Thursday, 26 May 2011

My Creative Space: Sweet Pea Shawl

Now that the birthday has passed, I can show you the shawl that I crocheted back in March.  I love this shawl and you can only guess how hard it was to pack it up and post it off to my sister-in-law.  Luckily she likes it!!  If only I could hop back to my favourite yarn shop in Burlington, Ontario and get some more of this wonderful llama / silk mix yarn.  Instead I'll just have to find a yarn shop over here and buy some different yarn to make another version for me.  Soon!

The pattern is from the wonderfully titled book: The Happy Hooker.  Maybe you have to be British to understand why that makes me smile!!

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Friday, 20 May 2011

In My Garden

I can't take any credit for these flowers ....

... as we've just moved in and these have been here for years and years.

Our garden is a riot of colour with various rhododendrons by the front door.

These roses look promising too.

Not looking forward to all that pruning in the autumn though!!

And these poppies are flowering near lounge window.

Have to admit; they're my favourites!

Summer is definitely on the way!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My Creative Space ... Wristlet

It's been a good week for crafting.  We're slowly getting the house sorted and I've got a bit more time, so in addition to the frame purse that I finished at the weekend, I've been able to make my first - and definitely not last - project from Nikki's new book "You Sew Girl".

This wristlet pattern was an obvious first choice for me as I had everything I needed.  I'd been looking for a good use for this lovely crane fabric that Crafty Ady sent to me and I think it looks great made up as a bag!

A few people asked me about the book after my post last week, so here are my thoughts:

  • There is a great variety of patterns: small accessories like belts, kid's hats and of course some bag patterns.  Pattern pieces are included in an envelope at the bag of the book.  In addition there are some pattern-free skirt and top patterns and I'm itching to try some of these (but you'll notice I started out well and truly in my comfort zone with a bag!). So, something for everyone!
  • Each project gives an indication of how much sewing experience you need to tackle it.  The wristlet I made is suitable for advanced beginners and this seems about right.  And even though I have made many bags and would rate myself as intermediate, I learned a new technique for making the zip pocket.  There are projects for all levels of sewing experience.
  • I like the fact that several of the projects lead into a bigger project - so the wristlet that I made uses many of the same techniques that are required for the city shopper bag.  So you can make the mini version and make sure you're comfortable with how the bag goes together before you experiment with larger versions.  Very practical!
  • Nikki explains everything clearly and all the steps are well-illustrated.  One of the reasons I've made so many of Nikki's patterns in the last couple of years is that the quality of her instructions really helps you to make the best possible end product.  
  • Not having kids - or many kids to sew for - I doubt I'll make every project in the book (so I won't be joining Apple & Tangerine sewing her way through the entire book!); but I can see myself making all the bag patterns over time plus some skirts and tops.  I'd say that makes it very good value for money!  I have some craft books that I've bought and then couldn't find anything I actually wanted to make in them.
Now, what to make next?!!

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Saturday, 14 May 2011

What a Cutie!

While Andy was out test-riding his new bike this afternoon (yep - another one!), I finished off this little purse.  This was made using Nicole Mallalieu's Shell Purse pattern and it's turned out to be a very cute purse.  

It's the first time I've sewn a purse frame on - the advantage is there's no danger of getting glue everywhere, but I did find it a bit fiddly.  I'm patting myself on the back for not tipping the pack of seed beads all over the floor or cutting myself on my newly sharpened (lethal) sewing shears.

Found a yarn shop this morning and bought some cotton for a new project.  Still looking for fabric stores round here though .... there must be some, somewhere!!  In the meantime I'll just have to rely on my stash ... but I'm bound to run out of thread or interfacing soon!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My Creative Space

Started work on another purse pattern - not tried sew-on frames before, but they've got to be easier than glue (she says hopefully!).  I've had this pattern for a few weeks and have been itching to get the sewing machine set up to try it out.

But I was nearly completely distracted by the arrival of Nikki's book in the post.  The problem was identifying just one pattern to try first!  I've cut out one of the paper patterns ... just waiting to finish the other purse first and for my sewing shears to be returned (they're being sharpened - probably a bad move given how accident prone I am!!). 

For more creative spaces, take a look at Kirsty's blog.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

My Creative Space .... Progress!


Hallelujah!  I've actually got something craft-related done!  

Everyone advised me to add a lining to this little crochet bag to prevent it from stretching and I've finally managed to do this and sewn the flower on the front too.  Finished!!

Just got to pack it up and pop it in the post!

Yes - you're right; this means the house is more or less organised post-move, although it has to be said that the office / craft area is the least sorted out room in the house.

However, the table is now clear and I have set the sewing machine up!  

Just waiting for some shelving and a new desk to arrive and all that mess piled up in the background will disappear as if by magic.  At that point I should have a small desk free where I can set the sewing machine up permanently, leaving the table free for cutting. 

Sound too good to be true?  I know, I can hardly believe it!!!

Soon I'll be able to get cracking on some new projects, but I've gone back to teaching this week so I've got to fit some lesson prep in too.

For other creative spaces, take a look at Kirsty's blog.