Sunday, 31 August 2014

mini squares in the spotlight...

So true to my word, my mini-squares cushion has been completed and getting its moment if glory in the spotlight

With the joining complete, ends sewn in and a coloured trim all that the cushion needed were some colourful mini buttons to complement the mini squares.
The following day we had a brief spell of sunshine, giving me an opportunity to photograph the cushion, to show it off at its best. As our flat doesn't have many bright spots I ventured outside like a mad lady armed with my camera, cushion and mini blanket to protect from the damp and went to the little green spot around the back of our flat. I had my cushion on concrete bricks,


and balanced on bushes.

Ideally it would have looked Lovely laid out on a pretty bed of pastel flowers, but hey you can only work with what you've got!

I also started my friends beanie.

Well I say started, I actually mean started and nearly finished!

Now I'll admit to being a very slow crocheter, as I work in a very cack-handed way (the same way as I knitted) but its comfortable for me, just means I get jealous of those who have blankets flying off their hook. But the hat has been quite a delight to make, although working with a dark grey instead of an array of colours did take me out of my comfort zone!

It required a 5mm hook and although its only 1mm bigger than what i'm used to using it felt pretty enormous!  Having done the swatch previously it meant I could just glide through the rounds. I still had to concentrate, as its all to easy to keep going round without noticing where the start of a new row begins. I believe the band has turned out a little tight, but I will wait till she tries it on in case she'd like some extra rows added, seeing as I have plenty of yarn left.

Whilst browsing through images on Pinterest (don't you just love that place, I could get lost for hours on there) I remember seeing quite a few rainbow granny stripes, so I thought I'd do my own for this weeks mood square. Mid week was when hubby was due for his knee operation (a torn muscle to be fixed and excess tissue to be removed) and the day went as smoothly as it possibly could.  He came home that evening and i've been playing nursie since. I'd taken a few days off to be with him and keep the home ticking over but at the weekend was back to work, so juggling work, caring, shopping, cooking and household chores.  I decided on different colour stripes surrounded by a pale grey for this weeks square, as it has been a week of mixed emotions.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Mini squares appearance...

This week I have picked up another wip (work in progress)
Remember my mini squares cushion, well looking back through the archives, it seems I haven't touched this one since March!

So close to finishing the joining I got bored, and it's sat here forlornly next to me, patiently waiting for some love and attention again. Now the time has come, and ive kicked back into action.

The joining is now complete, and all of those pesky ends have been sewn in. I've also made a start with a coloured border.

This now just needs the front and back putting together and the little buttons for fastening, and it will be ready for its very own ta dah moment, and I promise not to abandon it again until it has had it's moment of glory!

Only a little bit of stickyness took place this week.

I moved onto a larger sized heart box, and with new bright spotty napkins I'd  purchased

I worked on the base, although i'm disappointed that I can still see through it, so will have to try another layer

The top of the box is a squishy satin, so I don't really want to cover it in paper and glue.

I'm thinking of trying a piece of openwork crochet to sit over the top. Initially I tried to find a heart pattern, but not really found anything I liked or open enough. So, I might try a mandala, or just go for it freeform? The problem will be how to attatch the piece to the box, and still have the lid fit its base. But that's for playtime in the future...

I took a little trip to Hobbycraft one evening. Hubby was at a hospital appointment (a health check before next weeks knee operation :-/ ) I went specifically for some holly to go on my little heart box. Time flew by as I browsed at leisure and I got lost in my own little crafty world! Hubby wondered where I'd got to in the end, oops! I am good at being quite restrained at these places, just as well really, so I came out with just 3 little packets (well they were 3 for 2) and a plain muslin bag to play with at a later date.
I think these little goodies will be great to decorate future makes...

A friend has asked me to make her a Beanie hat. This will be another new thing for me to try. I've been given a pattern book, with a couple of favourites bookmarked.

Straight away, in my eagerness, I read through the pattern to see if I could understand everything, and I ended up doing a test piece, as it was easier to get to grips with the stitch by having it physically in your hands.

My test piece, has now been turned into this weeks mood square!

I'm loving how much meaning this blanket will hold. Not just multi-coloured, textured pieces of yarn, but summing up how i've felt throughout the year, a memory blanket using my mother-in-laws yarn, and a learning tool, trying out different stitches and patterns.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sticking with hearts...

So this week I carried on in my happy sticky place!
More cutting tissue into little squares, and glueing them into place round the heart boxes.

I also had a try at using paper napkins. I have read on other blogs of these being used as a medium and I liked this idea. So I popped in to trusty Tiger and found a pretty patterned set, which I initially dismissed as I thought it looked too (whispers) Christmassy, but then I realised that was a good reason to buy it! I liked the way this turned out and by peeling away each layer it gives you plenty to work with. As I am upcycling boxes, I have a pattern I need to cover up, so using the plain white back layer of the tissue this works well. I then started to add the second layer of tissue, which has a fine imprint of the design, and I left it, as I thought this looked like a pretty pastel version.

Once I'd completed the bright version, I thought a tiny sprig of holly, or a festive bow would finish it off nicely, so it looks like a trip to Hobbycraft is in order...

I now can't wait to move onto some bigger projects, they will need much more embellishments, but all my papercraft  resources are buried at the back of the garage!!

With all this paperwork going on it meant I didn't get much crochet done, in fact the only progress I've made on my summer flowers cushion is some sewing! Yes, you did read that correctly, Sewing!!!
The problem I had, was I wanted some smaller, more delicate flowers at the bottom of the cushion, but even the smallest flowers in my crochet book were turning out larger than I hoped. So my solution was to add some embroidery flowers. Firstly I had to look up how to do this. I found a great little video clip on Needle 'n threads website, on how to do the daisy stitch. It's was just what I wanted, and possible for an amateur like me!

I think they will look cute nestled in the leaves and stalks of the bigger flowers, and I added some button centres to help make them stand out more.

I've gone back to basics with this weeks mood square, for the simple fact that @suregal27 declared it to be grannysquareday on Friday and a whole host of crafters posted a close up picture of their granny square,

which enabled us by the end of the day to make a collage of people's squares and end up with a virtual blanket...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Patch perfect...

With a mix of lovely hot sunshine, and heavy showers, more flowers have sprouted and bloomed.

But mainly this week, I turned my hand to Decopatch. Dad had bought me a beginners pack last year, and my intention had been to find a course, but months passed and I never found one. I don't know why I didn't have the confidence to just go ahead, but having taught myself crochet from youtube clips, I got to the point of thinking, lets just go for it!

So out came the glue pot, paintbrushes and mix of papers. I had some empty boxes that I had saved from work which I knew would be perfect.

I cut up the paper into little squares, and just went for it...
Oh my goodness, it was so much fun!! So childlike and free, just cutting, sticking, and getting icky sticky fingers!!

I also did matching bases inside

Then I thought, how about taking it a step further and adding a bit of sparkle! So out came my box of treasures!

And I thought the golden star sequins would go very nicely with the purple and gold marbled effect paper

I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon of fun, and am happy with how they've turned out. I can't wait to do more! 
I also have some larger round boxes, and my mind is already racing with different ideas on styles and ways to embellish them

As we don't own a table, or have any good flat, plain surfaces I have to find different ways to photograph my makes. I have found the papers in Craftseller magazine quite useful, but I noticed tonight how amazing the difference in colour that my products turned out, dependent on what colour background I used!!

These are the same boxes, but with a bright coloured background, the colour of the boxes zing, but with a paler background the boxes become much more muted. I'm sure this is very obvious but a  good lesson I think, and more playing around and experimenting can be done...

So to this weeks mood square. I have been quite washed out and lethargic this week, so i've used a mid blue and two shades of green, and I tried a version of the spike stitch.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A taste of intarsia...

A short and sweet post this week, as I don't seem to have achieved much!

I have finished the background for my next 'summer flowers' cushion

And a couple of flowers have started to peep their pretty heads out...

I found a couple of new crochet books at the library this week.

I haven't had a good look as yet, just a flick through, but it inspired this weeks mood square. I have tried intarsia knitting before, but never with crochet, not sure why I never thought of it before!
Anyway, I absolutely love the way this square has turned out, so neat and squishy...

I admit I used the same technique that I used in the past when knitting, so I have little loops at the back where the yarn travels up. It does look very tidy, but I need to study the book further as I believe there is a way of hiding these altogether! Needless to say I intend to use this technique again!

I have to tried to catch up a little with the joining of my mood squares. I have managed to stick with making a square each week without fail, even doing some extras at holiday times, but I haven't been quite so disciplined with the joining! I know, I know, it's not the fun bit but it is essential, so I must be strict with myself and keep the joining going, the last thing I want nearing the end of the year is to have a mass to do to get it completed!

I cant believe yet another month has flown by already! So here is a look back at my July crafts!

Until next week, when hopefully some more flowers will have blossomed on the garden.....