Thursday, 24 January 2013

Valentine brooches & kits

The cold snap continues but I'm looking ahead to February, the month of love and peace. I am just preparing some little wooden flower and heart brooches for listing on Folksy.

I've decided to produce the brooches as ready made or in kit form. 

To make the ready made ones a bit extra special, as they will carry a higher price tag to a kit, I have made some little Love Letter pouches from cotton to present them in.

Writing instructions for kits always seems to take forever. I think these are fairly simple to make, a bit like join the dots but you've got to make the description fool proof to cover all abilities.

Here's what you get in the kit, now I just need to make some nice packaging for it to go in.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Very Cold Week

I don't need to tell you how cold a week it has been seeing as most of the UK is under a covering of snow. I think the lowest temperature we got in E. Yorks was -9 degrees C yesterday.

The washing line has looked like this all week

There have been some glimpses of blue sky and sun and I have rather similar pictures as seen on Green Rabbits blog with the scribbly patterns on the sky

If only the sun had stayed out longer to defrost inside the house as it's been really chilly in here and I've bought another electric blanket and more long johns this week. I have got through 3 electric blankets whilst living in this cold house.

Frosty patterns have been everywhere and I think I had frozen inside windows last year and it's no different this year, but they are quite interesting. I have boosted the contrast to show the texture. They look a bit tree like or those ice sculptures of angel wings.

So have I managed to make anything this week with such cold hands and feet. Yes, sort of. I'm trying to make a quirky cat doll and this was the first prototype.

As you can see it's a bit rubbish although I do want it to have a big out of proportion head but I'm not quite there yet.

Prototype two was created with longer legs and its a bit easier on the eye but I'm still experimenting.

When I get a result I'm happy with I'm going to call them Cooking Cats as they will have little pinnies on.

Keep as warm as you can this weekend! I think the snow is on the way tonight.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Dala Horse Gloves & Crochet Wrist Warmers

Here are a couple of things I've finished this week and I suppose quite good timing too as snow has arrived overnight!

Firstly, I saw these lovely cyan blue, cheap and cheerful gloves in Tesco last week.

They were screaming out for some decoration.
I quite like this colour with red so I decided to embellish one of my favourite symbols on the front, a little Swedish Dala Horse.

Using some pre-shrunk red felt I cut out the horses and stitched them down.

I then used yellow, white and blue embroidery floss to add the details and here are the finished gloves.

I was going to continue embellishing with some flowers across the bottom, maybe a heart button or two but at the moment I have left them plain and simple like this.

My other project in similar-ish colours has been crochet wrist warmers done in broomstick stitch. Here they are:

I find wrist warmers very useful when sat at my desk on the computer. I don't use a mouse, I use a graphics tablet and pen and the tablet is very smooth and cold as your hand slides over it so the wrist warmers add a bit of warmth and still allow my hand the freedom to move & glide over the tablet without scratching it.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year crafting & books

I haven't been out much since new year but yesterday was pleasant, even a bit of sun appeared and I went to York. 
It was surprisingly quiet in town and not heaving with people going around the sales which was great for me as I don't like crowds. I made for both the music shops I know and bought a tuner for my ukulele and a plectrum so I'm all geared up for some serious practising!

I also bought 2 interesting books, well one is an annual magazine, Inspired

The other, handmade books, which is something I want to do in my long list of things I want to make this year!

Current new year craft activities have included these fabric cat and rabbit head brooches which I've just been uploading to my folksy shop.

Here's the start of them

And here they are finished. They're quick and fun to do and use up leftover scraps.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you've all had a great time over the festive holidays and received some lovely pressies like Bob the Bunny! Up to his ears and paws in chocolate still!

I had a nice quiet Christmas and didn't over indulge in food but enjoyed what I managed to prepare which was a pastry parcel of asparagus, pea & herby cheese with traditional trimmings of stuffing, red sprouts & chestnuts, roast spuds, onion gravy and some samphire for a bit of greenery.
Followed much later in the day by a bit of xmas pud.

I was the lucky recipient of some fab and most unusual pressies so thank you to my dear friends for those. Here are some highlights in no particular order:

A friend went to Alaska and brought me back this hand stitched decoration, a felt moose in a canoe.

A gingerbread house kit with all the sweeties and trimmings.

A hand blown glass spirit ball given to friends as a good luck symbol.

Handmade espresso cups from Germany.

I particularly liked the packaging of the biscuits above and interestingly enough they are produced by a local business in Beverley, they were quite delicious.

I did get a Cath Kidston book from a relative but it is one I already have (she doesn't read this). This has happened to me before at Christmas, I wonder if anyone else has had the same dilemma of what to do with duplicates. There is actually no point in me mentioning it to the relative as she is abroad and chances are would not have the receipt and it would be a hassle to consider changing it. It wouldn't seem right to offload it to a charity shop or Ebay but it did set me off thinking about swapping so if anyone else was in a similar position with a book, I have a CK Make hanging around here.

As it's New Year, here is a quote which I tend to agree with, (before anyone asks if I've made any resolutions):

Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Years resolutions, and I"ve stuck with it ever since. 

 Dave Beard 

I do tend to think of something new I could try at the start of a new year and this year I've thought in musical terms to learn a new skill.

Ta dah, I've bought a ukulele

A friend of mine is a really good ukulele player and I went for a bit of info and a taster session yesterday. The result was a trip to the nearest music shop to buy a uke and here is the little beauty. I am just learning 3 chords at the moment, it's not that easy, my hands are not seeming very flexible yet for plucking out chords but I will stick with it as I think it's going to be great fun.
They tell me a few minutes practise a day will exercise my hands into those positions I need.

Time to go before normal routine returns tomorrow.

Hope 2013 is a fabulous new year for us all, with new opportunities in healthy abundance.