Wednesday 31 October 2012

Pimp that Poppy.

For years, around this time of year, I have coveted a crystal poppy....something like this Buckley one.

In fact, today I have given in and order myself one from the Royal British Legion.

But, in case you do not have the funds, or do not require a permanent poppy you could make your own. Yep, "Pimp Your Poppy".

So, first of all you need to buy yourself a poppy.  You can find them here....

Drop a few pennies, or even better, pounds, into the tub and take yourself a poppy (don't forget your pin).

You will also need some crystals to embellish your poppy with. I used 4mm stick on ones in red and green, which I stuck on with PVA glue, but you can also get self-adhesive ones too which might suit you better.

First you need to take apart your poppy, like this.

NOTE: Before taking the poppy apart, draw around the little black centre with a pen, this will give you a line to work up to in the next few steps.

Dab some PVA glue onto the leaf part and using tweezers pick up the gems and place them on the leaf.  I only worked about 3/4 of the way down to ensure the poppy would go back together comfortably.

Next do the poppy head in the same way, remembering to leave room for the little black bit in the centre.

Don't be afraid to use plenty of glue, as it also acts as a varnish.  Take no notice of how white it looks when you are working as it will dry clear.

Leave overnight and do not fiddle with it.

Re-assemble the next day and wear with pride.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

A fluffy, snuggly baby scarf.

I was asked by a friend to knit a little scarf to keep her baby warm in the cool Cumbrian weather.

She chose Sirdar Snowflake Wool.

In a lovely shade called 'Fluffy Plum'.

I have knitted  (what is the past tense of knit?  knitted?  knat?) ..... anyway,  I have knitted with this wool in the past, I made a super cuddly teddy bear for my niece a good few years ago, and remembered that it wasn't the easiest of yarns to knit with.  If you drop a stitch it is almost impossible to find, and the texture is weird.  The yarn is the cosiest, fluffiest, softest material to touch, but knitting with it can only be compared to knitting with cotton wool dusted with icing sugar.  You actually expect your hand to be sticky once you reach the end of a row, but of course it's not  :)

So, I did just a short little scarf, so it cannot get wrapped around too tight, and finished it off with a couple of purple pom poms.

Every girl needs a pom pom in her life  :)

Sunday 28 October 2012

Can you knit a poster?

Yep, I was actually asked that question - "Can you knit a poster?".

Not one of my more common requests I must be honest, but as you all know I do love a challenge  :)

The brief was to do a poster sized piece of knitting to promote the "3 for 2" promotion we have on wool at the moment in Hobbycraft.

The colours were chosen for me, but I did push for chunky wool, as it would have taken ages in double knit.

So, first, I had to design the pattern.  I opened up my bead designing program on my laptop and set it to 'square stitch'  (I also have a cross-stitch designer program which would have done the job just as well).

It took me a good three hours of fiddling about with little dots to get it right.  I decided on 100 stitches and 150 rows.

Each row took just under 6 minutes, making a total of 900 minutes for the whole piece (or 15 hours).  But that didn't include the three times I had to unpick it as I was concentrating more on the TV !!

And to show you just how big it is, here is the Hubster holding it up  :)

Saturday 6 October 2012

Sock Monkeys at Higham Hall.

A couple of weekends ago I taught basic jewellery making at Higham Hall, I stayed on and did a Sunday afternoon class on making Sock Monkeys.  (A whole weekend of crafting, what could be better?)

This was a new class, four hours had been allowed but I was a little concerned it would not be long enough, however most people got their monkeys finished and a couple that didn't had only very little to finish off at home.

It was a large class, apparently it booked up very quickly, so I imagine there will be another one in the next programme.   We had a group of 15 ladies, all wanting to sew up their socks :)

There were fluffy socks, stripy socks, floral socks, used socks, new socks, bed socks - all kinds of socks, which in turn made all kinds of monkeys.

The first monkey finished was this handsome chap.

This little fellow ended up with the title "Donkey", I guess he does look a little like a donkey, and not sure where that tail was supposed to be sewn!!

This monkey was made from mens sports socks, which made him all fluffy, yet manly  :)

All of the monkeys together, don't they look great?

Thursday 4 October 2012

Travelling Bracelet Adventures

Do you remember me telling you a couple of weeks ago about the Travelling Bracelet Project?

Well, if not, CLICK HERE for a little reminder  :)

Sadly, my time with the bracelet is now up and I have to pass it onto to another lucky beader, but in the meantime let me show you where the bracelet has been whilst in my care.

First, it took a little trip into my workplace, Hobbycraft, Carlisle.

Where it said hello to lots of lovely beads.

My colleagues were all very interested and a few were talked into being included in this blog  :)

Here is the beautiful Amy, a lovely picture with the flowers making a stunning backdrop.

And this is Nathan... of course boys can wear travelling bracelets  :)

At this point I entrusted the bracelet to my Manager's care and she took it down to Bournemouth for a meeting (360 miles away) and managed to get the CEO of Hobbycraft - Catriona Marshall to pose for a photo with it  :)  How fantastic!

Catriona Marshall - CEO of Hobbycraft

When I got it back, the next stop was Higham Hall, where I teach various crafts throughout a residential weekend.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't too kind for a decent photo against the magnificent scenery, but this mountain is Skiddaw, usually under some cloud, but under a lot that day.

I shall miss the bracelet, it is packed up and waiting to go to the next person once I have an address.  It was very comfortable to wear and attracted a lot of attention.  I shall follow it's further adventures with interest  :)

If you fancy signing up for a go, visit this website.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Jewellery making class at Higham Hall.

Last weekend I did my first jewellery making for beginners class at Higham Hall.

I usually do glass-bead making, so this was a new class for me.

The class was from Friday evening through to Sunday morning.  There was just four people booked on the course so it was nice and friendly and the students could grab some one-to-one tuition  not that any of them needed it  :)

Some of the students were a little camera shy, except Sarah & Jose, so I only took pics of them, but somehow the one of Sarah is missing, so sorry Sarah, if you are reading this  :)

These are some of the samples I did at the class....

And the students work  :)  Didn't they do great?

Monday 1 October 2012

First attempt at quilling.

My Mother-In-Law makes the most stunning greetings cards using the art of quilling.  I am always in awe at her stunning designs.

Quilling is the method  of rolling up little strips of paper to form shapes.  Everyone looks forward to getting a card from my M-I-L, so I thought I might have a little play myself.

My daughter's girlfriend, Marie, also 'Quills', so she offered to give me a little lesson.

So I learnt how to use a little tool and roll the paper, then pop it into a shape and let it uncurl slightly.

Then I had to, very carefully, remove the curl from the shape, glue the edge, then place it on a board to dry.

My flower  :)

I then did a little green stem and stuck it all to a blank card.

I am just about to email the photo to my M-I-L, although I am not too sure if it will impress her  :)

I really enjoyed this, might have another go sometime soon.