Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mario Baby Blanket

When we found out we were having a baby, I was pretty excited by the thought of all the crafty things I would be able to make for it. There's so much awesome baby stuff out there, the choice really was endless. Something I knew for sure I wanted to make was a crochet blanket (or two). If we have more kids, I want to make each of them their own blankets, so they will always have them to keep.

I'm in the process of making the second blanket for Mini Morrison right now, but the first one is finally finished.

While looking through Pinterest for geeky baby things, I came across this amazing Mario blanket, and pretty much knew I had to make it.



It turns out the Mario-ness is just an addition to an already existing pattern, The Starry, Starry Night Blanket, which you can get the free pattern for here. The Mario version sort of gives you details on how she made it looks like the Mario star (mainly just how to make the eyes on the big star), but you really just have to look at it and make it up to get all the details right. I'll detail what I did below to get my blanket looking the way it does, but first for the fun part, the photos!

First up I did something I've only ever done once before, I blocked this bad boy! I've only ever done that on my Beta Knit sweater kit (which didn't really work), so for this I bought some blocking mats and everything, even though they were cheap, kids playmat versions. I blocked it because it was sort of bubbling up in some places, and I wanted to make it lay as flat as possible before I stitched on the little stars.

Blocking before I sew on the finishing touches. #mario #crochet  #minimorrison #babyblanket #geekcrochet

The blocking actually worked amazingly this time, so it lies nice and flat now. So here it is all finished.

Mario crochet blanket

Mario crochet blanket

Mario crochet blanket

Mario crochet blanket

Mario crochet blanket

Mario crochet blanket

Guys, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but how bloody cool is this blanket!? I am so jealous of our future child, it's just fantastic.

Here's how I made mine to make it look the way it does, with some things a bit different from the two blankets I referenced, and some of them are the things I added to make it look like the Mario blanket, which I'm sure you could have worked out, but I thought I would be nice and tell you anyway.

  • I replaced the last round of the yellow with black to make the star really stand out. 
  • I decided not to do the cloud part of the pattern, so just went with a white border. This was because I ran out of blue a couple of rounds quicker than I should have, so swapped to the white early, and also because I didn't think having the clouds part was as important when it was Mario based and not night based.
  • For the little stars, I used a different pattern to the one you are instructed to use, which is the gapless star appliqué pattern. I just could not get that pattern to work and I got really angry with it so I decided to swap. Instead I used the Twinkler Star pattern from Sandra Paul at Cherry Heart. These just looked so much better when I was finished with them. Because these were all the one size, I made the 12 I was supposed to, but decided to only use 9 so it didn't look too cramped. I'm thinking I'll use the three spare little guys as Christmas present toppers r something so they don't go to waste.
  • I did a row of slip stitch in black around each star to make it stand out, and then stitched on some eyes in black too.
  • I used the same oval technique for making the eyes as the Mario blanket lists, but made the pupils by just doing the first round in white before stitching those on.

And that's it! Finally finished! To make this I used Caron Simply Soft in Lemonade, Cobalt Blue, White, and Black. You can check out my project page for this on Raverly, which I just discovered you can link several patterns to one project, which excited me greatly!

It's such a lovely smooshy blanket, I can't wait to use it in the pram for the no-doubt very chilly winter days when our baby arrives in December.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cross Stitch Christmas Gift Tags

Sometimes you might have a craft kit or project, which in principal you know you want to do, but a huge part of you does just not want to do. For me, it was some cross stitch Christmas gift tags. I managed to get three free sets from Cross Stitcher over the years (because why mix up your Christmas gifts eh?), and after making one kit, I just didn't want to make the other two for a number of reasons.

  1. So much back stitch! I left it out in the old tags, but I usually hate that I know things would have looked better if I had done the back stitch.
  2. So much time and effort for such a small project. I spent days on these things and just had tiny tags to show at the end.
  3. I'm pretty sure everyone probably just binned them when I put them on gifts, which is fair enough, but I spent ages on them guys!
I was thinking about giving the kits away, when I thought I could just rework them. I decided to find as many simple back stitch patterns and use metallic thread to make them so they looked extra festive.

So yesterday morning I sat down to this.

Also this is happening #christmas #crossstitch #crossstitcher

I made all 16 tags in one sitting! I was so much happier about that, as if I'd done it the old way I'm pretty sure I would have made one if I was lucky. I say 16, but I only have 15 to show, as there was one which I wasn't very happy with anyway, and I cut the edge too close and split it open. Oh well, it was the only one I would have been happy losing.

So these are the 15 I ended up with. I'll post the links to any patterns I used beside each photo.

Cross stitch tags

Cross stitch tags

Cross stitch tags

Joy and Xmas - Created using this awesome cross stitch writing tool.

Cross stitch tags

Four snowflakes - all four patterns from Nuts About Needlepoint.

Cross stitch tags

Star and heart gift tag -  I took little elements from this Christmas pattern for these tags.

Cross stitch tags

Heart tag - heart cross stitch pattern. Stocking tag - stocking perler bead. Star tag - I used part of this star motif. Reindeer tag - reindeer cross stitch pattern.

This project is a step towards completing my New Year's List for 2015. You can check out my progress here.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Girl Power box by Geeky Little Stitcher

I love Instagram so much! I'm not sure how I end up following some people, but I follow some awesome crafty people. One such person is Jess, or the Geeky Little Stitcher, who I started following recently. Her Etsy shop sells monthly crafting boxes, which are similar in style to a monthly subscription box, except you can buy them all one by one each month, so no signing up for something you're not sure you'll like.

Jess posted details of her newest box, a girl power themed box and I was sold. Crafty goodies teamed with feminist cross stitched statements = one excited Kim! And each box was only £9.99, so I had no reason not to give it a go.

My box popped through the post at the start of thing week and I'm so over the moon with it I thought I would share some photos of it.

They come in little boxes like the Lucky Dip Club ones, so they fit through the letterbox with ease. Even the outside of my box was personalised.

Girl power stitching box by Geeky Little Stitcher

I was very excited when I opened it! It's just so lovely to look at, with lovely little details like some sweets and cute stickers.

Girl power stitching box by Geeky Little Stitcher

Girl power stitching box by Geeky Little Stitcher

The main bulk of the box is the kit part. You can one pattern and everything you need to make it, including fabric, thread, needle, and hoop! This was the pattern Jess posted on Instagram that made me think I defintely needed to buy it. Cute food and sassy sayings, yes please! I cannot wait to make this. I'll probably pop it in my kitchen as I have so much cute food themed stuff in there already.Also look at the colours of the text, so lush!

Girl power stitching box by Geeky Little Stitcher

Also look how cute the little thread seperator is. I love all the little touches in this box, they just make me super excited to get started.

Girl power stitching box by Geeky Little Stitcher

Alongside the main kit part, Jess promised two other patterns, plus some stationery.

Girl power stitching box by Geeky Little Stitcher

How awesome are these patterns? Girl power and ovaries before brovaries! I love both of them, and definitely want to make both of them. They both look super easy to knock up as well (look at that lovely lack of backstitch!), and perfect little hoop sized, so they may be gracing my craft room walls very soon.

I also got a fries before guys sticker and postcard!

All patterns come with the finished picture (as shown), the pattern, and the thread key, so you're all good to go.

I cannot say enough good things about this box! I love that I want to use everything, and you can see how much care went into putting these boxes together. I would definitely buy another one!

If you're interested in Jess's other boxes, keep an eye on her Instagram. Her new one launches soon I believe, so I'd get in there quick!

Thanks so much Jess for such an awesome box, I'm so excited to get started on my fries before guys pattern.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Embroidered Pouches

In August I have a couple of friend's birthdays quite close together, and while I was searching for some inspiration for things to make them, Mollie at Wild Olive posted about these awesome zipped embroidered pouches. I thought they were really cool because they are lined, have a zip, and you can embroider anything you want on them.

The first one I made was for my friend Griz, who really likes cats, so I decided to use this lovely free pattern from The Pink Samurai I had stashed for my embroidered duvet, but have yet to use. Though there's still another three cute cats, so they might make it on to the duvet.

Embroidered pouches

I used the stitch over tracing paper technique, which I don't like as I can't seem to stop it stretching my stitches when I pull it away, no matter how careful I am, but I couldn't find another way to get the pattern on to the felt successfully enough.

Embroidered pouches

Embroidered pouches

Here's so details of the zip and the blue heart-print lining I used.

Embroidered pouches

Embroidered pouches

Then I stuffed it with some sweets!

Embroidered pouches

For the second pouch, which was for my other friend Tiny, I wanted to do something Disney (as she's Disney mad), and after finding out her favourite movie was Pocahontas, I used this lineart image I found on DeviantArt as my embroidery pattern.

Embroidered pouches

I think she turned out really good, and I'm glad I used the lineart version as sometimes faces can go a bit odd when you embroider them.

Embroidered pouches

Embroidered pouches

Embroidered pouches

Embroidered pouches

Again I stuffed it with some goodies before I gave it to her.

Embroidered pouches

I really love these pouches, and I like how easy they were to pop a zip in even though you were stitching by hand.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Scooby Doo Perler Beads

Friday was my mum's birthday, and I wanted to make her a little something to go in with her main present. I looked at a couple of perler bead patterns, but everything was turning out huge when I went to make it, so I eventually decided on this Scooby Doo one.



My mum has always been a Scooby Doo fan since she was wee, and it's something I've always loved too, so I thought it was a pretty good pattern to pick. However, because all the characters were joined together, I was pretty convinced I was going to break this when I tried to iron it. The fear was so strong that I even took a pre-ironing photo, just in case it didn't make it.

Scooby doo perler beads

It took a few ironing attempts, and I definitely had to iron it a lot more than usual to make sure it all stuck together, but it made it! Phew!

Scooby doo perler beads

Scooby doo perler beads

Shaggy's back leg is a bit fat due to all the over-ironing but overall I think it looks pretty cool. It's now sitting proudly on my mum's kitchen window. You're never too old to make handmade gifts for your mum!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Planner Peek

Two things I love quite a lot are stationery and being organised. For this reason, my planner is one of my favourite things in the world. I've been thinking for a while of upgrading to an A5 planner instead of my current personal sized one, and I thought as soon I'm going to have a whole little family to organise, it would be the perfect time to take the plunge.

I've been lusting over more expensive planners, like the kikki.K, but I just couldn't justify it n the end, and decided I could deocrate the planner of my dreams with all the papercraft stuff I already had.

I took a trip to Paperchase after work one evening and walked out the proud owner of these goodies.

Filofax

I got this lovely purple A5 planner, some stickers for super organising fun, and a mini hole punch which you can line up with the ring of a binder to make sure you are marking them correctly, which I thought would be handy. Papercahse stock their own A5 planners, but the range can be a bit hit or miss. What they have on the website and what they have in the shop is totally different, and even then there doesn't seem to be each much for the A5 as there is for other sizes. However, you can always buy other brand inserts once you have the planner, so it should be fine.

I spent a couple of evenings making this beauty as pretty as I wanted her to be, so I'm very happy to finally be showing her off.

Filofax

First up here's the inside. The main reason I wanted a bigger planner is it usually comes with more pockets in the cover, especially the huge zipped pocket, so I was really happy when I opened this one up and discovered it had just what I wanted.

Filofax

I decorated the inside cover with some stickers from the Lucky Dip Club, as well as some other cross stitch style ones from Paperchase. I also decided to pop a Disney giftcard I've had in my old planner for years in the clear window, so the princesses are peaking through.

Filofax

In the zipped pocket I've got a ruler, and some stickers I've used throughout the planner, so I can do some planning on the go. I also attached this amazing little crochet hook keyring I got free in Simply Crochet this month to the zip, as i thought this was a safer place to get it rather than on my keys.

Filofax

There's also another a large pocket you can't really see behind this section, which I'm currently storing some important maternity stuff in.

On the main divider for the front of my planner I wanted it to be super cute, so I used some stickers and some cut outs from magazine, as well as attaching some sticky notes to the bottom, which I can use throughout my planner. I also bought a really cute set of jelly highlighters from Asda, and just punched holes in the little pouch they came in so I could store them at the front of my planner. I covered the pouch in some veggie print tape from Paperchase to brighten it up.

Filofax

For all the rest of the dividers, I pretty much did the same thing, covering them in washi tape, stickers, and magazine cut outs to make them a bit less plain.

Filofax

Filofax

Filofax

Filofax

Filofax

So here are my main diary pages. I follow a lot of planner mad people on Instagram, and while I wanted my planner to look more organised, and be a bit prettier, I just don't have the time to sit down and basically scrapbook with my planner every week! I decided I would top each week's pages with washi tape cut into a little pointy shape, and add at least a sticker to each page to make it look more decorated. I've tried to use more stickers throughout, including my appointment ones I bought from Paperchase, sticky notes with reminders attached, stickers to keep the sticky notes in place, and bigger stickers at the top of the page to remind me of things I need to do that week like wash the bed sheets!

Filofax

Filofax

It's not quite the same level of things I see on Instagram and Pinterest, but it looks a lot more pretty than my old planner did, and allows me to use a lot of supplies I didn't use that often when I wasn't scrapbooking, like washi tape and stickers, as well as using up my huge supply of sticky notes. I did about a month or two worth of page decorating, so I'm always a little bit in advance of myself.

For a lot of the other pages through the planner, I decided to just pretty them up with either washi tape along the top, or some stickers. I bought a huge box of Hello Kitty stickers ages ago, so there's a lot of them right now.

Filofax

Filofax

Filofax

Finally at the back of the planner there is another notebook, which is handy, and another pocket hidden behind it, which I'm using for invites and reminders. And of course, a Hello Kitty pen to top it all of.

Filofax

I decided to buy some more washi tape from HEMA so I had some plainer stuff to use in my planner, as a lot of my tape just now is quite patterned. I also have some lovely posh tape I wanted to save just for scrapbooking, so I definitely wanted some cheaper stuff to go through every week. I also picked up some other papercraft goodies, as HEMA's stuff is just so lovely.

Massive Hema haul #papercraft #washi

So there we go! My much more organised, totally huge planner is ready for use and I have to say, I'm totally loving it. It's just so lovely to open, look through, and use! And it's encouraging me to be extra organised so I'm really getting the full use out of it! Though I have had some people laugh at my for carting around such a massive planner!