Sunday, 15 December 2013

A handmade Christmas

For the majority of us crafters out there Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to make lots of nice things for OURSELVES! I look forward to the beginning of December as it means those special projects can come out of storage for a few weeks. Just the fact that you only see them for such a short period of time makes them all the more precious.

I would like to share some of my favourites from around my home. 

This cross stitch Christmas tree was in an old issue of Cross Stitcher magazine, issue 244 I think. I just love the combination of the deep red thread and the oatmeal Aida. Embroidery hoops have become my favourite way of displaying finished work. 

I can vividly remember stitching this up on a scotching day of our summer holiday in August last year! I was being super-organised ;) 

Another favourite that I made last Christmas is my embroidered Christmas tree hanging. 

It's not so clear but I've also sewn on some lovely sparkly sequins which twinkle in the Christmassy lights. I added a a patchwork border and quilted it too. (The actual embroidery pattern for the tree was one I found floating around on the internet somewhere.)

A new decoration which I've been making over the past few weeks is my crochet wreath. 

I had no idea how I would adorn it until the time actually came. I saw some mixed baubles in Asda which I knew would be perfect. I teamed the red, green and gold ones with a few lovely handmade pom-poms and ended up with a fab festive wreath! (I've still to hang it somewhere but at least it's finished!)

More crochet in the form of this super sweet mini stocking - 

Isn't it just adorable? The basic pattern is from here and I added a cute picot frilly edge. 

Most recently, over the weekend, I have just completed this little crochet holly heart. 

I can't seem to sit still in the evenings, I have to be making something! Although now I fear I don't actually have space for any more decorations!

Enjoy the festive period lovely followers and readers and we'll catch up in the New Year! 

P.S - Sorry for the uncentred photos - I've been using the Blogger app on my iPad and can't seem to centre them.  If anyone has any tips please share! 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Cath Kidston inspired blanket

I finally finished the crochet granny stripe blanket I started a few months ago! As it was my first ever crochet blanket it was a bit of a learning curve, but I got there in the end and I'm delighted with the results!

Isn't it a beaut?  The wool is snugly soft and the blanket was even softer after a quick wash and tumble dry :) 

The yarn is New Fashion DK by Woolcraft, I bought it from Anita @mycraftlife on Instagram. Anita put the bundle together inspired by Cath Kidston colours. 

Here's a pic so you can see the colours better -

Such gorgeous bright colours! 

This is a Cath Kidston cup and bowl so you can see just how nicely the colours go. You can also just make out the little frilly scalloped edge I used on my blanket, I think it finishes it off perfectly! 

Now that I have a lovely new (and toasty warm) blanket, Joshua also wants one! This is the colours I'll use for his - 

I have started, but can I get it done in time for Christmas?!!

For now, here's  another few pics of my lovely blanket

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Weekend in London!

Lazy holidays are a thing of the past now that we have a 4 year old, activities always inevitably centre around playparks, children's attractions and family friendly cafes. My other half and I thought it was high time we booked a little break that was just for us....London seemed the perfect destination!

Whilst Joshua stayed with my parents, we caught a leisurely 11.20am flight on a Sunday morning, arriving in London just after lunch time.  We checked out our hotel and headed to Covent Garden for a look around and a bite to eat. 

The main attractions of London are all pretty close together so a walk around one area soon leads to another so we saw Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Chinatown all in the same afternoon. 

Back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner and we decided to go back to Chinatown for some yummy food....

Absolutely shattered, we called it a night, ready for a super busy Monday ahead!

We booked on the Eye for it opening and got an amazing birds eye view of London and saw all the famous sights from way up high.

The view from the top!
Houses of Parliament
After the London Eye we planned to go to Camden Lock so we got to make a trip on the Underground!

Camden Lock is a series of huge markets selling things for all tastes, lots of scarves, bags, t-shirts...(quite a hippy feel to it though)

There is also an amazing street food market serving all kinds of food including Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Italian, etc etc.  It was fab to walk around with plenty to sample! 

See the huge piece of dough in the pic above?  This stall made tasty looking italian flatbreads while you wait, filled with all kinds of yumminess!

This is what I chose - Mexican!

I found a shop selling these gorgeous wooden fabric stamps...aren't they just lovely? Kicking myself now for not having bought some!

I didn't actually buy anything at the market other than lunch, so, in need for some retail therapy we caught the tube again, this time to Oxford Circus which brought us out right on the middle of Oxford Street.  One big, crazy street full of huge shops! 

Ahhhh, that's better - my purchases!  Inside the packets are long vests which I wear as pj's, (from Uniqlo), everything else is from Primark (Oxford Street = CRAZY by the way!  And as for the changing room queue, omg, I was probably in it for almost half an hour!)

You really can't beat Primark for skinny jeans, £13!

Monday night saw us off to a show (The Moustrap) which was really good but I was in need of some matchsticks for my eyes at that point!  We had squeezed so much into just one day. 

Although we were to leave at Tuesday lunchtime we still managed to fit loads into Tuesday morning. Some yummy brunch (pancakes, bacon, eggs...), a quick trip out to find Cath Kidston, and a few treats later...

I also picked up some London souvenirs on the way back to the hotel to collect our suitcases.  Not too tacky I hope?! A keyring, magnet and brooch....

And then it was back to the airport to fly home.  I had felt guilty about leaving Joshua but it turns out he hadn't batted an eyelid at us not being there...I think we could manage an extra night next time! 

I'll leave you with a few more of my fav pics from our trip

The window display in Hobbs
Pumpkin display outside The London Dungeon
The London Eye
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
On top of the world! (Or maybe the London Eye)
My London brooch added to the strap of my Cath Kidston bag

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Work time and play time

As a WAHM (work at home mum) I often get asked 'don't you just sit with the telly on all day getting nothing done?'

Hell no!

Firstly, I hate daytime tv, and secondly, I absolutely hate sitting around doing nothing, I just can't do it!  I even find it hard to do *nothing* in the evenings, I'm always crafting, thinking about crafting or blogging about crafting!

My 4 year old goes out to nursery 5 days a week so that helps get the day off to an early start, I get home around 9.15am and begin work.  (I'm so lucky that I can even fit in some exercise time too, lately I've been enjoying some pilates workouts I found free on YouTube, and through the summer I did The 30 Day Shred). 

Then the day is spent invoicing, ordering supplies, planning, designing and of course SEWING!

And then I sew some more...

If my OH is working from home sometimes we even find time to pop out for a quick coffee date!

By tea time I have to pack up - as I work from the dining table.  Of course this is a pain, but at the same time it also means I don't end up working past dinner time so it's not all bad ;)

I never work in the evenings, that's my time.  I have many crafts to choose from so depending on my mood I'll cross stitch, do some embroidery or crochet.  As for the weekends, I try not to work but if I have a lot on I'll spend a little time in the afternoons preparing fabric or doing some sewing etc.  But I'd much rather be out with my family, going to the park or the beach.

This is a nearby woodland park which is just beautiful and great for a wildlife walk.  Or we may go out for lunch -

The important thing is to differentiate between 'work time' and 'play time'. 

Yep, this is definitely play time :)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Birthday making

My little boy's 4th birthday gave me the chance to do some more crafting just for him. 

Including 1 birthday carrot cake as requested!

I have been  meaning to make Joshua some more personalised t-shirts for a while, and his birthday was the perfect reason to get one done!  He was asking for a robot a lot lately so that gave me the idea for the theme of this t-shirt.  It also meant that I could use a nice square font for the name meaning no fiddly curves to sew around!!

I am really pleased with this, the colours are lovely and bright, just what I like Joshua to wear. 

As I admired my work a brainwave hit!  I grabbed the leftover fabric and began cutting and sewing...

All sewn up, and we had a robot plushie!

Joshua loves it and has named him Scrappy!

On the tummy I added a little stamped name label -

Along with Scrappy and the t-shirt I also managed to make a quick little amigurumi froggy!  Isn't he cute? We have been doing a lot of counting songs so I thought this would be a great prop for the '5 little speckled frogs' song. 

Here's a link to the tutorial I used for the frog.  I found it quite easy and also used my first ever magic circles, the tutorial is here

Here is my little cool dude trying out his new birthday roller blades!

Autumn crafting


The chill is back in the air, the crisp leaves are beginning to gather at the edge of the kerb, Autumn is definitely upon us.  With the change in the season, comes a change in my crafting urges.  The shift moves from pretty floral cross stitch to cosy crochet with scrummy yarn.

This is the beginning of my first ever granny stripe blanket.  I used the tutorial from Attic 24 to get me started. 

I can say one thing about this, it's very addictive!  I'm just making a small(ish) lap blanket so the rows work up very quickly and I'm often thinking 'just one more row before bed'....I'm sure you're all familiar with this way of thinking!  Resulting in a few late nights ;)

Of course with more yarn, more storage was required so I chose some gorgeous new fabrics and made myself one of my large bags

These have been so popular lately and I notice quite a lot of crocheters are joining me in starting a granny stripe blanket recently. 

For a quick little change I started to hook up something else last night - I wanted to use the same gorgeous colours as my blanket.  I won't say what it is yet as it's going to be a gift as part of a swap I'm doing.  I can show you after the reveal date, but for now, here's as far as I got -

How about you, does your crafting change with the seasons?