Category Archives: Sewing

Knittingness…

Hello there my lovely reader! I do hope my latest bloggings finds you full of the joys of Spring and bursting with fresh ideas for seasonal stitchings. As you can see, my cosy cardigan in khaki is complete. I’m muchly adoring the colour and following a gentle steaming, the Stylecraft yarn has once again produced a garment with a delightful drape. My second knitted niceness is my jolly jumper which has a moss stitch ribbed pattern to the front and back, adding a gorgeous texture to the rather wonderful self-striping effect of the Stylecraft Vintage Life yarn I used…

Sublime colours, aren’t they? Darling daughter has already tried it on and put a request in for a duplicate! Still on the knitty theme, I finally found a use for a couple of balls of Yarnfair self-striping yarn: a rather jaunty pair of slouchy socks…

This pretty-in-pastels pair is for darling daughter and as I’d forgotten quite how much I like knitting (and wearing) hand-knitted socks, I already have the itch to stitch another pair, so watch this space…

Remember that scrappy blankie I was working on from time-to-time? Well, it’s finished! Not only has it used up a fair stash of yarn scraps that would otherwise have gone to waste, it has also bought a smile to darling daughter’s face with all its super stripyness…

Of course, as one has two darling daughters a second scrappy blankie is already been hastily hooked up as we speak…

Over Easter I produced a prickly pair of embroidered cactus, courtesy of a Mollie Makes free craft kit I had hanging around…

Quite a couple of cuties, are they not? They have definately sparked a yearning for a spot of stitching; I’m thinking flouncy florals or beautiful botanicals…

Well I’m off to peruse a few embroidery books for inspiration, so I’ll leave you with a few seasonal shots from my latest wanderings. Until next time dear reader – keep on crafting!

Making Merry Makings

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Hello there my lovely reader friend! I do so hope you are full-to -bursting with festive fun-ness and other such seasonal sillyness. As you can see, I have been busy baking my merry mincemeat muffins, complete with a sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar…mmm…

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…and the merry mmm-ing doesn’t stop there, for instead of our normal, everyday crumble, we had a ‘Crimbo Crumble’ with apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and seasonaly-sweet merry-mincemeat!

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My gorgeous-in-grey cosy throw has now been all been sewn up – a definate labour of love sewing all those many, many (many) squares together…

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…I must confess that I muchly preferred knitting all those sumptuous squares of several stitch patterns! The blankie does look rather super though and is just in need of a lovely lacy border which I am currently knitting…

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As I became somewhat addicted to trying out different stitch patterns, I ended up with a rather huge pile of squares, which has therefore formed a rather huge blankie, requiring (you guessed it) a huge long border. Luckily, I love knitting lovely, lush lace and as I have a massive pile of Christmas films to watch, you can guess what I’ll be up to for the festive period! Here’s wishing you oodles of fabulous festive fun dear reader and I’ll leave you with a few seasonal shots of some sparkly-twinkly lights. Merry Christmas☆

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And So to Sew Squares…

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…and such a stack of them too! Yes, I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to know that I have finally finished knitting all the squares I needed to complete my cosy throw dear reader; all 63 of the little darlings! I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with all the many stitch patterns I tried out and was actually a little sad to cast off the final square, as well as feeling a trifle daunted by the prospect of all that ‘sewing-together-of-squares’ scenario… Fear not dear reader chum! For I have summoned up a copious amount of courage to complete the trying task ahead of me ( along with lashings of tea and cake, of course).

Maybe it’s all the rain we’ve been having, but my doodlings have been feeling the blues of late, hence this little ink and watercolour paint piece I refer to as my ‘big blue blooms’…

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…and this one which is quite simply ‘blobby blue blobs’ (self-explanatory really)…

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In an attempt to cheer my sketchbook up, I created a little festive cheer with a seasonal sketch of one of my favourite birds:the robin…

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A little cutie, is he not? Bless his adorable red breast; doesn’t he just warm the cockles of your heart, dear reader chum? And I did so enjoy having my colouring pencils out for a play again, so much so that I dabbled with a dash of colouring-in, with my new grown-up colouring-in book on nature…
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A rather restrained and ‘grown-up’ start by me on the title page, but on the next page I just went wild with an exotic explosion of crazy colours because that’s how I roll and it is my colouring book after all…

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Now I definately feel like I have released my inner child with a nostalgic childhood pastime. Well, I can’t hang around here passing time with you dear reader, no matter how endearing your company is, for I have a skyscraper of a stack of squares to sew together, so I can have my cosy throw ready for snuggling up in once that frosty-chilly cold snap arrives! And sew on and sew on…

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Bountiful Blossoming Blooms

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Yes indeed dear reader, summer has well and truly arrived in my garden, as you can tell from the bountiful blossoming flowers that have appeared on my courgette plant in the photo above! Courgette flowers are definately not ‘backwards in coming forwards’ as far as blooms go, for they are indeed rather enormous and rather yellow. They do however perform the most breathtaking magic, by turning into one of these beauties…

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Rather impressive is it not, dear reader? My first ‘crop’ I do declare, but maybe just a ‘cropette’ seeing as it’s just the one. My pepper plants are also producing perfect peppers of the green variety…

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…and to top it all, I’ve only gone and grown real live olives on my little olive tree!

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There has been much excitement in our household dear reader, at the tentative initial success of our petite patio potted allotment efforts!
It’s delightful to sit amongst the bounty of blooms in my garden, all buzzing with the hum of happy honey bees. Ho hum…

There have also been a few ‘blooms’ in evidence in my latest sewing project, for I have finally finished the cute-as-pie Lucky Bear free project from Mollie Makes. The flowery embroidery was a joy to stitch and has left me yearning for more floral-fancy needlework and as for the little bear himself, well I was so enamoured with the cheerful chappy that I just had to draw him…

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He’s quite a flowery, fanciful fellow isn’t he? Talking of fancy flowers, my coloured pencil sketch of the cottage garden hollyhock ‘bloomed’ (pardon the pun) this week…

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I just love the blousy blooms of the handsome hollyhock, don’t you? On the knitting front, the delightful diamond lace stitch cowl I was knitting is now complete…

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…which leaves me with an empty pair of knitting needles and in a bit of a quandry as to what project to pick next, from my infinite list of ‘oh I must try that’ to-do list! I also have an endless list of ‘ooh I so have to bake those beauties’ cakes and cookies to-do list. One such scrummy delight was baked up during a rather miserably muggy day of rain at the weekend: my oat and chocolate chip cookies. A Facebook pal has requested the recipe, so as promised here it is…

Oat & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
4oz (115g) butter
4oz (115g) dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3-4tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla essence
5oz (150g) plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4oz (115g) rolled oats
7oz (200g) milk chocolate chips

Apologies for all the ‘ounces’ reader, for although I declare myself to be fully ‘metrical’ whilst in public, at home behind closed doors I am totally beholden to my dear old imperial chums: pound and ounce!

Method:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla essence, beating well. I usually add a little flour with each glug of eggy mix, so as to prevent curdling hazards.
2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until well mixed.
3. Fold in the rolled oats and mix well, then add the chocolate chips.
4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Place 2 teaspoon-sized heaps of the mixture on a greased baking sheet or one lined with baking parchment. Leave room for them to spread a little and press them down a bit in the centre with the back of a spoon. You should be able to make about 20.
6. Bake the little beauties in a preheated oven set at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 10-12 minutes, until they are just starting to colour at the edges, then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack with a spatula.

These cookies are of the soft and squidgy variety even once cooled, but you must devour at least one whilst it is still warm from the oven, as they are divine! They are also extremely fabulous when warmed slightly and eaten with ice-cream but they are also lovely just enjoyed with a cuppa…

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Mmm, don’t they look delicious…sorry dear reader, but my cookies are calling me so I will leave you to bake, blossom and bloom my friend!

Huggable House♡

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And a jolly-jingly-jangly hello to you my fellow crafting chums! I hope I find you suitably nestled in front of your twinkly tree, feasting on festive food and full of Christmas cheer! As you can see, I have completed my latest knitted pillow design: a hug-worthy, housey-housey cushion. I’m so pleased with how the triangular intarsia roof turned out and shall use this pattern more in future….

I also had to forage around in my felt this week, as a friend wanted me to make a foody felt brooch as a present for a relative. Well, here’s the tiny-tasty-treat I created: a magical-mini-morsel of a fat-free-forkful!

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Talking of food, but this time the really-real variety, I’ve been baking up some tasty treats in my kitchen today: gingerbread snowflake cookies!

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…and before you ask dear reader, yes they are truly scrumptious and no, I can’t possibly share them… I can however share the first pic of my chocolate Santa collection with you. I make a new collection of the jolly festive chaps every Christmas and so far this year I have a grand total of 8! So excited dear reader! I just love chocolate Santas…

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Aren’t they adorable? They just make me smile when I look at them and fill me with a festive glow☆ I’ll  leave you now my dear reader friend, with a seasonal health and safety warning from my knitted mate Rodney Reindeer…

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***☆***☆***☆***MERRY***CHRISTMAS***☆***☆***☆***

Having a Whale of a Time!

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Whale hello there dear reader! How are things with you, my craft-loving chum? As you can see I have a new creature creation: a fabric whale sewn from my own pattern. Alas I no longer have the gorgeous grey whale pictured in all his glory floating above, for he was sold at my last craft sale (farewell my fishy friend) but I am sure he has gone to a cuddlesome-cosy and hugful home♡ Yes I had a fab time at my craft sale dear reader, thank you for asking, as I sold oodles of my makeriness to lots of lovely, craft-loving customers (bless them all). Want to see some pics of my crafty offerings on show? Thought so…

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Did you spot my cute new crocheted baby bear bootees, reader? If you would like a closer peeky-perusal, here’s a couple of close-up-pics for you…

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Aren’t they simply adorable? I have also hooked up some pretty-in-pink and blue-for-a-boy baby shoes, in 100% cotton yarn for dainty feet…

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Do you remember the trio of unicorns I was crocheting for my friend’s triplet girlies? Well I managed to finish them in time for Santa to nestle into a spare spot on his sleigh, all ready for the big day, and here they are…

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Mummy-of-triplet-girlies was very pleased with them as was Santa, as he could do with a bit of unicorn magic to help his sleigh fly that little bit faster you know *☆*☆*☆*

Talking of flying sleighs, I’ve been pattern designing again, this time a little Rudolph Christmas tree decoration, complete with jingly-jangly bell dear reader, such fun!

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And then my pattern designing turned to felt; first for a trio of foxy-fab felt brooches, complete with girly blushes…

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…of which I will definately be keeping one for me-myself-and-I! The same goes for the crazy camper van felt key charms I designed, but which colour should I choose? Decisions, decisions dear reader…

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Just love camper vans♡ I used to own a blue VW camper which had a rather jolly red and white striped push-up roof…aaah, sweet memories… And still on the retro theme, I completed my cloud cushion sewn from vintage fabric, with hand-embroidered ‘Daydream Believer’ wording and detailing, as well as felt and crocheted flowers with beads and buttons…

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Phew! Now that’s a whole load of makeriness indeed, dear reader. Am I resting my head on my hippy-chick cloud cushion I hear you ask? No, definately not reader chum, for darling daughter is in need of a cosy-cuddly-cowl so my needles are hastily click-clacking away with some rather lovely powder blue chunky yarn. I will leave you with a work-in-progress pic, complete with a little festive snow globe to get you into the seasonal spirit *☆*☆*☆*keep crafting…

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Floating Happy as a Cloud…

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Yes I’m in a ‘happy-floaty-dreamy-cloud’ kind of a mood at the moment dear reader, for I have finished many-many WIP’s, including a couple of squishy cloud pillows. The first completed cloud can be seen in the pretty pic floating above here; it’s a hanging version with hand-embroidered wording and shiny beads on sparkling silver thread. A little bit of hanging heaven☆ My other completed cloud pillow is of the rather larger variety, more of your normal cushion size, with hand-embroidered wording once again. When I started to work on it I wasn’t sure what other decorative bits-and-bobs I was going to adorn it with, but as I was stitching away a daisy popped into my head (as it does from time to time) and indeed a crocheted daisy fitted the whole ensemble perfectly – I hope you agree…

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I just love daisies, such a happy flower don’t you think? Keeping to the pillow theme, have a ganders at my latest cushion design – an embroidered star☆ which once again has hand-embroidered wording…

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…and is made from fabric with teeny-tiny stars on it. Ooh, and modeled by one of my darling daughters: my little star, holding a star☆ and ‘sew’ on to more sewing (pardon the pun) for I have finally sewn up my two doggie plushies: a sweet sausage doggie…

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…a darling Dascshund indeed, who was often to be found in my garden, dashing around after daisies…

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…while Scottie Doggie plushie was totally captivated by butterflies, bless him…

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Pleased as punch with my plushies dear reader, so expect to see more soon in other fabrics. Now for something completely different (but still crafty, fear not) a little bit of weaving! Yes I finally managed to weave a triangle into my woven wall-hanging and added some totally terrific tassels along the edge, then mounted it on to a darling piece of driftwood I discovered on one of my beachcombing forages. Want to see it?

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My little bit of monochrome magic, which looks marvelous on my lounge wall. So pleased with the triangle, so shall attempt another weaving with more triangles, now I’ve got the hang of it. If you fancy having a go yourself dear reader, ‘A Beautiful Mess’ blog has some great weaving-related ideas, so head on over to http://www.abeautifulmess.com and search for ‘weaving.’

Now for knitting. You know I was getting well into lacey knitting last time? Well, I searched through my stash of magazine cut-outs with different lace stitch patterns and came across a diamond lace pattern I was rather drawn to, so I decided to use the lovely linen and cotton mix yarn I had in my stash to knit up another lacey neck cosie, in a delightful denim blue shade…

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Lush colour and fab pattern♡ Of course as well as my continuing obsession with lacey knitting, my obsession with crocheting pebble cosies continues too…

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Simply adorable aren’t they? And now that the autumn mornings are becoming a little on the chilly side, perfect for the poor pebbles. Well I think I have rambled on rather enough for now dear reader, so I shall leave you with a pic of some of my comfort baking to off-set the end-of-summer blues: yummy-scrummy chocie muffins♡ Keep crafting…

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Loving Lovely Liebster♡

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Yes I have muchly exciting news to tell you dear reader, for my rather humble little blog has won a Liebster award! Thrilling news, isn’t it? I was nominated by the lovely Sarka, whose equally lovely blog can be found at http://berriesandyarn.wordpress.com and is well worth a browse if you haven’t done so already. After my jumping-around-with-joy moment had passed (well, you have to, don’t you) I settled down to have a read of all the rules and regulation thingies you have to follow, which although a bit complicated, are jolly well worth the effort. I think the whole Liebster thing is a fab idea, as it not only promotes newbie bloggers, but also helps you to discover other inspiring newbie bloggers too. Great stuff! So here goes with the rules and regulation thingy first (or the grown-up bit as I like to call it).

1. You have to link back to the person who nominated you.
2. You must answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
3. After completing those questions, you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
4. You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
5. You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link to your post for them so that so that they can learn about the nomination.

Phew! That’s the boring rules and regs bit sorted. Now for something much more interesting dear reader: the questions I was asked, well here goes…

1. What got you into blogging?

Ooh, easy, I just loved reading all the fabulous arty-crafty blogs that are out there and always found them so inspiring, that I decided to start my own blog in the hope that I, too, would inspire people to be more arty-crafty.

2. What is it that you enjoy the most about the blogging experience?

Well obviously as I mentioned in my first answer, the thought that my lovely readers are beavering away at something creative because they have seen something on my blog that has inspired them.

3. And is there anything about blogging you find annoying or irritating?

I would have to say the ‘techy’ stuff, as there have been quite a lot of said ‘techy’ things that have blown my mind, or caused me to have meltdown moments with the rather scary cyber space!

4. How do you find new blogs to follow?

As I blog with WordPress I quite often look for new blogs via search tags on my blog feed. I am also a member of Bloglovin’ so I’m always finding lovely new blogs to follow on there too. Magazines are also a good way to discover new bloggers as well.

5. What inspires you?

Oh my, everything and everyone! I love Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for inspiring pics and people, but the world outside your door is full of inspiration isn’t it? That’s why I always carry a notebook around with me and I’m always taking photos on my phone when I’m out and about.

6. Do you prefer paper diaries, calendars, planners, stationery, etc, or do you rather go digital?

I have a ‘thing’ for notebooks! I have them all over the house and I’m always jotting down ideas when they pop into my head. I also love post-it notes and I have lots of lists of ideas/projects on my mobile phone too.

7. What’s the best book you have read this year?

I read LOADS of books but recently I have enjoyed a couple of books by Debbie Macomber: ‘The Shop on Blossom Street’ and ‘A Good Yarn’ simply because they are about a yarn store owner and they also have free knitting patterns in them!

8. Given unlimited time and resources, what is your dream project?

I would love to be involved in a huge community art or craft project with children and adults.

9. On the other hand, what sort of a quick project do you go to for instant gratification?

Easy, a doodling session!

10. What was your favourite boy band in the 90’s? Don’t tell me you did not have one.

I was probably a bit beyond boy bands in the 90’s, age-wise! Although when I was of a ‘boy band age’ as it were, I was well into Duran Duran!

11. If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Ooh, tough one, I guess I would have to say Nelson Mandela, because he had such courage and determination to fight for what was right and true.

Well, I hope that was of interest to you dear reader, now for the next bit: my list of nominations! Here are the 11 bloggers I nominate for a Liebster award, drum roll please!

http://abipartridge.wordpress.com

http://jademosinski.wordpress.com

http://artprescription.com

http://littleillustrations.wordpress.com

http://lovelydeer.wordpress.com

http://sewyeah.co.uk

http://thelittleroomofrachell.wordpress.com

http://themightyhare.wordpress.com

http://ucuspucus.com

http://thebloominggarden.wordpress.com

http://varnatantu.wordpress.com

There we go, nominations complete, and what a truly inspiring bunch they all are too; a great mix of art, crochet, knitting, sewing, weaving, gardening and other inspiring crafts. I hope you enjoy your blogging adventures while you explore dear reader! And now for the final bit, my 11 questions for the 11 lovely bloggers I have nominated:

1. When you think about your blog, what makes you smile?
2. What new form of art or craft would you like to learn?
3. What do you collect?
4. Where is your favourite place for being arty or crafty?
5. Tea and biscuits – do you dunk or crunch?
6. What is your favourite toast topping?
7. Where would be your dream arty-crafty destination in the world?
8. E-reader or good old-fashioned paperback book, which do you prefer?
9. What is your favorite season of the year and why?
10. Which famous artist/crafter/gardener would you like to meet and why?
11. What would your dream job be? (If you’re not aleady doing it, you lucky person you!)

Well I hope those questions get your imaginations working! Congratulations to all the bloggers that I have nominated and I hope you are all inspired by each other’s blogs, which is what the Liebster Award is all about I reckon! So farewell for now dear reader and remember to read those blogs and be inspired! Blog on…

Perfect Pillow for a Tree Hugger

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Hello again dearest reader! What do you think of my newest knitted creation, bought to life from the pages of my sketch book by my trusty knitting needles? I might knit another one with more of a ‘bubbly’ shaped top next time, what do you reckon? I ‘wooden’ say no to any positive feedback and who knows, you might make me ‘branch’ off in a whole new direction…

Sorry about that reader, on to more serious issues now for I have finally completed the cloud cushion I’ve been working on lately…

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I think the felt and crochet flower cluster works quite well with the pattern on the vintage fabric. Of course I am also really chuffed with myself because I managed to thread up my new sewing machine without having to consult/argue with/throw across the room, the dreaded manual! Yay!

My sketching pencils have had a bit of a workout this week, as I fancied drawing some animals. I started off with one of my favourite birds, the owl, what a hoot!

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Then I had a go at drawing a little deer…

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I might sketch them again but with coloured pencils. I always like to practice drawing things in a 2B pencil before I produce one in coloured pencils; so I can get the ‘shape’ just right before I think about colour and tone.

Well that’s it for this post dear reader, I’m off to knit on with my next Mr Moustachiono, this time in black and white. I’ll leave you with a couple of pics from my Summery weekend…

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Beautiful Day♡

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Daisy, daisy…

Smile Please! Camera Cross-Stitch Completed…

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Yes dear reader, I completed my cool camera cross-stitch and am well-chuffed with it. I followed a Cross-Stitcher magazine pattern for a blue camera which I changed to a red one (as you can see) and will be framing it in a black picture frame. It was an easy project although I would advise against back-stitching the set of lines at the top of the camera late at night, when you are sleepy and in a dim light as I did, for when I looked at said lines in the cold, harsh, unforgiving light the next morning, said lines were well-wonky and hence hastily unpicked with much muttering…

It was with much sadness that I took down my homemade Easter decs last week and the thought occurred to me that I had failed to share my Easter makeryness with you dear reader! Shame on me! So here in all their egg-celent glory are my icky-sticky-finger-fun decopatch eggs (where I learnt how to become one with glue, literally) and my cracking paper crafting eggy bunting…

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As you can see, we had a mainly monochrome Easter in our house, as I am partial to black and white with a splash of grey. I also took my faithful black Sharpie ink pen for a play recently and produced these random lines…

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…and then Sharpie became bored with straight lines so went crazy for wavy…

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…then totally lost it and went well-loopy…

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And finally an update on the progress of the cloud cushion I am sewing from a vintage pillow case: the embroidery is now finished and I spent Sunday afternoon happily making beaded felt flowers and buttoned crochet flowers for the final flourish. I just have to remember how to thread up my new sewing machine so I can sew it together, mmmmm…well anyway, here’s a pretty pic of the flower cluster and I wish you happy makeryness dear reader, along whatever your chosen path of crafting may be…

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