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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Story without words

My craft related shopping this week. I don't suppose there is much more to be said about this picture when you take into account my last post about sock knitting 😉


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

An important milestone

For a long time I have wanted to knit socks. Trouble was - I don't enjoy knitting. It makes my hands hurt and the trauma of knitting lessons at school put me off going back to it in later life. However Craftsy was having a sale. I am sure a lot of you know what it's like. You are going about your daily life, not thinking of anything in particular, see a book, tutorial or class advertised or recommended and 'Ooo, how to sew a quilt/make deluxe chocolates/knit a sock. I have always wanted to try that'. Next thing you know you have bought said book, tutorial or class.

I have to say, the class was really clear and simple to follow. I don't think I would have ever got around to knitting a sock if it wasn't for that class. It was Craftsy's 'My First Toe Up Sock' with Susan B. Anderson and I would definitely recommend it for a beginner. Full instructions are given from measuring your feet correctly to finishing off the socks. You can see how stitches are formed thanks to some great close up work. I could see exactly what I was meant to do - and that is great when you are doing something new for the first time. A full written pattern is also supplied in the course materials.



This is my first pair of socks but I have already bought two other lots of yarn in order to knit more. This one is in double knit/worsted weight superwash merino. It is lovely and soft and cozy. The second will be in the same weight of wool but brighter colours (pink, purple and lettuce green). The pair after that will use Arne and Carlos' self patterning yarn. It is a finer weight and uses smaller needles. That will be a whole new challenge.

As for stopping my hands hurting while knitting - I discovered the Norwegian way of knitting. It is much like Continental knitting but with slight variations. The stitches are worked much closer to the tips of the needles and the movement is all in the finger tips instead of the whole hand and wrist. Arne and Carlos have a nice little video on YouTube where they show the basics. Definitely worth a look.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Drifting towards Christmas

A quick pic today - little decorative elements that I have attached to Christmas gifts for my family. They are made from driftwood pieces and painted in acrylic paints. The recipients can even hang them on their trees next year if they like.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

More new beads

I finally got around to getting more of those beads made that I mentioned a few weeks back. Two sets, one with ethnic style elephants and the other in autumn coloured ethnic designs. As always, they are available in my Etsy store. I also found a few sets of hand painted beads that will be listed in the sale section of the store come the new year.

Elephant paper beads

Ethnic Autumn paper beads


Monday, 12 December 2016

A Christmas wreath

As Christmas approaches my Mum had been talking of getting a wreath for my Gran's grave. She has done it every year since Gran died in 2013 and usually goes to the local florist to get one. The first year we received a beautifully made wreath. So much care and attention had gone into it and it looked lovely at the graveside. Sadly, last year, Mum was not too happy with what she got for her money. So this year we decided to do the job ourselves. We picked up an artificial wreath from the local garden centre (rabbits run rampant in the graveyard and eat everything that is remotely green) and a few things to decorate it with. Gran always liked out Christmas tree. She loved the colours and the glitter and the lights. With that in mind we went to work. The finished item is certainly glorious. I hope she would approve.


Gran loved to see the robin in the garden so we added this little guy to keep and eye on things.




This is the Christmas tree that inspired the wreath. Yup! We certainly go to town with ours. It is a 'history tree' covered in things that stretch back through our family life - from vintage glass decorations to handmade glittery fish.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

A-tissue!

A little Christmas gift sewing this week. I found this nice little tutorial by Two Brown Birds for making tissue holders and wanted to give it a try. My first one (made in yellow and green and decorated with a hand made button and seed beads) came out rather nicely. So now my family will be getting tissue holders as part of their gifts this Christmas - and considering how often I make my sister cry with my choice of gift (in a good way, I promise) I think she might find this gift quite useful. I have been making more gifts for this year's festivities but I will put up photos of them later - I don't want to give too much away to those relatives who might be reading this.



Saturday, 19 November 2016

New beads for the winter season

I finally got around to creating a few new beads this week. A touch more Oriental, a little abstract, some traditional, Scandi-inspired and colourful. Some are already available in my Etsy store but the rest will be added over the next few days. There are also more in the pipework that I have not finished yet. One thing is for sure, with all those bright colours they certainly cheer up those cold, wintery days.

sunburst paper beads

Oriental Beauty paper beads

Royal Purple paper beads

Forest Fire paper beads

Oasis paper beads

In the Pink paper beads

Peace from the Orient paper beads

Winter Glow paper beads

Monday, 7 November 2016

A finished quilted project!

At last! I managed to finish a quilted project that was not made from a kit. There are so many pieces of unfinished patchwork around my work room that I really need to do something about it. I made a meditation mat for myself using a pack of Moda's 'Welcome Fall' charm squares. It is made up of disappearing nine patch squares and has made me very happy. The disappearing nine patch is so lovely. Really simple to make but looks so complex. The mat is 25 inches square. I quilted the top with a cotton wadding behind the patchwork then stitched on a back and put a square of leftover duvet (from when I was making dog beds for my sister's dogs) inside. My patch placement needs a bit of work (my obsessive compulsive side is annoyed that the bright yellow patches are all on the one side) but it is just what I needed for those rare moments of calm.


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Autumn in Scotland

I love autumn. I was up early the other morning and tried to catch some lovely images. These photos don't do the scenery justice but the colours are magnificent.


Lots of patches of mist and flog came and went - which is why this marvellous gold tree looks a bit misty.





Monday, 24 October 2016

New tutorials

I have finally got two more tutorials written. It's only taken two years, what with family life, the insane VAT changes from the EU government and a general lack of motivation to write any more tutorials because of it. But they are finally done and I have a few ideas for more.

The first tutorial is ideal for this season - how to make Dia de los Muertos brooches from paper. It covers making the base and how to decorate. I even included a few tips and hints on decorating them.


The second is how to make bejewelled Christmas tree bauble hooks. Made using copper wire and beads, they are quick to make and add that little bit of festive sparkle to what would otherwise be a boring hook.


As always, they can be found in my Etsy store.