Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Year, New Things!

It's nearly the end of 2012 and for me it's gone so,so quickly. The run up to Christmas day, and even the day itself has flown past, but the whole year has gone in a blink!

2011 wasn't a great year for our family but this year just gone has made up for our heartache, with the birth of our baby girl, completing our family so perfectly. Here she is opening her first present on her first Christmas.

Mr Clock! Just a little stocking filler Santa picked up and she loves him.

All our children were very happy with all their gifts, the house is drowning in Lego mind!

We have been shopping too and I have been having a little spend,

A turquoise kitchen trolley from Ikea (Raskog) to help me get tidy tidy in my craft area.

Some more yarn from Frosts garden centre, because I don't have enough already (!)

And the best bargain of all .... 2 pink wicker chairs and a matching ottoman from Bargain Ally, all for £25!

They are a bit dirty but nothing a bit of soapy water can't rectify. The guy at Bargain Ally thought I would paint them a different colour but I quite like the pink.

They make my craft area, or crochet corner nice and cosy :-)

There's my rainbow ripple blanket looking all colourful. It's not yet finished, still a fair bit to go.  The pink and green African flower crochet on the chair is actually destined for a stool cover, I just need to get round to painting the stool.  And you can also see a little daisy blanket taking form on the chair as well. As usual I have far too many WIP lying around, and soooo many ideas in my head for other stuff. But as I've said before, it's all good and I will stay busy and happy making my things.

Happy New Year to you all....Carry on Crafting!!!!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Crochet Christmas Tree Bunting
Crochet Christmas
Tree Bunting

When this post appeared on my reader,

Crochet Christmas Tree Bunting

linking to this tutorial....

Crochet Christmas Tree Bunting

I couldn't help myself!!!!

Crochet Christmas Tree Bunting

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Baby's First Christmas...

I love this little guy!

It is my sweet little girls first Christmas and we are all so happy she is with us to celebrate this lovely 'family' time of year. She is such a little poppet and brings lots of happiness to us all.  Being such a good girl I'm sure Santa will bring her lots of presents so of course she needs a Christmas Stocking for him to leave her gifts in.

And what a brilliant project to keep Mummy creatively content :-)

So with some lovely turquoise (my new fav colour) festive fabric, my cutting mat and rotary cutter and a rough pattern made from one of the other children's stockings, I patched some squares and quilted a bit then cut out the boot shape.

I used some white felt and turquoise embroidery floss for the heel and toe embellishment....

and crocheted a white 'shell' cuff to the top, to kinda look a bit like fur but not, cos I wanted to get a bit of crochet in there and am very, very pleased with how it worked!

A loop at the top to hang it from....

some little balls to adorn....

and YAY, all done. A gorgeous stocking for my little darling!
Gosh I am sooooo happy with this, I'm giddy with excitement, I'm surprised I have not used more exclamation marks in this post!!!!!!! Bear with me, I just need to do some star-jumps....... that's better, released some excitement :0)

The stitch pattern I used for the cuff is originally from here. The rest is all from MY HEAD.

I now need to do some food shopping but am too scared to venture into the mayhem. My sister-in-law is going at midnight, maybe I will attempt a night-time flit...


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Quilt

Hi There, how's it going?  I think most of us are on the same track, getting things ready for Christmas, organising the house and buying provisions for the big day feast.  For a while now I have had red and white (with a bit of green) decorations for our tree and last year I made this quilt to get out and use around this time. It goes well with the colour scheme and has a festive feel.

I bought a bundle of red and white fat quarters from I think Fabric Rehab, some with little reindeer on (sorry I can't be more specific about the fabric, it was over a year ago and I can't remember!) it was a Christmas bundle anyway. I cut the lot up into triangles and then with the off-white plain cotton that I get through yards and yards of I cut more triangles to make the other side of the square. I often cut to be most efficient with what fabric I have and therefore the size of the squares end up whatever they do (in this case approx 8.5cm).

The border was a bit of an after thought to make the quilt a bit bigger. I bought about half metre of the fabric, the drawback there is that I ended up with lots of joins in the border.

I did free-form quilting, for the first time on this project. It involves lowering the feed-dog on the sewing machine and using a darning foot, then meandering over the quilt as spaced out or close together as you want, if the stitching is too close together, it makes the quilt very firm so I tried to space it out a bit. In hindsight I think it's probably a bit too close together. I sort of like this quilting method but I must admit to having difficulty in keeping the stitches the same size. You need to be able to control your work well as you haven't got the feed-dog in place to help you out, and it's easy to let things go too quick and the stitching ends up massive and loose.

I am however, happy with the finished result and glad that it can be a family heirloom, bought out year after year and passed on to my children in the future.

Do you have any special thing that is used only on special occasions? I think putting things away for a while can make you appreciate them all the more when you do use them.

Have a great day, don't rush around too much - take time to enjoy a mince-pie and some mulled wine and take care of yourselves!

S x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Crochet Snowflakes

I cannot think of a better title than the obvious can I? My head's not working today! (is it ever???) Anyway I thought these photos were rubbish but looking at them again today they are not too bad and will suffice for this post. Crocheting snowflakes for my Christmas tree when I should be writing cards, wrapping gifts, picking up lego, making mince pies, tidying up ..... I don't know. I blame it all on lovely Sandra from Cherry Heart and her exquisite snowflake decoration for her mantle piece. She is such an inspiration and is very good at blogging too. She combined coloured little balls with her snowflakes to make a really sweet decoration.  She was very kind to include a link to the patterns on Ravelry that she used, my there are loads of variations once you start looking. The one in the above picture is actually from 'Learn to Crochet' by Sally Harding. You can't really see it but there are little beads on the points.

For the first one I used DMC pearl coton no. 5 (an embroidery floss), and then switched to Anchor Aida 6 ply crochet thread and the hook size I choose was a minuscule 1.25. 

Once made I did use a sugar solution to stiffen the snowflakes of half cup water and 3 tablespoons of caster sugar, brought to the boil and then cooled slightly. I pinned out the snowflakes and left to dry (my tea-towel got really sticky) and they are quite stiff and hold their shape.

If I have time I will make more, and anyway I like the idea of making loads and hanging nothing but on the tree for next year, I think it will look really pretty. I will have to start making them in September.

Thank you Sandra for the inspiration. If you want the patterns follow the above link to her blog and then follow her link to the Ravelry patterns.

Have a good one!


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas Coasters

Hello, how's it going? Hope you're ok today and all your Christmas preparations are going to plan. We have managed to get the tree and decorate it. I've almost finished the present wrapping and just have to gear myself up to the card writing so as to get in the post Monday. With all the horrible and tragic events in America that I must admit I find hard to think about as it's too upsetting, I feel all the more fortunate to have my lovely family around me. This time of year is my husbands busiest time at work so unfortunately he's not around much but we still manage to hang out a bit. Next week is the last week of school before the hols and we have the school play to look forward to in which best boy has a speaking part.
Today's Yay all done post is about the coasters I've made from an idea from The Making Spot, another christmassy make that I wanted to do this year.

After knitting two coasters, one with a star and the other with a tree (intarsia - help!), and then crocheting a Christmas wreath granny-square with puff stitches (my own pattern - chuffed) 

I cut some festive fabric as backing so I was able to use some potpourri inside the coasters for a lovely Christmas time scent.

This is the one I've used, it contains a merry mix of cinnamon, vanilla and clove blended with delightful green sugared pear and is truly gorgeous!

The idea is when you place your warm drink onto the coasters a lovely aroma floats up, giving all your senses a Festive treat! I just wish this was 'smellawebsurfing' so you could appreciate just how lovely these are and enjoy the scent with me.

Take care and enjoy your week,

S x

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Crochet Christmas Pud!!!

Jack Frost called this morning and his presence made a pleasant trip to school in the car. OK so it was cold, but the beauty of the frosty white trees and the low sun shining through them cheered myself and best boy as we made our daily trip.
Both of us are very visual people, preferring pictures to text. Best boy did his Roman research homework all in drawings rather than writing and this meant he could enjoy the flow of the project instead of struggling with spelling etc.  His enthusiasm was more important than writing practise in my opinion and he got a house-point for being the first in his class to hand it in.
Baby girl woke early today (5:20am I think). She generally sleeps well but obviously had had enough as she'd gone to bed at 7:30pm last night, so after her feed she lay in her crib singing her head off. So as not to wake anyone else I took her downstairs to play and after a cup of tea for me and another feed for her we accepted the day had begun. I'm dreadful when I'm tired, it's like the world's ended (hasn't though has it? 12/12/12 and all that. or is it due to end next week?) and as my 'to do' list is HUGH today I am feeling quite manic! But having said that I'm happy to report the Yay, all done of another little make:

I have been determined to make a few christmassy things this year and back in September found this pattern on The Making Spot, it seemed ideal for what I had in mind.
Crocheting and sewing combined is very 'me', but I have to say it took longer to make than I would've liked it to, but then everything does.
As you can see it's a Christmas Pud Sewing basket with a brandy cream lid that's attached by buttons. It's so sweet and fun with the holly and berries on the top. I made it with Aran weight yarn (Rico Design Creative Cotton) so it's quite firm but then I decided to make a lining as well so it's really robust. The little handle is velvet green ribbon - I love, love velvet ribbon!
Instead of my sewing bits I might use it for my chocolate stash, the kids will never find it there? No, they probably will, they can smell chocolate from 50 feet!

****Note: I didn't like the way the holly leaves were made in the original pattern (they didn't have the spiky bits) so I used this pattern from the Oracle herself. Thank you x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Baby Circles Cot Blanket

Yay, all done!
I have finished my crochet cot blanket for when my sweet little baby moves into her cot bed. I have already made a patchwork quilt for her and this is to go with it. 
I feel I have been helped by blog-land with this blanket as the inspiration and methods used were all from time spent reading other fantastic blogs, getting tips and ideas.
The crochet circles can be seen all over the place but I liked this one.
I started off making lots of little circles in 5 different colours. I used Stylecraft Double-Knit Special yarn which is a soft acrylic that is very good value. I've always thought of myself as a natural fibre type but after lots of blogging crocheters use this yarn and get on well with it I thought I would give it a try. I ordered mine from Deramores and I know Masons do it too. There are loads of different shades so I just went mad and ordered a variety of colours which will do several projects I have in mind. When my pack of lovely yarn arrived I was then able to pick out the best colour combination that would go with the patchwork quilt, and got to work on the little circles.

In total I made 63 circles and laid them out, spacing the colours evenly as you do and then joined them with a cream joining colour using this method. I really enjoyed working with the joining yarn as it was like crocheting with milk, it was so soft and creamy...

Once all the circles were joined I made a border by this method, using the colours of the circles and then a simple edging to finish off from here

I have to admit I'm very happy with the finished result. It is very soft, with lovely colours (pomegranate my favourite) and goes well with the patchwork quilt.

So thank you to all who's posts I have used to make my project come to life. 

See you soon with my next creation!