Appliqué tote bag

I love participating in swaps (which I sign up for through Ravelry). This month I signed up for a favourite colour swap where you send your partner things in their favourite colours. My partner likes peach and mint and I decided to use some peach and mint coloured felt to decorate a tote bag I bought in hobby craft.

My partner likes folk designs and birds, so I used that as my inspiration. I drew out my design

and then cut out the main bird shape from peach coloured felt (these photos make it look like a bright pink but it’s not really like that!). I stitched on the wing and then embroidered detail on, taking care to avoid the edges as I knew I needed to blanket stitch it on to the bag once it was done. I used 3 strands of the thread while sewing, so it would show up on the quite large design.

Here’s how it ended up

And here it is blanket stitched onto the bag.

I’m so pleased with it. It was a simple idea but I think it’s been really effective. I’ve found the embroidery really relaxing to do, which I need at the moment as I’m struggling with low mood and stress again. It’s definitely an idea I’d use again as it can easily be personalised with different designs.

The only issue with it was that when I took the tote bag out of its packaging it smelled absolutely disgusting. A rinse in the washing machine didn’t sort it, so it had to go through the wash properly and wait to dry. But now it’s fine!

More calligraphy pictures

I’ve been looking for inspiration and ideas and have been having a go at a few more drawings.

This first was an attempt to copy this bird.

Initially I learned that I couldn’t put my hand on top of wet ink! But thankfully hadn’t got very far, so started again!

Annoyingly I added a break in his beak part way through, which then looked odd, but as I added more and more detail I decided I didn’t hate his beak quite so much as I thought! I think I’ve accidentally mixed two different styles though, between his body and his wings.

And then I came across this very cool crane made out of letters. I started with the basic shape and then started to add my own detail in.

I’m so much more pleased with this, apart from the fact that I forgot about where I had got wet ink and where my hand was about to go! More smudging ☹️. I’ll get there with it.

It’s fun just making different marks and swirls though. Now I just need to start taking notice of basic shapes so I have something to start with.

I’m beginning to get a highly attractive purple finger! Might invest in some different coloured inks to mix it up a bit!

Calligraphy practise

A quick bombardment of photos of playing around and working from modern calligraphy by Lucy Edmonds. I attached my pen nib to a pencil and used purple ink. It’s interesting experimenting with how much ink the nib will hold and use before it needs refilling.

Needless to say I’m happier with some of what I’ve done, but I hope that playing around might result in prettier drawings in the future!

Pottery and cards 

I was very excited yesterday evening when Hannah brought me back my pottery painting from her birthday party. Here are the finished items. I’m especially happy with the plate and really look forward to using it soon. 

 Hannah also brought me a cool thank you card that she had coloured in. I love the vibrant colours she’s used, and the shiny bits that are part of the card. They really bring the picture to life. 

I’ve not done much craft recently as I’ve not been feeling well and did not have the brain power or motivation  to think about crochet, but i did make two cards. I got the idea from a calendar, then drew a squirrel, which I cut into different parts and then cut those parts out of different pieces of patterned card. I’m so pleased with how it turned out though it was fiddly to do! It s fun  trying to pick the colours and patterns that would work best. 


Then I decided to make a slightly simpler card with hummingbirds on as i had some shimmery cards  that I thought would work well. While laying the pieces out they overlapped the edge and i decided that it would look cool if they did that once  they were stuck down. Again, I’m really pleased with the final result. 

I can see me making more cards like these in the future. 

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.

Beautiful slippers! 

They’re finished! 

I decided to crochet the second slipper properly, making sure the scales were offset this time.  I was worried that once I finished it I might decide to frog the top of slipper one to make it the same so a few days ago I sewed the ends in, added the buttons, and sewed the nonslip  backing  to the soles of both slippers to prevent me from doing that. 

Yesterday and today I have been off sick – getting dizzy and feeling off balance and like I’m gonna throw up every time I’m upright. Yesterday I couldn’t even crochet and spent the day lying flat. Today I’ve managed to prop myself up a little bit with my head resting on cushions so it can’t move, and i managed to crochet the last couple of rows to finish my second slipper. 

I’m pleased I followed  the pattern properly for the second one… I much prefer the scales offset. It makes me confident too that I can make another pair that match for my friend who asked if I could make some for her. That will be an interesting process as I don’t think I’ve ever crocheted the same thing twice before. I’ll make them from a different wool though, which will look a bit more wood nymph than crazy fairy! 

Here are some more pictures of my completed fairy/pixie boots, now keeping my feet cosy as I cwtch up with a blanket and rest on my sofa with a good book. 

Non slip backing – the kind you put under rugs. Hopefully this will stop me from wearing through the wool on the heel

Mis-matching scales but I don’t think they’re too obvious after all

Cute buttons