Sunday, 9 December 2012

I'm moving....

After some consideration I have decided to carry on blogging under a different name that I feel is a bit more appropriate to my blog content. Hopefully you will follow me still and enjoy my posts and pictures - here

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Thrifty Flowers

It's our little niece's first birthday this week and we spent a lovely day at her house with all the family celebrating her special day. Mummy and Daddy had made yummy food and the little babies were so well behaved, a good time was had by all.

We were organised with her presents a few weeks back. My other niece (who is grown up and has children of her own, and from the other side of the family) had made a picture with some pretty fabric, a 3-d frame and some scrabble letters spelling out the name of baby niece. It is such a lovely gift, she had already made one for my daughter, I didn't want to add the photo of it as the full name is visible (data protection???) but take my word for it, it's lovely. I had also bought a tea-set. Because I love toy tea-sets and this was such pretty colours. I wanted to keep it for my baby. And I didn't think to take a picture of that.

But to get to the point of this blog..... I had got her presents but forgot the wrapping. Prettily wrapped presents are wonderful and I normally pride myself on my gift presentation, so on Saturday morning I was rummaging around in the box for suitable paper etc. I found some lovely coloured stripe paper and dotty tags       and then quickly crocheted a couple of flowers to adorn the gifts.

The flowers came out well and I was chuffed with myself for having the idea!

That's thrifting for you!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Big Cot Quilt

It's not long now that our sweet little baby girl will be moving from her crib into a cot-bed.  I feel a bit sad in a way as at the moment her crib is situated in our bedroom where she sleeps with us but a full size cot won't fit so she'll have to go into her own room (which is literally next door to our room). But the time has nearly come and it's a small milestone in her life. She came home from hospital as a new-born and looked so tiny in her crib but she's growing well and is getting too big for it now, also as she develops she'll soon learn to sit up and then pull herself up and she won't be safe in the crib any more. So after Christmas we will make our way to Mothercare (my lovely work colleagues were generous with vouchers for there) and choose a new bed for our baby.

So in preparation I have made a new quilt for her new cot. I purchased the 4 fat-quarter bundle from Elephant in my Handbag called 'Vintage Baby'. I love, love this website. There are loads of lovely things to buy. I also ordered the pink velvet ric-rac (gorgeous) and blue ribbon from there. And then I set out to work.

I utilised what I had the best I could and cut squares, triangles and mini-squares and made a plain border at the top edged with the ric-rac and ribbon.

I bound the edge with the Tilda fabric I bought the other week (also used for the Sweet Sewing Basket) as there wasn't enough of the bundle for binding. I used Hobbs White Heirloom 100% Cotton Wadding (pre-washed) from The Cotton Patch with a plain cream backing. I quilted on the diagonal as I find it one of the easiest methods and I'm never really keen on the quilting stage.

The quilt is really too big for the crib and is tucked in at the sides and bottom.
I hope my baby will love her quilt and keep it to pass on to her children in the future (OMG GRANDCHILDREN!!!!!!!!!)
I have also made a crochet blanket for the forthcoming cot, just need to deal with these:
Have a lovely weekend, be back soon xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cherry Pinny

When I was rummaging through my tea-towels the other day I found this pretty pinny I made some time ago. I don't wear aprons or pinnys as a rule (my mother-in-law always does) but do think they look fab when I want to play 'house' and pretend to be a domestic goddess (some of you may already be a goddess in the kitchen, I'm more of a 'oh my dear god don't go near the cooker again - ess').  I love the photos on the inside cover of Nigella's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' book and took inspiration from there.

I have an absolute love of cherry print fabric and have a selection of various ones in my stash. The red polka-dot goes so well and I must admit I use this combination a lot.

The frill and bow are a frivolous addition, the whole thing reminiscent of the 50's housewife. I love the fashion and styling from that era, although I do think it's a bit romanticised. I wouldn't want to be a housewife of that time though as I would miss my friends: Mr Dishwasher, Mr Washing Machine, his brother Mr Tumble Dryer and of course Mr Click & Collect!
The sun is shining today, much better than yesterday. A beautiful autumn day to enjoy xx

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sweet Sewing Basket

Good afternoon to all on this miserable rainy Saturday. Lets close the curtains, drop the blinds and shut out the dark skies and cuddle up with a granny square or two, or even a nice bit of sewing, blog reader and of course a cup of tea.
From my book 'Sew Retro' by Judi Ketteler I found a nice simple pattern to make a basket for my WIP yarn.
I used my Tilda fat-quarters I bought when I went out on a jaunt with my sister recently.

And decided to make something useful as well as pretty, something that will help keep things tidy and looks a lot nicer than a plastic carrier bag lying around the place with my yarn in it.
 And it really is useful! At the moment it contains the yarn, my hook, 'end needle' and little scissors as well as the pile of little circles I'm making at the moment for a cot blanket. Best Boy likes me to sit with him when he goes to bed after his big sis scared him at Halloween and he can't get this out of his mind. I bring my little basket (it's not weaved or made of wicker but is it still a basket? don't know but anyway...) and I can crochet away while he nods off. My son loves me to sit and crochet or knit near him, I think he finds it comforting, bless him.
I used some fusible fleece to give it structure. It's the first time I've used this product and I'm very impressed and already thinking of other good uses for it. When something does the job it speeds up the making process and gives a better finish. If you're interested it's Vilene H 640. I also used Vilene S 13 for the base, and a circle cut from a Weetabix box for extra firmness. Using this bought back a distant memory of a work jolly to Vilene HQ, back in the days when I was a pattern cutter for a M&S supplier. They gave us a talk about all their interlinings and fusings they had 'invented'. Compelling. Lunch was nice though, lol.
I'm very happy with my little project, Cassie likes it too :-)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Colour Combinations - Calling All Math Geeks...

Just a little side project taking shape, I'm making lots of little circles, numbers are growing nicely...

Still a few more to make before I join them...
I'm using five colours, each circle is made of 3 colours and I'm wondering how many I can get before I need to repeat the colour combination? I'm sure there must be a mathematical equation to work this out. So if anyone out there is super brainy (or knows someone super brainy) can they let me know the answer / equation please? Be eversograteful  xxxx

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fancy a Quickie?

Hey there! Just a quick pic of the cowl I made a few evenings ago. Clever Janet at kitchentablesewing has got the right idea when it comes to chunky wool and big needles - makes up very fast, great! Although you experts out there will see this is no stocking or garter stitch, it is of course treble crochet stitch.

I'd seen this very large ball of yarn at local haberdashery department and was drawn by the colour mainly. I was thinking I wanted to crochet myself a cowl but this had a knitting pattern on the label, so I thought I would give it a go. Size 10 needles (won on Ebay) and away I go! Er no... well sort of, I just felt like a clown knitting with those big needles, you know - joke knitting!
I tried the label pattern but it wasn't feeling right, I wondered maybe my hands are more attuned to crochet? So I decided to up-pick and start again with a fat, stumpy hook, long chain made into a circle and then treble crochet round and round! This is the result, and only took a few hours, fitted in around school run, dinner, bath and bed.

I used the whole ball of yarn and ran out after 4 rounds of treble and one of dc. Was it too narrow? Tried it on and it looks fine, it twists round 3 times. I think if it was any wider it would look like I had broken my neck and am wearing a neck brace, hee hee x

All in all a successful, easy, quickie project and something new for me to wear, happy days xx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Crochet Connections

I have been enjoying the social side of my hobby this week with a little trip out with my sister to the town where she lives as she wanted to show me a couple of shops she knew I'd like.  My sis has for a long time enjoyed crocheting and has made lots of lovely things for my children and her grandchildren, she also sometimes knits, cable knitting being something she favours. I collected her from work as she had half a days leave and off we went. We headed for the first shop which sells yarn and bits and pieces but oh no! the shop was shut, not opening Mondays, boo-hoo. It looked so so nice (I had a good nose through the window) It's called Manfield Crafts and I couldn't resist going back a few days later where I had a lovely time mooching about, enjoying the colours and textures of all the yarns and chatting with the friendly ladies (in fact I was a bit giddy with excitement at finding this gem of a shop and probably embarrassed myself with all my gabble!) I did have a bit of a spend and treated myself to some Rico Design Essentials Soft Merino that I will stash away for a little while until I decide what to make with it (I'm thinking bag, scarf or add to it over time and make a blanket).
I love displays of pretty coloured yarn like this!
My sister also took me over to Higham Ferrers where we had a lovely cup of tea and then a mooch around The Cranberry House where I picked up some Tilda fat quarters.
We then popped back to her house so she could show me the granny square blanket she'd just finished:
It looks really lovely, the muted browns and rusts mixed with cream work so well and look great in her bedroom.
I had a brilliant day with my sister, sharing our mutual interest and hopefully will do the same sometime soon.
In the meantime making wise I'm still plodding away at my rainbow ripple, trying to do one stripe a day, but it is very wide so that does take ages!
And the other big project I have on the go is my Mother-in-laws patchwork quilt, which is growing nicely but again is very big so lots of time is needed to complete it.

Lots on the go but it really does make me happy, happy, happy!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Keep or Go

In our house, with four children, we often play the game Keep or Go. This is when I decide that we need a sort out of clothes, toys etc as we have so much stuff and not enough storage so it's time for a cull.
Of course we are lucky to have plenty of lovely clothes, and loads of toys given as gifts or bought for being 'good' (or even Santa brings round) so when the clothes and toys have been 'grown out of' I hold up each item and the child it belongs to says keep or go. It is then put in the appropriate pile to either be put back tidily or taken to the charity shop. With children growing as they do this is a game played often (probably not often enough) with the extra jeopardy at the end of the process where Daddy looks through the bag and sneaks out the odd item to hide away as he's a sentimental hoarder and would keep EVERYTHING if he had his own way.
Now our little baby girl is already growing out of some of her clothes even though she hasn't been with us for half a year yet and today I cleared her draws of all the baby-gros and little vesties and small things that don't fit her anymore and even me, the ruthless de-clutterer, felt a twinge of sadness at having to put the newborn outfits away.
While pregnant with our smallest member of the family I knitted a few cardigans and booties and hats in anticipation of her arrival. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl so I chose neutral colours and lovely soft, natural fibre yarns. I have long loved making things but while pregnant I was particularly creative and a lot of things featured on earlier blogs were made during this time. I often wonder if our baby will grow up to be a creative soul due to my almost obsessional crafty pregnancy! And of course these hand-made items were folded and put away with the other small clothes.
But you know, maybe my Husband has a point. Some things are worth keeping.
Hand knitted baby cardigans

Hand knitted baby booties and hats
The good thing that comes from having a clear out though is that space is made for all the new creations of the future!
I'm not the only creative bod in this house by the way. My husband wrote a lovely song for his daughter, hear it on his sound cloud, entitled 'Lady Leyna Jayne'
Have a lovely weekend xx

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sew Happy....

Here's a few pics of the felt cupcake workshop at Fancy Coffee Shop.
I for one had a really enjoyable time and have received lots of positive feedback from my lovely ladies. I get a lot of pleasure from my hobby of 'making things', and I'm glad I'm able to share it all with others.

Everyone went home with their finished felt cupcakes, happy with the results.
The finished cakes in their individual presentation box.

The next workshop, crocheting a granny square has lots of interest and is on the 4th December, at Fancy.

Thanks to all that attended for making the evening enjoyable and successful.
And a special thank you to my gorgeous friend Sharon for the lovely gift she gave me:
It really is just my cup of tea, I love it!
(if you can't read the caption in the photo it says: 'A creative and intelligent woman engaged in the noble art of clothes making; both at home and in the workplace' - noble eh? like it )

Monday, 5 November 2012

Felt Cupcake Workshop Preparations

Cupcake Kits
Crochet embellishments: flowers and carrots
In preparation for my workshop tomorrow at Fancy Coffee shop myself and my daughter have been making up the kits for the felt cupcakes.  All is included, and there is a selection of 'flavours' to choose from - chocolate, vanilla, carrotcake and red velvet

Included is all the embellishments from beads to crocheted carrots! I am supplying the pattern so my lovely people will be able to make more cakes at home if they wish, and to be sure it's easy to get addicted to making them. My husband was fooled on more than one occasion when he came home from work and was on the hunt for a sweet treat, thinking the ones I'd made were real.
I'm so looking forward to seeing my lovely friends and also meeting new people who have signed up and having an enjoyable evening, and of course eating lots of Saffron's yummy cakes.