Thursday, 1 December 2011

On hiatus

This blog's on an extended break due to small children and a sudden and all-consuming passion for sports. You can find me over at Tri-fle Ambitious until I get my stash organised again!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Ellyot's Star Turn

And there he is, in all his glory - doesn't it look fantastic! Thanks, Kerry! The heart brooches on the front are from Ali at Very Berry, by the way.

Right now I'm busily working away on Christmas stocking cross-stitch patterns - I'm not sure how many I'll get up in the shop by 1st Nov, I've had a rotten cold and cough this week which has really slowed me down. There will be at least four; a matching set of which the first pattern is in Issue 1. So if you want to get a start on your Christmas tree hangings, go get it! They're nice and quick to do, you'll need a maximum of four colours of thread plus some metallic thread, sequins, beads, a scrap of ribbon, aida/linen and felt. Most people have those in their stash anyway so they're a nice way to add some new things to your tree without breaking the bank. And who can say no to more places to stash chocolate...

I also have Ellyot's sister Ellyson in the works - she has a head, anyway!

Thursday, 13 October 2011


So did you get your copy of Crafteroo Magazine? Isn't it great! There are so many projects I want to try - the paper flowers and felt fortune cookies are top of my list right now, but aaargh, it's agonising - I don't have time to do them yet! I've been working really hard on getting a couple of projects together for the next issue - it's only out in January, but we needed something for the cover asap. So please meet Ellyot - my very own design, from top to bottom. Do NOT nick him, right? I would be very sad (not to mention angry. You have been warned). Please take that as my assertion of copyright etc - the pattern will be free but for personal use only, neither pattern nor made-up product is for resale (except by me).

Now that the grump is out of the way (sorry about that, I just read this morning of someone on one of my favourite forums getting ripped off and it made me super-cross), let me tell you all about him! I am so chuffed with Ellyot - and with my own pattern-making skills, he literally came together in one go, apart from one re-work of his trunk. I love the way he stands - I thought his head would be terribly hard to balance but the way I've formed his legs seems to give him extra stability. And how darling is his granny square saddlecloth! He was one of those projects that seem to come to you in a dream - actually no, it wasn't a dream, it was a 3am wake-up call from a teething D that made me think of him. Guess those middle of the night feeds are good for something! I looked all over the place and haven't found another elephant-with-saddlecloth anywhere, so I can say that this little guy is truly an idea out of my own head, uninfluenced by anything other than the real thing.

Anyway. He's an intermediate amigurumi, I would say - most easy amis are simple double crochet (er, sc to my US friends) but I've also used some trebles and round-the-post stitches which give him some interesting textures and challenges. I'm hoping to make a little how-to video for that so that beginners don't get frustrated. Personally I find the round-the-post stitches so fantastic for making 3D shapes; I'm surprised more amis don't make use of them.

I've posted him everywhere this morning because I'm so pleased with him (K wants to take him to school for Show & Tell tomorrow - eek!), and quite a few people have said that he's lovely, they want one, but they don't I'm thinking of making a few for the shop, with a donation to an elephant welfare charity as part of the price. You could pick your own saddlecloth colours, too. What do you think?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Crafteroo Magazine OUT NOW!

Crafteroo Magazine -Projects, Interviews, Giveaways and More!

It is OUT NOW! Go get it :) Seriously, how can you say no to 64 pages of awesome crafts, written by people who live and breathe this stuff for fun every day? For just £1.50 of your English Pounds? That's less than $2.50USD. I know I'm biased because I've worked on it but honestly, this is loads better than what's on the newstands at the moment (even the premium ones). No hipster crap, just lots of good projects and articles to get your teeth into.

AND if you like the Christmas cross stitch project of mine that's in it, there's a special 10% off code to use against the rest of the patterns in the set, which will be on sale in November.

I have Issue 2 projects in development already. :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

All ready for launch

...well, I am - ten days to go until the Crafteroo magazine hits the internets! I submitted the last of my tutorials over the weekend and now I can give you some tiny sneak peeks of what I've been working on. Of course, I am not *quite* ready for the new term yet - classes start again on Saturday so this week I'm sort of drowning in the paperwork which comes from having more than 15 new babies joining us! Which is pretty good going considering I can only do Saturdays at the moment - it certainly speaks for the quality of what we offer that people will travel long distances on inconvenient days.

Anyway, juggling two jobs, two kids and a house aside, here are some little glimpses of what I've done. Now make sure you look at these with your very best Rolf Harris "Can you guess what it is yet?" voice in mind...

Aren't these little star buttons adorable?

Spooooky stuff...

Ho, ho, ho!

I'm already looking forward to working on the Spring edition! In the meantime, I suppose I really ought to get on with all those projects that have got backed up...

Friday, 9 September 2011

Are You Ready For This...?

No, not Tim Minchin (but he is awesome so you should check him out, too). But this:

Crafteroo Magazine - Projects, Interviews, Giveaways and More!

Check it out. I have three tutorials going in it! So that's why I haven't been around much. Well, at all (sorry). I got a sneak peek of one of them last night and I'm so pleased with it, I can't tell you -Kerry is a fantastic editor. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the others come out. Not to mention all the other fantastic projects I've had the joy of seeing come together over the last few months. I have to say, it's been really fulfilling, working with everyone to make something great for a lovely forum (the small cost goes to support the site, by the way); and I'm already looking forward to coming up with new projects for the next issue!

It's due out on - eek - 1st October - so make a note to pick it up then! I'm hoping to stock it in my shop if possible, but I will post some links nearer the time. I'm also hoping - if I get my finger out - to have some free downloads and some patterns for sale to accompany the projects I've submitted. Watch this space (and don't ask me about the poncho I had nearly finished and had to frog the lot in the meantime...).

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Button Swap Received; Katya Choker

Oh, deary me, I'm very behind on this here blogging thingie...I keep misplacing my camera, and when I do find it it's too murky to get any decent photos.

So, apologies to Meridian Ariel for taking so long to blog the lovely swap she sent me: here it is in all its glory.

Fab, huh? I love the Evil Strawberry. I need some real steampunk-y pins to go with it now!

I'm sure I remember having a key like that for something when I was little...

Some great additions to my stash there, and such a great way of presenting them!

Whilst I'm on the theme of buttons, I whipped this up last week:

Katya Choker

This is the Katya Choker, a free pattern by Dawn LE Riden of Dawning Dreams, which I've had in my Ravelry queue for an age. You can get the pattern here. It hasn't photographed perfectly because I hadn't blocked it at that point, so it was turning up a little at the ends. Anyway, I haven’t been able to get hold of Aunt Lydia’s thread here in the UK so I used the (I think) much narrower Anchor Perle 5 with a 1.25mm hook. I also cocked it up a bit by forgetting whether I was reading the pattern in UK or US terms, so the “windows” for threading the ribbon through were much narrower than the author intended, I assume. I’ve used a 2mm ribbon in dove grey, and a vintage button from my stash, to make a narrow, elegant piece which works well despite the mistakes.

Pretty, isn't it? And I have the perfect winter dress to wear with it. You can wear black for a wedding, right? I may have to make several...

That's all I can write about for now - I've spent the last week or so working on projects which are going to be featured in the new Crafteroo magazine which is launching in September - I have three in this first issue! One will be a cross-stitch project for Christmas, one a Halloween papercut (this is finished and I'm thrilled with it but my fingers hate me after two test-cuts in two days!), and the third a tutorial for the upcycled crochet necklace I posted a few entries ago. So exciting.