Sunday, 20 October 2013

September Crafting

Hello lovely readers. This post is soooooooooo delayed but I have an adorable excuse. The major creation that I'd been cooking up for the past 9 months arrived 8 days late, on 19th Sept. My little girl, Thea.

 Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of creating done in the second half of Sept! I did get some done in the first half though whilst waiting for her to arrive. :o)

First, some beading. These earrings are based on a free tutorial by Sidonia.

Next, a haircomb. This is the Crystal Rose from Japanese Beadwork by Sonoko Nozue. I started this yonks ago for Bead, Book and Bounce (blogged about it here) and finally found the time to finish it.

Some knitting and crochet next.

The knitted elephant is designed by Sarah Keen and can be found in the fabulous book 'Knitted Wild Animals'. The stripy giraffe is a free pattern by Emma Dent and can be found on her blog here. The turtle shell and little hat are photo props for Thea but the shell turned out far too small! I'll eventually make it into a toy for her. I just made it up as I went along really after seeing some I liked around the net. Last is a bag made from boodles yarn. Again, I made it up as I went along. I made it for me to replace a handbag I use a lot but it's a bit small really.

I think that's everything I finished in Sept. I do have one more thing to show you though, the pendant I mentioned last month. I have given it to my friend so I can show it to you now. It's a shaped and textured sterling silver pendant with a yellow topaz centre. I think she liked it!

I doubt I'll have much to show you next month but I have started a couple of pairs of earrings so maybe I will have something if little Miss demanding allows it. :o)

Happy October everyone

Saturday, 7 September 2013

August Crafting

Hello lovely readers. Hope you are all well. This post is a little delayed as I lost internet for a week end Aug/beginning of Sept. Having gotten myself a basic smartphone earlier this year, I didn't feel completely cut off but it was a little isolating. One of the major issues with no internet was that I started my maternity leave and having the internet would have made it much easier to chill but not having internet access made me think I should be doing this and that. Ah well, it's back now so I can read and reply to emails more easily and write this post too!

August's creating was almost exclusively maternity/baby related. I did do silver project for a friend's birthday but I haven't seen her so I can't show it to you yet, just in case she reads this. I completed a fair amount this month. My tutoring was quite light so I had quite a lot of spare time. First the knitting/crochet projects:

This is Blueberry bear. He's a King Cole pattern (#2000) designed for use with their sprinkles yarn. The yarn colour is called blueberry and I thought this was a lovely name for a teddy bear. Here's the link to my Ravelry project page for more info.

Next is a little dress I made for a friend's baby. The pattern by Rebecca Gunn and is free. You can find it on her blog here. I love the self striping yarn! Here's the link to my Ravelry project page for more info.

Next, a super quick make for me. A fribbly scarf using Wendy Frills yarn. I loved the colours and it makes up really quickly. The instructions for the scarf are on the yarn band.

I also made these little booties for bump. They are in the same yarn as the hat I made last month. Such a cute pattern but very very tiny. They are a free pattern by Saartje de Bruijn that I have done before. You can find it here. I knitted the smaller size in double knit and slightly larger needles before but this time I knitted the larger size with the recommended needle size and 4ply. Very tiny though. Not convinced they will actually fit a newborn. Here's the link to my Ravelry project page for more info.

Probably my favourite make this month is this minion. He's a free pattern by Linda Potts and it can be found on her blog here. Here's the link to my Ravelry project page for more info.

My other August projects were sewing. I made some maternity clothing from scratch and also adapted some charity shop purchases. The two adaptations are a pair of trousers and a skirt that I removed the waistband of and added an elasticated one. Here they are:

From scratch, I made this wrap cardy from super slinky jersey I picked up a little while ago. The free pattern is by Megan Nielsen and can be found here. Since taking the below picture I took out the sleeves and cut new ones as I felt they were too tight. I do love this wrap though. It will be great for breastfeeding too and for general wearing, not specifically maternity. The pattern was really easy to follow too.

I also made this maternity dress. I like it...I think. The fit could be better but it was quite an ambitious project for a novice sewer like me. It's a free pattern by Miriam of Mad Mim and can be found here. The design of the top part does lend itself to breastfeeding though I don't know how the dress will look with no bump. We'll have to see.

I also lined a toybox for baby with a remnant of elephant fabric I found in a local sewing shop. Just a quick little job really but here it is. Not a perfect fit but it doesn't matter as it's now filled with toys!

I think that's everything (apart from the aforementioned silver project). Quite a creative August! Some were started in July though. Not much done so far in September yet but there is one major creating that's been cooking for the last 9 months that's due this month. Hope to be introducing a little someone to you all soon. :o)

Till then, happy creating everyone.

Friday, 2 August 2013

July crafting

Hello lovely readers. I hope you are all well. I am not too bad. Feeling increasingly lumpy and not long to go now. Readers from the UK will know we had some rather warm weather in July. Lovely for some but not so much when you're 7-8months pregnant! I've been melting somewhat.

I did very little creating in July. I started a few bits but have not been in a very crafty mood. Heat and sciatica (thankfully, eased now) did not help matters. I think the only things I competed in July were a little baby hat, some resin cabochons (a custom order) and three pairs of stud earrings that have been almost finished for some time now!

Here's the baby hat I knitted. It's far from perfect but I'm sure baby wont mind! I need more practice knitting in the round with dp needles. My tension in ok on the needle changeovers for the knit stitches but very loose on the purl rows. Ah well, never mind. I like the colour of the yarn! The free pattern is by Ulli S. Shibuya.

The cabochons I made were a commission. I was contacted through my facebook page and asked if I could make 5 watch part cabs with a black/very dark green background. After some discussion, we decided to use black resin with a hint of green mica (well eyeshadow actually!) Here is the result. The cabs are now winging their way to Australia. I hope my customer likes them!

The final thing I competed in July (I think) were these resin studs. They all feature a single dandelion seed tip and are backed with black resin. It was a bit of an experiment really but I do like the results. I'd like to do some in other colours at some point. These are technically for sale but I haven't gotten round to listing them anywhere yet.

I think that's everything I finished in July. I have already finished 2 things in August though so maybe I'll have a more creative month. There's lots I still want to make before baby arrives and I've only got approx 6 weeks till my due date. Eeek! Better get making!

Have a fab August everyone.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

June Crafting

Hello lovely readers. Hope you are all well. Here in the UK we've been having glorious sunshine.... well glorious for most people. As I'm cooking up a little person, I'm finding the heat a little too much (9 weeks give or take to go eeeek!).

June's roundup post is a little delayed. Been busy and we went away to the Isle of Wight for a few days. I can't remember what I made in June either! I don't think I finished a lot. Time to hunt through my camera memory card to see what I can find!

I did make a few more pairs of earrings. Button studs and some dangly golden watch part trapeziums.

Hmmm...what else? I finished a baby cardy. Really pleased with this one as I've done minimal knitting involving shaping before. AS it was knit sideways there was very little seaming to do. Def a bonus as that's something that I don't do a lot of either. The fab FREE pattern is by Elizabeth Jarvis and can be found on Ravelry here. If you click on the photo below, it should take you to my project page on Ravelry about it with more photos and notes.

One other think I made in June was a resin cabochon commission for an online beady friend (though we did meet in real life at the retreat). She asked me if I could make a large round cab suitable for a sunflower centre. I said I'd have a go and experimented with brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder and mica. Here's what I ended up with. I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with it.

I think that's it for the completed June projects. There are a couple of bits on the go but I'm not feeling particularly creative at the moment. Blame the heat and the lumpiness!

Enjoy the rest of your July everyone, whatever you're up to.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

May Crafting

Hello lovely readers. Hope you are all well. Thought I'd get last month's roundup post done on time for once!

Some crochet to start with. I made these slippers to wear at tutees' houses in the summer so I'm not wandering round in my bare feet. I found the pattern here through Ravelry, but did end up adapting it to fit the chunky yarn I wanted to use. Lisa Gutierrez's excellent instructions make it really easy to adapt though.

I also did some beading. Here's a necklace I made for my Mum's birthday. The beautiful free pattern with easy to follow instructions is by Nicole Stanley of Hollybird Beads and can be found here on Craftsy.

Here's a beaded pendant I made for the pendant swap for the Bead Retreat I went on last weekend. The retreat was much fun, a group of beaders in holiday cottages near the little village of Monyash, Derbyshire, that has been happening for the past 4 years now. Its the first time I have been and I thoroughly enjoyed it even if it was a little far away from Southampton. (If you're interested in coming next year do check out the facebook page.)
The pattern for the pendant is by Justyna Szlęzak and can be found in her Etsy shop here.

Another VERY quick and simple make for the bead retreat was this little name badge for myself to wear on the Friday night. Many of the beaders there only knew each other via facebook so name badges were suggested for the first night. I didn't have time to make anything fancy but I rather like what I threw together at the last minute!

Whilst at the retreat I made these earrings. The pattern is by Kerrie Slade and is available for free here. The gumdrop beads were kindly donated to us at the retreat by York Beads

I also finished off 5 pairs of resin stud earrings yesterday so I'm gradually catching up with the earring challenge. Not taken proper photos yet but here they all are together. They all have sterling silver posts and will eventually be listed for sale...probably!

I did finish off a load of resin cabochons to sell at the bead retreat but forgot to photograph them all. They went down really well so I've decide to open an Esty shop selling my handmade resin cabs. Not up and running yet as the lovely ladies much cleared me out but I'll let you know when it opens.

I think that's it for May. I wonder how much I'll get done in June...
Have fun this month, whatever you're up to :o)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Bead shop review: The Best Beads

Hello lovely readers. Today I am going to tell you about The Best Beads, an online bead shop based in the Czech Republic. I was recently contacted by them through my facebook page and they've sent me some lovely beads to show you and play with. The Best Beads also have their own facebook page which can be found here.

The Best Beads stock a range of Czech glass. They have buttons; fire polished in a variety of shapes; some lampworked beads; many shapes of pressed glass beads; seed beads; and table cut beads. All the beads are priced in US dollars. Due to Czech laws, prices have to be shown with and without tax but the price you pay is the one with tax regardless as to where you are from.

Whilst The Best Beads do not have a huge range of beads, many of the ones they stock are really unusual. These are the beads I was sent. If you click on each picture it should take you to those beads on their website.

Black with red flowers handmade flat circle lampwork bead 25mm; Preciosa rocaille seed beeds 11/0 in terracotta; blue and white double hole squares 6mm;  jet bottom drilled coned 13x5mm;  jet piggy double hole beads 8x4mm; green with marble stone bicones special cut beads 8mm; green with gold pattern leaves 12x7mm; violet props fire polished beads 8x6mm; Prussian blue rollers fire polished beads 6x5mm.

I am particularly interested in experimenting with the piggy, roller and props beads as they are not shapes I have come across before. The cones (spikes) are not a size I have used before either. The 2 hole squares are thicker than the Japanese tila beads that I am more used to so I'm also looking forward to experimenting with these.

The seed beads stocked by The Best Beads are at present are Preciosa rocailles, mostly in sizes 11/0 and 10/0 with a few size 7/0 and some of the larger striped beads. They also stock some Preciosa bugles and twin beads. Quality wise, Preciosa seed beads are generally not as consistently sized as Japanese manufacturers like Toho or Miyuki but Czech seed beads have been getting better more recently in my experience. Looking through the 10g of the 11/0s I was sent, they do look pretty consistent, definitely fine for embroidery or crochet. I will see how well they work in more structured beadwork and let you know. I'd love to see more sizes and finishes stocked.

I'd definitely recommend having a good luck around The Best Beads site as there are many more exciting shapes to be discovered than I have shown here, check out these rather yummy table cut ovals!

And do check back here regularly as I will be writing some more free blog tutorials using the beads I was sent above, once I've had chance to have a proper experiment!

Friday, 10 May 2013

April Crafting

Ooop! Its 10th May and I've only just gotten around to writing my roundup post for April. I've not been especially busy, just rather mind frazzled.

One of the things I made in April you have already seen if you are a regular reader. I made a crystal hairclip (in tutorial post).

I also made a couple of other beady bits in April. I made a simple crochet bracelet with 4mm cube beads and a pair of earrings for a friend's birthday.

I have also been knitting and crocheting for baby. I made 2 amugurimi animals from the book, Easy to Crochet Critters by Vanna's Choice; a crocheted star blanket from this Ravelry pattern; and a knitted hat from this Ravelry pattern with the left over yarn from the blanket.

I think that's everything I did in April. I've not been very creative so far in May yet so I wonder if I'll have anything to show you in the beginning of June. Hopefully!

Have a fab May everyone.