Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to do a quick post to say Merry Christmas! 
I hope that you are all as blessed as I am with friends and family, not just today but all year around.
I will be spending this morning with the kids and hubby, opening presents and eating and being merry. Then this afternoon I head over to my Aunt's, which will be the very first time I have spent a Christmas Day with her and I am very much looking forwards to it,since she is an amazing cook and has been baking for three days to get ready for Christmas.(Nom Nom Nom!)
After the big day and after we've all calmed down and recovered I should be able to show you some of the presents that I have made!
But for now Happy Christmas! 

Friday, 23 December 2011

Swap Gifts And A Robin For My Tree!

The title says it all really - but SQUEE!
It is the first time I have been involved in a swap, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  If you are a crafter who happens to enjoy computer games  (Or a gamer who happens to enjoy crafting) I strongly advise you to head over to Sprite Stitch. In their own words: "Sprite Stitch is a community of people dedicated to handmade arts and crafts with themes centered around the video game industry."
But they also have an amazing community. I only really got into video games when I met my husband, and started crafting stuff for it mainly for him.  But I have since got into it quite a lot myself.  And it may have taken him five years but he's finally got me on the Xbox aswell (I've always maintained that a PC is a lot easier as I've never got the hang of controllers) But I am now hooked on that as well Damn him!
Anyway I now have my swap items from the lovely Jayde over at  And they are absolutely brilliant!!

Thank You Jayde!!!
Also in the post on the same day I received this gorgeous Robin, who is now living in my Christmas Tree
This was a Giveaway Prize from Cute Crocheted Creations and I love it!
These couldn't have arrived at a better time, as I have been watching my postie like a hawk anyway for the last of the Christmas Presents arriving. So it was quite nice to get something that for me and that didn't need to be wrapped as I have already spent about 3 hours wrapping gifts this year already!
So Thank You to Laura aswell. 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

This Year

Normally at this time of year I find myself saying "next year will be better" or "good riddance to the end of that year". I don't mean this ungratefully or flippantly, but it is fair to say that me and my gorgeous family have had our fair share of troubles.
BUT this year instead of saying next year will be better, I find myself thinking of how far we have come this year ....  literally we have moved 350 miles north west... but aside from that I just wanted to list a few of our achievements this year. It is quite a nice exercise to do, and has made me incredibly grateful. In no particular order:

  • We have moved to the other end of the country. Successfully!
  •  I have started this blog, which I love doing and I have found the crafts community online in force which is incredible!
  • (whispered so as not to tempt the fates) My son has had his first "hospital free" year....
  • My daughter has started school and loved it. She is now beginning to read!
  • My gorgeous husband has found a job that he enjoys and where he is appreciated.
  • I have learnt how to knit.And found that it is incredibly addictive.
  • We have bought our gorgeous but rather hyper dog and wouldn't be without him anymore
  • But most importantly we have grown as a family this year. We have stood on our own two feet more, but had the sense to know when to ask friends and family for help.  We are a closer family unit and I am proud of us!
This year hasn't been without its challenges, (I spent 3 months in and out of hospital over the summer) but we have faced them and come through the other side and I am very positive for next year.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Link to Giveaway Day

Sew Mama Sew is currently hosting a huge Giveaway Day (that lasts all week) with loads of links to giveaways. 
I am not involved in this myself but I have just spent a good half an hour or so looking through some of these giveaways. It always amazes me how generous people are, and also how many craft blogs there are out there! 
There are 6 different catagories so there is bound to be something there that you want to try for so hop on over and have a look : )

Monday, 12 December 2011

Happy Homemade Christmas

I have been AWOL the last week due to the other half doing something(Goodness only knows what) with the computers. Unfortunately most of what I have been doing craft wise can't be shown yet, just in case certain people read it.
But what I do have to show you is some lovely Christmas stuff!
Firstly we have the tree...
This is the first time that I have ever had a "real" tree.  When we moved, everything from the cellar in the old house had to be dumped due to damp (we were not very impressed I can tell you!!). So this year we needed to buy a tree whatever happened.  I will admit it was my lovely husband's idea, so we all tootled off in the car to the garden centre and had a great day out choosing our tree and buying decorations, which again we had to start from scratch with! I can tell you transporting our 7 foot tree in our little car was an experience, but it got us all in the Christmas spirit and now the house smells lovely and Christmassy as well!
We do however have some lovely decorations on the tree courtesy of my gorgeous kids.  The salt dough decorations have been painted and glittered and hung on the tree:

I am really happy at the way these have turned out, and the kids had a ball making them.  I think the only thing I would do differently is to coat them with something, possibly a varnish, as the glitter tends to get everywhere! (If you like the look of these the recipe for the salt dough is here ) We let the kids decorate the tree, which was so much fun and more than makes up for the fact that everything is slightly wonky.  I am very much of the opinion that me and the hubby will have years to have things done neatly when the kids are grown up, yet we have limited time when the kids can be kids.  I love the fact that they decorated and made decorations.  It makes our Christmas Tree truly ours.
Also, thanks to friends and family the kids have also received Christmas craft packs resulting in these beauties:

The Christmas Tree's were from a good friend of mine, along with some colouring in boxes which I just need to glue together, and Rudolph is from Grandma.  She got both the kids a lovely books with lots of different things to put together. I'm saving the rest for the week before Christmas when my daughter's not at school, as I know that she will get bored within half a day of not being at school!
I have cross stitched decorations on the go, which should hopefully be up by the end of the week and only one more homemade present to make...probably....
I hope you are all having as lovely a time as we are, and that you are enjoying the Christmas season! 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Internet Brilliance

I was reading through some of the blogs I follow this morning (there are quite a few...) and found this brilliant link over at Owens Olivia 
So pop over to the Random Tutorial Generator and watch how quickly your morning goes! x

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Map of Middle Earth:Mordor

Among trying to get Christmas craft stuff done in time, (pictures and posts to come) I have managed to get quite a bit of my Middle Earth map stitched. 
I haven't really used a hoop before, but with fabric this big I have found that actually it is the only way to be able to control my map.

 I find myself stitching this of an evening most nights, and must say that although there is a lot of it to do I am really enjoying it.  Because there is so much detail and different fonts and sizes of lettering, it doesn't get repetitive and so far this is how much I have got done.

 I am really really happy with Mordor. It looks quite impressive and I actually think you get the feeling of how Mordor is.
 I have tried a few different styles of stitching for the mountains (there are quite a lot of them) so thought I would dare a close up of some of them ....

All three of these have ended up looking completely different to each other, which has given different mountain ranges their own feel and personality which is a happy coincidence.
I don't think that I will be able to get much done this side of Christmas now but I will keep you updated and I will  should have some photos of Christmassy stuff coming up.
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Giveaway Winner

Today I chose a winner for my simple bag giveaway and (using drew entry number 1 which is KerryP77 so if you could email me at with your address I will get that in the post for you.
 Congratulations to Kerry and Thank You very much to everyone that entered my first giveaway.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Easy Knitted Bag Pattern and Giveaway

Giveaway Bag
I love handbags! I have probably mentioned this a hundred times once or twice....So I decided I would knit one to make for one of you lovely readers. And being quite a stubborn old thing I decided to just kinda make one and see what happens rather than go by a pattern, so I've added my instructions as well. 
This is quite a little bag measuring 8" by 7" so I think it would be a perfect Christmas gift for any little Princesses out there :)
This is my first pattern so  I hope it is clear and helpful.  It is definitely nice and simple. (Some may say , just like me)

Using 6mm needle and 100g Chunky Wool 
Cast on 30 stitches
Knit 5 rows
Work in stocking stitch until piece measures 12"
Knit 5 rows and then Cast Off
Handles (make 2)
Cast on 5 stitches
Knit until piece measures 10"
Pocket (Optional)
Cast on 10 stitches
Work in Stocking Stitch until piece measures 2" 
Knit 4 rows 
Cast off

Sew the pocket as desired (I have mine on the inside, but it would also look good on the outside)
Fold the main bag piece in half and then sew up the sides.
Sew both of the handles in place

All the Pieces

"Bag" before it is sewn up

Pocket on the inside

Giveaway Bag

 This is my first Giveaway so I am quite excited.
How to enter
There are three chances to win so good luck  : )
  1. Follow me, either by email or Google Reader and leave me a comment to tell me you have done so
  2. Leave a comment on this post saying whether you would keep this bag or gift it at Christmas
  3. Link back to me on your blog and leave me a comment to let me know you have done so
This is open until midnight GMT  Tuesday 29th November when a winner will be chosen at random.
This is open to everybody and Good Luck!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Guest Post

I am very excited to say that I have done a couple of firsts today.
I have done my first guest post that includes my first tutorial! 
Head over to tinyangrycrafter's blog to have a look.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

15 Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas

With Christmas just around the corner I thought that I would start a list of ideas that us crafters can make as Christmas gifts.  Because I know that sometimes we all need a little bit of inspiration.

  1. Bags  Every girl loves a bag! From a simple tote bag  that a beginner can make, to lovely complicated bags. This would be a gift anyone would love to recieve!
  2. Calendars These are a great make for a family with kids.  We did them last year for the "Nanny's". I simply got the kids to do drawings, paintings and pictures and then attached them with a few photos to card with the calendar dates at the bottom and attached a ring binder at the top.  Alternatively you can buy sets to make these. 
  3. Soft Toys These don't have to be just for the kids either. I'm in the middle of making my hubby a dragon! Again these can be dependent on your skill level, from a nice simple felt toy through to beanie toys.
  4. Bookmarks  I know a lot of bookworms, so these always come in handy.  I cross stitch mine, but you could make them from the craft that you are most talented at.
  5. Jewelry  If you can make jewelry I can almost guarantee that people will be happy to receive a trinket or two for Christmas! I love wearing my home-made earrings and getting asked "Where did you get those from?" 
  6.  Gadget covers  These could be knitted or sewn.  But you could easily make these for most gadgets out there, from iPhones to Kindles
  7. Baked goods Who doesn't love something yummy that someone has taken the time to make?! Want to make them look more festive? Put them in a jar and make your own labels, or add ribbons to make it look more "you".
  8. Homemade Ornaments These are really nice to give, as they can become a family heirloom.
  9. Fleece Blankets   I love the fleece blanket I made for my daughter and they are ridiculously easy! You don't even have to do any sewing if you don't want to. Or you could add something personalized, either with unique fabric  or embroidery or felt cut outs.
  10.  Cross Stitch or Embroidery  If you can stitch/embroider, make something for someone that they will like and frame it.  This is personal and generally people appreciate the time gone into these.
  11. Personalised Cushion Hangers  You've probably seen these in the shops, the cute little cushions with a saying stitched on and a little bit of cord to hand them up with.  These are super duper easy to make, and even if you just put someone's name on it, it's better than "bog standard" from the shop.
  12. Cake Jar If you are good at cooking and know someone who's not, or if you know someone who has always said how much they like for example your cookies,  make them up a jar with all the dry ingredients then make a nice label with instructions and ingredients they need to add. This could be for any cake or biscuit or goodie.
  13. Jar of Sweets You can pick up glass paints relatively easy these days, so get a few little jars and decorate them, add your friends favorite sweets and add a nice label and ribbon.
  14. Sewing Kits Make up a little needle book and pin cushion and add a few bits to make a sewing kit for your crafty friends.  
  15. A Mini Scrapbook Make these with photos of the last year, photos of something they have a particular interest in, or something that you have in common.  
I'm sure there are hundreds of ideas that I am completely missing and I would love to hear from you if you have any other ideas.  But hopefully this will have got the creative thoughts going if nothing else.  Because every time at this year I sit and think surely I should be able to make something as a gift....but what????

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Young at Heart Challenge

I am entering this cross stitch into the Crafty Boots Challenge for the 'Young at Heart' challenge.  
Sibling Love
However I must admit that I haven't stitched it myself.  I am entering it on behalf of my wonderful Mum, who has been quite ill recently.  It was her that taught me how to cross stitch when I was little. (And having a little one myself I now know how frustrating that must have been.) She is a very talented woman, with a whole room dedicated to crafty stuff, so I have her very much to thank for my love of all things crafty!
I love this cross-stitch as I spent alot of time in Cornwall growing up, so it really could be me and my brother.  

Monday, 31 October 2011

SpriteStitch Swap

My Swappee got their gift this morning, so I can finally show you all what I've been busy doing!
I have absolutely loved being part of this swap, as it is the first that I have taken part in and Sprite Stitch is a really great little community.    
Firstly I made a needle book, with embroidery on the front and cross stitch inside:

This was quite an easy make, but looks good. This was all hand stitched, as my poor sewing machine is holed up in the corner at the moment, feeling very unloved.  I was initially going to do the whole thing out of felt, but decided that a fabric cover would be better.  I quite like the effect of mixing different fabrics and textures and I think I've pulled it off here.

Secondly I made a Pokemon Pincushion! Which I am actually really pleased with because it is soo cute! (What more can you ask for - cute and practical?!)

This was quite difficult to make, and is quite rough around the edges, but I don't think my swappee minds.
After I get all my making for Christmas out of the way I think  I am going to have to make myself the needle book.  But at the moment it is just going to have to go on the To Do pile which is getting a little bit too big for my liking.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

It is coming up on THAT time of year again, and with the kids off on half term this week I thought we should make a start on Christmas Crafts.  I love salt dough, as it is ridiculously easy to make and the kids love it, so I thought I would share the 'recipe'.

Salt Dough Recipe
160g salt
160g plain flour
125ml water

  • Preheat the oven to about 130c
  • Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix
  • Knead until it forms a dough
  • Play (We rolled it out and cut shapes out but you don't have to)
  • Bake in the oven for 2 - 3 hours
We've cut shapes out and made holes with pencils so that we can string them up to the Christmas Tree but you can make anything you want really out of the dough.  Or you could add a drop of food colouring, or double the recipe to make more.
We used it plain, as we are going to use another weekend to paint them and sprinkle glitter on, to add a Christmas feel : )
Salt dough stars


My daughter also had a brilliant idea of her own.  Using her Princess Tiara, she made an imprint of the 'jewel' onto the stars:

Salt Dough Christmas Star

Which just goes to show that sometimes you need a Four Year Old about!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Stitched Map of Middle Earth

I am going to stitch a map of Middle Earth. But first I needed to get the image across to my fabric, and I can announce that Middle Earth is (finally) on linen! Given the amount of time it has taken me and my better half to get this far I dread to think of the total man-hours that this project is going to require. However it is looking really good, if not somewhat big.
To put this into perspective, I had to stand on a chair to get this photo, and the linen and paper map cover my dining room table completely!
I am going to completely embroider Middle Earth before deciding on a border style although I am debating whether or not to make the border circular and repeat the elvish inscription from the One Ring as a border. However I think I may be biting off more than I can chew:
Inscription from The One Ring

I am going to leave any final decisions until I can see how everything looks stitched.  Which will probably be quite a while as
the detail involved in this map is ambitious to say the least.It does look rather impressive close up though:
I am currently trying to figure out how to start the gargantuan task of stitching this wonderful map.  Due to it being such a large scale project, I am trying to decide whether to stitch it section by section or whether to stitch say all of the lettering, or mountains or lines in order.  Most probably I will sit down and decide what I want to stitch as I go, as I'm not normally the most organised person....

Middle Earth

If you look closely and compare 'my' map to the original, then you can see where some parts have been somewhat squashed into place. It has been quite difficult to keep lining everything up and keep everything in place.  If this had been a smaller image, I could have found a way to keep everything in place, or at least lined up with the image below.  Luckily though I don't think I know anyone that knows the map of Middle Earth off by heart, so it should be alright. So, just to start stitching......

Monday, 17 October 2011

Apologies and Pumpkins

Firstly, I would like to apologize for my absence, it has been due to multiple illnesses.  What with my eldest just having started school, I think it was inevitable that we would all catch something. So I haven't got much done recently.  (Well nothing substantial anyway.  I have read the entire library of Sookie Stackhouse Novels in the past week. Which is an impressive feat but not very constructive.)  
So I come bearing a link gift.  Halloween and Bonfire Night is just round the corner and it is one of my favorite times of year. Lots of excuses for curling up with a book (or 10) with warming treats such as soups and stews. Yumsk!
Now last year we (My Husband) carved Spongebob into a pumpkin: 
SpongeBob Pumpkin Pants
So this year I share with you the link where we got this template, with instructions and plenty of other templates if Spongebob isn't your cup of tea.  
Happy Halloween! 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Pendle Stitches

Long before I started my ramblings, my lovely Aunt had been keeping us all up to date with her beautiful creations over at Pendle Stitches.  She started it to keep family up to date with things, due to the fact that we were spread all about the company, but in time it has become just as much about her passion for all things crafts, and to celebrate her 400th post she is giving this beauty away:
 So hop on over to her blog and leave a comment to be in with a chance to win this gorgeous Shawlette!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Time for Tea in Cross Stitch!

Being an English gal, I love my tea! Nothing gets better than stitching with a cup of tea and homemade cookies or cake! So when I saw this beauty over at The Making Spot I had to post it!
How beautiful and simple is this! Also with Christmas coming up, I know a certain someone who would love this little stitch.  
Speaking of the C word (Christmas of course) I am busy getting ready, which does mean that I can't post what I'm up to! However it is safe to say that many people will be getting home made pressies this year.  Either done by myself for some of the bigger projects or done by certain little hands for simpler projects. I am also now nearly ready to send my items off for the Sprite Stitch challenge. So much to do, so little time that can be dedicated towards crafts  : ( 

Monday, 26 September 2011

Middle Earth

I haven't done much 'embroidery' before, a few little things but nothing large scale, as I cross-stitch mostly.  So as usual I am jumping in the deep end and I am going to embroider a map of 'Middle Earth' from The Lord of The Rings.
So far I have found the map I want to use:

And started to transfer it across to some linen:
Which is more difficult than it sounds.  Even with the help of my Aunt's light box (Thank You) it is quite tricky to get the detail.  I have enlarged the original map about 300% but to get all the names in is going to be interesting, as this is quite a detailed version of 'Middle Earth'.
  Although it is not all across on to linen yet, I have stitched a few words so that I can get an idea of how it is going to look:

I've tried a few different sized words just to get a feel for the different texts and am quite happy with these so far.  I am particularly happy with the 'Sea of Rhun' as I think I managed the curls on the letters quite nicely. 
 The larger writing is going to be slightly more difficult, as it is a lot thicker that the small writing.  At the moment my plan is to stitch across the letters so that I can get the right width throughout.
Also I am still undecided as to how I am going to stitch the mountains:
Since they are shaded I want to make sure that I get the feel of them right.  However at the end of the day, "my" map does not have to look exactly like the original, but I am extremely excited about this project, as I am hoping that when it is done it will look quite stunning on the wall.  

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