ScrapHappy #May

It’s that time of the month again! Time to link up with

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

To talk about scrap happiness.  For this month, I’ve been doing more of the same from last month – having fun going through my scrap bag and cutting 2.5″ squares where possible from all sorts of colours & prints, left over from past projects.  And, because the husband rather likes the place mats I made last month, I’m assembling squares to make some more.

Making them slightly smaller this time. Last month I made 10 x 7 squares, so they turned out a very generous size at 20″ x 14″.  This time, I decided 9 x 6 squares would be plenty big enough.

Have got 2 tops assembled, and enough squares prepped to make another four (2 here in progress).

 

 

must . . . stay . . . away . . . from . . . eb@y!

Oh dear!  I’ve been having a bit (a lot) of recent retail therapy on eb@y and it was all so totally unnecessary lol.  I already have more than enough to keep me crafting, in all areas (xstitch, knitting, crochet, patchwork, sewing etc) for quite a few years to come and I certainly didn’t need to add more.  But I did !

In my defence, I got some absolute bargains, as I think you’ll agree, once I’ve shown you photos.  In fact, I thought listings were too good to be true when I first saw them on eb@y but decided to take the gamble anyway.  By pure chance, while browsing, as you do, I came across a private French seller who was listing dozens and dozens of xstitch kits, with a “buy now” option of only 2€.  As I say, I couldn’t believe it at first.  Could almost hear my Mum’s wise voice, in the back of my head saying “if it’s too good to be true . . . “.  But still, I thought I’d give it a go and I clicked & bought a couple of kits.  They arrived in due course, with some extra gifts in the parcel and everything was perfect.  I therefore couldn’t resist keeping an eye on seller’s newly listed items and buying some more.

Here’s an example.

Three Faye Whittaker kits, all sealed and “as new” despite little price stickers giving ancient price in French Francs (bearing in mind we moved to the Euro in 2001).

The matching pair of “Night” and “Day”.

Three more, because for 2€ apiece, they were just too tempting not to buy . . . and what a surprise when they did arrive!  Inside the white tiger kit, I found the original receipt, dating back to 2009.  Original price paid:  79€.

By this time (several parcels later) I’d already worked out that the seller had obviously been lumbered with the task of moving a family member’s stash.  She seemed intent on selling things as fast as possible. It was literally an “everything must go” campaign that lasted several weeks and seeing how little she was charging for postage, she was almost giving everything away.   I saw Mirabilia and Lavender & Lace charts being sold for centimes.   Dozens and dozens of vintage kits being snapped up.   Packets of linen, aida, evenweave, mountains of skeins of thread.  I resisted.   I could only imagine other stitchers, like myself, all poised in front of their computers, waiting to see what was going to come up next lol.

Anyway . . . above are some of the kits I snapped up myself.  I also snapped up something for our daughter, Lindashee.  So excited when I saw the following: complete kits, for only 2€ each.

Spring, Fall and Summer:  three designs by Teresa Wentzler (designed back in 1991 and 1993 – discontinued now).  Lindashee had always dreamed of stitching a Teresa Wentzler design one day so when I saw these three, I swooped and bought.  Thanks to Avis, I then became aware of the Winter horse kit in auction in the UK . . . so I was patient and swooped to win that (for a lot more than I paid for the other three, but I think it was worth it).

So . . . lots of gorgeous kits have come to join my stash, as well as quite a few unexpected items that the seller added to each parcel as a gift.   Following photos of probably the best gift which left me speechless.

I’m not 100% sure what it is exactly, but it appears to be a rope of tapestry yarn.  Colours are gorgeous, and it feels like pure wool.  All I know is, the “rope” weighs 1.5kg and is ever so long!!!!

Apologies for the messy kitchen, but here I am holding the big yarn rope looking like some giant snake.  I’ve never seen yarn sold in this way before, and am rather unsure of what to do with it at the moment.  Saying that, I’m sure I could knit or crochet with tapestry wool, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for inspiration.

Another thing I’m sure about is: I really must stop buying in more stash, because all I’ve done here is displaced a problem!  One day, my family is going to be lumbered with sorting through my stash, so instead of buying in more, I should be working on reducing the amount of crafty gorgeousness I already have!

feathers and a thank you Flo

A couple of feather related photos today . . . first up, I finally got around to stitching a cross stitch kit, gifted to me for my birthday in 2020 by Yvonne!

Lovely bright colours, nice and dinky to stitch, and one very pretty bookmark!  Thank you, Yvonne !

Next up . . . I haven’t got bored yet of the newly discovered hobby, diamond painting, although I’ll admit to having slowed down a little because I’ve been busy with my crochet hook in the evenings.  Anyway . . . I’m currently working on a very large project. Not many colours appearing yet,

but that’s because I’ve still got a very long way to go.  So long . . . it doesn’t all fit into the photo!

Not to worry!  There’s no hurry to get this finished and it’s keeping me quiet!

And last photos for today, to say a public thank you to Flo, who sent me an unbirthday gift recently.

A seamstress project notebook – to keep note of clothes making project and body measurements. I don’t honestly do any proper clothes making for myself. Nothing “fitted” anyway, so I’m thinking this book will come in handy for my dolls clothes making!  I have dolls with varying body sizes in my collection and always seem to be trying to adapt one pattern to fit another, so this could be a good way of keeping track!

stripy cat amigurumi happy dance

Last month I started hooking this colourful projet

picture and pattern from Amigurumi Today.

Lots of pretty bright colours to keep me amused with those stripes.

And it wasn’t too long before I had all the bits made . . . just had the last job to do (which is my least favourite):  sewing bits together and then fretting over facial detail.

Now, since this cat is going to be a present for a baby, I and Mrs Tattoo agreed we didn’t want safety eyes like on the model.  Mrs Tattoo asked for eyes to be embroidered “asleep”. I did my best.

And now, before you start giggling (because there’s something rather obvious between cats legs) . . . can I ask, where on earth is the tail on the cat in the designer pattern photos????

Another photo from Amigurumi Today – not even a hint of a tail.  Did they forget to add it, or did they photoshop it away?  Anyway, my version has sleeping eyes and a very obvious tail.  For which I shall make no excuses!  Final (headless) photo of cat with Daisy (my big doll).  He came out a bit bigger than I expected but, up against Daisy who is 92cm tall, he doesn’t look too ginormous.

SAL “Together We Are Magic” #1

Excitement today, as I’ve started a new project for the SAL, after many many weeks of stitching “Tiny Treasures”.  TT was fun, but now it’s time for something completely different.  Which is why I chose this kit, only recently added to my stash.  Design is called “Together We Are Magic” (from artwork by Jody Bergsma, I believe) and it’s a LETISTITCH kit.  This is a full coverage one, with 42 colours and working on 16 count aida.  I decided it would easier if I work on this in blocks, so I gridded out my fabric accordingly.

Design is 152 x 200 stitches, so I’ve only gridded out part of my fabric (plenty of time to do the rest as I progress). I used a red FriXion pen which will disappear with heat of hot iron when stitching is complete.  Doesn’t look like much but I accomplished approx 1600 stitches.  If I can keep up that pace, it’s going to take me 60 weeks to complete!

Anyway . . . let’s pop along and see what other SAL members have been up to.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

And we’ll be back again on 23rd May.

best layer of the month # April

Three eggs snuggling in the nest hasn’t been a very regular sight this month as Ruby is having a massive moult, and that’s put her off her laying.  Just as well the other two gals are being productive! Total egg count for April is 67.  Ruby laid only 16, Florence laid 25 and Mauricette laid 26.   Mauricette is in the husband’s bad books at the moment, so is obviously trying to redeem herself!  She kept escaping the coop earlier in the month, flying over the fencing, then pecking & scratching at freshly sown seeds, which earned her a “I’m going to wring her neck!” threat from the husband.  I clipped feathers on one wing.  Seemed to have solved the problem until Mauricette learned to helicopter up onto the roof of the nesting box, then glide over the fencing and out.  Where she then set to pecking & scratching at more freshly sown seeds.  That earned her a “where’s my shotgun?” threat from the husband . . . and ended up in my spending an hour or so rigging up some netting higher up, to prevent further escape.

Anyway, for the time being Mauricette is staying inside the enclosure, and not getting into any trouble.  Which is just as well since another thing hens like is sand . . . and our asparagus are doing so well, we don’t want any fowl interference.

 

outdoors & indoors – what we’re up to

Something of a photo-heavy post today, to tell you what the husband and I are up to lately.

With Spring in the air, the husband has been spending long hours outdoors!  It all started last month really, when he managed to hire a bricklayer who agreed to come and do some work in the veggie garden.  The husband had this idea of having some raised beds (to make life easier when you’re not as agile as you once were).  The bricklayer, name of Atila, worked like a Trojan, I can tell you!  Digging trenches, mixing cement to lay foundations, then building five raised beds with breeze blocks and laying some paving stones to level up with the path.

The husband was then kept very busy because the new beds needed filling . . . so wheelbarrow loads of sand, sifting & weeding of “old” soil to mix back in.  One bed is already planted with strawberry plants & lettuce.  The others will be sowed/planted up in a couple of weeks time once the husband is sure there will be no more night frosts.

He’s also found himself a new indoors project!  When we moved into this house, the previous owners left a very grotty clock up in the attic. Nothing antiquey, or of any value and probably riddled with wood worm.  But there it remained, gathering even more dust & cobwebs.  The husband asked me to bring it downstairs because he fancies a bit of renovation work.  So I obliged.

It’s not even pretty!  but if it keeps the husband amused, at no cost, then I’ll be interested to see how it turns out and if it actually works!

I, in the meantime, keep myself amused with less dirty occupations.  Have just begun a new crochet project.  This was a “M’aidez, m’aidez” call from Mrs Tattoo.  One of her friends is expecting a baby for later in the year. Mrs Tattoo (who can’t crochet) bought a crochet kit, thinking she could teach herself to crochet and rustle up a soft toy lol.  She tried (bless her) before admitting defeat and asking for help.  I wasn’t too enthralled with the design she’d chosen, and didn’t think it was really suitable for a baby. So . . . after sending her a few links to free crochet patterns for her to choose from, she decided on this.

This cute pattern, available on Amigurumi Today.  (I’ll be embroidering eyes and facial details – don’t trust safety eyes on a baby toy!)

I then sent Mrs Tattoo photos of yarns from my stash to choose from, and we’ve settled on something as close to the original design as I could make it.  Stylecraft Special DK in: Spearmint, Lavender, Grass Green, Clematis & Citron.

And work has begun.

I’m using a 2mm hook to keep things nice and tight – don’t want any stuffing coming out!  So far, I have a head, body, tail and one front paw.  Just need to make second front paw, 2 legs and 2 ears!

Stay tuned!  Baby isn’t due for several months, but I should have it finished very soon.

 

zodiac – slow progress

It’s been slow progress on the zodiac quilt, but progress has been made.

All 12 blocks have been quilted, in a very simple straight line design.  I drew lines with my FriXion pen (that disappear with a hot iron) to help me with my straight lines.

And then trimmed blocks to size.  I’ve used a sort of “milky coffee” for backing fabric.  It’s a pretty good colour match for the browns in the cross stitched centres.

So above is what the back of each block looks like.  All twelve have been quilted.  Progress is now on hold though, because I can’t decide on fabric for my joining strips.  I have several options, but can’t quite make up my mind.  “When in doubt, don’t”, is what my Mum always used to say . . . so until I’m 100% certain of what I want on the back and what I want on the front, I’ll refrain from cutting strips.

ScrapHappy # April (and an unbirthday)

I had fun with scrappy fabrics for this ScrapHappy post.  My scrap bags were rather full of lots of very bright (and many floral) fabrics left over from clothes making.  I always seem to end up with lots of wierd shaped offcuts when clothes making.  The easiest thing to do was press and slice up into 2.5″ squares . . . and once that was done, I spent some very enjoyable hours piecing squares together randomly.

I could probably have continued indefinitely, and assembled enough to make a quilt top but I had placemats in mind when I began.  Quilts are pretty, but placemats are more useful (in my opinion).  The fronts are completely scrappy . . . for the binding & backing fabric however, I was stash busting with larger pieces of leftovers.

Flamingos on the back and a plain turquoise for binding.  And three very bright placemats with fabrics to remind me of past sewing projects.  There are bunnies & birds from baby quilts;  feathers, flamingos, florals, butterflies & llamas from clothes-making projects; dots & spots from patchwork projects . . . so many happy sewing memories!

Anyway . . . one of these mats, was packaged up and sent to Yvonne, as an unbirthday gift.  This one, in fact.

The other two are for the husband & myself for every day use.  Mats finished at approx 14″ x 20″ but they’ll probably shrink up a bit in the first wash.

I’m linking to a very creative group of people, organised by Kate & Gun for ScrapHappy.

 

SAL “Tiny Treasures #12 and a happy dance!

It’s a happy dance post today, with photos of my blackwork project finished – yay!

This design “Tiny Treasures” by Elizabeth Almond (Blackwork Journey) is a free downloadable chart, and available in either a square or rectangular version.  Avis and I both stitched the rectangular version.  Drum roll please . . .

I’ll be finishing this up as either a wall hanging or table runner – something to bring out each year at Christmas time.  For the time-being, it’s folded in a drawer, and I’ll choose suitable fabrics later in the year to do the patchwork finish.

In the meantime, I had a rummage in my xstitch drawer, and have chosen this as my next SAL project.

It’s a full coverage design on 16 count aida, with 42 different colours . . . should keep me out of mischief for quite a while!

Here is the full list of link to other SAL members.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJ,

JennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

and we’ll be back again on 2nd May.