A 10 minute pin board spruce up (and bit of free safety advice)

For some reason I decided to deep clean my kitchen today. Under ordinary circumstances this would be unusual behaviour for me, but today it was even more extra ordinary given that I had about four hour’s sleep, thanks to the inexplicable nocturnal behaviour of darling Iris. Plus, yesterday I ran 5 miles. Well, it was 4.8 but 5 sounds even more impressive. Anyway, it was under this duress that I set about cleaning my kitchen. Well, mainly it was rearranging.

A month or so back we had the fire brigade round for a home safety check. Basically they check out your house for fire safety and give you advice, in the hope that they can minimise any chance of having to return to your house under less desirable circumstances. It’s a free service that anyone can use, just check out your local station website for details on how to arrange one. Apart from the excellent safety advice, I can’t overstate the immense excitement from Betty over the firemen’s visit. She got to sit in the engine and talk the helmets of the firemen waiting outside with the rig.

Our house is brand spanking new and rented and as such is pretty safe in terms of windows, circuitry, smoke alarms and the like but one thing they did recommend is moving the toaster and kettle out from under the wall mounted cupboards where they were originally sat. They said that should either get stuck without us realising then the heat from them could ignite the cupboard above. This is actually quite relevant for us as our very cheap Asda kettle no longer switches itself off so we have to remember to not let it over boil. So finally I took the firemen’s advice and moved said items to a safer location. Much safer, and I advise you to do the same.

Reorganised kitchen

During my kitchen reorg I decided our notice board needed a bit of sprucing up. I had a bit of fabric I bought from eBay with the intention of making dining chair pads, but those can just be added to the long list of planned projects. Instead I used some of it to cover my pin board. I’m afraid I don’t have a before picture but it is just an Ikea cork notice board with a wooden frame. I was hoping I could pop the cord out of the frame and cover that and wedge it back in, but the frame wasn’t constructed in a way which made that possible. So I simply covered the whole thing in fabric.Fabric covered pin board

To secure it I simply sewed the corners really tightly with very little skill as you can see below. No need for neatness, just longish stitches pulled tight in each corner, and that’s it.

Fabric covered pin board

Here it is with significantly less crap put back on it than it started with.


So there you have it as promised, a 10 minute project to spruce up your notice board, and some home safety advice thrown in for free!



As soon as I saw this fox on the Guardian website I fell in love and knew I’d have to make my own. I didn’t want to completely copy it, especially as I don’t have anything like that funky fabric. I ummed and ahhed over what sort of animal I could make that had the cuteness of a fox, while surrounded by my fabric stash. Owls are good, but a bit clichéd, everyone’s all about the owl. Penguins are unfailingly cute, but would look weird on my sofa in the way that a fox wouldn’t. I mean a fox could conceivably end up on my sofa, but a penguin not so much. Polar bear or baby seal, high on the cuteness scale, but all one colour so not much scope for pretty fabrics.

Swoon! From 'Yeah Baby Animals'

In the end I settled on a wolf. I know, not that cute, but neither is a fox when you really think about it, they’re a bit mangy aren’t they? So here is my wolf cushion:

He is made completely out of fabric and scraps from my stash. Stitch This may recognise the fabric for the body, as I bought it from her when she had a mega de-stashing session. What do you think I should call him?

And the post title, Wonder wolf? Well, while I was stuffing this little fella I was listening to a bit of Ryan Adams on Spotify. I think he’s been around for yonks, but I fell in love with his song ‘Desire’ which can be heard in a West Wing episode. Here he is singing the Oasis hit Wonderwall. Just thought I’d share 🙂





Inspired by Sew Homegrown I decided to make Betty a fabric tangram. A tangram is an ancient Chinese dissection puzzle, and is a great activity for kids. Betty is leaning about shapes at school, so this will be ideal for her. Except that the shapes aren’t quite the Euclidean master pieces that they should be (Euclidean, I learnt that tonight you know – don’t say I don’t teach you nuffin’). Anyway, my sewing isn’t quite what it should be, mainly due to my lack of meticulousness. I’d love to be one of those people who can put “attention to detail ” on their CV – except even as I typed that I typed “detial”, and as I tried to type “typed” I actually typed “typds”. You catch my gist…


Sewing is not really my thing, although I do try. The pleasure for me is in having made the thing, not in the making. Still, have to live up to my tag line! Apologies for the crappy photo, I’m too impatient to wait for daytime light. They are a bit slap-dash, I wish I had straight stitched them instead of zig zag, not sure why I did that. If you can make them nicer than I did they are a good make!