Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My First Ta-Dah!

I am so excited to finally show my finished piece of crochet! My first Ta-Dah moment! (That's me hoping there will be many more to come!) This is the largest piece of crochet I have done and wish I hadn't done stripes - all those ends to sew in! But as each one disappeared I grew more and more excited. Anyway, I can't wait any longer to show you so...

I haven't actually told you what it is, have I ? My husband thought it was going to be a hat but you were all correct in thinking it was a basket. However, it's not for my wool. It had a temporary home in there whilst under construction. This is for LuLus and Little Mannie to put their eggs in on our Easter egg hunt in the garden. Lulus is delighted. She has watched it grow and has been eagerly awaiting the finished article.

I used Paton's DK Smoothie. It looks and feels just like cotton but is 100% acrylic. It's also very reasonable, I think I paid about £2.00 a ball and I've got loads of it left, maybe enough for some Easter bunting. Bargain! I didn't follow a pattern, I started with a circle and, when I thought it was large enough for the base, stopped increasing and kept the same amount of trebles on each row until it reached a good basket height.

The flower was in one of my new crochet books and the perfect finishing touch.
Thanks for sharing in my little creation and apologies for going on a little, I'm so very happy!!!
Becky x

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I have been thinking about this one all week. It was a real honour to receive and to pass it on to much deserving fellow bloggers is quite a responsibility! So, I did a little research, but I didn't find out much apart from it should be awarded to a blogger with less than 100 followers, but I'm not sure how reliable this information is.
Without further delay, here are my nominated bloggers that I have the pleasure to pass this award on to:
I had admired Liz's beautiful felt work on Folksy for a while before I started blogging and found her blog. She truly is a great felt artist (I have one of her bags) and, although she hasn't been blogging for long (like myself), has been generous with her ideas and techniques. She has certainly inspired me to push the boundaries of my creativity and her regular comments on my blog are like messages from a friend. Thanks Liz.
I think Ali and I have a lot in common; interests like felting, gardening, knitting, baking. All, of course, whilst juggling motherhood. We have shared our creations, techniques and material providers and she too has inspired me to try new things. Thanks Ali.
Sarah, I think, was my first follower. We have a little less in common, I was not made for Judo (I'm sure she would try to persuade me otherwise!), but we both have a love for crochet and she makes beautiful crochet flowers, for which I have a small obsession. Sarah has only just received another blog award so this may be a little unexpected, but I honestly had chosen her earlier this week for this award. Well done, Sarah!

I enjoy and follow so many lovely blogs and apologise if I didn't give you the award. I tried to choose some blogs that, like myself, have not long been posting long and deserve a little recognition for their creativity ;)

I have some posts to do over the coming week:
  1. the Ta-Dah of my crochet project
  2. the decorated eggs
  3. flowers in my garden
  4. my jars of odds and ends (my poor husband!)
  5. the felt baskets (bought the fabric over a month ago - do you remember?)
  6. my new sizzix die - it did arrive in the end, well... sort of!
So, a little preview of things to come!

I have had horrible sinusitis today and somehow made it through a 3 year old's birthday party this afternoon. Hope you had a good weekend.
Becky x

Felt Acorns and The Blog Award

I'm  sorry I haven't posted sooner this week. I have had a busy week and, just as I thought I had got through the work, I had a request through my Folksy shop for 100 felt acorns! I'm afraid I don't follow fashion or designers very closely so I can't claim to know exactly who or what this is for, but a designer (Jigsaw?) has asked for these felt acorns as a gift for the press at the launch of their Autumn/Winter collection. I got the request Friday and they need them asap so Friday night I spent hours (5 actually) up to my elbows in felt, water and soap!
So what do 100 felt acorns look like?
I am actually quite sorry to part with them! LuLu and I gathered the caps last Autumn, which I store in this jar.
I love this jar on my desk and I thought it would look quite empty afterwards but, surpisingly, I hardly made a dent on it at all.
Everyone who felts tends to develop their own techniques and tricks for getting the results they want. When I started felting I tried simply grabbing a chunk of felt, roughly rounding it into a ball and then wet felting, but it takes ages to roll a ball this way as you can't apply any pressure at first and I had so many balls that looked like a baby's bottom that I developed my own way. I wind a small piece of felt into a tiny ball. Then I wind another piece on top of this, in another direction, and continue this way until I get the size I want, allowing for about 20% shrinkage. They look a little like cotton wool balls.
Then it's to the sink for wet felting but this way is so much quicker and I don't get any funny shapes! Then I dry them on the radiator.

Are you counting? OK, this isn't 100 but I had 36 already made up! Then I use a hot glue gun to glue the caps on and theyre finished! Phew! The order came at just the right time as I dropped a metal spoon into my mixer last week and broke it! So I can now replace it and Lulus and I can make some of our delicious cookies (you can't mix this by hand, the mix is just too dry and it kills your arm!).
I will do another post this evening for my 'passing on' of the lovely Liebster blog award.
Have a lovely sunny Sunday!
Becky x

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Blog Award!

I am delighted to receive my very first blog award from the lovely Gill at Gillyflower. I'm not sure how my musings and ramblings have quite earned me this, but it is a pleasure to receive.
So it is now my turn to pass this award on to some more deserving bloggers. I will include this in my post later in the week as I want to do my chosen few justice.
I have been playing with those lovely polystyrene eggs! First, I loosely needlefelted some merino wool onto them.
Then I wet felted them and put them on my radiator to dry.
A little felted egg rainbow!
So now the plan is to decorate them next weekend. They are very tactile, everyone who sees them wants to hold them.
I'm really pleased with them so far - they did look a bit tacky in their polystyrene form! The back up plan, if all went horribly wrong, was to take them into school and let my class decorate them but I'm afraid they've turned out too nice for that!
Hope you're enjoying these first few days of Spring.
Becky x

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Perfumed Parcel!

I was delighted to receive a parcel yesterday from Gill at Gillyflower. I was the lucky winner of her recent giveaway, how exciting.
As soon as I removed the packaging the scent of lavender hit me. Stunning.
 The first thing I opened was the pretty lavender filled heart.
Then I opened the lovely cushion cover.
So beautifully made with lovely fabric. As I knew they were coming I have had time to think about where were going to go.
It didnt seem right to separate them and so here they are together in their new home:

This is the little bench seat near my front door, so all my visitors will be ble to enjoy both the cushion and the lavender scent. The little lavender heart looks very happy hanging next to the lovely felt bag I bought from Liz at That Fuzzy Feeling and the crochet bird I made using Lucy's tutorial at Attic24.
I'm sure Gill will spot the lovely card she sent on the top of the unit there.
Now I want to go out just so I can come into the fresh lavender scent!
And the cushion looks equally at home on the seat.
A huge thank you to Gill for making such a beautiful gift. I am a lucky girl. I am going to go for another sniff of the heart!
Enjoy your Sunday.
Becky x

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Day of Silence

I have just learnt that us bloggers are having a day of silence tomorrow to show our thoughts are with those in Japan. We are also having an hour of silence in school tomorrow for which the children have been raising sponsorship money. The Shelterbox charity headquarters is not far from us and they have visited the school on a number of occasions. It is a charity that does amazing work at times of disaster and the children are always very proud to be involved and know their efforts can make a difference to someone's life.
If you're looking for a way to 'do your bit' then I would recommend you pop over to Paper and String where they are holding a raffle to raise money for the Japan Quake Appeal.

It is also comic relief tomorrow and we will be wearing our red noses and other red items to support another great charity event.
Wishing you all a happy day tomorrow, whatever you get up to.
Becky x

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A Quick Post

Well, nearly finished my crochet project. Not quite at the 'tah-da' stage but eager to get there.
My carrot and apple cake was a huge success - none left!
I can really recommend this one. It is from the same Sainsbury's baking book as shown in my last post and is delicious.

Finally, I have bought these...

...polystyrene eggs. I am hoping to wet felt them then add some needle felted patterns, beads and ribbon. We'll see...
I also have a new felting book but that one can keep for my next post!
Becky x

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Bored? What's That?

I can honestly say I'm never bored. I just don't have time to be. Even at half term when I had to wait an hour in a doctor's waiting room I wasn't bored - I went prepared with one of my new crochet books and I was actually quite grateful for the opportunity to simply sit and read in peace (didn't take the children!).
So when the weekends come along I try to fit in all the family stuff, I mean the nice things (not the washing, cleaning... although of course this has to be done) but the things I don't get time to do during the week as a working mum.
Saturday mornings usually consist of a spot of baking with Lulu. This morning we made carrot and apple cake and butterfly buns.
They are delicious (yes we have tried them already!) but so fiddly to decorate those wings. The recipes were from this little book:

It has some lovely recipes, great photographs (we always find it helps to see what it was supposed to turn out like!) and was only 5 pounds. Our butterfly buns were supposed to look like this:

So we didn't do too badly! Haven't tried or decorated the cake yet so I will have to let you know another day on that one.

Poor Little Mannie is so under the weather, he just wants to cuddle and sleep. Not sure what's wrong with him. Last night he had a raging temperature but that's eased now. He might have some more teeth coming through.

After school yesterday, I took Charlotte to get our ingredients for baking and popped into Matalan on the way, where I found this:

I coudn't resist. A few years ago we bought my neighbour a jug just like this for looking after our cats but it was very expensive. This tumbler was only 4 pounds, what a bargain!
And, I just had to buy something to go in it.

Can't wait for them to open their petals, I hope they're scented.

Anyway, I have stopped for a short break.
Coffee (using my husband's oversized mug, not very pretty but lasts a bit longer!), cake, crochet and a new crafts mag'. Heaven!
Becky x

Friday, 11 March 2011

Crochet Circle

Since buying my two new crochet books at half term I haven't had a lot of time to try things out. So this week I decided I would explore crocheting a circle.

I have an idea of what I would like to turn this into and I'm hoping it won't take too long if I add a few rounds each night.

Especially since I would like to make some Easter bunting for the garden egg hunt! Lucy at attic24 has posted about a super little crochet pattern for bunting that she found on the crochet with raymond blog. I don't really have a hope of getting bunting done by Easter but the thought is there!

I have finished three new felt flower brooches for Mother's day now. I have decided not to put them in my Folksy shop as I have had so many requests for them at work. Wish I could find the time to make more as I have my eye on a new felting book but I'm trying SO hard to not buy more crafty things unless I sell bits to pay for them.
I think I have solved my gift box problem for my brooches after a recent purchase on ebay for this cutting die:

However, 11 days on and it still hasn't arrived. I'm hoping it is on it's way but, after many problem free purchases on ebay, I think this one might not arrive. Just have that sneaky feeling. Shame, it looks like a good one and cost 15 pounds (still can't get that pounds sign back) + p&p.
Hope you have a good weekend.
Becky x

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Owls Everywhere!

Owls seem to be very 'in' at the moment. Everywhere I go, everything I do - owls! Firstly, there's Liz at thatfuzzyfeeling who makes the most adorable needle felted owls (there may still be time to win one of these if you hop over to her blog).
...and look at this...

Love, love LOVE this, Liz! I have also just discovered , after hopping over to Liz's blog for those images that she too has noticed the abundance of owls and done a similar post!

In a Craft Special by Woman's Weekly, I found an article for painting your own pebble owls.

I think I might have a go with Lulus over the Easter hols - they are so sweet.

Ali over at Random Wooliness has been making some felt owls too.

I love the way everyone's interpretation of the same creature is so different.

When the recent issue of 'Making' magazine arrived, what should I find but an article for making your own owl doorstop!

Again, gorgeous and yet so unique from the others.

But my absolute favourite has to be these. I discovered them for sale at Trebah Gardens recently and just fell in love with them.

These are just gorgeous. They are made from river pebbles and carved beautifully. I fell in love instantly and my husband went to buy one only to find they had been wrongly priced and the one I wanted, which we thought was 28 pounds (symbol for pounds has disappeared from keyboard!) turned out to be 50 pounds. Absolutely worth every penny just can't afford to spend that many pennies at the moment!
I haven't given up all hope as Mother's day is just around the corner!
Becky x

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

World Book Day

Tomorrow is World book day and to celebrate everyone at Lulu's school are getting dressed up as a favourite book character. We found this out after school on Monday (don't panic!). So, after some bookshelf pondering, we chose the book "Guess How Much I Love You", about two hares who talk about much they love each other. Tonight I have been busy sewing a quick costume, nothing special, just adapting a few items of clothing with a fluffy tummy and a tail...
I will post a pic tomorrow of her wearing it ; )
Becky x
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