2014 Catchup

Happy New Year lovely reader! I hope it’s been good to you so far.

I was creating a page to summarise all my completed projects that have associated blog posts with information about them, which you can see here and I realised I’d done so much last year that I hadn’t shown you.  Unfortunately I think it’s probably too late now to catch you up on everything but here’s a gallery of pictures that you might enjoy. If there is anything you would particularly like to hear more about, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to oblige! If you hover over the image it shows the caption which you can use to tell me what you think of them. I’m going to try to write more regularly this year as I do enjoy sharing my crafty projects with you.

I’d love to tell you more about many of these projects but I feel like I’d never catch up. Please do drop me a line though if you would like to know more – I’ll happily write to request and add more photos if I have them! There are still more projects not pictured here. Hopefully I’ll get around to showing you them all at some point! Seeing everything laid out like this makes me realise how much I actually got done last year!

I hope to have lots more crafty projects to tell you about soon. I’m already in the middle of a crochet blanket inspired by Lucy at Attic 24 blog and also have a new pair of socks on the go which are a pattern from an old issue of The Knitter. I have lots of plans for more projects for 2015 and I can’t wait to share my progress here with you!

Best wishes for your crafty 2015 too!

Sarah x

Christmas reflections

It’s Saturday morning and it’s time for the last of our Christmas guests to head home. We had some snow fall last night that we hadn’t really expected and it was even settling. I excitedly looked out of the window this morning hoping for a winter wonderland; a picture perfect crisp sunny day with blue skies and clean white snow under foot. However looking out at 7:30 it was still dark for one thing and it must’ve been raining or milder overnight as there was no snow on the trees at all and not much on the ground, although the school field opposite looks quite nice.

2014-12-27 08.55.39

It turned out to be pretty icy though and it took quite a bit of scraping before my unofficial father-in-law could set off on the drive home to Wales. It is a beautiful day though and if it wasn’t for the ice it would be a lovely day to go for a walk. Instead I’m sitting in the sunny dining room writing and planning! Here’s a pic of the sun rising earlier, just before it came over the houses at the back of ours…

2014-12-27 08.48.002014-12-27 08.54.29

…and the sunny reflection on the wall a few minutes later…

So all this means that Christmas is over for another year and its time to take stock. Overall I’d say it’s been a resounding success. I finally managed to finish the advent stockings on Christmas Eve-Eve, having managed to stay at least one day ahead all through December.

2014-12-07 22.34.46

My boyfriend made a magnificent Christmas cake and used a picture from Pintrest as inspiration for the decoration. Here’s how it turned out…

2014-12-24 17.28.09

Beautiful, don’t you think? I was very impressed. I helped with cutting out some of the stars. It was very fiddly work!

And now it’s time to look forward to the New Year. As you could probably expect, I got a few craft related presents for Christmas. R got me this beautiful knitting book by Kate Davies.
2014-12-27 09.09.14
I’m very excited to start planning what I’m going to make first. Looking through, the author seems to have used some very well priced yarns, so I might actually be able to work the patterns in the recommended yarns for a change, instead of trying to convert them to a cheaper alternative! I the patterns in this book will help me to work on my approach to colour for the makes I wear. I’m often tempted to use brights as I worry that I’ll get bored and not finish things if I use a muted colour palette but I think working some of the designs from this book will help me to find the pleasure in working with more wearable colours.

Conversely I also received the “Cottage” pack of colours by Lucy from Attic 24’s blog. Not very muted! Rather than the Cottage ripple blanket she made, I’m going to make my own Cosy Cottage blanket like the Cosy Crochet-Along that she was doing before Christmas. I’ve been playing around with colour combinations with my colour pegs this morning as you can see here…

2014-12-27 09.20.512014-12-27 10.32.382014-12-27 09.22.41

Lucy from the Attic 24 blog hit on such a great idea with these coloured yarn pegs, they’re great for this process of planning the colour order.

2014-12-27 11.41.32

And here’s all that lovely squishy yarn, all ready to play with!

DSCF2756DSCF2757

I can’t wait to get going with it, I just need to decide on the colour order for the first 15 stripes! Here goes…

Blog anniversary catchup!

image

So yesterday was the anniversary of my first blog post! Sadly I haven’t blogged in a while but I think I just might start again. I have been posting pics on my instagram @saref2901 incase you want to follow me over there too?

Anyway the photogrid shows some of the things I’ve been  up to in my blogging absence. I made my tea dress that I mentioned in my last post. We’ve had a good summer so I’ve been able to get plenty of wear out of it already! The little lilac dress came from the two balls of stylecraft lullaby I showed you last time. It was a lovely yarn to work with even though I don’t really like acrylic that much but I know it’s more practical for babies. My friend loved it, even though it was still too big even in a premmie size. My pastel blanket is still on the go. Think it’s going to take forever! I’ve been working hard on the garden, made some “home sweet home” bunting for the staircase, a basket for yarn, embroidered a cushion, knitted a goat for a girl at work and I’m in the middle of a stripy amigurumi giraffe! So I think you’re all up to date now… I’ll try not to leave it so long next time…

Created by Photo Grid.

Android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roidapp.photogrid

iPhone

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-grid-collage-maker/id543577420?mt=8

I wish I could do more at once!

I think I need the arms of an octopus. I just sat down with a cuppa and actually thought to myself wouldn’t it be great if I could crochet a granny square while reading my sewing book. I’d
just get so much more done!

Here’s a bit of a roll call of wips and things in my head at the moment…

image

1) long term project – Nicky Trench’s tweed skirt

image

2) Heart pompom garland – as yet just a bowl of pompom hearts

image

3) self striping socks using beautiful yarn from local company West Yorkshire Spinners that I bought on a trip to York with my wonderful and very patient boyfriend.

image

image

image

4) Tea dress from the book from the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee. The fabric arrived today from Croft Mill. I do seem to have been waiting ages for it to arrive but it is beautiful and I can’t wait to get started. However first I have to wash the fabric and prepare the pattern – which I downloaded from the website and consists of 32 pages of A4 that need cutting and sticking together. I’ve never made a garment from scratch before and am a bit apprehensive but hope I can get it done before the end of summer and come out with something wearable!

image

5) Knitted dress for my friend’s baby, luckily still in utero!

image

6) Crochet jam jar cover to make a tea light holder. I’ve already made 2 of these which I’ll show you another day!

image

7) Pastel granny blanket. In this picture you can see my notebook which I’ve been using to record what I’ve been using and planning my next squares so I can remember what I’m doing. As you can imagine from this ridiculous list of projects, I will work on something frantically for a while and then not touch it for weeks.

image

8) Who knows what number 8 will be? My copy of the book from series 2 of GBSB arrived yesterday and I’d love to try nearly all of the patterns! Must complete tea dress first though!

Crikey. I’ve given myself a headache just thinking about all this! When will I learn to do one thing at once?

Happy crafting everyone! I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you are working on too. ‘Till next time…

Little ditsy floral pin cushion

I’ve just logged into WordPress for the first time in ages and found that I’d never actually posted my last post! Here it is…

Once again it’s been far too long since my last post. I’ve been so busy making things and trying to keep on top of the other things in life that I just haven’t had time to share my makes with you even though I want to do!

My latest creation is a little pin cushion I’ve made from the ditsy floral fabric pack I told you about a while ago.

image

The photo doesn’t really do it justice as it is so much more vibrant on real life! I’m feeling very inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2 at the moment – one day I hope my sewing will be as good as the contestants on the show. For now, I’m glad that judges May and Patrick will never see my pincushion because if you get really close up you’d see that the stitching doesn’t meet up in the middle of the segments, the curved edges are not very smooth and it’s more tightly stuffed at one side than the other! Instead that’s just between you and me and I’m still rather pleased with it. My first ever piece of patchwork sewing!

image

Sunday shortie

Hello! If you read my last post you’ll know how much my flowers are making me really cheerful at the moment. Well yesterday I finally got around to planting some spring flowers in containers in the garden. I’ve had them ready to go for a week or two but I have to be in the mood to do gardening and the weather has to be ok too! Needless to say I’m really chuffed with myself for finally getting them planted. Here are my results…

image

image

image

I bought the chimney pot on ebay a couple of weeks ago. I love it as it brings height and interest to the display next to our purple shed! And look – my pretty pink hyasinths are now fully out too!

image

I’m very much a novice, fair weather gardener. As we rent the house we try to stick to containers too rather than to spend loads of money on things we can’t move.
However this little bit of work and not much money has provided lots of lovely colour in the house and the garden to make me feel like spring is around the corner!

Ripply ramblings

Hello lovely readers. I hope you are well. In my last post I mentioned how it was coming up to my birthday and that I was going to be really busy but would try to make sure I kept up with my blog posts. Well clearly I failed and three weeks have passed. I did have a great birthday though! I’ve just realised that I think it has got to a point where I was putting off writing a post because I felt like I ought to be catching you up with everything that I’ve been doing in the meantime and that felt like a big task. Then I realised that the whole point of writing this blog was to write for fun and to share the things I enjoy making and so to stress about it is ridiculous and I should just sit down and write!

So here we are. It somehow got to nearly the end of February! The seemingly endless rain has seemingly started to run out of steam and I’m almost driving to and from work in day light again, all of which add up to a pretty cheery mood really. Work has been pretty stressful the last couple of weeks so I’ve been so grateful to have a house full of colourful flowers to come home to after my birthday and Valentines day and they have helped to keep me smiling! Would you like to see? The lighting in these photos is awful so please forgive me – blame spontaneity!

I also have a ton of crafty projects on the go at the moment and that always gives me something exciting to come home to.

This lovely pile of chunky baby yarn…

2014-02-15 09.07.53

… is slowly turning into a baby blanket…

2014-02-09 19.50.04

… inspired by Lucy at Attic 24 and her lovely crochet ripple blankets. I wish I had the budget for all that lovely Cashmerino yarn she uses!

And here’s me playing around with the colours for the blanket on top of my foxy footstool, a pile of crochet squares and the front of a cushion cover they became…

2014-02-08 19.35.04 2014-02-04 19.53.50 2014-02-04 22.12.18 2014-02-09 08.40.24

…and a pile of fat quarters I loved the look of but haven’t decided what to make them into yet! I got my sewing machine back from the servicing man last week and am determined to make more use of it although I keep procrastinating about a couple of projects I have in mind. I’m not that confident a sewer yet so I just need an evening when I’m in the mood to have a go and I’m going to sew up a storm – I’ll let you know how it all goes! And how exciting is it that the Great British Sewing Bee is back! Perfect timing to help get me motivated… Are you watching it?

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Re-covered footstool

Well it’s been a very busy week this week and there’s been little time for crafting. I’ve done some work on my crochet skirt (from Love Crochet Autumn 2013, pictures to follow) and last weekend I finished my patchwork blanket that is now my header picture! Now that was a long project – its taken a whole year to do and may not even be completely finished now – I’m still thinking of putting a border on it at some point!

So after two long ongoing projects, today I felt inspired to do a project that I could start and finish on a day. An afternoon in fact!

I’ve had the materials for this project for a while now but haven’t gotten around to actually doing it. My mum gave me a footstool she no longer uses that used to belong to her uncle Jack, my great uncle Jack, so it’s pretty old. I remember mum re-covering it once when I was a child. It was now in a pretty poor state – stained, tatty, and the foam had pretty much perished. If you’ve read my blog before you may remember me mentioning some fabric I bought with foxes on (Scion’s Mr Fox). My family name is Fox as you may have guessed from the name of my blog! So I’m always drawn to foxy things, and there’s so much of it around at the moment – it’s great! I had a couple of things in mind for the fabric – the footstool and a cushion. It is a bit awkward as the print on the fabric is so big but I’m pretty pleased with how my footstool had turned out…
image

image

I’ve never done anything like this before and had to admit I pretty much made it up as I went along and not at all perfect but I’m still really happy with it! No step by step pictures this time I’m afraid as I was so determined to get it done quite quickly. It’s a simple process I suppose although it was a little tricky in parts and my staple gun broke half way through so it was a good job I had plenty of upholstery tacks!

Getting all the old covering and foam off it was a bit tricky as it was very old. I’d bought a big piece of foam which I cut to size with a hack saw – definitely not the best tool to use but all I had to hand. Then I covered this with some wadding and stapled it in place. Then I had to cut out my fabric with the design in the centre which was a bit scary as I didn’t want to get it wrong – I only have a metre of fabric. Then I machine stitched around the edge to prevent fraying. I put the fabric over the stool, wrong side facing, and pinned the corners. I straight-stiched these to make the shape of the cushion and cut off the excess fabric from the corners, oversewing the edges again.

Then I just had to tack it in place and add my edging. Thinking I was nearly finished I was a bit gutted to realise that because my pom pom edging was so narrow it didn’t cover up all the staples and tacks and the edge of the fabric as I’d wanted. Luckily I found some black grossgrain ribbon in my stash and attached that first then tacked on the pom pom edging on top. As I said before it really isn’t perfect but it’s just for me and in really proud of it so it doesn’t matter! I’d love to hear what you think of it though, and if it’s inspired you to have a go, or even any tips for me in case I ever end up doing something similar again!

Next week is due to be a busy one as it’s my birthday on Wednesday but hopefully I’ll get chance to do some crafting, or maybe even some baking…

Thanks for reading!

How do you like my new look?

I finally finished my patchwork blanket (except for a border but I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about that yet). I’ve been working on it for a whole year. As it’s so colourful and encompasses my loves of knitting and crochet, I thought it might make a good picture for a new header. Then while I was at it I carried on and changed my theme. Hope you like it! I’d love to know what you think…

2014-01-23 15.53.37