Consequently I've hardly had a minute to spare at home to do anything for me. White Lily Green's fabulous blog and her Handmade Thursday party has really inspired me to try and find the time to do some crafting each week, but sadly this hasn't always been possible.
(I must also say a special thanks to Tracy and Molly who sent me gorgeous handmade birthday cards and lovely gifts).
I've been encouraged and inspired by the wonderful Red Ted Art and lots of other crafty peeps to make and do with Ruby, but have finally realised that I actually quite like making stuff, and I should try and do more 'adult' crafts. With this in mind, I produced a crafty themed birthday list, and my wonderful family didn't disappoint.
My brother and sister-in-law gave me a voucher for our Craft Centre - a glorious shop, crammed with artists materials and craft supplies. I could happily spend hours in there viewing the exhibitions of local artists, lusting over the beads, ribbons and paintbrushes, and stroking the stunning gift ware. I think I shall pop in there later and spend up! I intend to buy candle-making bits, but am likely to be distracted by other pretties.
The old man redeemed himself after the Mother's Day fiasco, by going on a total splurge at Liberty's. I think he must have played the 'clueless bloke' trick, and seems to have been given amazing one-to-one service and advice. I was like a kid in a sweet shop unwrapping this stunning Liberty sewing box:
Then came all the diddy little bits to go inside, like a little mouse pin cushion complete with whiskers and a tail with a bell; a jar of vintage buttons (also with a padded lid which doubles as a pin cushion); a needle case with a darling pair of scissors in; a vintage style wooden ruler and some 'proper' pins.
He was recommended this book 'Get the most from your Sewing Machine' by Marion Elliot. It's right up my street. A big emphasis on recycling, using up scraps and updating old clothes, I've already admired many of the projects held within it's pages.
The gift from my in-laws is perfect too. I already had my name down for a local beginners sewing course starting next month with School of Craft, but they have only gone and booked and paid for it! Look at this lovely 'voucher' they presented me with.
My parents got me beautiful presents too, including this padded noticeboard. Currently it holds some rather dodgy childhood photos, but in my new house (in my now essential requirement of a study-cum-office-cum-craft room-cum sewing room) it will display my inspirations, ideas and projects.
It's fair to say, I was one very happy, very lucky birthday girl.
Hopefully I'll be able to do all these gifts justice and make some beautiful things to share with you.
Pop on over to Handmade Thursday to see what others have been up to.