Thursday 20 October 2016

Hayfield Flower Blanket - a work in progress

I started this blanket way back in July when I needed a smallish project for a trip away.

I was really enjoying making it, the pattern, once learnt, is quite easy...but, I came home, put it away and forgot about it.

I don't often buy patterns, usually I make them up as I go along, but I had stared too much at this one in a shop and thought that I would probably end up reproducing it from my head, so why not buy the pattern and give the designer the credit she/he deserves.

So, what should I do, keep it for the next trip?  Or dig it out and get it finished?

The pattern is number 7257 and you can find it on Amazon HERE if you like it.  It has the flower blanket, like I am doing in the photo, and a motif style pattern too.

I am using Stylecraft DK Yarn in a mottled green, sunshine yellow and a pinky purple shade.

Now.... where did I put it?

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Button Tree art canvas

Adults like to play you know..... it's true, crafting is theraputic and allows you to relax and chill.  (As long as the craft you choose isn't too taxing on the mind of course!)

The Button Tree Canvas class I did in the summer achieved just that, a relaxing, mindful, calming couple of hours, with a nice wall art to take home at the end of it.

We started by drawing a simple brown tree, I find that being really mean with acrylic paint on the brush, and dragging it over the canvas thinly, you can create a bark like effect without any effort at all.

I also take a hair-dryer to these classes to dry of the paint before we start sticking the buttons in place.

Some people had colour schemes, look at the grey and yellow, doesn't it look great?

And some people just took the buttons that grabbed their eye and used those.

Little flowers were added at the bottom of some.

And butterflies on others...

And all the ladies had a lovely work of art to take home.  

You don't have to be an artist to make these button trees - just a little time and space to let yourself chill and create.

Try it yourself...  (ooo, did that sound a little like Neil Buchanan off Art Attack?  Whatever happened to him?)

If you fancy doing a class with me, I will be running this workshop in Brampton Community Centre on Friday 11th November 2016.  Shout out for more details.

Sunday 16 October 2016

I get by with a little help from my friends (and family!)

Often, when I am devising a new class or workshop, I need help.  Sometimes I just need something made for a photograph, other times I need samples, and most importantly, I need to test the craft out to see if it is something that non-crafters can do.

I do get people who come to my classes who want to start crafting, and we don't want to put them off by giving them something achievable do we?

So I use my friends, family, anyone who makes the mistake of visiting, as unpaid testers.

This is Hubster, doing Needlefelting for the first time.  This was a "Young Folks" class, so I thought if he can do it, they can do it.  

He managed not to stab himself too!!

(Now, if you have never stabbed yourself with a needle felting needle, don't be in a hurry to try it.  The tool is barbed, it hurts so much more on the way out than on the way in, and you usually just jab so it is out and in before you realise, and boy, does it sting..... for ages after too)

So, thankfully in this case, no blood on the felting wool.

Using a cookie cutter to protect those fingers, and to give the shape of the piece, he got to work making a duck.

Didn't he do well for a first attempt, I was rather impressed.

A couple of days later my son, Iain, came for tea  (I'm Northern, the evening meal is Tea, not Dinner as my Southern Hubster keeps insisting it is called)

And guess what?  He got a crafting job.  "Make me a dinosaur", I asked.  "No" he said.  "Then I won't have time to make your Tea", I said... so he did.

I'm thinking that this 25yr old, father-of-one is a little too pleased with his dinosaur, don't you?

He made me a fish too - Hubster made the butterfly, and I cooked Tea.  It seemed like a fair deal.

Friday 14 October 2016

Ruby takes a swim... and hates it!

So, our big brave bullbreed Ruby (Staffy, Boxer with perhaps some Mastiff thrown in for good measure) does not live up to the bullbreed reputation at all!  In fact, I have yet to meet one that does, but Ruby is fearful of everything new... EVERYTHING.

Especially water.  She likes to drink from muddy puddles, but go paddling, swimming, no way jose!

So, when we met with friends a few weeks ago and took both of our dogs down to the local river for a walk, we were more than surprised to see Ruby venture into the water with her new friend Riley.  Knee deep she went, although only knee deep.

We wondered if it was time to show her that water is really nothing to be scared of.

I booked a half hour session at a local doggy swimming pool, called Paws to Splash and off we went, full of expectations that we would have a fully swimming dog by the end of it.

Haha.  Dream on.

It took a lot of persuasion just to get her through the door, what was she scared of?  The smell?  No idea, but she held her own and refused to budge.  Eventually, we managed to get her through a different door - she must have thought she had won that battle and trotted half way through the second door before anchoring down, but we were ready and one swift push of her bum with my knee and she was in the room.

Didn't like it, ears were down, tail was under, even the rubber duck (which she likes to decapitate usually) didn't even tempt her.

The very nice lady, who she liked very much, managed to get her onto the shelf, so only her feet were wet.  She stood there for a while, shivered and shook and was generally very unhappy with the whole experience.

A lap of the pool followed - seriously, I have never seen such an splashy, noisy, water-jumping-out-of-the-pool, swim in all my days as a dog owner.  So unladylike and very inelegant.  Paws were out to the side, little head bobbing over the waterline with eyes that switched between "I hate you" and "Please help me".

After two laps of the pool, with a rest on the shelf in-between, it was decided that she hated it so much - her heart was thumping and she was getting distressed.   We agreed it wasn't a great idea after all and after 8 minutes, we called time on the experience.

Now before you feel sorry for her, there was a lovely walk in the woods just beyond the swimming pool - she enjoyed that lots.

Monday 10 October 2016

But Mummy, I want a Bear too....

Way back last year sometime, not sure if it was a birthday, Christmas or a Mother's Day, I bought my Mum a gift of a book - 'Knit-a-Bear'.
I also bought her bear coloured yarn, patterned yarn, stuffing, buttons so she could make herself a bear - nothing like a birthday gift that you have to make yourself is there ?  ;)

Anyway, she made herself a bear, beautiful it was, then she made my sister a bear.  Then she made my Granddaughter Hope (her Great-Granddaughter of course) a bear.  Then followed Granddaughter Ellie (still in the womb at this point) she got a bear too.
Shona had a bear, in fact the only person that didn't have a bear was me!!

I WANT A BEAR, I shouted rather loudly.

The making of said bear might have been a secret if it was not for the fact that she had not surreptitiously asked me for "bear coloured yarn" from my stash.  To be fair though, the glittery purple dress was a secret.

A little while later I was presented with my new bear, and how cute it was, with her lacy purple frock and matching hair (ear) bow.  She was just a bit too cute.

Someone else loves it too, but she's not having it - it's MY BEAR!!

(Seriously, could anyone love a bear as much as this?)

By the way, this bear book is a fab book if you are a knitter, so many very cute bears to choose from.  My sisters had dungarees on!!

You can find it over on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Sunday 9 October 2016

My YouTube Channel

I have had my YouTube channel for ages now and all I have had on it is a tutorial of how to make a paper snowflake, and a few videos of Ruby when she was a puppy.

So, time to start using it properly I think.

I have uploaded a few tutorials, just so I could get the hang of editing the photos to make a video etc.... I found a great little app called Splice by GoPro, it's really easy to use and upload - which is useful for me!

The tutorials I have just put up are step-by-step photograph ones, with some instructions along the way. I fully plan to do moving videos too, but one step at a time   :)

There are a couple of Christmas themed crafts on there, and some Kid's crafts too, would love your feedback on what you think if you have time.

Click HERE to view my channel, if you like  :)

Wednesday 5 October 2016

It's been a while....

I totally feel as though I have abandoned my dear old blog...  life has just gotten so busy with Grand-babies and lots of classes, things to work on, people to see - I am sure you know how it is.

I have keep reminding myself to pop back in and write up some stuff, but then I get distracted by other things and never get it done.

To be fair, nothing much has happened to report, except the usual classes and workshops,  and I am sure you are sick of seeing those time after time - just how many times can you admire a pin-cushion?  (probably a few, but you know what I mean)

So, what have I been doing?    Well, working on lots of new ideas for classes.  I am seeing similar faces to my classes now, so need to offer something new as they are surely not going to want to repeat stuff they have already done.  This takes considerable time as I have to think something up, make it up, write it up, then plan a class around it.  It's at least a full day's work for a new 2 hour class.  But I am totally enjoying thinking of new things to teach, it keeps my brain alive!

I have also just had a hugely busy weekend working in London's Hampton Court Palace at Kirsty Allsopp's The Handmade Fair.  I thoroughly enjoyed that, but was shattered once I got home - it has taken me a few days to grab some energy back.  I will blog more about that later, as I have some photos on my phone somewhere.

So, you haven't missed an awful lot... just a bit of this, a bit of that and a bit of the other.  But I hope to be back up to speed soon, bear with me   :)