Easter tree

Easter is coming…


We are getting ready, putting up our Easter tree…


This is the best I could do at getting the whole thing in, but the hall is quite narrow. Me and my brother went off on a walk yesterday to find so spring twigs to decorate. I think he made a great choice as the buds gave lots of little places to hook the ornaments on.


We do this every year for as long as I can remember so we have built up quite a collection of things to hang on it. The little glass eggs are from John Lewis and they do different ones every year. The larger egg in the background was decoupaged by my mum using an Easter napkin.


The blue peacock ( and the similar red one which can be seen in some of the pictures) was brought back from the Czech Republic one year. They are real eggs and there is a third with green and gold stripes.


The little red one right at the front was one of 5 found at a jumble sale which started it all off, the solid coloured ones are from ikea one year and the painted wooden characters are from all over.


We decorated around the bottom with all the Easter stuff we’ve accumulated. I particularly love the little buckets of eggs with chicks perched on the top.


We also decorated the window in the front door with some Easter window clings.


The words are backwards so that you can read them from outside! How are you cheering up your house ready for spring? It feels like wishful thinking at the minute!


Happy Easter everybody!


Church quiet book 2

Pages 2 and 3 of my custom church quiet book project. These to pages cover what the vicar wears for the service. I went as a helper on a school trip looking at local history. One of the many local places they visited was the church (they also sent groups to the football stadium, the river, the synagogue and mosque and lots of other places I can’t remember – it was really interesting!) one of the best bits was when the vicar was talking to the kids about the traditions and what he wears. He talked them trough it and dressed up volunteer to demonstrate! These pages are following on from that idea.

It’s a double page spread. Although I had the idea I still got a lot of inspiration form dress up quiet book pages around the web. I placed the vicar on one side of the page and the clothing laid out on the other page.

This is our vicar, I dressed him up in a t shirt and shorts. A standard dress up page is usually underwear but I like this better. The man himself has a beard, can you see the resemblance?


The clothes were embroidered and embellished and fastened to the page with Velcro. The hook part of the Velcro is attached to the piece of clothing as it lets it fasten to the felt I made the Velcro from.

I also outlined the pieces with a large running stitch in brightly coloured floss. Under each I wrote the name of the item in paint marker. I had to look a few of these up!


Our vicar is usually dressed for the family service in a fairly casual manner…


But if you saw him at an event such as Easter, Christmas or christening he’d be wearing the full gear…


One of the trickiest parts to work out was the stole (as it goes behind the neck) but in the end I did it as 2 pieces and the centre is actually fixed to the page


this has been “tested” extensively by the cousins and apparently meets with approval! Success! More pages to come.

Feeling thrifty

I have borrowed from the wonderful American bloggers out there today in that in the UK we don’t go thrifting, so the titles a lend of the US word. It not that it isn’t done but that they are not called thrift stores, they are called charity shops. They are essentially they same thing though! And I’m going to share a bargain …

Isn’t lovely? £1.35! What a bargain! I love half aprons, they are practical and cute. This one has such retro colours and get a load of those little people…

Is that Dutch costume? I’m not sure?
And best of all the bottom embroidered section is two great big roomy pockets perfect for stashing all my measuring spoons and recipe as I move around.

Fantastic! What’s your latest bargain? Any idea where those cute little girls and boys are supposed to be from?

Church quiet book 1

We attend the family service at our local church and often we have kids visiting for christening a or church parades. Lots of parents worry about their kids squirming or making a noise (although we really don’t mind!). So when I originally came across the quiet book idea on the Internet I thought it was genius and decided to make one for our service. The church is all ways trying to make people welcome and a “welcome to the church” quiet book seemed like a great idea (read took ages!) so off I went to make a quiet book tailor made to our church. I’m going to post the pages a couple at a time and then hopefully the finished article.

This is our church, St. Mary’s of West Acklam. Sorry for the poor photo, it’s from their website, feel free to pop over and have a look around. The shape of the church from this angle is very familiar to me and the first view you see as you come through the gate so that is we’re I started from.


This was the first page I did and I tried to use up odd little scraps. Later on I stuck more with felt as the edges are easiest to deal with on felt but for this page bondaweb ruled! All through the book I used unbleached muslin pages (30cm x 25cm pages) and iron on vilenle and permanent markers for the text.

I tried to ensure every page had some interactive features. The bush on he left hand side for example has 3 lift-the-flap leaves.

Under each is a cute little animal. I tried different methods here with baring success. The little ladybird was done last and was defiantly the easiest. I just drew him on iron viliene and ironed him on. The dragonfly was easy to (he’s just a novelty button) but isn’t as good because the leaves don’t cover him as well. The little bird is a tiny version of a pattern from the doodle stitching, motif collection. Did you see that Amiee Ray has a new book coming out?

The same iron on drawing method was used for a little vicar to great you as you open the door to the church.

The door was cut from some of that plastic leather stuff which I found in the bargain bin at Boyes. Great because it dozen’t fray! The roof is long stitches top to bottom and then side to side threads woven through. I think this is basket weave stitch but honestly I made it up as I went along so I’m not sure.

The difficult part of recreating a photo or real place is choosing which details should be included and which to leave out. You can see I added the funny trees in the grave yard but only 1 grave stone!

The trees are the same textured fabric as the bush and the grave stone is cream felt. The windows of the church were also trial and error. The one shown above is appliquéd on top of the church building piece and is cut from some shiny, plasticky sort of ribbon I had. The one below was reverse appliquéd (ie the window fabric is underneath and a space is cut in the church building fabric to allow it to show through. The roof is chain stitched.

The page started of with the photograph which I traced for the main parts of the church. Once these were attached a large piece of green fabric was added and then the details hand sewn on top. You could use this idea to make all sorts of custom locations for all sorts of projects. I might do my house one day!

Felt baby book.

This is my very first blog post here on sunburnt strawberry. I’m going to jump right in and show you something I made recently. I have been seeing quiet books all over the Internet and Although I have started my own quiet book I was itching for a quick little project. Well in the end I plumped for this cute little baby quiet book. It’s made completely from felt which made it really easy as the edges don’t need finishing! All the pages are animals with either extra texture or activities. It’s going to be posted of to my godmother who had her third child earlier this year, I hope she likes it!


The front cover shows a lion with a loopy tag mane. He and several of the other pages (monkey and crocodile) were inspired by this lovely little book. The ribbons in his mane were all odds and ends from my stash so I ended up with lots of great textures, they were sewn down securely and they head was sewn over the top. I stuffed it with leftover scraps of felt and then added his face with embroidery thread.

These are the next 2 pages, the zebra was made out of zebra print felt which I found at Hobbycraft. His mane and tail are made of wool for added texture. The elephant has a 3D trunk with elastic up the middle to give it that wrinkled look. The ears are flaps so they can be lifted.


Then we have an antelope and a crocodile (who has a little bird friend).


The little antelope is double layered and is attached to a piece of elastic so that he can leap across the grasslands.

The Crocodile is one of my favourites! His teeth are a little white zip and when you open it you can find a little green fish!


The next two pages are a cheeky monkey and a very tall giraffe.

This monkey has a banana you can peel and the fruit inside is stuffed so it is raised.

His friend the giraffe is hidden in a tree until you lift the flap…

…and see how tall he is!
The back cover is blank apart form a little embroidered message to the baby.


The animals are all clip art from google images. They were stitched onto contrasting coloured felt squares. These were then sewn onto black felt to give a bold border. The black pieces were half a sheet of craft felt. The pages were placed back to back and I sewed through all the layers with a large backstitch to create the spine. Then all but the back cover were trimmed close to the spine.

To cover the scrappy edges I took to small pieces of black felt (from the trimmed spine) and stiched them into tubes. These were then sewed to the ends of the spine as in the picture above.

The back cover was folded over and stitched down to hide all the edges.
Now all that I need to do is wrap it and post it!
Any questions please ask. 🙂