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Archive for the ‘Things I have made’ Category

So yesterday, I decided to break the blogging silence and wrote a long(ish) rambling post about how my projects only get finished when there is a birthday or gift giving deadline to be met…and how I have resolved to tackle the large box of unfinished projects which stares at me reproachfully each day.

However, when I uploaded a photo of my most recent finished project – a Princess and the Pea playset for Bean’s best friend, I helpfully deleted all my writing…awesome.

Basically, the idea is that every* Friday I’ll post some pictures of a finished project…so, we’ll see how long that lasts then!

Here are some more pictures of the playset (which apparently has been played with lots since…hurrah!)

The set consisted of a princess doll, adapted from the ‘Mary’ pattern in Knitivity by Fiona Goble. 9 little mattresses, pillow, cover and a needlefelted pea…

…All packaged in a simple little bag

Happy happy!

Has anyone else been working on any unfinished projects?

 

 

*laughs

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Yes, I know I am not likely to be accused of being a ‘frequent blogger’ but I do have rather a good excuse this time…but firstly I’d like to share with you the contents of the Fall craft swap. It’s always exciting to receive post when you know it’s not a bill…especially when you know it’s going to be full of crafty goodness!!!

Excuse the less than fantastic photo but I had to take it rather quickly as Bean was so keen to be playing with all the lovely things I couldn’t even get a picture without her in it!

There are some truely lovely things that participants have made, some complicated, some wonderfully simple – all beautiful. We were very pleased to have been a part of the swap.

For reasons later explained, we were sadly unable to take part in the winter swap – I’m really looking forward to seeing the items created when they are revealed over at One Hook Wonder. I’m already planning my contribution for the spring swap which I hope Nicole will be hosting. I’m thinking chick finger puppets or felt eggs, something along those lines…

Anyway, the reason (okay, who am I kidding…) one of the reasons for my lack of postings has been due to a delivery of another kind. In mid November we were thrilled to become a family of four, thanks to the addition of little Logan…

He’s not exactly what you would call a good sleeper…but I guess that can be said about most newborns, I spend my days in a constant state of exhaustion and happiness, frequently reminding myself that these sleepless nights will not last forever, even if it feels like it right now! Bean is, thankfully, a born mother and is nothing but wonderful with him, adoring him from the start, which only makes me love her more, which I hadn’t thought was possible.

Something else, which helps during the night feeds is this lovely poem…sadly I can’t recall where I read it…

“Cooking and cleaning can wait ’till tomorrow,

for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow,

so quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep,

I’m hugging my baby and babies don’t keep”

Too true.

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One of the things I struggle with most when crafting is actually finishing a project. As ridiculous as it sounds I frequently get 95% of the way through a project and then abandon it for another. Often this is because I really really hate sewing up items and will try and put it off at all costs but sometimes deadlines come calling and must be met.

So, in the midst of summer, I was to be found knitting nativity characters* (well, naturally). The idea being that if I started that early in the year they were bound to be finished by Christmas, right? Er…wrong. I got so far as a Jesus, Mary and a bald Joseph before being distracted by a post at the brilliant One Hook Wonder about a Waldorf inspired craft swap. I was too late to join in the summer one as items had to be posted to the USA but I figured that if I started on items for an Autumn/Fall swap then and there I would have them finished in plenty of time – not only that but it meant I wouldn’t have to carry on sewing up the ridiculously fiddly nativity characters – hurrah!!

For those of you who, like me, hadn’t taken part in a craft swap before, the idea is this…sign ups are capped at a set number. You make that many identical items, of a certain value and theme and post them all to the swap organiser by a certain date. Once all the items are received they are repackaged and postal prices calculated. Postage was handled (in this swap) through paypal and the package is then dispatched!!

Since this swap was for items for an Autumn themed nature table I turned to my old favourite of incredibly cute and fiddly-footed hedgehogs from a pattern by the ever-talented Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits. I made ten of these for party bags for the Bean’s second birthday, last year, so what was another 15 between friends?

In case hedgehogs weren’t common in the recipients country, I made a little fact sheet to go with each hedgie.

So off they went…as it turned out it takes less than a week for the package to get to America (not the 3-4 weeks I was expecting…apparently they travel on some sort of new-fangled winged contraption, rather than having to swim there themselves).

So, then the wait began for the return package…but that’s another story… :)

*I had left a couple of figures on the top of my knitting bag and the Bean brought them out to me, saying, very matter of factly, “You very good at making these. Now, I must put them away as there is a spider attack coming” before walking off purposefully…you’ll be relieved to know we all survived.

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Hmm…so, a bit of a gap since my last post but the title pretty much sums up what we have been doing…

Very sneakily, the Bean has turned from a toddler into a little girl – very talkative, very inquisitive and very much fun.

Thanks to some unseasonally good weather, the outdoors has been a source of great entertainment and discovery…

Discovering poppies almost the size of your head…

Taming the wilderness in your very own backgarden…(wearing very pretty pink gardening gloves, of course)…

and planting potatoes with Daddy (using the Bean method of planting i.e. stand where you are and hurl the potatoes as far as you can)…

Looking back over the photos I have taken, it was these three of Bean that made me realise how much she has grown up in recent months. Tired after “a very busy morning Mummy” ‘reading’ the menu in a cafe…(i.e. choosing from the options I gave her – but making the decision all by herself after much serious consideration and brow furrowing)

and ordering from the waitress all by herself (“‘scuse me lady…”)

and best of all, loving not only what she had ordered but that she had done it all by herself.

Despite the title, there has only been a little bit of sewing going on here, not for lack of wanting (my sewing machine is too noisy to use whilst Bean is asleep, which leaves me sewing most times with a very enthusiastic little helper. This is sometimes wonderful, sometimes not – depending on how much I want to concentrate). Thankfully my current project is a very simple one – a quilt for the Bean, simply 8.5 inch squares sewn together. The Bean’s contribution to my sewing could be anyone of the following: silly shrieking at the ‘scary noise’ my machine is making; constant enquiries of “can I touch the pins Mummy?” ‘um, no darling, that’s propably not a good idea’; to close observation and then sincere comments of “ooh, you very brave Mummy” ‘am I?’ “yes, to put your hands in there”; but the most common is sitting on my lap or standing, being ‘in charge’ of the reverse button. This apparently ‘has’ to be pressed every time I pause sewing, accompanied in most cases by enthusiastic shouts of “go!” and “stop!”. I hadn’t realised how much Bean considered this to be her job – until I set the machine up the other day. I was sternly informed “that my button Mummy. If you press it, I be very angry”…hmm…a conversation about sharing soon followed…

Here is the ‘in progress’ shot – more photos soon. Well, I say soon…

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Well, my current WIP is trying to get my blog up to date!

In the meantime here’s a little bit of crafting I did recently for the Bean’s second birthday!

A birthday crown, following the excellent tutorial over at Frontier Dreams!

Proper wool felt is really expensive, so for the actual crown I used the best cheap felt I could find in my local craft store. I had to join two pieces, hence adding the purple strips between each of the motifs. For the designs I used felt I had purchased a while ago from Paper and String – I urge you all to buy from Sarah, the service is excellent and my gorgeous felt rainbow (45 different shades of wool mix felt) was beautifully wrapped with a hand written note and best of all, very reasonable.

The Bean is very fond of ladybirds, hence…

I was really pleased how this turned out but my favourite was ‘Gerald’, a character from one of Bean’s favourite books, ‘Giraffe’s can’t dance’ (spoiler alert – it turns out they actually can, I was as surprised as anyone…)

I’m never sure how much to ‘add’ to a project – I wasn’t sure about the leaves at the time but now I love them.

I also traced and messed about with illustrations from another of Bean’s favourites ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, to make a special birthday card…here’s an ‘in progress’ picture…

I’ve not yet taken a picture of the finished card – but it looks great (if I do say so myself).

The simplest but most time consuming part of the Bean’s birthday preparations was making the party bags for her little friends. For some reason I decided to make party bags for the littles. The bags were simple rectangles, machine sewn then cut with pinking shears. Inside were stickers, colouring sheets printed from the ‘net and for some reason, which made perfect sense at the time, each bag contained a knitted hedgehog.

This little fellow wasn’t to0 pleased about having to share his cake.

(Shh! They’re coming!)

The pattern is by Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits. Julie stuffs her hedgies a little more but I think mine look pretty cute! I love visiting Little Cotton Rabbits as Julie knits the most wonderful toys – I am just hoping for the day that she releases a knitting pattern book as currently she only sells the finished toys. The pattern is very simple (sensing a theme here?), each one probably only takes 20 minutes max and the reaction from the littles was absolutely worth it!

Right, blog semi-updated. Now, off to check out what everyone else has been up to!

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I may have mentioned before that I am one of those weird type of people who actually prefer giving gifts than receiving them…I mean I’m not going to turn a gift down if it’s offered (see upcoming posts for my recent birthday goodness!) but if I have to choose between giving or receiving, it would be giving, all day long. It’s purely for selfish reasons you understand, not only does it mean I more often than not, get to make the gift, I also get that lovely smiley happy feeling when you see how much someone (hopefully) likes and appreciates the gift.

With this in mind, have a guess about how long I’ve been smiling due to this reaction over a little gift I sent to a fellow blogger.

Yep, you guessed it, still smiling!

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One of the craft projects I have been working on recently was for a very special birthday for my very special niece – it’s not every day you turn FIVE, you know!

After seeing various posts from crafters such as One Hook Wonder, The Toby Show and Soulemama (plus many more, i’m sure) – I decide to make a Princess and the Pea  playset. I revealed my shocking wood work skills in a previous post, but after a few coats of paint I think the bed turned out okay in the end. Yep, I’ll admit it, it came together pretty well (despite my usual mid-craft-project crisis of confidence – any one else get those?).

Remove the fleecy duvet cover and you reveal the reason for the brackets in the title – a rather chubsy princess!

She’s obviously been eating more than just peas.

 

I used a piece of blue fleece which I had been trying to think of a way to use up for a long time. It made the perfect filling for the mattresses – I just kept sewing until the fleece was gone, I think I made 16 mattresses in the end.

The pea was my very first needle-felted project (an easy way to start!) and came in its own hastily made drawstring bag (although spares could be made in about 15 seconds!)

I realised, the day before the birthday that I had forgotten to make a bag for the playset. Having a little girl of my own, I now appreciate that a gift with lots of parts to lose is much more appreciated (by the parents) if it comes with its own storage! This bag was made in a panicky hurry, although it turned out surprisingly well since I’d not made a gussetted bag before. I like my crafts to be intuiative (in other words easy – I’m rubbish at following instructions) so instead of following one of the many excellent bag making tutorials, I had a think for about two minutes and then attacked the fabric with pins and scissors. Thankfully it worked and fitted almost perfectly (perhaps a bit tight around the bed). How I’m not sure.

Anyhoo, once the bed had been prized from the bag’s vice-like grip, it seemed to go down quite well with the Birthday girl! (Chubs is sleeping in this pic ;-) ) 

My niece had a fairy party which gave The Bean the perfect opportunity to wear one of her Christmas gifts from my sister.

In retrospect I don’t think it goes well with the trousers…

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