Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Make and Craft Swap

A very chilly and frosty day down here in Devon as no doubt it is in many other parts of the country too!

I have had a lovely start to the week, receiving a gift from my Make and Craft swap partner, Wendy of  Alice and Florence Blog.

I can't wait to start my little cross stitch Christmas Tree!  Wendy chose one of my favourite colour combinations, pink and green.  Thank you Wendy for such a thoughtful gift.

Here is what I made for Wendy

The bought gift was a little tea-light holder with Wendy's name on, but I forgot to take a photo of this.  Oops! If you would like to see what it looked like and what Wendy thought of her gift, why not pop over and take a look at her blog.  I'm sure she would love to meet you.

All that's left now is to say Happy Christmas to you all and I'll see you over at Handmade Monday and don't forget ......

Friday, 16 November 2012

Make and Craft Magazine

I'm sorry but I am bursting with excitement!  There is a write-up about Chester and I in the second issue of Make and Craft Magazine.  It's my first time ever in a magazine and I am over the moon.

If you'd like to read the posts referred to in the write up

Chester goes Topless

Hello Chester

Chester and Taffy help with the hedge trimming

.... just click on these links and they should take you straight to them.  Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to, I'll post a reply as soon as I can.

You can see how Chester was made by clicking on the tab 'Chester the Extreme Crochet Cat' at the top of the page and to see pictures of Chester click on 'Chester's Gallery'.  There is also a tab marked 'workshops' where you can find out what workshops are coming up soon.

Finally, I would just like to thank Katharine of Make and Craft for creating such a fantastic magazine.

While I'm at it, I'd also like to thank Wendy over at Handmade Harbour for hosting Handmade Monday.  She has been very busy recently but still manages to keep up with us all.

Have a good week and I'll see you over there!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Extreme Crochet Fruity Basket

Hello Everyone

No post last week I'm afraid as we were away for the weekend up in North Devon.  No photos either this time as it is somewhere we have been before and I forgot to take the camera on the walk we did! But you'll be glad to know we had a lovely time and were quite lucky with the weather.

We did however pop into Ilfracombe, on our way up, to have a look at their new sculpture, Verity by Damien Hirst. Just click on this link to find out more about her.

Damien Hirst sculpture, Verity on Ilfracombe harbour side

Sculpture by Damien Hirst of pregnant woman called Verity

Damien Hirst sculpture of pregnant woman called Verity on Ilfracombe harbour side

What do you think?  I absolutely love it!  In my mind it sparks conversation and discussion.

Are you all enjoying the sunshine this weekend? There are some wonderful Autumn colours around as I'm sure you will all have noticed.

I have had a couple of interesting 'meetings' this week, one with a local yarn shop Spin A Yarn in the lovely village (or maybe small town!) of Bovey Tracey.  It is a gorgeous shop with every possible type of yarn you can imagine, so inspirational and extremely difficult to walk out of there without buying anything.

Specialist yarn shop in Bovey Tracey Devon

I am very pleased to say I will be tutoring a Jumbo Crochet Basket Workshop here after Christmas.  More details will follow when they are released.  In the meantime I am experimenting with just one or two of the yarns in the shop.

Colinette Zero, King Cole Gypsy and Big Fab black

A ball of King Cole Gypsy, a skein of Colinette Zero and some Big Fab in black that I had in my stash.

Jumbo crochet basket using four strands of super chunky yarn and a huge crochet hook

And here is the finished article, complete with bananas to give it some scale.
4 strands of super chunky yarns and a 20mm hook.  Not quite as large scale as my usual but I am pleased with the way it has turned out, not to mention how quickly it crochets up!
I shall try another one with more muted tones next time.

My other meeting was with the organiser of the Contemporary Craft Festival  held annually at Bovey Tracey.  We discussed a large crochet/knitted creation for a display to herald their 10th Anniversary.  Watch this space for more details!  As soon as I know more I will let you know :)

Well, that's all for this week folks, I will try and visit as many of you as I can over at Handmade Monday on Handmade Harbour.  My apologies for not having done so for a couple of weeks, life just got in the way, you know what it's like, although I will try and remedy this over the next couple of days.

Have a good week! 
Bye for now 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Wet Felted Pot

Hello peeps!

Saw our daughter and boyfriend off on their 'Round the World' trip on Thursday.  They have started off in Singapore, where they said it was soooo hot they didn't want to leave their air conditioned bedroom.  I can't even begin to imagine how that feels!! Especially with the chilly weather we have had this weekend.  They are off to Australia tomorrow morning so maybe it will be a little cooler for them!

We have been busy tidying up the garden this weekend.

I pressure washed the patios and OH repaired the leaky shed.  The smiley face is the clean bit! You can see how grubby the patio was! Thankfully it all looks a lot better now.  After all that hard work, we treated ourselves to a glass of wine (or two) whilst watching 'Strictly'!

Did a bit more gardening this morning but now am snuggled indoors with both the heating and the fire on .......

....... enjoying writing my blog and then a bit more crafting and over to Handmade Monday to find out what all the other talented crafters have been up to.

Wet felted pot

I am really enjoying my felting course.  We have just completed week 5 and have just 3 more left.  Last week I made a pot.  You can see in the photos below the process I went through to achieve my pot.

Below is the finished pot.  It is felted in a grey Gotland fleece, ideal as it holds it's shape well.
I needle felted the wavy lines on afterwards and crocheted the pom pom trim and needle felted that on too.

Next week (after half term) we will be starting on our final project.  I have decided to make something useful - a crochet hook holder.  I shall line the inside in fabric so it's not too bulky and as I have just purchased my new embroidery book, thought I would decorate this with a bit of embroidery/cross stitch.  Here's a sneak preview ....

...... bet you can't guess what word I'm stitching. Lol!

Hopefully I'll have a bit more to show you next time.  Have a great week everyone.  Happy Crafting x

Sunday, 21 October 2012

I'm back!

Hello, hello, hello!

Long time no see!  I have had a combination of a couple of really busy weeks leaving me no real time to write a post, followed by a rather quiet time with nothing much to write about!

Bit of disappointment on the Hobbycraft front.  The project I was going to do for them was for Children in Need but unfortunately timescales were against us so we have agreed to postpone this until next year.

I have had another couple of workshops over the last month ..........

... this one at Countess Wear Village Hall (above)

.... and this one at the Courtenay Centre!

I'm very pleased to say that a great time and lots of fun was had by all - oh! and the girls all learnt to crochet!

I have started a wet felting course and am about half way through now.  Wet felting is something I didn't think I would ever get into, but I am really enjoying this so far.

Here are my finished pieces over the last few weeks
I have been waiting for my last piece, the grey pot, to dry out thoroughly and now I think I may embellish it with a bit of needle felting and maybe a crochet edging.  Next week we are making a small 3d  purse and then we start working on our final piece.  Not sure what to choose yet but think I may make a bag.

I bought a new book recently, just because I fancied it!  Here it is A Rainbow of Stitches

It is full of embroidery templates which I am sure will come in very handy one day.  Here is the first one I tried - a very simple 'puddy tat'

Off to join in Handmade Monday this evening, the first time in a good few weeks, so why not make yourself a cup of tea and take a bit of 'me' time to follow me over there to see what all the wonderful crafters have been up to.

Thank you for reading and I'll try and finish my pot for next week, hopefully I'll be back on track from now on.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Chester the crochet cat and Taffy the crochet bear help with Hedge Trimming!


It's that time of the week again! I shall be visiting Handmade Harbour for the fantastic Handmade Monday Link Party later but first I must start by thanking you for your comments from last week, I read them all but didn't get the opportunity to reply to them this week.  I love receiving them though, so please don't stop!!

Unfortunately no makes this week so I thought you may like to see what Chester and Taffy have been up to.  I'll just give you a quick update on the WIP first.

This project is still progressing slowly!  I have a lot of measuring to do in a moment which probably will involve maths too.  Ugh! not my favourite bit of the project, but very necessary.  I am hoping to go and collect the yarn tomorrow, providing the supplier has the correct colour in stock (no I can't tell you what colour it is yet!!!).

Kidsilk Haze Stripe Cardigan
Also progressing slowly!  I'm half way up both fronts now but I think it may have to be put on hold if I get the yarn for the Hobbycraft project tomorrow!!

Chester and Taffy
And now to see what these two characters have been up to.  For those of you not yet familiar with Chester and Taffy click on their individual links below and all will be revealed!

We had some major hedge trimming to do this weekend so enlisted the help of Chester and Taffy!  Or should that read hindrance!  Chester was quite useful as he is rather tall and could reach the high bits but as usual Taffy was up to mischief and no Uncle Martin in sight!

Fiddly Fingers Chester crochet cat hedge trimming up a ladder

Fiddly Fingers crochet cat Chester cutting hedge

Chester Fiddly Fingers crochet cat filling hedge cutter with petrol
Onto the BIG machine now - just need to fill it up with petrol!

Fiddly Fingers crochet cat Chester Taffy crochet bear getting into mischief  mending hedge trimmer
Uh Oh!  Look who's on the scene now!
What have you got in your hand Taffy?

No Taffy!  This is not helpful at all!
(There is no real petrol anywhere near this picture.  
NEVER put matches anywhere near petrol)

Fiddly Fingers large crochet cat Chester Taffy crochet bear busy mending hedge trimmer
OMG what was Taffy thinking of!

Fiddly Fingers crochet bear Taffy sweeping leaves
That's far more helpful Taffy!  
Thank you for clearing up the mess!

Fiddly Fingers crochet bear Taffy climbing top step ladder

Now what are you up to? You'll get stuck!!!

Fiddly Fingers crochet bear Taffy climbed ladder now stuck

What did I tell you Taffy?  How do you think you're going to get down now then?
Perhaps best to leave him up there, he can't get into any more mischief up there can he?

Fiddly Fingers crochet bear Taffy holding hosepipe watering patio
Well somehow he got down!!!!  I tell you it's worse than having children!
You need eyes in the back of your head!!

I hope you have enjoyed Chester and Taffy's antics.
It made us chuckle and we knew what was coming next!
Hopefully this little picture gallery has helped brighten up your week or maybe
it will put a smile on your face for the week to come!
Have a good one, whatever you are doing!
Bye for now, see you next week :)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Crochet Workshop, Social Fabric, Totnes, Devon

Hello everyone!

I had a great day yesterday doing my first Introduction to Crochet Workshop for Social Fabric in Totnes.

The lovely proprietor, Caroline, has recently created a new space in the Devon town of Totnes where people can come together and learn new skills or dust down old ones.   We had a wonderful group of ladies who worked extremely hard all day long trying to come to terms with the intricacies of crochet, foundation chains, doubles and trebles etc.  Unfortunately I did a silly thing and forgot to take my camera so very few photos, well none from me actually!

Caroline managed to take this one photo of everyone concentrating really hard!!

but unfortunately it is the only one I have.

Despite there being a tremendous amount of information to take in all in one day, everyone managed to learn the art of crochet by the end of it!  We all agreed we would need to relax with some wine that evening :)

The ladies kindly left some very appreciative comments which I would like to share with you :)

We all had a very enjoyable day and I hope to be returning very soon to tutor another crochet workshop.  Thank you to all the ladies on the workshop and especially to Caroline for supplying us with copious amounts of tea, coffee and biscuits to keep us all going!

Brief updates!

Just to keep you informed, my Kidsilk Haze Stripe addiction is coming along.  It is definitely going to be a cardigan now!  I got the whole 'back' out of one ball of yarn so maybe, just maybe I can manage the rest of the garment out of the 2 balls I have left!  Watch this space!

The Hobbycraft project is progressing slowly!  I'm hoping they will source the yarn for me this week as time is of the essence!  Once I know this I can get planning and start crocheting.  They need to get on with it pretty quickly else we may have to postpone it until next year.  Once again 'watch this space'!  I will reveal all eventually!

Thank you for reading :)

I'm off to Handmade Monday now over at Handmade Harbour.  I wonder what everyone else has been up to this week?

Sunday, 2 September 2012

On Holiday with Sloppy Joe Beret!

Hi Everyone!

As you've all realised by now we have zoomed past August and are now well on our way to September!  All the trees will be changing colour soon and Autumn will be knocking on the door!  I actually quite like the change in seasons though, it seems to give me something to look forward to.

I missed Handmade Monday last week as we were away camping in Eastbourne. We had a great time with our friends, the diet went out the window and we had some lovely walks.   Rather than bore you with too many details, I thought I would put a collage of photos together.  The main thing was we managed to get the tent up and down without any rain!!  Someone was looking out for us!

Yes the picture in the top right hand corner is correct!!  The camera toppled forwards - although I think it is my favourite!  Don't you just love the legs!

Whilst on holiday I did manage to get some crocheting done.  You may remember I crocheted a hat for Hobbycraft to display but forgot to take a photo.  Well a lovely lady I clean for asked me to make one for her and this one I did remember to take a photo of!

I made one mistake very near the beginning and thinking it wouldn't matter I carried on!  Well as we all know (but try to tell ourselves otherwise!) it will show up - eventually - I got nearly to the end before I decided the mistake was glaringly obvious!  I couldn't leave it so took it back to the beginning!  Strictly speaking I made two hats really!  I was very pleased with the result (in the end!), it was crocheted using Rowan Cocoon which has a lovely weight to it and is really soft.  The recipient was also over the moon!

Also ..... whilst on holiday ..... I received an exciting email from Hobbycraft!  They have asked me to do a jumbo creation along the lines of Chester to raffle for charity!  I can't tell you what it is yet, just in case it doesn't come off, but I am now frantically designing a pattern and trying to work out how much yarn I shall need.  Watch this space!  I'll try and give you a few sneaky previews over the next month or so, without giving too much away!  I'm rather excited - all I've got to do now is make it happen!!!!

I was in Hobbycraft yesterday again, demonstrating the Jumbo Crochet and added a short post Chester's Choice yesterday so you may like to have a quick look.  Chester had a couple of young admirers!

Well, I'm off to do the washing up and then I shall pop over to Handmade Monday and catch up on all your news.  Thanks for reading :) See you there!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Chester's Choice!

Another enjoyable day at Hobbycraft demonstrating Jumbo Crochet.  Once again I met a lot of lovely people and thought I would just share this one photo with you all!

Thanks to Rosa and Gracie's mum for letting me share this photo.  It made Chester's day :)
and thank you to all the staff at Hobbycraft, Kingsteignton for making me feel very welcome!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Works in Progress

Hi everyone

Not got anything finished this week so I'll have to bring you up to date with my WIP's.

You may remember from a previous post I bought 3 balls of Kidsilk Haze Stripe.  Well I just couldn't resist making a start - despite not having a clear idea of what I was going to make.  I searched high and low for a suitable pattern but nothing ticked all the boxes.  I wanted something sloppy and snuggly.  I needed something to keep my interest but not too complicated so the colours would be lost in the pattern.  And to cap it all a lot of the garment patterns appeared to need more than the 3 balls I had bought!  So what did I do?

Well I decided I would design my own, but as I didn't know how much yarn I would need I decided to start off making a wide scarf to see how far the yarn would go.  I chose a chevron/ripple pattern to give me a bit to concentrate on but also show off the colours and I liked the wavy edge!

As I progressed it looked as though the yarn was going to go a fair distance so I have now decided to turn it into a cardigan/jacket (I made sure the scarf started out wide enough for a jacket from the beginning).  I am a good half way up the back and probably no more than half way through the first ball so hopefully, if I use 1 ball for the back, 1 for the front and 1 for both sleeves I may just get away with it.  I can always buy 1 more ball if push comes to shove!

I think you'll agree the colours are looking rather scrummy and it feels lovely and snuggly on my lap when I'm working with it! Hopefully I should have a bit more to show you over the next few weeks.

I'm also about to start another hat.  I did one for when I demonstrated crochet in the new Hobbycraft Store in Kingsteignton but for some unknown reason I didn't take a photo!   The pattern came from the book Love to Crochet and was the Sloppy Joe Beret.  It's crocheted in Rowan Cocoon, a lovely soft dk yarn.  The previous one was in blue but the lady I'm doing this one for chose cream.

Cream should go with a lot of things and it should look lovely when it's worked up.  Once again I'll show you a bit more in a few weeks.

One thing I did finish today though!  It's a bit Heath Robinson, but it will do the trick.  We are trying to get organised for a camping trip and our camping cooker has been packed in a very tatty cardboard box.  Each year it gets tattier and tattier.  It must be about 15-20 years old now.  So today, I got my sewing machine out and made a 'bag' for it!  We had been given some waste yurt canvas which is perfect for something like this, is very strong and doesn't fray so no need to finish edges and seems (nice and quick!)  I did have to stitch a few pieces together to get a big enough square of fabric and the same with the straps as not one piece was long enough, hence why it's a bit Heath Robinson!

But I think you'll agree, as I said at the beginning, it does the trick!

Well that's all from me this time so I hope you have all had a good week.  I'm off over to Handmade Monday now to see what you have all been up to :)  Bye!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Polymer Clay Buttons


A very busy week this week so only a very short post today.  We went for a wonderful walk along the Devon coast around Salcombe yesterday.  There are far too many photos to add to this post so if you would like to see how beautiful this area is please click on the link.

First I would like to say thank you for all your comments last week and the help in naming Maisy's little tiny friend.  I finally decided to go with the name Minnie as suggested by Catkin Jane.  She really is very minnie and I love the idea of 'wearing purple' when I'm a grandma.  Thank you all for your help, it makes it far more fun than thinking up a name on my own!

You may have noticed for the past few weeks I have been answering each comment.  I hope you like this idea, I know it's not necessary but it feels a little more personal.

This week I have been having a fiddle with polymer clay buttons.  I hopefully will be running a short workshop on how to make a very simple crochet flower and turn it into a brooch or hair tie.  As there will be no crochet knowledge necessary for this workshop I need to make these as simple as possible.  Therefore I thought a button centre would be perfect.  As you can see from the picture below  I haven't got around to adding the holes yet and I will still be experimenting with other colours.

Below are a couple of ideas for the finished article

Thank you for stopping by :)  
I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to 
over on Handmade Monday.  
See you there!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Kidsilk Haze Fix!

Hi Everyone

Hope you have all had a good week, our weather has been a bit disappointing again lately rather a shame after that spell of sunshine we were all beginning to enjoy.  What about the Olympics?  Haven't we had some fantastic results?

I've had a very bitty week really, not getting much done at all.  I did manage to put out a few posters to advertise my workshops and I have just been preparing one for the Hobbycraft Store as I am doing a Crochet Flower Workshop in their Kingsteignton store on 14th September and I have agreed to do another workshop for Social Fabric over in Totnes, a new venture for a lady called Caroline so I hope it goes well for her.  When you look back at it, maybe I have achieved a something.

I wanted to share a couple of things with you.  I had a 25% off voucher to use in Hobbycraft which had to be used by today - so as it was raining extremely hard all day it was an ideal opportunity to pop down for a bit of retail therapy.  Look what I bought!!  It is so scrummy!

Three balls of Kidsilk Haze Stripe!!!!  I have no idea what I shall do with it but using it recently to make those fingerless gloves I absolutely love it.  I had to buy 3 balls just in case I found a lacey cardigan or jumper pattern, but a pretty drapey scarf would also be wonderful.  I wondered whether I should design my own jumper, although Kidsilk Haze may not be a particularly suitable yarn for a beginner designer to start on!!!  I'll let you know.

You may remember a short while ago I made 'Maisy' a little elephant.  Well I promised a dear lady I would make one for her to keep for when her great-grandaughter came over.  Unfortunately I didn't have enough of the cotton thread I used for Maisy so had to use something a little thinner.  As you can imagine she came out just a little smaller!
I crocheted her dress in Kidsilk Haze that I had left over from the gloves.  I think she needs a bow or flower in her 'hair'.  What do you think?
Here she is next to Maisy.  Maisy is about 3" tall and she is about 2" tall.  Both created from the same pattern written by Sharon Ojala.  If you click on her name it will take you to her blog where you will find the pattern.  Talking about names, any preferences for this little cutie?

Ooh one last thing!  A lovely lady over at Christmas Pie Crafts is looking for Friday Guest Bloggers she says
"If you are ready, willing and able to give it a go, please email me on christmaspiecrafts@virginmedia.com with Friday Guest Blog in the subject area.  Your article should be approximately 500 - 600 words, but please don't panic if that seems too long,  Let me know the date you would like to take part and also your blog and website address will be added at the end of your article.  Many thanks for your help and I am looking forward to reading lots of fantastic articles and sharing them with the rest of the crafting world."

So if you would like to direct a little more traffic towards your blog just get in touch!  It really isn't as daunting as it sounds!

Ok now I'm off over to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been up to and I may even have a little look to see if I can find any Kidsilk Haze Stripe patterns.  Have a great week everyone, bye x

Friday, 27 July 2012

Hobbycraft Update and A Graduation or Two!

Phew! I don't seem to have had any time to think just lately and when I have had time I'm just too shattered to do anything!  Sound familiar?  Thought it might!

This post is going to be a bit early for Handmade Monday so I will link up to you guys in a few days time  (I've done it now so why not pop over to see what all the other lovely crafters have been up to) but if I don't get it done now I shall miss yet another week.  So much to say, but so little time to write it down!

This weekend we have our younger daughter and boyfriend coming to stay and we have friends coming for a meal this evening so I have been running around making everything just so!!! (As we do!)  I actually made meringue for a pavlova this morning, they were cooking by 8.30am!! I was very impressed with myself. Not sure how they will turn out though, they look ok but the taste test will determine it!  I'll let you know :)

Anyway, thank you all again for your comments on my last post I shall try and answer each comment individually this time as I think I have been neglecting you all.


Ok now to Hobbycraft!  It was last sunday when I went in, you may remember that was one of our first real days of sunshine!  Chester really did arrive in style.

Safety belt on - ready to go
Here he is about to leave, he has his safety belt on but I think he looks a little uncertain!

Chester arrives safely!
He needn't have worried, he arrived in plenty of time!  I followed him down (I couldn't fit him in my car with all the other bits and pieces!) which was great as I was able to see the looks on people's faces when he drove by.  I heard one little boy say to his dad "Look at that huge ..." he wasn't quite sure what to call it and I'm not sure his dad would have believed him anyway unless he saw it for himself!  I could see a lot of pointing and gesticulating from people and Chester certainly turned many heads!

Chester had a great view across the store, watching everyone coming and going.  He was sitting on a perfect chair, one of those tall bar stools.  I was very cheeky and borrowed it from some great guys at Willow Kitchens, Bathrooms and Bedrooms who have a store just around the corner.  They thought it was fantastic when I explained how I had made him and the size of the hooks I was selling!!!!!! Innuendoes came spilling out!!!!!!  A big thank you to these guys, they made Chester very comfy!

Here is Tina, the lovely lady, who made all this possible.  I think she was explaining about the store to Chester?!!

I had two tables this size, one I used to display the yarn, the hooks and the items you could make and the other (which unfortunately I don't seem to have a picture of) for demonstrating where people could sit and have a go with the Jumbo hooks and yarn.

Did you spot Taffy perched on top of the yarn?  I couldn't leave him behind, he would have felt so left out!

As you can see it's a fantastic store!  You can just pick out Tina and me having a chat with Chester in pride of place.  I met some really lovely people, the staff were all so helpful and eager to learn about what I was demonstrating and they all fell in love with Chester.  I sold some yarn and hooks and also received bookings for my workshops (Introduction to Crochet is proving very popular, only a couple of spaces left on this one!).  A brilliant day and a BIG thank you to everyone who made it happen :)

And finally!

A very proud mum and dad showing off their eldest daughter's graduation!

And just so the youngest one doesn't feel left out - this was last year at our youngest daughter's graduation!
Very proud of both of them and of course the boyfriends too!

Have a good week!  Hope the sun keeps shining :)