Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Blog blank

Yeah a blog blank. Or more accurately a brain blank. I have been busy doing things but not in a very productive way.  Over the last few weeks I have been learning to crochet but my mind has also been turning to new and old projects. Remember the felt booties I made a few weeks ago?

I have been wondering how to package them.  I looked up various boxes but most of them are too big and just not special enough to make them a keepsake.  Then a friend suggested calico bags.  That got me thinking, if I made calico bags I could stamp them or embroider them with  babies name and date of birth.  So that is what I will be doing tomorrow, making my first bags and I will post them on here and hopefully you will give me some feedback on them.

I also have had an order of some more felt and glass necklaces like this one.

I have been searching for more tray pendants like this heart shaped one, but in different shapes but they are kind of hard to find. I finally tracked some oval ones down so hopefully they will arrive soon so I can make some more.
At the same time my big wallpaper books still sit there and I am itching to make some more beads but my craft room is still FREEZING. I managed a couple of hours in there on Monday but I had to have my radiator on full blast and wear several jumpers. After a while my fingers go all stiff :(
So to keep myself from mischief I have been carrying on with the crochet.  I got  a book called "200 crochet blocks for blankets,throws and afghans"  from Amazon and I have just started a project from it with the lovely wool I showed you in a previous post. I haven't got a photo as I only have one square done but I will keep you posted .

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Do you remember that butterfly necklace tutorial I shared with you a while ago? Well here is a variation on a theme.  Because I am longing for warm, sunny weather I have had butterflies on my mind. Recently  I have  acquired a Big Shot machine and some butterfly dies and I decided to do something "summery" with them. I cut butterflies from pretty purple wallpaper, stamped them with silver ink, cut out reinforcement vylene and glued them all together. I put them together with 5mm jump rings, but to make them a bit more special I added a small  purple glass bead on the middle ring. I added some silver plated chain and a fastener and my first summery butterfly necklace was made.  Hopefully it is one a few but I could only finish  one because I ran out of chain. Let me know what you think and what colours you would like to see.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Ooh lovely new materials!

Do you get excited when there is a knock on the door and when you open it there is someone with a box full of goodies for you? I love it.  Today was on of those days.  I had finished my first crochet project  and a friend of mine liked it very much so I decided to make her one too. So this morning I started on some of the squares needed for her bag.  Of course I have to try and make it just a teeny  bit different so here are some of the squares made so far.  I will just see how they look best.

This is my finished bag

 and these are the squares I have made so far

As I was busy crocheting and of course already plotting the next project there was that knock on the door.   I wasn't the only one slightly excited about this, to get to the door I had to dodge a slightly over excited Chi and a large stand-in-the-way greyhound.  Having overcome these obstacles I got to the door and there was a nice chap with a big box.  I brought the box in and fiddled about with that infernal cellotape.  Of course  there wasn't a normal everyday pair of scissors about now, was there?  Anyhow I managed to get in and here are the treasures I found.

The colours are gorgeous and go beautifully together so I can plan some new crochet projects now!
While I was opening the box and taking the pictures so I could show you I could hear some commotion outside my livingroom window.  Look who was being nosey!

Cheeky chickens!
(btw, I know my windows are "dirty"  it is my cats' nose art)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Did I say spring? Look at this

Trust me to say Spring.  Went shopping today and afterwards I went to visit a friend. So it is a little gloomy and a few spits of rain but otherwise a normal Welsh  "nearly spring" day. So we were a little amazed at this pretty sight.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Is it nearly spring yet?

Well after the winter we had it's a fair question, isn't it.  I have to say I have seen very few signs of spring so far.  I just checked the weather forecast and that doesn't look very spring-like either with sleet and snow all over the place.  My goosies are looking at me as if to say "where is all the green grass gone?" After all the terrible wet weather the birds trampled all the grass that was left and without some warming spring sun it is not going to return soon.
It is still weather to sit inside and craft if you ask me.  I have several WIPs. I am knitting a frilly scarf with some fancy yarn I picked up on my travels, I have a tanktop on the go in lovely turquoise and greens  and I am crocheting a bag and I  also have a pile of fabric ready to sew coats for my boys.  So plenty of jobs to do inside.  Maybe I should quit being impatient and just get on with those projects and just spy out the few promising signs of spring.

So is spring getting near where you are?  What are your favourite signs of spring? Look forward to hear from you.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

New books, new crafts.

These are my latest books I picked up. I rarely buy books full price and these are no exception.  I found Stitching for beginners and beyond  in The Works It is no longer available on-line but maybe your local Works store still has a copy or otherwise Amazon has it here.    It is a lovely book with a few really nice ideas for projects to get you started.  The instructions are clear and well set out.  Considering I bought it for less than £4 it is a real bargain, less than a craft magazine. I haven't started on any projects from this book yet, but keep watching this space!

The other one, Crochet step by step, is one I bought from The Book People and you can find it here. I bought it for £3.99 but its RRP is £12.99 so a nice big saving for a good basic crochet book.  Crochet is one craft that I haven't managed before as I found most books unclear in their explanations or just too daunting.  It has clear pictures showing everything step by step.

I have actually managed to crochet "granny" or "afghan" squares with the help of this book and for the first time in my life they are actually square. I have managed the instructions to crochet them together as well and although I really struggled doing it the instructions showed it well and the struggle was just my own inexperience as I got quite quick towards the end.  Now I have to finish it all off and make it into the bag I imagined which will involve more skills explained in the book.  As soon as it is ready I will post a photo of the finished article.  Anyhow, here are the squares I have made.

Well there you go, bargain books. What bargain books have you found or what books would you recommend?  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Pink Dinner

Today I thought I would share a recipe with you. One of my favourite family dinners is Beetroot Hutspot. Hutspot is a Dutch word for a mashed together dish, and this one is  known in my house as "Pink Dinner".

I do admit that I don't usually present it this prettily, but for you blog readers I thought I would make it look pretty.  This one, by the way, is a vegetarian version but you can easily make a meat version.  Here we go, this is the recipe: (for 6 people)

  • 2 to 2.5 kg of potatoes (that sound a lot, but when it is mashes it is a lot less)
  • 3 packets of ready cooked beetroot, grated
  • a pack of Quorn bacon (chopped) or, if you are a meat eater a pack of smoked bacon rashers (fried and chopped into small pieces)
  • 4 onions finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper and oil for frying and a bit of butter or margarine to mash the potatoes
Peel and boil potatoes, grate beetroot, chop onions
Fry the bacon first if you do real bacon and leave to cool.  If you do veggie bacon just chop it and put to one side.
Chop and fry the onions adding salt and pepper to taste, add the veggie bacon and add the grated beetroot. Cook this mixture to make sure it is hot through. Then when the potatoes are soft, drain and mash. Add the bacon- onion- beetroot mixture and mix well together.
That's it. Serve with slices of fresh bread and butter. Delicious comfort food.  And of course if you serve it in a heart shape it could make a pretty and romantic dinner maybe.


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Back to blogging?

So I haven't been on my blog for a while, completely stumped for ideas to write about.  I haven't been at my most creative either, mojo has been very intermittent. Although I have been decorating my house and changed my yellow hallway to a gorgeous warm orange set off by a cappuchino. It has been fun to do this with a little help from my friends. I bet not many people have painted a wall with a chihuahua on their lap.

I found this gorgeous print in Ikea that reflected the colours in the hallway. I had meant to paint something myself but I have been a bit short on time. Still, no reason I can't do it in the future.
 One of the things that also looks great against the orange is my latch hook rug of a tiger. It is really lovely to walk up the stairs and see this

I have done a few creative things such as these pretty felt baby booties. They have been kind of addictive to make.  I now have to find some nice boxes to put them in so that they could be pretty keepsakes for new parents (if you have any ideas please share them!)

Of course I have been helped in all these achievements by my little friends
Hopefully I will be back  on a regular basis with posts about my crafting, painting ,outdoor adventures and funny stories about my animals. For now I will just leave you with this dopey lot :)