Saturday, 31 December 2011

So long 2011

I'm not one of those people who ends every year by saying 'Well, this year was awful! I hope next year is better because this one was terrible!' and then say the exact same thing the next New Year's Eve. Last year I certainly couldn't say 2010 was bad, because 2010 was when my sweet little Emily was born. And I don't think 2011 was that awful either. It was incredibly stressful, probably the most stressful year of my life, what with my husband's redundancy and the nearly five months he was unemployed, and the building work that started shortly after he began his new job. But that new job is working out really well and has a lot of potential, and the building work is pretty much finished and the house is amazing (and also has a lot of potential as we get everything in place and sorted out).

I didn't get as much done in 2011 as I'd like, and this autumn/into winter in particular seems to have been pretty un-productive from a crafty point of view. But I did make three BJD pattern books this year, and I did get the Wind The Bobbin Up website up and running, among other things.

So I'm now making my plans for 2012 - personal, business, and crafty. While I won't say 2011 was terrible, on balance, I think I'd like a more straightforward, relaxing year next year. But as long as I have my little family around me, I'll happily take whatever I get.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Victory is mine!

I finished Emily's birth sampler!



(Emily is 17 months old)



The sampler was made from a kit by the Historical Sampler Company although they don't seem to make this design any more (they do still have the animal one I made for Laura as well as many other lovely designs).

Now my task for today is to frame it (HOT TIP - Ikea Ribba three photo frames are the exact right size for these long samplers, if you make four vertical cuts to the mount to remove the cross-bars).

I'm thrilled to have this finished because I was very firm with myself a week or so ago and told myself I wasn't allowed to work on anything else until this sampler was finished. Now I don't know what to do next!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

One last Christmas craft

I did manage to sneak in one more bit of Christmas crafting one afternoon last week.



A couple of years ago a friend gave me the buttonbag winter birds kit for Christmas and this year I finally got round to opening it! I only made one little birdy but the kit made it easy to put the bird together and it was fun decorating it and choosing all the colours.

The little birdy has of course taken up residence on our Christmas tree. There are still plenty of materials in the kit, so maybe I will manage to make another one by next year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Construction

It's the 22nd of December today and I'm finally starting to think about Christmas. By which I mean that I've sent all the cards, bought and wrapped all the presents, and put up two trees and all the other decorations, but now that the kitchen is in and the girls' rooms are finished I finally have the head-space to actually start feeling festive. Which is a bit sad and I feel a little bit like I've been cheated out of the run up to Christmas, which normally I enjoy. For the record, building a large extension in October/November/December with two children under the age of four is COMPLETELY MAD. I would not do it again for a big clock.

But oh my new kitchen is so lovely. And the girls' bedrooms are so sweet. And the new cloakroom is so handy. And any day now I should have the tumble dryer in the house instead of the garage, which is definitely something to look forward to.

And in the meantime, Laura and I have been doing some construction of our own.



I'd been thinking of making a gingerbread house with Laura this year, but I didn't know if I'd have the kitchen/time/mental energy. Then my lovely sister-in-law gave me a gingerbread house kit for my birthday and that settled the question. It was easy to put together and I managed to distract Laura with stickers for the 15 minutes it needed to dry before we could decorate it. Now she is mad to eat it, but I've insisted it stay up until Christmas afternoon (when it shall be demolished in front of the television).

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Festivities



Does that make me a grown-up now?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Meme

My sister Jen tagged me in this one. So thank you Jen and here are seven things about me (that she may already know, being my sister, but the rest of your possibly don't).

1. I have grapheme-to-colour synaesthesia. Numbers and letters have a clear colour that doesn't change. I think it helps my spelling, among other things (for example, definitely is clearly not spelt definately, because that A is a big splash of red in the middle of the word).

2. I've seen the musical Starlight Express more than sixty times on stage - 52 in London, twice on tour in the UK, the rest in Bochum in Germany.

3. My middle name is the same as my sister's married surname (well, spelt differently).

4. I'm very introverted and need a certain amount of time a day in a room by myself or else I feel like I'm going mad.

5. I don't drink fizzy drinks, alcohol or coffee as they all taste very bitter to me. I don't like alcohol-flavoured anything (chocolates, sauces etc) because of the taste.

6. I'm a humanist.

7. I know the full English lyrics to It's A Small World.

I'm supposed to tag 15 (!) people but it's late and I'm tired. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Recipe: Gingerbread Biscuits



Laura loves making gingerbread. Our gingerbread family cutters are in a box in the garage so I gave the playdough cutters a good scrub and we made different-shaped gingerbread biscuits, and then decorated them with Smarties and chocolate buttons. For gingerbread people we usually put chocolate drops on the cut-out biscuits before baking to make their eyes and buttons.

Anyway, here is the recipe.

8oz/225g plain flour
4oz/110g caster sugar
4oz/110g margarine
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 180C/360F. Mix together sugar and margarine, then add remaining mixture. Mix together well, using hands if necessary. Roll to a thickness of about 5mm and cut out. Bake on a lined baking tray for about 9 minutes, until brown but still soft. Cool on a rack.

(They turn out very gingery - much gingerier than gingerbread you buy from the bakers. Yum!)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

It'll be lovely when it's finished

Up until about last week, the building of the new extension was mainly something that was happening in the garden. But now the walls are up, the roof is on, the windows are going in, and the walls inside the house are coming down.

The back wall upstairs has now gone, and now the girls' bedrooms are rather open plan:



The downstairs is worse, the kitchen and dining room have been knocked together and through into the new extension. Everything in the entire house is dusty. Fortunately I have lovely in-laws who live nearby and are happy for us to turn up whenever we need to hide out from all the dust and noise! I have been taking my crochet so I can work on Emily's blanket while she sleeps and Laura climbs all over Grandad. That's pretty much the only crafting I've been getting done, though, as everything is packed away and there's barely enough room in the usable parts of the house for eating, sleeping and keeping two small children out of trouble. I'm trying to write my winter BJD book, and there's a cardigan I want to make for Laura, and I want to get my sketchbook out, but at the end of the day I'm tired and stressed and I can't find anything.

But it'll be lovely when it's finished.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Favourite Colours

Laura has a different favourite colour every day. Today it is red, and she is wearing her red top. Yesterday it was green. Sometimes it's blue, or orange, or pink, or purple. She asked me what my favourite colour was, and I told her it was yellow, but it isn't really. I don't have a favourite colour. I like bright colours, and I like pastels, and sometimes I like jewel tones. I don't like dark colours or earth tones or neutrals. Probably you can get the best idea of what colours I like from my colour and pattern board on Pinterest, here's a screenshot of the most recent things I pinned there:



But also my blog banner is a good place to start! I like cheerful colours.

The husband says his favourite colour is blue. Always blue. What's your favourite colour?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Meme: Music as therapy

My sister Jennifer tagged me for this meme, the Music as Therapy meme started by Mammywoo.

It's very simple, you just have to pick:

3 beautiful songs
3 different bands
3 sets of lyrics that touch you in any way you want to show

So here goes.

1 - Falling For The First Time, Barenaked Ladies
In early 2002 I was in my second year at university. It was a bit of an odd time in my life because my grandma had just died, and it hit me hard, and I felt very alone and a long way from home. But it was also around then that I met my husband and started getting to know him through email. He copied two Barenaked Ladies albums for me - Maroon, which this song is from, and Stunt, and I listened to them round and round. It was hard to choose a specific song but I chose this one in honour of Mark and just because I've always loved it.

I'm so cool, too bad I'm a loser
I'm so smart, too bad I can't get anything figured out
I'm so brave, too bad I'm a baby
I'm so fly, that's probably why it feels just like I'm falling for the first time

I'm so green, it's really amazing
I'm so clean, too bad I can't get all the dirt off me
I'm so sane, it's driving me crazy
It's so strange, I can't believe it feels just like I'm falling for the first time

Anyone perfect must be lying
Anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely
Anyone loved can be lost
What if I lost my direction
What if I lost a sense of time
What if I nurse this infection
Maybe the worst is behind
It feels just like I'm falling for the first time
It feels just like I'm falling for the first time

I'm so chilled, no wonder it's freezing
I'm so still, I just can't keep my fingers out of anything
I'm so thrilled to finally be failing
I'm so done, turn me over 'cos it feels just like I'm falling for the first time

Anything plain can be lovely
Anything loved can be lost
Maybe I lost my direction
What if our love is the cost
Anyone perfect must be lying
Anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely
Anyone loved can be lost
What if I lost my direction
What if I lost a sense of time
What if I nurse this infection
Maybe the worst is behind
Maybe the worst is behind

2 - Five Years Time, Noah and the Whale
This song is the summer of 2008 for me, the summer Laura was born. I specifically remember it playing on the radio in the delivery room at the hospital (I told Mark we had to go to the zoo for Laura's fifth birthday - maybe we will, why not) but it was everywhere. It struck a chord with me I think because it's about looking at the future and not knowing what will happen but thinking that yes, it's probably going to be OK, and we'll all be here in five years. Having your first baby turns everything on its head and it helped me a lot to imagine a calmer time a few years down the road, when I knew what I was doing. Still waiting for it. Never mind then.

Well, in five years time we could be walking round a zoo
With the sun shining down over me and you
And there'll be love in the bodies of the elephants too
I'll put my hands over your eyes but you'll peek through

And there'll be sun, sun, sun, all over our bodies
And sun, sun, sun, all down our necks
And there'll be sun, sun, sun, all over our faces
And sun, sun, sun, so what the heck

Cuz I'll be laughing at all your silly little jokes
And we'll be laughing about how we used to smoke
All those stupid little cigarettes and drink stupid wine
Cuz it's what we needed to have a good time

And it was fun, fun, fun, when we were drinking
It was fun, fun, fun, when we were drunk
And it was fun, fun, fun, when we were laughing
And it was fun, fun, fun, oh it was fun

And I'll look at you and say it's the happiest I've ever been
And I'll say I no longer feel I have to be James Dean
And she'll say yeah well I feel pretty happy too
And I'm always pretty happy when I'm just kicking back with you

And it'll be love, love, love, all through our bodies
And love, love, love all through our minds
And it'll be love, love, love all over her face
And love, love, love all over mine

And though really all these places are just in my head
I'll be thinking of them as I'm lying in bed
And even though I know it might not even come true
But in my mind I'm having a pretty good time with you

In five years time I might not know you
In five years time we might not speak
Oh in five years time we might not get along
In five years time you might just prove me wrong

Oh there'll be love, love, love, wherever you go
There'll be love, love, love, wherever you go (x6)
There'll be love, love, love, wherever you go there'll be love

3 - Shine, Take That
It was about a year ago and we (me, Laura, Emily) were leaving the doctor's surgery. Emily had just had a set of jabs so she was in a foul mood. Laura should have by rights been napping so she was in a foul mood. And just before we stepped out of the door, the heavens opened and it started bucketing down with rain. The car wasn't far away so I went as fast as I could (heavy changing bag on my back, Emily in car seat in one hand with a blanket pulled over her, Laura on my other hand clutching her huge teddy bear) and got us all to the car. I put Emily down inside the car quickly, pulled Teddy out of a puddle, bundled Laura into her seat and clipped her in (while the car roof neatly funnelled the rain down my neck), ran round the car to clip Emily's seat in, and threw myself into the driving seat. Emily was crying and Laura was shouting about Teddy being wet and I was wondering why it was impossible to take both of them anywhere without everyone ending up miserable. I turned on the engine and my iPod started playing and Mark Owen sang 'Stop being so hard on yourself - it's not good for your health'. And it made me realise that it wasn't my fault it had rained, it wasn't my fault Laura dropped her teddy bear or that they both got a bit damp (while I got completely soaked) and that I was doing the best I could. Thank you Take That.

You, you're such a big star to me
You're everything I want to be
But you're stuck in a hole
And I want you to get out
I don't know what there is to see
But I know it's time for you to leave
We're all just pushing along
Trying to figure it out, out, out
Oh, your anticipation pulls you down
When you can have it all, you can have it all

So come on, so come on, get it on
I don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming, don't be late
Hey hey, so come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Stop being so hard on yourself
It's not good for your health
I know that you can change
So clear your head and come round
You only have to open your eyes
You might just get a big surprise
And it may feel good
And you might want to smile, smile, smile
Oh, don't you let your demons pull you down
Cos you can have it all, you can have it all

So come on, oh come on, get it on
I don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming, don't be late
Hey hey, so come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Hey, let me know you (let me know you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters to me)
Hey, let me show you (let me show you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters to me)

So come on, get it on
I don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming, don't be late
Hey hey, so come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Let me know you (let me know you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters to me)
Hey, let me show you (let me show you)
You're all that matters to me (you're all that matters)

Oh come on, see the light on your face
Let it shine, just let it shine
Let it shine

Monday, 31 October 2011

Stay your wandering feet

I haven't been able to show you one of my most recent projects, because it was a present for a friend, but she's received it now so I can show it off! My friend Amy just bought her first house so I made her an embroidered picture for her wall.



I chose a quote from Jane Eyre because that is a book we both love.



The background is a blackwork pattern I chose from a cross-stitch book I have, the same one that had the alphabet I used. It took a bit longer than I thought it would but I love the way it looks.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

New shop site!

I finally got round to finishing up the new Wind The Bobbin Up site! It's at windthebobbinup.co.uk and you can now buy all the lovely colourful buttons and ribbons directly through the site.



I'm so pleased to have finally finished it, and have it up for all the world to see! And hopefully treat themselves to some lovely crafty bits. :)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Suncatchers

I started writing this post about a month ago and just now found it, unfinished. But I think it's still a good one so here goes.

Inspired once again by my lovely sister, Laura made some suncatchers.

You need some clear sticky-backed plastic. I managed to pick up a few rolls at Tesco for only 18p each which I thought was quite a bargain! Cut out a rectangular piece, put it plastic side down on the table, and unpeel and fold back the paper on one half. I used blue-tack to hold the plastic against the table and the paper back in place.

Then give your small child some bits of tissue paper, sequins, short bits of yarn, anything you like, and have them stick them onto the plastic. The tissue paper worked particularly well.



Then is the tricky bit - once the suncatcher is declared complete, pull off all the paper, and caaaarefully fold the sticky plastic back over the decorated portion and smooth it into place. I will freely admit that most of Laura's ended up a bit creasy in places, it's harder than it sounds!

Edit: and now I've found one of the finished ones, I can add a photo! Here is one of Laura's creations:

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Laura's Creative Space



AKA the dining room table, being used for robot production. Main ingredient: glitter glue.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Songs you sing to your children

I got this one from my sister Jen (it's her birthday tomorrow, happy birthday Jen!).

I sing around the house a lot. A lot a lot. A lot of the time it's variations on the same song, a song about whichever child is nearest at the time, to whatever tune is in my head at the time. For example, to You Are My Sunshine we might have 'You are my Emily, you are so lovely, you are so cuddly, every day' etc.

But there's also a lot of musical theatre. I sing Someone Else's Story from Chess a lot. Also The Story Of Chess, I Sit In The Sun from Salad Days, Hello Young Lovers from The King & I, and Joseph starting from the beginning (last night making dinner I got all the way up to One More Angel In Heaven).

Emily's favourite song is Nelly the Elephant. For some reason it makes her stop crying pretty much all the time. Sometimes just the first line ('To Bombay, a travelling circus came') does the trick. No idea why. Laura usually asks for Peter Rabbit Has A Fly Upon His Nose or Mm-mm Went The Little Green Frog. They both like old campfire songs as well as nursery rhymes and playgroup songs. And Laura always wants to sing the Bob the Builder theme song.

If you want to post about this, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My Creative Space

This is where the magic happens.



There's just about enough space for me to sit on the left there, and I can put my cup of tea on the bookshelf behind me. The biscuit tin has yarn for miniature knitting, the black bag has DK yarn for my crochet blanket, the plastic box has things like measuring tape, pin cushion, scissors etc.

Also, birdies!



(toilet paper tubes, coloured feathers, glitter glue, googly eyes, paper for beaks)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Knitting & Stitching Show



On Friday Mum and I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at the Alexandra Palace in London. We went once before, in 1998, but to be honest I couldn't remember much about it other than that it was good fun! And it was this time too, not just because it was a day out with my mum (which is great all by itself) but because we got to look at all the lovely crafty things and talk about them. We saw many a thing. Lots of yarn, of course, and buttons and ribbons and beads and fabric. I bought some DK acrylic yarn in colours I needed for Emily's crochet bed throw (more details on that another day) and Mum bought some yarn for a friend, and some very lovely silk and cashmere yarn to make a beautiful lacy cardigan for herself.

And after that we went to Covent Garden and ate pizza, and then went to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and saw Shrek: The Musical. The show was chosen for us a bit because it was where we could get a good deal on the tickets (thanks Tim). But it was good, the set/costume design was amazing and we loved the dragon, although some of the writing wasn't great. They should have used more lines from the film than they did. But it was still good fun.

So a day of knitting and stitching, followed by pizza and a musical. I think that's pretty much my perfect day.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Robot

Laura and I have made a robot.



I did the construction (cardboard boxes, think one was from oatcakes, one from toothpaste, and one was an eggbox) and Laura did the decorating (with squares of silver paper, sparkly pipe cleaners and an awful lot of PVA glue and glitter glue). I also found an R for Robot ('What's his name?' 'Robots don't have names, Mummy.') and made his face.

Laura says he's the best robot ever. I'm inclined to agree.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

My garden is full of bricks



That is the view through the patio doors to my left, and the reason my photos are getting darker. I used to have lovely light on the table behind me but now it is being steadily blocked out. One day the patio doors will be in that new space instead and I'll have a lovely big kitchen diner. In the meantime I just watch the bricks moving around and make a lot of tea.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Doodling

It's funny, being a grown-up. I enjoyed doing my Art sketchbooks when I was at school (although I usually turned out to be being creative Wrong) and it only recently occurred to me that I could buy a sketchbook now and do whatever I wanted with it. Such as spend a whole page playing with the doodles that I used to draw down the sides of my Science notes.



the M is my favourite



or how about some flowers and twiddly shapes



Apparently this is actually a thing, and it's called 'zentangles' or 'zendoodles'. On Pinterest I found lots of ideas and tutorials and all kinds of things (I made a zentangle board, if you're interested) and I want to give some of those patterns a try. In my very own sketchbook.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Emily's button book

Emily loves buttons. If you're wearing a top with buttons on she will grab them and chew them, and she chews buttons on her own clothes. She is of course still too little to play with my button box so I dug out some felt and made her a little book she can hold and play with.



It's quite a simple design, two rectangles of felt which I first embroidered and embellished and then sewed together, back to back, with blanket stitch. Then I folded the piece in half to make a book and blanket-stitched down the spine.



I went with a simple colour theme to make it look a little more thought-out.



My main project at the moment is also for Emily - I want to finish her birth sampler, hopefully in time to hang it up in her new bedroom. The bricklayers are nearly up to the first-floor joists so I'd better crack on.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mr. Dinosaur

Laura has recently become a fan of Peppa Pig. Peppa, as I'm sure all of you with small children are aware, has a little brother called George, and George has a favourite toy called Mr. Dinosaur. Laura has now decided that her favourite colour is green (it was, previously, red) and she also informed me that she needed a dinosaur. We had a look at Ravelry together and chose the Baby Snow Dragon crochet pattern by Marjorie Jones. Et voilĂ .



I modified the pattern a bit to point it a bit more dinosaur-wards. I left off the ears and the eyelids, and I made the spine points out of felt because I didn't want them to match the body, but Laura insisted they needed to be green and I didn't have another shade of green yarn handy.

Next up - a felt book with lots of sewn-on buttons for Emily. Child is obsessed with buttons.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Halloween Knitting Patterns for Pukifee and Lati Yellow

So here's what's in my Hallowe'en book! It's more of a supplement really, just a small collection of fun patterns.

As well as the miniature pumpkin (about 1.5"/3.5cm in diameter)



you can also make this pumpkin hat



a cute black cat trick or treat bag



and this cloak and hat for a wicked witch (or a wizard!).



(the black dress there is made using the Pixie Dress pattern in my first ebook, Brilliant Basics).

The pattern ebook costs £4.

All the items in the book are also now listed in my Etsy shop, so click here if you'd like a tiny pumpkin or witch outfit for your doll, without the effort of making it yourself. :)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Autumn again

Where did summer go? I don't know.

Laura started pre-school today. She seems to have taken it completely in her stride, no worries, I'm not sure I can say the same for me! She returned with two paintings and a cut-out dinosaur with rice glued onto it. It was very odd to just have Emily at home, but nice to be able to give her some dedicated attention for once.

But the main big going-on here is that work has finally started on our new house extension! We've been planning it for about a year, but the start was delayed by my husband's unemployment. Now he's back in work we can press on. So far we have foundations and some blockwork, more work on the floor this week and then the walls can start going up properly. Very exciting! We'll gain a much bigger kitchen and dining room, and we'll lose the boxroom but have two new bedrooms for the girls.

And in crafty news, I finished my Hallowe'en book a little bit ago. I'll do a proper separate post about it soon, but for the moment, it is available in my Etsy shop or through my beep beep miniatures website if you're interested.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Summer fun

I couldn't think what to blog about, so I went for my usual technique of rummaging about on my camera for photographs. And found some from the local children's centre summer fun day. I went with the girls and we had a good time!

Laura had her face painted and ate ice cream




and she went on the bouncy castle




and we met Peppa Pig, which was less of a success (Laura wouldn't go any closer to her than about 3 metres so I don't have a photo of that).



By the way, if you have small children, and you want to do fun things with them, you need to read my sister's blog, Jennifer's Little World. She has so many good ideas! None of which include scaring your children witless with six-foot tall character costumes.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Cheese Straws

Laura and I have made cheese straws a couple of times recently.



They are very good to make with toddlers because 1) they include both stirring and mixing-with-your-fingers elements, 2) they also include the all-important rolling-and-cutting-out stage, and 3) they're savoury, so you can bake without feeling like you're loading your children up with cake.

Here's the recipe we use. I have no idea where I got it from, I wrote it down in my recipe notebook at some point a few years ago, but it's a good one.

Cheese Straws
110g/4oz butter
225g/80z plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
110g/4oz grated cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk
splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 230C.

Rub the flour, butter and salt together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the grated cheese and egg yolk to make a soft dough. Add a splash of milk if it's too dry.

Roll out about 0.5cm thick and either cut into straw shapes with a knife, or let a small child have at it with biscuit cutters.

Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack and store in an air-tight container.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Hallowe'en miniature knitting

Still working on the Hallowe'en book - it stalled a bit for a while there but I want to have it finished and out for the start of September so I need to get a move on! Here is what Laura calls a 'poompkin'.



It is maybe an inch across? Something like that.

I confess that I try to avoid saying 'pumpkin' properly in front of Laura because I love the way she says it. Also, I try and avoid saying 'window sill' because she says 'window shelf' and it is beyond adorable.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Crafting like it's 1995

So the baby finally completely destroyed my watch strap. I've recently acquired some packs of mixed embroidery silks from a house clearance (long story) and I've been thinking of making some old-style friendship bracelets, so I chose some cheerful colours and tried to remember how to do it.



Not too shabby! Muscle memory is amazing. I must have made hundreds of these bracelets when I was a teenager, all of us sitting in a row on the school wall with the bracelets safety-pinned to our school skirts, knotting away.



I finished this one off with a button and neatly sewed the ends under. I need to put a drop of glue on them to make sure it doesn't all unravel at an inopportune moment.

I'm trying to remember some of the more complicated patterns now. And maybe beads? Hmm.

Friday, 5 August 2011

This moment

Inspired by soulemama

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Dolly bed

My grandfather made this doll cradle for my mother when she was little:



I can remember playing with it when I was little too, I love the transfers, the other end has a little bear knitting!



The cradle has arrived at our house now and all it needed to keep another little girl happy was some covers for the lucky dolly.



I had in my stash some pieces from a lambswool jumper that Mark accidentally felted for me five or six years ago. Very easy to sew up a little pillow and stuff it, and to cut out a rectangle and blanket-stitch it with some matching thread for her blanket.



Very cosy!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I am not obsessed with buttons, honest



New socks!

(they are from Tesco)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Birthdays and Caterpillars

Emily turns one* tomorrow so on Sunday afternoon we had her little birthday party. She now has many new toys and clothes, and more presents to come tomorrow!

I made her a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake



because that is her bedtime story. It has a very straightforward construction, made from two circular cakes



and covered in plenty of green and red butter icing (although a little tip: don't use Dr Oetker Natural Red Colouring. For one thing, it tends to the orange, and for the other, it's made from beetroot extract and leaves a definite vegetable-y aftertaste. I meant to get cochineal and shall make sure I do next time). Also dolly mixtures for his face and feet.

Laura's third* birthday is next month and she wants a kitty cake. She did have a cat cake for her first birthday but I think I want to try something different this time. Not sure what though.

*seriously.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Summer Sun - More Pukifee and Lati Yellow Knitting Patterns!

I finished my summer book!



Seven more Lati Yellow and Pukifee knitting patterns, all themed around summer and the beach.



Patterns included are:
- short-sleeved shrug
- shorts
- sun top
- sun hat
- swimming costume
- beach bag
- sun dress



The book is available for £4 on Ravelry (you don't have to be a Ravelry member): buy Summer Sun now

Or it's $6.50 on Etsy: Summer Sun - Knitting Pattern eBook for Lati Yellow and Pukifee.

It's great fun to design around a theme - I'm definitely planning to do more of that. The next dolly knitting book though will be a winter one, which perhaps goes with knitting a bit better! Lots of snuggly jumpers and things I think.

Friday, 24 June 2011

From my camera


Miniature knitting supplies


Sleeping baby


Playing girls