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, 26 November 2014

Post Pals

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens FacesSo my new craft room is coming along beautifully! I've almost got it to a workable state and will be able to use it as my craft office properly again very shortly! So to celebrate I got my penpal supplies out and...promptly realised that I'm actually up to date with all my correspondance! Well that's great, but I really wanted to write, so I took to the trusty google and searched for new penpals. Which is how I found a site called Post Pals which broke my heart. The site contains a list of very sick children and a mailing address for each one (not a home address) with the wonderful idea of sending them little pieces of happy mail to coax a smile from them. It's a beautiful thought and I strongly urge anyone reading this blog to get involved. Just a postcard with a silly joke. Less than a pound. Whenever you can.

Personally I plan on sending every single child on that site a little something. It could be just a hand made card, or a silly drawing with a letter, but I aim to try and give each child a present too. Nowe my funds are really low at the moment, loosing my job and moving house, but I've already sent three children a little something.

Ella C

Ella is a beautiful  little girl who suffers from CRF, but her smile lights up the room. I've never met her, just click her name and look at her, she's beautiful! She's so poorly.

She was the first name I clicked on so her gift is just a card and a drawing, I hadn't really got the swing of things yet, but her envelope gave me the confidence to make the next ones bigger, so I really want to send her something else a little later on.

Her profile states that she loves pink, cream and Frozen, so I made her a 3D card featuring pink and cream. The card actually stands about an inch thick at the kitties face. Then I decorated the back of the envelope with "Elsa" who I apparently cannot draw! So I put Ellas name next to her in blue glitter and sealed the whole thing with snowflake deco tape.

Poppy and Coral

Poppy has just undergone FIVE organ transplants! Can you imagine? She's not even ten! I can't even imagine the life that sweet little girl has had, or the difficulty and fear her family has been through. She's currently in a HDU in London...about 250 miles from her home and her little sister Coral. I'd be so scared but she sounds so brave and strong. I remember my sister being in hospital when I was a child, it's a mental scar that's never healed and has fueled my phobia of the places ever since. My sister had an Astma attack and the hospital was in the same city, she was home inside a week. Poppy had her transplants a month ago and is still there. I needed to make both girls a present, something soft, something that could be a sister thing. I settled on these knittens. They're practically identical, but the top is a varigated yarn and has a mottle to it. One bear seems to have slightly murkey polka dots and the other has random lighter flashes. The important thing is, they're soft, they're small and they have a snap fastener on one paw so when you put them together they hold paws.

Poppy is a huge fan of postman Pat. and the colour pink. I wanted her card to feature both things, but as anyone who has ever watched Postman Pat knows, he's predominantly blue. I can't remember much of Postman Pat, I haven't watched it in years, but I vaguely remember him liking tea and cake... I may have made that up, but in my head he does, so I have some pretty teapot shaped, blue cards featuring pink roses. I thought they'd tie my lovely waving cartoon in with the more girly bear quite nicely. So here's Poppys package.
Coral likes sparklie things, her favourite colour is purple and she loves girley things and Disney. Sadly, my cardmaking supply cupboard is really low on childrens items. I need to go shopping. So this is what I came up with for her card. The lady looks like a girly princess, the entire thing is different shades of purple and I've added glitter to the hair and dress, not to mention writing her name in glitter! Hopefully she'll love it.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

We’ve moved!

And I hope that we never have to ever again! It's a nightmare and a comedy of errors that resulted in a major freakout and then almost ended in tears. I won't go into details but just imagine that everything went wrong. You've got a pretty good image in your head. Also, our new house is smaller than our old one and we have far too much stuff! To give you an idea, our livingroom, hallway, stairs, downstairs loo and kitchen would all have fit into my previous kitchen, but I'm determined to fit it all in, especially the craft supplies because...once again I'm a very lucky lady and have a dedicated craft room. It's about half the size of my old one, but it's not going to be needed as a nursery (we have one of those already) or a man office (the loft is half converted and just needs finishing) so it's all mine. It's really quite cosy too, the smaller space seems to be much better for the feel of it all.

There's still vast ammounts of things to be unpacked and the state of my craft room should give you an idea of just what a mammoth task this really is. We've been here for two weeks now and my craft room is the most organized room in the whole house...naturally. The second organized being the bedroom simply because those are the two rooms I spend the most time in. Sorry, that's how I unpack. Most lived in rooms first, least lived in rooms last, so a load of stuff is just piled in the living room and nursery. I will get there though.

Other than the house though, I'm really settling in. I keep getting lost walking the dog, but I'll find my way eventually, and exploring is really rather fun for the most part. I've found a little craft shop and I know my way to a specialist knitting shop and hobbycraft too. I've found a group of very local knitters to play with...sadly the local libraries are really uninspiring so I still have to do some looking there, but I have found a reasonably priced framing shop and I'm a lot nearer my family...plus...Sheffield has always been my true home so I'm just so glad to be back! 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Stormy Days

Designer: pamela wynne
Pattern: February Lady Sweater
Available from: Ravelry
Price: Free Download

When I worked for Wye needlecraft we were only allowed to wear non colours; black, white, beige and grey. So when I came across yarn I liked in those colours I'd pick some up. This yarn I actually found in Aldi the week it opened in Chesterfield. It was a 400g ball and cost me something like £6, so I thought it was going to be cheap and nasty, you know how cheap acrylic is? I was pleasently surprised, sure it's acrylic but it's actually really soft and lovely! I mean it's never going to compare to alpaca, but at the same time I'd happily put it on a child, and that was fantastic for me as it seemed like the perfect thing for a work jumper. Something that's going to get left in the office for days, crumpled up, dropped on the floor, tossed in a bag and undergo all sorts of hardships.

I called it my stormy Days cardi because I cast it on in the middle of an October Storm. Interestingly I finished it in the middle of another October storm. However the name prooved to be a little more true than I first imagined as once I'd cast on I handed my notice in, and then the shop starting hitting a rather rough patch. Sadly, I've never worn this at work, which was the whole point in knitting it. That's why it has short sleeves and only buttons across the bust, making it easier to work in, adding heat without overheating me as I run around all day.

Still, it's that time of year and it's a pretty design, I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of it over time. So I picked the prettiest buttons, for £1.38 each! I've never bought such expensive buttons, but they really suit the design, Large and bulky, but sweetly delicate. Prooving, as my very good friend suesan put it, that "the flowers are there despite the storm".

Anyway, it's a lovely pattern, really easy to memorize and work on the buss or wherever you go. After I got onto the lace section I didn't even bother using the pattern, the 4 row repeat was so easy so I just worked it until it was long enough. Same with the sleeves.

This is not a pattern for petite women though, if you're slender it will need some alterations because my size was only the second one on the pattern and I like my jumpers oversized. Means I can layer up. This one is a perfect idea though for the larger women out there who may sometimes struggle to find a pretty pattern in their size.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Mishka Stocking

Todays piece is not my best work, not by a long shot, but it's something I was asked to do. Basically my mum has about 60 Christmas sacks which she hopes to sell to raise money for Safe and Sound dog rescue. Someone, I think it was my mum, thought they'd sell for more if they were personalized. So my mum decides that she's going to cross stitch names onto these sacks, which sounds all well and good, but that's going to take her forever and as much as I love cross stitch there are faster and prettier ways, so I told her to just embroider it on and sold her some perle cotton stating that you could stitch a name in like ten minutes if you use stem stitch, or you could even use chain stitch if you want the bulk. Well one of these sacks was destined for her dog, Mishka, and so it was decided that I would do Mishkas name and she would use that as an example.

I stitches an odd letter that may have been a W, an M an E or even a 3 depending on how you looked at it. Once in Chain stitch and once in Stem stitch. My mum decided that she liked the stem stitch better but that she wanted the lettering in a cursive script, which doesn't really go well together, but as it's what she wanted it's what she got.

Step one was to open microsoft word and Write Mishkas name, then change the font to one my mum liked. Next we chose the placement for it and changed the size to suit. Then I simpley printed it off, cut the name out and pinned it in place. The rest was pretty easy, just chain stitch over the lettering and once it's complete you just pull the paper out, using a needle to work any small straggling pieces free.

The end result is flowing letters stitched directly onto the fabric. It takes about 20 minutes, although this one didn't because when I say twenty minutes, I mean twenty minutes of concentration. It is fast and pretty easy to do, but you need to focus to make it neat. As it is, I think it's too bulky, but it's what my mum wanted and she's happy with it. So that's what matters. That said, I'd love to do another one in a thinner, more delicate stem stitch for somebody. Interested? Well you can enter my giveaway to win one using the widget below, just tell me what name you would like on your sack and a winner will be chosen at random