Friday, 31 July 2009

Giveaway draw and silky puffs of gorgeousness!

Well the big day has arrived- the draw for the recipient of the knitted cake book. Will has just walked into the room and I am asking him to pick number one, two, or three......he has said......FREE! (that's three). So congratulations to Pomona, my newest bloogy pal, let me know your postal address and I'll get it off to you. With any luck I'll be seeing Pomona for real at the Kent Makers Picnic on Sunday the 30th of August, are you coming along?
I had a bit of mystery post this morning which was very exciting....who do I know who would have sent such a crisp white ribbon wrapped parcel....why Karen of course! These gorgeous puffs of white silk were an un-necessary but very lovely thank you for some magazines I passed on to Karen at the 'do'. I am going to display them in a turned bowl to begin with but would really like to be able to crochet some flowers in purple and green for them to nestle in the centre of. Unfortunately crochet is not a strong point. I bought a magazine course of crochet at the summer fair at primary school and taught myself a bit, but haven't touched it since. My chains are rubbish, with no tension at all. I was chatting to Mum and she talked some sense into me. 'When you learnt to knit you were very little and just happy to mange it, you didn't worry about the tension on a scarf for teddy, then you spent years just practising the basics', good old Mum, I do find I am often held back by not being as good as others from day one, and don't really give myself time to practise and make mistakes. Dress making, machine embroidery, crochet, I would love to be brilliant at all of these but write myself off before I start because 'I'm no good at them'. I have, therefore resolved that I am going to get a book from the library and take some hooks and yarn on holiday with us next week. We are off camping in the New Forest and so there might be a moment (!) when I can ditch the self judgment and just play.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Pre-raphaelite? Un-raveled!

Please do not be alarmed! (although I fully realise how bloomin alarming these images are!) Simon and I have been enjoying the pre-raphalite programme on the BBC. It's a bit cheeky and is heavily laden with maidens with lovely wavy hair. Simon has been particularly taken with it and was wondering how such locks might be achieved......(spot the moment where I should have kept my mouth shut!) stupidly I told him about when Mum used to put my hair in rags. I agreed to let Simon have a go on my hair on Friday night and after much twisting and a night of not sleeping on a bunch of knots this was the result......a cross between 'Side show Bob' and Tracey Beaker. Thankfully it all washed out back to my usual blissfully lank style on Sunday morning. You'd have thought a 'lady' of my years would have known better!
I did venture out to Deal on Saturday, even with the rediculous mop and was glad I did. The very fluffy wool was just £1.20 a ball in the Deal wool shop and will make brilliant corsages.
I've also been getting more lovely stash sent to me. (obviously don't tell Simon!) Meplusmolly was having a de-stash from her blog and I was lucky enough to scoop some treasure. Thank you so much Kirsty, the stamps are in the post. The organza is a particularly lucky addition to my hoard as I have been collecting ideas and materials for a layered mineral piece for a little while now. I had thought I'd need to work this on soluble fabric but have now decided to embellish onto a pre-felt. Any advice on how to make up a pre-felt gratefully received! I have plenty of tops but want to be sure of what I'm doing before I get all wet and soapy!
Mum has also surprised me with a cute package of felt and beads, I have already started cutting from this and will show you the results when the recipients have seen them first- there I go again international woman of mystery!
I have made a July pay day Folksy purchase. My sister in law gave me some money when she came down for the 'do'. She very kindly said that I should have a treat for all my hard work (bless!) and I have bought this lovely wool from spinmerightround. It is gorgeous and it's time for me to ask for guidance again. I would like to knit a shawl type light wrap affair. I am a competent but not ambitious knitter and am easily bored and distracted so any advice as to what type of pattern to go for would be gratefully received. don't forget about the knitted cake book giveaway closing on Friday just leave a comment on the relevant post with your favourite cake- I think you'll be in with a good chance! have also had some positive responses to the Kent meet-up idea. It looks like the 30th of August would be the first available weekend for us. I do hope that might be a go-er for you guys?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Seaside swap.

Wanda has received her Seaside swap! I thoroughly enjoyed putting a shoebox together for her and a big 'thanks' to Contented for hosting. I struggled a bit to get an idea on what style to go for for Wanda but in the end put in a bit of everything! Of course I had to make a brooch and this one has some dyed shell in the centre and uses on my favourite sea-sidey yarns. I had a cute button with a fish and made a three button stack for a kitsch button ring. I had made some bag dangle for the do and they went down really well so I decided to have a bash at a starfish dangle with a lovely swirly glass bead. There are lots of ideas that I want to try bouncing around my head and the work room and I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to try Happy Zombies' Penny Pocket. I am so glad I did! Of course these are copyright so they will always be gifts. I have already bought a stack of Christmas fat quarters with an eye to making some advent pockets to hang on a garland. Finally I had a play with some felt beads and I have to tell you I am LOVING these, but more on that another time! The box got stuffed with sweets and stickers and greeting cards and some shell beads and a little spoon with a seaside plaque and some cider flavour rock from Devon.....and last but not least a brilliant beach hut lavender bag from Pants and Paper. ( oh and that's a wind up crab, sold in aid of the Lifeboats!) Did I mention how much I enjoyed doing this?! Would definitely be up for another swap if anyone knows of a goodie.
I have realised that I didn't put a deadline on the book giveaway, so next Friday seems like a good time. Do leave a comment if you'd like a chance of receiving it.
I'm also wondering what any other South Eastern crafty types might think to a Kent bloggers/crafters picnic. I am thinking a Sunday picnic in a park in Canterbury. Let me know if you are interested. xxxx

Friday, 24 July 2009


Father forgive me, for I have shopped. I spent a great deal of time and angst clearing some more stash to give Simon some space for when he starts his course. Then I slipped, one text from my friend who works at Jems to tell me that the sale had started and I bundled Will onto the Canterbury bus. We had an ace morning, shopping for some new clothes for him, mooching in Paperchase (very dangerous) and then lunching at Pizza Express. I was actually very restrained with this little chair full of loveliness, some fabric, wool and packs of buttons. The buttons were from The Works and were just £1 each. I got everything home safe and sound, (including Will. After his massive lunch he threatened to be sick on the bus!) quickly set it out to be photographed and then set about putting it away. Will was watching and our conversation went like this; me; 'don't tell Daddy about my shopping will you?' Will; 'why?' me; 'because he thinks I have too much stuff and shouldn't buy anymore' Will; 'that's not very nice because you like it don't you?' me 'yep' Will;'so you're just going to ignore him and keep doing it aren't you?' me; 'yep'. He' got my measure hasn't he?
I have been meaning to have a give away for a while now. I was sent this book by Search Press to knit some cakes for the Makey 'do', and when it looked obvious that I already had too much on my plate they lent me some cakes from the photo shoot for the book. I still wanted to knit some cakes to give away with the book but frankly my Swiss roll was a bit of a dodgy colour and my slice of gateau was badly stuffed so I am too ashamed to show them and they are now in with Anna's' play food. I hasten to add that this is all down to my own in-adequacy and is in no way the fault of this lovely book. There are patterns here for all abilities and tastes and they were fun to make. A set for a little girl as play food would be an amazing Christmas gift, and I'm sure there are lots of other situations where a knitted Viennese Whirl would be required. If you would like this fabulously fun book- maybe to help a beginner knitter through some projects to learn new skills through the school holidays- just leave a comment telling me what your favourite cake of all time is. International entries are welcome. If you just want the book without depending on lady luck then Search Press has a brilliant website. My work on the secret squirrel projects continues, I am sewing and knitting like a loon and loving it!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Secret squirrel

I am thoroughly enjoying working on projects which aren't to sell since the 'do'. All of them are surprises though, so I can't show you....(that's me that is complete with an air of mystery!) I have posted my seaside swap this morning, it was brilliant fun and I just hope Wanda gets half as much pleasure from it as I did. I tried something new which I am really pleased with for the swap, and those of you who asked to take part in the pay-it-forward will be receiving something in the post as soon as I have made another three! I thought I would show you some work that I received for my birthday. Simon went shopping on Folksy, which was brilliant and came up with this amazing red riding hood cuff from Miss makes stuff. It fastens with the ribbon being wound around the buttons to give a really sexy cross over up the inside of your wrist. It's gorgeous and I have really enjoyed wearing it. The hanging pockets were from my Mum. Mum used to make these when I was little and I have seen her do My Little Pony and Care Bear versions for my cousins. She made a 'sky' and a 'seasons' version for Will and Anna but this amazing seaside one is just for me.There is so much detail and so much humour. The oyster is hiding a little pearl bead and there are real shells and knitted seaweed. In fact there seems to be something else every time I look. This is really helping me keep track of the tools I use most often and makes a spot of sneaky crafting during the school hols more likely!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Makey do treasure

So, the Makey do is over, it was good but I can't pretend I'm not relieved to have my life back a bit. It has been all consuming and I hadn't realised how much it was wrapping me up and making me boring!! I had an ace day, surrounded by family and friends old and new. I was really excited to meet all the bloggy and Folksy pals who came along, and everyone was just as gorgeous and smiley as I expected- phew! I got some presents too! Karen had made the epic journey to come down for the 'do', and I asked Mum and Dad to hold fire on my birthday present until the do in case (!) I saw anything I wanted.......well off course I wanted everything, but when it came to pointing them in the direction of a stall to shop from I had to point them in Karen's direction. I feel privileged to own this piece-I will hang it in my bedroom and admire it daily. Flavia, a lovely local stallholder gave me this beautiful glass pendant, chosen and matched to my outfit for me. Perfect colours for me! Thank you Flavia. I also received some amazing paper craft- a R.A.K, A.T.C from Leonie and a Thank you card from Jennyfleur designs. These are really special and will be kept safe and sound. I did a little shopping myself when I found a trader selling these fat quarters at 75p each- I have spoken to him this morning and have ordered twenty more. My stall did reasonably well but I am now in a reflective mood and will post more about my future plans when the mist clears!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

A heck of a Makey 'do'

Under there somewhere is the breakfast bar....really! That is what the sixty goodie bags for the Makey do' look like all made up and nearly ready to go. I will add any last minute bits and bobs and then tie them up with some curling ribbon to prevent peeping! I had such fun doing these and the friends that helped were amazed at the generosity of the crafters who had sent their work.
Thanks for all your kind comment on the last post, Anna's birthday was a blast and really helped to put things into perspective. Now the panic has eased I have felt able to get on with the making and organising for the big day.

If you wondered what 100 button rings might look like in a big luscious pile on a table- here you go, and if you were curious about how 50 hair accessories might look spread in a big arc- look no further.I am now working on making up 50 brooches and then....we'll see... but I have so many ideas I expect I'll still be making on the day.

I have been having some wranglings over whether or not I would be able to use the area outside the venue for the Makey do and I had a phone call today to tell me that dependant on a meeting on Monday I may well be able to have the forecourt. This is such exciting news but will give me just four days to fill the area. This is not the time frame I would have chosen but it is lovely to be able to accept more stallholders and make more plans. I may never do this again so I may as well make it B-I-G!!