Saturday, 22 December 2012

Crazy Patchwork WIP

Our sofa is looking a bit worse for wear at the moment, and in the interests of saving money I decided to update it with a throw.  I’m determined not to spend any money on this throw, so I took the giant box of scraps that usually lives under my work desk

and began to take out the scraps and iron them flat.  Once I had a big pile I started to sew them together.

This is as far as I’ve got so far.  A completely crazy mix of fabrics and shapes.  This type of patchwork suits me better than the usual way of cutting regular shapes, as I love the complete freedom to just grab a couple of odd pieces of fabric and sew them together.
I’ve got a long way to go yet, but once its finished and thrown on the sofa, I’ll post another photo.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Crocheted Snowball Pattern

I thought I’d share more things I’ve made from Decembers Crafty Creatives box

Firstly here are the bath bombs that were made from the kit.  I decided to double the amount of mix to make 2 at the same time, but I think I may’ve misjudged slightly as I managed to make 3.  The red star is a cookie cutter I had in my cupboard, and I just packed it tightly into that too and found it worked really well.


I can also report that they fizz beautifully around the bath, and smell divine!  A big thumbs up from me for this kit, easy to use it works.

I have also been crocheting with the eyelash wool.  Snowballs!!!!


I found the wool a bit tricky to crochet with at first as it’s quite hard to see the stitches in-between all of the fluffy wool, however I persevered and am really pleased with the results.

For those who want their own snowballs, here is the pattern (UK notation):

Row 1:  Ch2

Row 2: 6DC in 2nd Chain from hook

Row 3: 2DC in each stitch

Row 4: *1DC, 2DC in next stitch* repeat to end

Row 5: *1DC, 1DC, 2DC * repeat to end

Row 6-8: DC in each stitch

Row 9: *1DC, 1DC, DC decrease* repeat to end

Row 10: *1DC, DC decrease* repeat to end

Fill with stuffing

Row 11: DC decrease 3 times

Leave a long thread, cast off and then sew through the remaining stitches and pull tight.  Sew a long loop for hanging on the tree.

They’re pretty quick to make, so you’ve got plenty of time to whip up a few before Christmas Day. 



Thursday, 13 December 2012

Crafty Creatives Box

I’d seen reviews of Crafty Creatives boxes on other blogs and had to see for myself if it was as good as they had said – the answer is YES!  I received my box yesterday, eagerly ripped off the packaging and this is what I found:


Wow, lots of things to play with.


I couldn’t wait to dig in, and with the help of my daughter we started on the bath bomb making.  Daisy and I are completely obsessed by the shop Lush, and so to make our own bath bombs was a great treat.  The bath bombs are currently in their moulds – photos to follow.

I also decided that as the string of beads was so pretty, I had to make a simple necklace by just threading the beads onto some stretchy jewellery string.


I had enough beads left over to make Daisy a bracelet too.

There were a couple of glass heart nuggets in the box:


I had plans for these – firstly I found a couple of photos I liked (one of me & one of my hubby) , and printed them off quite small.  I placed a glass heart on top of each photo and drew around it, next step was to glue the photos to the back of the hearts with decoupage glue, and then when it was dry, I gave it another coat of glue to seal the back.


Sorry not a great photo, we both look a bit lopsided – the difficulties of taking photos through shaped glass! 

I think my hubby may get these for Christmas, beautifully wrapped in the lovely organza bag that they came in. 

Right I think that’s enough for now.  I’ll be back soon with how the bath bombs turned out & what I’ve made with the rest of the lovely box of goodies.



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wire Christmas Tree Decoration

Just thought I’d share a decoration I made for my Christmas tree


I used a wire-jig to create the base of the tree in 0.6mm silver plated wire and then used a thinner wire to wrap around the outside of the tree, adding small jingle bells as I went.  I really love the silver wire against the green of my tree.

Each year I try to make at least one decoration for the tree.  My aim is to one year have the whole tree decorated in homemade things.  Just for fun, here are a few of the handmade things already on my tree.


And a couple made by my children when they were younger:


Anyone already got a completely homemade tree?



Friday, 7 December 2012

Out of my window

I thought I’d share a photo of the sunrise that greeted me yesterday when I opened my bedroom curtains.


No computer trickery involved, a genuine sight to lift the soul.



Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Brrrr, a bit of chilly crochet–Snowman

I’ve spent the last couple of evenings crocheting snowmen


Sadly I can’t lay claim to creating this pattern, I found it here.  It took me a couple of tries to get the pattern right, and I still think I have a bit of work to do to make the nose the right size and shape, but I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out.


The pattern also includes varying scarves and hats, plus mittens, but I didn’t want my snowmen to have arms, so I left out the mittens.


I think the hat and scarf look a bit Harry Potter-ish here – ooh there’s an idea for after Christmas!

The snowman with the hat and scarf has found a new home with my young nephews and the unadorned snowman is sitting on my windowsill just hoping that I’ll finish his hat and scarf before the cold weather truly sets in!



Friday, 30 November 2012

A quick Christmas decoration

This afternoon I was feeling a festive & crafty at the same time, but what to make?  As the tinsel and baubles are still in the loft, I was at a bit of a loss what make when inspiration struck.

Hama beads and wire! 


I sorted out the green and red beads, threaded them onto some craft wire & bent it into shape.  Small hoops on the ends of the words allowed me to hang it on another piece of wire.

A simple, cheap and quick decoration.



Thursday, 29 November 2012

Crochet Scarf Patterns

I know, my break from crochet didn’t last very long, but this time my post has something for you – patterns for the two scarves I shared photos of at the beginning of the week.


They are actually crocheted from a fairly simple pattern, but be warned, we are going to crochet this sideways, with really long rows, so if you’re not up for that, stop reading now!

Right, the ribbed scarf first – the one with lots of different colours in it.

You will need:
2 100g Balls of chunky wool – I used a variegated one
6mm Crochet hook

Row 1: Cast on 250 stitches (I did warn you the rows were long - but the good news is that at least you only have to crochet 8 of them!)
Row 2: Treble Crochet into each stitch, chain 3 at the end of the row
Row 3: Treble Crochet  into the back half of each stitch, this is what gives it the lovely ribbed effect. Chain 3 at the end of each row.
Row 4 – 8: Repeat row 3, and at the end of row 8 cast off instead of Chaining 3.

See told you it was easy!

The second scarf, the lacy looking one is very similar.  So here goes for the pattern:

You will need:
2 100g balls of chunky wool (you may only need one ball, but I unpicked an old scarf so I’m not exactly sure how much I used)
6mm Crochet hook

Row 1: Cast on 200 stitches
Row 2: Treble Crochet (Tr) into each stitch, chain (Ch) 3 at the end of the row
NOTE: For the rest of the pattern you will be crocheting into the back half of the stitch only
Row 3:  Tr2, *Ch1, Tr3* repeat from * to * until you reach the end of the row, Ch3
Row 4: Tr into each stitch, Ch3 at the end of the row.
Row 5 – 8: Repeat rows 2 and 3, at the end of row 8 don't crochet the chains, just cast off.



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Xmas Button Badges

As promised – no crochet today!  Instead I thought I’d show you the badges that I’ve made for my daughters school fundraising event.

We were asked to provide small items that could fit into Christmas crackers, which will then be used to make some money on a stall at this weekends big village Christmas celebration.


I used some lovely red spotty fabric and added felt shapes & a little free motion embroidery.  I then covered some self covered buttons and used a hot glue gun to stick some badge backs onto the reverse.


I used 29mm buttons as they were the ones I had in my craft stash, but I’m not sure I’d like to use any smaller ones as these were fiddly enough to cut out the shapes for.  You could also swap the badge backs for magnets.  They’re pretty quick and easy to make, and as an added bonus got rid of lots of the tiny bits of felt I kept “just in case!”


Monday, 26 November 2012

Crochet Scarves


More crochet to share with you today – I hope you’re not too bored with the crochet yet – I promise next time to show you something other than yarn based crafts!

Firstly a scarf I crocheted for my husband (who managed to leave his scarf on the train!).


I had a ball of blue variegated wool that I’d bought a while back, and so I started to crochet this scarf.  I actually had to send my husband back into town to get another ball as I didn’t quite have enough to finish it (you know it’s love if he’ll go and buy wool for you!) The scarf is really long – 250 stitches, and although it’s not completely clear from this photo, it has a ribbed pattern.

When I saw how well it’d come out I decided that I’d like a similar one for myself – here is mine:


I had an old scarf I’d knitted a year or so ago, which I didn’t wear as it kept curling up (I’m not good at knitting!), so I unpicked it and set about making this scarf.  It’s slightly shorter, only 200 stitches long, and again I’ve crocheted it in a rib pattern, but this time I left gaps every other row.  I really didn’t know how it would come out when I started it, but I love it.  It’s quite lacy and light, and just the perfect length for looping through.


Next time no more crocheting (well maybe a tiny bit, but I promise there will be something different too!)



Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Crocheted Gloves

It’s official, I’m completely addicted to crochet!  I’ve been non-stop crocheting for the last few weeks.  Today I thought I’d share some mittens I made for myself.


You may wonder why they are fingerless, I could bluff you and say it was part of the design and I’d always meant them to be fingerless, but actually the truth is a bit less arty than that – I ran out of wool!


I got the free pattern from here (I searched for crochet mittens), and adjusted it slightly.  The cuffs are slightly longer as I thought the cuffs in the pattern were a little short.  I also cast off after row 12 rather than continuing to the end.

This was actually my second attempt at this pattern.  I made my daughter a pair of mittens with some left over pink wool.  With hers I used a size 6 hook and chunky wool and they came out pretty big, slightly more like boxing gloves than mittens, but she loves them anyway.  Sorry about the bad photo here, but sadly it had started to get dark by the time she got home from school and I could steal her glove to photograph!  The finger tips and the thumb are actually cream!


For my gloves I still used chunky wool, but this time used a size 4 hook, and they’re just the right size, and lovely and thick, almost like a wool blanket. I tested them out on the school run today & I’m pleased to report that my hands were lovely and toasty (even if my fingertips got a bit chilly!)

More crochet next time!


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Halloween Costume–Gravedigger

We had plans for the whole weekend that fell through at the last minute, so Daisy and I found ourselves home alone this morning.  We used the time wisely and made her Halloween Costume for this years school disco.


Please note that although she looks like she’s hating every moment of this - I actually told her she had to look serious and she’s taken me at my word.

Anyway back to the costume – I borrowed a jacket off of a friend, plus added a pair of black tracksuit trousers that she already had, my husband’s tie and one of her older brothers shirts.  The top hat was recycled from another friend’s ringmasters costume (minus the red band).


Luckily the only bit we had to actually make was the shovel – it is a piece of square cardboard with the cardboard inner of some wrapping paper stuck to the back of it.  We spent a fun hour covering the whole thing in black duct/gaffer tape.  We drew the wording freehand in pencil onto baking paper,  and covered the letters and paper in white duct tape.  We then turned the baking paper over and cut the letters out (you can see the letters through the paper).  By cutting out the back of the paper it means the letters will be the right way round. We then peeled off the paper and stuck them onto the shovel.

Now all I’ve got to find is a pair of black boots in a size 6 and she’ll be ready!



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Lovely Warm Feet

I’ve been quiet over the last week with yet more crochet, in fact its safe to say I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the easy rhythm of hooking the wool and pulling it through.  I found a pattern for Mary Jane crochet slippers on the website Good Knits – and here is one of the finished slippers:


Why a photo of only one slipper? I hear you ask.  Ok… you asked for it – this is them together:



see the bar across the front, you will notice that I didn’t quite measure both the same, so the one on the right is very much longer than the one on the left – ooops!  Luckily they are only for me, and I’m happy to loop it around the button twice, but if I make any as a gift for anyone else, I’ll be sure to measure them right!

I only had chunky wool rather than DK, but to be honest that worked better for me as my feet are a size 8 and if I’d used DK then I would have had to increase the length of the foot.  I might try another pair in DK for my daughter – I’ll let you know whether they fit her size 6 foot.

Next time I might be ready to show you my 70’s pattern revamp, but it’s taking a little longer to make than I expected.  I’m just hoping it will be worth the wait!



Monday, 8 October 2012

A Little Bit of Crochet

A couple of weeks ago I had an urge to crochet.  There must be something about the nights drawing in and the days getting chilly, but I decided that I would make and this time finish a blanket.


I did a bit of maths (obviously using a calculator!) – each square took 20 minutes & there are a grand total of 48 squares so I guess its taken me 16 hours of crochet plus quite a bit more time to sew it together and to edge it with treble crochet. 

Here’s another photo of it hanging on the back of my sofa - because I’m proud that I managed to finish it.


I used a chunky yarn and a size 4 hook, purely as I wanted it to be a lovely thick blanket, and I chose my favourite bright colours which go well with the colour of my sofa and curtains.  Sadly as it’s such a grey and misty day I can’t really do the colours justice – they are actually a lot brighter in real life, and the blue is a lot richer than it appears here.  Maybe I’ll wait for a sunny day and take another photo.

For my next project I’m sticking with crochet, and I’m hoping to update a pattern from the 70’s part work of Golden Hands – Are you excited yet?



Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Yellow Spot Doorstop

It’s been a while since I did any free motion embroidery, and I’ve missed it, so yesterday I grabbed some calico and popped my free motion foot onto my machine, and off I went.


A sunny yellow flower with a lime green ribbon stalk.  I used it to make a doorstop:


I used another piece of ribbon to make the handle, and I left a 2” velcro opening at the back so that I can sell it unfilled, making the postage more affordable.

I’ve added it to my Etsy shop, priced at £7.01 ($11.00).



Monday, 24 September 2012

New Pow-Zap Lunch bag

I found this fantastic fabric while I was browsing Fabric Rehab and knew it would make some super lunch bags.


Just perfect for your very own superhero.



I only have enough fabric to make 2 of these bags, and as soon as I can take a decent photo of them (come on sun, hurry up and shine!) I will be putting them in my Etsy shop and on my website.  In the meantime if anyone would like to order one, then please send me an email and I will reserve one for you.



Sunday, 23 September 2012

Simple Gift for a Crafty Child

Over the last couple of days I’ve been putting together a kit for a simple purse suitable for an 8 year old girl.  I thought I’d share what I’ve put in the kit, just in case anyone feels like making one as a nice birthday or Christmas gift.


Firstly I took 2 pieces of felt that I’d already made by felting and dying an old blanket and sewed the zip between them.  I collected together some felt shapes I’d already cut using my Sizzix dies and popped them in a small bag.  I stamped a cotton reel shape onto a luggage tag and punched two holes in the bottom for some lengths of embroidery thread.  I needle felted a pincushion from wool roving in a light dusky pink colour and put some pins into it, and finally I added a piece of ribbon which I’d singed the ends of to stop fraying. 


I printed out some personalised instructions, which I cut out and glued onto some pretty paper, along with a couple of cut outs of sewing mice that I happened to have in my paper stash.

The whole thing fits into an A4 ziplock bag, and I think makes a lovely present for a crafty child.

I’d love to hear what you all think of my idea



Thursday, 20 September 2012

Look what happened when I turned my back …

Since the boy monster I made was looking a bit lonely, I made him a friend.


You can tell it’s a girl from the bow in her hair!  She too has a rice bag inside to make her warm and snuggly.


I introduced them and kept my fingers crossed that they’d like each other.


Notice the twinkle in her eye?  I left them alone for a moment and then when I came back, what did I find nestling in their laps?



These baby monsters are also filled with rice – just perfect for slipping into your gloves on a cold morning.


Right I’m off to separate the parents before my house becomes overrun with tiny monsters!