A very special card

I decided that this year I’d take my mummy duties very seriously and make one of those super duper birthday cards to send into CBeebies to wish baby J a happy 2nd birthday. A breeze, I thought. Ha! It was not as easy as I thought. 

I started with some nice sparkly blue card bought from The Range. I already had lots of different coloured papers in my craft stash. I decided the theme should be postman pat as he absolutely loves it. “Pat” is also the only word he can really say. He says it repeatedly in a hushed voice. Sounds just like Frank Butcher! He’s also a mad Thomas the Tank engine fan but that’s not allowed as it’s not shown on CBeebies.

I printed out some letters so I could cut them out and use as stencils for the coloured paper. I also printed a couple of pictures onto photo paper, then my colour cartridge ran out! Great, how was I meant to fill the rest of the card?

  
I searched through his magazines to see if there were any pictures I could cut out but they were all Thomas or Peppa pig….. Not allowed. I had a couple of In the Night Garden stickers but thought that they would look a bit pathetic. I went to the shops looking for magazines but not a single picture of Pat. I’m no good at drawing so wasn’t even going to contemplate that. Then I got the idea of parcels and letters which I could easily make from kraft card and envelopes I had. And my trusty red and white bakers twine came in handy too!

   
    
    
    
 
Yes, I even googled postman pats address! Well I’d finished and am actually quite pleased with my little masterpiece. Now all I had to do was post it, another hurdle to jump. You can’t pop it in a postal tube, I suppose because it’ll curve the card and make it tricky to handle. Also the stuck-on items might come unstuck. The post office had nothing large enough. Could I find some card and my roll of brown paper? Of course not. I did find some corrugated card though, so I cut it into strips and taped it around as much as I could, smothered it in about 3 layers of bubble wrap and the same again of brown paper (newly bought roll). And off it goes…

  
It’d better get shown on TV now. If it doesn’t, at least you lovely lot got to see it! I hope Baby J appreciates this huge effort on mummy’s part. I’ll keep pictures to show him as it may not happen again next year!! Keep a look out on November 16th folks xxx

New tricks, new blanket 

Guess what the postie delivered to me the other day? My first ever mail order of yarn from the Wool Warehouse.

  
To say I was excited was a bit of an understatement, it felt like Christmas! I carefully opened it up…..

  
Wow! Posh wool! I love how it comes in it’s own little bag, it’ll be perfect to keep my WIP in. And the colours are beautiful too, just what I’d pictured when I ordered. This is all stylecraft special dk yarn. I’ve heard so many good things about it so thought it was high time I tried it for myself. It’s fantastic value for money too which is music to my ears. Now, this is for a few different projects. Some for my flower blanket, some for a secret Christmas present project, but mainly for my next blanket. Again, this will be a Christmas present, this time for my hubby’s nan. She’s quite poorly and her vision is very limited these days so she can only see bright colours. These are the ones I picked for her.

   
Lovely aren’t they? Perfect for the design I have in mind. The shades are 1116 green, 1246 lipstick, 1709 gold, 1117 royal, 1435 bright pink, 1061 plum.

  
I think it’s bright, fun and colourful, just like the lovely lady it’s for.

So let’s begin…. The first thing I had to do was a magic ring. I’d never had to do one before. I tried following the instructions in the book but couldn’t get to grips with it. I need visuals. So good old YouTube it was. After watching a few tutorials I found one that I understood.

  
I’m loving working with this yarn, it’s  so soft. Want to watch my first block grow? Excuse the poor pictures.

   
    
  
    

  
    
   
This final colour is when it started getting tricky. The rest of it was relatively straightforward but this last bit really tested me. My poor head was frazzled, I needed complete quiet to concentrate. I ended up undoing it twice before I finally cracked it.

   
    
 
Lots of new stitches discovered doing this. I’m hoping it’ll get easier the more I do. Ends sewn in and I have to admit quite a few hours of enjoyable hooking have led to this one square. One down, many more to go! All 13 rows and 940 stitches of it.

I’m in heaven 

Hi everyone, just a quick post for tonight. My hubby is spoiling me this week. First he came home with this for me yesterday..

  
My first ever grown up advent calendar! Roll on December!

  
Tonight he brought me some of my favourite treats, chocolate covered Kendal mint cakes and Christmas magazines!! I really love Christmas but in my 40 years I’ve never bought a Christmas magazine. This one comes with a Christmas crafting magazine too. Is it wrong that I got butterflies opening it? I’m indulging big style this evening, accompanied by a glass of Rioja. Pure heaven xx

Ps. I’m on the ball this week and have already scheduled my next craft blog post for tomorrow evening. See you then! Xx

The unidentified blanket 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while, you’ll remember that I took some crochet on holiday with me in the summer when we went camping in Wales. I needed something easy to do that didn’t require carrying loads of yarn around. My stepdaughter picked out some pink and purple sparkly yarn months ago for me to make her a blanket. I’ve really been struggling with the design for it. I tried one idea a while back but it just wasn’t going to work so I ended up undoing it. Just before we went away I decided I’d keep it really simple and just do a load of granny squares in the two colours.

  
Well since we came back, I hadn’t touched it, had no interest in it. But after I’d finished my happy blanket, I needed to be crocheting something. I know I still have my flower blanket which I haven’t picked up since I last blogged about it back in July, but I need to concentrate quite hard on that. I just wanted something quick and easy. I have another blanket planned for my hubby’s nan for Christmas, but I had to order some new yarn for that. Watch this space….

I looked at what I had already made and needed just one more purple square to complete the centre of the blanket.

   

The photos don’t really show the glitter very well but it’s quite nice.  I think the fact that there’s only the two colours may well have contributed to my difficulties in finding a design. You really need more colours I think.

These are the squares laid out.

  
Ahead of me lay the dreaded task of joining the squares, urgh…

   
   
That was a whole evening of solitude work in my dining room. I do enjoy the peace and quiet of the dining room, especially when I remember to put some good music on. It’s surprising how music can make you feel. I have a very varied taste in music so it very much depends on my mood as to what I listen to.

  
Once I’d joined them all, I did a round of treble crochet clusters all around then thought, what now? I had no clue! This blanket has no plan, no future, no identity. I didn’t want it to all be the same all the way around so I did a full row of treble crochet.

  
It took AGES!! I was kind of stuck what to do next. So I just ended up doing the same again in pink, which didn’t take anywhere near as long as the previous round. And that’s where I’ve left it for now. I will pick it back up again soon, when I have some clue what to do with it next.

If anyone has any inspiration for me, please get in touch! Xxx

Leaf loving

I’m fully embracing the autumn and loving all the rich colours out there. Baby J and I went for a walk a couple of days ago with the sole intention of visiting the park. On the way home there were so many beautiful leaves on the ground, I was inspired to start picking some up to take home. Our village is often described as ‘leafy ‘ and they’re not wrong. The paths are covered with an autumnal colour palette right now and it looks stunning. Here’s my little haul of leafy loveliness…

   
   
Now I didn’t just decide to randomly collect a load of leaves for no particular reason, although they do look rather pretty just sitting there. No, I had a little crafty project in mind. It was quite funny when my hubby saw them. He asked what they were for and as I started to explain by saying, “well… ” he just saw the look on my face, rolled his eyes and said “some arty shit?” Ha ha, I’ve become so predictable!! I think he’ll just stop asking all together soon.

So, yesterday, I decided that that evening I would put my crafty idea into practice. I prepared the dining table ready for when I’d put Baby J to bed and it was MY time.

   
 
I knew keeping a load of baby food jars was a good idea!

By 7.30pm, I was sat at the table and ready to make. I started out by spreading a thin layer of mod podge around the jar.

   
 
It’s best to leave it for a minute or two until it’s a bit tacky, then start applying leaves. I had to hold them down for a little while to make them stick. Some of the leaves were a bit too crunchy and thick. The best ones were the waxy type, they were a bit more flexible. I kept sticking leaves all the way around and then finished them off with a bit of raffia tied around and popped a tea light in each of them.

What do you think?

  
    
 
   
 
   
 
I’m quite happy with how they turned out, the colours are amazing and they look really pretty all lit up. Can’t wait to light them up again tonight and get all cosy under a blanket .

Happy autumn lovelies xx

Hello autumn…

I love the changing of the seasons, I always see it as a kind of fresh start, and a time to feel refreshed and recharged. Although I am rather reluctant to see this summer go. We were quite cheated I think. I had planned so many happy sunshiny days out to parks and beaches for picnics, fun and fresh air but the weather had other ideas. Oh well, we should really be used to the Great British weather by now. Autumn has been a bit shy in showing itself this year. It’s teased us with a few signs then vanished again. We’ve had quite a few beautiful days of blue skies and sunshine recently, so I’m certainly not complaining. There’s definitely been a drop in temperatures now though so I think it’s taken a firm grip this time and is here for the duration. 

But I do love every season for different reasons, and to me Autumn means many things…..

   
    
    

Spooky cobwebs on a frosty morning.

   
    
 The most beautiful hydrangeas cut from the garden and drying indoors.

   
   
Pumpkins can only mean one thing…hallowe’en, which also means I’ll be turning another year older and wiser.

  
Autumn is also the season for harvesting apples. These were growing in the beautiful gardens of Tatton Park when we visited last weekend. 

   
   
Autumn leaves. The colours at this time of year are just breathtaking. So many shades of golds, reds, browns and greens.

   
 
Morning dew in the garden, still looking lovely and lush.

  
Big steaming bowlfuls of hearty porridge. Just what’s needed on a chilly morning.

  
Lots of fireside tea drinking. It’s so cosy having a fire lit, I could just sit and stare into it for hours. Perfect for catching up with my home magazines too, I’ve fallen a wee bit behind…

  
And finally, autumn is perfect for doing lots of happy hooking in my newly established crafty crochet corner! Do you like it?  

What do you like about autumn? I’d love to hear..

Vicki xxx

 

Happy blanket ta dah..

Well, the wait is over. My latest project, the Cath Kidston Inspired blanket is complete!

  
Last night while my hubby was out, I had the TV to myself and the sofa, so I took advantage and sprawled out to finish the blanket. There was a bit of a chill but I was kept lovely and toastie underneath this happy hookiness. My plan was to finish on a pink row then edge it in the pink with a pretty scalloped edge. I’d had this in mind all the way through but after finishing the final row, there was definitely not enough wool to go round again. 

  
This little pile of wool is all that’s left over.

After an emergency consultation with my ladies who crochet, I was assured it would be perfectly fine to finish as it was, no edging necessary. Phew.

So I was just left with the dreaded ends to contend with.

  
Once I’d put Baby J down for a nap this afternoon, I made a large mug of tea and settled down on the sofa with the sun streaming in through the window and got stuck in.

   
 
It wasn’t actually too bad. Luckily I’d already done the ends in the centre of the blanket before I started going around with the many rows.

So, here it is, the finished article…..

   
    
    
 
I’m very happy with my Happy Blanket, it makes me smile every time I look at it. I hope my nan feels the same when she opens it up on Christmas Day.

Now onto the next project, what next?…..

Vicki xxx