Monday, 21 November 2011

Cute Quilt Project

I found some really cute material a while back which was perfect for a quilt. So what have I been up to? Making a baby quilt of course. This one was much quicker and easier than the last crazy City Quilt.  But isn't the material the cutest? I love it - and not sure I want to give this one away!!! The material is from fabric designer Dan Stiles' Marine collection. It was released earlier this year and I bought it in May. However, when I realised I needed some more blue bits I had a real issue trying to find some more - it's apparently a limited edition. It's backed in a turquoise lightweight cotton and padded with Heirloom cotton wadding.  I kept the actual quilting fairly simple as I wanted it to be all about the material as opposed to all about the quilting stitching... and I haven't mastered exciting swirls as yet! This quilt is truly One of A Kind as I can't get the material again! 

The front. 

The back

What's next? I've got some lovely red and green materials... I'm thinking something Christmassy... 

Friday, 18 November 2011

That Friday Feeling...18/11/2011

I always find this time of year a little magical... the fast approach of Christmas, the turn from Autumn into Winter, the days where you go home in the dark and it's only 4pm. So this week's shout out is a fairytale shout out. Just in case a handsome prince is around to rescue us from those long winter months!

Love this print by HidenSeek

woodland necklace by Shalotte. Very magical...

Cute little wooden blocks by SparrowPrimitives

What fun bits of information shall I add today? 

  • Cinderella's Glass Slipper was probably made out of squirrel fur not glass - somewhere along the line there was a mistranslation and the glass slipper sounded more romantic.
  • The Brother's Grimm wrote some really dark and horrible fairytales - I couldn't believe them when I finally read them: as a child we think that fairytales all end happily ever after but not in Grimm's tales! As they were originally adult tales there were a lot of sexual and violent references. Grimm took our most of the sexual references, often replacing with violence, while the Victorian Era is what really toned fairytales down to the child friendly versions we have today
  • The oldest known fairytales come from Egypt around 1300 BC, but the origin of fairytales is fairly obscure as they were traditionally told orally rather than written down.
  • The numbers 3 and 7 are prominent in fairytales as numbers that have particular magical properties.
  • In the original story, Pinocchio saves Gepetto from the belly of a shark - Disney thought that was a little too violent so changed it to a whale. 
  • Snow White wasn't quite so lovely as she is in the version we know - the evil queen traditionally falls off a cliff for us, but oh no: Snow actually made her put on red hot iron shoes and dance as punishment until she fell down dead in the original. And Sleeping Beauty? Well her prince didn't tell his parents about their marriage until they'd had 2 children - because his mother was an ogress who liked eating kiddies for breakfast!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Reading a Little...November

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Wow, wow, wow... a beautiful, magical feat of a novel that had me wishing I lived in a magical time and totally wanting to visit and be a part of the Night Circus. At the heart of the novel are two central characters: Marco and Celia. One is the daughter of a 'manipulator' the other an orphan, adopted by another 'manipulator' in order to challenge the first. They are bound into a magical challenge, where the rules are uncertain, the outcome blurry and the people who started it all distant. Both protagonists need to find their own way and means of surviving the challenge but come across various obstacles in the process. And the most beautiful and wonderful part of the challenge is the Night Circus. A collection of tents held together by the magical threads that Marco and Celia employ to enthrall and captivate each other. I loved the imagery of the Wishing Tent, the Pool of Tears, the Labyrinth and many others. But mostly I was transfixed by the huge clock that stands at the entrance and it's amazing properties. A fantastic read and I can't recommend it enough.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Another whirlwind of a novel but very different from The Night Circus. While with that I felt the touch of magic and beauty, this is far rougher and more of the boisterous adventure-type novel. Claire Beauchamp, married to a respectable Oxford Don is taking a break in the Highlands with her husband, Frank. Frank is trying to find out more about his six-times grandfather Jonathon Randall, although Claire thinks little of his preoccupations with the past. Until she somehow finds herself caught in a time warp in the 1700s, face to face with Randall himself and trying to convince him that she isn't actually wandering around in her underwear (1940s dresses being not considered appropriate in the 1700s...) A fast paced adventure story but be forewarned - it gets incredibly steamy in places!! Especially after Claire somehow finds herself marrying a Scottish Clansman... I really enjoyed this book and is another great read. For those of you who are British though - it's known as Crosstitch here in the UK.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This month has been a remarkable month for reading. I have had this sat on various shelves for the past year and have been meaning and meaning to read it. But for some reason something else has always come up - a Book of the Month for a reading group, not enough time, an amazing recommendation that has pushed it aside... I started this the other day and was hooked from the first page. Why on earth has it taken me so long to get around to it? The print is tiny, and even if it were of a normal size this would be quite a hefty read, but the style of writing is friendly, accessible and direct and, as such, makes this an absolute gem of a read. It tells the story of 3 characters in Nigeria during the 1960s. Olanna and Ugwu are both Igbo - Ugwu comes from a small village and is sent to work at a political professor's house. Soon after, Olanna, daughter of a rich businessman, moves in with her lover, the professor. And then there is Richard - a British man involved with Olanna's twin sister, in love with Igbo art and trying to write a book. This tells the story of the troubles during the sixties, when Biafra declared its independence from Nigeria, and the ensuing problems, trials and despair that the characters then encounter. This is definitely worthy of being on the 1001 Books You Must Read list: it is poignant, heart-felt and stunningly well-written.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Artist's Feature...Katiedidonline

The Artist's Feature is back! It's been a while... But this month I'm quite excited about introducing Katie from Katiedidonline - she makes amazing upcycled aprons, pot holders and other accessories, and we're not talking about your average run-of-the-mill stuff: her aprons are works of art! I would quite happily spend the day wearing one of her aprons and, what with Christmas coming up... well there are a few people I can imagine wearing one of her amazing creations, and I believe we have no pot-holders in our kitchen so if anyone is thinking about what to get me...! Anyway, Katie was kind enough to answer a few of my questions so I shall hand you over to her.

Tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Katie and I am an American living in the beautiful border county of Herefordshire with my wonderful British husband. I have food intolerances, allergies and sensitivities. The list of foods I avoid is a long one, which forced me to learn to cook and bake from scratch all over again with new ingredients. I fell in love with food, with flavors and combinations. I love experimenting, coming up with new recipes, and trying different cuisines. I also love to sew- my mom taught me at a young age and I’ve been sewing ever since. When I’m not crafting, I work in costumes and wardrobe on film and theater projects.

What is Katiedidonline?
Katiedidonline- my website, blog, and online store- is a combination of my love for sewing, cooking and baking, and desire to be eco friendly. For my shop I make upcycled fabric goods for women who also love to entertain, bake or cook.  From aprons made from old skirts, to grocery bags made from old curtains, to pot holders made from scraps - I make eco-friendly textiles for dinning, parties, and the kitchen. I have also started making scrap kits of leftover fabrics, buttons, and more for other crafters.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what inspires you further?
I find inspiration in the “every day”. Be it through other crafters, blogs, pinterest, and even tv shows. I’m always finding new color combos, recipes to try to adapt, and crafting ideas to make my own.  When it comes to my upcycled products- I am always inspired by the material itself!
Each piece in my shop is made without a pattern, but based instead on the shape of the fabric, or the pattern or color. I broke down the year into “ranges”; each range has a theme, color palate, and it’s own feel. Once I’ve gathered enough pieces (from skirts to curtains) from charity shops, I start making the next ranges. I typically start with a few aprons and bags, as they take up the most fabric. Then I usually cut out bibs and coasters, and then make pot holders and scrap packs from what’s left over. I’m constantly going back out to find something that will help ‘finish’ off a piece I’m working on, and coming up with new ideas even when the range is already finished.

Lots of artsy-craftsy fold juggle many different things in order to have time to spend on their chosen paths - how do you manage? 
I owe a lot to my husband, my family (especially my brother), and friends for being encouraging, supporting, my sounding board for new ideas, inspirations for new ranges, and being some of my best customers!

How can we find you? 

My blog can be found at,
I also have a shop on etsy:

I am forever collecting ideas on pinterest:
And have a facebook fan page I update with blog entries, new ranges, sales, and great tips and advice:

Thank you so much for introducing yourself to us Katie - I'm looking forward to seeing your new range when it comes out and will be following your blog for interesting recipes etc. Please make sure you visit Katie's website and Etsy store. 

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday Feeling: Remembrance Day

It's November the 11th. At 11am on the 11th November 1918, the First World War was finally brought to an end. Today is Armistice Day - a day on which we remember those who have lost their lives in service to their countries. It is not only the UK that marks Armistice Day: many other countries will also be holding services, parades and celebrations in memory of their brave soldiers who have given their lives for their country. In the UK we have Remembrance Sunday, which will be celebrated this Sunday in churches and other places of worship throughout the UK. Traditionally we wear a poppy to remind us of the poppy fields that sprang up in Flanders over the fields where thousands of men lost their lives. At 11am today we will hold a 2-minute silence in memory. Remembrance Day is not only about remembering those who fell in the First World War - it is a day to remember those who have fallen in previous and subsequent wars. I am sure that many of us know someone, be that a relative, close friend or distant family member who has lost their life in active service and for all of those people who have died, today is a day to remember you. To thank you for the services you gave, for protecting your loved ones and your country and for ultimately giving your life for us to keep us safe. Every soldier who has seen any form of active service - on whichever side they are fighting - has seen more than any of the rest of us will ever be able to imagine and as such is a hero. So today is for those brave men, and women, whose job is essentially about looking after their fellow countrymen. Thank you.

Lest we Forget brooch by CoppertopdesignsUK

Poppy Days painting by Itsawhimsy

Saturday, 5 November 2011

That Friday Feeling...First Saturday of November

It's about time that Creating Trouble got itself back on its feet - starting with an Etsy shout out. I haven't done one of these for nearly 2 months now for which I apologise sincerely. This weekend is a double celebration here in London - not only is it Guy Fawkes today but tomorrow it is Eid as well. That means double fireworks in my part of town. Usually there is a huge firework display in Victoria Park which is always really impressive, but in recent years it has grown out of control and this year they have decided to put on smaller shows in various different venues. So, as there is no huge firework display near me this weekend, this week's shout out is going to be a Firework celebration. 

It's getting cold and these fingerless firework gloves are great. Created by RainbowDreamKnits

Make your own celebratory cards with one of DrumChickDesigns rubber stamps

Love the colours in this dichroic glass fusion pendant by MakitaloGlass
Remember, remember the fifth of November
For gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder and treason
Should ever be forgot.

As always... a few facts about Guy Fawkes/ Bonfire Night. 

  • Guy Fawkes (or Guido as he preferred) was not actually born a Catholic - he converted when he was about 16 to Catholicism.
  • Bonfire night is celebrated on 5th November as that was the day that Guy Fawkes was arrested. For decades it was an annual anti-Catholic event although since the 1850s has been much more toned down and has lost its religious significance. .
  • It is rumoured that the gunpowder under the Houses of Parliament had actually gone off and wouldn't have managed to blow up anything anyway... although this is unprovable and can't be called a fact as such.
  • None of the members of the Gunpowder plot were actually thrown on a bonfire or burnt: they were hung, drawn and quartered. It is only the effigy of Guy Fawkes that is burnt.
  • The word 'guy' referring to a man was originally an insult referring to an ugly or repulsive person, presumably as a reference to Guy Fawkes. 
  • Lewes, on the Sussex coast near Brighton, is the Bonfire capital of the world due to the celebrations it holds annually on 5th November. These include parades, ceremonial burning of the guy and spectacular fireworks. I haven't been to one of them but am now planning a trip next year!
Happy Bonfire Night all!


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