Tuesday, 31 December 2013

So this is Christmas.....

.....And what have you done?
.....Another year over......
.....And a new one just begun......



 Mince pies by the barn-load

Cinnamon squares

 Save the Children's 'Christmas Jumper Day'.... last minute crochet project!

Littlest boy's school concert

Teacher presents

Seeing the New Year in with Mrs. Micawber's Honey Caramel Corn

So what have you done?....another year over......... and a new one just begun!

 Thankyou for all being so inspirational, encouraging and most of all, just brilliantly you!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2014! 

Monday, 30 December 2013

Handmade Gift Exchange

At the end of November, I signed up for Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange.  I fancied joining in a Christmassy swap and this one fitted the bill.  I got matched up with my swapper, a lovely lady Liz from the USA and then given some time to find out a bit more about her. She has a blog A Little Bit Original.  Check out her giving plate, I love it!

I thought it would be nice to do something a bit different for me and once I started this cross stitch, I thought I would add the Welsh element by adding Nadolig Llawen (Merry Christmas).  Hand sewing is not something I often go in for, but I soooo loved doing this, although it took forever (and did make me late posting my parcel)

It is the first time I have used this waste canvas (ha, ha I thought it was called disappearing canvas and got lots of confused looks).  

Your design is stitched on to the canvas and then after soaking the canvas dissolves.....well, that is what I thought, in reality, you have to pull out every strand of the canvas....slow and painful!  But the finished look makes it so worth while.  I machine sewed the finished linen piece onto  polka dot fabric to make into a wall hanging.

While the machine was out, I made a hot pad filled with cinnamon and cloves for the full Christmas experience!


Liz and her husband have four lovely daughters, so I hooked up some hair bands for them.

For Liz I also crocheted a scarf to keep her warm in their cold winter weather.

It was such a delight to be involved in such a great swap.

The most exciting thing was receiving a huge box of goodies from America!


Liz makes lots of brilliantly clever things.  She made this personalised Christmas Plaque to hang up....I have to say this actually made me shed a tear....she made one for my Mum too, but mine was the best ;-)

She also makes these mini Christmas countdown chalkboards....so cool!

The boys were not left out, they had  hot chocolate goodies.

Beautifully presented with marshmallows and candy cane stirrers.

It did not stop there, I had a lovely candle holder made by a friend of hers, lip balm with a Merry Kissmas label.  A bottle of vanilla, and on a really thoughtful note, some magazines....Liz knows I am a foody, and the cookie magazine was a-maz-ing  I had a whole afternoon of baking, and there will be plenty more to come!

Thankyou Liz, you made Christmas, extra special for me and all my boys!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Year of projects 08.12.13

So I told you last time, I had a few days to make a gift for my MIL who was off to S.Africa for Christmas, well, I did it, with time to spare and here it is.....

A really enjoyable and quick knit....although, I have to admit to spending a long time trying to figure out what to do....but ravelry's read the useful projects search came in to its own.....once started I didn't stop and I think is was around three evenings to do.

I knitted it in Sirdar Baby Bamboo which is a DK weight with a lovely sheen, which helped when you dropped the stitches to run down.....what a weird experience!

I spent some time trawling about for a shawl pin for myself and one to package with the clapo-ktus, and then had a 'bing moment' when I emailed the local jewelry shop Be-gemmed, who hadn't got any, but said to leave them to it.

I gave them free reign really and they came up with a few designs, from which I picked these two.....


The second shawl pin includes a rose quartz stone,  beautiful in its simple design, but with attention to detail with the hammered finish.....

I am so pleased I can't tell you.....if you are in need of something special, consider dropping Phil and Helen an email or phone call....handmade, therefore with its own unique beauty, and supporting  real craftspeople in a trade which can be forgotten in a factory mass-produced age.

Right.... on to the next thing....this time....just for a change.....another shawl....but for now that's all I'm saying ;-)

To see other people's YOP work, check out the ravelry page here.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Well, as promised....here is the first bombardment of photos....I have plenty more, but I don't want to let a wonderful fun filled summer go by without remembering it here.....lots of reasons for smiling here.......

A meal out for my birthday and then cake at home afterwards. 

This wasn't the only birthday....we did birthdays in the best way....with plenty of cake!

There were days out at the beach....and quick dips in the sea....Chester over seeing the whole thing.....

Littlest boy's fifth birthday, complete with chocolate monkey cake....and lots more cake.....

All partied out, littlest at middle boy's birthday tea.

The eight year old himself, trying out his birthday skate board

A birthday trip out to the local zoo.....very strange meerkats here......

Days in the yard....even for Daddy who re-visited his childhood on middle son's skate board.

Sports day, big, middle and little

Walks....plenty of walks....I have discovered this year a need to be on top of a mountain, as often as I can!

A long watched mum sitting on her eggs, rewarded by two little ones.

A dabble back in to painting when I was asked to donate a picture for the summer fete in our village.

Days out to visit beautiful gardens.

Proud moments as Biggest boy is invested into Scouts and later gets his Silver Chief Scout award.

This summer has been hard to top....this is just a small chunk of memories....I have our hollies to Austria and our charity walk in the Brecon Beacons.....hold onto your hats.......

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Year of projects - 17.11.13

It's done!  My Miranda jumper, finally finished, ends sewn in and sort-of-blocked, (the blocking was a bit of a disaster, as with the weather getting colder and living in a house with no central-heating it just wouldn't dry, so I gave up trying and just dried it without stretching.)

I am pleased with the finished sweater and am planning on taking it out on it's first night out this evening!

The hood is plenty big enough, I have a huge head and lots of hair, so I made sure I added some more to the mix when measuring against the pattern.  I did the same with the length as I can't stand a jumper which you have to keep pulling down...apart from that and my 'make-it-up-as-you-go-along method' of widening the cable section, its pretty much as the pattern says.

I used some nice Rowan Silky Tweed in Bolero, size 5mm circ needles and off I went.

(I am standing on my piano stool to try and see myself in the mirror!)

I'm quickly onto the next project...no dilly-dallying as this is a gift that needs to be done this week.  It is Clapo-Ktus which is knitting up a storm (now that I understand what I have to do!).  This will hopefully be done in the next few days and then I'm slightly off-piste with some Christmas knitting....I think I may be off-piste a while!

Last, but not to least, my little give-away from last week.

The winner is Lily Razz

I'll  email you now so I can pop your goodies in the post!

To catch up with my fellow YOP-ers, check out the ravelry page here.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Year of projects - 10.11.13

So don't fall off your chair, but I might just have pulled off two weeks in a row (although that does actually depend on me pressing publish!)

This first picture is a ravelry pattern which I thought would make a good gift for a friend who has just had a baby boy.  (I've looked through all the patterns on ravelry and for some weird reason, none of them look familiar so I'm not sure which one I used!)  I made it with two different yarns, Picasso by Robin and Sirdar Click both at a bulky weight, so the finished blanket was quite heavy, I'm not sure if this would make a better floor mat for that reason.  I've wanted to make a star since seeing the beautiful one made on HillyTownBlue probably over a year ago.  Mine didn't end up growing that big and I think I maybe didn't count carefully as it didn't sit as well as it might have.....

I  hoped my Miranda would have been finished this week, but  I  have still not been able to cast on for the hood.....but I am getting there.....maybe next week.

Well this week, as I told you  last Sunday, my friend and I went to Christmas Crafts at the NEC in Birmingham.  I was lucky enough to win tickets from Sarah at Crafts from the Cwtch

 There was plenty to see, do and to spend your pennies on.  We tried our hands at some Decopatch and also Fimo modelling.  We also spent ages rifling through this huge pile of reduced wool  at one stall, it would have been tempting to just launch yourself in, but I restrained myself!

So I bought..........some yarn, some bags of ribbon, some decopatch bits and bobs (see the big ram's head?) a rainbow quilt starter set from Dickory Dock Designs (a lovely stall with so many colourful fabriccy things for kids), some paper strips to make 3-D stars for the Christmas tree, some embossing inks and powders...oh, and lots of inspiration (which was free!)

(My friend's fimo creations left, mine right)

The fimo tutorial was brilliant, I learnt a few techniques which were just genius and I brought my little stash of things home and baked them in the oven.

Anyway, I know this post has been a little off track, but wanted to share my lovely day with you all....I know that some of the makes that I show off in future will have been inspired by this day out.

I felt quite christmassy seeing all the festive ideas around me, so I thought I would put together a couple of things to offer as a giveaway on my blog. 

So here you are, if you would like to have a chance to win the above Scandinavian Christmas 3-D Star Kit (plus a few extra bits to inspire you, hopefully), then leave a comment below.  I'm not worrying about where it gets posted to, so go right ahead and add your name to the hat, why don't you!

To see other Year of Project work, check out the Ravelry page here.