21 February, 2014

Valentine's part two

I mentioned last post that I had done a couple things for Valentine's, but I couldn't get a good photo of these until I took them down as they were strung across the kitchen window, which has to be the most challenging situation to photograph!


Last month Hazel had some friends over and we made salt-dough ornaments for them to decorate. The recipe made so many there was no way they could paint them all so I ended up painting a bunch of hearts, and then putting several topcoats of gloss Modge Podge on top. Pretty!

Hearts 2

My windowsill is back to normal now, but I quite liked it all girly. Not sure what Mat thought!


12 February, 2014


I'm not a fan of the commercialised entity that Valentine's Day has become but I couldn't resist making some decorations this year to satisfy the small part of my shrivelled heart that likes girly stuff in pretty colours.

A few months ago I pinned this image of crocheted hearts and it has been mildly popular.

The notifications of re-pins has been keeping it in my mind so I started out making a few of my own using a tutorial at Pepika. I used the cotton yarn I already had so I haven't managed to achieve the lovely sorbet colours of the original pin but I figure that it's a work in progress and I'd like to add a few more hearts every year, maybe in different shapes and sizes (very easy to do once you have the basic technique down).

❤️ crochet

Mat and Hazel thought they were quite amusing to watch being made from the top down because when they are half done, as Hazel so eloquently put it, "they look like bums!" They also look like Barbie bras when you first put the two tops together. However, when they are finished they are super-cute and a quick and very satisfying little project!

22 January, 2014

Two finishes

I have a real issue with finishing things, they'll sit 99% done for ages before I spend the 10 minutes needed to sew on a button or finish off a seam. So when I say that I finished TWO things yesterday it really should have party streamers and balloons and noise makers surrounding it. I'm pleased with both of them but I must admit a certain amount of trepidation in showing them here because they will reveal the extent to which I have become a tragic pug owner who has "all the pug-related merchandise made by anyone, ever" to quote this Gemma Correll poster. Or in this case, made by me. And yes, I have that poster too!
This cute little guy is destined for the (human) new baby brother of Ace, one of Ollie's mates. I think his head ended up a bit big due to overstuffing, but he manages to stay upright despite it. The pattern was from Jaravee on Etsy.

 The second was this embroidery, from Bridgeen, also off Etsy. I changed it a little from the original so it looked a bit more like Ollie looking up at me with big eyes so that I'll give him an almond.

Pug crafting #embroidery #embroideryhoop #craft #pug #curlytailgang #pugstagram #pugsofinstagram

And yes, he usually does get the almond - who could resist?

14 January, 2014

Charity quilt

This has been a long time in coming but I finally handed it over to Helen last night. Several months ago she gave the Monday Modern group a bunch of fabric in FQs and asked us to make quilts for a charity she's involved with. I'd just seen some lovely 'low volume' quilts and wanted to try making one that didn't come across as pale and uninteresting. I don't normally just start making a quilt, it takes a lot of agonising and measuring and pondering, but with this one I just did it. I decided to sew the straight strips at a diagonal across a piece of muslin and then sew the bigger pieces together. I discovered that a FQ doesn't allow for much width when it's on an angle, and that different pieces were different widths. In the end the quilt was a little smaller than I wanted, but it would have meant another strip and then would have been a bit wide.

Charity quilt

I discovered a few things with this quilt: firstly that I quite like low volume when it has a bit of colour in it, and I really like grey and white. Secondly, getting just the right amount of colour is very hard! I don't think any of the greens worked, the middle stripe because it is too much green and the green leaves because the background is a cream and there is too much green. The red Dutch fabric at the bottom of the middle panel is too much red, while the red just to the right of it is just right. Thirdly, sewing strips across the bias of a foundation fabric results in some distortion. I found the strips didn't always sit nice and flat, so I'm thinking perhaps it would have been better to just sew them together in a long strip and skip the foundation.

It was fun though, I enjoyed the process and liked the outcome. If I hadn't put in a few fabrics I wasn't 100% happy with it would have been hard to part with!

06 January, 2014

A new year

A new year and hopefully an increased interest in crafting because to be honest it's been lacking for the last month and I don't know why! I had visions of lazing away the holidays on the couch, crocheting, or getting in some good sewing time, but as it turned out I really didn't want to do anything crafty at all. I made a crochet necklace for my mum and then somehow ran out of steam. It's weird. Has anyone else had this happen to them? From being enthusiastic to complete lack of interest in a couple weeks? No blogging, no reading blogs, no Instagram. Maybe it's a virus... or the summer heat...

Anyways, I've been feeling stirrings of interest in the last couple days, and although I don't know how far it will go, I thought I'd post about a couple of things I made for presents.

As I mentioned, I made a necklace for my mum, from the Knot's Itoami book. I realised when I went to get a photo of it that I'd only taken an 'in progress' shot, so that'll have to do.


It's done on a .65 hook with #20 mercerised cotton and I found it very hard to do in anything but good lighting! I also realised, much to my chagrin, that if I want to keep doing this very fine stuff that I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy some cheapy reading glasses. I don't need them for reading but I do for this stuff. Well I don't technically, but it's not fun sometimes and my eyes hurt a bit afterwards! Frankly I'm annoyed, crafting shouldn't remind you of your mortality.


The other Christmas present I made was a tea cosy for my friend Jess, who has been using her Xmas one year-round. I used the pattern for the cosy in a book she gave me called Cute and Easy Crochet. I then spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest looking at pretty flowery cosies and then made my way through the various flowers in 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trims to end up with the garden on top. Oh it was fun! But eventually I had to stop and put them on the cosy. I defy any heat to escape this baby!


Luckily it fits Jess's tea pot better than mine, and I'm determined to make myself one that suits my pot. Although the pattern is really easy, it clearly suits the rounder-bodied 'Brown Bettie' type best.



26 November, 2013

Crochet flowers

Crochet flowers

It's so much fun making flowers, I've been having a ball! And I think it's definitely the best way to use up your little scraps of yarn. I've been working my way through a book I have called 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trims, making whatever takes my fancy, and thoroughly enjoying myself!

Crochet flowers

I borrowed Mini Motif crochet pattern from my friend Yumiko and it has some neat flowers to try out too - but in small!
 Isbn 4021904166 More crochet patterns books

Hazel had a quick look through it yesterday and instantly fell in love with the little icecreams and shoes, as well as the colourful flowers (monochrome is so not an 8 year old girl!).


There are quite a few motifs done in fluffy yarn which isn't really to my taste so much but if you google ISBN978-4-02-190416-5 there are quite a few photos of other pages in the book. Sorry mine aren't that great, but hopefully they'll give an idea of what's in the book. The designs are all charted so there's no issues with it being in Japanese.




21 November, 2013

The Little Tree

My next Christmas project is going to be crocheting a couple of little trees to go with Sarah's very cute book The Little Tree. I love that you can get the pattern to recreate Little Tree and bring the story to life in a way. I'm going to do two for my niece and nephew and they can share the book. I'm not so naive as to think they'd share a tree :)

The Little Tree

You can buy the book and see some more images at Sarah's Felt store.

I need to find a good brown for the trunk still, which means another trip out to Spotlight - when I popped in last week they were reorganising and it was so radically different that it felt a bit surreal and I couldn't quite focus on what I was meant to be doing and came away with a totally wrong brown! Sad when a craft store revamp sends you into a tizz.


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