Back Soon….

As you will no doubt have seen, I haven’t posted here since May… MAY?! Where has the time gone?

I haven’t forgotten about my little place on-line, just had a bit of an enforced break. Work has been a little crazy, home life has been busy – you know, the usual.

BUT, I have been thinking, planning, crafting and observing lots of lovely crafty things so I will be…

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Do I or Don’t I?

I recently did a quick makeover on my family bathroom whilst Missy was with her Aunty for the weekend.

The dull grey bathroom we inherited when we moved into the house last May was destined to be a beautiful old English, seaside blue with nautical touches – striped towels, Cornwall prints and maybe even a bit of foliage.

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We still need to get a new floor and bath panel but in the meantime I’m left with an undressed window which is crying out for a beautiful blind. Which leaves me with a dilemma – do I make another Roman blind?

After the big kitchen blind trauma, I’m in two minds as to whether I should try and do this again. On the positive side, the window is smaller, I now have experience (!) and have a few mistakes to learn from. Negatives – I’m still not that pleased with the way the kitchen blind turned out. It’s not 100% straight or neat (which for a neat freak like me is a nightmare!) and I can’t work out how to keep all the cords together, they look messy – again.

BUT I do have some really lovely cotton duck fabric which I bought from a craft fair which is crying out to be turned into something useful and beautiful.

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It would be perfect for my bathroom. Whilst I ponder my craft dilemma I’ve made a list of things to do this time round to make a better blind.

1. Check, double check, triple check measurements to ensure the fabric piece is square

2. Create dowel rod pockets on the lining instead of using Roman blind tape (bought from my local haberdasher)

3. And do this bit before sewing both pieces of fabric together

Any advice for a novice Roman blind maker?

 

The Weekly Glint – Home

My brother and his wife have been living at my parents house for about five years now. Well to be more accurate, they have been living in a mobile home in my parents garden for five years now.

They recently bought an old cottage in the Devon countryside which is in the process of being totally renovated – walls knocked down, paths built, beams put in – the works. They are in the final stages of painting woodwork and are onto the fun bit of designing their interiors.

My sister in law is trying her hand at cushion covers and blinds and I’m searching for inspiration for the right house warming gift for them. I’m thinking of something stitched or embroidered with a home theme, I like the idea of embroidering a quotation – here’s some of my inspiration from around the internet this week.

homePicture credits: Etsy, AGirlsRightToDream, GiftsRedenvelope.com.

Love Your Yarn Shop Day

Today, 3rd May 2014,  is Love Your Yarn Shop day. A day to get out there support your local wool shop and indulge in all things woolly for 24 hours. Brilliant!

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This got me thinking about my local yarn shops. I’m quite lucky that we have a really good variety of shops in the area and all are great for different things.

Here in Portishead, near Bristol, I love my little local high street DIY store – Careys – who stock Stylecraft and other cheap wool mix yarns, alongside spare sink plugs, bin bags and light bulbs.

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We also have a little post office/wool shop called Wickety Woo within walking distance of  my house – nice for a browse. They stock Rowan and other beautiful brands but it’s soooo expensive! Good to treat yourself to a beautiful ball of yarn and then wonder for weeks what to do with it…

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A bit further afield in Clevedon, there’s a huge independent craft shop called The Spinning Weal. This has been in the area for years, by all accounts, and they have a really large selection of wool, tools, equipment, books – again great for browsing.

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Even further away in Bristol is a cool little independent called Beshley’s Wool Shop. This is the new style wool shop, owned and run by a young woman (this sounds weird but you know what I mean! Girl sounded worse!) the shop is bright and light, stocks only British wool and is reasonably priced. It’s a great place to go to find new brands, colours and browse Beshley’s range of vintage haberdashery items.

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So all this has got me thinking about my ideal wool shop.

In my daydreams, instead of travelling an hour to work each day and attending meetings all day long, I would own a little wool shop. It would be small but perfectly formed (of course) and sell wool, fabric and haberdashery items like the old fashioned sewing shops.

There would be a large table in the middle of the shop for classes and workshops, the walls would be filled floor to ceiling with balls of wool, there would be a dresser with vintage haberdashery items and books, maybe even a book corner with some comfy chairs?

One day maybe….

To find out more about Love Your Yarn Shop Day and find an independent wool shop near you, have a look at this website for more information http://www.letsknit.co.uk/loveyouryarnshop

Seasonal Stitching

I don’t know about you but I tend to choose my craft by the season. Cold and rainy – knitting and wool. Warm and sunny – stitching and sewing.

So with the warmer weather out comes an old cross stitch project that I started about a year ago, a cute Tunnocks Teacake picture by designer Gillian Kyle, from an old issue of Cross Stitcher Magazine. I always knew this would be a long haul project  - what with the it being my first project on evenweave and the multiple shades of red but this has taken a long time even for me!

Here’s the pattern;

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And here’s my work to date;

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I’m really enjoying picking this up again, even if getting back into the swing of stitching on evenweave is really tricky. It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon project, definitely not one for doing in front of the TV or in the evening light.

I love the portability of a stitch project too, apart from your work you need very little to craft on the move;

photo 3 (1)I’ll post my progress but I am determined to finish this soon and have the perfect spot for it, all empty and ready on my kitchen wall.

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The City Of Briswool

Regular readers will remember reading about an incredible woolly project being run in my town of Bristol, by art shop Paper Village called BrisWool.

The ambition was to re-create a model of Bristol and all it’s iconic landmarks such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain and the Balloon Festival entirely out of knit, crochet and needlefelt. The initial idea was  proposed by Alison Pigeon , a customer of Paper Village and has been led by artist Vicky Harrison, Director of Paper Village Arts  and has engaged people across the city.

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Over 90 people across the city have been involved and has relied on mostly  on donations of wool and volunteer effort. 

Local film director, Matt Freeth is making City of BRISWOOL the film, a short insightful documentary about Bristol, it’s people, it’s sounds and knitting.

The model will be displayed in Paper Village at 200 North street , Bedminster BS3 1jf. The exhibition opens during the Arts trail  from 17th May until 27th May 2014 and then will be at M Shed, the Bristol Museum on the city’s harbourside.

The team at Paper Village are still looking for help making lots of 6cm squares in various textures and in brown, green and neutral shades.  If you can help pop into the shop or e-mail Vic at vic.harrison@blueyonder.co.uk

I’m in Prima!

I’m chuffed to bits with this little nib in Prima magazine, this month. I’m in a feature all about the ‘Secrets of women who are always smiling’! I’d almost forgotten all about this, a journalist friend of mine rang me up back in January (did you know glossy magazines like Prima work at least four months in advance?) to ask if i’d have a chat to her about what makes me happy.

She said she had to think about women she knew who were always smiling and she thought of me! Now if that’s not a great compliment to have I don’t know what is.

The number 1 tip to be a smiley person is have a feelgood hobby – like crafting. There’s a great quote in here from Concordia University in Montreal who have found that hobbies have the power to help fight off depression. Other top tips include have healthy rows , snuggle up and find your happy weight (i’m still working on that last one!).

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By the way, Prima is a great little magazine for crafters – it’s not on my magazine reading list but at only £2.99 there’s some really nice patterns and ideas in here.

Lovely Busy Easter Holidays…

I hope you had a lovely, busy, sunny Easter holiday? We’ve had a couple of weeks off from work and school (well one week for me) and the weather has been fantastic. We’ve had some quality family time together, just the three of us, as well as doing some crafting, going on day trips, bike rides, outings with friends, all rounded off with a great Easter weekend with family.

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The Weekly Glint – Patch Pockets

I love a pocket.

I particularly like a nice, slouchy pocket with enough room to comfortably rest your hands whilst chatting or waiting for the kettle to boil. This pocket related post was inspired whilst sat in a meeting with a particular type of London creative. You know the media agency type? And this person  had a really lovely shirt on from trendy clothing brand Folk.

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So I found myself rather distracted by the pretty little knitted pocket on his shirt…Here are some other pretty patch pockets I’ve found on the web. I’m now daydreaming about adding a few patch pockets to my plain t-shirts…

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 Picture credits: La Maison Boheme, Country Living, The Wavedancers, Pinterest, Etsy

An Ode to Tacking

My latest craft obsession is tacking. Yes plain and simple tacking. Not fancy or clever but solid and helpful and actually a really good thing to do properly which saves loads of time in the long run.

If you’ve read any of my blog posts before you will know that I’m not a great machine sewer and one of my challenges to becoming better is patience. I’m after quick results and I want them now!

Tacking was always the thing in the pattern I skipped. Until now. I am now a fully signed up advocate of tacking to achieve a great finished garment or item. After a few mistakes on my Liberty Sewing Machine Cover, I decided to tack the sides to the cover and insert that way. It was like a miracle.

The fabric didn’t move, I didn’t sew over pins by mistake. And the best bit? I could test I’d put the pieces together in the correct way BEFORE machine stitching and then being faced with ripping out all of those tiny tight little machine stitches.

I used a bright red thread and nice long running stitches on my project so they are easy to see and remove once machine stitched.

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