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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Just a little show and tell

Not much to report on the creative side this week. There has been lots of bead making, of course. Other than that, just a couple of new samples using buttons. A notepad made using grey board as the backing which I covered in K&Co papers and a glass nightlight holder made using ribbons and a bit of bling.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Return of the faithful

The title refers to some paper beads I used to sell that were very popular. Each paper bead was hand painted and I had been having problems with the ink going on the paper. Every time I had to change brands of paper the ink behaved differently. So, in the name of reliability, I stopped selling them. For years I played with digital images in an effort to get the same effect. Sadly I never found the look I was searching for. However, by sheer fluke, I was playing around with a vintage style digital image, grabbed the colour controls in my photo processing programme and wiggled a few of them about. Within 30 seconds the perfect image appeared. I printed it out - just to make sure. Perfect indeed. Cue the re-emergence of the old beads. The first lot are the Oriental calligraphy beads - now called Vintage Chinese Calligraphy. The next lot will be the Vintage Word paper beads (I will post about them when they are finally available). I am so pleased. For years people have requested both sets of beads. Now I can offer them for sale again.

Vintage Chinese Calligraphy paper beads

Oriental Calligraphy paper beads

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Socks - again

Another pair of new socks - this time using Regia's Arne and Carlos 6 ply yarn in Star Night. It was not quite as nice to work with as the 100% merino yarn I have used before but I suspect the merino socks will need darned sooner than these socks will. This yarn does seem much tougher. They are certainly very toasty and warm to wear. Just what I need on the continuing dull and cold days.

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 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