Hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet. I intend to use this blog as a showcase for my latest crafting endeavours and to provide detailed reviews of patterns, kits and accessories on the market along with details on where to find everything yourself, should I inspire you to try it out. Please feel free to comment on my posts, provide your own thoughts on the subject, answer questions and even suggest posts.

It has always been my goal to add a post every Wednesday, but due to current circumstances posts may be as scarce as once a month. Appologies and I hope to return to my weekly posting shortly.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dotee for Daphne

Daphne is my other mother. I don't think I'd been on the payroll for a month before someone commented that Daphne could be my mum. It stuck and now it's not at all unusual to hear me call for my mum at work. I love her dearly and I think I shall miss working with her the most and it's mainly for her that I thought about dotee dolls to start with. You see Daphne loves those Babushka dolls and by extension matryoshka and kokeshi dolls too and I figured I could possibly make something similar in felt.

I copied the height from my book, but the shaping and design for this one are completely original. The hair is much more simple this time being only a mustache shaped piece of felt with directional lines running across it and no beads. I also think the face looks a lot more clean and simple. The body however blindsided me. I just could not envision how to decorate her, so I eventually settled only lazy daisy stitches with center beads and a border of beads. I still think it looks very clumsy, but I think Daphne will love it. My husband thinks it's absolutely darling and ordered me not to change a thing, so there must be something there .

I think my style is getting more distinct and I like this one better than my first attempt. Hubby has named her Babushka.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dotee for Diane

You remember how I told you that my job is moving to Mansfield in September but without all the staff? I'm not even sure how long I'll be able to stay there myself, and it's so sad because we are all just one big family. I'm going to miss everyone so much and even though I know I'll still see them after the move it's heartbreaking to think of going without them. So I really wanted to show them how much they mean to me. And sure, this might seem like a rather childish way but as I'm quite obviously the baby of our little family it also seems somewhat appropriate to make little Dotee dolls. Problem is, I've never made one before, so I picked up a book in London and decided that they were pretty easy and the scope was pretty limitless, so I decided to have a play.

I got myself to hobbycraft and for just over a fiver I picked up 21 different colours of felt. I also picked up several different beads while I was down in London and figured that this was the perfect project to use up my mystery embroidery cottons. So the first one was for Diane. Her favourite colour is pink so I decided to use a baby pink for the dress and my hubby said that the raspberry would look great as her hair. The template...well I kind of used parts from two in my book and adapted them to suit how I wanted it to look, mostly so I had the size right rather than to copy the style, which is a good thing because this looks like neither of the two whose templates I used :P

I embroidered the hair and added some brown beads to create a bit of sparkle and the idea that the hair is actually being blown by the wind. That was the longest part of the entire doll! I also added a beaded flower in her hands as Diane likes flowers and her parents used to run a flower shop, and a pretty pink necklace which does not sit flat! Sorry Di. I used a mattress stitch to sew the pieces together for the most part which gives the edge a pretty braided cord look and hides the line between the two pieces quite beautifully.

Lastly I used a synthetic toy stuffing that came free with a magazine kit and added some dried Lavender from my garden. All in all, I'm quite pleased with how she turned out and I hope Di will love her.

My husband named her Rosie.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Congratulations to Ben and Gina!

A big congratulations for Ben and Gina who were married over the weekend at Whitley Hall Hotel! It was a beautiful day and they both looked beautiful! My husband was one of Bens Groomsmen and  the two have been friends for many years! Unfortunately I've only met Gina once and I think I've met Ben twice, but they're lovely people and I'm so happy for them! I wish them a lifetime of happiness.

So, do you remember the Sampler I created back in May? I personalized that with their details and framed it in a simple gold frame with a deep purple mount. I wasn't sure that they would like it, but I wanted them to have something a bit special because Ben is such a good friend to my Chris. It turns out that I could not have got them a better present!

This wedding was very into handmade! Thank you cards were all handmade die cuts, the gifts they gave out were all hand made and presumably sourced from Etsy, the decorations had this small country wedding theme to them, the favours were in envelopes decorated with buttons. It was beautiful and rustic and perfect, and such a relief for me. Ben loved the gift and held onto it for ages before putting it on the gift table, and Gina came over before the end of the night to thank me personally. Do you want to know something fortuitous though?  This sampler was origionally bought for an aunt of mine who since made it very clear that she no longer wants anything to do with me, so I made it for Ben and Gina, and the colours in the design match PERFECTLY with the colours of their wedding. Pink and purple.

Now you can probably also recognize my Cotton Candy Shawl from last weeks post in this picture. As you remember I made that to wear to this wedding, so...this is how it looked in the end. Originally I was going to wear it with the pink dress hanging on the door. I'd gone all the way to my sisters house to borrow that and some shoes for the day. Bless my darling little sister! She was so nice and spent an hour with me picking out the outfit and even a back-up outfit as the pink dress had a very tight bust and it needed two people to put it on and take it off.So she loaned me a black number as a back-up. On Friday I cracked a rib and could not wear the dress. My husband, however, picked up this purple one that was very easy to put on and went with my shawl and the shoes I'd borrowed. So much so that I actually think it looks like the shawl is part of the dress!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Cotton Candy Shawl

Designer: Gail Tanquary
Pattern: Lace Pattern Shawlette in DK Panda Silk
Available from: Crystal Palace Yarns
Price: Free download

Brand: Araucania
Item: Ruca Multy
Available from: Raging Wool
Price: $14

I don't know about where you live, but here the weather has been blisteringly hot! It seems that every other person I see on the street is lobster red, which does not make for very comfortable crafting conditions! It's sweaty, it's hot, it's hard to breathe, all you want to do is sit in front of the open freezer! I had several projects on the go and lined up just before the hot weather hit, and none of them have been touched! It's just too hot! However, there is a wedding coming up this weekend and I would love to have a new shawl to wear for it as I will no doubt be outside most of the day and do not want to burst into flames! So this is where plant fibres come into play!

This yarn is made out of sugar viscose and before you ask, no it won't dissolve when it gets wet. What it does do is drape like silk, but with all the cooling properties of exceptionally loosely woven bamboo. It's got a luxurious sheen to it and everyone who touches it cannot get over how soft it is to touch. Which makes it the ideal yarn to work on in this arid heat!

Yarn settled upon, I needed a pattern that was pretty and interesting to work on, but simple enough that I could work on it while my brain slowly fries! This design from crystal palace yarns seemed to meet the criteria, so while we went away for a weekend in the "London" countryside I cast on. It took me four days! But my yardage cut the design short and I had to bind off before I could put the pretty picot edging on. Still...I think it looks fabulous!