Saturday, 27 July 2013

Clip-a-dee-doo-dah Clips!

Last month I did a little post about Attic24's beautiful blog and how I have been inspired by her colour and creativity.  Well, the other day, I managed to send off a few Granny triangles for her Yarndale bunting project
I forgot to take a pic but remembered to pop on pictures of my completed clips as they came from tiny bright circles I saw on her blog the other month.  These were a gift to my school fete and it was so lovely to see some of my girls wandering around wearing these!  I knocked up a few flowers as well and used just a bit of craft paper to hold them but I think they came out pretty good.  So, thank you Lucy for your inspirational blog and I will try to knock out a few more triangles before August! x
How to make the clips
You will need:
Any scraps of wool work great but DK cotton looked the best.
3.5 hook

  1. Ch 4 and ss into a ring.
  2. Ch 2 and do 8dc around the ring.  SS and fasten off.
  3. Attatch contrast colour, Ch 2 and do 2dc into each stitch- 16 stitches.  Fasten off.
  1. Ch 4 and ss into a ring.
  2. Ch 2 and do 9dc around the ring and ss into first stitch.
  3. Ch 5, skip one dc and ss into next dc.
  4. Repeat step 3 around the flower to make 5 petals and ss into the base for final one.
Before I go, I thought I better add on a few other clip related pictures!  Yes, I have a lot of catch- up posts to do. (I'm even writing posts and holding off posting- July is going to look good on the post count!)
I'm sorry these are a bit fuzzy, they were a quick snap that I forgot to check.  Iphones are great but tricky to get the light right and mine is such an old phone now.  I saw a few die cast roses that twisted up easily and thought I would have a go myself.  The rose worked very well, I thought.  I added an extra felt circle on the back of the clip to disguise the use of a glue gun which also helped the clip stay fast in baby hair as it was for my little niece.  I tried a quick "Hello Kitty" bow on request by my baby but it turned out a bit pants- that's what you get when you rush...
1- Cut a flower shape with decreasing size petals swirling into the centre.
2- Roll around tightly.
3- Pop a few stitches through the base and up through the centre to hold. 
4- Cut a matching small circle for the back of the clip.
5- Attach using a glue gun.
By the way, the gorgeous blue flower came from a free brooch idea from "Mollie Makes".  These are folded flowers stitched onto a circle base.  It's so pretty that I've used it for several brooches as well. 
Finally, I come to another little thrifty project- It really is getting a bit silly now.  Take one unravelled school hairband.  Wind on a favourite ribbon tightly and fix with a glue spot or superglue.  Stitch a quick embelishment from the odds and ends jar and have it ready just in time for a birthday party!  Big Madam was so pleased.  You do have to alternate between crafts for others and crafts for kids or else they get a bit grumpy for all the nice things leaving the house!


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Here comes Summer!

It's here!  Finally!
It's been such a busy school year that, any spare minute has been given to planning, assessment and reports (60 hours overtime for reports this year).  But each holiday comes with a promise to myself to get a couple of my projects completed and I generally get at least one or two done.  I find myself getting quite tense when I am away from my craft cupboard for too long.  It's like an itch in your hands that leaves you flexing fingers and biting nails- I accept that this may just be me though...
This means that for a couple of hours each week, I will be able to catch up on blog posts not completed, projects half started and catching up on other people's great blogs.  I will also be a bit prolific in my July/ August posts- Yay!  I evn have a ray of sun for when school starts back up as my baby will be going to playgroup on Thursdays and Fridays for a couple of hours.  This was sheer heaven when her big sister started as I used this time to whiz to work, get my planning done and finally got my evenings and weekends back for family and fun (crochetcrochetcrochetcrochetcrochetcrochet).
I was going to list my projects but that may not be as interesting for you as for me!  I will, however, share this little tradition with you.  It started when Katie was really small.  We wanted to squeeze in lots of fun for the times in the holiday between the family going away time.  As some years needed to be home holidays, I found that we needed set ideas so that the day didn't get frittered away with long mornings and slow starts.
We started drawing pictures, taking turns choosing things we wanted to do together and added a tick box in the corner to tick when each one was done.  This was a God-send the year I was pregnant with Hannah as the summer holidays hit when I was 7/8 months pregnant.  I was huge- seriously.  I had just developed gestational diabetes and was fighting back weight.  So this booklet set up several weekly trips where I could sit and watch Katie have fun.
Now Hannah is old enough, she joins in with ideas and colouring (bless).  It's a working document as we keep adding to it!

Old jeans into skirt!

I'm so into the thrifty thing at the moment!  In fact, I can see how it gets to be a bit of an obsession...  My Katie has always been an angel in hand me downs and gets the fact that each penny saved can be used for days out and holidays!  So this skirt really sums up the whole, "That's still got plenty of wear in it!" philosophy.  Let me explain... 
Like most Mummies, I've got into a pattern where, once a week, I pop into my local charity shop to either drop off donations or pick up some bargains ( I very rarely leave without something!).  It's not toot either.  I grab books that I have on my Kindle wish list for 50p, classic books for my classroom, fab dresses for me and board games and bits for the girls as a weekly treat.  I much prefer getting a beaten up board game for a pound than spending £3 or £4 on a flimsy magazine and plastic toy.
So, during winter I managed to pick up a 50p pair of jeans for Katie to rough around the park in and, when the knees finally gave in, I jsut couldn't give up on them!  A quick look on Ehow gave a simple explanation which I, of course, ignored most of for a quick fix:
  1. Cut off legs
  2. Cut triangle from legs to fill leg space (I made a quick cardboard template and left 1/2cm edge for hemming).
  3. Zig zag edges to prevent fraying.
  4. Pin panels in place and stitch using simple straight stitch.
  5. Press with an iron (this will help when doing the hem).
  6. Cut hem if needed to even out.
  7. Zig zag edges to prevent fraying.
  8. Turn up to length, press and straight stitch the hem.
Now, I know I should have double turned the hem but I was going out and Katie wanted to wear it.  I have learnt now that turning up a hem needs to be done whilst the person is wearing it!  I tried to make it straight on the table and, of course, forgot about bottoms and hips and all those curves which alter the final line.  So, it's a bit crooked but much loved.  I wasn't even allowed to add a bit of embellishment as, "It's fine like that Mummy."  Such a Madam!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Beautiful and Easy Bunny- Either very late for Easter or just REALLY early!

Oh, this bunny is so late!  In fact, he's so late that he should be a white rabbit with a pocket watch... I made him for my baby nieces first birthday.  I had started by making her a rainbow poncho and decided that a little cuddle bunny was needed to finish it off.  Of course, the bunny was so cute that I felt a mini poncho was in order and he's so sweeeet!
I did the usual quick flick through books and free ravelry patterns but couldn't find a really simple and quick bunny so I took a breath and had a go on my own.  I have been holding off posting this as I wanted to use the pattern to check for blips.  The perfect excuse came for my neighbour's baby Baptism.  I just couldn't resist making a follow up"Baptism Bunny" along with candle, shawl and little white dress.  I will add another pattern page for the lovely extras another day.  But, for now, TA DA- here is my first attempt at a crochet pattern.  I offer it up to the www as a gift for all the freeby patterns I have enjoyed as a crafty.  Let me know if anyone uses it- I've already thought of loads of adaptations and outfits for mine...!

You will need:
Any odds and ends of wool (acrylic is a good washable choice for baby drool)
size 3.5 hook ( I used a size 3 hook but I stitch big )

Legs (make 2)

1.      Ch 2, 6sc in 2nd chain.
2.      Continue in a spiral with 2sc in same stitch followed by 1sc. Repeat all round-9 stitches.
3.      Continue in spiral with 2sc in same stitch followed by 2sc. Repeat all round-12 stitches.
4.      12sc, then continue spiral to reach desired leg length (mine were approx. 8.5cm) and fasten off leaving a long tail.
5.      Make leg two but don’t fasten off.  Join with a sc and sc all around to join the two legs (start of the body). 
6.      Stuff legs now and use long tail to close the small gap between the legs.
1.      Continue sc for body up until the point where you decrease for the shoulders (about 4cm).
2.      Smooth flat and aim to put decreases in the side corners.  2dec and 2dec (4 stitches into 2), 8sc and repeat -20 stitches.
3.      Sc all the way around once.
4.      2dec, 8sc and repeat- 18 stitches.
5.      Sc all the way around once.
6.      (2dec,1sc) repeat all the way around- 12 stitches.
7.      Stuff body- Push a little extra at the front for a tummy, but not right to the top of the legs.  This will help your bunny sit!
1.      Sc all around once and fasten off- 12 stitches.
1.      Ch 2, 8sc in 2nd chain- 8 stitches.
2.      2sc in each stitch- 16 stitches.
3.      2sc followed by 2inc and repeat all the way around- 22 stitches.
4.      Sc all around for 4 rounds- 22 stitches.
5.      4sc, 2dec and repeat 3 times.  4sc to end the round- 18 stitches.
6.      3sc, 2dec and repeat 3 times. 3sc to end the round-15 stitches.
7.      2sc, 2dec and repeat 3 times. 1sc to end the round-11 stitches.
8.      Stuff the head.
9.      Sc all around- 11 stitches.
10.  2dec 5 times- 6 stitches.
11.  2dec 3 times and fasten off.
Arms (make 2)
1.      Start as legs with Ch 2, 6sc in 2nd chain.
2.      Continue in a spiral with 2sc in same stitch followed by 1sc. Repeat all round-9 stitches.
3.      Continue in spiral with 2sc in same stitch followed by 2sc. Repeat all round-12 stitches.
4.      12sc, then continue spiral 2 to 3 times for the hands- 12 stitches.
5.      2dec, 4sc, 2dec, 4sc- 10 stitches
6.      Continue sc around to your desired length (mine were approx. 8cm).
7.      Fasten off leaving a long tail for stitching on.
8.      Stuff, leaving a “pinching” space at the top of each arm to stitch on.  This makes a nice shoulder shape.
Ears (make 2)
1.      Ch 3, sc in 2nd and 3rd chain. Turn.
2.      Ch 1, 2sc in both stitches- 4 stitches.
3.      Ch 1, 2sc in first stitch, 2sc, 2sc in last stitch- 6 stitches.
4.      Ch 1, sc to end.
5.      Repeat 5 rounds of sc.
6.      Ch 1, 2dec in first stitch, sc along and 2dec in last stitch- 3 stitches.
7.      Ch 1, sc to the end. Repeat 3 times.
8.      2dec over last 2 stitches.
9.      Ch 1 and sc around the edge, adding 3sc in the tip of the ear.
10.  Sl st to the top edge and fasten off.
11.  Leave a long tail to sew ears on.

Tips for stitching up
Head-Sew head on before arms to avoid a hunching Bunny!  Use whipstitch to attach.
Arms- Pinch the top and whipstitch shut.  Pull slightly to gather the arm and stitch above and below to add strength to the join.