A present and more little projects

Well it turned out that I want all enough to go back to work yesterday. The only reason is been feeling ok was that I’d been sitting or lying still for the vast majority of the day. When I actually started doing stuff I couldn’t handle it. So I was off work yesterday and today as well. 🙁

Yesterday I thought I’d have a go at needle felting from a Badger kit I got ages ago (before I ever even started this blog)from Lincolnshire fenn crafts. It turns out that although I wasn’t moving my head, watching a moving needle was making my dizziness worse. So I’ve got the head and body of a Badger started but requiring more work at some point when my dizziness has cleared up.


So then I got out a project I’d started a long time ago, where I’d cut out the pieces for a sprocket pillow, and tacked them onto paper but hadn’t got round to sewing them. I began have sewing the pieces together, this time remembering to sew them into pairs and then join the pairs together so the orientation stays accurate.

What I forgot to do was to press the seams into place before joining the pairs! But, I did it later and it seemed OK



And today, I had the excitement of unpacking and using my first ever sewing machine. My lovely husband bought it for me for Christmas but as it just arrived in its box in the post, with no extra packaging the surprise was not going to work on Christmas day. Given that I’d seen it he told me I could start using it whenever I wanted! Today was that day!

I buried my head in the user manual, following each part step by step. I Learnt how to wind the bobbin (and I had to sing the song while doing it!) and how to thread it properly and then I tested whether I’d really done it right by joining a scrap of material to itself.

I was somewhat amazed to find it worked perfectly!

Then I decided to start a new project that only involved straight sewing rather than going straight in to seeing the edge piece onto the round sprocket cushion!

I had this gorgeous flamingo fabric, and a bag that my sister had given me years ago and decided to make a similar style bag for my niece.

Here it is…

I hand sewed the handles on as I thought they would be too small and fiddly to do by machine, so that bit took as long if not let than doing all the rest of it!

I was really pleased with how it turned out so I braved the cushion. It’s not turned out perfectly but it was so much easier to use the machine than to try to sew the edge on by hand, and I’m happy enough with the outcome to consider giving it as a present to someone

So that’s my crafting for the last couple of days… Phew!


Unicorn hat

Today’s project was to make a unicorn hat for our goddaughter who’s 2. She’d seen one on line and wanted one but her mum can’t crochet, so i said I’d make her one as her Christmas present. I’m really hoping though that she’ll let her open it on sunday instead (I figure she’ll get loads of presents for Christmas day!).

It was a quick and easy project, from a free pattern from repeat crafter me and i had fun with my friend lizzy this evening (after playing the card game ‘marrying mr darcy’ and eating curry) working out where to put the bits of mane and how long to leave the strands.

Thanks lizzy for sorting the strands to knot onto the hat, for being super excited about it too and for holding it so I could take photos.

So, without further ado, here is the most lovely hat… I totally can’t wait to see her wearing it

And I was amazed and delighted to find that I’ve got so much better at following patterns since working on spirits of life and following the photos when I was confused… I’ve got much more confidence with it all now.

And I’m excited to say that the pattern for the hat is written for all sizes from newborn up to adult size… Who can I make one for next?

And finally, I’m also excited to say that I’m feeling well enough to go back to work tomorrow. I’ve still got a bit of pain, and dizziness from the ear infection but at least the pressure has gone now. Thank you so much for all your encouragement and human contact over the last few days. I really value this blogging community xxx

Christmas gifts

Well, being off work and rather confined to the sofa has meant I’ve been reading a fair bit but I’ve also done more craft.

Having sorted my craft stuff I realised I had quite a bit of felt, and now I’ve finished the polar bear

I’ve realised I can use embroidery to decorate felt gifts. So I got started and made a baby deer

A heart

And a sloth

I also had an email from embrace who work in the middle East. Their suggestion was that after black Friday and cyber Monday there should be giving Tuesday and they have alternative gifts available. I figured that if I was making people little gifts for Christmas I could include an alternative gift with them and had a lot of fun choosing each one to match the person I’m giving it to. Several people got the one to provide materials for art therapy in Lebanon as they are fellow crafter and I thought they might like that. My favourite is the one for pregnant women in bethlehem, providing care for them in a local centre. They’ve called it ‘away in a manger’. I like the idea of giving Tuesday, and am excited to give people some alternate gifts.

Crafting progress

This weekend was deliberately kept free so we could have some chill time at home. I spent Saturday morning finishing off and packing up stitching santa boxes, and then set to sorting out my craft storage area. Essentially this is just a pile of boxes but as I use things or acquire new projects/resources they invariably end up loose on top of the piles. After two separate landslides while trying to retrieve something I decided enough was enough and a big sort was required. A couple of bits will go into school rather than sit being unused here as they are more child oriented things but the rest got sorted into more sensible sized boxes. Now I have one box for wool (with maybe one or two bags for overflow!), a box of paper craft things, one for papercutting, one for jewellery and one for materials. It’s definitely more organised, and it’s always good to have a sort out to remember what’s there and think of ways to use it.

Then I decided I’d start on an embroidery project that I bought a while back from hawthorn handmade. I love their contemporary designs and am feeling inspired that as I get better at a variety of stitches I could perhaps draw some designs of my own to embroidery, maybe based on some henna designs.

Here’s how far I’ve got with the polar bear

Now the fun bit will start as I can use different colours and practice different stitches.

My other project this weekend was to up cycle a second hand wooden photo frame in order to paint it to put in an amusing card I wanted to hang in our toilet. I sanded off the varnish and then mixed up a dark green acrylic paint and painted it on. I’m really pleased to have finally got that done.

You can’t really see but the other frame is dark blue.

Having been feeling unwell today with a really painful ear, dizziness and nausea, I’ve only done a bit of the embroidery this evening. The rest of the day was spent cwtched up with my hot water bottle, watching cheesy Christmas films or sleeping.

Have you all had productive weekends?

No crochet here!

Hi there. It’s been a while since I last blogged but I have actually been doing craft (but no crochet). After the hard work of catching up with the spirits of life CAL I suddenly panicked about the fact that I had signed up for one advent craft swap organised by fionnuala and two Christmas swaps through sewchet’ s stitching santa. So I didn’t want to post photos of the things I’ve been making as I don’t want to spoil their surprises. I know the recipients don’t know I’m sending them things, but I figure it’s just safer not to put stuff on here until after they’ve received and opened their parcels.

But, I will tell you that in making things for them I’ve been drawing things, and also doing some embroidery (never thought I’d be saying that!) and quilting. I really enjoyed the embroidery and would like to do more, but I didn’t enjoy stitching things together, and am beginning to wonder if I should invest in a sewing machine so that I can finish things off neater and quicker and can spend sewing time making things look pretty? I did actually use a friend’s sewing machine to make a sheet decorated by the children in the reception classes into a cushion cover. And I found it surprisingly easy given that I was previously scared of sewing machines!

The pictures are of their drawings and some of them have sounded out and written words, or copied writing from the books they were using to decorate our reading cushion. I assume you can tell when an adult has written something for them instead, as the children are 4 and 5 years old and have only been learning to write for a short while! It was such a fun project, and really lovely to turn their art work into something they can use every day.

Sewing things together by hand (through 2 layers of wadding plus material plus bias binding left me wondering if my crafts were looking a bit amateur, but it’s funny how once things are finished off you see them as a whole and they look a lot better than when you are focusing on individual stitches. Having gone through a feeling of guilt that my gifts would be substandard, now that I’ve put them together with lots of craft things and other goodies I’m suddenly feeling more confident about them and am excited about sending them and at some point finding out their reactions to their gifts. I love giving and receiving gifts, but i always want the gifts I give to be wanted and loved and it’s a bit scary sending to people I don’t really know.

But, I think it’s all cool now! And…. I get the excitement of knowing that 3 crafty gifts will be winging their way towards me during the coming month… Yippee!!

Spirits of life part 3 completed

Hey everyone! Yep, you heard me right, I’ve finished part 3 of the CAL, and have actually made a start on part 4 before part 5 was released! I’m now under a week behind (which I can handle).

Catching up was facilitated by a stomach bug that meant I couldn’t go to work for two days and just sat on the sofa doing crochet and working my way through episodes of zoo on netflix!

The overlay work in part 3 was tricky but Ok as long as you could find the stitches you were meant to be going into. The slight problem is that my tension seemed to get looser so it doesn’t quite lay flat but hopefully blocking at the end will help that.

Here are a few pictures of my progress :

The finished mosaic part

And I’m feeling very proud of myself as I’m following the grid pattern for the C2c part, when I’ve only followed written instructions before, and never actually added a design to my C2c. So I’m learning new things even when doing a technique I already knew.

But, I’m getting quite tangled up at times with 3 balls of wool all attached at the same time!

And finally, I got my yarn bowl through in the post today and it’s even more gorgeous in real life than I’d thought it would be. I’m Looking forward to using it soon. It’s from dancing hare pottery on etsy if you’re interested!

Progress… But not as much as I’d have liked

Sorry the picture’s not great, but here’s where I’ve got to this evening.

I’m really pleased with how it looks, and how I’ve remedied things when I’ve not quite followed the pattern correctly, but I’m super frustrated that I haven’t finished this mosaic section yet. I planned to spend lots of yesterday doing it but I was too tired to be able to concentrate. So now I still have to finish this section before I can start on the section that was released on Wednesday. I think I’m slowly going to get further and further behind, which is really bothering me.

This evening, in maybe 3 and a half hours I’ve managed to do 16 rows. I’ve got another 14 rows of this mosaic pattern to go, but i think there are more rows after that to finish the section. At least that should be quicker to do but I think it’s still another 20 rows maybe.

Anyway, I can’t change anything about how far I’ve got. Hopefully I’ll feel awake and alert enough tomorrow evening to finish off the mosaic part. I’ll keep you posted