Sunday, 29 June 2014

Crochet surfing

I have to admit to spending a bit to much time surfing the net and ooing and ahing over all the fabulous crochet pictures I come across, in fact I've actually filled up the memory on my iPad saving so many photo's! I thought maybe it was about time I shared some of these photos from these clever people. 

(Just so I don't fall foul of any copyright or plagiarism laws I would like to clearly state now that unless specifically stated, none of the photos I share are mine, my work or intended to be displayed in a way that makes anyone think they are my pieces of work, and I'll try to give you a link to the page where I found it, however...............if it's mine I'll shout about it loud and clear!)

I found these really cute guys while scrolling through Facebook, on a page called "The Crochet Case"' and I think I might have to buy a pattern or two to try out! They're just adorable. I really love the giraffe

And the elephant's pretty cute too,

But this little guy has to be my absolute favourite

He's simply adorable, I love his little goaty face, but without the horns I recon he'd make a beautiful rabbit. I just love the use of felt to accentuate his eyes and nose, it works so well.

If you want to find the patterns, copy one of these links into your browser and you"ll find them 

I also found this on the same page, how fab is it?!

Facebook is an amazing place to find inspiration, there's a group called "The Creative Crochet Crew" it's a fab group to join as lots of people add photo's of their work on their, it's so great to see what everyone's been up to. 

I love love love these stegosaurus's 

And this cute guy

They're from the Heidi Bears range, made using and African flower motif, I recently started making Lolo the bear and will post a picture of mine once I've finished her.

I also love these guys from Ruperts House on Etsy, the patterns not for sale, only the finished article, but they're fab none the less

So many clever people out there!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Crocheters block........... Unblocked

The crocheters block turned out to be rather useful in the end because although I couldn't think of anything I wanted to make, I actually made some rather fab without meaning to!  I love nothing more than listening to an audiobook and crocheting away. It's a release from everything stressful in life and although I was completely bogged down feeling exhausted and hurting all over (My GP thinks I may have Fibromyalgia) I still needed the rhythm and hum of crochet to keep everything going, so I decided that as all of my creative energy had vanished I was just going to crochet granny squares, plain and simple, each one in a different colour from my ever expanding stash.

This photo above is my happy birthday stash! My mum gave me vouchers for the garden centre and hey what would you know? They sell Stylecraft yarn and lots of it, so the plants got left behind while I skipped home with yet another few balls to add to the stash (which now seems to be taking over my house) And this is where the granny squares started, until a while later when I had an ever expanding pile of colourfulness.

I'm really into Phillipa Gregory at the moment on Audible and have whiled away many hours listening and crocheting, I'm working my way through the White Queen Series: The Lady Of The Rivers, The White Queen, The Red Queen, The White Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Constant Princess, The Boleyn Inheiritance, and now I'm onto The Queens Fool. The best bit is when it's warm and sunny outside and I can sit comfortably in my egg chair, crochet and listen away = pure bliss!

The pile grew and grew, it kind of reminded me of The Magic Porridge Pot story, until there were 70 in total:

And then the pants bit began! S E W I N G  UP, eugh I hate that bit sooooo much! I tried everything to get out of sewing 70 squares together, I tried slip stitching them, I tried single crocheting them but nothing worked because each square was a different colour it didn't seem to matter what colour yarn I used, it just stuck out like a sore thumb and looked messy so there was nothing for it but to pull out the old needle and thread and mattress stitch them together, but Katherine Howard, Henry the 8th and The Boleyn Inheiritance helped speed things along and before I knew it, all 70 were joined and looking amazing.

I added a border, I just think a border finishes everything off nicely and hey presto, a blanket to be proud of was born...................................

Although it looks tiny in my enormous egg chair, It's actually just slightly bigger than single bed size and perfect for warming the soul on chilly afternoons and evenings. 

And now this one's finished? I'm making a commission for a lady I met at a craft fayre who was so complimentary about my worked and asked if I could make her something. It's almost finished, but I can't give any sneak peaks until it's safely been delivered to her! Watch this space!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Crocheters Block

I'm really struggling at the moment with crochet block, I just don't seem to be able to settle on anything in particular. I'm desperate to start a new project but I just can't seem to mentally get myself into the right place to begin. If I flick through my iPad I have literally a thousand different photo's of items that i've come across and fallen in love with so I've snap-shotted a picture of it, with the intention of making something similar as my next project, but nothing's grabbing me. It's sooooooooo frustrating.

Something I have wanted to try for a very long time is tapestry crochet or "graphghan". Before I fell in love with crochet, my Mum taught me to knit. (Shucks! Hush my naughty mouth for mentioning the "K" word!) And I particularly enjoyed intarsia knitting, so a graphghan is something I'd love to try. It does seem to be quite a new thing (I may be wrong here) and I haven't been able to find many patterns for it, but I have watched a couple of tutorials on YouTube so I think this may well be my next project.

I found this one doing a search on Yahoo. It's pretty amazing isn't it! The hours of work that must have gone in to produce it is mind boggling.

This one too, the lady who made this is so talented

I love the colours and the style of this afghan

I absolutely love this little red cardinal, I love the Nordic style too

Another great piece of art

And this bag is really really great.

But the block is still there and I just can't seem to get past it, so for now I'll keep searching for something fantastic and for inspiration to strike!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Naughty Dog!

I hope everyone had a lovely relaxing Easter Sunday despite the awful weather. Unfortunately, we had a very expensive one, but not in the egg-citing way you'd hope. Jasper, our naughty puppy decided while no one was looking to sneak upstairs to my daughters bedroom and eat a huge bar of chocolate!!!!!! Luckily for him he was caught in the act and after a quick call to the vet helpline we discovered he'd eaten enough to give him a very serious case of theobromine poisoning and had to call the vet out.

Poor Jasper, his day really got worse! The vet had to induce vomiting to get the chocolate out of his system and then force fed him charcoal to stop him absorbing any theobromine that was left. Poor baby, he really looked and felt dreadful, but being a puppy, I'm sure he won't learn from his little misdemeanour! All I can say is "bank holiday Sunday, calling the vet out........... Thank goodness he's insured!"

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter fun

I so love having the kids home during school holidays, it gives us a kind of freedom not available during term time, free from the routine and demands of conforming to school rules and a chance to just relax, chill and have fun, a chance to just be ourselves and make decisions for just us.

We've spent the last couple of weeks caught up in a mixture of relaxing and chilling out at home and of adventures and fun. We took full advantage of the glorious sunshine we've been blessed with, some days with not even a cloud in the sky.......

Just that beautiful sky blue colour I named my cat after!

One of the days we took full advantage of living in a town right on the train line and hopped on board and headed to Weymouth, bags packed for a bit of fun by the sea. This was Jasper's very first trip on a train and although he's a pretty easy going puppy dog and I've done most things with him, this was something new that I realised he hadn't experienced before, however I had no need to worry, other than needing a bit of a shove up the bum to get him from the flat form onto the train, he was fine.

The train was really busy, with lots of people with the same idea and everyone seemed to think it was a real novelty to have a dog on board, but after 10 minutes Jasper had had enough of being the star attraction and went to sleep under the table!

It only takes about 50 minutes to chug our way along through the picturesque Somerset/Dorset countryside before arriving in Weymouth. And I have to say I found using the train far easier (and far cheaper than taking the car) The kids seem to enjoy it far more too, and on leaving the train station you meet Wenlock or perhaps Mandeville, can never remember which one is which, because of course, Weymouth hosted the Olympic Sailing in 2012

Little H was desperate to get on the beach. The thing I absolutely love about Weymouth beach is that it has a large area by the pier dedicated to dogs all year round. A lot of the times I feel like a lepper owning a dog, Britain does seem to be particularly dog unfriendly :0( but Weymouth welcomes them and its one of the reasons I visit so often.

Straight away, Little H and Jasper-Joe were engrossed in digging, building castles, dashing around and generally having lots of fun. The sea at Weymouth is very safe, you can wade out for ages and still only be knee deep, making it fab for kids.

The water was also incredibly warm for April and there was a good few brave souls taking a dip, not me though, it has to be 90 degrees in the shade on a tropical island before I'd consider submerging myself! Jasper and H weren't bothered though and had lots of fun chasing balls, splashing around and enjoying themselves.

The colour of the sky was incredible

And I love how the town comes right down to meet the shoreline

By midday our tummies were rumbling so we left the beach in search of food. We headed for the harbour which is a beautiful place, full of old fashioned chocolate box cottages, cafe's and bars. There's a little old man, who's been there for as long as I can remember, certainly since I was a child, who rows a little rowing boat ferry backwards and forwards across the harbour, taking people from one side to the other. We paid our £1 fare and sailed across, little H very excited and Jasper completely unbothered by the whole adventure.

We enjoyed lunch amongst the hustle and bustle of the harbour, hot fish and chips and cans of fizzy Coca Cola, watching the boats gently passing by before returning to the beach for more fun and games. Jasper made lots of new friends and loved the freedom to romp and play with other dogs, in particular this beautiful Dalmatian.

And after a quick dip in the sea, 

came back for a good roll in the sand before shaking it all over lovely Lady M, who I have to say was none to impressed!

We had such a lovely day, playing in the sand, lazing in the glorious spring sunshine and enjoying the freedom of the Easter holidays, before returning back to the train for a lovely relaxing ride home with sunkissed faces, sand inbetween our toes and a warm fuzzy feeling of happiness!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Fun in the sun

The kids are on their Easter Holidays and the spring sun is shining down upon us so we decided to make the most of it and headed off to beautiful Weymouth on the train. We're really lucky to have a train station on the outskirts of our little town that is on the main London line and on the line to the south coast, it opens up endless possibilities for fun!

I love Weymouth as they have an area set aside especially for woofers and Jasper absolutely loves the beach so it's great for us. I think on the whole Britain is a very dog unfriendly place, the amount of places I go that ban dogs is unbelievable. I've been a member of the National Trust for more years than I care to remember but since getting I dog, I've had to cancel my membership as most of their places ban them like some sort of lepper. It's such a shame as Jasper seems to know if Harry is going to have a seizure and fore warns us but taking the pair of them anywhere is so difficult.

Anyway, back to our day on the coast. Everyone loves the train, Harry loves to gaze out the window at the world going by, it gives Mollie a chance to read, and it gives me a chance to crochet! (It would be rude not to!) this was Jaspers first ride on a train, I was a bit worried, but other than not liking stepping over the gap he was, to my great relief, fine with it.

The train was packed and so was Weymouth, everyone seemed to have the same idea. Last year we couldn't get Jasper in the sea, this year it seems we won't be able to keep him out and surprisingly the sea was really quite warm. It is very very shallow at Weymouth, you have to wade out a fair old way even before its knee deep so maybe that's why the water was warmish. None the less little H and Jasper-Joe had loads of fun.

Playing in the sea..............

Digging in the sand...............

Meeting new friends...............

Swimming in the sea.............

And rolling in the sand and shaking it all over Mollie!!!!!!

Weymouth is beautiful, the harbour very traditional and picturesque 

You can cross over from one side to the other either by walking all the way round a going over the swing bridge, or as we did catching a little boat rowed by a lovely old gent who will take you across the water for 50p

I love how the town comes right down to the beach

And how safe, shallow and dog friendly the beach is

Just simply a wonderful day out :0)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Wonderful weekend

Wow what a wonderful weekend I've just had and after spending the last 3 months feeling really rough and battling a nasty virus and all the upset of the market debacle, I once again feel wonderful :0)

I have been organising a Charity Craft Fair event in our local town, I wanted to provide local crafters with the opportunity to sell their beautiful handmade wares at a reasonable price because everywhere I've looked, craft fair tables are sooooo expensive. The margins when selling things you've lovingly crafted are so tight that if you have to spend £30 on a table at event you've probably actually cost yourself more than you've made! 

So after lots of advertising a group of us excitedly got together for our very first fair on Saturday and what a roaring success it was, we raised £122 for our local Special Care Baby Unit and had a marvellous time selling the things we so enjoy making, and for me it was a relief to recoup a tiny bit of the outlay I'd spent on everything for the market stall that I'd been let down on last minute. All that stock and the money tied up in it, ready to launch a business that wasn't going to happen was laying so heavy on my mind.

We've decided it was so fab that we're going to do it every first Saturday of the month. More than anything else its a chance to socialise and meet like minded people , discuss methods and share ideas, we'll never make our first million from it as there's not many pennies to be made from crafting but it's fun none the less and I met some really fantastic people with some amazing ideas.

He'res my stall

Lots and lots of yummy crafty bits, plus if you look carefully, a sneaky cup of tea!