a bit of this & that

A little bit of this & that, as we almost come to the end of February.

First . . .

A little parcel, sent & received, to wish Yvonne a very happy un-birthday in February.  An Isabelle Vautier xstitch kit and a pair of fingerless mittens, crocheted in Stylecraft DK “duck egg”.  I followed the pattern by Loopy Mabel but added thumbs.

A belated birthday present for yours truly, from SIL.  She treated herself to a super dooper embroidery machine recently and has been having fun with that!  So two pretty embroidered coasters in green, and a bottle of perfume.

Some bargain buttons!  We have a shop locally called Noz.  It buys up old stock, from shops all over Europe ( including groceries, clothes, toys, books interior decoration, DIY and craft supples).  You never know what you’re going to find.  I always love to rummage, and on our last visit, came across a big box of old haberdashery supplies, including some rather “vintage” looking buttons.

They weren’t terribly exciting colours but they were being sold only 59 centimes for the tube – and there are 49 buttons in each tube plus one attached to the screw-on lids.  How could I not buy any, at that price?

I’ve also been playing around with patchwork fabric.  I pulled out a bunch of FQs and printed panel, gifted to me by my sister on my birthday 8 years ago.  And decided it’s time to start doing something!  As usual (for me) I jumped in with both feet, without really having a plan, and cut the FQs into as many 5″ squares as I could get.   Only then did I begin thinking about layout.  The difficulty being that I want to include the printed panel in the centre, but build up a much larger quilt for a double bed.

It’ll be a QAYG project, and I’ll be able to leave myself wiggle room with outer sections by adding a border to the panel.  For the moment, I’m toying between two different ideas. Squares and rectangles of prints sashed or

just squares, but with more light solids scattered about.  I’ve thrown a few other matching fabrics in the mix, and plan on adding more greens but the original FQs and panel are from the Benartex “tea house” collection, so very Japanesey (not the purple FQ at top of photo).

I need to draw a couple of sketches and do the maths before I go any further.

and another year begins! (catch up)

Hello everyone!  I’ve been a bit quiet, simply because we were enjoying some family time with Mr & Mrs Tattoo, who we hadn’t seen in over 12 months.   They’ve left now though, so the house is quiet once more . . . and I’ll be getting back into my normal routine.

I’m not making any resolutions this year. I’ll just be doing what I fancy, when I fancy.  As the new year begins, I have two cross stitch projects on the go, plus one knitting project on my needles.  And some ideas bouncing around in my head for up-coming projects, which will be revealed as they happen.

I forgot to do a December egg-count . . .

so, using photo from last month, I can say that hens were in fine fettle for December and laid a total of 101 eggs !!!!

Restoration work was completed on the church Saint Georges, just before the festive season.  Following photos taken on 23rd December – just look at that blue sky!!

 

I finished a diamond painting.

and I can also reveal some secret crafting that happened in December.

a set of six placemats designed and made especially for my brother-in-law.  I don’t think I need to add that he is of Greek descent lol.  Suffice it to say, he was thrilled to bits with these.

Three pairs of mittens flew off my crochet hook (using the pattern by Loopy Mabel, but adding a thumb).

in Stylecraft Special DK (petrol blue, grey & black) for sister-in-law, niece and friend.

and a scrappy placemat for the same friend.

Frankie monster beanies

Who can resist dressing up for Hallowe’en, eh?  Most kids I know can”t!  Which is why, when I saw a crochet pattern to make a Frankenstein monster hat on etsy, I clicked & bought.  Pattern had instructions to make 3 different sizes, using Aran yarn.  I didn’t have any in my stash, so I used DK and altered number of stitches & rows slightly.

I made two because the first one, on the left, turned out perhaps a little snug for the person I was planning on gifting it to. Not to worry, my 92cm Daisy doll (Monika Levenig) is quite happy to wear that one.

 

The second one, was posted to the person I thought of when I first saw the pattern. To Little Miss Viking – yay!  She turned 3 in August, goes to nursery 5 mornings a week, and is growing up fast (sadly we haven’t seen her in over 2 years).  Anyway, she loves dressing up, and has a thing about monsters, zombies, and lions at the moment.  To respect privacy, Daddy Viking blurred out her face . . . but this is Little Miss Viking literally seconds after having ripped the package open.

Maybe not the best photo of the actual hat lol, but you get the general idea!

ScrapHappy # october

It’s 15th of the month, the day to link up with other ScrapHappy people around the world and play around with our scraps.

Last month I didn’t have anything to show you except this photo
of leftover yarns and a pattern I’d found on the internet by Zhaya Designs.  The pattern is to make what Zhaya calls “smooching balls”.  I thought I’d give them a go.
Mine are still a work in progress.  I’ve made one little “fellow” but he needs to have his pink feet sewn on and then some kind of hair & facial featurees.  The second one is just a stuffed ball for the moment.  Also needs a face, legs and some kind of hair.

monster crochet stash-busting

After making the bright pink crochet dragon, I had a tidy up in my “discount store” yarn drawer. Very happy to see that, whereas once upon a time it was overflowing and difficult to close, now there’s plenty of room in there.

I had lots of bright neon colours in there, just crying out to crocheted.   So, a quick flick through my pile of crochet books looking for a pattern to make something in another bright colour.

And this is what I made.

Pattern from the book “Amigurumi Monsters”.

Design by YOUnique crafts:  Toby the triclops.  My Toby turned out at 6″ tall (that’s the measurement to his middle eye).  I love his feet, with 4 toes each, and he has a thumb on each hand.  He was a nice, relaxing, easy project to make.

Dazzle the dragon

I’m having a very bright crochet happy dance here – yay!  The other day I showed you this photo of a new crochet project in progress.

A pink head, and beginnings of body parts which could have been just about anything in the making.  Well, now I can tell you it’s a dragon.

who started to look more like a dragon as soon as I added snout, nostrils, eyelids and a belly plate.  This was a pattern of many pieces . . .

The wings were a lot of work, making 12 membrane panels, assembling them into groups of three, and then sewing 2 pieces back to back to make a lovely pair of very sturdy dragon wings.

 

I’ve named this little dragon Dazzle, because it’s a little girl dragon and she’s very bright.  She finished up 7″ high, because I didn’t use the same yarn as suggested in pattern. The pattern is by Janine Holmes, also known as Moji Moji Design.

Her dragon is a boy dragon called Drake, in green & yellow.  This pattern is one of the 14 patterns in the book “Unicorns, dragons and more fantasy amigurumi” published by Meteoor Books, but you can also buy the pattern in pdf format.  You’ll find links to Janine’s Ravelry & etsy shops on her blog Moji Moji.

This pattern is skill level **** (expert).  I would say this is because of the number of very small pieces that need to be made & sewn together.  The wings and spikes required a fair amount of patience.  And pieces like nostrils, eyelids & ears need to be sewn on taking care to follow pattern instructions with plenty of pinning to keep things symmetrical.

When I first began making this dragon, I was imagining an entire family in different colours, but I have to say, now Dazzle is finished, I don’t think I have the patience to go through it all again.

 

 

a bit of this, that & the other (sept)

My time is often spent flitting from one crafting project to another, simply because I can.  So today, a little mish mash of photos of what’s taking shape.

A dolphin cross stitch design, kit by Royal Paris.  I don’t pick this up very often therefore progress is slow, but there’s no hurry.

A new crochet project.  I was going to jump in and start hooking a third doll, but after a rummage in my yarn stash, I came across a couple of sunglass-worthy coloured yarn that I’d bought in a local discount store a couple of years ago.  A quick flick through my big pile of crochet books and I found a pattern that tickled my fancy.  I’m not going to tell you what I’m making just yet . . . it will become more obvious the more body parts I make.  Let’s just say that shocking pink isn’t the colour one would expect, but I reckon the finished design will be very cute!

I’ve begun a new diamond painting project.  Working in various shades of blues & teals . . . overall picture will look like this.

Again, there’s no rush to have this finished.  It’s just a new hobby I discovered recently, and I enjoy putting in a few hours from time to time.

For those of you wondering how the husband is getting on with the mirror . . .

He has begun cleaning up the back (while still debating about how to repair the stucco on the mirror side).  Took out these short planks and discovered

This, stamped on the back of the mirror.  So, his original guess of approx 1870 was out.  Stamp reads 1897, 31st March, Paris.  Renovation work continues.

ScrapHappy # September (no show)

Hello folks, today is the monthly link up with ScrapHappy people all over the world.

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

and newest member Jule.

The idea being to motivate each other to use up scraps, of anything & everything.  Unfortunately, while I have been making more scraps, through patchwork, knitting and crochet, I didn’t actually get around to making anything with them this month.

However . . . I found a lovely crochet pattern on Zhaya Designs – ever so simple – and for next time, I hope to be able to show you

something along these lines.  Zhaya calls these “smooching balls”.  They can be made any shape, any colours, and are a perfect way to use up those remnants from other knitting projects where there’s still a fair bit left, but not enough to attempt even a doll-sized garment, for fear of running out.  I’m thinking these would be fun stuffed with a small sachet of rice/cherry stones or something similarly weighty, to become fun beanbags for kids.

another hooking happy dance (crocheted doll – Nancy)

In August, I bought two patterns on etsy by Chikchikhandmade.  I set to work straight away to make the first doll, Mila, which I have already shown on my blog.  She was a very girlie doll, with light blond hair and a pretty frilly dress.  The second pattern I bought was to make Nancy.

Nancy has a different hair style, and there were several other differences in that she had socks and knickers crocheted as part of her legs & body.

I decided to make my Nancy more of a redhead, using Stylecraft DK in “gold”.  The pattern called for mohair yarn for the hair.  I didn’t have any mohair, so got around that by separating each strand of DK yarn into 3 strands (which made them slightly curly) and then hooking those 3 thinner strands into each loop as I went round the wigcap.

I still need to even up ends a little, and make her hair neater, but for the moment I’ve kept it long.

I crocheted Nancy in Stylecraft Special DK colour “toy” for the skin tone.  And used “sage for the dungarees, “teal” for the shoes, “white” for socks & knickers, and a different brand in pale teal for her Tshirt.

Whereas the Mila pattern came with a ladybird bag to crochet as an accessory, the Nancy pattern came with instructions to make a pet goose.  This was fun to make, although legs were a bit fiddly (having to crochet only 8 stitches in the round) and I made legs more rigid by cutting two earbuds in half and sticking those inside legs so this little goose can stand on its own.  I also attached wings so little goose can do this

a double goosey “high five” lol.

And in case you missed Mila . . .

Here are Mila and Nancy side by side.  I kept facial detail to a minimum again: just eyes, eyebrows and some cheek colouring.

a hooking happy dance (crocheted doll – Mila)

In July, Tracy, of It’s a T-Sweets day posted an article of the most gorgeous crochet doll she had made with photos that made me rush off to etsy with a view to buying a pattern by the same designer.  However, once I began browsing I came across lots of different styles of dolls and decided to give my custom to a different designer:  Chik-Chik handmade. 

The reason this particular designer grabbed my attention was that dolls are “dress up” dolls, ie, all clothes can be removed.  I also noticed that the doll body is almost seamless.  You can see in the photo below, how the legs are joined (very cleverly) and crocheting continues, in the round, for the body. This makes for quite a stable doll (when stuffed) which can stand quite well.

I actually bought two patterns from this designer: Mila and Nancy.  I started work on Mila.  My yarn stash is mainly Stylecreft Special DK, so that’s what I used, on a 2.5mm hook.  For Mila I crocheted the body in a very pale pink (not sure of the colour name, I’ve lost the label).

There is a seam to sew head on, and a few stitches to close arms . . . but on the whole, the basic body is seamless.  So far, so good . . . my doll measures approx 13″ (or 33cm).

The wig cap, hair, clothes and little bag probably took longer to make than the basic doll itself, but I feel it was well worth it.

I kept facial detail to a strict minimum because that’s where things can go terribly wrong . . . so my Mila just has eyebrows a hint of lashes, and some blush.

The pattern was so detailed, and I loved how the hair turned out.  And just look at her little ear !!!!!  it’s actually shaped like a real ear!

Mila took me a week of very intensive crochet sessions to make from start to finish.  And, before you ask . . . no, I’m not going to give her to any deserving little girl – lol.  I quite probably will make a second version of Mila (after I’ve made the Nancy doll) . . . but this blond haired beauty is going to stay right here with me.