Monday, 29 October 2018

DIY Halloween decorations

Are you all ready for Halloween just yet? I have made the outfits... you probably have seen a few sneak peaks if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook. And I am ready to get started with the house decorations… we did some carving, we did some cutting and some sticking and we are ready to get the house all sorted out...

So here are my top DIY Halloween decorations:

I love decorating the door to the house, I use paper plates (or cut circles out of white printer paper) and paint the inside circles either blue or black. I make funky eyebrows and some times I add some hair. I make a version of this every year and vary his expression.

For the mouth I cut a long stripe of paper and some shorter ones. I stick the hole thing with paper tape or bluetac so it doesn't damage the door.

And of course there's always some pumpkins being carved... and place high in the wall so the kids can spot our house from far!

I don't use any templates (as you can probably tell), we keep it simple and free hand draw on the pumpkin with biro to use as a guide when we are carving.

We also have bats flying around the house like in the picture below. I cut them out of black paper and stick them with blue tac in a flying motion.

The bottles, are old whiskey bottles that I fill up with water and a few drops of food colouring for an extra spooky effect.

I will be sharing the template for the bats, and also some spooky ghosts over on the Me Made Community on Facebook. Join us to get your free download.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Wear it Pink - First video tutorial

I have just published the first video tutorial for the Wear It Pink pattern.

I am discussing different choices of colours, threads and fabrics. I also demonstrate how to trace the pattern and how to mount it onto the embroidery hoop. It really is everything you need to get you stitching (which is the next video)!

To watch the video click here and join the ME MADE community on Facebook.

To get your copy of the embroidery pattern click here

To scared to try embroidery on your own? Why not join me in one of my upcoming embroidery workshops, more information HERE

Friday, 12 October 2018

Charity embroidery and GIVEAWAY

Inspired by the wear it pink campaign for breast cancer and wear it pink day on 19th October. I have created this embroidery pattern. 

You can purchase this pattern at approximately £2 and all proceeds from the sale of the pattern until the end of October 2018 will be donated to the campaign.
To download the pattern click HERE

I will be stitching along the pattern live in the Me Made community group in the upcoming weeks, so why not join the group and get learn how to make it with me?
And, I will be giving away one complete kit with the pattern to make this gorgeous embroidery to one of the members of the group. 

To be eligible to win:
- Join the Me Made community - by Nati's Little Things
- Tag as many friends as you like here and invite them to join.

I will choose a winner between all those that have joined or requested to join the group by the end of Friday 19th October.
The kit will include: pattern, fabric with the design already traced on it, embroidery hoop, thread and needle. And it will be delivered to an address in the UK free of charge. International entries welcome but you will have to pay postage.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Make it real...

So I woke up on Saturday morning and as I was looking at my Instagram feed, one after the other pictures of perfect looking environments, crafts or just family moments, but they all looked perfect. So as I was sitting in bed after a crap night sleep with my son waking up every 40min and demanded I stroke his back while I sung Thomas the tank engine tune, I thought, why are we doing this to ourselves?

Why are we only sharing picture perfect moments? Is it to try to remember just that? Is it to make other people think that's how our lives always look?

And I do share picture perfect moments, a lot, but I try for good measure, and so no one around me believes I am just that person, to share as much as I can of real moments... So as we were sitting at the kitchen table a few hours later, son colouring/learning to write his name, husband having a coffee and reading the new toy catalogue and me drawing in my journal. I took a picture of the mess and shared this:

In the world we live in, the social media era, our competition instincts kicks in. I find that we are acting like my 3yo, we adults, are acting like children. We want to be the ones having the best fancy toy, be the first ones to do the activity, have the best, be the best.

But we go beyond that, because my 3yo is happy to be the first going down the stairs, he makes a happy dance as he reaches the bottom step in the mornings ahead of me, and moves on. We take a picture of it, or twenty, until we get the perfect one, and share... we think about the caption, and what we want to make others believe our reality looks like.

Why????? Why do we put ourselves under such pressure. And why have we chosen to get in this race. Fear of missing out? maybe. A Natural instinct? could also be.

I don't really know the answer to this one. What I know is that I want to show my son that we can create beautiful things with our own two hands. That we don't need fancy materials. That a bit of glue and glitter makes everything better. And that IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT. It just IS.

So next time you have a rainy day, bring out whatever materials you have to hand and don't forget the glue. And just make something, together, messy, fun and don't worry about making it Pinterest ready, just make it real.

Nati xx

Monday, 8 October 2018

Christmas embroidery and more

I am so pleased to announce that my Joy of Christmas embroidery class will be held at All Things Nice in Ewell Village on Friday 30th November from 9.30 to 12.00. 

Your choice of hot drink, sweet and savoury nibbles and a complete embroidery kit (worth £15) for you to take home.

Cost: £45 each workshop
Location: All Things Nice, Ewell Village.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Top 5 tried and tested Christmas crafts with kids

Hello all,

With not long to go until Christmas I thought I would put together a guide to my top 5 Christmas crafts. This are things I do every year with my son... hopefully not too messy and a lot of fun! I have also thrown in some recycling and to put some of the artwork we create to good use and some easy ideas that may also save you some pennies this festive season.

To get your FREE copy of the guide, simply join the Me Made Community on Facebook. And if you are already a part but haven't received your guide just yet, add your email to our newsletter list and it will be in your inbox in no time!

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Nati x

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Mug Cosy

We have gone back to basics in our latest catch up class and made a mug cosy. We do these little projects to practise crating rows without dropping (or adding) any stitches to the work. So I thought to put together a quick pattern to share with you all. In the upcoming week I will be sharing the videos on how to create the mug cosy and the stitching on top to decorate it with the word of your choice.

To download the printed version of the pattern please click here


This is the pattern for a simple mug cosy. You can choose to decorate it in anyway you like. Make it stripey by changing colours every few rows or plain with a decoration on top like in my picture. There will be a separate tutorial on how to do that soon.

  • About 10g of aran weight acrylic yarn in the colour (or colours) of your choice.
  • 4.00 crochet hook (or one that provides you a closed fabric with the chosen yarn).
  • yarn needle
  • a button
Stitches used:
Ch. Chain
Dc. Double crochet (US – Single crochet)
ss. Slip stitch

Start. Chain as many chains needed to almost go around your chosen mug. In my example it was 40 chains. Turn.
Row 1. Ch1 (does not count as a stitch). 1Dc in each chain from the previous round. Turn.
Row 2. Ch1 (does not count as a stitch). 1Dc in each Dc from the previous round. Turn.
Row 3 - 6. Repeat row 2. Do not cut the yarn.
Please note that you may need to adapt the number of rows depending on the mug you are using. You want to crate a rectangle that is at least the height of the handle of your mug.
Finish. We are going to create the little buttonhole to close the mug cosy.
Ch6, ss in the last dc. Ch1, cut the yarn and pull though.
With the starting tail of your mug cosy, stitch the bottom base together. Sew the button on the opposite side of the button hole.

Decorate your mug cosy
To create writing on your mug cosy, like in the picture I have simply embroidered my chosen design in chain stitch. You can do that with the yarn needle or by crocheting on the surface of the project. To learn this technique, look for the video tutorial in the Me Made Community on Facebook or video tutorial section in my website.

Happy making,

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Changes to our mailing list

I have changed a little bit the way we are communicating with our subscribers. Instead of blog posts to your inbox, from now on you can receive our newsletters. All blog posts will be included in there, but in addition you will receive details of workshops, classes, tips and tutorials...

There will also be information that will be exclusively shared with email subscribers and the Me Made Community on Facebook.

So in order to keep up to date with all the news and make sure you receive my newsletter you can:

- Subscribe to the new newsletter by clicking HERE
- Join the Me Made Community on Facebook below

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Please note that the current email list will be cancelled soon and you will no longer receive email updates unless you subscribe to one of the above.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Embroidery classes in Ewell Village

I am super excited to announce two new upcoming classes. These embroideries were hand drawn by me and are meant to provide an empowering and uplifting message every time you see them!

Embroider them in a hoop to make them into lovely art for your home and office, or why not embroider into your favourite top or a tote bag! All option will be available for you on the day!

Each workshop includes:

- The embroidery kit of your choice, worth £15 (embroidery hoop, thread and needle, pattern and step by step picture instructions, and the printed fabric or the ready to stick pattern).
- 2.5-hour tuition with Nati as well as access to her “Me Made embroidery” community on Facebook, with unlimited access to tips, tutorials and online support.
- Your choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and an assortment of savoury and sweet treats.
- A 10% discount voucher should you choose to stay over for lunch at All Things Nice after the workshop.
Early birds: There are 5 early bird spots in each workshop, if you grab one of those spots you will receive an extra adhesive pattern transfer and a bag of goodies!

Click HERE to book your space 

Friday, 14 September 2018

My superpower - I make beautiful things

It is a me made kind of day! Some days I wake up in a rush, the school drop off, the to-do list, the laundry... and so I just throw a top and jeans on. But some days I think, what do I want wear today? And then I put together an outfit, around something I made. I just love it - especially if someone compliments it and I get to say "Oh, this silly thing, I made it!".

Making things for myself empowers me, it makes me feel so good, so proud, like I achieved something even before I left the house... note how confident I am that I took this picture with cero make up on!

I take a lot of pride in the things I make, well that is when they come out the way I wanted to... and I learn from my mistakes. I have a move-on approach. So if no good, I generally finish and donate it (or trash it if really bad), or take it apart and try again... but whichever happens I move on until I have something beautiful in my hands...

So I like to think that I have a superpower...  I make beautiful things. I can transform fabric, or yarn, or thread into something beautiful, something I can wear, or I can display and enjoy... I create a bond with the materials and transform them into, generally, something even better.

As a mum, my making super power, has allowed me to create beautiful moments with my son, like drawing, painting or being crafty together... as well as being able to create things for him that make him feel special. Like costumes, or special outfits... or warm scarves and hats. I made him all his tiny baby sweaters and I loved seeing him wearing them...

So my question today is what is your super power? And if you would like to have a making super power like me? Why not join my Facebook Group "Let's Get Crafty" for lots of stitching and making inspiration...

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Grany square day

International granny square day started back in 2014 in Instagram by @suregal27 and this year it is being hosted by Simply Crochet Magazine. I am joining in showing my all time favourite square, which is my heart bonding square and to celebrate the wonderful grannies everywhere I am sharing my pattern for free (see below). 

But first let me show you a load of all time favourite granny makes.

These are all time favourites and you can find them all here in the blog. There's the one square blankets, the pastel granny and the all colourful granny blanket that was made by my students, all charity makes. And the bottom left is the calm blanket that was made for a lovely little baby girl, who still treasures it... many years later... 

So today I am sharing how I make my super easy granny square, please click here for the step by step picture instructions. 

What is your favourite granny square? I would love to hear...

Friday, 10 August 2018

Winding fibres to wind down...

I have been knitting and crocheting for over 20 years now (and that’s more than half my life) most times with yarn from the big producers. But I have always been drawn to natural materials, wool and cotton especially.
However recently, I have had the need to work with the most natural materials, hand dyed if possible, or not dyed at all. And so I have been toying with the idea of dying and spinning my own yarn.

Not sure how it is going to balance my excitement and patience... I generally love easy quick projects that I can get done in a couple of weeks at most, but a couple of hours preferably.

When I went to the New Forest Country Show a couple of weeks ago, the ladies at the weavers and spinners guild were super nice and I had the chance to have a quick one to one lesson on spinning. Next thing I know I had already ordered some fibres and a drop spindle to give it a go.

I am absolutely loving the process, I find it the most relaxing and meditative craft I have yet tried.
I just simply wind down... So I find myself working super slowly, parking the spindle as I go, enjoying the process and not really caring about the end result. This is so not me, and I love it.

And that's why I find it so surprising that I am winding up yarn to wind down... to relax. I am meditating through the fibres, the twisting motion, feeling the twist in my fingers and letting it go up the fibres to create yarn. It also smells so good! like being transported back to the countryside and a lovely British hill in the sun!

And I bought more fibres that I will be able to spin in my tiny drop spindle, but hey ho, I am learning a new lovely craft and hopefully, eventually, one day, make something beautiful to wear that will remind me of the amazing transformative process of the yarn.

My love today to all the makers out there, that create, transform and fill the world with beautiful things, one spin at a time!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Reward charts - chasing the carrot works?

This is quite an unusual post for me, but I am feeling more and more the need to share more than just my crafting. Hope you like that and choose to stick with me on this one too.

Our son has been potty training during the last month and there has been a lot of praise and gifts to encourage the toilet action. But it got to a point were going to the toilet was no longer an issue and he was asking (more like demanding with a nice pleaseeeeee at the end) for gifts at all times. 

So we decided to introduce a rewards chart. It was a spur of the moment thing that I just drew on a paper, with spaces to add stamps when he does something really well or that's helpful, some smiley faces for some "fun activities" along the way and a present at the end of the chart.

It has worked a treat. He understands the concept of the rewards for things well done and is really looking forward to his present. He also gets to choose his fun activity, which mostly consists of us singing and dancing crazy in the kitchen to a couple of Katie Perry's songs. I am happy to oblige!

And as I was sharing the news of how well the chart is going in my family WhatsApp group, a certain brother in law said that his wife should have one too! So jokingly I made one for her, but instead of empty circles I wrote activities that I knew my sister would need to get done. And then I made one for myself.. and I was honest, like I haven't been in years, about all of those tasks that really needed doing...

… the box of handbags that still sits in the loft from two moves ago...
… the dreaded spare bedroom closet...
… the little one's clothes that need sorting and taking to the charity shop...
… and so on.

 And I displayed it proudly next to my son's. So I get questioned daily by him how many stamps I got each day.

Well let me tell you it is actually working. Not sure if it is the fact that it is very predominantly displayed in the kitchen, or the fact that my son is constantly reminding me that I need to get more stamps. But it is working and I am getting things done. The not so happy part is that I am starting a new list already for the next chart... buy hey, I have stopped procrastinating over those tasks, that were hanging over my shoulders...

Do you think that's something you could give a go? Are there a few things that you have been procrastinating for weeks, months or even years? or any tasks you want to achieve in the next few weeks that a chart with a promise of a nice reward can help you with?
I would love to hear.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

My wish list

A new month and a new update on my wish list... I do love colourful things and this one won't disappoint... watch out in the upcoming days for some pictures of things I added to my stash lately too... Oh the shopping!

Enjoy the picture list below, links in caption text. As always I have picked all the items in the list and are actually things I want to get for myself. I am in no way related or sponsored by any of them.

Seamstress key ring by Pink Coat Club

Wild Olive tomato needle minder - Cloud Craft

Be a lovely human by Nutmeg and Arlo

Hope you enjoyed all the lovely items here, this time I have chose all UK small business to showcase as I have fall in love with their makes lately. Happy crafting!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Creative parent equals creative child?

Crafting has always been a part of me, so I find myself working when my little one is around lots, specially so during the summer holidays. In my house you will find my embroidery tools, or my sewing box or my hooks and needles around all of the time. Partly because I like to have them handy for when I have 5 minutes to work but also unconsciously because I want to transfer him the love of what I make.

However this is the way I was brought up too. I have plenty memories of my grandmothers and my mum sewing, knitting, painting and cooking all while we played around. As a child I would sit at the pedal of my grandmother's Singer and help her move the pedal while she sewed. Her scissors and all sewing implements were in the drawers in her sewing table, and I remember admiring them and opening the drawers many times. I knew what the tools were and that I was not to touch them. I respected them and I loved them too!

I also loved joining in, so from early on I was making clothes for my dolls (gluing scraps of fabric together) or knitting wonky scarves or ironing the clothes in my play ironing board (aka old bench) and iron. Came the time of carnival (there was no dressing up for Halloween at the time) or school plays, we would rummage in a drawer of old clothes and make things out of them. I always loved my costumes and my earliest memories are a Hawaiian skirt made out of a potato bag, a colonial dress in blue fabric and black lace, and a 60s skirt for a rock and roll dance made out of my mums old green striped dress...

For every occasion there was a handmade gift, partly because we couldn't afford otherwise, but partly because it is what we did. Pencil holders made out of tins, Paper Mache whatever you can imagine, etc. It is what we did.

And so as I don’t know any better that’s what I do at home. We have had our issues, like the time my son grabbed my bird crewelwork embroidery to look at the pretty bird whilst his fingers were covered in chocolate (I am yet to clean that stain)… but generally at 3 years old he understands and respects my tools, and he loves copying and being involved. So we colour together and lately we started embroidering together. First with perforated paper and last weekend for the first time with actual cross stitch tools. The needles that were in my sewing case (blunt needles for cross stitch) and Aida fabric, the same one I use.

My son also knows about wool, you may have seen in my stories the videos of him winding up yarn. He is also learning to make pom poms, and I am planning to get him into dyeing yarn and finger knitting as soon as he is ready.

I adapt the materials as much as I possibly can, but generally he asks to do things there and then so I have to improvise. I won't lie it is messy, there is a bit of shouting involved some times when I see he is about to mess up with the bits I don't want to share... life is real, not the imaginary tale in my head and he is 3! But we try, we inspire each other and we try to share a special time of what mum does.

Creative parent equals creative child? I don't know yet. I may figure it out in a few years time. But I hope to be transferring the love of handmade, of working with your own hands, of creating. I hope to be giving him the confidence that he can make things, that he can transform a material into something beautiful, that his hands can create what he imagines. I hope to be transferring the love of hand made... and secretly I am hoping that it will also lead to him appreciating what I do... and how much love goes into it.

Do you share what you do with your child? Be it your job or you hobby? I would love to know.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Making a larger peg bag

Hello there!

You may have seen before over here that I have a pattern for a peg bag over in my Craftsy store (here). And I have been using it for well over 5 years now... but as families grow so does the needs for pegs unfortunately and I found myself needing a new, larger bag.

After a little consideration and deciding how bigger I wanted my bag to be without being too large and how was I going to amend the pattern to make it work for us now I came up with this!

In my bag I am using a lovely fabric from IKEA that I had leftover from ages ago when I made my doggy Feli a coat and cushion. You can have a peak at that one (here). I even managed to fuzzy cut some sections to make sure I got the pretty pictures in the bag...

So what you will you need:

- The pattern for my Pretty Peg Bag from my Crftsy store (here) printed.
- Still you will use half a meter of sturdy cotton fabric.
- A baby size hanger.
- Printer paper, ruler, pencil, paper scissors and tape for drafting the new pattern.
- Sewing notions, machine and thread.

Amending the pattern
The first thing you will need to do is modify the printed pattern to add length to the bag. To do that pint the original pattern. You will be adding about 10cm height to the bag.

Trace the shape of the front bottom piece of the peg bag into a new piece of paper leaving about 10cm of paper to the top. Depending on the size of paper you are using you may need to patch a new piece of paper on top. On an A4 sheet it should just fit. Then trace the side lines up for 10cm and trace the new top mark as per the picture below.

Now trace and cut two of the new drafted pieces and two of the top front section as per the original pattern. Stick one top and bottom part together, this will form the new back piece of the pattern. Use the other two pieces as your front top and bottom parts. Your new piece patterns should look something like this.

Continue assembling the pattern pieces as per the instructions in the pattern. Please note in the finished peg bag I sewn two tacks by hand about 4cm from the side joining the front top and bottom together. This was done to ensure the opening doesn't open too wide with the weight of the bag. You would not need to make this tag if you are making the smaller version, however you can do if you choose too!

Hope you enjoy the peg bag pattern and please do share back or tag @natilittlethings so I can see it when you post on social media!

Enjoy sewing,

Friday, 29 June 2018

A market bag

I have been meaning to make a market bag for a while now... But there are so many patterns out there that I just didn't know where to start. So I thought the best way around was to try some patterns and see what I like/don't like and then maybe try to make my own...

So as my first choice of bag I gave the Edda Bag from We Are Knitters a try, and it didn't disappoint!

What I loved about this pattern:

- It comes in many languages! That is always a yey for me as I have many readers that English is not the language they learned to crochet in... and this works fab!

- It is worked flat and then shaped by adding the border and handles. I found this method super quick, not need for stitch markers and counting rounds... a great project for a holiday or while watching tv or chatting with friends!

-  It is roomy but not overly big, but of course it will stretch and enlarge when filled.

- The pattern only breaks the yarn twice in the whole bag, this makes the bag more sturdy and it also makes for less ends to hide at the end, this is a super plus for me!

What I would change about the pattern:

- I would make it slightly bigger for a second bag... which I am planning to make. As I generally buy rhubarb when going to the market I think I will need a longer bag.

- I used more yarn than described in the pattern. That could just have been me, as I used a 4.5 hook, so may need to try in a smaller hook again... but just in case make sure you have some extra cotton to hand.

- Nothing else! apart from these two minor comments the bag is ace and the pattern is written beautifully, short and easy to follow!

So if you are planning on making a market bag I think this one is great... and if I make it again I will be surely to let you know the amendments I made to the patter for you to follow!


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