I doubt anyone but me remembers this, but the BBC comedy series Goodness Gracious Me had a wonderful mother character whose catchphrase was "What do you need xyz for? I can make it at home for nothing! All I need is a small aubergine...". I love that character and it does sum up my approach to a lot of the craft work I do (except cross stitch - there's nothing like opening up a brand new fresh kit and sorting all the threads...ok...stopping now before I embarrass myself...). In fact that's how I got into jewellery-making because I thought it was all scandalously expensive in the shops. Tbh though beads are quite expensive and I probably barely break even on jewellery, given the time it takes (but it is fun!).
At the weekend we caught up with some family (including one of my lovely brothers-in-law, who coincidentally is off to the Far East shortly), and I received a late xmas present (thank you!) - a crafting book called Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book. It looks excellent - a little bit dubious ethically/environmentally, though it claims to be anti-consumerist in outlook. There are some really good ideas though, and to that end I've been out this morning and picked up four old wool jumpers from a charity shop to have a go at felting. This is where you hot-wash some wool so it kind of glues itself together to make a cuttable, unravellable fabric. One of the first projects in the book is a pair of mittens, and given the trouble I had to get mitts for K this winter that weren't either pink or bundled with a hat (which she already had three of), it'll be rather nice to make my own. There are lots of other uses too, of course, so next time I run a 60oC wash the jumpers will go in and I'll have some fabric for playing with. Plus the feel-good factor of a donation to the British Heart Foundation is pretty nice.
The only trouble is, this book has made me lust after a small sewing machine again as there's an adorable dress pattern in there for my little lady and I have the perfect fabric for it. Not that I have anywhere to store such a thing; I had to Freecycle my ancient Dorina machine as it was just too huge for where we live now. And I want to learn to knit...argh! Too much to do and so little time.
The round robin poppy moves on quite nicely, got most of the upper leaf done now so just the stems and the border to do, and a lot of that's half-crossstitch. Should be nearly done by the end of the week, really.