Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bridesmaid Proposal - Message in a Bottle

Well, in my last post I shared a little pink crocheted heart which I mentioned was part of a small gift.

Following my recent engagement, the gift was a 'bridesmaid proposal' present to my sister-in-law, Claire.  Who even know bridesmaid proposals existed?!  Not me!  But in my wedding research on Pinterest this curious idea made itself known to me.

Now, I was a bridesmaid for Claire when she married my brother nine years ago, and she's known forever that she would be my bridesmaid, if the day ever came!  So, it went without saying or asking, but I thought this would be cute and fun anyway and I knew she'd like it!

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

After gathering inspiration, I decided to make a little message in a bottle.  Above you can see the message rolled up inside the bottle.

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

The bottle was actually a favour bottle I received at a wedding years ago, and kept.  It had some Baileys in, I believe.  I decorated it with a length of white lace, secured with glue dots.  I then tied a pretty aqua ribbon around it - very simple, but I love how it looks!

I used the same ribbon to tie the scroll, and as a hanging loop on the crochet heart.  I'm currently planning aqua as the colour scheme for the wedding, with pink accents.  Rob seems happy enough to go along with this, but refuses to call it "our" colour scheme - apparently it's all mine!  The colour scheme is not an area in which he wishes to associate himself!!

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

I printed my message onto paper and used some gold peel-off borders from my card-making days to edge it.  (Roon and Loon are our nicknames for each other.)

Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

Well, guess what?  She said yes!  (Like she had a choice!)  ;)

And that is as far as we've got with our wedding plans... other than viewing so many venues and still being unable to find one that we're sure about.  I hope we find somewhere soon - fingers crossed!


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Looking for a cute way to ask your friends to be your bridesmaids?  Use this cute and easy message in a bottle idea for your bridesmaid proposal - click to find out more!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Pink Crochet Heart

Finally, a bit of crafting around these parts!

Just something quick and mini...

Looking for a quick and easy pattern to make a cute crochet heart?  Perhaps a gift for valentine's day, a wedding, or just to tell someone you love them!   Click to find out more!

A little pink crochet heart.  It was part of a small gift, the rest of which I will share another day.

I made it using King Cole Bamboo Cotton (DK) and a 4mm hook, using this great little pattern.

Looking for a quick and easy pattern to make a cute crochet heart?  Perhaps a gift for valentine's day, a wedding, or just to tell someone you love them!   Click to find out more!

It's nice to have completed a crochet project, no matter how teeny!

Looking for a quick and easy pattern to make a cute crochet heart?  Perhaps a gift for valentine's day, a wedding, or just to tell someone you love them!   Click to find out more!


Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Croatian Proposal!

I will try to get back to some crafty blogging soon... but I have some very exciting news!  The title of the post gives it away... I have just had an amazing holiday in Croatia, during which my boyfriend, Rob, proposed!

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

Despite hoping for a while that he would propose, it still came as a complete and utter shock to me!  I had no idea he had been working away secretly to get this ring made and that he'd sneaked it away on holiday with us!

We had gone on a day trip to Dubrovnik, and little did I know he'd been trying to conceal the big ring box shape in his shorts pocket all during the long coach trip and then the 90 minute guided tour.  We finally got some time on our own to walk the city walls, where I was chattering away obliviously, until he got down on one knee.  I was so stunned, I forgot to say yes at first!

It was such a perfect location for it - the views over Dubrovnik were stunning!

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

Not a bad view for a proposal, eh?  It was so exciting - I couldn't believe it had happened!

The rest of the holiday was amazing too - Croatia is such a beautiful country, I really loved it.  We went on a speed boat one day, which was incredible.  We swam in the lagoon below...

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

... and stopped for a drink overlooking this beautiful quiet spot...

A romantic proposal in Dubrovnik whilst holidaying in beautiful Croatia

I don't want to bombard you with holiday photos, so will leave it there.  If you ever get the chance to go to Croatia, however, I can wholeheartedly recommend it - even without the proposal!




Sunday, 18 June 2017

Cute Crochet Pineapple

I recently made the cutest little crochet pineapple  - even if I do say so myself!

Click to see a very cute and easy crochet pineapple - what a tropical fruity touch!

We went to a wedding with a tropical theme for the evening party, so I was inspired to crochet a tropical pineapple as a little accessory!  I initially thought it could be for my boyfriend, Rob, to wear somehow... but he didn't seem keen on being accessorised with a crocheted item!  So, I thought it could hang from my handbag...

Click to see a very cute and easy crochet pineapple - what a tropical fruity touch!

However, Rob ended up claiming it for the evening, dangling from a button to give him a tropical touch.  I never thought I'd see the day he'd be sporting my crochet!  I was wearing the dress featured as the background in the picture above - so you could say I was tropical enough!!

I made up my own pattern, inspired by a lot of the crochet pineapple images on Pinterest.

Click to see a very cute and easy crochet pineapple - what a tropical fruity touch!


Check out my other crochet items here.


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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Rainbow Colours

Last week I took part in a little Instagram challenge with the hashtag #technicolourcrafters.  It is organised by @technicolourcrafters.  It's still ongoing, but I wanted to share the pictures I posted for eight of the fun prompts - RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO, VIOLET and RAINBOW.



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on



A post shared by Maria (@dinki_dots) on


I don't usually take photos for Instagram just based on colour, so it was quite fun to do this.  You can follow me here, if you like!



Sunday, 4 June 2017

Living Room Transformation

If you've been reading along for a while, you will know that I bought my home in May 2013, and it needed a lot of de-grannifying!  You can find links to the transformations I've made in my Home Improvements tab.

My living room was one of the first rooms decorated, but it's taken me this long to take pictures of it, as I always felt I needed to change it further and improve it some more.  However, I've realised that I could end up waiting forever, so it's best to just share the improvements I have made.  In fact, these pictures were taken March 2016, which is when I started writing this post.  I'm finally finishing it and sharing it with you now!

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
Estate Agent Picture

Above you can see how the living room looked when I first went to view it - in good condition, but very dated!

It had to get worse before it got better...

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
During

It became quite the building site as you can see above!  Until, finally...

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

It is quite a tricky room to get good pictures of.  Or I think that possibly the day I took the 'after' pictures was perhaps a bit too bright, or not the right light.  But it was a rare tidy day, so I took the opportunity!

Below is the room before, facing the other way...

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
Before

And after...

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

The changes included:

  • Getting the ceilings plastered
  • Stripping the wallpaper and painting the walls
  • Ripping out the old fireplace and getting a logburner fitted
  • Removing the electric heaters and having central heating installed (in the whole house)
  • Getting new carpets laid
  • Getting the old back door and windows replaced with patio doors
  • Replacing internal doors (although none of the 'before' shots show them)

The below view shows the old back door (which you can also see in the first two pictures of this post) and the ugly old electric heaters...

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
Before

Which now looks a bit like the below photos (unfortunately they're not from the same angle/position - I should have checked my before shots before taking after shots when I took these last year!).  I also annoyingly have better light and photos for some of my before shots than my after shots, which is not ideal in the whole 'before and after' game!  Ah well, it all gives you an idea.  As I said before... if I were to wait for perfection, you'd never get to see any of this at all!

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

You can find out more about the dresser in my DRESSER MAKEOVER POST.

And as you can't see the patio doors properly in any of the after pictures, here is a before and after from around the time they were done back in 2013 - tricky taking a picture straight into the light, though!

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
Before

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

And a bit of a clearer before and after of the logburner side of the room - again, the pictures aren't the same angle, but you get the idea...

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
Before

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After

It actually looks quite cluttered in the after picture, especially compared to the empty before shot, without any furniture when the room was not in use!

If you want to see the transformation of a dated old granny living room / lounge into a bright light modern space, click here for plenty of before and after photos!
After
The logburner glass could have done with a clean before I took all these!  You can see much better pictures of the fireplace changes in my FIREPLACE TRANSFORMATION POST.

Well, I think that's that for the living room transformation!  I'm glad to have finally got it on the blog, although I would have liked to have better photos and more styling in the room.  It's recorded at last, though!

Check out the links below, to see some of the other rooms which have been de-grannified!  There are some big transformations!!





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Monday, 29 May 2017

Colour Block Crochet Blanket Update

This is just a quick post today to update you on the squares I've made so far for my colour block blanket!

If you like bright bold colour blocking then this is the blanket for you.  Click to watch this come together from vibrant crochet squares.

These are made in King Cole Bamboo Cotton which I love working with.  A great soft smooth yarn, and it comes in such vibrant colours.

I plan to make 12 squares, so I'm half way through that stage of the blanket.  This is actually pretty quick progress for me!

I still need to sew ends in - I've done some, but got lazy.  I planned to make sure they were all sewn in as each square was finished, but I keep getting impatient to see the next colour combination come together!  The first two colours of each square are nice and easy - but the third colour seems to take forever, and that's when I slow down and lose my drive a bit.  So once I manage to get through that bit, the last thing I feel like doing is sewing in ends!

I know they look a bit wiggly and twisty at the moment, but that should sort itself out once they are made into the blanket.

I'm so pleased that it's coming together exactly as I had envisioned!  What do you think of it so far?



Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Supersize Crochet - Giveaway Winner!

I used a random number generator to pick the winner out of the commenters on my Supersize Crochet Blog Hop post.  Thanks to everyone who entered!



Without further ado, the winner is...

Rachel H

... who said:

Love it! I love using t-shirt yarn, what a fab idea this is ❤️

Rachel, please get in touch so that I can email you a PDF copy of Supersize Crochet by Sarah Shrimpton.

Sorry to those who didn't win, but thanks for taking part.  You'll just have to buy the book so you too can have fun with supersize crochet!


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Yarn Pegs

I've finally made a start on something I've been meaning to do for ages!

If you need help coming up with colours schemes for crochet blankets, try having a go at making these easy pretty yarn pegs for Stylecraft Special DK yarn.  Dolly pegs make them look so cute!

Lucy at Attic24 has been using yarn pegs for years - she may even have invented the idea, it was certainly the first place I saw it.  It's such a clever way to play with colours and work out what schemes to use for new blankets and other projects.  However, it was when I read this post from Sam at Betsy Makes, using pretty dolly pegs for her yarn pegs, that I really wanted to give it a go.

Well... it's been two and a half years since I read that post!  I finally bought some dolly pegs in the last few months of last year, and only this weekend did I actually get to work after being inspired anew by this picture on Instagram from colourandcrochet.  So, it's been a long time coming.  Thanks to Lucy, Sam and Clare for the inspiration that finally got me here!

If you need help coming up with colours schemes for crochet blankets, try having a go at making these easy pretty yarn pegs for Stylecraft Special DK yarn.  Dolly pegs make them look so cute!

The plan is to have a peg for every colour of the Stylecraft Special DK range.  Then when the need comes to crochet a new blanket (as it does!) it will be easy to decide on a scheme and check how the colours look together, before buying the yarn.

(I do still need to write the colours on the pegs, as that would be helpful!)

Unfortunately I only had 15 colours in my stash (one is not pictured - grey) and I think there are around 80 colours in the Stylecraft Special DK range!  It's a start, though.

If you need help coming up with colours schemes for crochet blankets, try having a go at making these easy pretty yarn pegs for Stylecraft Special DK yarn.  Dolly pegs make them look so cute!
White / Cream / Candyfloss / Fondant / Pomegranate / Lipstick / Sunshine / Lemon / Spring Green / Aspen / Sherbert / Turquoise / Bluebell / Wisteria

A lot of these colours can be seen in my waterlily blanket.

I already feel some colour scheme ideas coming from looking at the pegs I've made so far - it's such a great useful idea!

If you need help coming up with colours schemes for crochet blankets, try having a go at making these easy pretty yarn pegs for Stylecraft Special DK yarn.  Dolly pegs make them look so cute!

And it doesn't hurt that they look so pretty!!



Check out my completed crochet items here.


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!





Sunday, 7 May 2017

Stash-Busting WIP-Finishing 2017 - Mar/Apr

[If you are looking for the Supersize Crochet Blog Hop and Giveaway, you can find the post HERE!]

As the title suggests, I'm planning to bust the stash and finish the WIPs this year.  I wrote about January and February here.  So, let's see how I've done in March and April...


Not that well, really!

STASH-BUSTING

I made the cute and easy crochet eggs using left-over white cotton yarn from the Easter eggs I made for Hobbycraft, with some thin crochet cotton I had been given last year.

I also made a start on a colour-block crochet blanket using yarn given to me for my birthday and Christmas in December.

No purchases were required for either of these.

WIP-FINISHING

Not a stitch this time, I'm afraid!

PURCHASES

I did make some unnecessary purchases this month.  I went on a great holiday to Orlando, Florida in April - I know, lucky me!  About 20 minutes (very brisk!) walk away from our accommodation was a Michael's store.  I've heard about Michael's from American craft blogs, so had to check it out!  One afternoon my boyfriend was having a bit of a nap, so I strode purposefully out into the blazing sun to visit the shop.  I bought two things which was very restrained of me.  I ummed and ahhed about some other things, but decided I didn't want to buy too much that I didn't have a project in mind for... but I did want a little treat or two!

What I bought:
  • A tube of pretty washi tapes in mint, pink/blush and gold - no purpose in mind - FAIL.
  • A ball of Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn - no purpose in mind - FAIL.



But, I think that's not too bad really - it was a holiday treat after all!

I'll definitely use the yarn - I've already got some ideas in mind.  The washi tape... hmm well, it will probably be added to my washi tape stash that I'm never quite sure what to do with!



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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Supersize Crochet - Blog Hop and Giveaway

I am very pleased to be taking part in this Blog Hop celebrating Sarah Shrimpton's new book, Supersize Crochet!  You may know Sarah from her blog, Annaboo's House, which I have been following for many years.  You can also find Sarah on Instagram here - and while you're there, you can find me too!



I received a free PDF version of Supersize Crochet for the benefit of this post, and will be giving away a PDF copy to one lucky reader too!  Read on to find out more...

Firstly, let me tell you more about the book.  As the name suggests, it's a book full of great crochet patterns using thick and chunky yarn - and you know what that means?  The projects make up so quickly - just what I like!  Here are some of the gorgeous projects you can make (image stolen from Sarah's blog)...



There are loads of fun projects, but one caught my eye straight away - the hanging pouch!  So that is what I made...


Wanting to make easy crochet projects with thick and chunky yarn?  Check out Supersize Crochet, a great book of fun patterns!  Click to see the t-shirt yarn hanging pouch I made!

It was perfect, as I had bought myself some t-shirt yarn last year.  There had been just one tube/cone/ball (?!) left in Hobbycraft, and it was reduced to £2.50!  I'd been wanting to try t-shirt yarn, so thought it was the ideal opportunity at that price, so I snapped it up.


Wanting to make easy crochet projects with thick and chunky yarn?  Check out Supersize Crochet, a great book of fun patterns!  Click to see the t-shirt yarn hanging pouch I made!

However, I didn't know what to do with it, so it languished in my messy craft room until I saw the hanging pouch pattern in Sarah's book!  It actually calls for a cotton cord and 7mm hook.  However, I just knew it was the pattern my zingy lime green t-shirt yarn had been waiting for!


Wanting to make easy crochet projects with thick and chunky yarn?  Check out Supersize Crochet, a great book of fun patterns!  Click to see the t-shirt yarn hanging pouch I made!

I used a 10mm hook to make this, and I did skip a round as I think I would have run out of yarn otherwise (seeing as I'd gone for a thicker yarn and hook than the pattern suggested, and actually have no idea how many grams or yards I had, as there was no indication on the label!).  I left out round 6, and adjusted the following rounds accordingly, to keep the same proportions as the pattern.

I am so happy with this - I love it!  It's so zingy and bright and such a great shape - perfect for holding balls of yarn in my craft room!

Thanks to Sarah for a great book full of inspiration and very clearly written patterns.  It was so easy to follow!

Win a copy of the book!

Now would you like a PDF copy of Supersize Crochet too?  Why wouldn't you?!  Just leave a message on this post by the end of Saturday 20th May and I will announce the winner the next day!

Make sure you check out all the other people taking part in the blog hop:

Monday 1st May - Sarah taking over the Sew and So Instagram Account
Tuesday 2nd May - Sarah's guest post over at Sew and So
Wednesday 3rd May - Maria from Dinki Dots (me!)
Thursday 4th May - Shelley from Spincushions
Friday 5th May - Lazy Daisy Jones
Monday 8th May - Tamara from Moogly
Tuesday 9th May - Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch
Wednesday 10th May - Sara from Crochet Me
Friday 12th May - Marianne from MaRRose
Sunday 14th May - Ruby and Kim from Frank & Olive
Monday 15th May - Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence
Tuesday 16th May - Twinkie from Twinkie Chan
Wednesday 17th May - Andrea from Woolly Mahoosive
Thursday 18th May - Kerry at Interweave
Friday 19th May - Blog Hop Round Up


Wanting to make easy crochet projects with thick and chunky yarn?  Check out Supersize Crochet, a great book of fun patterns!  Click to see the t-shirt yarn hanging pouch I made!


Check out my other completed crochet items here.


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!

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