sugar skulls zipper pouches

Way back, in December 2015, I had a purse making session, using a lovely batch of metal purse clasps I had bought.  I made a whole selection of little coin purses for ladies in the family and close friends, trying to choose different fabrics to suit the tastes of the ladies these gifts were intended for.  Below, is an example.  Purses, left to right, gifted to: my daughter, my sister and my niece T.

purses 06

Niece T is in her late 20s, and I thought this pink & purple fabric was perfect.  She loved it, and put it into use immediately, as a mini-make-up bag . . . however, when aforementioned niece  saw photos of the rest of the batch I had made, notably this one, I got the impression I hadn’t chosen fabrics quite so well.

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Sugar skulls on red, was made and gifted to N, 2nd son’s partner lol.  Anyway, my sister (mother to niece T) asked if I had any more sugar skull fabric leftover . . . and could I make a second purse for T.

Now, I did have a couple of purse clasps left over, lurking in the back of my supplies drawer, but I fancied trying something different.  Spent a while on youtube, watching video tutorials on how to put in a zip properly, using that special zipper foot which came with my machine and I’d never used before.  I also had a small piece of the red sugar skull fabric . . . but decided to splash out and buy a new FQ in black.

The result of a couple of hours sewing . . .

sugar skull 01

One zipper pouch, 9” x 5” (made to the size of my zip) which, I hope, will be a nice make-up bag size.

sugar skull 02

One smaller zipper pouch (approx 5” x 4”) which would be big enough just for a few make-up essentials to slip in the bottom of a handbag . . .

sugar skull 03

And another make-up bag sized zippy pouch (about 7.5” x 5”) in the original red fabric.  Zips have been left open in this last photo so you can see the gorgeous contrasting turquoise lining.

These pouches are quite light weight.  I ironed on interfacing to the outer fabric, to give it a little more body, but that’s all.  I learned quite a lot during this sewing project.  Was really surprised at how easy it is to put in a zip when you use the correct foot lol.  In the past, I’ve just used the normal sewing foot.  However, there are a few areas I need to improve on for next time.   I also discovered (to my expense) that even just a few hours sewing was probably more than I should have done and I paid for it the next day.  So, mental note to self:  keep sewing sessions to under one hour for the time-being.

# 4 – amigurumi

amigurumi in progress

I’m feeling more comfortable with my crochet hook, and keeping busy.  I’m finding it a nice portable craft – so easy to pick up my bits and take myself out in the garden for some fresh air and vitamin D. 

As you can see, I was busy with yellow yarn . . . following a pattern in one of the books I treated myself to.

ami book

Yep, I bought myself “My First Crochet Book” which is for kids, but just perfect for a novice hooker like myself.  And here’s amigurumi number 4.

amigurumi chick 02

He doesn’t look quite as egg-shaped as the bird in the book, but I think that’s a question of stuffing.  I am confident I followed the pattern correctly this time and even managed the invisible decrease.    He stands 2” tall.    I followed an example found on Moji-Moji Designs in the links with her free pattern of micro-chicks,  and have sewn a 30mm orange button to act as a base, so he can stand up and I added a few tufts on the top of his head so he’s not completely bald. 

“Live Simply” – a finish and a new start

Live simply finished

I’m having a happy dance with a lovely bright piece of stitching.  “Live simply” a Dimensions kit that I snapped up on the sewandso January sale for just over £2.  I can never resist a bright project, and at that price, well . . .

This piece has been stitched with a small patchwork project in mind . . . more on that when I get round to it.

In the meantime, a finish means I was allowed to rummage in my stash drawer in search of a new start.  I’ve gone for something completely different.

Victorian house

Another Dimensions kit: “Victorian Charm”.  This kit was a gift from N and 2nd second son, for Christmas 2015, so it’s been sitting my in stash drawer a while.  I’m a little apprehensive about it.  I have more than 20 years of cross stitching under my belt, so I’m not worried about the details, heaps of colour changes, blending of threads and backstitch . . . it’s the fabric I’m apprehensive about.  Kit comes with 18 count dark navy aida and my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.  Then again, if I don’t tackle it now, then it’ll sit in the drawer for even longer!  I did contemplate swapping for a lighter aida, but then the night sky won’t be as effective.  So, nevermind about the dark navy . . . I’ll just have to be methodical, and take things slowly.  By my estimation, this could keep me busy probably all through the Spring and the Summer!

SAL update #2 Cirque des Triangles

CdesT02

An update on the previous photo which looked like this

CdesT stage 01

Lighting for top photo isn’t brilliant, but you get the general idea.  This is how “Cirque des Triangles” looks for this SAL update.  Fabric is still forest green and thread is a lot more orange & vivid than it looks.  This design is by Tracey Horner for Ink Circles.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other ladies are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine and we’ve just been joined by Mary Margaret.

And stop by, if you can, on April 2nd for our next update.

third time lucky #3 amigurumi . . . and . . . what a good-looking lad!

Okay everyone, this is the last time you’ll have to admire one of these owlets, I promise. 

amigurumi pink olw

Pattern by A Morning Cup of Jo, and downloadable on Ravelry.  This is my third attempt and this time, I feel I really have nailed it.  My owlet’s eyes are smaller and I’m still not an expert beak embroiderer, but those are minor details  It’s the crochet I was concentrating on. I’ve got the shape right, and the correct number of stitches & rows.  Successfully followed the pattern without having to unravel all the time. 

amigurumi owls X3

Here are my 3 owlets.  Attempts one, two and three.  I crocheted a little loop for them all using DMC Perle cotton, the idea being, to hang them in a tree in the orchard for photos. Unfortunately it was too breezey so I had to make do with laying them on a few logs.

My parliament of owls stands at three with this particular pattern therefore.  That’s not to say I won’t be crocheting more owls in the future.  In fact I will.  But they will be following different patterns.

Weather has been gorgeous these past few days. Gibbs has been enjoying lots of fresh air and play time.  And here is a photo I managed to snap, after one very energetic play session.

Gibbs 10 03 17

Okay, I know I’m his “Mum”, so I’m biaised . . . but I do think he’s a good-looking lad lol.

more round and round in circles #2 amigurumi

A week ago, I showed you my first attempt at amigurumi, following a pattern by A Morning Cup Of Jo, available for free download on Ravelry.  It was far from perfect, but that’s to be expected . . . it was my first attempt at following a pattern and I only started teaching myself to crochet a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, me being me . . . I just had to sit down and make it a second time.  To improve on all the mistakes I made first time around, and to prove to myself that I could read a pattern if I set my mind to it.

owlet the second

And voilà !  I won’t tell you how many times I pulled the yarn out and started again, because I lost count on my seventh (or was it eighth?) attempt.  This matters not lol . . . I have something that looks a lot more like it’s supposed to . . . and I even managed to give it pointy ears.

owlets x2 01

Here he is, next to the first attempt.  Purple owlet felt tiny & fiddly when I was crocheting him, but just look how small the second one turned out!

owlets x2 03

Teeny tiny.

owlets x2 04

And definitely looking more like Jo’s original owlets.  I think I should have attached the eyes even lower?

The question now is . . . do I go ahead and make a third one until I really get it spot on? or do I make something different next time?  Hmmm  decisions decisions . . .

I’m certainly not short of yarn.  Went totally mad last week and now have lots of lovely colours to play with.

yarn stash 02

Bought these Stylecraft Special DK colours on-line along with

yarn stash 03

safety eyes and a row counter.  Safety eyes won’t be needed until I become more competent.  For my trials, I’ll just be using beads & buttons for eyes.    And then, while in a local bargain basement store, I bought

yarn stash 04

I think this might be 4ply but I’m a total dimwit where yarn goes.  All I know is, label says to use a  3mm or 3.5mm hook, which I did (3.5mm), and this is what I used for my aqua owlet who turned out very small.  1.5” tall.

more monsters

Last month I showed you this fellow

green monster

Made copying the idea found in a French magazine

magazine

And ever so quick & easy to make.  All you need is a short zip (10cm or 12cm), a piece of felt for your main colour, white felt for eyes, 2 buttons and a small piece of decorative ribbon (optional) for the little side tag.  So I made some more.

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The pink monster very quickly found a new home.  It was my youngest niece’s birthday on 2nd March, so I needed to come up with a small pressie for the occasion.   She likes bright colours, especially pink, so . . .

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A pair of fluffy (shop bought) slippers, along with a little bracelet and 2 packets of paper hankies which I popped inside the monster zippy pouch.