A Birthday and my Favorite Tools atm.

Guess what we’ve been eating?….

Hubby had a birthday last week so there have been rather a lot of calories consumed here in Sussex! 

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you’ll probably know what’s coming next. Yep, monkey bread and birthday gateau.



One of my favorite yarns was inspired by this chocolate version of our birthday gateau and if you’re on Instagram you can see it knit up into a sock @grosifrick. She had also bought some of my yarns for a ‘find your fade’ shawl so I’m looking forward to seeing that when it’s all knit up.  I love seeing what people make with my yarns.

You can find the gateau recipe here and the monkey bread recipe is by Barbara bakes which you can find here. I add a twist to the recipe and I also put half a square of dark chocolate in the centre of each ball of dough to make it extra special.

I also treated Hubby to a venison roast on his birthday.

I think all that is going to mean I need to be rather strict with myself this week. And save up the treats for the end of the month when it’s my birthdayūüėā. 

On the creative front, there’s been a tiny bit of ‘me’ creativity. I’ve managed six rows of knitting on my shawl since I last blogged, which I don’t think I even told you about. I started it a few weeks ago.

 I’m using my bfl with nylon yarn in the Valley Hues colourway. Purple Is not a me color but I fell in love with this one so I couldn’t resist using it!  I’m using the Karise pattern from Ravelry and I was inspired by the beautiful shawls that my lovely friend Ericka Eckles has made. And as you can see I’ve finally worked out how to add links on my phone ūüėÄ

In shop creativity I’ve been having a big dpn needle holder sew up, So hopefully there should be more of them in my shop soon. 

 

Making these has been made so much easier by a couple of sewing tools I have so I did a short video to show you and share….. Aghh. It’s the first time I’ve done this and I don’t look very smiley but I’m sharing it anyway so have fun watching it, I’ll never be a t.v. Presenter that’s for sure! ūüėā

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Do have any great gadgets or things favorite things to share? I’d love to know. I may even add a ‘what I’m loving this week’ to my posts just for fun. Probs not a video though!! ! 

Have a very happy and creative week friends

Sharon xx

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Tempus Fugits! 

Tempus Fugits… Time flies. Being the daughter of a watchmaker this expression was often used in our house and haven’t the last few weeks just flown by? 

My good resolutions to once again try to blog weekly didn’t even get off the ground but instead of keep apologizing, I’m going  ask your opinion.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time then you know that the content of my blog is in the title… Creativity and family, but since my Etsy shop has become busier nearly all of my creative time and energy goes into that and I feel that I’m left with very little personal creativity to share. So the question is, would you be interested in seeing some of the things I’m making for my shop and getting some peeps behind the scenes? 

Here’s a little taster for you.

As a teen, I used to do a lot of calligraphy. As hand lettering is making such a come back I decided to make some canvas signs for the shop.

First I drew the design onto paper, 

Traced it onto a canvas

And then using masking fluid I created a resist.


I then added layers of ink

Before removing the resist to reveal the writing! 


I’ve also been working on a custom order of some bags for a lovely lady who has a shop in Switzerland.

I love the fun colors of this fabric, perfect for spring! 

My sewing space is busy in both senses of the word but I love it that way…most of the time! 

These bags are my own design for a round bottomed Japanese knot bag and they are my favorite bag for taking out and about as they hang on your arm perfectly while you work, although the round bottoms aren’t the easiest to sew.

The long handle tucks into the shorter one to close the bag.


Then there’s the dyeing, I LOVE dyeing. That would sound awful if you didn’t know what I meant! I always say it without thinking and then end up shocking people. I went into the Chemist the other week for some acid, nothing awful, just the same strength as vinegar, but it was behind the counter and the assistant asked me what I wanted it for, I said ‘to dye’… You should have seen her face, I hastily added ‘to dye wool’!! After some laughing she let me have it. Then a friend rang while I was in the middle of dyeing yarn and asked if it was convenient to chat to which I replied ‘well, I’m just dyeing at the moment’. I  think I’ll have to start calling it coloring wool or something.

A dying rack full of brightly colored yarns is becoming a familiar sight in our house especially with all the damp weather and mist we’re having lately, it’s taking its time to dry.


My favorite part is thinking up and experimenting with new colourways.  Here’s a couple of my latest with coordinating mini skeins, 


And a lovely bright rainbow of minis

And my African sunset that may just find its way into my stash instead of the shop.


So, what do you think? Would you like more frequent posts with shop creativity or only the personal content as and when I’ve got things to show and say? 

In family news, first of all, thanks so much for all your kind thoughts, messages and enquiries about Abi. She’s recovering slowly and has started a phased return to work. This week she’s doing three six hour shifts, four the week after and five the week after that. She’s managed so far but only just and comes home exhausted. It takes her the next day to get over it so she’s a bit worried about how she’ll do two in a row. The trouble is, working in a residential home is hard work and even harder when all fifty three of them have dementia! It’s not only extremely busy and physically tiring, it’s also mentally exhausting.  Her tummy pains had gone before she returned to work but they do come back after a shift at work. She did have an appointment with a hospital consultant coming up so we’re hoping they might get to the bottom of it. We’re also really hoping that it isn’t anything that she’ll have to live with but we have to keep trusting God with that one. 


Here she is with a very chilled out Tilly.  Tilly has some news for you, she became a thelady at  beginning of the month!! Thankfully she kept herself very clean.  She keeps us all well amused and on our toes. Below is her new favorite position! 


I think she’s a bit confused between how dogs sit and how humans sit! 

Josh is off ill with a flu like virus that’s going round, we’re just hoping the rest of us don’t go down with it. Here he is with His new blanket.


How have you all been? Have you managed to avoid all the illnesses at this time of year? 

I’ll leave you with a very unusual sunrise we had recently. 


Happy crafting folks!! 

Sharon xx

Christmas 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Maybe like us you’re still in the middle of entertaining and visiting? 


(This beautiful card was made by Paul’s sister). 

We had a lovely day Sunday although we kept it very much as a normal day of rest with a chapel service in the morning and carols and bible readings of the Christmas story at Sunday school in the afternoon. It was lovely to have a day to really savour the real meaning of Christmas without all the other distractions.

We saved most of the gifts until Monday and also had our Christmas dinner then too. 


Tilly had a great time playing with the wrapping paper! 


I had a lovely super soft new dressing grown from Hubby and some warm luxurious boot slippers and a wallet from Abi and Paul.


Josh did his own shopping on Amazon and got me this cute coaster and some stickers. He also disappeared in the craft room one afternoon and surprised me with this! It reminded me just how special hand made gifts are. 


I had asked for money from most of the rest of the family and will be putting it towards some crafty bits. Watch this space!!….

The other excitement was my stitching Santa parcels. Firstly, thanks so much Sheila for organising this one again. 

I entered both the sewing and yarny version and got two very generous parcels. One was from Cathy (nanacathy.com) who also did mine last year. 


She had made some lovely ornaments to add to my tree. So special as I like my ornaments to have meaning. A lovely knitted bag and a wrist warmer and hat set. I tried to take a selfie but that didn’t work so Abz came to the rescue! 


Then there was some tinsel yarn and some gorgeous galaxy yarn with sequins in it. I think the tinsel yarn in that color would make a great cat, I’ll have to see what I can come up with. I’m thinking maybe a scarf for the galaxy yarn? 


Then there was the essential chocolate in the shape of a teddy and PINK chocolate coins. So cute, I’ve never seen pink ones before.


Oh and not forgetting the owl notebook that I’ll have to keep it off Abi’s way and some gorgeous hand cream. Thanks so much Cathy, it was all just so lovely.



Then in my other parcel from sewing Nikki was another generous lot of gorgeous goodies. A beautiful felt bag, 


several mini skeins of yarn. A lovely box, decorated with intricate embroidery with the most adorable buttons inside. 



Two books, both of which I’ve been tempted to buy in the past but never had and a cute candle that I’m thinking Nikki may have made? 

 Oh yes and not forgetting the lovely felt robin that’s another great addition to my tree ornament collection and a digital stitch counter that you wear on your finger, brilliant! 


It was all lovely Nikki! 

I just feel so thoroughly spoilt and overwhelmed at the thought, time and care that went into these parcels. Thanks so much ladies.

Lastly, a friend and I did our own little crafty goodies swap where I got a few more lovely bits. A scarf, hand knitted fingerless gloves with the flap over mitt bit, some gorgeous fabric and wooden buttons with hand made with love on them!! Also a large cup and saucer and a snail tape measure. 


It seems as though Christmas is flying by! I’m hoping to spend the rest of the evening getting organised with some goal setting and planning, hoping I can be more efficient with my time in 2017.

 From time to time I plan out my days and get so much more done. I stick to it as much as can but I don’t let interruptions bother me or get stressed if I get behind or don’t complete my list but just tell myself that God’s plan for my day was obviously different and His way is always best! 

I’m hoping I can get in the habit of regular planning and I want to set goals such as; do something special as a family once a month, meet one of my friends for coffee once a fortnight, phone someone I rarely see once a month, do a random act of kindness each week etc! Then maybe, maybe, something similar for housework goals . 

Are you making goals, plans etc for the new year? I have good intentions but I’m not very good at sticking to plans, especially if it involvess being too organised. I’ll blame having a creative brain! Do you have any tips or tricks for sticking to goals? 

In case I don’t get back on here before Sunday, I hope you all have a wonderful and creative new year.

Sharon xx

A Creative Catch up! 

It’s been ages since I did a really creative post, for various reasons there had been less creativity around here. There’s been so much going on but things are settling back into some sort of a routine now. 

Abz still works shifts so spending time with her on her days off still affects things but that’s good, she won’t be at home forever and I want to make the the most of  extra time with her now. 


Then of course there’s been Tilly. She’s settling down now and is quite happy to snuggle down near me or follow me about the house and we only get the occaisional mischievous moments. ….speak too soon, she’s investigating the coffee table right now but a stern NO! generally does the job these days unless she’s feeling extra naughty.


And she’ll take every opportunity to snuggle down or get a bit of attention.

Then of course there’s inspirational yarns, my Etsy shop. That means a lot of creativity but I don’t like to bore you with all the bags I make, yarn I dye etc but if you want to pop over have a look at my shop just click here. 


Also I’ve been reading a lot more again this year. I don’t think I read more than couple, I was so busy creatively . This year I’ve gone back to reading whenever I can snatch a moment. Now that Amazon offer audible on a lot of their ebooks I’ve started using that and it’s fantastic, I can’read’ and craft at the same timeūüėÄ. 

Ok, so get to the point girl! Just what have I been doing creatively? Well, having been rather monogamous this year, which is really not me but something I’m enjoying, I  only have a couple of bits to show you. There’s this little nightdress I’m making for my niece’s crochet doll, it just needs prettying up. 


Then there’s the crochet cardi. The back and two front pieces are done so just the arms and hood and then so many ends to sew in. 


That’s gone onto the back burner though for a bit as I’m currently knitting a leg warmer. Yes, just one! It’s for a lovely friend on Instagram. She has a really painful nerve condition and keeping her bad leg warm makes the difference between her being able to walk or not. So with the winter coming I’ve dyed up some yarn special, hand painted a verse on it and I’m knitting up the leg warmer. 


I found this gorgeous pattern by drops design on Ravelry and I ummed and aahed about whether or not to give it a go as I’ve never knitted cable before and it looks so difficult but it actually isn’t, in fact it’s really quite easy and I’m enjoying this the most of all my knitting attempts so far. I feel as though I’m really starting to’click’ now.


 I even managed to fix a cable that I had missed and didn’t discover it until a couple of rows later. I didn’t frog, I just worked those four stitches back down and re did them without any help our tutorials.


 That probably sounds easy to you seasoned knitters but it felt like a huge achievement for me! I’m loving the look of it so far. Soon it will all be knit with just one cable running down the back. 

For my next project I’m already planning a knitted shawl. I’m thinking of the Karise by Karie Westermann. Ericka Eckles has persuaded me to give this one a go after seeing her gorgeous creations. If you have a minute you can read all about her knitting journey over the last year. She writes the most interesting posts with great word pictures. 

I think that’s about it on the creative font. Still no Christmas presents made which feels rather a failure after last year but I’m not putting any pressure on myself this year. If I make anything that’ll be great, if not, that’s fine too. Although, having said that, I have had a request for dolls clothes from my niece so I’ll need to find time for those. 

I got you’re all enjoying the transition into Autumn/spring. haveHoping you  a lovely and creative week! 

Sharon xx

Winter Wips – Feeling Relaxed!

I’m feeling very relaxed about my wips and with less than three weeks to go until Christmas I am not too sure if that is a good thing or not!

Life has been going on much as normal here, Josh is in full creative swing, whether it’s fiddling with and trying to make his scooter go faster, taking apart his remote control car or making fireworks! ¬†Yes, the days of¬†cereal box models are long gone!

The fireworks experiment was rather amusing.  Josh asked for a sparkler as he wanted to make a firework. (what is it with men and boys and the love of fire?) He then proceeded to make a rocket with a cardboard tube very nicely decorated and then taped cap reels from a broken cap gun to it and also the sparkler.  I made him wait until Hubby came home and they then went outside to light the firework.

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Josh couldn’t get it to light so Hubby had a turn, not knowing that the caps were there. ¬†Hubby is a very jumpy person at the best of times so it was just hilarious when every time he tried to light it a cap went off! ¬†Not quite the rocket launch Josh had planned but a great laugh for us ūüôā

Abi is loving her work in the dementia care home, challenging, incredibly busy but very rewarding. I knew that Dementia was a very sad disease as my Grandma suffered with it but how it affects some is just dreadful.  Little old ladies once very dignified stripping off in the lounge, others, once delightful gentle people turning very abusive and violent. Then there are those who get no visitors because the relative just cannot bear to see the change in them.  She loves being able to brighten their day a little in a spare moment, being quite happy to dance round the lounge with them (they respond so well to music) or even dance with the zimmer frame, having them all in stitches, She is so bubbly and full of life and it is lovely to think of her bringing some love and cheer into their lives.

Hubby has been busy building a ‘dresser’. ¬†He managed to get hold of some kitchen units free, it is looking good so far but we are just buying the doors as we can afford it so I will show you a photo once it is complete.

Well I really have waffled on but it has been a while since I have done a ‘chatty’ post so I hope you don’t mind, now down to my creative bit!

The gifts to make list is getting shorter, hmm, I’ve just counted, ‘only’ ten more to go! ¬†I decided back in October that I¬†would enjoy each make, create it with love and not worry about what else needs to be done and I am determined to keep it that way, (hopefully)!

So, what is now finished? ¬†My mice, ooh, I am going to admit that I love these so much, even if it does make me sound boastful, I am really tempted to make myself one ūüôā

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I have used my scrabble tiles to make framed family name ‘crosswords’. (Surnames blanked out)

I have finished the ‘feeling dotty’ shawls two,three and four

and made another for Mum using the same pattern but as a long scarf.

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I have made a little sock doll as an extra and just need to make a little sleeping bag for her and then I will show you.

My cousin had a little baby so out came Edward’s Menagerie and I made another Emma Bunny, these patterns are just adorable.

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For Abi and Josh’s stockings I made a scarf for Josh¬†and a ‘frilly’apron as requested for Abi.

There were¬†a couple of¬†extra makes for Josh’s birthday, a stitched ferrari and a ‘steam punk’ style ferrari made using bits from his Grandad’s watch parts

and of course a cake and gateaux.

Oh yes, there was my Christmas card too!  If you missed the post, I needle felted a winter woodland scene and then photographed it to have it made into a card.

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I also made project bags for my Stitching Santa’s and another for myself and a friend.

 

A pretty peg bag for Mum’s birthday

and a wheat sack for a niece.

 

I think that’s about it for this month, so I’m off to do some patchwork now! ¬†Have a great week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

Exciting Stuff…Felting and a little Woodwork!

Okay, so it doesn’t take a lot to get me excited, especially if it’s creative but I have itching to show you the¬†Christmas card I designed for this year and also what Hubby made me that I mentioned recently.

I have said a couple of times that I have doing some more 3d needle felting and I am finally ready to reveal!

For my Christmas card I wanted to create a winter woodland scene out of felt.  I am still very much a beginner to this, having only made a basic owl and a tiger before. It was challenging and the creatures could be a lot better but I am happy with the overall effect.  The first animal I made was a rabbit.

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He was fairly simple as only needed a basic shape, faces I always find challenging but he is rabbity enough.

Next I made an owl, he again was a fairly basic shape and so not too difficult.

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Lastly I made a fallow deer.  She was a lot harder.  There was something therapeutic about taking a lump of fluff and jabbing it into a rough shape, gradually adding more fibre to get a basic body, then a bit of colour.

Even chopping her about to gain the right proportions!

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I was glad of those finger guards, especially when doing the legs!

I spent hours working on her and she is a big part of what messed my neck up so in the end I had to just stop.  There is still something not quite right about her but I have to tell myself that I am only learning and not be too fussy!

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Next I wet felted the background in white and cream, laying on rough strip of brown for trees,

I then needle felted a little more detail,

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made a base and a tree stump for the owl and put it all together.

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Then came the photography, Abi took the final image for me and I edited it to  give it a softer outline.

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I used Vista Print to do the cards as they have a half price deal on at the moment. This is the first time I have had my own design printed and it was so exciting when they arrived in the post (little things!!)

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Now on to what Hubby made me… an Amish style yarn swift.

Lately I have bought more yarn in a skein and even using my ball winder it was such a faff and I was constantly getting in a tangle trying to unwind the skein.

I had looked for tutorials on you tube, watched a couple (this was the most helpful) and then joined Hubby in the garage to make it.

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First we measured two 30″ lengths of wood and sanded them to smooth any rough edges. ¬†It was 2″ wide by 1″ deep.

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Next we found the centre of both lengths and Hubby cut away a chunk half the depth of the wood and¬†2″ wide¬†in the centre of each.

He then glued these together to form a cross and when dry he drilled a hole through the centre. ¬†We then measured every 1 1/2 ” on each strut of the cross and drilled holes halfway¬†deep to take the dowels (lolly/popsicle sticks).

Next Hubby¬†cut a scrap of wood to a 17″ square for the base and drilled a hole in the centre.

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Hubby then put a bolt up through the hole in the base, added a washer and some nuts topped by another washer to lift the cross,

put the cross on the top adding another washer and a wing nut to hold it loosely in place and it was done!

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It works amazingly and makes winding your skein just so much easier, thanks Hubby!!

So that was my exciting things, maybe they don’t excite you but I am really chuffed¬†with both of them ūüôā

Have a great week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

 

 

 

What I did with those Scrabble Tiles and other bits!!

I decided after several interested comments on my¬†last post that I really must get¬†around to using and posting about the scrabble tiles for three Christmas gifts.¬†They will be for Hubby’s brother and sisters. (I didn’t want to keep you in suspense¬†any longer Bekki ūüėČ

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So what was it all about?  Well this gift idea came from something similar one of my cousins made us last year and here they are!

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There is the family surname (I’ve blurred that out) and then each family member’s name laid out like a crossword.

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I painted the backgrounds to go with their colour schemes.

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They are framed in these box frames from the Range.  They are just deep enough to take the depth of the scrabble tiles.  I purchased those on ebay and was able to specify which letters and quantity of each letter I needed.  They were such fun to make and a nice quick gift too!

I have also got a couple of photos of the other Amish puzzle ball.

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And ‘feeling dotty’ shawl number two is finished, a silver grey this time, only three more to go before Christmas!!!

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I also had two books I ordered for the Secret Santa arrive, one for the stitching entry and the other for the yarny one.

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I took advantage of a flash sale to get these and¬†a¬†couple of other gifts drastically reduced ūüôā

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I feel like a child again every time I get parcels in the post at this time of year!

It’s Josh’s birthday tomorrow and his party later today so I must dash, have a great and creative week!!

Sharon xx