Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Christmas Wreath

Hello!  Well, as the title suggests, this post is about a Christmas wreath.  Last night I made my first ever wreath.  I went with a friend to a wreath making evening at a gorgeous little florist called Rabbit and the Rose.  We were taught how to make one, provided with all the bits needed, as well as some festive snacks and mulled wine - lovely!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

(That's my spotty pink fluffy dressing gown reflected in the letterbox!)


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

I'm really pleased with it, considering it's my first attempt.  It came out better than I thought it would.  It's not perfect, by any means, but I like it... especially that bow!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

I think this could become a new Christmas tradition!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

What do you think?  Have you ever made a wreath - I can recommend giving it a go!





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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Hand-Dyed Yarn and a Kind Gift!

I've been online friends with Sam of Betsy Makes for years.  I've recently tried to purchase one of her lovely project bags, but never managed it in time, as they get snapped up in minutes!

I decided to order one of her hand-dyed yarn skeins instead this week, when I missed out on the last batch of project bags.  I can't resist bluey-turquoisey colours, so this one had to be mine!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

I just love it!  I need to find a worthy project for it!

But the fun doesn't end there... Sam so very kindly and generously included a project bag for me!!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

It was so unexpected and so thoughtful.  What a lovely whimsical design!  Sam really is such a kind person, I'm so grateful!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

Lucky me - what a great package to receive!





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Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Project Pouch Treat

I've been planning for ages to make myself a project pouch, to hold one of my many ongoing projects.  I just never seemed to get round to actually getting the fabric out and getting to work on one, though.

I decided to have a look on Etsy, and found The Crimson Rabbit Burrow.  I ended up on her blog, having a bit of a read, when I saw these bags from last year.  I just fell in love with the turquoise bag with the Liberty Small Susannah fabric.  This pouch wasn't in Debbie's shop at present, but I got in touch and... lucky me... she was willing to make one for me, and had just enough of the Susannah fabric left!  Why not treat myself, I thought...

Gorgeous Liberty project pouch for storing knitting and crochet work.

It was made and with me in no time, and I'm completely in love with this pouch - it's just perfect!  Look at those gorgeous colours!

Gorgeous Liberty project pouch for storing knitting and crochet work.

I'm using it to hold my knitted shawl project, which is coming along slowly.  I'm meant to keep going until the yarn is finished, but that ball just doesn't seem to be getting any smaller!

What do you think of my gorgeous new pouch?  I'm so happy with it - the customer service and standard of handiwork were excellent.  It arrived wrapped in pretty tissue paper too, like a little present from me to me - I'm so glad to decided to treat myself!




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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Another Crochet Colour Block

In my flurry of other activities (knitted shawl, crochet baby blanket), I haven't quite forgotten my colour block crochet blanket...

Here is another finished square - it's the penultimate square!

Colourful crochet square for a colour block blanket.

I love this square - it's my new favourite!  If I have enough leftover yarn, I'm thinking a little crocheted pouch in these three colours would look so good.  That zing of the lime green with the pink and purple just looks great (in my humble opinion)!

Colourful crochet square for a colour block blanket.

Just got to finish the final twelfth square, then I can start with the joining colour... exciting!  I just hope my vision works and looks as good in reality as it does in my head.



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Sunday, 22 October 2017

New Crochet Project - Peek-a-Boo Baby Blanket

I know, I know, I shouldn't be starting a new project!  I've got my knitted shawl on the go, and the longstanding colour block crochet blanket, to name just two works in progress.

But, I have.  Started a new project, that is.  A friend of mine is pregnant and I'm making her a baby blanket!

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

The lovely Sandra of Cherry Heart designed this pattern for a magazine and spoke about it in this post in 2014.  I fell for it straight away, but didn't get round to buying the magazine.

Then in 2015 Sandra released the pattern on Ravelry, with extra information on making a bigger sizes.  It's taken me two more years to have a reason to buy and make this, but I didn't forget the gorgeous design!

Now, I've been crocheting for years now, and could work out how to make this without the pattern - it's not a complicated design, which is why it's a great one for beginners.  However, it would have taken time and effort to do the calculations to get the size I was looking for, work out how to position the diamonds, etc.  So, although I COULD have reproduced something similar to this, I thought I'd rather buy Sandra's pattern.  The reasons being:

- I can crack on with the making, without having to spend time working things out, and probably starting over a few times as I worked on the sizing - Sandra has done all this for me!  (And never under-estimate how much time that sort of thing takes!)

- I've been reading Sandra's blog for years, and it's nice to give something back.

- I wouldn't have even thought of this pattern design without her, and I'm even using the same colour she did, so I felt I should buy the pattern really!

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

I've been making some progress this weekend, and am really loving seeing the diamonds appearing.

The yarn is extremely difficult to photograph as the colour looks different in each shot!  The first picture of the balls of yarn with the pattern is the most accurate depiction of the colour.

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

This picture above is a terrible representation of the colour!  But it shows further progress.  I will attempt to take better pictures when I next post about it - it's so difficult this time of year to get any decent light!

Pattern: Peek-a-Boo Blanket by Sandra Paul
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly in Choo Choo Train



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Monday, 16 October 2017

Knitted Shawl Beginnings

In my last post I showed you my haul from the Knitting and Stitching Show.  I've already made a start on knitting with that gorgeous hand-dyed yarn (why finish off all those other projects I've already got on the go, right?!)

First I had to wind the skein into a ball...

Click to see the start of a gorgeous knitted shawl made with hand-dyed yarn.

That's a pretty lovely ball of yarn there!

Then came my first attempts at knitting the shawl.  You'll be a lot more used to seeing crochet than knitting here on my blog, so I had to get back into the swing of it and figure out the beginning of the pattern.  I had to start over about three times, and ended up cutting a bit of the yarn off, where I had ruined it slightly with my messing about and undoing it.

But once the first bit clicked, it's been easy!

Click to see the start of a gorgeous knitted shawl made with hand-dyed yarn.

I'm loving it!  I keep wanting to do just one more row... although they're taking longer and longer as I increase stitches each time.

I'm not sure how long it's going to take me, but hopefully I'll have a finished shawl to show you at some point!  What do you think?  Do you like it so far?



Check out my (very few) completed knitted projects here.


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Friday, 13 October 2017

Knitting and Stitching Show Haul

On Wednesday, I had the day off and ventured up to Alexandra Palace in London for the Knitting and Stitching Show!  I went with my friend Anna, and her friend Catherine, who both went last year.  This was my first time.

It was such a good day full of exciting inspiration and beautiful things to buy.  I thought I'd share my haul with you...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

This beautiful hand-dyed yarn and some circular knitting needles to make a pretty little shawl.  I bought the pattern too, which isn't shown.  I've been saying all year that I need to get into some knitting, rather than just the crocheting - this will be my start!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Aren't the colours just gorgeous?!  This is from For the Love of Yarn UK - etsy shop here.

And to continue the knitting plans...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn and the needles I need for sock making.  That will be a very new challenge for me!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

I bought these larger circular knitting needles too - for perhaps knitting a chunky cowl in the round, or some such thing.  I just felt I might need them, I haven't actually got a plan!!

So, although I've never used circular knitting needles, I now own three sets - let's hope I get on with them!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

These beautiful linen threads were the first thing I bought - I just couldn't resist these colours!  They're from Namolio.  I have no idea what I'm going to make with them, but they were just too gorgeous to leave behind...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Those colours!  They go quite well with the purse clasp I also bought - although I'm not sure yet whether to make a fabric purse, or a crochet one, or a bit of both - we shall see!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

I bought some fabric too...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

This is a fat quarter of oil cloth - which I might use to make a wash bag, or some other type of bag.  Again, not completely sure, but I liked the pattern!

We were also lucky enough to be given some fabric as a free gift, as we had VIP tickets!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

I managed to nab the set above, which were definitely the best colours/patterns for me!  (There was a fourth fat quarter in the bundle, in brown, which I didn't really like, so haven't pictured it.  Although, it might come in useful for something or other - like the trunk of a tree... I might one day want to make a fabric tree, you never know...!)

I'm very pleased with all my purchases, although I'm not sure which to start using first!  I had a fantastic day, although very tiring!

Have you been before, or are you planning to go this year?  I recommend it!



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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Slow Progress - Crochet Colour Blocks

Since my last post about these colour blocks, I haven't got very much further.  I've finished one block (which I admit was nearly done when I published that post) and started on another...



You haven't seen the purple, blue and pink one yet.  I do like those colours together - I think that is one of my favourite squares so far.

I've just got to plough on with this latest one, then it's one more square and border/joining time!  The final colour on each square seems to take forever, though - I've just got to try to stay motivated!



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Enhancing a Wedding Planner with Washi Tape and Lettering

Hello!  Sorry it's been a while, time is flying lately!

I just thought I'd show you the beautiful wedding planner my parents bought Rob and I when we got engaged...

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

It's hard to capture in a photo, but the lettering is in metallic rose gold - it's very pretty!

Inside, it is a ruled notebook made from nice good quality paper.  I decided to create my own section header pages, using washi tape and some fancy lettering...

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

The first section is 'Venues' - detailing all the venues we went to visit (9 of them!) with our notes on each one, our shortlist, and then our final selection.

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

'Beauty' is for details on my hair and make-up artist for the big day.

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

'The Dress!' earned an exclamation mark, because... well, it's about... the dress!  Exciting!

To create the lettering, I have been using 'King Basil Lite' font to type the words on my laptop.  I then put the paper over to trace them in pencil, then fill them in with a black biro.  I guess I could use a black felt-tip pen for a more even fill-in - but for some reason the coloured in with a biro look is working for me!

The washi tape is a roll of co-ordinated tape in pale pink, mint and gold that I bought in a Michael's when I went on holiday to Florida earlier this year - it's good to have a use for it!

The wedding planning is ongoing, so there will be more sections, but I think you get the idea...

For other wedding crafting (there hasn't been much yet!) see my bridesmaid proposal message in a bottle.

Looking to enhance a wedding planner? Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!




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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Garden Diaries 2 : Gladiolus Grandiflorus - Orleans

Who'd have thought it - another garden/flower related post!  This will be the last one for a while, though, as I have nothing else to report really.  Maybe next Spring, although wedding plans may scupper that (but that's fine with me!)

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

We bought a pack of different bulbs which we planted in the spring.  They included these Gladiolus Grandiflorus flowers, in the colour Orleans.  They grew and they grew, without much sign of any flower ever appearing.  We also didn't know what to expect, as it was a mixed bag of bulbs and we had no idea which ones were growing these tall shoots.  (Remember that we are complete newbie gardeners!)

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

When they did flower, they were really quite impressive.  Very tall and lovely blooms!

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

Some of them seemed too heavy for their own good, though, and flopped over.  These two in the pictures (mostly just the same one I've pictured), however, stood up tall for quite some time.  Only in the last week have they drooped and I'm not sure whether it was because we had a big rain storm that battered them down.

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

But I took these pictures before that happened!

SUMMARY

Ease of planting:  Pretty easy - just plant bulbs in the soil.

Plant:  Spring (March to May)

Flowers:  Summer (seemed to be late-ish summer from my recollection - apparently July to September)

Prettiness of flowers:  Lovely.

Recurrence:  Apparently these bulbs will die during the cold months, unless you 'overwinter' them (I've just been googling!)  That seems to involve digging them up and storing them out of the cold - that's not going to happen!!

Will I plant again:  Probably, but the floppiness was a bit off-putting (oooh errrr).

Tips for next year:  Plant them where they might have a bit of support, to counter the floppiness.  Maybe against a fence or something, and stake them to keep them up.

Can you see a few of the remaining pretty Godetia flowers dotted about?!


Check out all my 'Garden Diaries' here.



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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Colour Block Crochet Blanket - Update

It's been a while since I updated you on the progress of my colour block crochet blanket.  Although slow, progress has been made!

Looking for a bright bold colour block crochet design?  Click to see more of this colourful crochet blanket as it takes shape!

I have now finished 9 of the 12 planned squares.  The squares are about 29cm x 29cm so quite big, as the idea is to have big bold blocks of colour, rather than smaller motifs.

That also means less ends, which can only be a good thing!  Although, I still haven't kept on top of them, as you can see.

Looking for a bright bold colour block crochet design?  Click to see more of this colourful crochet blanket as it takes shape!

I have nearly finished the 10th square, so once I've completed that there will just be a couple more to make!  Then it will be all the border and joining work...

What do you think?  It's definitely going to be a bright one!!



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Garden Diaries 1 : Godetia - Little Frills

Now you may be wondering what is going on here - Garden Diaries?!  I am not green-fingered at all, and no-one would call Rob and me keen gardeners!  However, we did have a little go at planting a few seeds and bulbs this year.  I thought I'd make a record here on the blog - mainly so that in future I will know the easy wins to plant again!

(If you are not into gardening and flowers, fear not - I doubt there will ever be very many of these posts!)

One such easy win was the Godetia seeds we sowed.

Are you looking for easy summer seeds to plant in the spring?  These Godetia seeds are so simple and easy to sew - no effort needed!  They grow into a riot of beautiful flowers - click to find out more!

We had cleared a little spot between some other plants and we just scattered the seeds onto it - I think you might be meant to cover lightly with soil, we may have just ruffled the earth a bit.  I can't remember exactly when we sowed them, but it was in the window of March to May suggested on the packet.  I think it was end of March/beginning of April, but not completely sure.

That was the extent of effort that went into planting them.  They were in an open bit of garden without much shelter, and a sunny spot for most of the day too.  

For a while nothing happened, we weren't sure they'd even grow at all.  Then little shoots appeared and before long the spot was full of green.  The plants either side grew a load and engulfed them a bit over the summer, but it didn't seem to affect them.

They flowered around June/July I think and it was a riot of gorgeous bright happy pink blooms!  I wish I'd taken a photograph when they were in their full glory!  However, by the time I thought of it recently, they'd died off.  (They were flowering a lot for quite a while, though, it wasn't a short window.)

Luckily, during this last week or so more have flowered, so I took a quick snap:

Are you looking for easy summer seeds to plant in the spring?  These Godetia seeds are so simple and easy to sew - no effort needed!  They grow into a riot of beautiful flowers - click to find out more!

These are mainly the whiter ones, but when they were all flowering there was a lovely mix of different pinks, as shown in the first picture.

You can see that they're quite crowded amongst the growth all around them.  Next year I think I'll find a better spot, so they can shine without any competition.  I'm thinking a big trough like pot or planter full of them!

SUMMARY

Ease of planting:  So easy - scatter seeds and forget about them!  (Maybe some watering when you remember!)

Sew:  Spring (March to May)

Flowers:  Summer (June to September)

Prettiness of flowers:  Gorgeous!  Colourful and cheerful.

Will I plant again:  Yes, definitely!

Tips for next year:  Plant them in their own spot/planter to show them off to the best!

Are you looking for easy summer seeds to plant in the spring?  These Godetia seeds are so simple and easy to sew - no effort needed!  They grow into a riot of beautiful flowers - click to find out more!


I've made a new page for these posts (in case I ever post any more!) you can find it at the Garden Diaries tab at the top of the page.


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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Hello Sunshine Crochet Squares

A while back, the lovely Hattie from @petalshed did a call out on Instagram for pattern testers of a new crochet square design she had created.  I decided to volunteer.

The square is called the 'Hello Sunshine' square, and is such a pretty design.  There are instructions to make it multi-coloured...


Looking for a cute and pretty crochet square?  Give these colourful squares a go, a pretty new twist on the granny square!

... which I love!


Looking for a cute and pretty crochet square?  Give these colourful squares a go, a pretty new twist on the granny square!

And also in one colour...


Looking for a cute and pretty crochet square?  Give these colourful squares a go, a pretty new twist on the granny square!

... which means less ends to sew in!


Looking for a cute and pretty crochet square?  Give these colourful squares a go, a pretty new twist on the granny square!

I think a blanket or cushion made in a combination of one-colour and multi-coloured squares would look gorgeous.


Looking for a cute and pretty crochet square?  Give these colourful squares a go, a pretty new twist on the granny square!

Details:
Yarn: A mixture of King Cole Bamboo Cotton (DK) and King Cole Cotton Soft (DK)
Hook: 5mm (I have tight tension)
Square Size: 9.5cm x 9.5cm
Pattern: Hello Sunshine by Petalshed

Thanks for the opportunity to test your lovely pattern, Hattie - it was great getting involved!




Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bridesmaid Proposal - Message in a Bottle

Well, in my last post I shared a little pink crocheted heart which I mentioned was part of a small gift.

Following my recent engagement, the gift was a 'bridesmaid proposal' present to my sister-in-law, Claire.  Who even know bridesmaid proposals existed?!  Not me!  But in my wedding research on Pinterest this curious idea made itself known to me.

Now, I was a bridesmaid for Claire when she married my brother nine years ago, and she's known forever that she would be my bridesmaid, if the day ever came!  So, it went without saying or asking, but I thought this would be cute and fun anyway and I knew she'd like it!

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

After gathering inspiration, I decided to make a little message in a bottle.  Above you can see the message rolled up inside the bottle.

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

The bottle was actually a favour bottle I received at a wedding years ago, and kept.  It had some Baileys in, I believe.  I decorated it with a length of white lace, secured with glue dots.  I then tied a pretty aqua ribbon around it - very simple, but I love how it looks!

I used the same ribbon to tie the scroll, and as a hanging loop on the crochet heart.  I'm currently planning aqua as the colour scheme for the wedding, with pink accents.  Rob seems happy enough to go along with this, but refuses to call it "our" colour scheme - apparently it's all mine!  The colour scheme is not an area in which he wishes to associate himself!!

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

I printed my message onto paper and used some gold peel-off borders from my card-making days to edge it.  (Roon and Loon are our nicknames for each other.)

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

Well, guess what?  She said yes!  (Like she had a choice!)  ;)

And that is as far as we've got with our wedding plans... other than viewing so many venues and still being unable to find one that we're sure about.  I hope we find somewhere soon - fingers crossed!


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Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Pink Crochet Heart

Finally, a bit of crafting around these parts!

Just something quick and mini...

Looking for a quick and easy pattern to make a cute crochet heart?  Perhaps a gift for valentine's day, a wedding, or just to tell someone you love them!   Click to find out more!

A little pink crochet heart.  It was part of a small gift, the rest of which I will share another day.

I made it using King Cole Bamboo Cotton (DK) and a 4mm hook, using this great little pattern.

Looking for a quick and easy pattern to make a cute crochet heart?  Perhaps a gift for valentine's day, a wedding, or just to tell someone you love them!   Click to find out more!

It's nice to have completed a crochet project, no matter how teeny!

Looking for a quick and easy pattern to make a cute crochet heart?  Perhaps a gift for valentine's day, a wedding, or just to tell someone you love them!   Click to find out more!


Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Croatian Proposal!

I will try to get back to some crafty blogging soon... but I have some very exciting news!  The title of the post gives it away... I have just had an amazing holiday in Croatia, during which my boyfriend, Rob, proposed!

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

Despite hoping for a while that he would propose, it still came as a complete and utter shock to me!  I had no idea he had been working away secretly to get this ring made and that he'd sneaked it away on holiday with us!

We had gone on a day trip to Dubrovnik, and little did I know he'd been trying to conceal the big ring box shape in his shorts pocket all during the long coach trip and then the 90 minute guided tour.  We finally got some time on our own to walk the city walls, where I was chattering away obliviously, until he got down on one knee.  I was so stunned, I forgot to say yes at first!

It was such a perfect location for it - the views over Dubrovnik were stunning!

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

Not a bad view for a proposal, eh?  It was so exciting - I couldn't believe it had happened!

The rest of the holiday was amazing too - Croatia is such a beautiful country, I really loved it.  We went on a speed boat one day, which was incredible.  We swam in the lagoon below...

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

... and stopped for a drink overlooking this beautiful quiet spot...

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

I don't want to bombard you with holiday photos, so will leave it there.  If you ever get the chance to go to Croatia, however, I can wholeheartedly recommend it - even without the proposal!




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