End of Term

This year has absolutely flown by and I can’t believe that my little one is finishing Year 3 already. (No longer a little one)  It only seems like moments that she was starting school at all!

Anyway with the end of term comes all the regular craziness, mostly around the school fair, which was a little different this year as it was arranged by the parent group instead of the school staff.  As such it was mainly lots of games for the children to play and a barbecue.  I didn’t have a craft stall of goodies this year, but I did manage to bake some biscuits (my third bake of the weekend) for the cake stall.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too favourable, so most things had to be brought inside.

I was roped in to run the craft table and spent a good couple of hours with a steady stream of under 7s making bee deely boppers, flip-flop keyrings and decorating pencil cases (all from Baker Ross).  I’d recommend the bees, very cute and the kits include everything you need.  They are great for little ones, although they will need adult help in attaching the springs to the headband.  I also struggled removing the papers from the back of the googly eyes, but the kids didn’t seem to have any problem at all!

We also had the obligatory ‘pot goody’ stall and Alice made her’s this year filled with homemade paper windmills and decorated with paper grass, bees and butterflies.  She didn’t win her class prize, the winner made a sandcastle out of hers!

The school fair always signals the end of term, so after we had helped pack everything away, it was time for getting end of term cards and presents sorted out for the class teacher and teaching assistants.  This year we’ve had two teachers and two teaching assistants as they had swimming lessons and one of the TAs is a trained swimming instructor.  I’ve tried to stick to the same sort of thing each year for the teachers , so I made some new apple thank you cards, this time using a new die set I bought a few weeks ago.  It’s an apple from the Market Fresh collection by Spellbinders.  It’s certainly taken the hard work out of cutting out individual apples!  I think I will have some fun with these over the summer.

I also made four little knitted apple keyrings.  These are so cute and pretty simple to make too, just a ball with embroidered details, a crochet chain stem and a small knitted leaf.  

My daughter then made a little tag for each one with her teacher’s name and a personal message from her.  Very cute.

Well, it’s another year over and six weeks now to fill up with lots of activities, and I’m hoping for a lie-in or two!

Happy Summer crafting
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Unexpected crafting!

I know I’m a crafter, so this title in itself is rather unexpected.  However, our Alice has been unwell really for a few weeks now, but she’s finally given in to being fully blown ill and is currently enjoying / enduring  some restful time off school.

This has meant I am now totally behind with my preparations for Halloween and Christmas, but that’s the life of a crafting Mum!  So today I decided to find something for both of us to do that would help lift Alice’s spirits and maybe go some way to starting my stash of Christmas decorations.

I’ve been thinking about making some simple, no knit hat decorations for a while and this seemed the ideal opportunity with a willing helper too!  What I wasn’t counting on was how much she loved making them.

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We had such a great crafty afternoon watching ‘Equestria Girls’ on dvd and making these hats, that she decided she wanted to make them and sell them too.  So it rather turned into me being her assistant and she’s planning on taking her little stash to her dance class at weekend and maybe even to the school Christmas Fair! I’m hoping that she will make her own gifts for her teachers this year too.

I think she may have caught the crafting bug – much better than the virus she is recovering from.

Happy crafting
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School Summer Fair

Just as I started to see some time ahead for a weekend off, I received a text from school, asking if I would like a stall at the upcoming school summer fair. With only a weeks notice I was going to decline, however, Alice talked me into it as she loved to help set up. I’m not so sure she’ll be able to as she should be in class, but I’ve said if she’s really good all morning she can ask her teacher if she can come and help.

So it’s been all systems go again this week. I decided to make up a collection of mainly thank you cards, specially for this fair. I’ve gone back to some old favourites and there will be groups of ten cards in each design. I’ve gone with owls, birds and apples as my main ideas.

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I will also take my now dwindled stock, along with some fruit keyrings and rose brooches.

Rose Brooches

Rose Brooches

Keyrings

Keyrings

I’m also toying with the idea of running a raffle to win a collection of five ‘dangler’ cards, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to make them beforehand, so if I do go down this route I might raffle one of my knitted cats instead. Actually I could do a ‘name the cat’ and donate the proceeds to the school. They are raising money to do some work on a rather neglected wildlife and pond area, an area I reckon my two naughty kittens (Lily and George) have begun to frequent (and the less said about that the better).

Well it’s back to my desk again for now, these apple cards are not going to make themselves!

Happy crafting
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My First Shop Order

Following my successful meeting with Kerry at ‘Hearts for Homes’, she placed a significant order for a further card selection. So over the last couple of weeks I have been working my way through the list occasions. This always looks easy at the beginning, but I was also left to my own devices regarding colours and design. I don’t know if it’s just me, but having no input isn’t always a good thing. For the most part I have been following my current obsessions and have included several of my ‘dangler’ cards (there really must be a better name for them).

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And with the end of term fast approaching ( I really do need to make a start of Alice’s things), I have also added some of this year’s most popular make – the apple blackboard thank you card.

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I also had a yearning to make some more handbag cards. I haven’t made any for quite some time and I realised why – they take ages and need more desk space than I have available in my little craft area. Next time I will make up a few and use the kitchen table! Having said all that, I really have enjoyed putting the handbags together and I’m pleased with how they turned out, in particular the 40th birthday one.

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The papers are so sumptuous. I think it almost looks like velvet.

I thoroughly enjoyed putting the six wedding cards together, although it’s getting harder to make each one unique. I’m going to have to find some time to do some more research and development and see what designs are the most popular.

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The last cards I made were for engagements and get well soon. I always find these occasions difficult and they certainly took longer than the others in terms of designs. But I managed to use my new hexagon die for some of them and I really like the effect, so I might be doing a little collection in this style in the future!

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Time for a brew now they’ve all been delivered.

Happy crafting
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Busy, busy, busy

Wow!  What a week.  They say when you’re waiting for a bus you can wait ages and then two come along at the same time.  Well, so it would seem do orders for handcrafted items!

I’ve been running Handmade by Katherine for around four years now with my blog and website, and at last the hard work is starting to pay off. I have been asked to write a blog for a summer tips calendar and I have been approached to supply a new local craft gift shop with handmade cards. So its all go around here this week.

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Of course, it’s also fast approaching Father’s Day (this Sunday) and the end of term, so my usual Saturday dance session with Alice has also turned into a bit of a frantic market over the last couple of weeks. This year my blackboard apple thank you cards have proved very popular along with the knitted fruit keyrings. When personalised with a teacher’s name they make a lovely little keepsake. So I’m busy making apple themed cards and gifts. I go to bed with apples dancing in the head, like the hippo’s in Fantasia! And I haven’t even started on Alice’s for her teachers yet…

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Best get back to the apples.

Happy crafting
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Working on my PHD

Yes you did read that correctly, I am working on my PHD – Projects Half Done that is!

I was looking in my living room at the steadily growing pile of patterns, yarn and project bits and thought enough is enough, I need to finish some of these before I start anything new.

So first up is my little crochet unicorn. I had already completed the head, body and horn, so it’s time to make the legs and mane.

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This is a pattern from LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine that I started several months ago. My daughter is mad about horses, ponies and unicorns, so it seemed like a great gift for her. With her real love of Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony, the colours were almost perfect too. We had an afternoon watching ‘The Cat Returns’ and I made all the legs, but the mane took ages! Who would have thought that cutting 80 20cm lengths of yarn and then tassling them into a 21ch length would take almost 2 hours!!! Maybe it’s just me being really slow….

Anyway I now have all the pieces ready to stuff and sew together.

Next up is a crochet snowman I started last year.

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Again it’s a pattern from Knitting and Crochet magazine and it uses up some of my larger left over yarn balls. I’ve made the head and body using baby yarn, so it was time to make the nose, scarf and earmuffs. This called for a watch of ‘Frozen’, something we haven’t actually sat down to watch for a few months. This was a bit fiddly as it meant using a 2.5mm hook, which is very delicate. Fingers crossed I have enough yarn to finish the headband, or I might be making it in a co-ordinating colour! Watch this space..

My next projects to finish are to start off my Christmas collection. I know I didn’t start in June, but I need to get cracking on some of the little stockings as they are always in demand for stocking fillers, teacher gifts, table presents and tree decorations. I have 6 rainbow stockings ready to sew up now, and I have finished my first two winter coloured ones, complete with fluffy tops!

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Finally I have the knitted and crochet blanket I started for Bury Show that I didn’t get chance to finish in time. I love the sampler feel of this and all the bright colours. I now need to finish off the connecting of the squares and decide how to edge it. Any suggestions are gratefully received.

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This will really clear up my living room and give me a chance to make something new for Christmas. I am newly enthused for these projects now and can’t wait to see them finished.

Happy crafting
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Last Day of Term

Well the last day of the school year has arrived again.  I can’t believe how quickly it’s come round.  My daughter is finishing year one today and has taken in her little cards and gifts for her teacher and teaching assistant.

We have kept with the homemade and apple themes, but changed things a little with the cards this year.  So instead of just having a personalised tag on the keyring, we have personalised tags on the cards as well. Hopefully the staff will appreciate something different from all the boxes of chocolates, biscuits and bottles of wine that we saw on our way into class this morning.

Personalised Thank You Cards

Personalised Thank You Cards

I also added a little red bakers twine bow to the tag at the last minute this morning – thank heavens for cosmic shimmer glue being so quick drying!

My daughter did all the writing inside, with no help from me at all.

Apple keyrings

I can’t believe she’s moving up to year two in September. She’s been at the school for three years now already, as she started in the nursery, and it’s flying by. So I am making the most of the last afternoon of peace and quiet around the house before I start to think about what we can get up to over the school holidays. I feel there will be crafting activities, hopefully I might even persuade her to learn to knit or crochet!

Happy summer crafting
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Recovery

Well, this week I am recovering from my surgery.  So I’m working day-to-day depending on how I feel.

Typically in the times when I’ve been feeling rough I’ve been thinking about everything I’ve been making and having second thoughts about all my designs and ideas!  In particular I’m rethinking my makes for Bury Show at weekend.  I like my card design but I’m not sure it’s adventurous enough, so I might have to make something else.  The one causing me the most worry at the moment though is my knitted make.  It’s very different for me but I’m now sure it would class as a knit for a baby or toddler.  I don’t really have enough time to make something else though, so I shall stick to it and try to get it finished in time.

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I need to be making at the moment, mainly about thank you cards and gifts for the teachers at school.  Well it’s only four weeks to the end of term for my little one, so as I feel a little better today I have decided to make some apple cards for my daughter to send.  This year I’m going to add a little tag with the teacher’s name on.

Thank You Card

I can’t believe how fast this school year has gone. With all the health scares I feel like I’ve been out of it for quite a while. But now I’m recovering I can hopefully, put all the pain and discomfort behind me and we can have a fun packed sunny Summer – as long as the British weather decides to play nicely!

Well I had better get back to my apples, leaves and tags before school pick up.

Happy crafting
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