Monday, 15 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Decorations

This is our first Christmas in our house and we've both loved having fun decorating it with some handmade goodies. Steve has been the one with the vision. He's discovered the joys of Pinterest and since then has been commissioning various pieces for our living room. He even made some Christmas snowflakes to add to the handmade festivities.

We wrapped up our living room door with a big piece of ribbon. 

Hanging from the other doorway is a row of felt Christmas puddings inspired by Bugs and Fishes' pattern.

Our crocheted advent calendar stockings are going down a treat (pattern available here).

 And look closely and you'll see a crocheted star on top of the tree (and a wee Christmas snowflake to the bottom left).

I love the idea that every year we'll add a bit more to our collection of handmade Christmas goodies. I'm already excited about unpacking all the Christmas decorations in 2016!

What is the Christmas decoration that you most look forward to putting up each year?

If you are also making Christmas decorations this year, you might be interested in Victoria's competition. She's teamed up with Able Skills and is awarding Amazon vouchers for your hard crafting! As usual I'm also belatedly linking up with Handmade Monday.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Christmas Stitching

 Although these personalised Christmas pudding tags are not currently available from Sew Very English, isn't the idea amazing?

I also really liked the look of these from 60+North.

Or why not have a go at these gorgeous cross-stitched gift tags?

How's your Christmas crafting going?

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What's On My Desk? 10/12

Another Wednesday and another work in progress. I'm currently working on this project adapted from Bugs and Fishes amazing felt Christmas pudding tutorial. It's lovely working with fabric that doesn't fray!

Is anyone else making their own Christmas decorations?

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Pop over to WOYWW at Stamping Ground for others' works in progress

Monday, 8 December 2014

Make Your Eyes Twinkle

Lots of early nights, mince pies, crafting and cosying up is clearly what I need to do a good job of the last couple of weeks of term.

How will you make your eyes twinkle?

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Granny Stripe Blanket: The Update

I'm 15 days into my granny striped adventure. It's simple, repetitive and mindless but colourful, pretty and cosy all at the same time.

24th November

I've introduced a kind of peachy colour to give it a bit of warmth. What do you think?

29th November

I reckon I'm probably about a third of the way through the blanket but I'm going to need an emergency trip to the wool shop this week. In the mean time I'm going to take a little break from blanketing to concentrate my efforts on crafting some Christmas puddings, writing some Christmas cards and buying a few more balls of the cream wool.

6th December

This weekend has been pretty good. I've been busy making myself a Christmas dress, made mince pies, watch Harry Potter 2, had a trip round the local charity shops, done some Christmas shopping and marked a lot of test papers. I love all the anticipation for Christmas...

Has anyone else got a blanket in progress?

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Heading over to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been up to.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Christmas Crochet

 I will definitely be attempting this wonderful pattern by The Other Mrs Beaton this year. I can't think of anything more exciting than seeing the look on the face of the receiver of a chocolate orange dressed up with crochet.

Or have a go at this gorgeous wee robin decoration. The pattern is by Claire Sibley and is available free on Ravelry.

 Or have a go at creating your own Christmas crochet picture like the amazing Lucy of Attic 24. She's photographed it and ordered a whole load of cards with the image printed on them for her Christmas cards this year. Genius.

What Christmas crafting will be happening round your house this weekend?

For even more Christmas crochet inspiration check out my Pinterest board or last year's Christmas crochet inspired post.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Image from here

1) A sneaky post-work trip to the shops - nothing beats a bit of retail therapy.

2) For the first time in our first house, our Christmas decorations are up and making me insanely cheerful.

3) We spent Sunday afternoon Christmas crafting, eating mince pies and listening to Christmas songs. I am more than a little excited for Christmas this year. Can you tell?

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

What's On My Desk? 3/12

I've been rushing home this week from work to continue the annual handmade Christmas card marathon. This year we're using double-sided sticky tape, craft paper and a "Merry Christmas" stamp. It's theraputic and I'm loving a Pinterest idea working as well on reality as it does on someone else's site.

Is anyone else crazy enough to be making all their Christmas cards?

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Advice From a Tree

Image from here

After a couple of tricky days at work last week and my coldy germs still getting me down, I'm needing a bit of positivity. This week I can't think of better words to live by. Happy Monday.

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Free Pattern: Mini Crochet Stockings

Over the last couple of weeks, I've had a couple of weekend train trips into London. Crocheting on public transport is lovely. Even in the South East, you get smiles from random strangers. Last weekend, one woman even said, "Seeing you crocheting has made my day!". 

Anyhow, these 24 mini Christmas stockings have been perfect for carrying around in my bag to be whipped out at an opportune public transport moment. I used acrylic DK wool in red and cream and a 4.5mm hook.  I've attached them to the top of our bookshelf with numbered pegs from here and I've put a couple of chocolate Brussels sprouts from M and S in each. This could be the greatest advent calendar ever!

The Pattern

*Please note this pattern uses UK terms*

4.5mm crochet hook
Red DK wool
White/cream DK wool
Yarn needle

Ch = chain
Dc = double crochet
Hk = hook
Sts = stitches
Sl st = slip stitch

Pattern for main stocking
Use red wool.
Ch 21, turn.
Row 1: Dc into 2nd ch from hk, dc into remaining 18 sts, turn. (20sts).
Rows 2-5: Ch 1 (counts as 1st), dc into 2nd st from hk, dc into remaining 18 sts, turn. (20 sts).
Row 6: Sl st into 2nd ch from hk, sl st into next 4 sts, ch 1, dc into next 8 sts, leave remaining 6 sts unworked, turn.
Rows 7-12: Ch 1 (counts as 1 st), dc into 2nd ch from hk, dc into next 6 sts, turn. (8sts).
Fasten off.

Making up
You will have crocheted a capital "T" shape. Fold this in half length ways for make a capital "L" shape. Using red wool and a yarn needle sew a seam round the toe of of the stocking and up the leg leaving the top open. Darn in ends. Turn the whole stocking inside out.

For the trim
Use white/cream wool.
Attach wool to back of stocking. Crochet two rows of double crochet round the top of the stocking. Once you have reached the back for the second time, chain enough to hang your stocking up and secure the end of the chain back to the starting chain with a slip stitch to make a loop of chains. Fasten off. Darn in ends.

I hope you enjoy the pattern! What Christmas crafting is happening near you?

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Pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other creations have been occurring this week.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

November Round Up


Re-discovery of Olbas Oil // Re-arranging the furniture in our living room to create so much space // Multi-packs of Cadbury's Dairy Milk bars // Amazon DVD rental


A couple of sneaky post work shopping trips // Finishing Harry Potter 5 - I may or my not have sobbed my heart out at the end // Handmade dress compliments // Thanksgiving dinner at Joe's // Poached eggs // Crochet // Getting rid of my cold // Seeing Miss Saigon in London, The Sound of Music in Henley and Les Miserables on DVD all on three consecutive nights

November Makes

24 mini crochet stockings for our advent calendar // Turquoise dress // A start to my crochet granny stripe blanket

November Pins

1 // 2 // 3

After a lifetime of summer holidays in St Andrews, I pretty much love the place. Does anyone else use Pinterest to get nostalgic over their favourite places?

December Goals

Still take more photos // Christmas Crafting // Eat // Drink // Be Merry

Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Colourful Crochet

 How amazing are these crochet mugs by Craft Patisserie?

Have a go at crocheting these with this tutorial by Yarnfreak...

...or if you're looking for a bigger project, look no further than this hexagon blanket tutorial from Mrs Brown Makes.

It's the weekend crafty people. Have a good one.

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Image from here

1) Treating myself to a mini-mince pie in my lunch box at work.

2) Waking up to the smell of sizzling bacon on Saturday morning.

3) Crocheting my granny stripe blanket

What are you loving this week?

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

What's On My Desk?

Currently on my to do pile:

- My granny stripe blanket
- My latest handmade dress ready for hemming

What's on your desk?

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Life is Like Riding a Bicycle

Image from here

The run up to Christmas is always so busy and goes so fast. A month to go. Keep pedalling everyone!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Granny Stripe Blanket: The Beginning

It's begun. After quite a few months filled with dressmaking and curtain making, it's time to return to some serious crochet.

21st November

For this blanket, I'm using four shades of acrylic DK by StyleCraft and a 4mm hook. I did debate over a sunburst granny square blanket but luckily I remembered how much I find darning in ends really, really tedious. If I could hire someone just two darn in ends for me at the end of a project I'd be a happy lady.

22nd November

So as you might be able to tell this weekend has been a pretty relaxed one. Saturday was a pottering about the house sort of day: our neighbour came round yesterday evening for a couple of drinks; a fence was put up in our back garden and lots of Harry Potter 5 was read. Today I'm heading into London for a Thanksgiving lunch and maybe some public transport crochet before this blanket gets to big to transport.

Are any of you crocheting blankets at the moment?

PS. If you'd like crochet blanket-based updates - find me on Instagram.
PPS. Head over to Handmade Monday to see some other lovely crafty projects..

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Granny Stripes

After a sneaky post-work trip to the wool shop, I am getting a wee bit excited about a big crochet blanket for our living room. I did deliberate over using granny squares but as I really don't enjoy darning in hundred of ends I figured granny stripes would be a better option.

 Identity Crisis Blanket

Nanita's Baby Blanket

Will you be crocheting a blanket this winter?

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

September and October Round Up


Deleting the Twitter app from your phone frees up immense amounts of time for reading books // Regular blogging is optional // Four-week long colds should be avoided at all costs // Glasses of wine should be alternated with glasses of water // Marmite on toast and boiled egg is amazing


Gorgeous nephew's Christening // My birthday/housewarming party starring Granma's lemon chicken // A visit from my parents in their half-term // Dressmaking // The discovery of a local fabric shop and haberdashery

September/October Makes

Bunting made out of second-hand men's shirts for my nephew's Christening // Autumn dress made from Great British Sewing Bee Full Skirted Dress Pattern // Cream cord curtains // Paisley dress made from Butterick 4443

I've pretty much spent more time with my sewing machine this month than anyone else (bar perhaps my husband), but I'm pretty proud with what I've produced. The things I've made over the last couple of months have been pretty big projects but I'm getting more and more comfortable with sewing machine action.

September/October Reads

Boy by Roald Dahl (4/5) I read this in about three hours straight on the train for a set of lesson plans but I absolutely loved all the wee anecdotes. Definitely worth a read.
The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe (4/5) So far I've just used the full circle dress pattern for my Autumn dress but I really liked the pattern. The book comes with a full set of paper patterns which is a real plus.
The Lazy Teacher's Handbook by Jim Smith (5/5) This is the second time I've read this and there are all sorts of really good tips and tricks as well as down-to-earth, humorous tone of voice running through it.

September/October Pins

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I've seem to have become pretty much obsessed with pinning Autumn dresses over the last couple of months. Has anyone else had this problem?

November Goals

Take more photos // Drink more water; drink less booze // Finally order wedding album // Start Christmas shopping // Christmas crafting // Crochet

How's Autumn going for you?

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

One Week, One Pattern!

So if you follow me on Instagram, you'd know I've been wearing handmade outfits all of last week, all made from the same pattern. One Pattern, One Week! was hosted by Handmade Jane and involved lots of lovely photos of handmade outfits being posted on Twitter and Instagram. Take a peek at the #owop14 hashtag to see some more.

It was pretty fun if I'm being honest, although I'm happy to be giving some of my other dresses a bit of wear now the week is done.  Goodness knows what the kids in my class and my colleagues must have thought. There weren't any comments but hopefully that's a good sign (??!).

Anyone else take part? I'd love to see your outfits!

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Weekend Link Love

This week's been another busy one. I have been absolutely loving teaching. My new class are just amazing and I'm really, really enjoying being in the classroom. I've also been busy finishing a bit of coursework and quite a few metres of bunting for my nephew's Christening this weekend. Busy but happy times.

I don't where these originally came from but aren't they amazing.

I loved this tutorial on Live it! Love it! Make it!

I know I only recently showed you the kitchen sink from Greedy for Colour but how amazing is this crochet caravan!?!

And finally I recently discovered this gorgeous blog "What do you make of my cake?" and this amazing summery patchwork quilt.

What's caught your eye this week?

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Crochet Ripples

First week of work done for the new school year and I'm feeling pretty good if a little overwhelmed by a vast to-do list and a few packed but fun weekends on the horizon. Having not done much crocheting over the summer, I'm feeling extremely ready for some relaxing, repetitive, rhythmic hooky action. I'm daydreaming about another crochet ripple blanket like the one I made last year.

Remember this?

The internet is full of gorgeous designs and colour combinations. Here are just a few of my favourites to get you inspired.

Here's Lucy's lovely coastal-coloured ripple from the Attic24 blog. Incidentally she also has an amazing set of instructions for crochet ripple blankets on her blog if you're interested.

Aren't the colours on this amazing!

Over the past few Handmade Monday's I've really, really enjoyed Patchwork Fairy's ripple blanket grow and grow and grow!

Have you made a crochet blanket? I'd love to see it leave the link below if you're happy to show me :-)

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