Thursday, 1 October 2015

i heart iphone photos

Wow, so it's October now. When did that happen?! Don't get me wrong, I love October - autumn, pumpkin spice lattes, and my favourite holiday HALLOWEEN. But it feels like only yesterday it was summer, and I'm definitely not prepared for the fast approaching Christmas season....

Anywho, here is a quick recap of September via my iphone photos. (descriptions clockwise from top left)

visiting the lovely Mim for tea and thrifting // September was a good month for bargains, including this Swiss chalet jewellery box to add to my collection // photoshoot fun times with Daisy - it's been great getting back into some creative endeavours // a spot of crochet in bed during a poorly spell

 this month more than ever I have been showering love on my pups after our scare of nearly losing Jasper // I've been buying lots of fabric recently to make some Christmas gifts // our home is always filled with flowers and this is the newest addition // playing around with fun new supplies to make some pocket money items for our Christmas fairs

a super fun evening spent at the Biscuiteers x Bloggers event // finished my first ever crochet market bag  (and now plan on making a bunch for gifts) // pattern testing the kitschiest crochet poodle coffee pot cosy EVER // loads of Christmas prep has been going on round here

 squeezing in some reading time where I can and finding a new girlboss hero in Aleene // crochet kit on the go because September was most definitely a crochet heavy month // getting ready for Autumn with a classic shoe and bag combo // pineapple magnets all ready for a DIY post on my blog

Phew, I feel tired just looking back at these photos, but also super inspired to tackle October head on. I have a feeling there will be not a lot of sleep for me as I prepare for Christmas and the new year....

'She Believed She Could' Papercutting

Remember a few weeks ago when I showed off my first ever papercut piece? Well it's official, I am hooked on papercutting now! Here is my second piece, and again it is a template purchased from Etsy which you can get right here. I chose this one because it feels like such an appropriate quote for me right now...

 I still need to practice cutting small curved details - they are so hard to get right, and I definitely do not have a high enough level of patience yet for the teeny bits inside flowers. But I know I will get there in the end - practice makes perfect and all that jazz! And I have already lined up my next piece and can't wait to get stuck in. I find it so therapeutic sitting and listening to podcasts while I work.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Hama Bead Flower Wall Hangings

Does anyone else go through phases where they are obsessed with a particular craft, and go a bit crazy buying all the supplies and equipment? Well that is where I am currently at with hama beads! I bought every colour of the regular size and the mini size beads, and have been busy making lots of things, the first of which are these retro flower wall hangings inspired by one of Hollie's cross stitch patterns!

These were such a simple and quick project (my favourite kind) and would make great gifts too! Perfect to brighten up any space - mine are going to be hung in my craft room. Also, check out that pink floral fabric in the background of some of the photos. It looks vintage, but it's actually a reproduction from eBay and it was SUPER cheap (£3 a metre cheap!) so I'm going to try and make a bag out of it....

WIP Crochet Hexies

Although my favourite kind of crochet projects are ones that I can complete in a day (I'm definitely an instant gratification girl when it comes to crafting!) I do always like to have at least one or two longer projects that I can pick up and work on when I want to turn my brain off for an hour. They also need to be portable, so I can take them on public transport/long car journeys. One of my current WIP is a crochet hexie blanket. I'm making them in shades of blue and green, with a few bits of grey and white mixed in to break it up.

I am using this pattern with a 4mm hook and Carol Simply Soft yarn, which is worsted weight, but you could easily switch it out for some acrylic DK yarn to reduce the cost. Although I have no idea really how many hexagons I will need for my blanket, I'm aiming to make around 150 before I start joining them together. It's so satisfying seeing the stack of little crocheted hexagons grow - I can make one in about ten minutes now so they are perfect for whipping up when you only have a short break. What is everyone else working on at the moment?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Crochet Poodle Coffee Pot Cosy

Wanna know why I love Instagram so much? Because of the awesome, talented, and beyond generous folk you meet on there. Like the amazing Sarah from Flo and Dot who, after I commented on a photo of hers on Instagram in which she showed off an insanely kitsch crocheted poodle cosy she had whipped up, asked if I would like a copy of the pattern to test for her!

Obviously I jumped at the chance - mainly because Sarah had designed the poodle cosy to fit her Meakin coffee pot, and not only do I own a Meakin coffee pot, but I have the exact same design as Sarah! It was obviously meant to be. Well, a few days on and I finished my very own poodle coffee pot cosy, thanks to a super clear and easy to follow pattern. The hardest part was deciding what colour to make - I went for this bright blue colour because it matched one of the colours in the design on my coffee pot. But really I want one in every colour possible!

 Here he is with a vintage handmade poodle bottle cover I bought at a car boot sale a few years back - my next mission is to try and make a bottle cover so that when I give friends a bottle of booze it can have a crocheted poodle on it!

 I think I made his nose too big somehow - but I think I will add a little felt triangle onto it to make it look a bit more like a nose and less like some weird growth! Also the eyes I used are too small (I just used ones I had at home, but really he needs bigger ones) so I will replace those eventually. But all in all I am totally smitten and have been browsing eBay for more Meakin coffee pots to house what will almost certainly become a poodle army! I am hoping that Sarah will add this pattern to her Etsy shop in the future because it is amazing.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

My Neighbour Totoro Cross Stitch

Anyone who knows me knows my love for all things Totoro. So when I decided to attempt my first ever cross stitch it had to be a Totoro one. How it's taken me this long to try cross stitching is beyond me - I think in my head I thought it was really complicated, but it turned out to be very simple once I got the hang of it! Here are a few pics of the completed piece...

Couldn't resist snapping a photo with my little Chibli plush which I bought from another seller at an event I was at. He's made from felt and fleece and is so adorable!

 If you want to have a go at your own Totoro cross stitch you can get the pattern I used right here. It is a paid pattern but is only a couple of pounds which I think is a bargain! I followed the pattern except I didn't add the border to mine (mainly because I just wanted to finished it!) I've got a pile of patterns to try now - they are fairly labour intensive, but I really enjoy the process. As the colder weather rolls in I predict a lot of movie nights in with a cross stitch and pumpkin latte.

Crochet Grocery Bag

 A week or so ago I picked up a crochet book in a charity shop for £2. Most of the book covers basic stitches and techniques (perfect if you're a beginner and want to learn crochet) but at the back are a dozen or so projects to make, and one of them was for a crochet string grocery bag. The pattern was really simple, but the results look so effective! And even though the bag may look fairly small, it's actually super stretchy so you can fit loads in. It's going to be my new crochet project bag I think .

It's basically made by crocheting a circle for the base of the bag, and then the sides are worked by chaining and joining the chain to the circle itself to create loops to start, and then after the first row of loops is made, chaining and then single crocheting the chain to the loop below. For my bag I used Lily Sugar n Cream in Pretty Pastels, but any DK or worsted weight cotton yarn will do - just adjust your hook size accordingly.

I'm going to crochet up a bunch of these as Christmas gifts - although they aren't the quickest thing to make, because I adapted the pattern to be worked in the round you can kind of switch your brain off and just crochet away whilst watching a movie! I might also try making a bigger version, with a larger circle base to start with, so I have two different sizes of bag to use - one for smaller crochet projects, and one for larger ones like blankets. What have you all been crocheting up lately?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Pineapples, Plaster, and Printables (oh my!)

On a whim I bought a bucket of plaster of paris, after finding a silicone pineapple ice cube tray that I thought was too cute to use just for ice! So I mixed up some of the plaster, and whipped up a batch of plaster pineapples which I turned into magnets with a bit of paint and some glue. They turned out really well (although the leafy bit on the top is a bit shorter than planned - the leaves were a bit fragile and broke off as I pushed them out of the moulds.) I couldn't decide between a traditional coloured pineapple, or some uber fancy gold ones, so I did both.

 Because I'm on a bit of a pineapple binge at the moment, I've been searching the internet for some fun pineapple themed printables to decorate with. The 'pineapples' print was a free printable which you can download right here and print off at home! And the cut out pineapple was part of a free printable fruit garland which you can get from here - I also printed off some of the other fruits to make a garland, but it feels a bit too summery at the moment, so I have taken it down until next year. Now I need to find something suitably autumnal to replace it....

Friday, 18 September 2015

Dorset Holiday part 2

On one of the two holiday days we had where it wasn't raining horribly, we visited Upton Park which is a country park with the most beautiful gardens and a little cafe. Sitting writing this post it's so cold and rainy outside, it's hard to remember walking around outdoors in a summer dress, taking photos of the flowers!

We spent a lovely half a day there, eating ice cream (mint choc chip forever) and letting the dogs roam to their hearts content. Jasper in particular loved it there - he loves anywhere there are lots of trees and things for him to sniff!

If you ever visit Dorset then I highly recommend Upton Park, especially if you have doggies too as it's a very doggy friendly place to spend an afternoon!