Monday 21 January 2013

The return of the creative mojo....


Unfortunatly NOT for block making...but this week I've been inspired by glass jars and hanging hearts!
 All available from HERE and all cheap as chips (almost)
 I couldn't do a quick post without a crochet show and's the latest make - it's a little capelet and matching cowl. And I only made the pattern up my flamin' self!!!
 x fee x
workshop in the snow!

Thursday 17 January 2013

All wrapped up...

I finally woke up from the post Christmas find I had lost my block making mojo. Completely and utterly. In the three years I've been in business I've never felt so uninspired (maybe I should put the crochet hook down!!)

I have had a good think about this situation (whilst crocheting another cowl) and have made (what I'm calling) a creative take on no new commissions and only stock a small range in my shop for the time being ...basically have a bit of a break from wood for a couple of months. I'm hoping that the inspiration will return along with the spring bulbs!

In the meantime I've tweaked some firm favourites - including a set of two love blocks for Valentines day, spring weddings or just because:

 They can be personalised on the back
 and wrapped in either white organza or black raffia
 I've also made some little jar cosies - 
in a solid stitch and a wider version
 (this next photo is for you Emily!!!)
 and come wrapped up for perfect gift giving...
 (all available here)

And here are some of the crochet treats I have been 
inspired to make:
A lacy cowl and flower
free pattern here (not the flower)

A  lovely chunky neck warmer
free pattern here
and a cowl for my sister Nelly's birthday (pattern made up!)
Nelly also requested a crochet kindle cover...
I did promise to show and tell Cleggy's latest present wrapping prowess (see other examples here and here and here)
but I have to admit my rubbish Christmas day photos do not do him justice this time round. 

I was so excited I couldn't focus on pictures.
I must point out at this point that, since having children, 13 long years ago, we haven't done Christmas presents for each other. We decided this was the year to change all that and set ourselves a strict budget. 
(Which I STUCK TO!!!)
I reckon Cleggy spent the budget on wrapping and postage...rubbish.
Anyway, this knitted basket (John Lewis) was full of little treats all wrapped in WOOL!
Basically he bought 2 super soft cheapo scarves from Asda (buy one get one free!) then cut them up. He then made little bags, envelopes and packages using the chopped up wool and held them together with chunky red wool, finished with some pom poms! 
Wish I'd thought of that!
 Here's what I made Cleggy the super wrapper 
(with my strict budget!)
Firstly a moose head. 
I know it's a stag but I like to think it's a moose
I've seen these heads decoupaged, covered in fabric and painted - all gorgeous. I made mine using dictionary print. He loved it.
I also made a shadow box using some wrapping paper he had for his birthday (good choice Janet) and some distress ink.
I made some of the little things inside it, but the cute little houses are magnets from Valériane Leblond 
...and terribly tasteful cufflinks are from fellow notonthehighstreet seller Handmade by Peggy
After hearing that Mr Cuckoo was never seen without a hankie I decided Cleggy should adopt similarly gentlemanly ways and made him some hankies. They disappeared on Christmas day and I've never seen them again...if I come across them I'll share. They were my first play with image transfer - and could well be a new obsession in 2013.

Now, before I sign off (and go seek some creative inspiration!) I'd like to show and tell these special blocks.
A little baby girl from a town 10 minutes away recently died whilst at nursery, in a choking incident. It was a heart breaking story - but made all the more touching by Millie's parents who were appearing on television to draw attention to the charity they have set up in Millie's memory
Millie's Trust is aiming to raise awareness of the need for anyone who spends time with little people to complete a paediatric first aid course and generally encourage us all to learn more about first aid. They are also raising money to support struggling parents who could otherwise not afford to attend.

I read more about the fund raising at lovely Emma's blog Oooh Betty - as Emma is a friend of Millie's parents (small world...again!) and I know that from reading Emma's blog my sister Nelly has enrolled on a first aid course already. Good work!

The blocks are for the raffle at Millie's Trust charity night in a couple of weeks.
Emma was also giving 25% of Etsy sales on her adorable foxes, cats and badgers towards the charity, so I couldn't resist a badger for baby Wilf.
Emma - your badger in a bag is wonderful and I know Wilf will treasure him forever.
Joanne - you (and Dan) are truly inspirational. I hope your event is a huge success and hope that the help you are giving others (which could potentially save a life in the future) helps YOU get through the dark days.
fee x

Saturday 5 January 2013

A teenager...HOW?

This Christmas I had a (with hindsight, STUPID) idea that I would crochet something for everyone in the family by way of a present. It seemed the perfect combination of home made goodness mixed with money saving genius.
What I hadn't anticipated was time consuming nightmare resulting in and 10 half finished presents the week before Christmas!! At which point a sane person would admit defeat and hit the shops. Sometimes I'm so far removed from sane I scare myself.

I didn't make anything for my own boys as they are only seemingly interested in something with a screen.
I did however manage to find something to make for little nephews Sonny and Luca:
Because, true to form, they refused to wear their flamin' hats. Not even for a minute. Especially not for a photo. Good o!

Anyway - it's a relatively easy pattern - especially if you actually take heed of the gauge thing. I prefer to crochet a hat at least 5 times in order to get the size right....(SO not sane)

So, I already shared Great Granny's blanket in a previous post but I'm shamelessly sharing again because it's one of my 
favourite makes!
No pattern required!
Here are some of the others...ALL much easier than hats with beards...
a scarf each for Grandma and Grandad
A blanket for The Granny
A nice chunky mens cowl for G Kisby 
(v reluctantly modelled by Cleggy!)
Here's the link to the pattern I used for the basic cowl - I changed the final pattern so I could add a toggle.

A poncho for Mabel
Here's the pattern - again I changed it towards the end and added a flower rather than a collar. No pictures of Mabel wearing it....
she wouldn't put it on either!!!

A cushion for my little sister Nelly
 I was really pleased with how this turned out as I didn't use a pattern. I wish I'd taken a photo of the back - it had a fold over (envelope?) with three vintage buttons. 

The wool was from Hobbycraft and the feather cushion pad from Dunelm Mill - the whole finished cushion came in under £5!

I made a couple of scarves too - no photos as yet. 
I got a bit of a fright when I gathered all my wool up and put it in one place - seems a major addiction is growing...
...and that's before I found myself in John Lewis spending my Christmas money on MORE. 
Well, it was half price Amy Butler...what can you do?!
So far I've made a ripple blanket (using Lucy's pattern here)
made some pretty little hearts to brighten up one of the kitchen windows, which was looking bare without Christmas bunting!

Cleggy surpassed himself YET again with the wrapping of 
christmas presents
(you bring the pressure on yourself Cleggy!) 
which is deserving of a separate post.

We had a wonderful non eventful Christmas - possibly the most relaxing since we've had children. I realise that we're in the hiatus between 5am get ups (thankfully over) and 5am get ins!!

The boys were all determined to see in the new year - so we decided to go to the pantomime with The Granny on NYE to start the evening off nicely! We saw Peter Pan starring The Hoff  - it was, of course, very funny.
The boys nagged for use of the binoculars. Cleggy found his last £1 coin, GB had a quick look,  then promptly placed them back in the holder!! The other boys were cross, the adults laughed and GB sulked...but other than that it was great fun!

We managed to include Alfie's name in the traditional on stage birthday shout outs....not sure if he was pleased or not! We were though.....

Our #1 finally became a teenager on 30th December.  
He's shown pre teen tendencies since about 18 months so it's been a long time coming. Alfie lives life to the full, is an adrenalin junkie, has little fear, is smart and funny, all of which means he has been by far the most challenging of our children and has escaped death by a whisker on more than one occasion (literally)!
We wouldn't change him for the world...
bring on the teens!!!!
fee x