Monday, 31 March 2014

March Projects

March has been wonderful. A few quiet weekends and a bit of sunshine have absolutely done me wonders. Now I have a couple of weeks off work to look forward to and some lovely adventures planned.

After February being a pretty slow month in terms of crafting, I feel that I've more than made up for it in March. I fulfilled last months desire to find myself skipping about in the sunshine in my vintage dress and crocheted cardi. I also used leftover fabric from my wedding bunting to make a cushion for our bed. As well as this I've also found time to make a few more cards for some of my lovely friends and family.

Have you had a successful crafting month?

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Crochet Cards

Good luck card using this shamrock pattern and handwriting inspired by Miss Jojangles

Mothers' Day card with daffodil brooch using Attic24's daffodil pattern

Anniversary card with heart bunting using this pattern

The sun is shining. Yesterday I visited the Warner Brothers Studio Harry Potter tour. Today I pottered about (pun possibly intended) and cleaned the flat and ate cake. Next week is the school holidays. This weekend has been a happy one.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've had a few crochet card making opportunities. I love whipping up something small with embroidery thread and a 3mm hook and knowing that I am making that item especially to wish someone well.

I use double-sided sticky tape to stick the crochet motifs to white card. I use the tape to stick down the ends too, which saves fiddly darning - another thing I love about these little projects.

Do you make your own cards? What materials do you use? Any tips? What have you been making the Handmade Monday?

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Just A Minute In...March

It's Tuesday of a busy week here and time for another Just A Minute post.

Watching: not much - I'm struggling to find time for watching TV at the moment but I'm very much making time for the Great British Sewing Bee.

Reading: mainly craft books but I've just started The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine.

Listening to: 6345789 from Blues Brothers is randomly making me extremely happy at the moment.

Eating: I made lemon and lime cheesecake! It was so unbelievably tasty and easy and four days on I'm still reeling from the success. Maybe next time I'll be restrained enough to take some photographs before wolfing it down.

Working on: a patchwork cushion made from leftover fabric from our wedding bunting.

Looking forward to: Harry Potter tour!

I originally spotted the idea for Just A Minute on Helen Limbrick's blog.  Do feel free to give it a go and leave your link!

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Patchwork Cushion

Over the last couple of weekends, I've actually ended up having a pretty quiet time of it. I've been able to chill, to lounge about in my pyjamas and to get on with some of the projects I've been dreaming up over the last few months.

This patchwork cushion is quite probably my most favourite thing that I have ever made. Those of you that have followed my blog for a while will know that that is a pretty big accolade.

I used leftover fabric from the bunting that my mum made for our wedding. I used a coaster to measure out the squares and I got friendly with my sewing machine and coerced it into helping me stitch all of the pieces together.

I then spent a disgracefully long time this morning re-making the bed and playing around with my new cushion.  Seriously proud.

What have you been making the Handmade Monday?

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Handmade Knickers

Anthea's knickers made using a kit from The Makery

A few years ago I would have wet my Primark pants laughing at the idea of making my own underwear. Since developing a love for all-things-handmade, I've found myself falling for more and more images like the ones above of cute, frilly knickers made from quirky fabrics.

When I read Anthea's post about her knicker-making session I was finally completely sold. Both her and Tilly talk about how it's pretty easy and addictive. I have some leftover vintage dress fabric, Eithne Farry's pattern and as of today I'm the proud owner of 5m of black knicker elastic.

This is the beginning of a new adventure.

What direction are your creative thoughts whizzing about in this weekend?

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Oxford In The Sunshine

Doesn't the sun just make everything in life just seem so much better? I even went for a run today. Running is not something I would normally do, but as the sun was shining I actually wanted to be outside running around the park. The sun makes me crazily happy.

Saturday started early. I was up drinking tea, eating cheeky banana cake and catching up with my one-line-a-day diary at 7.30. All because the sun was streaming through the window. A little later on Steve and I headed off to Oxford. Last time we visited we got totally soaked and had to come home early. This time it was far to hot for two cardigans.

Pretty much as soon as we arrive we stopped for coffee in the Grand Cafe. This is on the High Street and somewhere where I passed everyday as a student but didn't feel I could afford. when I was a student. On Saturday, I smuggly drank my Americano, admired the view of the amazing chandelier thing and felt oh-so-wonderful in my altered vintage dress and handmade cardigan.

After coffee we took a walk through Christ Church meadows. This is one of the only places in the world where I will happily sit amongst swan poo and still manage to feel like a glamourous. I love it. As well as spending hours sitting amongst swan poo in Christ Church meadows, I've had many important, deep and meaningful, life conversations while walking around. It will always be a special place for me.

We also took a trip across Magdelan Bridge towards my old college and towards the Cowley Road, which now has a wool shop! Who knew?

How did you spend your sunny weekend?

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Yet Another Chevron Lace Cardigan

Feeling a little bit sheepish over here right now as I seem to have acquired a slightly embarrassing addiction for crocheting chevron lace cardigans. Today I'm revealing my third cardigan using this wonderful pattern from milobo. As I've said before here, it's a really easy pattern which involves no seams and just crocheting for the top down for as long as you want to, possibly why it's just so addictive.

Most of this cardigan was crocheted during a gruelling 7 hour train journey back from York a couple of weekends ago. (As an aside: avoid long-distance train travel on a Sunday if at all possible). I opted for a light grey acrylic DK this time and this weekend teamed it with my altered vintage dress and a light grey ribbon from Duttons for Buttons, a gorgeous button shop in York.

What have you been making this sunny weekend?

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Friday, 14 March 2014

Weekend Link Love 14/3

So I got up early today, to make myself a wee treat before work. I wish I could show you some gorgeous picture of porridge with natural yoghurt and blueberries or homemade granola, but I ain't one of those bloggers. Instead, I'm sitting contentedly sipping a cup of tea and munching on that long-awaited bacon sandwich.

My weekend should be a fairly relaxed one. I plan on finishing my latest chevron cardigan, moving some buttons around on another vintage dress and continuing with my latest secret project. I'm also hoping to take a nostalgia trip to Oxford now that the weather seems to have calmed down a little bit.

In the mean time here's what's caught my eye this week...

Knitted Chanel handbag - just wow-oh-wow!

How to crochet a daisy garland - simply beautiful

Nine hundred and ninety one hexies by Rebecca at Hugs are Fun - just sheer staying power and love of colour

A collection of Becky Bedbug's wedding decorations and a round up of her wedding plans - so cute and quirky

Knitted Freddie Mercury by my wonderful creative sister - no link but still thought it was too cool not to share.

What's caught your eye this week?

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

10 Happy Things 11/3

i) I wore my altered vintage dress and hand crocheted cardigan to work today along with my new pointy shoes and a huge smile on my face. Days wearing handmade clothes always turn out good.

ii) What British crafter is not obsessing over the Great British Sewing Bee right now?

iii) Promises of bacon sandwich brought to me in bed before work...still to materialise but I'll no doubt let you know when Steve comes good.

iv) Turning my creativity to yet another secret project. This time I'm collaborating with two other talented creatives to make something amazing.

v) A good wee catch-up phone call with my lovely friend Laura.

vi) Getting a brass band of 9, 10 and 11 year olds together to play Mamma Mia at a local concert.

vii) My first alcoholic beverage in the sun happened on Saturday. Anyone else think this is one of the best moments of the year?

viii) Guacamole. Enough said.

ix) Leaving the house in daylight. Coming home in daylight. What a difference to my entire mood!

x) Excitement about the Harry Potter tour!

This fabulous idea of listing 10 things that have made you happy this week comes from the lovely Cider with Rosie blog. Go take a peek!

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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Vintage Dress Makeover

This weekend has been the first of many that I've actually manage to spend more than 30 waking minutes at home. It's also coincided with the first weekend of summer and therefore the first outdoor pint of the year - anybody else? I also enjoyed a nice chilled out dinner in Henley, nachos for Saturday supper, Jonathon Creek and, last but not least, a wee spot of sewing time. Hooray!

I bought this dress in a charity shop a couple of months ago with a view to learning a wee spot about how dresses are put together etc etc. It was completely hideous, I'm not going to lie. The crunchy noise that the belt made and the masses of fabric really would have put most people off buying it - even at £3.

I set to work with my pinking shears, which fast became my most favourite craft tool ever. Chop, chop, snip. I cut off the sleeves and collar and then re-did most of the seams until the dress fitted. It's not perfect, but I learnt a fair amount from doing it and I felt so proud to wear it out in the sunshine today!

What have you been making this Handmade Monday?

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Friday, 7 March 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Patchwork Dreams

[1] [2] [3] [4]

Currently dreaming up a lovely sewing project to keep me occupied over the current weeks. 

What's inspiring you?

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Monday, 3 March 2014

Cable Crochet Cushion Covers

A couple of months ago I was shown a picture of this gorgeous £38 cable-knit cushion from Laura Ashley

"It's gorgeous...but it's kind of pricey... I bet you could make something like that!" said my sister-in-law. 

Those words. I bet YOU could. I BET you could. The sound of someone putting their faith in your crafting ability. What every crafter wants to here.  I BET YOU could make something like that.

So naturally I had a go. It wasn't easy I had to be said. I was never going to be able to cable-knit a cushion cover. My best bet was to teach myself how to cable crochet, which in itself wasn't very easy. 

I used two strands of red DK wool crocheted together and adapted this pattern. Cable crochet really, really eats your yarn and this was another project that required an emergency-yarn-shop visit. I also found it pretty hard work. All that front and back post double crochet really gives your wrists a hardcore work-out.

After all that crochet exercise, I was pretty pleased with the final project. The cushions looked great on my own sofa and I was pretty reluctant to pass them onto my sister-in-law, but I knew she'd give them a good home.  

Indeed this weekend, I had a lovely trip up to York to visit her, the cushions and her three-week-old baby. I can confirm that I have a very gorgeous nephew and that the cushions are being well-used and well-looked after.

Isn't it pretty fabulous to see your homemade stuff being enjoyed by someone else?

I'm linking rather late up with Handmade Monday. Do go and see what other wonderful makes have been happening.

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