I cut up a lot of books. Usually they’re ones that have been scribbled on, which puts a stop to any guilty feels. This is most of what I’ve got shoved in my crafty drawer, some may have fallen down the back.
I’ve got a lot of birthdays in October and my collection comes in handy when I haven’t got the time to draw a card design. You upcycle those old pictures into something new like a card!That’s another thing to feel bad about; If you make a birthday card just by sticking a picture onto some card, is that cheating? Well, it’s what I do when time is an issue.
Here is my favourite box of pens and things. I have a scalpel in there wrapped in a tatty masking taped protective thing (Husband made it a long time ago and I have stolen it along with the blade), it’s the dirty thing on the left, next to the brown pencil. We’ve tried to find those Stylo pens but they don’t make them any more. This one is used sparingly, it is lovely to draw with.
Anyway, I use that scalpel to slice up my old pictures and then just bung them on some card with a bit of glue. Easy!
See? Easy! A bit more slicing and done.
Lazy, or what? I regret not having made the effort to do some drawing but I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to think of ideas. I really don’t like drawing something if the idea doesn’t please me greatly. Which reminds me, it is another birthday tomorrow…. Husband’s… I have lost my thinking cap. (The fabric in the background is for a project I did at the beginning of the week. I’ve taken pictures, so it will deffo become a blog post soon.)
Not forgetting to sign “your work” after. Sorry to everyone who gets these. I do try to match the picture to the person but it isn’t always possible.
I have an infestation. Vine Weevil. They are not my friends.
Whenever I have spoken about them with other gardeny types, most have never come across vine weevils or, if they have, they may have seen just one or two of the nasty little grubs in a random strawberry pot. Well, when I first discovered them, it was in their masses. I would dig up dozens and dozens at a time. Enough to make you puke. They are writhy and gross. To treat them, you cannot nuke them. Certainly not when it comes to edibles anyway. Be nice, be organic (pay a fortune).
This stuff arrived on my doormat a month ago. I ordered it from Harrod Horticultural and they send it to you in March and September. It takes some dedication to do it (it takes flippin’ ages) and I procrastinated for a whole month. The instructions tell you to make a kind of soup that you have to water the garden with. A million watering cans later and you are supposed to water the garden all over again, give it a good going over. It also gives you mini heebyjeebies too. Within the candyfloss-like mixture that needs to be dissolved, are millions and squillions of microscopic worms, waiting to burrow into the vine weevil grubs and eat them from the inside out. Something like that any way. Despite heebyjeebies, they are my parasitic pals and I hope they do their thing.
I was out in the garden forever, getting in a soggy mess. It is time consuming, measuring your soup and diluting it with water. Alongside my veg patch I have troughs with strawberry plants. I ignored them this year because they were poorly. If I’d sorted them out (perhaps by getting rid of them) I wouldn’t have been fannying about in the garden today. Vine weevil grubs feast upon strawberry roots and that’s probably where the problem stems (!) from. The adults leave notches in the leaves. I hope that by treating the soil with nematodes, the strawberries will perk up for next year and I will be nice to them again. Perhaps I should have looked after them in the first place.
I had enough mixture to do the whole of the garden, including on the gravel. The strawberries send off runners that end up wedged in gravel paths. I think it looks quite nice so I leave them there. They are at risk of the dreaded weevil too, so it went all over. The gravelly bits look a bit messy right now. It’s autumns fault.
It’s all collapsing. Meh, I don’t care at this time of year. It doesn’t matter. This picture is post nematoding, it’s all the more heavy with watery soup.
The figs are at an end now. There were so many. Weeks and weeks of figs. I ate one of the last ones yesterday. Forced it down. I think there may be one or two left up the top but no more will ripen now. The leaves are dropping and the baby figs are giving up and going brown. I ate more than just one this year, in fact, I surpassed myself and sometimes ate two or three a day! Crazy, I know. I got used to their funny, pappy crunch and floral weirdness.
I wonder if anyone goes to the effort of saving sunflower seeds? I left this head turned upwards, thinking that a bird or two would take a fancy but it’s just going mouldy. I guess they hang their heads down for a reason.
[you know that no won picks thos sunflouer seeds but me and sumtims my brothur picks them. The petls wur reley brite yelow but now it is browney yelowey and they were a nice colour.] – Briefly taken over by a six year old. He’s in his jammies waiting for bedtime, it’s 8pm.
I originally planned to start working on my Halloween ideas in the summer. That didn’t really happen and I’ve left it until late. Not a surprise. I’ve been rush rushing to get my brain babies out and into the open for a few weeks. I was pretty keen to get some patterns up and running by October but have been somewhat disorganised. Having said that… I’ve only gone and done it!
A tray of mess is what I have had sat on my lap every nap time for about three weeks. I have made many variations of witches, bats, cats and pumpkins. I started pretty much from scratch but the idea is based on one I had about four years ago. I remember starting to write the witch pattern down (based on some Christmas angels that weren’t very good). I think it is probably a good thing that I lost what I’d written because I found the initial attempts…
Hidden in a bag under the stairs were some sorry looking heads and hats and unidentifiable things.
Poor, yucky old witch head. Ugh, it belongs to the cat now. It’s been clawed and beaten but it’s robust enough that the stuffing is still there inside her green head. Anyway, I shall move on to how she looks now…
She’s in need of a haircut but other than that, I am very pleased with what I’ve come up with. Begone manhands!
Here she is, off to a party. She’s got her fancy hat on and she’s carrying her fabulous pumpkin. She’s got some mates too…
She also thought she’d try growing pumpkins in her veg patch. She was quite pleased with the results.
Anyway, I took a deep breath and decided to be brave. I thought I would try something new, you know, just give it a go. So…. I have added these to a Ravelry shop. Me and Husband worked together to sort out how to actually open a Ravelry shop after Bake Off last night. For peeps that have never done this before, it was quite confusing but I think it’s worked. The pattern has had some ‘likes’ too! It has joined my Owl pattern on Ravelry but unlike the owl pattern I am charging a small fee for this Halloween Collection. A lot of work has gone into, not only designing the patterns themselves, but also making sure it all looks smart and lovely. This is partly down to the help I’ve had, so thank you to my friends who have all done their bit to support me and give me advice. X
I think it’ll take time to learn how to use these selling platforms, I have no clue what I’m doing. None at all! But I will get there eventually.
Wait! Hang on a minute! Just because I can, I’m sharing the pumpkin pattern here! Huzzah! If you like it, think about popping over to the shop to purchase the rest of the pattern for the full set. Thanks very much.
Mini Halloween Pumpkin (Measures about 2.5cm across):
Using orange yarn.
Round 1: 6 into a Magic Ring
Round 2: inc around. 
Round 3: (sc in next st, inc in next) around. 
Round 4-5: sc around. 
Round 6: (sc in next st, dec). 
Round 7: dec around .
Fo and leave an extra long tail (at least 50cm).
Stitch closed by threading needle through the front loops and pulling tight to close hole. Thread the tail through the top centre of the pumpkin keeping the yarn tight. Wrap the yarn over the outside the pumpkin and thread through the bottom centre of the pumpkin. Repeat this 4 or 5 more times for a good pumpkin effect. Keep the yarn nice and tight. Secure yarn and fo. Thread some green yarn through the centre of the pumpkin and then back through, leaving a loop (be careful not to pull it all back through). Knot the ends together tightly and snip tails short.
And there we have it. Now that it’s all done I feel a bit weird. I have lots more ideas for the future but my head is going a bit crazy and it’s working faster than my hands can. I wish someone would pay me to play.
To begin my mishmash here is some progress on the fireplace blanket. I can tell it’s going to be a weighty blanket for its size. Soon it’ll be finished but I am so gonna run out of wool. More balls have been ordered but not sure yet as to whether it’ll be enough for an impressive border.
I’m also working on a witchy pattern for Halloween. I’m not 100% happy with her hat yet. And she’s got man hands, which’ll have to get sorted.
My first Sharpie adventure. A simple birthday card.
We got a cat! This is Marceline the Vampire Queen. She arrived during the last week of the summer holidays. Daughter of Cinnamon, Grandaughter of Nutmeg.
She’s a lovely girl who likes shades of red.
She has been enjoying some late summer sunshine…
And getting to know the garden. She thinks leeks are tasty.
It’s the end of the season for sure. This is the point where I stop trying to maintain the garden and let it go nuts. I’ve got to be good and go out there for a tidy up. Nemotodes arrived in the post last week so I know I’ve got to get a move on. Hopefully these parasitic wormy friends will sort out my vine weevil problem. The idea is that they’ll feast upon the grub guts like there’s no tomorrow.
Salvia Patens. Time to gather their seeds so I can grow more. It’s a bit wet out there right now though.
Hawthorn and Holly. I used to get excited about seeing all this red because I thought I could nick it at Christmas to decorate my house Pagan style. I now know that it’ll all be gone by then. The birds will scoff them all.
Pink Cosmos. I’m impressed that I’ve still got flowers in the garden at all. There is still quite a lot of colour out there. Still, it’s not really Autumn yet.
These Calendula are in the front garden. I don’t really look after the front the way I do the back garden. It gets straggly and neglected.
It doesn’t seem to matter to the bees and their friends. They still get their buzz on.
Any way, I should go now to continue with the crochet. I’ve got a long list of things to finish and more yet to start. Also, I’m gonna make a pie for tomorrow’s tea. Bake off is making me do it.
Saturday saw the birthday party of a little girl I know. It was brilliant. My birthday present to her was to help with decorations. And so I did. I went a bit crazy, and together, with her mum, we covered the house in pom poms, streamers and fairy magic.
Unfortunately my photography skills haven’t improved much over the last few months so my interior shots are dull and fuzzy. I’ll post the pctures anyway because they show what we got up to. I just hope the host doesn’t mind me showing pictures of her lovely house!
Half a tonne of tissue paper pompoms were made in all different sizes. We stuck to green and pink colours, which worked well together. The small pompoms got threaded together to make garlands.
The decorations came from everywhere. It was a big and happy collaboration with lots of friends lending little things, big things, colourful things, all of which came together to create a delightful fairyland.
A handmade fairy throne of hazel. It’s amazing (even if it does have woodworm)!
All of these potion vessels were gathered from the local junk yard for pretty much nothing.
Sadly I didn’t see any fairies flit past this dodgy handmade teepee (old duvet cover). The flowers were pinned on and sticks cut from nearby.
I think a lot of the cushions and rugs were found in charity shops but I did do that so I’m not sure.
It rained in the morning but ten minutes before kids arrived, the sun came out and we rushed outside to put up all the tricks.
I love this secret fairy garden. It has reminded me that, I was told an actual fairy had moved into the garden. I heard that a little tiny door had appeared at the foot of one of the trees. I completely forgot to go and find it. It’s better not to disturb them I suppose.
I think this was definitely the most popular game. A magic potion table.
It was mostly vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and food colouring. There was also soap and shaving foam, stuff like that. It was loads of gloopy, stinky fun. There was also a wand making table, which I didn’t have a go at. I was too busy floating around being a fairy.
Everyone’s favourite was the food table. My paper mache toadstools popped up amongst the leaves and cakes. There was more food than this it just hadn’t been put out yet!
Nothing was expensive, a bit of imagination was all that was needed.
It all looked beautiful. The evening before, the birthday girl and her brother helped their mum to make the fairy cakes. I’m told they enjoyed making little fondant roses to go on top of the icing. Loads of fresh fruit and leaves were used to decorate the table: blackberries, hazelnuts and ferns from their garden and figs with their leaves from mine.
The vintage cake stands worked really well with all the foliage. I’ve seen loads of them in charity shops recently. The back drop of netting is an old net curtain from my living room (we got a kitten last week and using her sharp claws, she tore a giant hole in it). It was recycled into a gauzy backdrop for the butterflies to settle upon.
The location was perfect too. It was just so much fun. I don’t really know what else to say about it. Well, I could reveal my costume I suppose…
My fairy shoes. Lots of felt cut with pinking shears stuck on to old shoes using my trusty glue gun. To add a bit of detail I stitched in some leafy veins. I also wore some green fairy wings and a garland of leaves in my hair. I smudged eyes, cheeks and brows in bright green eye shadow too. There are a couple of photgraphs of me but I look yuck so I’m not putting them up 😛
I spent the weekend making these toadstools and I love them! In my head they were expertly crafted and beautifully painted. In real life they’re not quite as perfect looking as in my head but I reckon I did a pretty good job. As usual, I was religiously trawling Pinterest when I saw some that I knew I had to make.
At the weekend I am helping with a friends birthday party. Her daughter is turning four and is having a fairy themed party. I think I’ll be able to squeeze these in there somewhere. If they survive, I’ll also work them into my Halloween celebrations!!
Any way, I thought I’d share my pictures of how I made mine. The original tutorial is really good and it’s a proper tutorial whereas, I’ll just show the various stages of the makings of them. I recommend checking out the original if you fancy having a go.
Actually this was an addition to the tutorial; I added coppers to the bottoms of the stems to add weight. They stand up nicely.
For the larger toadstools, I made a disc of foil and put three pennies on top.
Then I wrapped that in more foil and squidged it together.
Twisty twisty with the foil.
The caps were made separately from the stems.
Following the tutorial, I covered it all in masking tape so that the paper mache has something to grip. I don’t know if this was necessary but it also helped to shape everything.
Once I had covered it all, I left them for a couple of days to dry naturally. In April, I was playing with paper mache and thought I’d put my creation out in the hot sun to dry. It was too intense and it did annoying crinkly things to what I was working on (Ice King pinata-it was so cool).
I’ve ruined my tray as I was too lazy to get a separate doodah for the paint. I did two coats of acrylic paint. Three would have been better.
I love playing with my glue gun. Stems got stuck to caps. And fingers.
I thought too much about dot placement. Not the worst thing to worry about, I guess.
Now, er, where to put them? I don’t know and I don’t care, they’re so cute!
I skipped the stage of using paper mache to smooth out the seal between cap and stem. I shouldn’t have done. It would’ve have looked so much better with lovely neat gills.
Any way, that is what I did at the weekend! I also squeezed in a couple of crochet squares for the fireplace blanket (nearly all squares done). And I’ve fun over the last two days making half a tonne of tissue paper flowers and other exciting fairy party related things. Really, I should have my own fairy party. It’s all too exciting.
Before I post endless pictures of the garden, I had better show at least one recent crochet project. This is a cute baby bonnet I made for a friend, whose baby girl was born last week.
I made it in a DK cotton. I thought cotton would be best for a teeny weeny new born.
I found the pattern on Pinterest. It was a lovely pattern, very easy to follow. It is here. You can add a couple more rows to make it bigger. Once I’d finished, I wished I had. However, it fits! Not for long though.
Any way, the following pictures are more for my benefit than any one else. I’m posting them so I can see how the garden looked in the late summer of 2015! The answer is, messy.
I have always taken pictures of the garden and over the years it has changed quite a lot. The photo’s are a reminder because otherwise I’d assume it always looked the same. It’s easy to forget.
He didn’t mind having a camera poked at him in the slightest.
It never occurred to me before that sunflowers would seed themselves. I said in a previous post that it is because of my dodgy homemade compost. The Hollyhocks are doing surprisingly well but they’re very spindly. Just the white ones arrived.
I’ll be interested to look back on these in a year or two. I hope to make some changes to the planting but need to have a think.
The Honeysuckle had it’s best year so far. Lots of flowers appeared. We hacked it back to just a few inches last year. Did the trick.
I could have taken some pictures of a different area of the g arden I suppose. Um, Maybe the tatty looking veg patches. Everything is coming to an end.
I have been busy crafting and taking too many pictures. So many, that sorting through them has been blah. So this post is a bit of a filler really. I will be getting my bum in gear and doing some more crafty business in the next couple of weeks.
Back garden at 6am last Thursday and contrary to the saying, the shepherds did not need to be warned, it was a nice day.
Last week I nominated Esshaych for the Liebster Award. Well, Esshaych has nominated me back and I get to answer some more questions! Esshaych is a great blog for those (like me), who enjoy amigurumi. If you don’t know what this Liebster thing is about have a look at my last post.
Here are the questions I was asked:
1. What is your favourite craft, and why?
I like lots of different crafts but crochet is probably the one I do the most. I also enjoy sewing little things such as bags, purses and toys. I’d like to say I’m a regular clothes maker too but I can’t find enough time.
2. Best thing you’ve ever made?
I made Beth Doherty’s fawn and I love him.
He isn’t perfect and he’s covered in dust now. He’s so tightly stitched that he can stand all by himself. I’m proud of that!!
I’ve been asked to make these for people but I’ve been putting it off as I remember some tricky techniques involved. The pattern is in this book.
3. And the worst?!
I was asked this question before and I’ve made some pretty shoddy things over the last few years. I attempted to design a crochet cupcake that was just an embarrassment and the first blankets I made were terrible.
4. Do you have any superstitions?
I secretly worry after I’ve walked under a ladder.
5. Do you prefer to read books or watch movies?
Both. But they’re often sidelined if I need to do something crafty. I can’t crochet and watch tv at the samew time. I miss too much of what’s going on.
6. Your favourite place you have visited?
Not sure I have an ultimate favourite but Lydford Gorge on Dartmoor is amazing (even better if there are no other visitors). Any where on Dartmoor is cool. There are lots of piskies running around. You will never see them watching you. They’re there.
7. What craft supply did you purchase last?
I bought some cream DK with dark speckles in it. I was trying to see if it would make a good amigurumi snowy owl (it won’t).
8. Dolls – Yes or No?!
Yes. I want to sew some dolls but they always end up at the bottom of the to make list. 🙁
9. Ever been to any gigs/concerts? If so, what was your favourite and why?
When I was 15 I went to see Blur and REM at Milton Keynes Bowl. It was so hot that day. It was the first time Blur sang Country House! I loved that song! I also saw Primal Scream around the same time. I can’t say that either of these experiences blew me away. I’ve seen other bands since but it’s been a while. I’d like to take my boys to a festival when they’re a bit older but I don’t think they’d like it in the dance tent (that’s where I’d head to now).
10. Do you own any cacti?
No but I’m not averse to the idea. We do need more plants in my house. I’d like some in the bathroom to make it look like a jungle.
11. Favourite colour/colour combo?
Green and brown are my favourite colours.
And below are the questions from Ericka Eckles. She was one of my nominees and has gone to town on her answers. They’re fabulous!
If you could have a fantasy date with anyone who would it be?
I love this question. I am going to say Nathan Fillion. I don’t really fancy him but I think he’s very funny. Love Firefly and love Castle. In a minute I’ll remember someone super hot and wish I’d said them. No! I won’t, that’s mega shallow.
What pieces connected with what you love to do, do you really treasure….
All the uniques things that no one else has. Handmade things. My crochet case is handmade as is my needle case. And I love all the ladybird books I’ve collected. I love looking at the pictures and I like the fact that I can get one down from the shelf to show my children an interesting fact about the weather or something.
What do you wish you were better at/could do?
I’d like to be a fancy knitter and super dressmaker. Given the time, I could definitely get better at both but I want to do everything NOW and that’s frustrating.
(Friday evening at the front of the house).
Hopefully I’ll be able to share some more stuff soon. Back to normal next week, once eldest son has gone back to school. I’m looking forward to helping at a fairy fancy dress party in a couple of weeks. There will be mucho crafting involved in that. And for the last couple of weeks I have already had Halloween on my mind. Definitely gonna do crafty shenanigans for that…
A Liebster Award (Google it to find out more) is an award for new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) as a way to get to know each other and introduce some fresh and exciting blogs. I don’t think I’ve stuck to those who have fewer than 200 followers or those that are new to blogging but it turns out that it’s quite tricky to stick to the criteria. These are a selection of blogs I like, some I’ve only recently discovered.
I was a right stick-in-the-mud the other time I got a nomination for a new blogger award (when I had only written a handful of posts). I never got round to completing the task. Tsk. This time I thought I’d make the effort because it does seem like a friendly way of spreading communications between bloggers. And it is fun! However, I do understand if this isn’t something you want to partake in.
Here’s how it works:
Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
Ensure all of these bloggers have fewer than 200 followers.
Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
Lastly, COPY these rules in your post.
….This is my addition to the rules saying, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. No pressure.
Connie at Joyful Solitude nominated me for a One Lovely Blog award back in June (the one I mentioned above). Please look at her blog so that you’re aware of events happening on the island of Saipan that, you might not have heard about on the news.
These were the questions I was given to answer (yours are below):
1.What do you do to relax and wind down?
Bugger about on the computer, read, watch movies, but mostly crochet and waft around being “creative” (with or without booze).
2.Do you collect anything? If so, what?
Books. I collect ladybird books, old illustrated children’s books and books about folklore. Also, random junk from charity shops and jumble sales that gets squeezed onto the shelves in my house.
3.Where would you most like to travel to?
Japan and America probably.
4.What is your favourite meal to cook?
Cooking is awesome, I don’t think I have an absolute favourite to make. I do enjoy making curries though.
5.Name the last book you read. Was it any good?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Yes it was good, I really enjoyed it. There is a movie coming soon. Don’t mess it up, Speilberg!
6.What is your favourite crafting project to date?
Usually it’s the one I am working on (until it is finished and then I end up thinking it’s rubbish). However, I am still pretty keen on the cherry blossom needlecase I made.
7.What was your worst crafting disaster?
Loads. I can’t think of any specific ones but there are plenty of things I’m thoroughly ashamed of.
8.What would you most like to learn?
Probably another language. Learning a martial art would be pretty good. And I think I’d like to learn how to use a camera properly. And I’d like to learn how to become a proper dressmaker so I can adjust patterns to suit me.
9.Name a person that has inspired you in your life.
All of my besties. An awe-inspiring bunch!
10.Where do you take inspiration from for your crafting?
Old books and Pinterest.
11.Describe yourself in 3 words.
Don’t want to! :p
My questions to you:
What did you have for tea last night?
What are you having for tea tonight?
What are you doing at the weekend?
As a child, what did you want to be when you were a grown up
What was your first job?
Name a book you read again and again.
Adventure Time: Yes or No?
What do you collect?
um, running out of questions to ask. Can’t think. Feel free to make up two questions you’d like to ask yourself! Answer them too, obvs. X
I bought pens! So many pens. I am not entirely sure what I’m going to use them for. It was a bit of a naughty purchase really but they were only £6.99 from WHSmiths.
Looking at Pinterest last night I learned that, contrary to what I believed, they are actually useless for tarting up plates and cups. Not that I was planning on drawing all over my crockery but it leaves me with one less option. My first thought upon getting all these shiny new things was where to put them? Well…..
I made them a pencil case all of their very own! It didn’t take very long and I had to get the sewing machine out to do a proper sewing thing anyway (more curtains). It is based on the mini zippered bag but I’ve made this a lot so I didn’t need to follow the tutorial.
I love the fabric. I bought it in May, in a little shop in Exmouth called Creative Sewing. It sells the loveliest, prettiest, poshest fabric. I only bought a few fat quarters and some ribbon because I couldn’t afford much else. Now I have a new home for my pens. The children are not allowed these pens, we’ve only just redecorated.
Look! It’s me!! I made these little guys a few weeks ago and tagged Simply Crochet magazine on the picture I instagrammed. I was pretty chuffed to see them in the magazine. Now I know they don’t make up pretend readers! I don’t often buy magazines (not reeeallly), let alone make the patterns within the pages but I did this time. It has definitely given me a boost but I am wondering if I should aim higher next time. I’m thinking about focusing more on my own designs and seeing what happens if I shout loud about them… for example:
These little hooters are becoming really popular. I posted the pattern at the beginning of the month. They are my Granny Owl Decorations. A few days later I twigged that I should probably put them on Ravelry. I did and it went a bit mental for a couple of days. Then yesterday, completely out of the blue, they gathered loads of interest after someone (I’ve no idea who) posted a link on their Facebook page. Very interesting, very exciting. I guess I need to be less scared about what I’m doing. Stop being a wimp. And I guess I should say “Thanks” to those who have found and liked my owlies. There will definitely be more patterns from me in the future.
PS I’m many places online. Over on the right you can see my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. Please Follow/Like and what have you. And I’m also on Pinterest (all.the.time). Have a look! Thank you. X