Sunday, 3 November 2013

Camera case in Crete!

I'll start with a 'thank you' to all who left a comment on I shall wear purple!  They were fascinating to read and I'm so glad you all liked her!  I'll keep you posted on her progress over the next few weeks.

Quite a heavy visual post this time as we have been on holiday to Crete so I thought I would share with you the creation I made whilst we were there and a few holiday snaps.

I chose 4 bright colours from my Planet Penny cottons as I decided I would make a case for my camera

 I wanted plenty of protection for the camera so I used bobble stitch to create a dense fabric.

You can see how bright and cheerful it looks here.

 Not quite finished yet though!  
I just need to add an edging around the flap and a fastening of some kind.

It took me until nearly the last day of our holiday to complete this, but unfortunately at the very end of the holiday ....... the camera broke!!!!
I'll just have to hope I can get it fixed or that the next camera fits the case!

Anyway, here are a few holiday snaps to give you a flavour of just a tiny bit of Crete.

See you over at Handmade Monday!
Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

I shall wear purple!

Hello everyone

I'll start with a huge thank you to everyone for the wonderful, helpful and supportive comments left on my previous post.  Unfortunately I didn't manage to comment individually this time but I did read them and found them all so friendly and considerate - thank you :)

Recently I have joined the South Devon Branch of the Embroiderers Guild.  It is a very friendly group of ladies, with a wealth of knowledge for many crafts not only embroidery.  I am really looking forward to attending some of the fantastic workshops they hold.

As I have done very little embroidery, I thought I ought to try out a few stitches and started to think about a project.  Have you ever heard the poem called 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph?  Maybe if you hear the first line it will jog your memory -

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

Sound a little more familiar now?  If you would like to read the whole poem, just click on the link above.  

Well I love the idea of this, so have decided to use this poem as my theme.  I am making a doll and will dress her using the ideas in the poem and my own interpretation of how I think she may like to look!  I shall then use embroidery to decorate her clothing.

Here is what she looks like so far!

I chose to crochet her body as it is something I am familiar with.

I used chunky, soft, multi-coloured yarn for her hair, crocheting a cap the same as her head first then looping strands of yarn in layers.  I have not yet decided whether to trim the hair or leave it as it is!  As her character is a little off the wall, I think she may look fine like this :)  What do you think?
 I embroidered her eyes onto small white pieces of felt, using 3 or 4 different colours and black for the eye lashes and pupils.  I may add another black line below to define them a little more but I shall wait and see what she looks like when I have added the other facial features.  I then needle felted the whites of the eyes in place.

She looks a little naked don't you think?
I'm working on her underwear as we speak - watch this space!

Thank you for reading!  I hope you enjoy the poem; it makes me smile :)  Off over to Handmade Monday now and of course, must watch the Strictly results later!!! Enjoy :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

A disjointed week and Jumbo Crochet Rope Cushion - Update

It's been a rather disjointed week this week.  A lot seems to have been going on but not much to show for it.

Of course, I finished my Jumbo rope cushion, sent it off to the shop and have been waiting for a reply but I don't seem to have been able to settle to anything else.  I got out my Kid Silk Haze project which has not been touched since January.  I started trying to unpick it (ha ha!)  The first two rows seemed to unravel relatively easily, but then ...... well lets say after many hours I gave up.
Plan B may have to be the addition of a bit of freeform crochet, in order to make a rectangle and then I can turn it into a shrug, but .... for now I've put it back in the bag! Does this sound a little familiar to some of you :)

Unfortunately, as I suspected, the shop didn't want my Crochet Rope Cushion as the price was too much.  They did like it however and commented that they had seen similar at the London Design Show this week.  How I get it down in price though I shall never know!  Rope is rope and without buying 1000's of metres in order to get a substantial discount or knocking off my hourly rate (which would mean working for nothing!! and at £8 hour is only just above minimum wage) I am stumped!  How do you price products if you are serious about selling them?  Do you allow yourself an hourly rate and if so do you think £8 per hour is about right?  After all a shop is going to put a fair mark up on anything they sell and whilst I realise they have many overheads I would like to think I could make a little something too!!  This isn't really a moan, it's just despair!!  I have the skill to produce these things and it's obvious they are on trend but how to sell them for a fair price is beyond me!!!

Fine Cotton Crochet
I've been meaning to show you these for a while.  They have not been blocked yet so are a bit squiffy still!

A friend of mine is collecting bits and pieces for an heirloom quilt she is planning to make so I have been experimenting with fine crochet cotton squares.  Not sure which one to choose, may just send them all and let her make the decision!! I love doing these but once again ran out of inspiration this week and put it away for a while.  If anyone has any pretty afghan square patterns they wouldn't mind sharing I would love to do a couple more.

Jumbo Crochet Hooks
My OH has been making some jumbo crochet hooks ....

..... this week as I have a Jumbo Crochet Basket workshop coming up at Spin A Yarn this Friday.  The last one was great fun so keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Country Walk
And lastly we have been for a lovely walk today so I thought I would share a few of the beautiful examples of nature we noticed along the way :)

Have a lovely week everyone.  I'll let you know how the workshop goes next time.  See you over at
Handmade Monday


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Jumbo Crochet Rope Cushion

You may remember from my previous post (although it was a little while ago I admit) I was experimenting with different materials to crochet a cushion.  Well, I have finally finished my Jumbo Crochet experiments so thought I would share my efforts with you.

I chose to use cotton sash cord as it is soft and pliable and still gives a chunky effect.  You can see from the pictures below the size of the stitches in comparison with the 50p piece.  Having finished the crocheting I was then presented with the problem of how to join the two sides together.  The picture, bottom left, shows how I solved this problem.

My next dilemma took a lot of thought.  I wanted to make the cushion cover removable for cleaning so this meant finding some way of fastening an opening.  A zip would have been impossible to sew in and buttons would have added to the cost.  So I put it to one side for a while and kept returning to it hoping for a 'light bulb' moment!  I finally decided on toggles and the pictures below show the result.

And ta dah! Here is the finished product.

I hope you like the finished Cushion.
It is very difficult to do it justice in the photos.
I have sent it off now so keep your fingers crossed the shop like it too!
This is the first one as a sample, if it is accepted I will be able to crochet different sizes and colours.
I'll keep you posted!

I am off to grab myself a cup of tea and settle down with Handmade Monday.  
See you there.
Have a good week!  

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Jumbo Crochet Experiments

I'm very excited this week as I have been given the opportunity to design and make jumbo crochet cushions for an exculsive shop.

All I need now is to come up with suitable yarn to use and a stunning design or two!! Simples!!

Here are a few pictures of my first experiments

I tried a block pattern in dk yarn first and then in
 Boodles Yarn from Hobbycraft (recycled t shirt yarn)

These pictures show wavy stripes - not keen on this, it just
looked as though I hadn't crocheted the stripes straight!!

I decided on straight stripes in the end, but despite having
only completed one side of the cushion I used 3 balls of yarn!!

I like the results of this one!  Here I used Jute sash cord.  It comes
in 10m lengths and this used the whole 10m. Hmm .... need to give this some thought.
This circle measures 10" at it's widest!

I've not settled on the right yarn to use yet.   May just have to order some more for a little more experimenting.

If any of you have any ideas what you would use, or indeed have used, for a very, very, thick chunky cushion, all suggestions would be gratefully received.

Hope you have all had a good week.  
I'm off over to Handmade Monday now.
See you there!
Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Cross Stitch

I'm helping out a friend at the moment as I am in between projects so not much to report this week.

Have you all been enjoying this hot and sunny weather?

We have had lots of bbqs with friends and lazy evening drinks out in the sunshine.

My treat
I popped over to Paignton the other day and had a gorgeous walk along the beach, paddling my way from one end to the other.  It was just beautiful in this sunshine and so lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves.  My daughter was on the beach with a group of students so I even stopped to have a short chat with her :)  This was my treat for having just been to the dentist!

Train Cross Stitch
As I mentioned at the beginning, I am helping out a lovely elderly lady that I clean for at the moment. She has done cross stitch for years and I have seen many of her very beautiful finished articles. Unfortunately though, age is catching up with her and she is finding it a little more challenging now.

Recently she began a rather detailed train scene.  She has completed all the interesting bits beautifully, but the variety of blues, greys and whites in the sky had her pulling her hair out!!!  So I offered to do this bit for her!!!! (Why oh why did I open my mouth!!!)  I now know where she was coming from!! I could quite cheerfully have thrown it out the window - but I was outside at the time so this would have proved difficult :)  Anyway I'm persevering and with a little artistic licence I shall get there!

Here's a couple of pictures showing how far 'we' have progressed so far ....

As you can see it is very nearly finished.  Not much sky left to do now, thank goodness!  Then, just an incy wincy bit (I wish) of out line stitching and it will be complete!

I'm off to sit in the garden and do a bit more 'sky' now!! Look forward to seeing you all over on Handmade Harbour, just in time for Handmade Monday :)  Have a good week everyone :)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Crochet Baby Dress

Don't we all love babies?  They look so cute and smell so sweet (most of the time!!)  Recently friends of ours have become proud grandparents, when their daughter gave birth to a gorgeous little girl.
 I'll call her baby E :)

Well I needed no more encouragement than this to get the crochet hook out!! To be honest I've been thinking about it ever since we found out she was pregnant but as I didn't know whether it would be a boy or girl I left it until she was born.

My friend wanted to make something for her grandbaby but had never crocheted before.  So I set to, teaching her the basics!  We made simple crochet circles and turned them into teddy bear bunting to hang in the nursery.  Here is a picture of one I have made in the past ...

....but unfortunately I forgot to get one of the finished article my friend made (doh!).

As soon as we had the news that baby E had been born I hunted around for baby dresses to crochet. I found this one called Camille by Teresa Richardson.

There are lots of instructions for beginners and even a video.  The most difficult part was deciding on what size to make.  I knew how much baby E weighed but not having very much experience of babies for a long time, I had no idea whether what I was creating was anywhere near right!  I didn't want to ask (which I know would have been the sensible thing to do!) because I wanted it to be a surprise!  Anyway I took the first one out as it looked way too small and decided if the next one was too big, at least she could grow into it!

Here is my finished dress

These four pictures show you the features in a little more detail.

To finish off, I made a tag to attach to the present out of a recycled card and crocheted all around it in the same yarn as I used for the baby dress.

Here it is all wrapped up and ready to go, just in time as I was popping down to see baby E and mum that afternoon!

Over to Handmade Monday now to see how creative the sunny weather has made you all!
See you there

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Patchwork Throw

Well hello again!

I am so, so, sorry, I have been absent for a couple of months now and I have really missed 'talking' to you all.  I will try to rectify this from now on!

We went on a 3 week touring holiday of Scotland in April and this was the beginning of why I have been away for so long.  I took a little bit of simple embroidery to keep me occupied and this is another part of why I've been missing.  Well it's finished now so I thought I would share it with you (actually it's been finished for a while but I just haven't got around to writing the post - but let's not dwell on that, I'm here now!!!)

We changed our sofa covers recently and whilst they were starting to look shabby there was still a lot of good fabric in them so I decided I would have a go at my very first bit of patchwork.  I wanted a throw to cover the new covers to keep them clean for at least a little while.  I think you all know how it is!! TV dinners, wine, crafts etc. they all take their toll :(

So I cut up 25, 12" x 12" squares to make a 5 x 5 square throw (it's just under 60" wide now it's finished) and embroidered a simple outline embroidery on each square.  Here is the finished article.

I chose to make a rag throw so allowed the seams to show on the right side.

Here are the top six squares.  Top left is a design taken from a pot a friend has, and the bottom left and right designs are taken from the wallpaper in the bedroom we stayed in at our friends' house at the start of our Scotland tour.  
Can anyone guess who the two famous people are in the top centre outline?
We visited the place one of them came from on our way south, just after leaving Scotland and my husband had his photo taken by his statue!  Any ideas?

Squares on top right of throw.
I like the poem 'Owl and the Pussycat' so hence the centre top design and of course I had to have a wine bottle in there somewhere!!!

The central square of the throw is a number 50 with 2013 embroidered below as both my husband and I have celebrated our 50th birthdays this year, and are having a great time doing so I may add!!  Bottom left is A Rennie Mackintosh design as I have a soft spot for his work and top right some fuchsias as they are one of my favourite flowers!

Centre bottom square is a thistle depicting Scotland as that's where I was at the time!

The bottom left square is taken from a photo of the viaduct used in the Harry Potter film that we visited when in Scotland.  My husband turned it into a line drawing for me (he's clever like that!)

Bottom left square is my own interpretation of a 'wee highland coo' copied from a little crosstitch coaster kit I bought on my hols.  I'm not very good at drawing and couldn't quite get the back legs right so I used a bit of 'artistic' licence and covered them up with grass instead!!  It doesn't do it justice on this photo but looks a lot better in real life :)

I really enjoyed stitching these outline embroideries.  I used Planet Penny Cotton as there are lots of fantastic colours to chose from.   Some of the designs were taken from this book and others were free off the internet.

Ooh, almost forgot!  This is the pretty fabric I used for the reverse!

and here it is in situ,'thrown' on the sofa!

Thank you for reading folks and I hope you like it.  Why not have a go yourselves?  It's a great way to recycle fabric, such fun to do and something that will be so very personal to you.

I shall endeavour to make sure my next post is not so long in coming next time!

See you soon
I have finally got around to linking up to Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour for the first time in months.  Hello everyone :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Chester at Lustleigh Spring Show

You will be pleased to know that with all your help and comments last week, Little Ted now 
has a name!

Let me introduce you to ......
wait for it ....

I whispered a few names in his ear and he seemed to like Hugo so ... Hugo it is!
Hugo just seemed to suit him for some inexplicable reason! 
I am so grateful to you for your wonderful suggestions, thank you. 
I really couldn't have done it without you :)

Chester at Lustleigh Spring Show
As far as I can tell, Chester had a very pleasant time at Lustleigh.  He was all by himself this time but being a male he doesn't give much feedback!!!!  Here are just a few pictures for you. 

For those very observant ones amongst you, you may have noticed I have altered Chester's eyes slightly.  I have attached them with velcro this time so I can position them looking in different directions.  I think his extreme crochet flowers were equally as good as those on show, don't you?

I apologise to everyone last week as I had a quick peak at what you were all up to but I didn't have a lot of free time to place many comments.  We've been decorating you see, it seems to eat up the hours!
I shall aim to remedy that this week! 
Popping over to Handmade Harbour very soon. 
See you there!

Oh! Just one last thing

Now have to spend the evening re-threading the heading tape on a new set of curtains I bought from Dunelm Mill.  First pair were tied.  Only when I started to gather the second pair, and didn't seem to be getting anywhere   -  did I twig they weren't attached!!!!!!!!!! Doh!
Thank you Dunelm !!!!!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Extreme Crochet Teeny Weeny Update!

I'm going to need your help for this post!  Nothing too taxing though I assure you :)

First of all Chester is going on an outing next weekend!  He has been asked to appear at the Lustleigh Horticultural Society's Spring Show! Ooooh Errrrr!!

I thought it may be appropriate for Chester to take some flowers along!  Well I'm beginning to have second thoughts!

Those of you who know me may have already seen my extreme crochet flower, so I thought if I did a few more to look like real flowers - Bob's your uncle!  So to speak!

So here's my daffodil.  Difficult to show the scale, but easily as large as the blue one if not slightly bigger.

The trouble is I need 2 or 3 more for Saturday and I'm trying to decorate the house too, and go to work - help!  Time is not on my side!

Wish me luck!
I'll let you know how I get on :)

Now, to the bit I need your help for!! 
You may remember I showed you a teeny weeny bear I was making.  Well he is now finished and here he is :)

I photographed him next to a primrose in the garden to give him a sense of scale.

And a few more just for good measure!

The trouble is at the moment he is known as Little Ted.  But, I think he needs a BIGGER name as he is such a tiny teddy!  
What do you think?

I thought if I asked you all nicely, you may just come up with one or two suggestions?
Do you think you can help me with this?

I'm off to give some thought to my next extreme crochet flower and to have a quick peak over at Handmade Monday
Have a good week all of you and do pop back next week to see how I get on
Bye x