Thursday, 15 November 2012

Wow its getting cold here in Wales

I have been making the blanket for my best mate every moment I can find but it went wrong so I am starting over and using what I have made so far as a cushion cover. Did mean I had to make another order from wool warehouse. Very lucky the man of the house was not home when the postie arrived today. Such lovely purpley yumminess.

I have had to put down the crochet for a few hours though, Phoebe has to dress up on Friday for Children In Need and the nursery group are dressing up as pantomime characters. I didn't want to spend much so I emptied out her dressing up box and found a lovely red dress that is far too big so I nipped and tucked it so that it will stay on. Then I found a red fleece throw in my stash and I made a simple cape.
Here is the result.

If you have not guessed Phoebe will be going as Little Red Riding Hood. 

She was a little wiggly during the construction on the cape but I think she was happy with it.

Right then back to the crochet I go. Keep warm out there.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

So what's been happening in October? Blimey so much, I have no idea where the month has gone.

 Where to start?
OK I went to a craft fair in the Cardiff football stadium at the beginning of the month, it was over 2 floors and very busy but I was able to get myself a packet of buttons that Phoebe took an instant liking too. She played with them for hours and when Himself went to put them back in the back she yelled 'NO TREE!' after closer inspection she had arranged them in the shape of a tree! 

I have been practising machine embroidery and to be honest it's not going well yet as the metallic thread I bought keeps snapping in the machine, that thread could end up expensive. However I am getting good at trees.

I have in no way given up on the crochet, the Granny Spike blanket is getting used well on the bed and since the weather is getting colder doing very well keeping us warm at night.

 Lovely and snuggly.
My intention when I started this blanket was to use up my scraps, but after using up an awful lot of balls I still have lots left. I was chatting to some people on the Facebook page Stitch and Bitch and I notice lots of people were making Harlequin Hoodie and I couldn't resist making one for Phoebe to wear when we are waiting in the playground of her nursery.
I doubled up the DK yarn again and came up with this.  

When it was finished Phoebe was more than happy to wear it all day as she had a bad cold.
Even poorly she looks pleased with it.
A few parents have asked me to make them hoodies for their children and themselves but at the moment I am so busy I don't have the time, there are 2 reasons for this, I have had some full time work so been very tired in the evenings and my best mate asked me to make her a blanket.

As she is my best mate and does so much for me I thought I should make a blanket that requires some real effort and spent 3 days trawling Ravelry for inspiration, I found one I liked but I am not going to share that yet as she has no idea what its going to look like.

I went on Wool Warehouse and made an order for the yarn I would use for her blanket and it was delivered yesterday. All this for just over £25 free delivery!!

These are the colours that are going in her blanket

To finish the month we carved pumpkins, the one in the middle was by Phoebe, she drew/scribbled on the pumpkin and we cut it out, we think it looked pretty good. The one on the right is mine and its supposed to be Jack Skeleton, the one on the left is His and its supposed to be a vampire.......

The day after halloween I was sitting in the living room when I noticed an awful racket, I look out of the window to see this!
You can be forgiven for thinking its snow, it was in fact about 10mins of HAIL!!
Winter is definitely on the way BRRRRRR

I am off now to get started on the blanket and have a huge mug of hot chocolate with Phoebe.  

Friday, 5 October 2012

I have had such a lovely week! Mr Tax Man sent me a cheque so I decided I was going to treat myself to a new sewing machine and settled upon this one
The Brother X5!!!! Cost £70 in Argos so got a £5 Argos voucher too, I have no idea what to do with said voucher but I am sure I will think of something. So this little machine is nice and light, 14 basic stitches and came with some accessories, I didn't want anything fancy and this fit the bill. I did consult with my dad before purchasing as many years ago he repaired sewing machines as an apprentice so knows what I need to look out for. Another first was actually reading the instruction manual! I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing from the start. 

So to give it a little whirl I made Phoebe a PE kit bag, as her nursery do sports on a Tuesday. 
Here it is....
I bought this patchwork style polycotton about a year ago, I think it's very pretty but the Man does not like it. O well never mind, at least her teachers will know its hers.
The machine was wonderful, so quiet and ran so smooth. Its such a difference to the machine mum gave me (it's older than me!). 

On further perusal of the manual I found that I can embroider on this nifty X5. So with a few pennies I had left I ordered some metallic embroidery thread from this ebay SHOP HERE it fell on my mat yesterday
These colours are so beautiful and shiny I cant wait to use them.

So I have never done any sort of machine embroidery before and I really fancy giving freestyle a go since seeing it on Kirsties Homemade Home Series 2 Episode 5 so I have been browsing YouTube for hints and think I have got the idea now.

I have an idea for my first project, purely by accident this idea came to me, I wrote on my Facebook that I was going to be sewing up a storm on my new machine and a friend asked how one sews a storm and it got me thinking, I could literally sew a storm! 
I had a good rummage in my stash and found a large piece of white fabric (no idea what kind as I lost the label) and cut it into rough fat quarters. I then found some packets of dylon hand dye in ocean blue and violet. I went back on YouTube and looked at low immersion dyeing. 

I began it last night while waiting for the girls to come over for our weekly wine, dinner and chat.
Using the blue first as its the lighter colour I mixed and very strong dye, about 1/4cup water the whole packet of dye and 4tbs of salt and roughly poured it over the damp crumpled fabric and repeated with the violet. You always start with the light colours and get darker otherwise you get a nasty mess. I covered it in clingfilm and left it on the hob while the oven was cooking the dinner so the heat would help fix the colours.
Here its is doing its thing. There are 6 pieces of fabric in here. It was left for about 3 hours and then I just rinsed each bit until the water ran clear and hung it on the radiator to dry.

Here is 1 of the finished pieces
The colours are much more vibrant and the camera isn't great at picking up the finer details but you see the marbled effect and how the blue and purple bleed into each other. 
This effect I feel looks like the dark and ominous storm clouds before a huge lightening show. This lightening and some foreground detail will be done in the metallic thread on the machine. 

This afternoon I will be having a practise on the machine before going on to the real thing. 

Will keep you posted on progress. Have a great day everyone

P.S. I have been asked to add a link to the Granny Spike Crochet pattern Here it is enjoy xxx

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Hello and may I apologise for neglecting my blog for so long. I have been BUSY BUSY BUSY with one thing or another.

So what's been happening......
Well first I was finally awarded by Wood Beads for completing my leadership training course as a Beaver Scout Leader. (Ages 6-8)

I have also become an Assistant Scout Leader (ages 10-13 eeek!)
One of my first session as Assistant Scout Leader was to make sure they knew their promise so we got them to write it out in alphabetty spaghetti! 

It took about half an hour as it would seem Heinz does not put enough 'N's in 1 tin, so they were hunting around looking for the illusive 'N'. They got creative and hashed other letters to make N or tipped over Zs 

Over the summer holidays myself and 2 other mums have become accustomed to girly nights, sharing some wine and cooking each other dinner. We have decided that getting a take away is not a great idea. Look how much was left over when I opened the oven one slightly hungover morning.

We do have lovely evenings just gossiping. My manshape comes home from air cadets and drives everyone home, he will join us and gossip until they are ready to go. Last week it was 12.40am! on a school night! 

My Phoebe has started her 15 hours of school per week and she loves it! I hate that she has to wear a school uniform, she just looks too small. 

When she gets home from school all she wants to do is paint
and play in her tent with daddy

I have managed to get some crochet done too, I saw a video for a granny 'spike' square and loved it. In a normal granny square there are 3 stitches around the ch1. But in a spike the first stitch is around the ch1, next stitch goes through the cluster below, next stitch is around the ch1. 

I started making a blanket, I wanted a nice thick blanket for our bed ready for the Welsh winter, as I am unable to buy more yarn I had to mix it up and use up everything I has starting with the Aran weight.

Day 4 (sorry for the shake)                                           Day 8 Phoebe takes a shine to it

Day 20                                                                         Day 24

Day 32! Nearly finished!

Close Ups

I think that's everything. 
I will be more regular again and with lots of new stuff, I am purchasing a new sewing machine soon and making presents for Christmas!
See you soon xxxx

Friday, 15 June 2012

Its been a stressful but happy week here in South Wales. The man of the house has been on a course to help him start up his own business and been out from 6am until 7pm so Phoebe has not seen much of her daddy.
There has been a lot of issues with my internet and phone provider so I have had to learn how to cope without internet (not easy).
So Day 1
The car is in the garage all day so we can't go out, a friend came over for coffee and a chat that lasted all morning, we practically live at each others house! When she left I turned out my stash cupboard and found all sort of fun sparkly bits and glue. 2 hours later and me covered in glue Phoebe has made lovely cards for her nanny and aunties birthdays and a collage for her other nanny.

Day 2
Car in garage again so after taking Phoebe to nursery I camped out at my friends house near to the garage and ended up having lunch there. Phoebe had lots of fun playing with the vast array of toys at said friends house (she does have 4 children so lots and lots of toys) 
When we got home Phoebe went to her room and fell asleep straight away so I snuggled in and finished a crochet bag....
The pattern came from Attic24 Here but with a few alterations. I used 2 strands of aran weight yarn at the same time and an 8mm crochet hook. I followed the flat round pattern up to round 7 then stopped increasing and made 15 rows going up and shell edging to finish. Using such thick yarn in 2 strands means if you follow Lucys' pattern the bag will be enormous. The handles are about 55cm as I hate long straps. Please note Lucys' pattern for this bag is in US terms, I thought I was being clever and after 30 rounds I realised I was using the wrong stitch and had to rip back to the beginning. That will teach me for not reading the tutorial properly.
The bag just needs lining and when I can get to the sewing machine it will be done.
Day 3
I sent a few packages today and while at the post office saw fairy wings and wand for a few ££. The parcel was cheaper to send than I though so bought the wings and wand. Phoebe is loving being a fairy.
Now who can be a fairy without fairy cakes?
 Cases in the tins.................

 Mixture in the cases........

Rising nicely mmmmmm.....

Day 4
After dropping Phoebe off at nursery I went to the coffee morning at the church hall. Its loads of fun as we are all friends anyway. It had been arranged that we would make mosaic pots. Loads of fun and some bad language as people got annoyed with the tiles falling and slipping off the pots.
The rest of the day was spent in pyjamas and watching childrens TV. Phoebe made herself a little den and I decided to make another Spring Flower Wreath as seen on attic24 Here and my first one that I sent to my mum Here. I wanted one of my own to brighten up the top of the stairs.
I used robin marble in blue and white for the ring and lots of scraps for the flowers and leaves.
Sewing on around the foam ring...
Makes me so happy to see it there at the top of the stairs leading to our loft bedroom looking all bright and sunny in such a dark landing. I think it needs me to make some butterflies and birds to hang around it as it is quite small.

Well it has been a very mad week but now we have internet back up I need to browse kindles books, crochet patterns and SKY have been very nice and now they are taking over our line they have offered the movie channels for FREE for a few months so I also have to set loads of films to record. What a busy and also wonderfully lazy day I have planned.... with lots of cakes and cups of tea. If anyone hears screaming later its just me watching paranormal activity 2 (I am a total coward lol)
Have a lovely weekend everyone..... xxx 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Another lovely week its been here in South Wales
(photo borrowed from my friends album) 

Been busy with said friend as she invited me to see Bear Grylls at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Sunday. She had free tickets as a member of scouting, it was a brilliant evening and I met more people in the Mid Glamorgan Area (always good for ideas) about 90% of the audience were members of scouting and wearing some form of uniform.
My friend is MAD about Bear and was soooooo excited.
We had really good seats (thankfully far enough away from the stage that we didn't get maggots and worms thrown our way) but the kids in the front rows love that sort of thing. I ended up staying at my friends for the night and felt a bit worse for wear after tooo much of the vodka and chatting until 3am but I did have her little cat sleeping on my feet all night so they stayed warm.

After recovering from a great evening I settled down on my terrace and with Phoebe happily playing in the paddling pool I got to work on my new project. I have only been able to pick it up every now and then but I love the result. 


The idea was another wonderful one from Lucy at Attic24 its her May Rose Wreath please see Here for her TADAA and tutorial. 
I used a 17cm ring (see above link for details of ebay shop) so smaller than Lucy's and I didn't like how my stripes were looking so cheated a bit used my Robin Paintbox wool for covering the ring. 

I am now going to attempt a Christmas one to see how it turns out.

Right must dash and attend to a car that might not last much longer.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Well I have been so busy here so not had much time for bloging. There have been days out with the beaver scouts and lots of clearing out the house.
Today though I decided it was high time to sort out my terrace balcony, we have neglected it far too much by only using it as an ash tray. The view is lovely and should be used more. 
We took Phoebe to nursery and went into town where I got 5 stackable pots from poundworld, 40 litres of compost for £2 from B&M Bargains, flowers and pack of 5 single pots from B&Q as well as a big pot of decorators filler.... (All will become clear)
Once Phoebe was home from nursery and having a nap I went onto the terrace and completely swept, threw away all the rubbish and tipped away the stagnant rain water from the the old gerbil tank. 

Now to make the boring plastic pots more interesting!!!
I have a big bag of seashells my mum and nephew collected for me on their frequent trips to the beach so out it came. Get a pot and spread the decorators filler on the pot very thick (I use a spoon) and stick on the shells... leave to dry and 


Unique and cheap pots

I found I had bought far too many plants so I filled the old gerbil tank with the remainder of the compost and squeezed as many plants in as I could. And all put together they look lovely.

I am suffering a bit now as I didn't use suncream and my back is raw. But it was worth it to have a nice, tidy and pretty terrace. I have had to go inside to avoid any more burns (face still burnt from beaver scout fun day on Sunday) but I can see my beautiful flowers through the patio doors.

I must get on with my big crochet blanket to use up my stash as I have given a ban on buying more by the man in the house. Such a meanie!!

Well enjoy the sunshine and remember the suncream!