Half Term Crafting Fun

I can’t believe that half term is almost over already. It’s gone so fast I’ve hardly had chance to sit down.

We haven’t done a huge amount of crafting yet as we’ve been on all of our visits with friends and family, and we are well and truly exhausted with all the walking around. But we had a great trip to Manchester yesterday visiting one of our favourite places, John Rylands Library. There’s usually something on there over the school holidays, and this time we found a decoupage class. It was in the traditional form of decoupage, using copies of some of the incredible collection from the library. We were provided with everything we could possibly need to decoupage a small trinket box however we liked.

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What a fabulous way to spend a few hours. We had great fun, considering my daughter is only 6 she concentrated for over 2 hours to make her box. It was ell past our normal lunch time when she finished. This is definitely a craft we will do more of at home. So I need to keep a look out for items to cover and stock up on pva glue!

Here’s my finished box. Very different from my daughter’s.

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Happy crafting
x

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Half Term again!

It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since the Easter holidays! Half Term certainly has come around fast.  So the burning question is, how do I fit some crafting into this week of hospital appointments, playdates and phonics screening revision?!

I don’t want to spend the entire week indoors doing phonics practice on the computer, so I’ve arranged a few trips out, one to Chatsworth and I’m going to combine a hospital appointment with a trio into Manchester.  We haven’t been into the city for some time so it will be a girls day out.  After the softplay centre visit and a birthday party that only leaves us with a couple of days to fill, ideal for some crafting – particularly if the weather forecasts are correct!

It would appear that my friend has saved the day and the arrival of belated birthday and Christmas presents for my daughter have reaped great crafting goodies – a doodle book, glitter pictures, painting by numbers and glitter pens!  Maybe this will be a fun messy crafting holiday!

Happy half term crafting
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A Look Back in Time

I woke up this morning thinking about all the toys I used to make, wondering where I had put all the photographs of them. Mum and I spent a lot of time making toys for people about twenty years ago. It’s what really got me back into crafting after University. So I spent some time hunting out the old photo boxes today, which was a great opportunity to reminisce about my lost youth. It also gave my daughter a chance to have a laugh at my huge 80’s hair and glasses!

So I’ve scanned some of the pictures to show everyone what I used to make back in the day!

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I must have made about thirty of these octopuses over the years for friends and family members. If you’ve got one out there I’d love to see it now! My daughter has one in her bedroom that I made before she was born. In fact they have become a staple gift for all the new babies in the family!

I also made a lot of pierots and dolls for friends and colleagues. I believe one of these dolls was sent to Australia.

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It’s been fun hunting out these reminders, I may add more in the coming weeks.

Happy crafting
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Knitting!

I haven’t done any knitting for ages and while I was looking through my knitting bag by the settee, I thought why not knit something for a change?! I normally knit in the winter, but it’s been so cold here recently that knitting has been really appealing to me.

I decided to have a real sort out of my craft room and found a pile of knitting patterns that I had forgotten about completely. I fancied making something different, but quick to make, and I came across a pattern for wrist warmers. Ideal for Spring and the current weather, and they don’t take up much yarn. An ideal project for using up some odd balls of yarn.

I started with a pair for me. I have a good stash of yarn, mostly double knit, and found some pure wool that I thought would be lovely to use. It knits up very easily and was so soft on my hands. (I was once told that lanolin occurs naturally in wool and that can soften skin – I tested this theory out in my previous life as an energy efficiency officer where I had a sample of woollen insulation and it was a great alternative to having handcream on my desk). The cold has made my skin quite dry recently so any help I can get to keep them feeling soft is appreciated!

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Anyway, I managed to make up the simple wrist warmers very quickly and decided to make some more for my daughter as an alternative to gloves. I scaled down the pattern by using smaller needles and cotton yarn.

I generally enjoy the knitting but not the sewing up of my projects, so I always have a few projects in the bag waiting to be put together. But this time I set myself a target to learn how to mattress stitch seams together. I’ve always struggled with learning from a picture as I can’t convert the flat 2d picture into what I need to do in real life, so this was going to be a challenge for me. I found a small set of written and pictorial instructions for this stitch, which took me a while to fathom – including unpicking a couple of times – but I mastered it and can’t believe how amazing the seams look. I was so impressed I even took my work up to show my Mum who was equally impressed and has requested a lesson!

So here are the finished cotton wrist warmers I made for my daughter.

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They were just what was needed for going to her dance class and they certainly attracted some interest. My daughter wants some legwarmers now to go with them!

Time to get back to the knitting needles and look for some interesting yarns and colours to put together!

Happy crafting
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Therapeutic crochet

As I’ve been trying to get back into some crafting on a more regular basis, I thought I’d have a root round my craft stash and make something for the house. When my cats were ill, they completely wrecked a cotton crochet cushion cover I’d had for a number of years, so over the last few weeks I decided it was time to throw the old one away and make a new one. I found a lovely stash of pure wool yarn and went for it with a crochet hook. I started with a basic treble crochet granny square, as it kept my fingers busy and I could do it without having to think to much! It certainly stopped me biting my nails. It’s a bit of a trial and error job this as it’s my first crochet cushion cover.

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I made two matching granny squares and sewed up three sides. Having put the cushion pad inside, it looked a bit plain, so I thought I’d add some flowers to one side.

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I’ve put them in two clusters of three flowers. It certainly changes the look of our settee.  Now I’m just deciding whether I should add some buttons to the centres of the flowers or not.

What do you think? Buttons or plain?

Happy crafting
x

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