One (Or Three) A Month Challenge – January

I just made it!!!

As some of you will know, inspired by Jennifer over at thistlebear I set myself the challenge of completing one ‘Me’ project a month.  (I start things for myself or the home but there always seems to be something with a deadline pushing its way in front.)  I also decided I would like to try to complete one stocking present for Abi and Josh a month. This last Christmas I had so many ideas but then had so little time after I had finished making all the other presents that I had to scrabble around to get a couple of bits made at the last minute.

Well, here I am with my first month’s projects complete!!

For Abi the 3d needle felted Owls

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And for Josh the 3d needle felted tiger!!

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And I actually managed to complete 3 ‘Me’ projects

The shawl  –  It is so gorgeously soft!!

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The ‘Count Your Blessing’ Jar

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and the decopatch frames.  (These are waiting for some nice photos to go inside them).

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I have really enjoyed this challenge, it has kept me more focused and I have also found time to make a couple of gifts as well.  I have finished the present I was making for Hubby, I’m hoping to share some photos soon.

Happy Crafting!! xx

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He actually looks like a tiger!!!

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After spending hours jabbing bits of fluffy wool with a needle he is finally finished.  Certainly not perfect but he looks like a tiger at last!!  I think perhaps a tiger cub?

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You may have read that when I asked Josh what he would like me to needle felt for him, he said, A Tiger.  Groan!!!

Well I don’t mind a creative challenge so I tried, and I tried and I tried.  It looked like a sheep, a dog, a cow and everything in between.

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I would add a bit, chop a bit off, cut his head off because his neck needed shortening and so on and so on!

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Then after I had ‘finished’ him, with all the stripes added he just didn’t look quite right.  I just wasn’t  happy with the shape, he was a bit too lean and then Hubby said the front looked like a tiger but the back like a horse!!  So out came the scissors again and I chopped him in half.  Lengthened him, covered most of the stripes to put a bit more meat on him and re did the stripes!!

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I wish I had taken more photos as I went along but I was mostly working on him in the evenings and the light just wasn’t good enough.

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In spite of all this I really really enjoyed making him.  There is something strangely relaxing about sitting quietly jabbing the needle in and out to manipulate the wool into shape.  He isn’t perfect but I rather like him!

Now I just feel as though the owl I made for Abi is rather plain and that I might just need to make her something else too, something a bit more ambitious!

If after this post, you are not completely put off the idea of giving felting a go, I would encourage you to try it.  It really is great fun!

Happy Crafting!!  xx

Monkey Bread and Crochet

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This weekend we decided to have Monkey Bread for breakfast.  Any special occasion is used as an excuse for this treat!  This time it was Christmas – yes I know it was weeks ago but with one thing and another we just hadn’t made it over Christmas.  It has got to be one of the naughtiest but scrummiest treats!! (Is that even a word?)  Monkey bread is amazing.  It is balls of sweet dough stuffed with chocolate and rolled in melted butter,brown sugar and cinnamon!!  Mmmmm.

Josh did the first stage and made the dough, with a little supervision.  Abi and I put all the lovely dark chocolate pieces into the balls of dough and rolled them in the melted butter and brown sugar/cinnamon mix.

We then put it to bed in the fridge and in the morning got it out to finish rising before baking and devouring it.
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The wonderful thing is that it is Howards birthday this weekend (40!!!), so we get to do it all over again!!

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I started another felted animal last week. I am really hoping that I can get it finished this week to complete the one a month challenge as inspired by Jennifer.  This one is proving a lot more difficult.  I was silly enough to ask Josh what he would like me to make!!  A Tiger!!  Well it has gone from looking like a sheep to a cow and now a dog. Maybe some stripes and a lot of imagination might give it a bit more of tiger look???!!!

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I have completed my second ‘Me’ project this month, my Blessing Jar.  (inspired by Chris).  I am really pleased with the effect.  It is fairly fussy but where it will sit in the lounge needed a bit of livening up.

I finally decided to partly tie it in with the two collages I had made some time ago for the lounge.

Our wedding photo I printed on to canvas and also copied some of the words and music to the hymns to add to it and I used some of the bridesmaid material too as well as bits of lace and felt.

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The quote hangs above the piano.  I loved that saying when I saw it and just had to do something with it!

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Anyhow, back to the jar.  I started with a strip of brown ‘leather’ (pvc), topped with two layers of muslin with the edges frayed and a piece of raw silk.  I free machined wavy lines criss-crossing  around the edges and embroidered on ‘count your blessings’.

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This time I really wanted to include some crochet.  Chris at uk city crafter suggested the crochet heart of Lucy’s at Attic 24.  I had a browse through and used her teeny tiny flower and leaf pattern and also the teeny tiny heart pattern. (Thanks Chris and Lucy 🙂 )!

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I added a dc border to a couple of them too, added a couple of buttons and stitched them on to the background. Next went a few more trimmings before attaching it to the jar.

I wanted to cover the lid so I decided to go with crochet for that too and made a simple cover for it.  We have decided it will be for all the family to use!

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During last week I have been having a play with freeform crochet, but I haven’t been able to take any pics yet, so hopefully next time.!

I must go now and start the pressie I am hoping to make for Howard’s birthday.  Something a bit different for me!!!

Happy Crafting!!

A Sunny Winter ‘Walk’!

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I love reading about all of your walks, I particularly enjoy Jacquie’s  group walk posts.  My health doesn’t allow me to walk far and my scooter just won’t do the local South Downs or muddy fields so I love seeing the hillside and country walks the rest of you enjoy, I can almost imagine myself there!

Yesterday I did get a ‘walk’.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, so welcome after many dull and wet days.  I have had a rough week but was feeling a bit better too so I decided to ‘walk’ the afternoon school run on my mobility scooter.  It has been some time since I last used it for a school run, I think the yucky weather has made me a bit lazy, plus as I don’t have a cover on the scooter I get really cold and wet and then it is just miserable! The air was crisp but not too cold as I trundled along on the way there.  It was so peaceful and I was able to just use the time to just think and pray.  I’ve really missed that part of ‘walking’ to school.!

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On the way home I get to hear all about Josh’s day in between him dashing ahead on his scooter!  It was just so lovely.

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On the way home we passed this tree ( – I always enjoy seeing the twisted bare branches against the winter sky).

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We passed the bramble patch where we pick blackberries in the summer. (Josh eats as many as he can before we move  on).

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And then through the twitten to our Close.

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The sunlight was catching this bush making it feel springlike,

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but immediately after there were these interesting branches reminding me it really is still winter!

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Past a pile of dead leaves…

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…and then home to where the violas outside the front door are still bravely trying to hold their heads up against the cold weather bringing another reminder of spring.

I really love the winter but the little reminders of spring really did make me long for a bit more colour!!

(Sorry about the quality of the Photos, they were taken on my phone!)

Happy Walking!!

It finally came…..and went!!

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We finally got it!!!   When I came down yesterday morning it had just started snowing! I called the children and by 6.30am Josh was dressed and playing out the front.  He was soon joined by several other children in our Close and they had a great snowball fight.  A couple of the Dad’s got pelted too when they went out to clear their cars!!  Abi followed shortly afterwards with her camera and got some great shots.  She had to go in to college early so we were rather worried about her as she only passed her test a few weeks ago.  Lots of prayers for her to be kept safe and thankfully once she got out onto the main roads it was fine.  By lunchtime the snow had all melted, I was so pleased that the children got just a little time to enjoy the snow before school. 🙂

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I have managed to get back into making my Owl and Flower blanket.  Last week I had got a bit overwhelmed with it.  I had decided to finish it before I go on to crochet this gorgeous oversized cardigan and it just seemed so much to do still!  But I really got back into it and all the beaks and eyes are now sewn on. I now need to see if I can find 30 pairs of buttons for the eyes!!  I also discovered I still have another 24 flower squares still to do but I have made a start.  I tend to do them production style so that I can just keep doing the same thing and not need to keep looking at the pattern.

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Do you find you sometimes lose motivation partway through a project? The only other really big crochet project I have done was a blanket for Abi’s bed for her birthday last year.  I really loved that project.  It started out with rows of tulips but after a couple of rows I changed tack and pinned loads of different crochet stitches, afghans etc and then every few rows changed to another stitch and ended up with a sampler style blanket.  She really loves it and I must admit I do too!!  I learnt loads of new stitches and it didn’t get boring at all!  I have the yarn to make a blanket for Josh but I feel the sampler style is a bit girly!!!  My thoughts are waves or ripples but I haven’t settled on a pattern yet!!  Any suggestions folks?

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I’ve also made a start on my Blessings Jar (more on that soon abw).

I’m off to chill now as my Lupus is really playing up and my body is screaming for rest!!

Happy crafting!!

One ‘Me’ project complete!!

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Firstly I wanted to share this peg bag with you.  I suddenly realised mid-week that it was my Sister-in-laws birthday on Friday.  A quick look on pinterest and I found this peg bag pattern.  It was a case of rummaging through my stash to see what I could come up with.  I found this piece of thick striped fabric, (sorry the stripes in the photo have gone all fuzzy) hopefully nice and durable but I didn’t have anything suitable for the contrast colour.  In the end I decided to use part of a denim skirt that no longer fits me and it worked brilliantly.  I was really pleased with the results especially the way the red rik rak created a scalloped edge to the pockets.

I really am not keeping to my challenge to make only things for myself or the home this month but people will have birthdays in January!!  But….

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….. I did finish my shawl, and with plenty of time to spare.  I am ever so pleased with it.  the yarn is so soft and snugly and I love the way the pattern has worked out.  I didn’t have enough yarn to  complete all the rows or the edging but nevertheless it it still a good size.  I used this pattern and the yarn they suggested but I think I must have worked it up a bit loose.

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I didn’t want a permanent fastening, so I found this lovely big wooden button and attached it to a toggle so that I can wear it with or without!

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Also … I added some decopatch to the frames I mentioned in my previous post and although at first I wasn’t sure, when I held them up against the wall where I wanted them hung, they looked just right.  So now I am just waiting to get a suitalble opportunity when we are all about for a family photoshoot!!  Some nice sunny weather would be good, so it may have to wait until spring!!

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The only disappointment with the frames was that the buttons just didn’t look right with the frames once they were decopatched so now I need to think of a project to use them on – any ideas welcome!!

I have also worked a little more on my Owl and Flower Granny blanket but to be honest I am struggling for motivation at the moment and keep putting it to one side to do other things.  I think maybe it is because I have worked all the owl squares and I’m now at the stage of adding all the beaks and feet.  I really must try to get motivated again!!

I’m still itching to get on and do another felted animal so maybe next week!!

Happy creating!!

Felting Fun!

There has been lots of creativity in our home this week with both wet and needle felting.

On Monday, when Josh was off school ill, I got out the felting materials so that he could have a try at it.  He has seen Abi felting several times but never tried it himself.  This is a piece Abi needle felted for her GCSE textiles, now hanging in our lounge.

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Josh decided to create a picture of his Budgie ‘Tookie’.  He seemed to know just what to do and needed very little guidance.

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Laying out the felt,

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felting the fibres with warm soapy water and ridged rolling pin,

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and then with a car buffer!!

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He then washed and dried it before needle felting it to define the edges and add extra fibres.

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He hopes to add some stitching to it at some point soon so I’ll hopefully share another image with you then!

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As Josh was at home Monday and Tuesday he had the rabbit in for sometime, she soon makes herself at home!!! We also had the budgies out for quite a while to stretch their wings both days!!  Tookie (the yellow one being the tamest).

On Wednesday it was 3D needle felting!!

First I showed a friend how to wet felt and then we both gave 3D felting a try for the first time.  There was a lot of laughter as the felt seemed to have a mind of it’s own and became all sorts of things before becoming what we intended it to, including a mermaid, dinosaur, Russian doll, a snowman and others! Initially we both thought that it would be a disaster and that it would be the last time we would do it (unless we needed a good laugh sometime soon) but as we persevered and they started to take on the intended shape we both found it really relaxing and enjoyable!!  We were very glad we wore finger guards!!  We jabbed  the guards many times and the odd occasion we got an unguarded finger in the way was rather painful!!

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IMG_6130IMG_6135IMG_6147I made the owls (Abi loves owls so maybe a stocking present there somewhere) and my friend made the cute giraffe.  I put the baby owl in a walnut shell.  (I halved some using this method). I am thinking of maybe creating some more woodland animals and making a woodland scene? Maybe a bit ambitious with all the other creative ideas whirling about my brain at the moment but it may happen one day!!

Happy crafting!!!