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April 2008
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June 2008

WIPs and a washout


This is a favourite fabric I've had for a few years. I've made a duvet cover out of it and the odd gift and this is my last piece. I haven't tired of it. I love the colour and feel of this blocked print and I want more. Trouble is, it was a remnant bought from an interior designer who was retiring. I know little about it except that it was based on an old Swedish design (18th century I think.) The only clue to the name of it is a small section from the selvedge that says Forklade fran Varola socken Skarabo... I've done searches but come up with nothing. I have a feeling the wording means "red flowers" or something equally nondescript.

I'm wondering if any Swedish readers out there could give me a clue? More importantly, might any of you have a good source for affordable block printed fabrics? Please email me or leave a comment if you do.


The beginning of a set of coasters. I'll make six or eight, they'll probably be a wedding gift for a cousin getting married next month. I'll add a bit of embroidery as well and probably stitch a little bag to keep them in. These are made up entirely from scraps. I find using up tiny scraps of fabric like this immensely satisfying.


As for our picnic at the seaside, it rained - no surprise since it has nearly all week (don't know whose hut the children have perched on here.)


After a good few hours of fun in the rain they came in to join us. I wish I still had the abitlity to play out in any weather and not feel the cold.

Funny surprises, happy surprises

Lauren's-bird2 Remember these funny little feet? Well this sweet robin is the only bird in our class that's sporting them. Turned out all but one of the children wanted sitting birds instead of standing birds. Hats off to little Lauren for bucking the trend.

Gift-from-winner Maybe next years class will want them, but who knows - happily, children are never predictable. I may have to use some myself for a little partridge idea I have in mind.

Zounds! I was surprised to receive this fantastic little package of treats from Anne, the winner of my first contest. Imagine, the contest winner giving me a thank you present. Hubby said "What a bunch of lovely, generous people craft bloggers are." I agree. Thank you Anne!

It's been a busy week around here, children are at home for half term break. When I have a bit of quiet time I'm looking forward to visiting the blogs of all the people who have entered my blogiversary contest. It's been fantastic having so many new visitors.

Tomorrow we're hoping a few rays will squeeze through the blanket of grey, we're off to Whitstable for a little fun by the sea. If it remains cold and grey we'll at least have the good fortune to be able to hold up in one of these little beach huts with friends - flasks of tea at the ready :)

Click here for details on entering the blogiversary contest.

Blog birthday contest


Here it is,
the line up of items that will be going to the blog birthday contest winner. I've put together a group of my favourite things (most are vintage items of course.) I will draw a name from a hat once again. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post stating which subjects you've most enjoyed reading about over the past year on Nini Makes. It could be anything - children's projects, embroidery, tutorials, patterns, etc.

The contest will run until June 10th and a winner will be announced that day. The following images are from the prize package the winner will receive. Athough there's only one winner, every person who comments will receive a new PDF applique and embroidery pattern by email.

So here is the prize package:

  • A pair of embroidered hair bands (Rosa* is holding them in the picture above)
  • Art deco metal cigarette case with a faux crocodile pattern, perfect for making one of these
  • One linen doily with handmade lace trim
  • One length of antique handmade lace over 1.5 metres long - in great condition
  • Softie book with patterns by Aranzi Aronzo
  • The 1950s Enid Blyton book Down at the Farm
  • A piece of 1970s Casa pattern Camaieu fabric (sturdy medium weight cotton), it looks like a contemporary Japanese fabric and measures 1.25 metres x 59cm
  • Three vintage buckles, two 1950s and one Edwardian mother of pearl
  • A variety of old cut and pressed glass buttons
  • A set of vintage green buttons
*Sorry, Rosa is not included. I can't let her go, she knows too many of my secrets.




1950s book

Handmade lace & doily and cigarette case

Aranzi Aronzo book and Casa pattern Camaieu fabric


A sample pattern from the Aronzo book.

I know this is image heavy, but I think prizes are always worth a look.
Good Luck, hope you all enter - if you're shy, email me your comment instead :)

All the pretty pieces


Our final piece.

The drawings are by the children and the tiles for the mosaic were pieced together by every child and staff member of the school. It was lovely to work on, the children were all so excited to take part.

This shot isn't posed, the kids can't resist running up and pointing out the sections they each helped to complete. A great big cheers everybody!

Details of the 100th post/one year blog birthday contest posting tomorrow :)

Walking into another year


Can't believe I nearly missed the fact that this is my 100th post. In another week it will be a year since I started this little online visual dialogue with myself and those who happen by.

To celebrate I will have the usual contest (I already have a nice stash of goodies piling up to give away) and I'll also have a gift for everyone who simply leaves a comment.

The above image is of the little wirework bird feet I put together, and I was right, my hands need a rest now. We're making little clay birds to celebrate Spring in our class. I knew the children would want legs for their birds but legs made of air drying clay just wouldn't be strong enough hold them up.

I'm really looking forward to Friday, I'll go put my head on the pillow now and then it will be here.

Check back soon to learn details of my celebration contest and giveaway :)

A Poppy Garden


A little poppy garden. This book bag was whipped together for a recent article about fabric printing with small children. So simple, just a couple of potatoes a bit of cardboard and three colours of fabric paint.

Thinking I might do this with my class at some point. I'll probably request that parents send in a plain tea towel, t-shirt, bag or pillow case to print on. Failing that, this site looks quite good for buying multiple blank items - anyone tried them?

Tonight I'm making 30 bird feet out of wire for tomorrows clay sculpture project (anticipating the wire-work being too tricky for 5 and 6 yr olds,) think my fingers will be quite tired by the end of this week.

Also, we grouted the 8 foot long mosaic today - it's so fun to see a huge group project completed. Photos coming soon :)

Happy Mother's Day


To Mom, Happy Mother's Day!

This is a little paper cut I made you. It's yellow because yellow's your favorite - it's inspired by the bedroom you decorated for me and Patty when we were little. Yellow flowered wallpaper, yellow pom-pom trim at the windows, and yellow bedspreads - it was very sunny and pretty.

I don't remember the carpet (I think it was green,) it probably wasn't often visible anyway. I do remember that you papered the room yourself as well as much of the rest of the house, with some help from Mrs. Jantzen. Wall-papering was just one of the many crazy amazing things you did with four small children underfoot. Well we probably weren't actually underfoot, we probably were outside running around God knows where, because in those days children could run around God knows where without people assuming you were an unfit parent for not being two feet from their sides at all times.

So happy Mother's Day Mom. Thanks for that very pretty bedroom, I probably forgot to say it when I was little, thanks even more for not being two feet from our sides at all times - although had you been I might not have broken an arm, broken a thumb, had several stitches, smashed my face and broken my teeth twice! And because you've got the most fantastic, wicked sense of humor, I know that'll make you chuckle instead of wince ;)

Joanie XOXO

Sorry I'm not there to give you a big hugs and kisses in person.

Happy scraps


Scraps and trimmings from my "Mom" paper cut.
I love the little pieces that come off of paper cuts - I keep them and often use them to make little gift cards. This one took a bit of time but was a real labor of love.

Tiles, hammers, and big art


It's been a whole lot noisier around our school this past week. We've all been smashing tiles and making some big art. In celebration of our little schools 40th anniversary we're making a large, outdoor mosaic - a triptych about 8 feet long. The head of our art department has been a master at negotiating loads of free or very cheap tiles for the cause.



Every child in the school drew a picture depicting the scenery and wildlife around our school. We chose some of the images, projected them onto three tile-ready boards and drew the scene. The children and teachers are all having a go at selecting tiles and gluing them onto the board. We've used a few reference books to help match animal colours with the tiles. The mosaic will hang outside on one of the walls when it is complete. Every time the children run past the mosaic they will remember which section they helped with.


We grow big lady birds here in Kent - looks like she's going to tackle that hedgehog.

Barbara you've done an amazing job organizing this project - making it's been such fun for everyone. Look for images of the finished piece next week.

Faster, faster!


Gracie has discovered that cycling on a hot day is really much easier if you just make your brother do it for you. Tristan was so excited to be strong enough to give her a ride that I had to capture that moment before his excitement wained and he decided it was too much like hard work. It's blurry, but I like it :)