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What I discovered about sugar free and Crafting

After going sugar free for a whole month I can safely say that my body thanked me.  In fact it does make you wonder why I even started eating sugar again, I guess that is the addictive nature of sugar.  I will go back to lowering my sugar intake.

Crafting however is a whole other story.  What I discovered is that I just do not have enough hours in the day to be able to do all the things I would like to do.  I tried quite a few new things, have started soap making, had a go at clay charms, got busy on the allotment, lined up some DIY, made many different items for my business and personally but there is no way I could achieve, remotely, 28 days of crafting!

It did make me realise that I need to organise my time better and since finishing the challenge I have made more time for me and doing things for me.  Didn’t make myself an outfit, it is still on the to do list! *sigh*.

I did manage to do some importing, something new to me, does that count as crafting 😉  Pom pom trim is just so adorable, I haven’t decided what I want to make with it, yet.

 

Pom Pom trim all

 

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Sugar Free half way there

Half way there and still going strong.  I am amazed at how well I feel, the aches and pains I usually have in the morning are so diminished I barely notice them.  I sleep really well, wake up feeling, well awake.

Not going to lie though, it is hard eating out with your no sugar rule.  You have to take a leap of faith and order carefully.  I went away for the weekend just gone so my daughter had plenty of things she could nibble on but all I could find for myself was some grapes (not too many) and salted cashews (my goodness they are moreish).  First meal out I had a local ham salad.  Cant fault it, pushed the croutons to one side, the ham was lovely and thick and the salad was filling.  Evening meal was a little more tricky but found a brocolli and cauliflower bake and had extra salad instead of the chips.  I would assume there was maybe some flour in the cheese sauce but as an overall I think it was good.

Full English breakfast, minus the fried bread (I really wanted the fried bread, hadn’t had any in years), set me up for the day.  I am so glad the sugar waves and crashes no longer affect me, makes such a difference to be able to go a good few hours between eating and not feel that crash and panic.

As of today, I have lost 5% of my body weight and more cloths are starting to fit me again!

Crafting wise I have tried some clay modelling, made a pea pod charm.  I have completely messed up the kitchen by making some bath bombs and toilet bombs.  More practise is required there, but they smell so good.  It has amused my daughter and myself that whilst washing your hands afterwards your hands fizz up and tickle.  Next challenge will be soap making!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sugar Free Week and Crafting heaven

After deciding to do the sugar free challenge and combine it with crafting  I did wonder how hard it was going to be.  I love to bake and to cook and feed my little girl too.  I was surprised, however, at how quickly the sugar cravings stopped.  My body no longer has that ‘I need to eat something now’ panicky feeling, the rummage around the kitchen cupboards searching out anything to eat to satisfy the urge.  Yesterday was the first day I have felt hungry, my fault really as I left it too long between meals and had to go shopping.  I was pleased that I didn’t fill my trolley with rubbish but did find I bought more vegetables!

The most surprising thing though was when my daughter opened a packet of double chocolate cookies and the smell that came out of them was intense.  For the first time my mind and my body literally jumped together and was forcing me towards a sticky end.  I quickly wrapped them, more smell came out, my mouth was watering.  I placed them well away from me and sat, a little shocked, at the reaction.  I mean I love those kinds of cookies, could eat an entire pack and not think about about but, wow.  Sugar is a powerful drug.

Top is my sugar free porridge, got quite a taste for it now.  I also really enjoy the bacon, mushroom broccoli dinner.  Large portion and takes a while to get through,  I wouldn’t eat this too often because bacon is so processed but it is great for a treat.  We also tried some banana egg pancakes.  Surprised at how tasty they are and my daughter wolfed them down.  Certainly not the prettiest looking but worth it.

Crafting wise I have made a laundry bag for my daughter, my oldest wanted a bag holder for the plastic bags so have been making a few of those.  Knitting of course, and planning some bath bombs.  I am going to do lots of these things in the half term with my daughter.

Upside to all this sugar free, I have lost 5lbs now!

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28 Day Sugar free and Crafting Challenge

sugar-free

Sugar free February

I have been tinkering around the edges of the whole sugar free diet for a while now.  I do feel so much better going sugar free as I am a bit intolerant of wheat in general.  It makes me feel sleepy, tired and bloated (which makes me wonder why I actually still eat it!).  Sugar is everywhere and so many different forms of it.  Avoiding it will take a concerted effort and goodness knows how I am supposed to go out for a meal.  I am not much of a drinker, do not take it in my coffee but boy do I love a slice of toast, a piece of cake or a Subway Sandwich.

Then there is pick a month to do it.  December, nigh on impossible, January, I started doing it but I came down with that cough virus going around and it has taken 3 weeks to start feeling normal again.  Not a great time to start.  So February it is.  I am single so no worries over the whole Chocolate for Valentines and it is a shorter month – goes to check if it’s a Leap Year – Phew.

To make it more interesting and fun for me I am going to challenge myself to 28 projects for sewing and crafting at the same time.  I figure if I am focusing on something other than food it is going to help.  Because I have a sewing business I often do not do projects for myself, I guess that is way it goes, so I want to combine some things for me and the home, and some things I am considering for my business but just have never got around to it.

I have started a board on Pinterest (way to lose hours in your day) here  and I am also in the process of decluttering and organising so going to combine the whole thing.  Declutter and organise my house and declutter my insides too.

So if there are any suggestions of things you would like to see me try, send me a suggestion.  I hope to complete a full list of 28 projects by the middle of February and work my way through them.  I do think one should be a nice dress or outfit for me after completing the challenge.

Some of my suggestions.

  1. Purse for food budget
  2. Laundry bag for Izzy over night
  3. Swimming Bag
  4. Bath bombs
  5. Peg Bags
  6. Paper flowers
  7. Money box
  8. Lunch bag for Izzy
  9. Dress for me Simplicity E1653 *free with Sew magazine
  10. Car tidy bag – front
  11. car tidy for Izzy
  12. Ironing board tidy
  13. Bunting – because I can
  14. Wire tidy things (I know)
  15. under sewing machine mat
  16. bag charms from plastic
  17. stone painting

 

 

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Sewing Basket for my little girl

My little girl is going to be 8 this weekend and has really started to be interested in sewing.  I have given her one of my old machines and she is just ready to go.

So I thought, for her birthday, I would make her a sewing basket to keep her things in.  I made her a  needlebook a year or so ago and I know that she loves purple.  I have purchased a pattern from here and had made a nappy caddy previously and thought it would be perfect.

I would highly recommend this pattern, it is well worth the money.  The instructions are easy to follow, the end result is lovely.  You can adjust it to what you want, I added an extra pocket on the back, you could extend the handles and I of course, embroidered her name on it.

I had a little piece of fabric left over so I made her a pin cushion stuffed with all the offcuts of fabric I keep for just this purpose.  It is heavy weight so shouldn’t fly around and may actually encourage her to put her pins in the right place instead of right next to her which is right next to my machine.

Can’t wait to see her little face.

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Dimple / Minky Fleece

I love dimple fleece or also known as minky fleece.  It is just so soft and beautiful and comes in some many lovely colours.  I use it in my products and I also sell it here too. 

I often get questions on how to sew it and my standard response is lots of pins as it likes to go walkabout.  But I have put together a guide after making a large blanket today with it.

So firstly, make sure you have a clean area (as in I steam cleaned my floor before I did this).  It helps if it is a smooth area and not a carpet.  A carpet has too much friction and it is easy to distort the minky.  Also, make sure it is a big enough area for your whole piece of fabric to lay out on without hanging over an edge, again to make sure it is not distorted.

Place the dimple fleece wrong side down and smooth out without pulling or distorting it.

Place on top of this, carefully, your cotton fabric which should be cut to the right size, making sure it is smooth and nicely lined up but not stretching the fleece.  Now pin. Pin like you have never pinned before.  Start at the top and then work down the sides and then across the bottom.  Then go back and add more pins.  With Dimple fleece there really isn’t a question of too many pins, the stuff will walk.

You will see that I have pinned mine across the fabric, it makes it easier to sew over them that way and hold them in for as long as I can!  Once you have pinned, look and make sure that it is still smooth.  You are going to need to trust these pins.

Lift and fold your fabric carefully, mostly because it is stuffed full of pins but also so you don’t over stretch it.

To the machine.  Now for this stuff I would highly recommend a walking foot.  If you haven’t got one and are likely to sew dimple fleece or quilt or, to be honest, I use mine all the time for my general sewing, it is a good investment.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, Amazon have some good generic walking feet listed for under £5, you will wonder why you haven’t used one before.

However, if you haven’t got one, you just need to be very careful with sewing and trust your pins and ease the fabric.

To start sewing, put all the fabric up next to the machine, supported by your table.  Do not let it hang down, you do not want any pressure on it, let it sit comfortably.  Start sewing at the top and gently work your way across.  you can sew directly across your pins, being careful and slowing down.  Trust your pins are in the right place, you took your time to place them.  If you find the dimple fleece is starting to bulge a bit, ease the fabric by putting pressure on the top fabric and letting the feed dogs do their job.  Never pull hard but without a walking foot on this fabric I find it can feed unevenly and you need to help it a bit.

Once across the top, I end my seam line and restart again to sew down the sides one at a time.  Then across the bottom, leaving a gap to turn.  You should now have a rather lovely item of sewn dimple fleece and cover fabric.  Everything after that bit is easy.

Trim it to the right size, trim the corners, turn it right side out and don’t iron.  Dimple fleece goes really flat when pressed, I am assuming it comes back in the wash but haven’t tried it (note to self, try that out).  Simpley start pinning for the top stitching but you don’t need to go crazy this time as you are working with a far more stable seam.

As you can see, I am still using my walking foot, use a longer stitch for top stitching and start and sew all around in one making sure you catch the opening and stitch it closed.

Then viola, you have a lovely, squared off blanket, not stretched and distorted.  Easy really.

 

IMG_0346

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