Saturday, 29 December 2012

Meet -

- Spidermonkey! Now living with our niece, Holly, in Sway, in the New Forest.


Night, All xx

Welcome ...

... to any FB friends who have found their way over here. I'll be posting all future crafty stuff here, rather than boring any non-crafting friends on FB.

No crafting stuff today, except for a very decent haul of upcycling 'potential' found in a charity shop trawl this morning.

In the meantime, I'm off to lock up the hens for the night, and DH continues to wrestle the cats as they try to bag the softest snuggling spots!


I think he's finally conceded defeat!



Bye for now xx

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Used teabags to the rescue!

Just finished the lampshades - one in the sitting room -


and the other in the guest/craft room -



It can be difficult to have a dual-purpose room but, in a small house like ours (two bedrooms), the second has to accommodate both guests (bed settee) and my cardmaking (sewing and other crafts in a downstairs room).

It's taken a very long time but I finally got round to sorting all the papercrafting stuff and putting it away, ready for DD2 and now my lovely niece to stay over the holidays. I thought I'd better take some pic's to prove it can look good - although one of my new year resolutions is to keep it this way - so much easier if you can tidy away as you go, despite my flutterby tendencies.





The room is too blue, and I have some lovely beige and white wallpaper waiting to go up in the Spring - hold me to that, please, folks!

Bye for now xx

Woke up v early thinking about lampshades - as you do! I don't know if you agree but, although energy-saving bulbs are a great idea, they can be lousy to see by, with shades that were fine with the old ones. So a few days ago, in frustration, I ripped the cover off the one I sit by.
Before going to bed last night, I soaked some old white lace curtain in used teabags and, this morning, I've started to construct the new one. I'll show you how I get on, later. If time, I'll do the one in the spare room, too, hopefully in time for my niece arriving at 4pm - no pressure there, then LOL xx

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

WOYWW Part 2

Thought you might like to see the latest thrifty pressie -


I used the cream silk trimmings from DD2's new (charity shop) bedroom curtains to make a surprise cushion for her bed. The burgundy strip ties it in with her other bedroom colours.

Both girls wanted new curtains for their homes, but I like them to have something to unwrap, too. DD2 is on her own for the first time this Christmas, and staying with us, so I was delighted to be able to make up a stack of goodies, spending only NINE POUNDS (in the poundshop) on top of the curtain cost.


Together with some shrewd machining and upcycling from my stash, I was very pleased with the results.

I ran out of time to make cushions for DD1's newly decorated sitting room, but will get them to her next week. Their birthdays are both in January, so the sewing machine will be red hot by the end of the month. I've got an idea for something that will result in a neat throw for DD2, and need to come up with something for her older sister - watch this space!

Anyway, I need to think about something for Boxing Day breakfast now - have a great day, all! xx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Ultimate -

- in upcycling and chicken chic (that's CHIC!!) Every hen home should have one - a carrier bag strip wreath - weather proof and 'green'. I wanted to welcome the four new girls to Worcester, and help Agnes and Betty get into the Christmas spirit. DH and DD2 sat here this afternoon, watching me, convinced that I've finally lost it completely - jingle bells!! xxx

I know I wrote this a couple of days ago, so it's not strictly WOYWW but thought it might bring a smile! x

Posting this over at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesday-186.html. Pour yourself another drink and pop over there to see what everyone else is doing over Christmas.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to each of you!!! Today is the last day of the 25 days of Christmas from KCM!! Go and get your gifts now! All 25 will be available through the end of the year so don’t miss out!
Todays Gift: The Classic Series, Digital audio by Kenneth & Gloria Copeland
https://www.facebook.com/CopelandNetwork/app_490051314350337 
*Warning: Today’s download is large!

Happy Christmas, everyone xx




Friday, 21 December 2012

Mrs Santa

The latest Christmas pressie hot off the press. It's the first time I've tried to make fabric balls, and am quite pleased with the result, although the felt circles top and bottom do neaten up a couple of rough joins! The balls are not completely spherical but, as the recipient is only 13 months old, I don't suppose he'll mind.


I've made lots of snowmen over the past couple of weeks, as fun pressies. I'm using some of this year's gifts as prototypes for items to hopefully sell in future. I have to say, making this stuff is great fun. I did a charity shop crawl this morning, and came home with lots of 'potential' - ll I need now is the space to store it all! 


I need to go to bed now as DH and I are going food shopping at silly o'clock tomorrow, followed by going to collect another 4 rescue hens to add to the family.

Night, All xx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

It's scary ...

how time flies - apologies for being off-air for so long. It's not that things haven't been happening - quite the opposite, in fact - but the longer I've been away from my blog, the harder it's been to know where to start, and so the procrastination.

No more! I've taken myself in hand and, over the next few weeks, will update you with all that I've been up to, leading neatly into my New Year Resolution of regular posting. Yes, you've heard it all before, but now that I've retired and life's getting a little more organised, I'm determined to keep it up. I have been putting some stuff on FB but find that's limited, and, FB friends don't always get as excited about crafting as I do.

Christmas preparations have been steaming ahead, with quite a few



and


made as pressies - and for sale.

Yes, that's the biggest change around here - Teddy Wares has gone commercial! Needing an outlet for my crafty tendencies - not to mention the possibility of making some cash - I've started making stuff for sale, and will be sharing stalls at craft fairs, etc., with my friend Judy, sister in law Janet, and maybe doing some on my own - depending on productivity.  I think this arrangement should suit both my flutterby personality that means I can't make lots of the same thing and my love of all sorts of craftiness.  I hope this makes sense.

I really enjoyed making the rag wreaths and, over Christmas will be making a rag garland to hang down the stairs at home, with lots of embellishments to sew on - watch this space!  I'll also post pics of the other new stuff over the next few weeks, so they don't give you indigestion all at once.

Im posting this over with Julia and co at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/woyww-185.html so why not put your feet up with a cuppa and mosey over for a nosey?

Lovely to see you all again, Chris x

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WOYWW Part 2 - On a Roll

Having put yesterday's senior moment behind me (well, that one, anyway!) here's what I've been up to today.

I suddenly realised at 9am that I was meeting with some mates at lunchtime, to celebrate Alison's birthday, and I hadn't got round to making either card or small pressie - how did I ever find time to go to work?!

Thinking that, if it worked with card, it would do with felt, so -

I cut a circle of dark purple (yes, it is!) and 'spiralled' it, rolled and sewed in place, backing with a green square, cutting leaves out of the bit that showed, and added veining with running stitches, and added a brooch pin on the back.


Oh yes - I'd put a shiny bead in the centre, then mounted it on a card (this is more like the actual purple colour).

So, very pleased with what only took 20 mins, I moved onto her card -

plain white card, covered with a sage BP, topped with a doily that I'd brushed with TH Bundled Sage distress ink, and a vintage photo - all from the stash.

 Sorry about the lousy camera-work!


I don't think anyone would accuse me of being mean, but I love to be able to salvage.  I've got some coloured envelopes that have been exposed to sunlight, and have faded along the edge.  So, I ran a strip of gold edging where the fading stopped and, voila - a perfectly acceptable envelope.



After a yummy, chatty lunch I went on to make a 'thinking of you' card for a friend who's waiting for the results of a breast biopsy.




On the outside, I used the same BP as Alison's card, with some script BP on the bottom, trimming the join and side with more gold strip peel-off, and put a butterfly peel-off hovering in front, using a strip of acetate (I love the versatility of that stuff).  Inside, I covered the acetate join with another flutterby, and ran a strip of fabric lace down the inside edge, having cut the cover so it showed when closed.


Now I'd better start thinking about what to feed DH when he gets in.

Love for now, Chris XX






Lessons learned in my garden

My crafting has been taking place outside this week, when the weather has allowed.

I reckon that knowledge can be picked up quickly from books, but wisdom builds more slowly, over years, and nowhere more true than in the garden.  A few years ago, while still working, I only got out there occasionally, by which time it was often overgrown and soul-destroying.  I would work out there all Saturday morning and come in exhausted, with everything - tools, weeds, etc., just left until the next time I felt obliged to start all over again.  I never achieved much, and it always looked a mess.  Looking back, what a crazy way to live! 

Then, a couple of years ago, I had it landscaped, and things had to change if it was to be worth the investment.  Now retired, life is a little more relaxed and I can do things at my pace, and the garden has taught me some valuable lessons.

1.  Little and often is much better than longer and fewer.  Even if it's only for half an hour when the weather is dry enough, I try to get out there each day.  Some days I might go out several times, but I stop before getting tired then resenting it, and often treat myself to a cuppa and chapter of a book after a session. 

2.  I clear up at the end of each session, emptying the barrow on the compost pile and putting tools away - even if it means I've only managed 20 mins gardening and 10 minutes clearing.  That way, if I don't make it out again, things still look neat. 

3.  I'm learning to enjoy the successes and just learn from mistakes and failures, rather than beat myself up over them.  Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for the way things happen - that's just life and it might be different again the next year.  Last year I was overrun with ripe tomatoes, while this year there were hardly any at all, and none of them ripened - down to the wet and cold first half of the year, I expect.  Instead, I've had a glut of courgettes, onions and runner beans (especially welcome when they were £2 a small bunch in T**co!)

So, all in all, my garden has taught me to relax and 'go with the flow', just enjoying the many blessings in my life.  I'd love to hear what your garden teaches you!

I'm posting this over with the lovely Julia, at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesday-177.html.  Pop over and have a look at what everyone else has been up to, when you've time for some R&R.

DOH!! You can tell I've retired - I was quite worried when I couldn't find Mrs D or any mention of WOYWW - finally realised at lunchtime today that yesterday was Tuesday!! Pop back later this evening, when I get round to posting what I've been up to this morning. xx

Love for now,

Chris x

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Serendipity

- aka a happy accident.  I crocheted this cushion front and started to make the rest of the cover.  Then I realised I only had a small piece of the flowery back.  So, to stretch it further, I cut it in half, and put a stripey edge on both pieces - result!



That's another pressie to tick off the list.

Love for now, Chris x

Love is ...

... resisting using either of these to make new pockets for DH's trousers, heehee!  It symbolises the differences in our sense of humour.  Ho-hum, back to boring, plain navy.

Catch you all later.  Chris x

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Labours of love

Hi - I expect some of you will identify with two problems facing me at the mo -

The first is one that's been on the back burner for some time now.  Earlier this year DD2 said she'd like fingerless mittens and a matching cowl.  The mitts were no problem, and she was able to wear them a few weeks later in March.

 

Unfortunately, the cowl has been another story.

March 2012 -



October 2012 -



and it's grown by about 4"!

Two probs - the first is, it's really boooorrrrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!  My previous ripple attempt was a multi-coloured baby blanket (the blanket, not the baby!) so I was encouraged by the frequently changing yarns.  The second is, I've decided it's too wide but am at the stage where I can't bear to rip it out and start again, so need to persevere to the very bitter end.

Hey-ho, I've plumped for keeping it view so that I often pick it up, and will just break the monotony by doing other quick things in between, and at least be able to give the cowl in time for (this) Christmas.  With the extra time retirement has given, I'm also determined to tackle all the unfinished pieces in the cupboard

The second labour of love is new pockets for DH's 'at home' trousers.

Given his request (see previous post) for no flowers or frills on his pencil case, I'm tempted to put daisy or teddy fabric in as pockets (just not sure he'd appreciate the humour, and I wouldn't want to do the job twice!)  Some more thought required here as it's not as straightforward as I'd hoped.

Posting this over on http://stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/woyww-176-really-176.html  Put your feet up with a cuppa, if you've time, and have a nosey at what everyone else is up to.

Chris xx

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A little something

I asked DH if he wanted a handmade cover for his new phone but he'd beaten me to it by ordering a leather one online.  Instead, he wanted a pencil case (he's a teacher) but no frills or flowers!!?  I found this piece of fabric in the stash and, no sooner asked than done -


I lined it with the same fabric and put a simple velcro fastening on - finished.


I'm posting this over at Wendy's 'Handmade Harbour'
I hope you're enjoying the sunshine in your part of Blogland. It's been lovely here, but starting to turn to hot water bottle weather at night. xx

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Where to begin?

It's such a long time since I blogged, I've been putting it off as I didn't know where to start.  Life has been a bit of roller coaster since back at the beginning August, with my health suffering and eventually deciding to take early retirement.  It's a great relief, and I'm just beginning to relax into a simpler, slower pace of life, even though it will mean tightening our belts a bit.


 There's a distinct change in the seasons as the days become noticeably shorter, even though we're enjoying more sunshine than we have for a lot of the year.  The garden has been taken over by cheerful michaelmas daisies and hardy fuchsias.  I bought a job lot of the latter last year for only 50p each and, after reading to plant them deeper than you'd think, to resist the frost - it worked.  I don't think I lost any.




I've been quite busy on the craft front, finishing off a sweet tea cosy for my sister in law from one of my four tea cosy books!  It's a bit small on our brown betty, but hopefully she's got a slightly smaller pot. The method in my madness, buying 4 books, was that they'll make great gifts, knocked up from scraps, so save money in the end - that's what I told DH, anyway!!
       


I hadn't made any cards for ages, and my anxiety problem meant that I was quite shaky putting a couple together this week, but determined not to give in.  So, I did a sympathy card for a friend, and this birthday card for my sis.


I was thrilled last week, to receive a lovely gift - well, 6 actually, like lots of Christmases rolled into one!  My generous friend, Faith, was changing her sitting room, and had had enough of her cottages, so gave them to me, to add to my collection.

Despite the crack down the middle, this is definitely my fave - the colours are so delicate and pretty!  Along with the two teapots, cheese dish and couple of other pieces, they look great along with those I already had.




Anyway, considering I didn't know how to start, this post is longer and easier to write than I'd expected, so it has broken the ice and I hope to be joining you in Blogland much more regularly again.

Love for now,

Chris x

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Finished

I couldn't decide, at first, which button to use, but finally settled on this vintage orange one.  It might look a bit dark in the pic but picks up the peach fleck in the yarn nicely.

I thought it would end up a good bit bigger than the 0-3 months stated on the pattern and I was right.  Using a 3.5 hook, it's about the same size as the previous blue scottie dog cardi (aged 2).  I really liked the effect of the crossed double crochet, so continued it throughout the piece, rather than ordinary doubles for below the sleeves.  I had less yarn than I first thought, so has a slightly cropped look, finishing at waist level.  I'm a happy bunny though, and hope my little friend likes it, too.  I'm now going to have a go at knitting a sheep so pop back later in the week to see how it's going.

Love for now, Chris x 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Olympic and Hookie Fever

I had begun to feel all Olympic-ed out til now, with every TV advert mentioning them, but I have to admit I've now got the bug.  Watching the men's amazing gymnastics this afternoon, while getting my head and hands around this pattern, compliments of Bev over at http://bevmatheson.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/my-chell-baby-sweater-pattern.html . 



I'm not sure how big it will turn out (I'm very naughty and never do a trial piece!) as my hook is larger than on the pattern.  I do like this, though - very satisfying and quick pattern, now I've got the hang of it.  The colour looks very anaemic but the yarn has a pretty multi-pastel fleck in it. 

Better late than never, I'm posting this over with Mrs Dunnit and all the other crafty folk at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/woyww-165-whats-on-your-workdesk.html.  Pop over for a nosey when you have a mo.

Love for now, Chris x


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Handmade Monday - almost!

Hi - down to earth with a bump! Four loads of washing done and I'm wishing I was still there.  Yes, the more astute of you will realise it's almost the same view each time. I spend much of our two weeks sitting on the bench outside our caravan, just soaking in this amazing view - it continually changes with the tide and sky etc., and I just can't get enough of it. It wouldn't suit everyone - nothing but the lapping of waves and occasional cries of birds and sheep but, for me, someone who is quite driven, it's enforced rest with no guilty conscience about undone tasks, etc. - bliss.









 These next two were taken from nearby cliffs.  
                                           


And back at the ranch -




This is the view from our bedroom - the neighbours are very quiet



but sometimes pop by for a visit



on their way down to the beach.



Just to show how near the beach we are, I took this while sitting at the table, inside.


Sorry, I know how boring it is to look at others' holiday pics!

Needless to say, I didn't just sit and soak in the scenery.  I knitted another baby Kina with some lovely soft, fluffy yarn I had in my stash.  It's actually dark blue but my camera is pants.


 I've got some sweet little Scottie dog buttons that will finish it off nicely.


 I also took my Cuttlebug and lots of coloured wool felt and made 55 flower brooches to give the ladies from our church, when we have our weekend away next month.  They just need pins on the back, and mounting on card with a Scripture verse.


I was pleased with the result - made sweeter by the fact that everything came from my stash, so cost virtually nothing.

I'm posting this on Handmade Monday over at http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/welcome-to-another-handmade-monday-if.html so put your feet up with a cuppa and pop over there to see what everyone else is up to.  Me?  I'm off to bring in the washing and get the next lot out!

Love for now, Chris x