2017 is flying!

I can’t believe where this year has gone and it’s almost July already!  It’s been a rather odd year for me and I’ve been busy with all sorts of things that I haven’t had time to sit down and write anything.  So I’ve grabbed a few minutes and thought I’d have a catch up and see what’s been going on.

I had a rather rotten end to 2016 and start to 2017 as my back went and I was unable to stay in any position for long, so I was a bit grumpy (to say the least), well lack of sleep will do that to you!    So I’ve been trying to do some back strengthening exercises every day to help, but it still twinges every so often.  I also spent several weeks on physio and hospital check-ups following my broken foot last July.

Anyway, I seem to be hospital free for the time being (fingers crossed) and I’m back to my weekly tap class which is great fun.  I’m also back crafting again and have spent the last few weeks and months busy making all sorts of items for orders and for our own use at home.

I ended last year making loads of legwarmers for the girls at dancing, and this year has continued the trend.  Since Easter I’ve been knitting frantically, furry wrist cuffs and legwarmers for some the girls taking part in a ‘Cats’ number both for the annual dance show and for competitions.

These feel lovely when knitted up, but depending on the yarn used I found them quite difficult to make.  The white ones were made with Eskimo yarn and that knitted up quite nicely, but I used some eyelash yarn that was really difficult to keep count of my stitches.  They did all look lovely on the girls though and made the outfits.  Alice has also asked for some now as she’s obsessed with white!

So I’ve beenknitting quite a lot over the months, and managed to get in a bit for my family.  I always make the children something to play with at the end of the egg hunt we do at Easter, and this year was no exception.

This year the three children found a knitted egg cosy character with a chocolate egg inside.  These are made from a free pattern of Jean Greenhowe that I’ve ad for ages and never got round to making up before.  They are easy to do and they were very popular, so I introduce you to Holly, Eggy and Steven!  They certainly has plenty of adventures on Easter Sunday, poor Steven was lost several times, but he was eventually found and went home with his new best friend!!

Easter also involved quite a bit of baking which was shared with family, friends and neighbours.

Mother’s and Father’s Day meant a lot of card crafting and my large owl cards were very popular.

I made these in a variety of papers and love the different effects they create.  I also enjoyed making the triangular backgrounds and took this further making some cards for men.

I love the monochrome set of card and toppers and when matched with the Hunkydory rainbow mirri card they really shine.

For Father’s Day I made a collection of cards for Hearts for Homes in Ramsbottom.

I fancied doing some more origami and made these using an old Papermania set of men’s papers, but I had to do some owls too and loved using these old maps.

Well it’s time to head off to work now, but I’ll be back soon with some more ramblings of a middle-aged crafter!  Have a great day.

Happy crafting

x

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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
x

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Ramsbottom Pre-Christmas Craft Fair Review

After all the panic this last week over making sure I had enough stock for my stall, and that my stall would look ok, I can’t believe the fair’s all over! It was a fairly early start as I had to get Alice ready for her dancing class fancy dress, before loading up the car with all my items. Fortunately the venue was only 10 minutes away. We arrived, and Alice decided she wanted to stay and help me set up. I discovered that I actually had too many items for my stall space! So there was plenty left in the boxes under the table. Anyway, here we are all ready to go.

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I was in a lovely little room with six other crafters, all of us with different items and a great variety of crafts on offer. I was surprised by the variety available across the whole fair, as I’m used to finding several cardmakers and knitters, so it was refreshing to see upcyclers, candle makers, there was a lady making keepsake boxes and pictures, and we had a lovely lady who was making up creams and lotions as well as giving shoulder and hand massages.

I took plenty of crochet to do, but never got anywhere near it. The fair was pretty busy, although many of the other stallholders said that the previous two days had been busier. We all put it down to being Halloween and children having classes and parties to go to. I wish I’d realised at the time of booking the stall that it was half term, but when you’re sunning yourself by a pool, it didn’t even cross my mind!! Never mind.

I found that this was a very different and positive craft fair experience when compared to others I’ve attended. It was so nice to be able to speak to the other crafters, everyone was so very friendly and we all got on well. So much so that I think we’ll be meeting up again soon. It was a great chance to swap ideas, network and I got some other suggestions on other fairs to do in the local area. I might do Bury Light Night next year.

Back to this fair and I found that I had a lot f interest in my knitted and crochet items, but the unseasonably warm weather combined with it still being October, meant that people seemed reluctant to purchase Christmas decorations or winter gifts. However, my cards did do well. I was particularly struck by how popular the owls were.

Pair of Christmas Owls

Pair of Christmas Owls

I came home with only 1 owl birthday card and a pack of owl Christmas cards left! So I shall be making more of those. I was also surprised at how well the gift tags were received, in particular the packs with poinsettias. It’s so nice to get some feedback on my items, and to see that other people like them was a great confidence boost.

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Right at the end of the day my daughter came back to help pack up, and she sold my last little knitted duckling! I’ve never seen anyone look so chuffed with themselves as Alice did at that moment – so much so she had to buy a sparkly blue knitted hedgehog from another stall!!

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All in all it was a great fair. I sold a few items but I’ve learnt a lot. Next time I think I will concentrate on my cards, and display them more individually rater than just having them in boxes. The ones that were out on the table for people to see where the ones that grabbed the attention. I could have done with a slightly larger table really, but that was the luck of the draw I think as some of the others did have larger spaces. I think I will also look into some more display items to bring height to the back of the stall. So there’s lots to think about, but now it’s time to get on with a couple of orders I took while there.

Happy crafting
x

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A new crochet project

While reading a recent issue of craftseller magazine, I was drawn to have a look at another craft blog, by the lovely lady at moji-moji designs. As I am still addicted to crochet and learning new stitches and skills with it, I have found this blog really interesting. I have to say my daughter also loves all the creations on there.

So I decided to have a go at one of the free patterns published on the site. As I have been making owls for my cards recently, they are somehow taken over my crafting! These little coin purses looked ideal for my daughter and her friends for taking a little pocket money out on their adventures, or for keeping little treasures close.

I decided to use some of my king cole dollymix dk yarns for these as the colours are so bright and vibrant. The basic purse shape was fairly straightforward to make, although I did have several attempts at the row that makes the flap bend over the purse! The eye patches and beak were a bit fiddly as they are quite small. But I think the hardest part for me is sewing them all together. It was quite tricky to keep the point of the flap inside the beak while sewing it. I then struggled with finding buttons the right size for the eyes. Typical! I have thousands of buttons in my craft stash and hardly any tiny black ones! So I compromised and found some purple and orange ones instead.

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I couldn’t find anything suitable for the blue owl, so had to raid Mum’s button jar! (Any excuse for a visit with her and the cats) Fortunately I also had a sewing box still at Mums which has plenty of press-studs in, so I was able to finish of the purses when I got home. So here are the finished articles, complete with chain handles.

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I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. My daughter loves her little blue one and her friends have loved theirs too.

I think I will try them in a thicker yarn and larger hook size next time.

I can’t wait to have a go at some of the other patterns off this blog too. My daughter has already asked for some of the little owls and a nest. Well that should keep me busy for a while!!

Happy crafting
x

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Summer’s arrived!

Well I should have been recovering from my gallbladder operation this week, but after spending an entire day in a waiting room, it was cancelled.  So, after calming down I have been crafting to keep my mind occupied.

With the weather having taken a turn for the better too over the last few days, I’ve been able to do some crafting outside.  I’m afraid my knitting needles and crochet hooks have been set aside as my hands get too hot in the sun, so it’s been papercrafting all the way this week.

I’ve been thinking about different motifs to add to my cards and I’ve decided to make some owls.  I haven’t really explored this idea, short of knitting an owl last year and using a card kit to make some cards, but it’s been on my list of ideas for a little while.  Having been watching ‘Springwatch‘ on TV I have become a bit obsessed with wildlife and the owls seemed like the ideal way to bring wildlife into my crafting.

As I said I get a bit hot when knitting in the sunshine, and sewing isn’t one of my passions, but I do like the look of papercrafting with faux stitching.  I looked through my huge stash of papers and found some lovely vintage florals from Craftseller magazine and using some Creative Crafting World templates, I’ve put together a few owls.

P1020160I have half a braincell thinking about my card entry for this years Bury Show and I think I might use this owl for something different this year.  Maybe an owl shaped card?!

I’ve also made some little owls which I think I’m going to put on the thank you cards for my daughter’s teachers this year. I might even make some little felt owls to add to keyrings.  I shall see how much time I actually have before I commit to that one.  It might be apples as I have a few already made up.

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It hasn’t been just owls though, I’ve also made some little birds which I love making using up scraps of my favourite papers.  These really lend themselves to kraft card too.

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These birds have ben very popular with my daughter and she is very happy with her pens and pencils, designing her own.

So my craft space has been quite ornithological (easy for some to say) this week. Just shows you never know what will inspire you to craft!

Happy crafting
x

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