Friday, 29 June 2007

word of the day


- Carelessness, indifference, unconcern.

This is definitely how I am feeling today. Fortunately, it is Friday, and I have a large glass of wine and a sewing machine waiting for me at home.

Tonight I am going to work on my japanese wall hanging, although it isn't working out quite as neatly as I hoped, as I used the wrong (more than 1/4 inch) foot on the machine for the first 10 patches or so. Oh dear. Still, wonky can be cool too!

I'm going to make a start on this lovely 'bagsket' this weekend to use up a little of my fabric stash, and I'd really like to finish my knitted tea cosy (and buy a tea pot to put it over - its a little smaller than I thought it would be!).

I've also started thinking about Christmas (already - eek!). I've just found these pretty gingham themed Christmas goodies from Cambric & Cream - and my mind is ticking over creatively quite nicely ...

Oh, and I have a jumble sale to go to tomorrow morning - hoorah!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Roll up roll up ladies and gentlemen

And sign my guestbook!

I'd love to know what you think of my site, as I'm only just starting out and need all the help I can get.

Who knows, there might even be a prize for the best suggestion :-)

<---------Button on the left

Monday, 25 June 2007

one more post for today

to complete the set of crafty posts - we have had knitting, crochet and sewing (potential), here is my latest scrapbook page.

The photo isn't great, as I was trying to fend off a wild beast intent on killing my feet at the time and the sun was shining a little too brightly (shouldn't complain I suppose).

I am really pleased with this - the pictures are the earliest ones I have of my parents - the one on the right is their wedding photo, complete with huge hat on the part of my mother.

The two on the left are dated 1972, which would make my mum 19 and my dad 25.

I stitched on some of my left over wedding shawl organza (the pink fabric), and used a couple of olive green ribbons to highlight the offset photos. The photos themselves are attached to dark green vellum with photocorners and then glued in place. I added a few antiqued letters so that I will remember what these are in future, as I had to trim off the dates where the photos were going manky round the border.

I have a whole album of photos from my mum, dating from these up to when i was about 16, and as they are not in an acid-free album, I have the perfect excuse to scrapbook them all (ha ha! - evil laugh - off to the craft shop I go!)

I have this to be going on with, courtesy of my wonderful husband who saw my pleading looks while we were in Paperchase the other day.

yummy yarn makes short scarf

You may have noticed a flurry of activity, as I have realised that I have not been posting as regularly as I might.

We went to the in-laws new house at the weekend, so that is somewhat of an excuse I suppose. I managed to pop into a wool shop and stock up on a few (non) essentials while I was there, plus in the dark evening in front of the telly (as always) I finished my short scarf/neckwarmer, made from another impulse buy - 1 skein of Louisa Harding Coquette yarn in olive, with a ball of Debbie Bliss merino to bulk it out a bit and add some softness.

Ok, so it is only just long enough to go round my neck and tuck into my coat, but I think with the addition of some tassels and a bit of stretching when i block it it will be just the thing for those autumnal commutes.

Bamboo flowers

I finally finished the purse I was making several weeks ago, from the Sirdar Just Bamboo yarn I impulse bought in York.

Now, which of my fine friends might receive this as a pressie I wonder ... it'll go in the box and await a suitable occasion methinks

Fabric from reprodepot

Here are pictures of the marvellous fabric I have just purchased from Reprodepot. I have a yard of each, and lots of plans for using it up...

This is the fabric from Westfalenstoffe - one with stars and moons, one with cute little sleepwalkers

Some mini paisles

I love this Noah's Ark fabric

And some slightly more grown up Japanese taupe fabric

Now just to finalise the plans for these ...

Friday, 22 June 2007

Personal DNA

Found this rather nifty, but perhaps a little too enlightening personality test from ATTAP on How about Orange's blog.

Apparently I am a 'generous experiencer' which isn't entirely useful to know, but is interesting nevertheless.

It has sliding scales and graphical illustrations that you tweak to answer the questions, so it is much more exciting than your average Likert scale.

The colours here are a bit lairy, but its quite nice to have a graphical representation of me!

Try it yourself here

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Beautiful site, marvellous ideas

Have just found the following site: Purl Bee - its the blog a shop in New York (on the list if we ever make a shopping trip there) and has the most beautiful ideas for using up fabric. I particularly love the swatch portraits - definitely an idea for decorating my sewing space. The round frames make the fabrics look so much more exciting than square ones.

I have been reading the following post from Tree Fall - it's a really useful post, with lots of US fabric sites. I was wary of ordering from a random shop in the states, so it is nice to see another blogger recommending sites. Unfortunately, Manda has also disabused me of the notion that you can spend up to £18 on fabric without paying duty and VAT. Apparently (and this does appear on the Customs and Excise website, albeit in very very small print) the £18 limit has to include postage and packaging.

All of which means that my bargain from reprodepot that should be winging its way to me as we speak, might not be such a bargain after all - and now I have to wait for the cusstoms letter from the Post Office. Sigh.

Still, I'll know next time, and the gorgeous fabric I'm waiting for will be reward enough for the hassle.

Friday, 15 June 2007

And another exciting thing

Oh dear, I should save these things up so that my blog looks more active, but my memory is terrible so I just have to enthuse about my latest foray into fabric collection. Last night I ordered 5 yards of fabric from reprodepot. And most of it was on sale, which makes it even more exciting!

I have a metre of Sternt fabric from Westfalenstoffe with a white background and blue sleepwalkers

A yard of Westfalenstoffe Sonne, Monde & Sterne fabric with navy background and white stars

A yard of some gorgeous Noah's ark fabric

A yard of blue Petit paisley, which has mini paisles in bright primary colours all over it.

And a yard of lovely japanese taupe fabric, called 'Blossoms on water'

Ok, so the last one doesn't really match the other 4, but those are primarily for the patchwork quilt I am contributing to for the new Mayou baby. Having said that, they almost look too beautiful for baby-use. At least reprotdepot have a minimum 1 yard order so I should have lots left over.

Unfortunately, there is a nasty tendency of some mail firms to charge huge fees for customs and excise matters, so I have to be a good girl and only buy up to £18 worth of stuff in one go, otherwise there are all sorts of hassle. I hope it makes it through ok.

My first published crochet

On another blog at least. Rhona from the Ktog knitting group has very kindly added my crochet cardigan (unblocked, so slightly wonky) to the ktog website blog. I had to admit to the group that it was made from bargain cotton - £1.99 for 3 balls from Lidl, but I think it has come out quite well considering. I'll try to post a few clearer pictures of the shell pattern once I've blocked it. The pattern is from the Happy Hooker book, and should have ribbon fastening it, so I'm off to VV Rouleaux on Marylebone High Street tomorrow - hooray!


I'm so pleased with this amigurumi pattern, courtesy of Heavens-hellcat. My version has turned out a little wonky, but from the side he looks great. I'm working on the small totoro next, but I'm not sure if I'll complete the set - the wool could be quite expensive for the giant totoro!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Cats again - but on topic this time

Have just remembered this pattern in my Amy Butler Stitches book: the cat tunnel !

I thought I was going to be quite limited in what I could make for my new pussycats - not wanting to dress them up, I was going to make catnip toys and that is about it, but a cat tunnel? Great!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Pussycats - off topic, but very cute

big catsmall cat
We finally got round to getting our very first pussycats at the weekend. Cats Protection North Herts came up trumps with a pair of 8month old kittens, brother and sister, who were found as strays a couple of months ago.

OK, so we weren't actually looking for two cats, and husband really wanted one that looks like a tiger, but that's the way with animals.

Big cat (on the left) is about twice the size of his sister, and looks like Felix. He started off being very timid, refusing to come out of his carrier for the first 6 hours at home, but perked up at the mention of food (typical boy). Yesterday he was a changed cat, killing everything in sight and terrorising his sister.

Small cat is a sweetie, a bit of a fidget but very friendly. She is black with ginger underfur, so who knows what colour she will turn out in the end. Fortunately, she can hold her own when attacked by big cat, and is clearly the boss - telling him off and ordering him to clean himself properly - just like a proper big sister!

Their favourite game last night went as follows ...

  1. Big cat and small cat sit at the bottom of the stairs
  2. Big cat give the word and they both bolt up the stairs as quickly as possible (sounds like thunder).
  3. Small cat hides under the futon.
  4. Big cat pretends that he doesn't know where small cat is, and calls her.
  5. Big cat goes looking for small cat in the bathroom
  6. As soon as he is out of sight, small cat runs out from under the futon, and leaps into the bathroom to surprise big cat.
  7. Big cat chases small cat downstairs again.
  8. Repeat ad infinitum.
Sometimes they varied the game as follows - big cat would pretend to go and look for small cat, but would actually go and hide in the bath, so that when small cat went to surprise him, he could leap out at her instead - such fun!

just had an update from husband - apparently when he left the house this morning they were both sitting on a high windowsill, on top of my chitting potatoes (fortunately no longer needed). Am frantically racking my brain now to remember if there is anything dangerous on surfaces or shelves - we shall see what destruction they have wreaked when I get home I suppose!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Wine cork stamps

Just found this brilliant way of using up the hundreds of not-really-recyclable wine corks that I have collected (over the years I might add).

Amy at Craft Chi makes funky stamps out of them, and now I do too!

Fun, and environmentally friendly. My kind of craft!

Audio crafts

Ok, so this isn't really a crafty post, but I just had to write down how great the first ipod audiobook that I have bought is. It is called The Stone Rose, and is a Doctor Who story. It was recommended by my friend MC, a fairly major David Tennant and Dr Who fan, and, sharing her views, I was delighted to discover that you get two David Tennants for the price of one - a Scottish narrator and the English Doctor. Hooray! It is currently brightening an otherwise dull day, cataloguing social policy books.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Finally, an excuse to crochet!

As if I needed one.

But at long last, one of my friends has taken it upon herself (with her husband of course) to have their first child, which will (all being well) be born in December 2007.

All very exciting, and it means that I now have a legitimate excuse to make baby clothes, toys, afghans, and general zakka, without scaring my other half or cluttering up the house.

So, the ideas bublling out of my overful brain so far are:

1. Soft waves ripple afghan in Garnstudio Muskat DK cotton yarn, in funky bright colours.

2. Patchwork/applique ABC book. Could take a little time, but doesn't need to be done until he/she is learning to read.

3. This amazingly cute set if it turns out to be a girl (terribly sexist I know, but babies bring this kind of thing out in you)

4. This octopus (by request)

5. A patchwork textured play mat, to be made in conjunction with Laura and Jen. Get ready to cut up those old jeans girls!

6. And no doubt umpteen other things that I find and that make me go 'aaah'.


Buckles from Cromer

We spent a few days camping in Cromer, Norfolk last weekend, and I was determined to come home with something exciting.

I was allowed by the husband to go into a wool shop in Sheringham, but with the strict instructions not to buy aything. Hmph.

However, when we strayed into a marvellous 'book' shop called Much Binding in Cromer, I found, in a set of drawers marked "Ephemera: Odds and ends" these two marvellous painted belt buckles.

The first one is larger, with a design of leaves and fruit. The second has 4 birds, which look oriental, although they might not be. The oval buckle at least seems to be gold leaf, or at least gold paint.

I think they might be quite old, but I'm not sure. They are certainly delicate, and have been a bit battered round the edges. There was a third, blue buckle the same as the square one here, but it was the most damaged, and worked as a bargaining tool with the man holding the holiday money!

So I did manage to find something exciting after all. I think these would look lovely on black silk ribbons, but they are too fragile to use, so they will stay wrapped in tissue until I finally manage to find a treasures cabinet to put them in.