Valentine’s

In spite of the cold, I thought I’d rest my knitting needles and make some cards this week.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it was time to delve into my punch and die stocks and see what I could come up with for some simple motifs. I love this as It means I can really show off the papers in my stock.Heart flower card

I started making some flowers using some small punched hearts as petals.  The red card is lovely to work with and I raided my button box for a little white button to add to the centre.  I think this would work well for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.  I made two of these and am going to offer them for sale at £1.50 each with a sentiment or name of choice to be added to the front.  What do you think?

Pansy heart

I’ve also gone a bit made cutting out hearts from gorgeous papers and have added them as is to card blanks.  They work so well on their own that I just couldn’t add anything else to them.  Again I’m offering them with a sentiment or name of choice, this time at £1 each.

Cupcake heart

I’m sure there will be more added soon.  So keep an eye on my facebook page for more previews!

I love this time of year for making things, it’s so romantic and pretty.  Trawling through all my papers and trying out dies and punches is great fun too.  I’d love to know what you think of the cards and any ideas you might have for others.

And don’t forget to leave a reply on my other Valentine post and you could win one of my knitted hearts!

Happy Crafting
x

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January Baking

Having spent all of December baking, I made a decision to help my waistline and not bake at all in January.  I’ve done quite well up to now, but then my husband brought home a pile of over-ripe bananas on Friday.  So today I had to get out the baking things and make a banana loaf.

It’s a lovely recipe that I’ve had for years that was on the side of a packet of bran cereal over 20 years ago!  As many friends and relatives have enjoyed this over the last few years I thought I’d put the recipe on here for everyone to see.

Ingredients:
8oz self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp mixed spice
4oz butter
6oz brown sugar
6oz dried fruit
3oz bran
2 eggs
1/4 pt milk
12oz bananas (mashed)

Method
Butter a loaf tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 C
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and rub in butter to make breadcrumbs
Add in dried fruit and bran and mix thoroughly
Add in eggs and milk gradually until all combined
Finally fold in the mashed bananas

This generally takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes in the oven, but you know your oven, so keep checking it.

Banana and bran loaf

It makes a lovely tea loaf or is great with a little butter and a cuppa as a snack. And it’s not a really naughty cake either as it has plenty of fruit and bran.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do here. We’ll be tucking into a slice or two with a cuppa shortly.

Happy baking
x

 

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Valentine Hearts

I think the cooler weather in Winter appeals to my knitting more. So as I’ve had the knitting needles out a lot recently I decided to have a go at making some hearts.

Knitted hearts in progress

They look a bit strange as a work in progress, as they roll up all the time due to being stocking stitch. I might have a go at knitting the first and last stitches on every row to see if that helps. However, once sewn together with another they make rather pretty little hearts.

Knitted Heart

I’ve made up five now in various sizes and colours. My next plan is to stuff them lightly and add some embellishments, maybe a button and some ribbon to hang them from. I shall have to raid my ribbon stash and see what I can find. I think they would also look nice with initials added – particularly for a gift for a loved one.

I’d love some feedback on these and any ideas you have for decorations or colours to try.

Leave a comment below and I’ll put all names in a hat and pick a winner of a knitted heart on Feb 14th.

Happy crafting
x

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Easter

I’m starting early thinking about Easter! I know, it’s not until April this year and it has nothing to do with my diet and craving chocolate I promise!! Ha ha

Anyway, my duck family proved so popular at the duck race last year that I thought I’d make some more for Easter. They make a lovely alternative to a mountain of chocolate eggs and are much easier to post to a friend. They are also very cute and a Mum and baby would be a lovely gift for a new Mum.

So, out came the knitting needles again and I’ve started on the hatchlings.

Hatchlings in progress

They are quite quick to knit up. Each one takes about an hour to make but I tend to knit several of each piece rather than make one hatchling at time. A bit like a production line I guess. It means the time spent making them is reduced as I’m not constantly swapping yarn and hunting for needles to sew up with!! I spent last week’s dance class sewing them up – well I have to have something to do will little one is dancing her socks off! I might take some actual knitting next week as she has her first exam as well as a class.

I’ve made a few hatchlings and now I’m getting to work on the ducklings with gorgeous knitted hats! I love knitting them up and they can be made in any colour or pattern you like. I tend to stick to plain or stripes, but I reckon a little rainbow hat would look great. I was asked to make two pale blue and one red the other day. My bet is that they are for football fans.

Knitted duckling hats

Don’t they look cute?

I am now taking orders for the ducks. If you would like to order a duck, you can choose from Mum, Dad, duckling or hatchling and I can make them in cream, white or yellow. Then choose your hat colour.

Prices are:
Mother Duck £4
Father Duck £4
Duckling £3
Hatchling £2

Duck Family (Mother, Father, 2 Ducklings, 1 Hatchling) £15

Contact me on kath@handmadebykatherine.co.uk or message me on www.facebook.com/Handmadebykatherine

Happy Crafting
x

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Thank You

A huge thank you to all my customers from 2013. You have helped make it the best year ever for Handmadebykatherine.

P1180903

It’s been a fantastic year.

Thank you all
x

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Craftseller Article

I’ve completed my article for the March issue of Craftseller magazine.

Homemade bunting

I’m very excited to have been asked to write something. You never know where it might lead!

So keep a look out in the shops. It goes on sale February 13th!

Happy crafting x

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2014 Crafty Resolutions

Well it’s that time of year again to make some new resolutions and this year I’m going to focus on growing the business and expanding my stock levels.

So my resolutions for 2014 are
1. Attend 4 craft fairs
2. Learn to double crochet
3. Blog at least once a week
4. Post to Facebook page twice a week
5. Work on twitter profile and increase promotion

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I’m going to continue with the hearts and flowers themes from last year, however, I aim to use more different materials on my cards. I also hope to be more organised for the big events of the year and I will have more gifts available for Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas. In particular I will start on my Christmas stocking crafting much earlier!

With some more work on promotion I would like to reach 250 facebook ‘likes’ and 500 followers on Twitter!

Any suggestions or ideas, let me know.

K
x

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Review of 2013

It’s been a huge year for me and HandmadebyKatherine.  So it’s time to reflect on the year, my achievements, successes and failures and whether I actually met my resolutions set back in January!

I started the year with five resolutions, set around improving the business, increasing my audience and learning new skills.  I managed to set up a facebook page which has been fun to do and has grown to have 170 ‘likers’ by the end of the year.  It’s a great place to try out new designs and get immediate feedback.  It’s also proved to be a great way to increase my audience and a popular way for contacts and orders.  So this has been a great success.

Next I set up an Etsy shop, Craftykathcards.  This has not been the best success and I will need to add a lot more stock to it and do more promotion in order to make this a worthwhile outlet for my cards and gifts.  But I’m not giving up on it just yet!  There is more to do and lots to learn…

My third resolution was to blog at least once a week.  This hasn’t always been easy, but I have written a variety of blogs on topics ranging from new products, ideas, knitting, cards, kids crafting and baking.  I wrote a total of 77 blog posts last year!  The most popular seem to be the baking recipes, so keep an eye out for some more in 2014.

My Stall at Whitefield Spring Craft Fair

I planned to attend at least four craft fairs over the year, but this didn’t quite work out as I had hoped.  It was quite difficult to track down local craft fairs with good footfall, and I will continue to work on this over 2014.  I did go to two fairs, both of which were moderate successes.  I have some new ideas for displaying my products on my stall.  Plus it was lovely to share a space with a friend.

Me and Jill

My final resolution was to learn to crochet, and after 30 years of wanting to learn, I finally did!

P1190479It’s been great to learn a new craft.  Now I have to master double crochet and reading a crochet pattern!!

It’s been a really interesting and busy year for me.  I left my job of seven years in April and have become a full-time Mum, Housewife and Crafter.  A huge step to take.  Yet our family homelife has improved dramatically over the last few months.  We are able to spend a lot more time together, eating dinner together every evening and not rushing to fit in the household chores.  We’ve all been able to add an extra interest into our weeks – for me Slimming World, ballet for my daughter and a local community group meeting for my husband.  We’re all a lot less stressed and the best thing of all is I get to take my daughter to school and collect her every day.

I’ve done a reasonable amount of charity crafting over the year.  Having the additional time at home as meant I’ve been able to bake much more.  There has been a lot of cake in my kitchen in 2013, and most of it for other people.

P1020818Once again the chocolate scones have been a big hit at the local community fairs, the mince parcels were an appreciated low fat alternative to mince pies and the banana / bran loaf is a great favourite for coffee mornings.  My charity raffle to win my knitted Father Christmas was a great success, raising £170 for the Christie.

In May and June I took part in my first awards and competitions.  I was awarded a bronze award by Mumpreneur and entered my local agricultural show craft classes.  A steep learning curve in the craft tent, and I hope to enter again in 2014.

Knitting has been my major craft of the year.  It was popular throughout the year, but particularly at Christmas.  I have really enjoyed making knitted keyrings, and the fruit were a real success.

Keyrings

Keyrings

So it’s been a great year.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the making, blogging, chatting to customers, learning and hard work.  Time to look to the future and see what 2014 brings.

Happy New Year to all my readers.
x

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