Saturday, 30 November 2013

Blog Every Day November: The Review


How I got on

  • ....errrr....well.  Let's just say I absolutely tried my best.  
  • I managed 24 days out of 30
  • I found some other really great bloggers. Nik, Jojo and Claire, I'm talking to you!
  • I loved reading other people's posts and seeing different people's takes on the same topic.

What I learnt

  • Blogging everyday is tough.  It takes organisation, stamina and creativity.
  • Sometimes I don't feel like blogging and that's OK.
  • Nothing bad happens if you miss a post.
  • I love posting about things that make me happy as well as crafty projects.

What's next

After a bit of an impromptu blog overhaul, I have lots of plans for tweaking the way I blog.  Here's a wee snapshot of what you can expect over the coming month.


How did blogging every day in November go for you?


A big thank you to Elizabeth from Rosalium for organising this!

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Blog Every Day November: Favourite Posts


One of my initial reasons for attempting to blog every day in November was to try a few different types of blog post.  In this sense, blogging everyday in November did not fail to disappoint.  I mixed up my usual posts with some inspired by the prompts from Elizabeth.  Here are some of my favourite posts.

I was proud to reveal my Sanderson cushion covers in this post.

I loved telling my crochet story on the "Hobbies" day.  

 On the "10 Things" day, I had a go at a Cider with Rosie style post. I liked it so much I tried a second here.

 I loved posting about Remembrance on 11th November.

For the "Blog Chat" post I talked about why I started blogging and had some lovely responses from people. This is definitely a post I wouldn't have written if it wasn't for Elizabeth's prompt, so thank you!

These crochet mittens could quite possible be my favourite handmade item yet.  I just can't get enough wearing of them!

Did you take part in Blogging Everyday in November?  What were some of your favourite posts?


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Thursday, 28 November 2013

November Round Up

Tiny Pom Poms Tutorial // Pressed Wedding Flowers // Sanderson Cushion Covers // Green Cardigan Yoke (more on this soon) // Crochet Hook Holder (gift for my mum) // Christmas Cards // Crochet Mittens

November's been a busy month on the blog with my attempts to blog every day and then deciding part way through the month to give the look of the blog a bit of an overhaul.  November is definitely a bit of transition month - every year it seems to disappear before it's begun.  Now, I'm looking forward to official winter and the run-up to Christmas properly starting in December!

How has your November been?


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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Crochet Pattern: Tiny Granny Triangles


These are quick to hook up and would be useful for all kinds of card making.  I'm planning on using them to make mini-bunting next!

I used embroidery thread and a 3mm hook.

Abbreviations (UK)

dc - double crochet
ch - chain
sl st - slip stitch
st - stitch
hk - hook
ch sp - chain space
fo - fasten off

Pattern

Round 1: Ch2 (counts as 1dc), [2dc, ch3, 3dc, ch3, 3dc, ch3] in 2nd ch from hk. Join with sl st to top of ch2.
Round 2: Sl st in each st to 3ch sp. Sl st in ch sp, [ch2, 2dc, ch3, 3dc] in ch sp. *[3dc, ch3, 3dc] in next ch sp.* Repeat from * to * once. Join with a sl st to top of ch2.


As always, I love feedback about my patterns, so if you do use this, please leave a comment to let me know how you got on! x

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Cosy Crochet Mittens


I finished these crochet mittens on Thursday night during Creatives Unite.  Since then they have been making me feel more than a little bit happy and my fingers feel more than a little bit cosy.  I love the light wintery grey colour and the ribbed cuffs.

To make them I used this pattern from RedHeart and used dk acrylic wool so my mitts are completely washable.  I also added a mitten string so I never lose them.  I think this is my most favourite thing about them.  I love that these cosy mittens dangle by my side while I'm out on playground duty and wandering about in the cold just waiting until I want to put them on my fingers.

What's keeping your hands cosy this winter?


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Monday, 25 November 2013

'Til Xmas


- I'm busily beavering away hand-making Christmas cards at the moment.  I've using little crochet granny triangles made with embroidery thread and a wee 3mm hook.  I get so excited thinking about people opening up their cards and thinking...Emma's made that!

- I've also decided this year to crochet twenty-four Christmas tree decorations - one for each day of advent.  If you want to follow this project, I'll be keeping you up-to-date via Instagram.  I can't think of a better way to countdown to Christmas than with daily crochet projects.

Do you have Instagram?  If so, leave your usernames below and I'll follow you.


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Sunday, 24 November 2013

EmmaMade Makeover


I've been working hard to blog every day in November and although I haven't quite managed everyday I have spent November thinking carefully about my blog.  EmmaMade is almost 6 months old now and I've learnt lots about blogging and more about what I enjoy.  As a result I've been busy this weekend making a few adjustments.  I hope you like!

What and How?

- Header I wanted to go for a cleaner look and used Picmonkey collaging to do so.  Check out this post on how to images with transparent backgrounds for the cleaner look.  Also be sure to save your image as .png file and not a .jpg.

- Pages So as not to detract from my header I've moved my page tabs to the sidebar and made buttons again on Picmonkey.

- Social Media Buttons I used these gorgeous pastel buttons from 15 Minute Beauty and I am so chuffed.  Please do go and check out the site as she has a range of lovely social media buttons available.

- Coming Soon Updated blog buttons and blog love page. 

If you would like to swap buttons or blog links please do get in touch!


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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Weekend Inspiration: Christmas Crochet


Beautiful snowflake garland by Daisy Chain Designs

Crochet Christmas set of 3 by TheWillingHand

Christmas dishcloth set by Purplmama

Thankfully this week was a quieter week at work and I've actually reached the weekend feeling relatively unscathed.  I did fall asleep on the sofa at 9pm last night though, and without any dinner!

I finished a couple of projects this week which I'll be posting about over the next few days.  I've now cleared the crafty decks ready for some good old Christmas crafting which I am more than a little bit excited about.  My main problem is that I can't decide what to make; there are just so many lovely ideas floating around the internet at the moment.

What Christmas crafting do you have planned?


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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

What's On My Work-Desk? 20/11

...so we made it...it's Wednesday once again.  I'm having a better week at work and am not feeling as inhumanely exhausted as I felt last week.  

I've also been snatching an extra 12 minutes of crochet morning and evening during my train journey to work and it's just lovely.  I do get a few confused looks at twenty past seven in the morning though. Has anyone else tried crafting on public transport? 


On my work-desk this week then...

- my current crochet work in progress - a set of mittens.  With the cold weather really upon us, I really can't hook these up fast enough.

- picture from my university reunion, which I went to back in October - I felt so proud of everyone's achievements since uni.  I almost enjoyed this as much as graduation itself!

- my beautifully knitted big knit smoothie hat.

- lovely lip balm for this cold weather.

- my address book that I'm prepping for our Christmas card list.  It's our first Christmas as a married couple so I'm a little bit over-excited about this! 


What's on your work-desk this week?



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Monday, 18 November 2013

10 Things That Have Made Me Happy This Week


Last week I had a go at a "10 things that have made me happy this week" post inspired by the wonderful Rosie.  Please do go and have a look at her stunning blog and "10 things" posts.

Having had a tricky day at work I fancy spending a little time reflecting on the things that have made me feel happy over the last seven days.

i. Sunday hot chocolate with marshmallows.

ii. A successful lesson observation at work and getting through a pretty full-on week.

iii. Buying flowery wellies on Saturday.

iv. Wearing them on a big long walk on Sunday.

v. Making homemade fish cakes.

vi. Sending my mum crochet hooks and a handmade holder for her birthday.

vii. Starting to craft this year's Christmas cards.

viii. Listening to Lost in Translation album in bed.

ix. Cosying up with a blanket watching Parent Trap at the weekend.

x. Fitting all my lesson planning for the week into two hours.

What's making you happy this week?


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Friday, 15 November 2013

My Crochet Story


As yesterday's #BEDN theme was Hobbies, I thought I'd share how I first got started on crocheting.  In the summer of 2011, I decided to have *another* go at knitting.  I was always fine until I dropped a stitch and then I just couldn't get on with it.

I bought a crochet hook as I had read that you can use one to correct your knitting without having to rip it all down.  In the meantime, my crafty mummy had picked up this crochet book and this Hobbycraft leaflet.

How did your crochet journey begin?

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Weekend Link Love 15/11


This week has been possibly one of the most full-on working weeks I've ever had.  I'm feeling an extreme sense of pride right now just to have made it to Friday!

I've not had a huge amount of internet browsing time but a few things have caught my eye in the crafty blog world this week.

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." 



Have a great weekend.  I'm off to see Gravity, do a wee bit of shopping, hopefully of the crafting variety.

What are your weekend plans?



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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Great Blog: The Perfect Hiding Place

One of the aspects of blogging that I enjoy most is coming across other lovely like-minded bloggers and their blogs.  Since starting blogging, I've been lucky enough to find a whole network of friendly, welcoming craft bloggers.  One such blogger is Jo from The Perfect Hiding Place.

Image from The Perfect Hiding Place

The Perfect Hiding Place

Jo's blog is wonderful, colourful and creative.  I got in touch with her originally to swap blog buttons and she could not have been more friendly.  From her emails and blog posts, you just get this sense that she loves blogging, colour and all things creative.  She blogs about all sorts of creative projects.  There's a fair amount of crochet thrown into the mix, which I love.  She also blogs about her nail-painting adventures and other creative projects such as this amazing Babygro monkey

Image from The Perfect Hiding Place

My Favourite Recent Post

Each month Jo writes a round up post, which includes things that made her smile, her new discoveries and obsessions from the last month.  These posts give a snapshot of her lovely, happy, creative life and I adore reading them.  This month she even featured EmmaMade, which I am delighted about and so grateful for.

Image from The Perfect Hiding Place

Jo kindly gave me permission to use her screen grabs to brighten up this post.  Go and have a look at her blog The Perfect Hiding Place!

I always love discovering new blogs.  If you think I'd enjoy yours, please add you link in the comments section!


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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

10 Things That Have Made Me Happy This Week

As you know by now, I'm blogging everyday in November.  A prompt from a few days ago when I didn't manage to blog was '10 things'.  I immediately thought of Rosie's lovely posts in which she lists 10 things that've made her happy this week (like here).  

There's a lovely simplicity but charm about these posts and I've noticed more and more bloggers having a go.  What with Elizabeth's prompt (now a few days old), I felt this was the perfect opportunity to jump on the 10-things-bandwaggon.

As I drafted this post a while ago some of the things aren't quite from this week but they still made me happy.

1. Memories of a very relaxing half-term. My mum even laid out my breakfast for me before she headed off to work! // 2.  Spending half a day of my half-term wandering around the West End of Glasgow.  Definitely one of my favourite places! // 3. Making and eating chocolate fairy cakes. What is there not to love?

4. Dreaming up things to make with my new reindeer ribbon. // 5. Cosying up with my crochet ballet slippers (pattern here). // 6. Enjoying tea from our wedding tea pot. // 7. Sitting in the sun in Glasgow's Botonic Gardens.

8. Experimenting with pressed wedding flowers. // 9. Sharing doughnuts with Steve. // 10. Cuddling up with new handmade Sanderson cushions.

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Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.
John McCrae from here
Picture by Cath Fearn

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Handmade Monday: Sanderson Fabric Cushions


Last made I made these lovely bright cushions from this vibrant red Sanderson dandelion clocks fabric. As one of our wedding presents we received this amazing lamp and shade from John Lewis.  I loved the vibrant pattern and fabric and was tempted by some matching cushions.

However, there as more or less no way that I would £60 on a pair of cushions.  Not when I have a sewing machine and access to the wonderful world of eBay.  I searched around for the Sanderson dandelion clocks fabric, which is available at John Lewis for £39 a metre.  In the end I found two sqaure remnants which on eBay for just £5.10 including postage.

 Snuggling up with my new cushions // Cushions with view of lamp

I had originally decided to try and use a piped seam at the edges but due to the lack of Sanderson fabric I had I decided to keep it simple.  I used fabric from a fleece throw from Wilkinsons for the back and went for a simple envelope opening.


Pair of Sanderson cushions from John Lewis = £60
Total cost of homemade Sanderson cushions = £12.10
Sanderson fabric = £5.10
Postage = £1.50
Cushion pads = £1.35 x 2 = £2.70
Total saving = £47.90

Yes, these cushions are not quite perfect quality and need a bit of plumping up more often than perhaps the John Lewis ones would but I'm pretty proud of them really.  Who needs perfection anyway?


What have you been making this Handmade Monday?


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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Why I Started Blogging

Did I mention that I'm blogging everyday in November?!  Today's prompt from Elizabeth at Rosalium is "blog chat".  When I look at some of the marvellous blogs that are out there on the interweb,  I often wonder about people's motivations to blog and how they first got into it.

Today I'm going to share my blogging story.  Grab a cup of tea and a pair of crocheted fingerless gloves and snuggle up for a wee bit of story time.

Image from here

My First Blog

I set up my first blog way back in June 2007.  Steve, my then boyfriend - now husband, ran a blog full of wee anecdotes from his life at uni.  It was witty and well-written - he went onto become a journalist.  

I too wanted to document some of the silly situations that I found myself in.  There were plenty. Being an 18-year-old Oxford student, who genuinely believed that I'd got in through some kind of admin error, I constantly found myself in bizarre situations.

My posts told stories about the time I bought 192 minced pies for a carol concert and about the time my friends convinced me that we were all going to jump into the Cherwell River only to count to 3 and let me jump in by myself.  They told stories about going to lectures with permanent marker on my face after a bit of a wild night out and stories of falling over in a kids play park at age 21.


After years of on-off posting I finally stopped this blog in September 2012.  I had blogged intermittently for 5 years with a huge gap in posts while I did my teacher training.  After this gap, I re-started in May 2011 when my blogging drifted into a confused mess of rubbish recipes, "Handmade Monday" posts, awful outfit posts and copious blogging about completing bucket lists.  There's nothing wrong with blogs that cover a range of topics but to be honest I wasn't particularly passionate about any of them.  I was well and truly having a bit of a quarter-life crisis in blog form.

EmmaMade

Crochet became a hobby bit of an obsession of mine.  I made some cushions for our flat and vowed to crochet a granny blanket.  Before not too long, while searching for crochet patterns, I inevitably stumbled across Attic24.  Then I found One Sheepish Girl, Forty Percent Fringe and LuluLoves.  If any blogs are going to inspire you to re-start blogging it's these ones.  If there's any that are new to you, I urge you to go and check them out.



Soon I was avidly reading their posts, crocheting away and juggling a whole load of wedding craft projects. I decided that once the wedding had happened I'd start a craft blog. By this time though, I was like a woman possessed and after much experimentation with Twitter, html and Pinterest, I couldn't resist launching EmmaMade in June of this year....

...and here I am!


Is your current blog your first?  What is your blogging story? What blogs inspired you to start your own?


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Friday, 8 November 2013

Weekend Inspiration: Winter Crochet

OK, so I'm still attempting to blog everyday in November, but yesterday didn't quite happen.  I'm beginning to see that a 50-hour work week doesn't really marry itself to daily posting!  I'm still trying to take part but a mammoth work week next week and a shortage of scheduled posts might mean that posts are a little less than daily.  I'm still enjoying the challenge though.

It was dark today at about 4.30 - it's rainy and miserable - definitely time to brighten things up with some lovely, cosy winter crochet.  Here's some examples that have been catching my eye.

 [1] [2] [3]

All the above boot cuffs/warmers are currently available for sale on Etsy.  I love that each boot cuff is styled with a different boot design.  Crochet boot cuffs are clearly awesome with any boot!

[4] [5] [6]

I think it's probably been more than 20 years since I last wore a pair of mittens.  I have decided to make myself a pair this year with one of those strings that goes through your coat sleeves so you don't lose them.  I'm going to feel like a really big kid!


What do you love about winter?



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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

What's On My Work-Desk? 6/11

I'm posting late this evening, but I'm still just about keeping up with blogging everyday this month. Today I'm linking up with Stamping Ground for WOYWW.


On my work-desk this week:

- Christmas ribbon waiting for my attention.

- Wooden buttons for my current WIP.

- Felt-embroidered coaster.

- My WIP. A green crochet cardigan.

What are you working on this week?


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bonfire Night

As you may or may not have noticed, I'm currently attempting to Blog Everyday in November with Rosalium.  Her prompt for today is Bonfire Night.

I have to confess that this year is the first year in ages I haven't gone to a firework display.  Saturday was rainy, windy and the first evening in at home after my trip up to Scotland.  Instead Steve and I ate Chinese takeaway and sat about, cosying up in our big ripple blanket.

Looking for inspiration for today's prompt I had a wee browse around Etsy and as usual I was not disappointed by the creativity I found.

 I loved this embroidered design that EmbroideredbySue will sew onto a towel for you.



 I love this hand-embellished Divali card inspired by Rangoli pattern and made by 5farthings.

 This machine embroidery/applique design by TheItch2Stitch is just lovely.

What's been catching your eye on Etsy/Folksy recently?


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Monday, 4 November 2013

What's In My... Lunch Box?

As you may know I'm currently attempting to blog everyday in November with Elizabeth from Rosalium.  Her prompt for today was "Food Glorious Food".  I've seen many "What's in my handbag?" and "What's in my yarn bag?" posts around the blog world, but never a "What's in my lunch box?" post.

I am definitely not a food blogger - just look at the poor light in the photo below - but I do take pride in my bright pink lunch box and home-prepared lunches.  It really cheers me up when, mid-way through the day, I can pull out a little touch of homemade goodness.


I always have salad leaves on couscous and vary what I have on top depending on what we have in fridge.  I am however looking for inspiration and if any of you lovely #bedn-ers have any wonderful lunch box ideas I'd be most grateful.

What's in your lunch box?  Any suggestions of easy salads/snacks?


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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tutorial: How to Make Tiny Pom Poms

As part of the Innocent Smoothie Big Knit in aid of AgeUK, I've recently been making tiny wee pom poms.  Their simple crochet pattern calls for one "small bobble".  This is how I made mine.


You Will Need:

Wool
Scissors
That's It!


1.  Wrap wool round two fingers until you have a fairly chunky fat amount of wool wrapped round.  (Don't wrap so tightly that you can't pull the wool off.
2.  Pull the wool off your fingers and hold between your thumb and forefinger.
3.  Wrap a length of wool around the middle of bundle of wool.
4.  Tie tightly.
5.  Cut all the loops of wool.
6.  Tease the wool a wee bit to make it pom pom shaped.

And there you go.  It it that simple.


How do you make yours?


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