Small things and Fun things.

Easy handmade valentines day card.

It’s half term, so it’s all a rush. Without too much gubbins I’ll share what I’ve been up to over the last few week.

Handmade birthday card

Husband got a Valentine’s card, my Mum got a birthday card. Both quick, easy and fun to do yet very effective, I think. Inspired by The Messy Brunette and her post about Valentines.

Cotton crochet doily

I made a couple of doilies with the cheap Drops cotton I bought. Cheap for a reason. VERY splitty. But I wasn’t expecting it to be amazing at 80p a ball.

Ugly cotton doily

The first one is the better of the two but neither are great. Not dainty in the slightest and I think they’ll just get hidden away rather than used. I found a diagram pattern on pinterest that I used. And I only went and blocked something!! I usually try to avoid it but here, there was no escaping it this time.

Hyacinth embroidery

I completed my hyacinth embroidery. I can’t find the time to do anything with the flowery embroidery things I’ve been doing. Maybe next week.

Making a crochet scarf.

Crocheting instead of perservering with my knitting. I love crochet.

perle cotton x50

Buying cotton. I can go through so much embroidery thread. Hopefully this is the answer. Bought from Ebay for less than £25! 50 flippin balls!

many colours of anchor cotton

It wasn’t in any kind of colour order so I’ve been playing with the way they live together.

colours!

I’m more excited than I should be about some cotton.

Look!

Look at the beautious bounty of awesomeness!

colourful thread.

It was bought with Christmas money, I still got a mild telling off for buying more craft crap. It has nowhere to go.

First ten days of February.

trying knitting

It’s been a bit of a blah kind of week. I think it’s because I started knitting and haven’t been an instant expert. I see knitting everywhere at the moment and thought I should jump on the band wagon. Well, I don’t think I’ll stay on very long. I don’t think I’m enjoying it that much.

rubbish knitting

I’m tempted to unravel this pappy attempt and crochet my way to a baby blanket instead. It’s messy and has dropped stitches. There is always the fear of it coming off the needles and I have no idea of what real knitters do if they make a mistake. I mean,  do you just unravel some rows and then painstakingly reattach all those loops, without unravelling the underneath row by mistake?? What a pain in the arse! It’s happened. Twice. The first time, my nearly three year old grabbed the needles and effortlessly yoinked away the knitting by swishing around his new “light sabers.” I did it the second time because there were too many loose bits after a colour change. Ugh. Stick with it ?… Or not? I’m surprised that I’ve picked up speed when I’m doing it right and I love the click clack of the needles, but, that is about it. Hmm.

pompoms

In a bid to change the mood, I thought I’d have some fun with pompom making. Turns out this isn’t much fun either. I bought a cheap pompom maker and it keeps popping open at the crucial moment, spilling tiny threads of yarn all over my lap. Also, I think mixing up the colours was a mistake. I’m thinking of trying some mono colour balls. They’ll look better.

working

This is where I’ve been sitting this week. Surrounded by mess. I’m like some sort of creative tramp at the minute. It’s the rotten weather that does it. Although, yesterday I took the small boy for a long walk around town. I said we could go and look at the swollen, rain filled river but by the time we got there he was asleep. When we returned home, he was angry with me because we hadn’t been to the river. It’s not my fault that he missed it.

daffs in garden

Looking out the window at the spring flowers, I had an idea that might cheer me up a bit.

a snow drop with macro lense

I know I’ve used the snowdrop picture before, it’s the only goodish one I’ve got.

hyacinth

I love the smell of Hyacinths. I love the smell of daffodils too. They’re also among the prettiest flowers of the spring. They are the first signs that the winter is on the out (although they’ve been fooled as it was -1 this morning and there is frost on the grass).

planning picture

Anyway, I drew some quick sketches and off I went, cutting up bits of fabric and stitching them roughly together.

working on daffs

I’m really pleased with the results. One or two mess ups have occurred but nothing too awful. I asked Husband his opinion and apparently they are twee and granny like. Something you’d find in a charity shop, he said. Maybe that’s the result I’m after but it kind of threw me. Now I’m having doubts.

fabric hyacinths

I think this one looks the most granny like and I’m hoping that will change with the things I’ll do to it. I’d really like them to be displayed in the embroidery hoops but they’re expensive so I only have one. I’ve got another idea but i’m afraid that it’ll transform them into “twee” monstrosities. Oh well, we shall see.

drops cotton

Lastly, I have this Drops recycled cotton. Hearts on the label, must be Valentine’s or something.  80p each! I want to make a doily or two but still on the look out for the right sort of pattern. Fingers crossed I’ll find a pattern soon and get on with it. I’m getting crochet withdrawal.

The things I made in December

pieces of zebra

Better late than never, here is the Christmas stuff I made. Not all of it, I didn’t take pictures of it all. These are the things I thought I should record as they’re all firsts.

Making an amigurumi zebra

This fella was finished on Christmas Eve. I spent a long time on him, mostly in little bursts because like an old lady, I couldn’t work with the black yarn in the dark. And it was always dark in December.

hand made crochet zebra

Many hours later…. I think I did an acceptable job.

Cute amigurumi zebra

Little toddler fingers had smudged the camera lense and I didn’t notice until much later.

christmas zebra

I followed Elisabeth Doherty’s pattern from her Amigurumi book. The pattern is for a fawn which is surrounded by other ami patterns (although I don’t fancy making a crochet burger really). However, I know that the fawn pattern can be bought on its own on Etsy and maybe Ravelry as a pdf. I’m sure it was last time I looked.

An amigurumi zebra

The back legs twisted too much so that the knees are wrongly placed, I didn’t say anything and I don’t think the recipient will notice. She’s only two.

Kids crochet cardigan

I made a little crochet cardi. Super speedy it was. The pattern is from Simply Crochet Magazine, issue 32. I was very good and bought the recommended wool, Drops Nepal. I chose slightly different colours but mostly I stuck to the recipe.

little crochet cardi

I had pink leftover so instead of a ribbon tie, I made a crochet one. It might be a bit bulky though, which is probably the reason why the pattern goes for ribbon.

Cardigan yoke

Not sure what to do with the leftovers, only a small amount of the yoke colours are needed. Ohh, pompoms?!

blocking the round doily.

Nanna and Grandad got a doily for Christmas. I used DMC Natura Just Cotton in Dk. The pattern is from Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Lacy Crochet. I didn’t do a particularly neat job of blocking it as I ran out of ironing board. My Nanna was pleased as she said it can replace the doily her mother had made her (it is falling apart). I don’t know how old that one is but she told me that her mother died in 1976.

Coraline doll

And here is Coraline.Quite a big doll. Whilst not perfect, I am proud of her as I made her up totally from my head. All of it. Including the pattern for the coat, which only bloody well fit first time! Dead pleased. But not completely over the moon. I want to make her again to sort all the tweaks that are required. Her head and neck shape is wrong, which in turn has ballsed up her face. And I was afraid to press her clothes incase the felt melted. Neatness has been sacrificed.

An emergency ear fix

She also needed an emergency operation on her ears because they were dreadful. I so know what I’d do to make them better but I ran out of fabric and time.

Coraline's face

They are supposed to poke through her hair and that, they do

Home made Coraline

It is a huge relief to have ticked these things off my list. I have a perkier list for January, which pretty much includes making stuff solely for me!

The rush of December

starting crochet cardi

It’s properly December now and the time I thought I had is pretty much gone. I had lots of ideas for Christmas makes but I have gradually knocked certain things off the list as time disappears. I’ve narrowed it down and there are three main things still left to finish. Anything else I make after that is a bonus. The first is the thingy above. I started yesterday and it was fun to get cracking.

cardi yoke

I love the colours. It is Drops Nepal, an alpaca mix aran. I will be sure to take some more pictures of this later. I think I will finish this quite quickly. It’s an enjoyable thing.

pile of makes

This is the stuff that I made thinking I would try and sell it at the craft fair last month. I also knew that if I didn’t sell it then I would be giving some of it away as Christmas presents. Is that wrong? Feel marginally guilty but can’t put my finger on why.

first c2c baby blanket

This is my first Corner2Corner and my first Walking Dead blanket. Called the Walking Dead blanket because I need somewhere to look when the zombies/walkers/biters are on screen.

stash busting c2c

It’s only small and made from leftovers, hence the odd colour choices. They are not my colours but I think they have some appeal. Autumnal.

where is the nice green

This is the second Walking Dead blanket, started when we began season three. Still not finished but we have three episodes left so the two should be finished together. It is made from Bamboo. I bought it for £1.39 a ball, reduced from £4. Unfortunately, it smells rank. I’m not sure if it’s the yarn or the cardboard inner wotsit. It has a very specific wet chopping board smell. Hopefully a good wash will sort it out. It’s very silky feeling even if it is stinky. And it is not bogey green either but a beautiful emerald green. Camera does not do green.

sewing dolly

I’m also about to embark on the final version of a dolly. This is a special request from my niece. I worked up a prototype yesterday. After making some tweaks, it is probably what I should finish off first. I don’t take the easy road, I have drafted the pattern myself, which is something I have no real experience in.  I make stuff up as I go along. We shall see.

I have another crochet project that I’m putting off as I know it’ll be tricky. It’s an amigurumi job and it’ll be in black and white. But that is the third and final thing.

Edoo's gingie

This is what me and Eldest are working on after school. He traced around one of my gingerbread men templates and cut it out. He chose the buttons and stitched on the nose and cheeks himself. I expect him to stitch the two parts together too. I’m looking forward to seeing it on the tree.

Sooo, that is where I am and I am getting further behind by tippytappying here. I’m off to see what I can do in the next 45 minutes before I have to wake up Toddler and rush off to the school Nativity!

The Middle of November, Already.

lots of crochet owls.

I’ve been mega busy over the last couple of weeks, getting my craft on and all that. The weekend after next I will be busy trying to make people buy my wares at the PTA Christmas Fayre. I am not going to blather on today because I’m going to plonk myself down on the sofa in a minute and start some more stitching.

Anyway, before I add a few pictures of what I’ve been doing with my crafty ways, I’m just going to squeeze in some garden pictures. It’s all very well being smug about the prettiness of it in spring and summer [it was hard to choose those links as there are betweeny posts with lovely summery flowers in, I just looked in the garden category!] but I shouldn’t hide the tattiness out there come late autumn.

morning sky in november

This morning looked very promising but it’s since greyed over and is threatening rain. Again.

november garden Collage

Only mildly depressing.

nemesia still going

And I should get over myself because in other years there is no way I’d still have flowers in the garden at this time of year. The little purple flowers are a summer annual, Nemesia. Beyond the wall you can see flecks of orange, which is the nasturtium, still going strong.

Another november garden Collage

The blue sky didn’t last. The pumpkins are still resisting the urge to disappear. I chucked them in the runner bean grave after Halloween. Sadsack leeks are sharing the space. Just blinkin well grow, please.

november garden from above

View from above. Bottom left is where I lobbed all the twigs from the Halloween decorations. The kids have played with them in their funny games.

felt xmas decs being made

This is what I’m working on at the moment. Lots of felt decorations. Some I’ve made before, some I’m just making up as I go. I’ve designed them all myself, if you can call it that. Not sure how hard it is to draw a Christmas tree really (not very?). And it’s a big lie anyway because my eldest boy drew out the Elf boot last year and I helped modify it. That one, he is the designer of.

fabric for xmas decs

I rummaged through the fabric drawer for any green and red fabric I had. Mostly it is just scraps but I reckon I can work something out. There is new stuff there too; the reindeer fabric and the stuff above it is a recent impulse buy.

crochet owl decorations

And then there are these jobbies. To ensure I had a lot of them I have done away with the colour changes that made me thing of these as Granny owls. Making them up in just one colour was a lot quicker and they still look nice.

I did blathering when I didn’t want to. Wasting precious making time…. And I’m also trying out a C2C crochet blanket, which I forgot to take a picture of. It’s mainly for stash busting purposes and I wanted to try something new. Any way, I”m off!

A surprisingly easy sewing project or two.

I made a patchwork fabric basket! Much easier than I thought it'd be!

I’ve been meaning to make this little baskety thing for ages and I’m glad I sorted myself out and did it. I thought it was going to be complicated but actually, it was mega easy! Pink Penguin is where you need to go. The tutorial is for a small basket but I made the larger version.

Homemade fabric basket.

I really like the interior fabric. I bought 40 cm and it was only just enough. It was a bit silly really but when I bought it I hadn’t measured anything and had to guess. I would like to make one for me but this was was for my sister.

A simple handmade tote.

I also made her this. Everyone needs a bag now, don’t they?! I made up the pattern having seen similar elsewhere.

little pleated purse

This was the other thing I made in my sewing flurry. I’m running out of people to make this for now,  I have done quite a few in different fabrics. The tutorial is this one here.

And that’s it. I am now going to immerse myself in Halloween gubbins for the next 36 hours or so. I need to get off the computer. I should go and tidy. I think I might make a cup of tea first. Have a sit down….

I made stuff pre-blog too; pretending to be a crafting blogger. When you’re not. Yet.

Made in K Town. Free crochet mandala pattern.

I’ve spent years being inspired by other bloggers work. It became something I really wanted to do too. It looked fun and it looked like a good way to keep on track of what I was doing creatively. I was lazy and procrastinatey and used several excellent excuses as to why I hadn’t just done it.  I’m still so new to it all, but if I had started when I first I had the notion then I would have been being bloggy for six or seven years by now! In my head, I have been doing it for six years or seven years. I’ve spent much time taking pictures of crafty projects and each time I’ve thought that maybe they would end up as a blog post. So, I’m going to put up some pictures of work that was done in the six months prior to hitting Publish for the first time. (I was going to write a post about yeasterday’s [relevant unwitting typo, that applies] kitchen endeavours but that was such a disaster that I need a few days to recover :/).

Crochet mandala. Free pattern from Made in K Town.

I went through a mandala phase. These two are both Made in K Town using Rico Creative Cotton. Cheap cotton, very splitty, lovely colours. This has led me towards doilies, which I still need to make more of. Soon.

Single bed crochet ripple blanket.

I made my eldest boy an Attic 24 Ripple for his bed. It’s Stylecraft Special. Everyone loves a bit of Stylecraft rippling.

My boy's ripple blanket.

The boy chose the colours. So off I went. It was reasonably speedy once the first few rows were out the way. A repeating colour pattern was a weeny bit boring though. Next time, it’s random colours, like it’s supposed to be.

Dolly's crochet blanket

I made teeny niece the mini version for her dolly. I didn’t use the same pattern. This version has more ripples so looks better scaled down. It’s actually adapted from a cushion cover pattern from Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench. When I say “adapted” I mean “added a few more rows”. The edging, I think is the one that was on the Granny Stripe made by Lucy at Attic 24.

Alpaca baby blanket

This one was a special request for a baby blanket.  My Sister in Law chose the colours. It’s Stylecraft alpaca DK. The blocks were from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. Don’t go thinking that all the blocks end with the same stitch count though. They really don’t. Hmm. I really liked how this one turned out but I only blocked the edge (which is from Edie Eckman’s Crochet Borders book) and not the individual squares. Next time, I will try super hard to block stuff.

Little squares baby blanket.

One of the quickest little blankets ever. It was so much fun. The squares were done in a few days and it was the first time I used a continuous-join-as you-go. This was for a baby girl born in early spring. I’d make one of these again for sure. It was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest and it led me to Katie’s Kitchen.

So many made things.

There are six handmade things in the picture above. Six! I am responsible for five of them but the cream knitted blanket is a Mother in Law job. Three blankets, two cushions and a dolly. Huzzah.

felt cherry blossom. Hand sewn needle case.

Sewing has been worked on too. I’m better than I was but there is definitely room for improvement too. Having said that, the cherry blossom needlecase is one of my favourite felty sewn things I’ve done.

A mermaid's purse

And a Mermaid’s purse! Well, another needlecase… She was lovely to make. After Christmas I plan on making more of these sorts of things and giving them a go on Etsy. I’m not entirely sure what the demand is for needlecases and such, I guess I’ll find out. I will obviously shout very loudly on here if these sorts of things head towards my Etsy shop.

Phew, I feel a bit better now. I’m off to have yesterdays’ leftovers for lunch, which thankfully, taste better than the experience that I had in the kitchen.

A crafted, cat themed birthday present.

kitty cats.

I’ve been waiting to use this fabric for ages. Yesterday morning I snipped off a small rectangle to line a teeny purse I was making. I’ve still got loads left. I’m wondering if I could Halloweenify it somehow. I bought it at Fabricland, less than £4 a metre.

little felt cat purse

I was in a rush and have made many errors. Dodgy blanket stitches and misaligned fabric lining got to me a bit but I only had a couple of hours to hastily chuck something together. Initially, I wasn’t going to do anything but that would be mean. How could I not give my awesome friend a birthday present?! Anyway, I usually like last minute ideas the best.

small felt purse

I’m pleased with the little nose and whiskers.

stitched cat

I can’t decide if this cat is brilliant or awful. It’s freehand, can you tell? Miaow.

cat birthday card

To go with the so-bad-it’s-good present there was an card equivalent. Me, Husband and six and a half year old all had an opinion on how the card design should be. In the end I thought we were all winners and all our ideas were included.

Marceline

 

Pens, Pencil Cases and Getting out there.

I've never seen so many Sharpie colours!

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.

My new Sharpie pens!

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…..

Newly made zippered bag. Easy pattern!

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.

An easy to make zippered bag.

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.

Simply Crochet Magazine reader pages.

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:

lots of crochet owls

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

Easy homemade curtains.

pink japanese anemone

Whilst I was trying to take photos of my newly made curtains, I went and took a couple of pictures of the garden (I do love the Japanese Anemone). It has been raining a lot since the school holidays started last week. Nice one, thanks very much.

Garden after the rain.

Taking photgraphs of curtains is tricky. They do need to be slightly closed in order to see them but then half your light is gone. I gave up and accepted that most of the pictures were rubbish pictures.

Homemade curtains

Here they are.

sewing on the header tape

Making these curtains involved lots of late night sewing sessions. They were straightforward to make especially since they had stripes I could follow. Hand sewing the hems was the most time consuming bit.

Using Ikea fabric to make curtains

The gather is not that full but I couldn’t afford to buy twice as much fabric. I don’t think it’s much of an issue. I used a very helpful tutorial. Without it, I wouldn’t have known about ‘returns’ or how to make the hem properly.

I made two pairs for the front room and a single curtain for the front door. It all feels much brighter and cleaner now. Making things is fun!

Anyway, I’m off to go and sulk now, I got stung by a wasp this afternoon (on my left ring finger). It really flipping hurts and has left me in danger of throwing some kind of tantrummy strop.

I’m not sure how much crafting will ensue now that the holidays are here. Hopefully I will still be here but maybe not as often. I dunno.