave it a wipe.  I then went and had a bit of a look through my bits of fabric box.  I found some bits of soft denim fabric from some old striped jeans I had and laid it flat on my desk and with a chalk pencil I drew around the saucer (and added about half an inch, just to be sure).  I then did a running stitch all around the circle of denim, and left a long thread at the end – but didn’t knot or over-sew the end as I wanted to be able to draw that circle together.

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The cup itself (without the saucer) is just a shade under 6cm tall – which is around 2.25 inches.  Such a tiny little cup.

Then using some foam (from an unused sponge),  which I’d cut to shape (so that I could see that it fitted into the cup as I wanted it to do), and then wrapped a little toy stuffing (or cushion pad inner stuffing) around the outside of the sponge, to give it a bit of a filler to make it more ’rounded’ in shape.

I sat this wrapped sponge onto the middle of the circle of fabric and began to pull the loose threads, which in turn began to gather up around the foam.  This is a part that you have to do carefully, as you want to make sure that all the foam and stuffing are in the exact places you need it to be, and that it’s all encased inside that fabric.

After this, I re-threaded the needle with those threads and stitched the gathered up denim closed, so that it wouldn’t come undone.

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The width of the saucer is roughly 10.3cm – which is around 4 inches.

I tested it in the cup to make sure I’d got it just right, then, using Pinflair Glue Gel in a syringe, I squeezed out a thin line of Glue Gel all around  (about an inch down)  the inside of the top of the cup, then carefully placed the denim ‘parcel’ into the cup,  and once happy, I gave a gentle press downwards, to make sure that the fabric actually was at the bottom of the cup, and that it had touched the glue gel, all the way around and so would stick & be held in place.

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Then it was simply a case of decorating around the edge.  I chose some Jumbo Ric-Rac and some tiny dollshouse  Pom-Pom Trim in the same shade of pink as the Ric-Rac,  and hand stitched them around the edge,  to finish it all off.

This was SO easy to make that I think even Little Cobs (grandson) could manage this one.  And the best thing about this?   From start (removing the old ‘pin cushion’), to finish ….  the whole thing took me about 30 minutes!  One – Half an Hour craft project!

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Handle to the left ….

Oh!  Hang on….  NO!!!  The  BEST  THING  about  this  is  . . .   IT NOW TAKES PINS It’s now a really real Pin Cushion!

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. . .  and handle to the right!  …   A view from above, so that you’ve ‘seen’ all the way around it, in case you want to make one for yourself … or for someone else.

If you do decide to make one of these for yourself....  the day before you actually make it, glue the cup to the saucer with some strong glue.  Not crafters glue, or PVA.  Use something which is suitable for china.

If you have Pinflair Glue Gel, I’d guess that would do a great job – but remember to put enough glue on (which ever glue you use), because there’s a little rim around the bottom of a cup (normally), which will make the base of the cup stand proud from the saucer – so you need to put enough glue so that it makes a good grab onto the saucer and the cup.

And that’s all there is to it!

This was such an easy make that I wasn’t going to post about it.  I felt like a bit of a fake because I hadn’t sweat blood and tears over it.  But then I thought that maybe there might be someone who needed a pin cushion and so could make something like this in their spare time.  

Happy Thursday all.  Sending squidges to you, from me!

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Tea or Coffee, my Fabulous Friend?

Personally, I’m a coffee drinker.  But I’m more than happy to make you tea…  or  –  we could go out to that lovely little tea room, here in town, where everything feels like it belongs in the 1940’s and 1950’s?  There’s even a good old-fashioned Globe of the World in the window which has paled with time, and harsh sunshine.  They have cakes under domes, and table cloths, and it looks kind of kitsch and is painted all lemony.

Remember those carnival type ornaments which we were told were precious (when we were little), but they were actually made of a chalk like substance and if they got chipped, you could see the white chalky ‘stuff’ inside.  They have some of those there too, decorating the walls or placed around the tea shop in strategic places.  (I’m not sure if they really were worth something – a genuine ‘collectible’  type of thing, – or if they were just precious because of the memories attached to them).

Or, we could go round the corner to that much-loved cottage tea room, which has a courtyard garden.  It’s very lovely in there and just a little bit ‘vintage swish’ too – and we can sit in the garden if the weather is good, or inside if it’s a little chilly!

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OK.. so I’ve got mine,  . . .   what are you going to order for yourself?

Anyhoo . . .

I made a card asking my fabulous friend if you’d like to share a coffee, or a tea, with me… while you peruse this latest offering from the Cobweb.

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The paper in the background is just so lovely.  Just the right blue, with little circles made from pearly white dots,  and perfect for what I needed, but I don’t know who’s paper it actually is.  It was still in it’s ‘book’ – but the front cover has disappeared  –  leaving me without even a note!  tsk tsk.  The cup and saucer are Tilda.  Yes indeedly doodly!  None of those cheap market stall cups and saucers for you!  However, I fussy cut into parts of it in order to make it what I needed it to be, then covered the original ‘picture’ of a glittered star (in the saucer) with proper glitter, in two colours to give it a little more depth.

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The doilies, flowers, cotton muslin (behind the flowers) and the hat pins all came from my stash.  The Pearl Strand of small, medium and large pearls which trails around the card, is by Anna-Marie Designs.

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soft little fabric roses all sewn onto a ribbon of net.

The little fabric roses (shown above) – which run along the top and the bottom of the card, actually came from The Range.  I’m hoping that The Range still has these in stock (I doubt it) because I absolutely love them.  They’re so soft, so pretty and so light weight.  They go into envelopes easily but then pop back up again upon opening, and they don’t add any weight to posting a card either.

And that, as all the very best Magicians say, is all there was to it!

Happy Wednesday all!  Monday and Tuesday just flew past and I now find myself in the middle of the week with what feels like a gazillion things which I need to do, and not enough days left in this week in which to do them!  Honestly, I swear to Dog that since we moved to the seaside, someone is taking whole chunks of hours, days and sometimes even getting very cheeky and stealing a whole week out of my time, for time, apparently, flies past like it’s on the wings of a jumbo jet!  Aw, enough moaning Cobs!

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Sowhat about you. what are you up to today?  Going anywhere?  Doing anything?  Supposed to be doing something but want to do something else instead?  Go on, tell me all about it.  It’s just you and me (and a few others), and I’m not going to tell anyone!

Wishing you a truly Wonderful Wednesday.  May the sun shine, if the wind blows, may it blow softly, and may you end the day with a gentle smile and the knowledge that life, even if a bit tough sometimes, is still good.

Sending you my love, and a special Cobs squidge!

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There’s more to make-overs than surgery, clothes and cosmetics!

I have a couple of cup/mug coasters (mats) in my craftroom.  One to the right of my computer (no-one can sit at a computer without a coffee or a tea to one side), and another on what I call my ‘work desk’ – where I do the majority of my crafty things.  BUT … both of these mats are rather, umm…  old and grubby looking.  Bits of paint; spills – which although I’ve wiped up, have still stained;  little bits pull off where I’ve sat some Sellotape (well-known brand of sticky tape in the UK – yes, I know that Sellotape is the name of .. erm .. something else in another country).  Well look … why don’t I just face the shame and show you what one mat looked like.  Are you ready?  ……

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When these were new, I absolutely adored them.  I have some  Cornishware  storage pots and other bits and pieces in my kitchen, and my dining room (in our previous cottage) linked to the kitchen and was very English country cottagey in style so these mats fitted in perfectly.

But …  years later . . .  they really aren’t good for man nor beast, as you can see,  hence the reason they’re in my craft room.  However … I looked at them a couple of days ago and said [to no one in particular]  … “those really need to be thrown away”.

A voice boomed over me like it came from out of the Heavens.  “WHAT DOES?”  (made me jump I can tell you!) … “Uh?”  I swung around on my chair to see Mr. Cobs stood behind me.  “Ohh… these.  <picking up the cup mat>  Look at these . . .   they really have seen their day and I sadly think it’s time to go.”   “No!  Don’t throw them away … paint them!  Paint something on them.  Flowers or something.  Paint something, like you used to!“.

Hmmm… Ok, I could see where he was going with this.  “That’s a good idea, you clever chap.  I shall do that very thing.  But … would you rub them down for me?”  (He knows I hate sandpaper.  It makes my flesh recoil.  <shudder>).  So he did … and this was the result:

Cup Mat Make-over 2

The top layer was actually a paper/card layer, so rubbing the top down wasn’t difficult, but it did leave ridges which were impossible to totally get rid of.  Since the cup mats were only for me in my craft room I thought that I could get away with a few ridges.  So I set to work with some paints.  I first did two coats of Gesso – to help give it a ‘base’ to work on, and also to kind of help smooth out the ridges a little.  Then I gave it a coat of good quality black acrylic.

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If you look carefully at the above photo you can see some of the ridges.  The coat of black paint was done in order to dull the next coat a little.  Kind of ‘knock back’ the colour I was going to apply next – a deep blue colour which I’d hand mixed –  and the black would ensure that the navy stayed ‘flat’ or kind of dull, in colour.

Once the navy was dry I could then begin a ‘picture’ of some description.  ….  Can you tell what it is yet?

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Well I’m committed now so I’d better get on with it …

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Now can you see what it is?  🙂  Yeah, it’s a Goose!  But … the chest is a bit flat there, isn’t it?  Aw, don’t worry … that bit is going to be hidden anyway so I won’t trouble myself about it.

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This photo (above) I took with a flash, with the blind up, and two craft lamps on, so that you can see some of the details which I’ve added … like the shading under his/her chin, shading under the tummy and some detail to the feet.

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I realised that I hadn’t shown you the colours of paints I’d used/be using on this project, so I took the opportunity of adding in the pots of colours while showing you that I’d changed his/her bow from looking like a Christmas red, into a tartan bow.  (I didn’t want anyone to think he was the fatted goose which we were all going to feast on at Christmas!  eeek!).

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Surrounded by a vine, and four freshly laid eggs.

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Finally … three LIGHT coats of a spray varnish and it’s finished.  You can see  from the background in this photo –  that the ridges from the sanded paper were still there … but they really aren’t that noticeable anymore.

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Want to know the funny thing about this?  I am scared of geese (and horses, but we’ll talk about those another time)  … and what’s more … they KNOW IT TOO!  If ever I go anywhere where there are geese  … they surround my car until they’ve discovered the door which I need to get out of and then they  gather around the door and stand there LAUGHING AT ME.  They know I’m scared silly, and they mock me with their gaggling honks and giggling laughs.

If I visit somewhere – a lake, a walk with a stream running along side … and there are geese … those little bu&&ers make it their ambition to get to me and chase me. Honking all the way.

And yet … here I am painting a goose on one of my cup mats.  AM I CRAZY???  Obviously so.

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When I’d finished painting this mug mat, I did have a little wonder to myself if perhaps this sort of thing would make a rather nice Christmas present for someone.  You could buy some MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard – sorry folks outside the UK but I don’t know what you call this where you are) and if you’re handy with a saw (or have someone handy with a saw) you could cut the MDF to size and paint a set of four/six coasters for someone special.

OR … if you have a child at school … how about a personalised mug mat for the teacher, as a Christmas present? (or present for anyone at any time).  Just a thought.  🙂

Happy Wednesday all.  Make it a good memory day.

Sending squidges your way  ~

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