Thursday 29 January 2015

Creative Craft with Kids

Creative Craft with Kids by Jane Foster
Published by Pavillion
22nd January 2015
Hardback Edition

I have been very lucky indeed to have been sent a copy of Jane Foster's new book Creative Craft with Kids and it is lovely!  Moving away from the traditional sense of a craft book, this one is an actual board book which I think is lovely.  It's tiny in comparison to the others on my shelf but I think that as it's aimed at crafting with, and for children, that this makes it an ideal size.

As well as 15 projects to get stuck into, the book also features Jane, who she is and what she likes.  I liked this personal touch and it was nice to learn more about her as an artist and person that just have pages of projects one after the other.

The book is divided into two sections - No Sew and Simple Sewing.  There are ideas to make things from items you might already have in the house, such as domino pictures and puzzle magnets, alongside making cushion covers and throws for a much loved room.

My girlies and I decided that we would tackle the hand-drawn toys project.  I bought some stuffing, fabric pens and white poly/cotton fabric and we were ready to begin.  Firstly the girls drew their designs onto white paper and then traced them onto the fabric.  We cut out two images, pinned together and then I sewed them on my machine before stuffing and stitching them together.  They love what they have created and I know that we will be making lots more of these - especially as I bought a metre of fabric, and it cost less than £3.

Here's what they created:

The 6 year old made a bat called Batty

The 8 year old made a bear called Holly

Happy Crafting!
G x

Monday 26 January 2015

Another WIP bites the dust!

So the plan is to try and finish some of those pesky wips that are still lying around, gathering dust, and feeling unloved.

This weekend I decided that it was time for my Tiny Owl Knits Ships and Seaside cowl to become a wearable garment instead of being bunched up in a bag waiting to be worn.

The problem that I had was that to finish off the cowl I needed to master Kitchener stitch.  Despite looking everywhere I could, I just couldn't get to grips with it and that is why I abandoned the cowl.  This weekend I thought stuff it, I'd frog it my way and get it finished.  So instead of being joined the correct way, I simply cast off both ends separately and ta-dah it's complete!

The difference between mine and the original is that my stripes go in the opposite direction, but I think that's a minor difference.  I wore it today to walk the dogs with my pale pink duffle coat.  It's very snuggly.  I used James C Brett Aztec Aran with alpaca which I haven't used before, but it knits up nicely and comes in some lovely muted shades.

The pattern isn't in the Tiny Owl Knits book, but you can buy it from Stephanie's website or on Ravelry if you fancy having a go yourself.

I'm now trying to finish my odds-and-ends crochet blanket, using, yes you guessed it, my odds and ends of wool that no longer have a specified purpose.  I'm currently on row 31 but need to get to about 60 (thanks Gran Plumley for that target) so just over half way now.  For updates, see Instagram!!!!

How are your wips coming along?!

G x

Saturday 24 January 2015

Bird Spotting

Today we spent an hour looking out of our windows bird spotting.  We don't usually do this, especially not for a whole 60 minutes but we had agreed to take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch for the RSPB.
If you fancy taking part, I think you can still register to enter as it goes on until tomorrow.  You can find out more by clicking this link.

Amazingly, and rather annoyingly, our hour proved to be very quiet in the garden.  We usually see loads of birds, and of lots of different species, however today they decided they weren't going to visit us!

What's the betting that tomorrow we see loads?!

G x

Monday 12 January 2015

Sorting those wips

Is it just me, or do your wips laugh at you from a corner, taunting you about how you haven't, and will never finish them off?!

Well I'm determined to get to task with some of them this year, no matter how much they laugh at me.

Last week I finished my Fiona Goble capelet from this book.

You can also find the pattern in Mollie Makes issue 44.

Today I decided to make an effort to finish my cardigan.  This one, started last year, more than once.

I finally finished off the final sleeve today, whilst watching The Haunting of Radcliffe House.  However, having stitched the raglan and the ribbing for the neckline, something isn't right, I think something is upside down, or the wrong way around, or just plain wrong.  Tomorrow, after yoga, when I am calm and serene, I will unpick and have another bash at it.  It's like interfacing, I always sew that on wrong the first time no matter how many times I look at it!

So, one down, one almost done.  I'm feeling better already.  So much so, that I've treated myself to some new shoes!  I'm hoping they will be as perfect as my Camper boots are.  Do you know I've worn them virtually every day since they arrived.  I love them to bits.  Anyway, the naughty Pixie over at the Crafty Nook is responsible for this purchase too.  She has some blue ones, I went for red, but it's okay, because they are in the sale and that doesn't count, right?!


G x

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Thrifty Jan Blog Hop

Back in December I was asked if I would take part in a blog hop for a digital crafty magazine/blog called Stitch Craft Create and of course I said yes!  The magazine is available online, and has 15 different ideas in it, from making a tin can lamp, to hooking a fab stripe cushion. 

I decided to try out the idea of making a winter body scrub from the magazine for this blog post.  The ingredients were easy to get hold of, I had everything already in the cupboard except for sea salt which was soooo cheap in the supermarket I couldn't believe it.

First was the infusing of the herbs into the oil which takes an hour but as you don't have to do anything to it during that time, I carried on with other jobs while it was heating.  I decided to use rosemary and lavender as that is what I had to hand.  I added fresh rosemary and some dried lavender to the oil, and at the end of the whole process, added some drops of lavender oil to the jar.

Next came the separation of the herbs from the oil.  I didn't have any muslin to hand so I used a dishcloth (clean) which worked equally as well.  Then I added the oil to the salt.  You actually only need a small amount of the oil and I was concerned that I had actually added too much as my mixture was quite yellow looking.  It does say keep the oil for another time, but I don't have anywhere to store it so it had to go!

Ta-dah, one winter body scrub made.  The question now is, does it actually work?!  I suffer from keratosis pilaris, which means basically I have bumpy skin on my arms and legs and have used lots of different exfoliating products all of my life - this would be the test for my winter body scrub. 

Do you know what - it bloomin well works a treat!  My skin is super soft due to the oil in the product, and smooth for the first time in years due to the sea salt.  Hubby also says the bathroom smells fab due to the herbs in the product, so it's a full on win-win situation here.  I only made one jar, so halved the ingredients and all in all it cost less than £1 for me to make as I only had to buy the sea salt.  I wholeheartedly recommend you go and make some yourself now!

Lucky old blog readers that you are, you can download a copy of Stitch Craft Create for FREE right here using the discount code SCCFREE.

You can also see who else is taking part in the blog hop by clicking on this link and see what other crafty people have been making too.

As an added bonus, cause I'm nice like that, if you visit here you can download a free upcycling book as well!  Aren't you glad you dropped on by?!

And that's it!  Thank you to Rosie for asking me to take part, it's been great fun and I hope you all enjoy your copy of the magazine too!

G x

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Inner peace and stretching

Okay so the plan is, in 40 30 minutes I will be going back to my first yoga class in 8 years!!!

Where has the time gone?  I used to love my yoga, it certainly does my body the world of good, and my mind too.   I'm still full of cold though so it might be a strain!

I'm certainly a lot stiffer than I used to be so no idea how I'm going to get on but let's see - I'll let you know....!

G x