It grew! 

This evening while babysitting for our nephews I thought I’d do a couple of rows  on my spring fields baby blanket, and then I got caught up in it and suddenly it had grown loads! 

At the end of this evening
Where I’d got to yesterday

I like reflecting on the growth of the blanket and the growth of the baby I’m crocheting it for, and have a much stronger sense of that with this blanket than with others because while crocheting I am making the flowers grow taller and sprout leaves. 

Stalk with first set of leaves

I feel quite proud of myself as I’m doing stitches and techniques I’ve never done before, while following a pattern written in American terms. Mainly its ok as  there are really useful descriptions of what to do for each stitch, but i realise I did one row wrong as I forgot to translate double crochet up to treble crochet. It made my row a bit wobbly (see the picture above of where I’d got to yesterday)  but I sorted it with some stitches with  less  tension on the next row! I realise things also went rather wrong somewhere in the first couple of rows, making the stalk a bit wonky and the edge very uneven, but I think I’ve sorted that now, and have the right number of stitches between each flower stalk, so i hope it will be ok from now on. By the time I realised I’d made these mistakes I’d gone too far to consider frogging. Crochet is helping me to learn to live with and accept my mistakes instead of trying to make them disappear. I’m beginning to accept that things that are less than perfect are still acceptable and often even still really good. Hopefully I can begin to transfer this acceptance from crochet into my life a bit more. 

Wobbly edge!!

Who knew that crochet could have such an influence on personal and spiritual development?! 

Pattern testing

Hey there. I’ve not done so much creative stuff recently but my current project involves testing a pattern for another blogger katie, I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m enjoying the challenge. I didn’t enjoy crocheting some of it on a packed train last weekend during the crazy heat in the UK… Especially when the air con was broken! It’s been a bit more relaxing this evening now it’s  not so hot, and i was incredibly proud of myself as I crocheted while we were watching the next episode of a very cool french series called the bureau. I actually understood loads without having to read the subtitles. I had to be on  the ball though to recognise when they were speaking arabic as I can’t understand any of that apart from basic greetings, thank you and for some reason the word for tomorrow!!

I’m using the lovely caron cakes blueberry kiwi… I was so excited to have an excuse to buy these, and even more excited to find they were on special offer, so i have some others for another project!

Here are some photos of my progress so far:

With a cold can of possibly the loveliest drink in the world (though Brazilian guaranà is right up there too)


Looking a bit wonky, but it’s evened up now


Progress made by the end of this evening

Quick card

On this evening’s to do list was making a card for a little girl who I sponsor in Haiti through compassion UK. It’s her 5th birthday in August so I needed to get it sent off in order to arrive there in time. 

I grabbed a blank card, some sticky backed fabric I bought from a Tiger store, some pens and some scissors. 

I had an idea of what I wanted to do and am quite pleased with the little birds. I’m a bit annoyed at myself for not taking more care with how the words looked, but that’s partly because I was copying them and partly because the pen was bleeding into the card if I didn’t write quickly. Oh well… Hopefully she will like it anyway. 

Crazy glaze

Having done no creative stuff at all since rosie’s visit a week and a half ago I was excited about today when my friend hannah had invited me to her 21st birthday party. She had a pottery painting party run by crazy glaze, who were the same people who ran my ‘chicken party’  (my hen party that got renamed by one of the little girls who came to it!). Darren and Juliette from crazy glaze are lovely, and Darren is also a photographer and he took our wedding photos for us too. Today he brought his daughter Lucy with him.

Today i planned to do a detailed design on a pizza plate, and a quick design on a bowl. I took ideas from various different places and got to work. It was good to draw out the basics of my design on my plate in pencil, knowing that the marks would burn off when the plate was fired.

I enjoyed using the different colours and there is something exciting about not knowing exactly how it will look after firing because the colours are so muted when they go on. Crazy glaze provide small tabs of each colour as they will look after firing, but obviously you can’t really see how they look together on your work until after the process.

I spent quite  a large chunk of the party time on the plate, and eventually decided not to outline the bird or tree in black, and just see how it turns out.

Then I worked fast on the bowl. I love the combination of lime green and orange, so filled the middle of the bowl with lime green, and edged the rim in orange.

Round the outside i just used up the paints that were left in my palette from doing  the plate, with no pattern, just making sure I didn’t put the same colour next to itself anywhere. I think it will be a very cheerful bowl for eating my cereal in the mornings!
During the party it was fun as Darren kept looking up photos of our wedding. I love looking back at that day as it was so much fun!

It was nice to be creative with other people.

Allsorts (not the licorice ones!) 

Today rosie and I carried on with creative things. We headed off to Slimbridge and spent a while sketching flamingoes. Rosie understandably struggled with the fact that they kept moving, and she wasn’t happy with the way she drew their heads, but i love the way she uses the pencil so she doesn’t get solid lines round the edges, and i love the variety of birds she’s captured with their heads under their wings and their necks twisted up in different ways, and the fact that her sketches have movement in them. It’s really interesting how we view our own work as i really like one of rosie’s pictures that she thought was no good and actually crossed out! 

I had fun trying out my metallic pencils and then getting more adventurous with pens. It was interesting to use slightly different colours because those were the ones I had. I’m a bit annoyed with both my pictures… The first because of the solid line round the edge and the second because I think i ruined it with the baby one flapping and jumping up and down… Mark thought it was a scarecrow!! That said, I’m really pleased with the shape of the flamingo with his head back, and i really like the colours together. 

When we got back we got the henna out. Rosie had never used it on anyone before so she tried a simple design on my foot and then did a more tricky bird design on my other ankle, combining bits of two different pictures in one. 

Rosie then found a floral design she wanted on her arm (so it will be covered by her blazer sleeve when she goes back to school), and i did that for her,adding birds flying across her wrist. 

After that we watched ‘you’ve got mail’ which she’d never seen before (I feel that it’s an important part of my role to educate her in great films)! And i finished off my octopus while we were doing that. His  eyes look weird but as rosie and mark both say ‘a premature baby isn’t going to mind about that’! That said… Next time I make one I think i will leave it without a face at all! 

Rosie worked hard and finished her paper cut too. I’m so proud of her as she’s put tons of time and effort into it and she’s done  a fab job, especially seeing as it’s the first time she’s ever done it. 

it’s been so much fun doing all this with rosie and I’ve loved being able to give her the opportunity to try new things while she’s been here. 

Craft session with rosie

My 15 year old god daughter is staying with us for a few days. She’s studying art as one of her gcse’s and wants to become an art therapist in the future, so we spent a while yesterday afternoon looking through my craft stuff and figuring out projects to do while she’s here. 

She fancied paper cutting, which unnerved me initially as it involved letting her loose with  a surgical blade! But I watched her do some practice cuts and realised she had loads of control. So she happily worked on a complicated tree pattern while I cut fabric for my next sprocket cushion. Here are photos of our time :

Proud of how I joined the elephants for the edging band
Not sure about the lighter patches
Going for darker sections from another collection of fabrics instead
Rosie getting started

Awesome paper cutting, with proof that somehow it is possible to cut a finger on the hand you’re holding the knife in!
Today we’re playing around with henna, finishing the paper cutting, and we’ve been to Slimbridge and sketched flamingos, but I’ll put that in another blog later. 

It’s fun doing crafts with another person!