Sunday, 29 March 2015

Draw Once a Month - March

This month I decided to use a medium I haven't really used since I did Higher Art, chalk pastels. I quite like working with them but they are messy and hard to control if you start doing things a bit wrong.

I found this picture of BMO from Adventure Time and thought he would look quite cool done in the messy fashion of chalks.

Bmo

It's not the most complicated piece of art I've ever done, but it was quite fun to try using something different. Once I started using the black, things got a bit messy, but I'm still happy with how he turned out. BMO is always cute!

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

Friday, 27 March 2015

Smashbook Update

Well after having nothing to put in my Smashbook last month, I seemed to save up plenty this month. My Smashbook is actually almost full! So I can move on to using my Project Life stuff pretty soon it would seem!

Smashbook

Smashbook

Smashbook

Smashbook

I bought so many new stickers last month, and I've not had the chance to use them, so I got a bit excited with these pages! Paperchase is just the best when it comes to stickers.

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

Sunday, 22 March 2015

More Patches

This is a bit of a jumble of a post, so please excuse me. It's lots of little connected bits, that I thought I would just lump together.

Firstly, let's jump back to some things I made when I first started crafting. When I just discovered felt and embroidery, I made some little tags for my thread baskets, my sewing machine bag, and my craft kits basket.

Decorative tags

Decorative tags

Decorative tags

Decorative tags

Not the best, and even worse photography! Our old flat was very dark, so believe it or not my photos were worse than they are now!

Anyway, I see these tags a lot, and the more I see them, the more I don't really don't like them. I know I could do a lot better now, so I decided to get rid of them.

While I was getting rid of the felt tabs, I decided to take the two patches off my sewing machine bag that I had sewn on.

Sewing machine bag

The Love Is... patch is actually an old pair of pants that I cut up when they stopped fitting me, so I just binned that, but the cute cat patch (from when I had a kid's bank account) had to be reused. So all that's left on my sewing machine bag now is the two crafty iron on patches.

A while ago Donald bought me an awesome roller derby patch that I've been meaning to sew on my camouflage jacket, along with my Disney patches, so I decided superhero cat could live on there too.

Jacket patches

Jacket patches

Jacket patches

So my jacket is a little more patch filled, my rubbish felt tags are gone, and my sewing machine bag is a lot neater. Yay!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Strawberry Mitts

I'm embarrassed to say how long I've had Twinkie Chan's book and have never made anything from it. To be fair, I bought it ages before I could crochet, hoping one day I would acquire the skills to make something from it. I've actually made stuff from Twinkie Chan's blog before, but never her book.

My friend Cat's birthday was coming up and I thought it might be nice to make her a little pair of gloves. After much searching online for an easy but cute pattern, I saw the Twinkie Chan strawberry fingerless mittens pattern, and realised I had the pattern sitting on my book shelf.

These are definitely a gift that I want to keep for myself. They hooked up so fast compared to knitting a pair of gloves, and when I tried them on they were just a lovely fit. I'm very jealous and I may have to make another pair for myself.

Strawberry mitts

Strawberry mitts

Strawberry mitts

Strawberry mitts

Strawberry mitts

Lordy, please excuse my chipped nails! I'm also not sure why the green wool looks glittery in the top two photos, but it's just plain.

I decided to do both mitts in red, instead of having one in pink, as I just liked the even-ness a bit more. Though if I made a set for myself, I think I would definitely use pink.

I used Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Red and Kelly Green, as well as scraps of Stylecraft Special Aran in Lemon and Cream for the details. I really love the aran weight yarn, it's just that bit chunkier and so lovely to work with. Twinkie Chan seems to use quite a lot of this weight of yarn in her work, so I'm excited to make more of her patterns. That slightly chunkier hook makes thing hook up that bit quicker too. Win win!

These were super easy as well, as you crochet up the cuff, sew it together, and then crochet the rest of the glove in the round, so there's minimal joining, which is always a lovely feature.

I really wish I had tried Twinkie's patterns earlier as they are super clear, and just lovely to follow. If you're giving crochet a shot, don't be intimidated like I was and just give them a go!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day all. I hope all the mum related people had an awesome day on Sunday. Me and my mum went to see The Kelpies in Falkirk, so it was a pretty awesome afternoon. Now the day has past, I can show you the couple of handmade gifts I whipped up for my mum this year.

First up, I decided to make her a case for her crochet supplies. My mum likes to dip into knitting and crochet just like me, and when I saw this lovely pattern for a crochet case by Messyla I knew I had to make it. It mixes a bit of crochet with a bit of sewing, so it was a little challenging!

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out (even though I had a massive falling out with my sewing machine that night and it took me a bout five hour to get this finished!).

The granny squares are crochet in Stylecraft Special DK in gold and fondant, which meant they were a bit bigger than the pattern suggested, but I don't really think that makes a difference. I also didn't have pink felt for the inside, so I used cream instead. The big lush pink button is free from a set I got in Mollie Makes, and I just love it. The tiny pin cushion is made from polka dot felt.

My mum already has a lot of crochet supplies, so I didn't fill it (apart from with a handy mini set of scissors), but I took a photo of it filled with my supplies so you can see what it's supposed to look like.
Mother's Day gifts

It looks even cuter when it's all filled. Sewing machine melt-down aside, I think it turned out pretty well.

I also made her a little tote bag with mum appliqued on the front.

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day gifts

The bag is a little Cath Kidston tote from her Make book, which I just decided to decorate. I used Heat N Bond to attached the letters to the front, but it wasn't super strong, so I did a quick zigzag stitch over the top of the letters in purple thread. My sewing machine still wasn't totally talking to me, and I did end up sewing the back of the bag to the front more than once, but it all ended up okay. It maybe looks a bit messy in place (especially where I had to go back over the stitches with my machine to secure them) but I'm hoping because the zigzag stitch is a bit crazy anyway, it just fits in with the general theme.

As you have to pay for carrier bags in Scotland now, having a few reusable bags like this with you at all times is never a bad idea, so I thought it would be super handy.

So this month I've made two things with my sewing machine (even if I did threaten to buy a new one I was so over using my old one!), which I'm pretty happy about. I'll hopefully continue to get more comfortable with my machine as time goes on, and avoid having totally rage attacks when I use it!

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

Friday, 13 March 2015

Flower Fairy Card

Oh my, I've been having far too good a run with all my crochet lately, I had to make something I wasn't very happy with sooner or later.

A couple of weeks ago I started a little free kit I got in an old issues of World of Cross Stitching. I've been putting off finishing it to be honest, because I wasn't enjoying it, but gave myself a last push to finish it at the weekend. Lordy, maybe I shouldn't have bothered!

To start with, we have the colour chart, excuse the poor photo.

Fairy cross stitch card

I hate hate hate colour charts like this. Where there is like 20 different shades, but really they are all just brown. Headache and a half! Especially because some colour literally one had two or three stitches, and that was it. This pretty much added to my overall unhappiness about the project. But then we came to the backstitch...

Fairy cross stitch card

Fairy cross stitch card

There was so much backstitch. I left a lot of the stuff on her hair out because you couldn't even see it and it was making my eyes ache trying to figure out where to put it. Then we have her face. I'm not happy with it. I did it once, cut it all out and did it again, and I'm still not happy with it. I was sort of happy with her eyes, and ended up just making her mouth up the second time. I'm not sure which part looks wrong, I think all of it is if I'm honest. It was so hard to try and place the backstitch where the picture had it, as so many of the colours on the pattern were similar, so I just gave up. After two attempts at the face, and using my own thread for the backstitch (as the free stuff ran out) I decided I was done.

I quickly framed it before I binned it, as I was on the verge. She was supposed to go in this little paper frame that came free in the kit, but I decided on a making her into a card to she was more useful.

She actually looks much better from a distance. I kept seeing her on the little thumbnail on my phone's camera and thinking she looked fine before I opened it up and felt sad again, so maybe just don't look at her close up!

I pretty much felt I was never going to get it right, and considering it was a stupid free kit, why should I keep trying and stressing myself out? So hopefully I will find a use for her one day. I guess this is a lesson that not everything goes right in crafting first time, but at least this wasn't something I was crafting for a purpose. And I'm proud that I didn't rage quit and bin her, as she might as well get some use for all the time I spent on her! She may be a bit ugly, but she's still handmade, so out into the world she will go!

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

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Mini Baby Blanket

Babies! Babies everywhere! As I said in my last post, I had whipped up a lovely blanket for one of my workmate's and his wife recently, and they were having a baby. I made it a few months before I knew they were due so I didn't get bogged down in other crafts and then have to rush it.

A few weeks ago we had a new guy start in our team, and I found out his wife was very pregnant, like two weeks away from being due or something mad. I felt super bad because both the babies were due around the same time, and I already had a gift for one, but not the other.

I decided it might be a good idea to make something a bit smaller (as I was short on time), so I went in search of a blanket/comforter type pattern. There are loads of them about, and they're basically a soft toy (or at least a soft toy head) joined on to a blanket for the baby to snuggle with.

I found this pattern on The Little Pomegranate (which is free) for a little bear one, and decided to go with it.

I whipped up the little bear head no problem, but when I started making the blanket part, I really didn't like it. I'm not sure if it was the pattern, or if I was doing it wrong, but I wasn't happy with the blanket section. However, my little bear already had a face so I couldn't bring myself to frog him. I decided to make up the pattern for the bottom part of the blanket. Here's the results and then I'll explain how I did it.

Baby gifts.

Baby gifts.

Baby gifts.

Baby gifts.

Baby gifts.

When I decided to make the blanket part up, I thought I had nothing better to do that to make a little granny square and I'd be done. But of course because the teddy is designed to be in the corner of the blanket, and I didn't want to just sew him on the corner when I was done, I was having to work from the edge to the middle, and then decrease it again to get back to a corner.

I split the stitches evenly between the teddy bears neck to create a row of triples granny-style, and then worked out till I thought it was wide enough, then fastened off. I then chinned the same amount of chains as the teddy bear neck as, and created an identical triangle piece for the other side of the blanket. Then I created a little pointy edge for the opposite end to the teddy. I just made this up doing triple stitches and then decreases ever-so-often so eventually I was left with one stitch. Finally, then joined the two pieces with the pink yarn, and edged the whole pieces while I was at it, using double crochet.

If you've been crocheting a while my making up skills may not seem very impressive, but I'm quite chuffed I managed to adapt what I was doing and still end up with what I was aiming for in the end. It was maybe a quite roundabout way of doing it, but I got it done and still got to keep my little teddy bear face.

I made this using Stylecraft Double Knitting in fondant, apricot and cream, as well as some scraps of black for the teddy features. The pink and the peach were colours I used in my Nordic Shawl, so I just went with what I had lying around. While I went for a more neutral colour scheme for the last baby gift, this one was definitely a bit more girly (as again I knew they were having a girl). I also didn't have a lot of neutral colours hanging around, and didn't want to buy more wool for such a small project, so just went with pink and peach! Hopefully the parents are down with it.