Sunday, 25 May 2014

Crochet Baby Blankets

Hello!  Well, life is passing in a bit of a blur lately, and I'm not achieving much.  Everything feels very disorganised and chaotic - hopefully I'll get back on top of things soon!

But... I have managed to do the mindless (and very boring) task of sewing some ends in so that I can finally show you this blanket...

I first showed you the colourful granny squares here.  I finished this last September, apart from those pesky ends!  It's taken me all this time to get round to sewing them in, but at least I feel like I've got something done at last.

I gave all the squares a double border of white and joined as I went.  To do the final border around the lot, I used Bunny Mummy's tutorial to give a flat border for granny squares.  (Thanks Jacquie!)

And I finished off with another one of her tutorials for the double-v edging.  It was just what I wanted - simple but enough to finish it off nicely.

I always struggle to get a decent picture when I try to smooth a blanket out on the floor, but this shows it as a whole.  It's not a big blanket - good for a cot probably.  It hasn't got a use as yet, but maybe one day if I am lucky enough to spawn some young, then they can be snuggled in it!

This is the third baby/mini blanket I've made.  The first one was in my early crochet days.  I wanted to try a blanket, and a small one seemed more manageable!  (I actually didn't finish it until after my second blanket - but it was started first).  Post here.

The second blanket had a proper purpose - it was made for my gorgeous nephew, while my sister-in-law was pregnant with him.  That one had a lot of love go into it, and is my favourite!  It is the biggest - I made it a good size to last him a long time.

You can see the post here.  I used this pattern.

That's all from me today... I hope you're all having a lovely bank holiday weekend!  Over and out.

Thursday, 15 May 2014


It's time to let you know about my Blogtacular weekend!  Alex of Hydrangea Girl contacted me back in March to tell me about the first Blogtacular event, due to be held in London on 9th and 10th May.  We had been following and commenting on each other's blogs for years, but had never actually met.  Well, in a crazed moment of what-the-hell,let's-do-it-ness, we booked our tickets and agreed to share a fancy London hotel room together!

My friends at work were somewhat shocked by this, and spent the days leading up to the event coming up with the various methods in which I was likely to be murdered over the course of the weekend.  "She's not a murderer, she's a blogger!" did not hold much sway!

We got on as well as I thought we would, and Alex managed to refrain from killing me - always a bonus!  (And luckily for her, I turned out not to be a murderer either, so we both lived to tell the tale!)  She is so lovely and such a good laugh - I'm really glad that we decided to have our Blogtacular adventure together, she helped to make it such a great weekend!

Here we are in a toilet-selfie which I have stolen from Alex!

And here is the lovely hotel room we shared...

We got a complementary upgrade, which is something that never happens to me!  It was all very fancypants!

Blogtacular had a photographer called Will Ireland from Mollie Makes taking pictures of the event... and here's one he took of us queuing up.  We were fourth and fifth in line!  I'm the blonde in the pink top and brown boots...

I look like I'm posing (well, we had spotted the camera man and I was trying not to be caught with a gormless look on my face...!)

When the suspense had mounted, and we were let in... we were greeted with goodie bags!!

(That's another picture by Will, thanks to Mollie Makes.)  I picked the tree print, in homage to my Lumberjack!

This is most of what was inside, a picture I took when back home:

There was ribbon, washi tape, planner pages, really funky looking handcream, and other bits and bobs.  It was an excellent goodie bag!!

But, back to Blogtacular itself!  There were two amazing key note speakers - Joy Cho to kick off the event and Natalie Lue to close it.  They were both very inspiring!  I especially took a lot from what Natalie said about not comparing yourself to others and doing what is right for you.  I had a bit of a habit during the event, whenever anyone asked what my blog was, of 1) being embarrassed to say its name (I've been thinking of changing it for a while) and 2) saying how crap it was, and hardly worth visiting!!  I guess it's easy to compare to other amazing blogs, but it's unfair to ourselves to do that.

We heard from Anne Ditmeyer who talked about valuing the work you do, and not doing creative work for free.

Isa Seminega spoke on blog design - guess what I took from that one?  Show your face!  Hence the photo of me which has appeared on my blog!

Alex and I attended Ellie Tennant's 'Hands On Styling' session and worked together to style a set-up from a huge array of props, that we photographed from above.  Here's my shot...

I also attended Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire's session on Branding, which was very interesting.

All the sessions were great... but one of the highlights of the weekend for me was meeting Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons!  I love The Great British Sewing Bee, and she was one of the contestants from the first year.  Her book 'Love at First Stitch' has just come out and she did a fantastic talk (along with Vicky Orchard from her publishing company) on going from blog to book, and was also a lovely person.  She was one of the first people Alex and I spoke to when we went into the Venue on the Friday evening, and I was a little nervous at that point (and star-struck!)  Hopefully I became a little more normal in time... apart from the moment when we bumped into Tilly in the toilet and I called enthusiastically after her that I was going to buy her book and could she sign it, as the poor woman was heading towards a cubicle, just wanting a moment of peace and privacy!

They had the book for sale there, and I did indeed buy it, and Tilly did kindly sign it... here we are, me clutching the book!

I look somewhat demonic in this shot - I'd blame the light, but Tilly looks normal - no wonder she called for security.  (She didn't really! ...

.....that I know of.)

I just can't wait to get started on making something from the book.  Some of you may remember in my goals for this year that I want to make an item of clothing that I'll actually wear in public.  After my previous dalliances with sewing clothes, this will hopefully be just the thing to get me back on the path towards achieving my goal!  You know that I will keep you updated!

Then on the Sunday morning, Alex had arranged for us to meet up with Laura from Bugs and Fishes.  We went for an explore around Covent Garden and had a good old chat about crafting and the blogging world!  Then we headed home thoroughly exhausted!

And what did I find sneaked away in my bag when I got home...?

A sweet gift of a candle from Alex!  It had a note on it, stuck on with washi tape from our Blogtacular gift bags, no less!  I was so surprised and touched.  See, what did I say?  Such a nice girl!  (My photos of it are terrible - did I learn nothing this weekend???!!!  Give me a break, I've been ill since I got back!  I dragged myself to work on Monday but have been off since then, suffering and moaning.  I will try to do better with my pictures in future!)

I think that's it - I'm going to have to stop at some point.  Apologies if this has been the incoherent ramblings of a sick mind!

Next time I hope to have pictures of the craft room progress... oooohh!

PS - Check out Alex's post on Blogtacular here.  She's gives more detail on some of the talks.

Monday, 12 May 2014

A Giveaway Win!

Well, what a lot has been going on!  I've just had a long weekend up in London for a blogging event - very exciting stuff!  (Quite surreal that it happened actually!)

I'm now actually feeling pretty rough with a sore throat and emerging cough - it must have been all too much excitement for my poor body to cope with!  With that in mind, I will wait until I'm feeling a bit better and can process my thoughts to tell you all about it...

However, I wanted to make sure that I gave a proper thanks to Susan from Mary Jane's Tearoom.  She is such a lovely lady, with a beautiful blog (check it out!) and I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of her giveaway.

Look at the lovely wrapping with tissue paper and ribbon!  I'm afraid the light wasn't the best when I took these photos, sorry... (I recommend you check out this post to see these beauties in their full glory - my photos really do not do them justice)

There was some Cath Kidston wrapping paper and tags, fabric covered buttons, notebook, and little card.  And some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn.

I have already made use of the notebook, as I took it to the blogging event!

I can't wait to put those beautiful buttons to use!  And I'm trying to think of a project worthy of that lovely soft yarn!

Thanks again Susan for your generosity - I'm so grateful to have won!

As soon as I'm feeling more with it, I will be sure to tell you all about my adventure at the weekend... watch this space!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Washi Tape Bottle Vase

Thanks for all the great comments recently - I always enjoy reading them!

Here is a very quick and easy bit of crafting...

I wrapped stripes of washi tape around an empty (washed) Mrs Ball's chutney bottle.

To make a little vase...

Nothing more to say on it really... simple and speedy!

In other news, we have been decorating the craft room... so I hope to be able to show some photos of that soon!

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