Thursday, 30 October 2014

Olaf Pumpkin - Happy Halloween Eve!

My very UN-crafty (or so she claims!) sister-in-law has been pumpkin carving... 

A pumpkin Olaf from Frozen (I really must watch this Frozen film everyone is talking about!)  Roon (what I call her, not her christened name - her parents aren't insane) has absolutely no interest in partaking in any crafting activities until it comes to Halloween - then she pulls it out of the bag with elaborate pumpkins!

Love it!  We decided it needed to go on the blog - it is most worthy!  Surely I can get her to join in with other crafts, surely, surely?!  She's clearly got the talent!!

The Lumberjack and I carved up our pumpkin tonight... here you go...

... and I'm meant to be the creative one!  Ahem!

Have a happy Halloween - I'm hoping for some leftover sweets once the trick-or-treaters have had their fill!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Living More Simply

During the course of this year, I've become more and more interested in minimalism and the idea of living a simpler life.  Less clutter, less chaos, less stress.  I created a new blog - Exploring Minimalism - back at the end of April, but have only recently published my first post.

This won't make any difference to Dinki Dots - I'll still be blogging about my crafty goings on here.  And trying to live more simply won't mean I'll stop being creative (and gathering craft supplies - oops, maybe it should stop the hoarding!)

If you fancy having a read and seeing how I get on then please come on over!  There is only one post at present... but more to come...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Washi Tape Christmas Cards

Thanks to Pinterest, I was hit with another flash of Christmas inspiration!

I spotted this pin (pinned to my Christmas Inspiration board and my Washi Projects board) and decided to give it a go.

I used to make cards years ago, so had card blanks and some red 'Merry Christmas' peel-off stickers that I used.

To make the bauble I drew around a plastic lid on some scrap white card, covered the circles with strips of washi tape, then cut them out - simples!

I drew the string and bauble shanks (would you call them that?!) with silver pen straight onto the cards, then stuck on the washi-taped circles with some double-sided tape.

I didn't actually go to the website linked to the Pinterest image until writing this post now, but a slightly different method is described there using baking paper, and overlapping the washi tape.  Anything goes really!

Quick, simple, effective - gotta love washi tape!

Have you made cards using washi tape, or would you give it a go?  I think I might try some other designs!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Craft Room: Sneak Peek!

Thanks for the lovely comments on the Mini Christmas Sacks in my last post.  I planned to make some more and try out a little something with them, but I've not had chance yet.  (This is why I have to strike while the iron is hot with some ideas, or else I lose momentum or interest!)

And... I've been meaning to say thanks for all the comments on my console table post.  There were such lovely kind messages, not to mention the ones about the Lumberjack which really made me laugh!  I had to keep scampering over to him to read out the latest comment - I think he enjoyed them... ;o)

Ok... so the craft room has been a work in progress for ages.  I've been wanting to get it sorted and show you around, but it's an absolute tip - I am an animal.

One thing that finally happened recently, though, is the addition of the above shelf.  I had bought a cheap unfinished pine shelf from Homebase that cost £5.99.

As you can see from the picture, I bought it a few months ago, when the sun was shining and the flowers blooming!  The day of the picture I primed it.  Then it sat for ages, abandoned and unloved, wondering what it had done wrong... before I eventually got round to spray painting it a couple of weeks ago.

For some reason I was nervous of spray painting, but it turned out to be easy.  I used Montana Gold in Malachite Light.  I've had this for 1.5 to 2 years, but this is the first time I've used it!  I don't have much experience of other spray paints, but I'd say that this went on well and gave good coverage and what seems to be a tough finish.

Once I got started, I was on a roll and sprayed a few other things while I was at it.  A couple of jar lids for buttons...

And a cream butterfly hook that had been hanging around (pardon the pun!) for a while...

It was good to get the shelf up and some bits in place.  My Greengate clock goes perfectly with the colour.  It was originally bought for the bedroom, but as the ticking drove us mad it got kicked out into the craftroom!  I love the birdhouse, which was a present from my brother and sister-in-law last year.  (I'm afraid the birds can't use it - it's all for me!)

You can see above that the shelf had a knot in it.  I could have spent time filling and sanding so that it wasn't noticeable, but I thought it added character (ahem, or could it be I was too lazy???)  The shelf was unfinished, so a bit rough and ready, but that's what you get for less than £6.  I wasn't sure how my spray-painting adventure was going to go, so didn't want to waste too much money!

Overall, I'm very pleased with it!  I love the colour, and it adds a good bit of pretty storage.

Here it is in situ... a strangely angled picture, almost as if someone were trying to avoid capturing copious piles of crap and clutter in the shot, whilst showing off the few pretty bits and bobs!  (Excuse the poor light too, it's tricky snapping straight into the light from the window.)

Now... I really must tidy up that room so I can show you more!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Crochet Christmas Sacks

I know it's only October, but when inspiration strikes, you've got to go with it!

I've become addicted to making these cute little crochet Christmas sacks.

It all started with Sandra's egg cosies.  (Yes, more inspiration from her lovely blog!)  As soon as I saw them, I thought they would make great little Christmas sacks, so I tweaked the pattern to give them a base.

Very simple...

I've used DK yarn and a size 4 hook.  (To convert to UK terms each dc is a treble.)

ROUND 1:  ch 2 then 8 dc into the 2nd chain from the hook, sl st to join [8 st]
ROUND 2:  ch 3, then 1 dc into same st, 2 dc into next 7 stitches, sl st to join [16 st]
ROUND 3:  ch 3, then 1 dc into same st, 2 dc into next 15 stitches, sl st to join [32 st]

You then have 32 stitches to work into, so can revert back to Sandra's pattern, which starts with a 32 stitch chain.

They are so quick and easy to make.  They must be as I've made more than one of them - nearly unheard of!

The colours I've used are:

Stylecraft Special DK: Lipstick
Stylecraft Special DK: Spring Green
A random white DK I had

I like the fresher look the light green gives, rather than using a traditional dark green.  My favourite is the one with stripes in all three colours - but of course that was the slowest one to make... the more colours, the more ends to sew in!

So... you may ask (as the Lumberjack did), what are they for??  Well, I think they'll make great little Christmas favours, filled with a few sweets.  They could go on the Christmas table, or make a loop and hang them on the tree.  I've got another idea, but I need to see if it works - if so, I'll be sure to show you!

Go on, give them a go - quick, easy and fun!

Check out my completed crochet projects here and for more tutorials/patterns see here.

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