Saturday 29 August 2015

Shrink Doodle Jewellery

I was messing about with my stash of Shrink Plastic recently, and beside me on my desk was my Tangle Cards as I had been Zentangling.

So, my little brain thought I should mix and match and Zentangle some plastic to shrink.  Earrings, I thought, and drew a little shape.  Then I started to add my patterns..

...and a few more, and finally - too many   :)  Isn't that always the way?  You feel you should have left it at the step before.  Less is more, and all that!

Anyway, it's done now, so I did a pendant piece in the same manner.

Then I punched holes in them (this is the important part that I often forget, and you cannot punch holes in this stuff once it has shrunk) and baked them :)

Finally I added ear wires and a chain to complete the jewellery.   Could have some fun with this I think  :)

Friday 28 August 2015

Dave The Seagull - from Kerry Lord's new book

Meet Dave.....

I was sent Kerry Lord's new book "Edward's Menagerie Takes Flight" to review.

You may remember that I made a few animals last year from her original book "Edward's Menagerie", I made an Ardvark, a Koala, a Bunny and a Cat.

So when I got the email offering me a chance to review the book, of course I jumped at it.

I got a PDF copy which I opened on my iPad using iBooks.   In this book, same as the first, the patterns are laid out differently to other crochet books I have used.   You get the basic body patterns in the beginning of the book, making up instructions in the back of the book, and any adaptations on each single pattern as you work through the book.

This can be a little frustrating as you are constantly flicking back and forward to see which part to do next.  For example, you turn to the pattern you want to make and it says "work basic body pattern" - so off you go to the front and find the basic body pattern, to which the first instruction is "work 6DC into the foundation ring", so then you have to go to the back of the book to find out how to do the foundation ring.  Which is actually just DC2 then work 6 x DC into the 2nd CH.  It wouldn't be too much harder to just put this instruction on the basic pattern to save you flicking back and forth.

Colour changes are also mentioned on each pattern page, so you need to make note of these or you will forget to change as you work  :)

Obviously once you have made a few you remember the instructions, but in the interim it's just a little frustrating - ESPECIALLY when it is a PDF version.

That is my only grumble, other than that this book, as the first, is just gorgeous.  It's beautifully set out, easy enough to follow and is concise in the directions, even though they are scattered about all over the place.

I decided to make Dave, the Seagull.  Because where we park at work there is a seagull issue - mainly with the pooping on our cars and making an awful mess.

However, I have no issues with seagulls, I have issues with the humans that leave the mess that seagulls eat, therefore encouraging them to hang around populated areas before complaining about them - but that's another rant   :)

So, Dave it was - I added my own little addition of a seagull poop so I could photograph him on my colleagues car  (who doesn't share my respect and wants to shoot them all  ;) )

Dave will be donated to that colleague after he has been on a little road trip with me.  So look out for him in future blogs.

In the meantime, if you fancy Kerry's beautiful books for yourself, you can find the links below.

Edward's Menagerie.
Edward's Menagerie Takes Flight.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Glow-In-The-Dark Pineapple T-Shirt - free tutorial

I had so much fun with this tutorial I did for the Hobbycraft Blog.  The Tulip 3D paint is just brilliant for decorating t-shirts with, and the fact that this one glow-in-the-dark..... what's not to love?

The paint goes a long way too, which is a bonus, as it is so annoying to run out of things mid project.

The t-shirt was just £3.00 from George at Asda.  It's quite thin, but that makes it better to work with as you can see through it easier to trace the lines of the template through.

Of course, you can put any design you like on in the same way.

To find the full step-by-step tutorial click on the link below, and do let me know if you make one for yourself   :)

Friday 21 August 2015

DMC Natura XL - a review

I was sent some DMC Natura XL yarn to play with.  Now I am not a stranger to this yarn, as I have used the DMC Natura before in crocheting.  But this XL one is super chunky and comes in a gorgeous range of colours, like it's thinner cousin.

It is just cotton, nothing mixed, nothing added, just 100& cotton.  Because of this there is very little stretch and the stitches are beautifully defined.

Like most cottons it does untwist a bit so some people can find them a bit 'splitty', I don't mind that, my Amour hooks seem to cope really well with splitty yarns so it is not a problem for me.  I wasn't overly keen on the bamboo hook that I received with the yarns, but I am a bit of a one-hook girl so try it for yourself and see.

The colours of the DMC Natura XL are amazing - right up my street, they just pop out with summery brightness, who couldn't be cheerful when faced with colours like these?

There was a little leaflet with a pattern in the package with the yarn so I thought I would make some bits off that, like these wristwarmers.

And some little hearts - although the given pattern didn't seem to work so well so I added a row and edited it slightly to suit.   

Of course I had to make a heart out of every colour, then make some again  :)   So I decided to add them to a simple crochet chain to make a pretty garland.

As I had quite a bit of yarn left I then went on to crochet into this hula-hoop to make a rather large wall hanging, you may remember this one from a previous post.  :)

...... and now I have a new pile of DMC Natura XL to make something quite exciting with.  Watch this space   :)

Wednesday 19 August 2015

A knitted Clanger - free pattern link

I was asked to make a Clanger using this pattern from the CBeebies website.

I didn't have any 4ply yarn so I did this one on DK using 3mm hooks.

It really is rather a cute pattern, and although easy to follow, it does involve making quite a few pieces.

Don't be put off by the I-Cord technique of knitting certain bits  (the ear trims and the hair), it might sound a bit tricky but it works really well and gives you a 'French Knitting' type of effect.

As well as yarn you will need felt in two shades of pink and black for the clothing, ear lining and feet.

I felt it helped to pin the pieces in place on the body so I knew how to stitch them together.

And then it was done!  Cute little thing isn't it?

And now it has gone off to it's new home where hopefully it will be loved and cherished  :)

Have you made one?

Festival clothing

Summer is the time of festivals, and having just been to one myself I realise just how much effort people put into their clothes for such events.

As these ladies did.

When I first claimed my patch of grass I spotted these jumpers across the back of 6 chairs, I thought to myself that someone had made a lot of effort, or did they have a knitting club and they all made their own.

As the evening drew in on the jumpers started to go on and I grabbed this shot, but then I decided that really I should go and talk to these colourful ladies and find out more about their jumpers.

It turned out that one of their Mum's made them all - a 75 yr old lady no less, I bet she enjoyed seeing them come together with all those wonderful neon colours.  Matching leg warmers too!

Thank you ladies, if you are reading this, for letting me take and use your photo.  Your bright and cheery jumpers made my day.  Always like to see a bit of craft work  :)

So... talking of festival clothing, do you remember the spray paint neon t-shirt I made a wee while ago?

Here is is again....

You can easily make yourself one of these, my tutorial is on the Hobbycraft blog which you can find by clicking below.

What festival clothes have you made?  Pop me a photo on  my Facebook page.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Zentangle on a Slate Heart

I have been eyeing up this slate heart in Hobbycraft for a while now, wondering what I could possibly do with one.  Then an idea just popped into my head  - Zentangle it!

So I grabbed a 20cm one and a Kuretake paint pen and got to work.

I  used my Tangle Cards - Yoga for the Brain - for the designs on this one.  The cards are great, you just pick your pattern, flip the card over, and follow the instructions on how to draw the Tangle.

Then I decided to do another for display in Hobbycraft, Carlisle.  This time I used the book Zentangle 1 for the most basic patterns.

It worked out quite nicely I think.

... but why waste a perfectly good side and leave it blank?  So I decided to Tangle that side too, this time I just Googled Tangle patterns and used some I found online.

It's really nice making these, you get totally lost in the process.

Wondering what else I can Tangle now  ;)

Saturday 15 August 2015

Rewind Festival 2015

Last weekend Hubster and I trotted off to the Rewind Festival  (North) at Cheshire - Capesthorn Hall in fact.

What a great time we had too, of course the music took me right back to my teenage years. Hubster, who is a bit younger, just had to put up with me singing most of the way down the M6 on the way to the event.

The line up was great, although I particularly went to see Jimmy Somerville and The South.  As I have recently seen The South in concert, Jimmy was the main pull for me.  And boy, was he good!

So, there was:

Sugar Hills Gang
The South
Howard Jones
Wang Chung
Steven Augeri  (formerly of Journey)
Katrina  (of Katrina and the Waves)
Chesney Hawkes
Kim Wilde
Belinda Carlisle
Jimmy Somerville
Soul II Soul
Human League

All introduced by the one and only Toyah!

Folk were dressed up in all sorts of costumes, I felt considerably under-dressed in my jeans and t-shirts (and very warm too as it was a glorious day)

We had a slight hiccup in the fact that we had both forgotten to take any cash with us - we do this a lot, we completely rely on places having cash machines.  But I had an emergency £5.00 note in my phone case.   Cider for me (he doesn't drink)  or share a portion of chips for dinner later on.  After all we were going to be there for 10 hours.   The cider won.

 I went for a wee when Belinda Carlisle came on as her voice does nothing but sound like chalk on a blackboard to me, so what better to do than queue up for a stinky portaloo?  BUT would you believe on that wander, trying to escape her weird warble, after asking at a few vans if they took card payments, (as the hunger was setting in), I found a transit van with a cash machine in it!  Result.  Hubster's little face when I took him back a burger and chips was priceless, I guess he was hungry too  :)   (and more cider for me)  Pity it was 7.30pm in the evening and we had been sat there with nothing for the best part of seven hours.

All in all a great time, the acts were great, except Soul II Soul who were pants and Belinda as mentioned above.

But here is a little clip of the most marvellous Jimmy Sommerville to give you a taste of the atmosphere  :)

Thursday 13 August 2015

Make it yourself - Flamingo Cushion cover

Do you remember the pineapple cushion cover I did a few weeks back for the Hobbycraft blog?

You can find it HERE if you wish to have a look.

Well, while I was working on that, I was also working on a Flamingo cushion cover too.  Still using Tulip products but this time I was drawing and colouring in, rather than the sponging technique I used on the Pineapple.

It was good fun, and if you fancy having a go yourself, you can get my step-by-step tutorial on the Hobbycraft blog by using the link below.

(The cushion covers are bought ones and are from Dunelm Mill.)

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Crochet Wish Jars

I made these cute little crochet jars recently for an idea to pop little notes in at a wedding, but you could use them to pop little notes in for almost anything - birthdays, Father's/Mother's day, even fill with sweeties to make a lovely, thoughtful gift.

I have made them in various yarn types but they do look better in cotton - 4 ply is best as you get a nice definition of stitches.

Try the Patons 4ply or the DMC Natura which comes in some gorgeous colours.

To find the pattern and step-by-step photo instructions, just pop on over the the Hobbycraft blog by clicking the link below.

Monday 10 August 2015

An old school desk

I recently picked up this most marvellous old school desk, in a charity shop, for the grand price of just £2.00!  Yep, two shiny pound coins.

I shoved it in the car quick (or rather Hubster did) and dropped it straight off with Daddy L for a quick clean up,  (because he is good at that  :), and it was rather grubby).

When it was all clean and ship-shape, it came back to me. But I needed drawers.  And would you believe it my RUB (REally Useful Box) 4 litre fitted perfectly.  I needed another 14 of them  :)

But the,  just to throw a spanner in the works, when I went to get them I spotted a Curver A4 tray, which also fits perfectly.

Now I cannot decide which one to use.  The RUB box at £5.00 each or the Curver Tray at £3.00 each.

Will trays be easier, are boxes more useful?  Will the lids get on my nerves?   Arggghhhhhh.

Help me choose!

Saturday 8 August 2015

Sparkly Crystal Jewellery

This week I was asked if I could bash up some jewellery for a friend of a friend's birthday.  The brief was 'delicate, pretty, not too much colour, on silver'.

So out came the pliers  (I only used these old one for about 3 minutes when I decided to get off my lazy bum and go and look for my decent ones - it made the job much easier once I had found them!

I used a pack of silver chain, and some half silver crystal rondelles in 6mm and 4mm.
I also had a heart & arrow shaped toggle clasp and some earwires.

First I made a bracelet, the half silver rondelle work beautifully with the silver, it sparkles without colour.

Then I made matching earrings too.  

(Incidentally I am holding a class soon to make these earrings at Hobbycraft in Carlisle. Click HERE for more details)

Voilà!  A nice sparkly jewellery set is done.

It's so nice to go back and revisit things you have once done a lot of.  I really enjoyed doing this again, although my new vari-focal glasses weren't that good, I had to resort to my reading specs which meant I couldn't watch TV at the same time..... oh, the joys of growing old!