Wednesday, 30 November 2011


What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. Not played along with this one for a very long time. 

I think I've mentioned before that I don't have a dedicated workspace so everything has to be cleared away when I have finished.  I generally use the worktop in my kitchen and glass lid of the oven as a workspace.  Don't worry - never ever when the oven is on.

I've been playing with the December journalling thing that a few people seem to be doing.  I can't justify spending the cost of Journal Your Christmas at the moment so may well either do my own thing and make it into an album of December my way or I might take inspiration from the Ali Edwards December Daily. 

So always being last minute with everything - yesterday was the time I pulled out anything I could find in my stash remotely christmas related. First up was the question do I make myself an album or use one I already have with maybe one or two layouts already in? My question was answered when I stumbled across a 7gypsies package in the bottom of my basket which is around 8 chipboard pages all in different shapes that make up an album. Everything being different shapes I thought it would make it more interesting to work with.  I got a pizza box of Websters Pages goodies earlier this year and there are all kinds of christmas bits and pieces in it including some die cut pages which are ideal sizes (again all different shapes).  I found lots of other bits besides and plan on making a start today.  Quite how much I will get done is in the lap of the gods as the kids are off school for the strike day, I have a badly timed optician appointment for an eye test which I made before I knew they were off and my eldest son has one later in the day at a time which was perfect to coincide with the end of the school day.  Anyway these things come to test us and here is the stash I have got out

I also came across this mystery package

It contains a kit to make advent bags from Sweetwater. I loved Sweetwater when they made scrapbook papers. I will go so far as to say they are my all time favourite manufacturer so it is such a shame they are now only doing fabrics and patterns.  Anyway I bought this kit just before last Christmas and never got around to making them and obviously I haven't done it this year either. I'm thinking if I leave it on the worktop it will be in my way and I might be motivated into doing something with it even if it isn't ready for 1st December which unless you have been living on another planet is TOMORROW - arrggghhhh.  They are supposed to look like this link

I'm sure people have got lots more interesting workdesks this wednesday - pop on over to WOYWW to see what they are up to.

WIP Wednesday

I've not done Work In Progress Wednesday for ages.  I've only got one item on the go at the moment which is the Twist and Flounce scarflette

I'm hoping to start the Advent scarf on 1st December. I've got some gorgeous yarn and beads for it so fingers crossed next wip wednesday I will have some progress to show you.

I have been asked about last year's advent scarf. The ravelry group is here. I didn't actually get around to the whole thing and I no longer have it to take a picture.

To see what everybody else has been knitting WIP Wednesday can be found here

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Lost Few Days

I did a craft fair a week or so ago and for months I've spent every moment I've had making things for it.  I won't say it was a massive success because it wasn't but I made the cost of the stall plus materials and a little bit extra so I'm not complaining. It was mainly due to the fair being in two rooms with Santa between them who caused quite a bit of congestion. Nothing to do with the organisers as they did their best but unfortunately a lot of people had already spent most of their money in the first room or couldn't get through the congestion.

 A few piccies:

taken by my son and perhaps not the best pose of me sat behind my table

getting me own back with a pic of him

these were by far the biggest seller.  Die cut shapes stacked with foam pads and beaded on top. Some customers were going to use them for cards and layouts but the majority were going to use them for the finishing touches to christmas presents.  I've made up some lucky dip bags of what was left and put them in the shop here

these are some coasters I attempted. They aren't stitch perfect but I've listed them on Ebay here

some more of the stacked ones.

some christmas decorations

these were some corsages/brooches that I crocheted. They sold quite well but again I made way too many. The ones which didn't sell will be going in the shop in the next couple of days ranging in price from £1.50 to £4 so great stocking fillers.

As it was my first craft fair I really wasn't sure what to expect and if I'm totally honest I was pooping myself just a little bit (not literally but you know what I mean).  I think I made way too much stock and my table was maybe too cluttered so I think I would do it differently if I did it again.  I really enjoyed myself so I think another one might well be on the horizon at the right place.

The week running up to the craft fair was very stressful for a number of reasons so once it was over I took the opportunity to relax and do something for me for a change.

I spent time watching both series of Downton Abbey.  I hadn't really taken any notice of it when it was on telly but I heard so many people talking about it I decided to order the dvd from the library. The timing of it's arrival from another library was perfect for my down time after the fair.  I was hooked from the very first moment.  So many familiar faces in the cast but all absolutely perfect for their roles.  I will admit that  Mr Bates aka Brendan Coyle is rather a nice distraction.  I don't know if it is that he has a look of somebody else I can't think of or that I've just seen the adverts for Downton Abbey as he has a familiar face but I don't recall watching anything else he has acted in. Looking forward to the christmas special now.

Anyway my absence from the blogosphere is the work I created for myself with the craft fair and having a lazy few days watching Downton Abbey. Back to business this week. See you tomorrow.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Football Mourns

the loss of Gary Speed.

Gary Speed

Photo from here

He was somebody held in very high esteem in this house as are all the title winning Leeds squad from 20 years ago.  When the news broke yesterday I think we were all in shock as was probably most of the country.  I doubt we will ever know why he brought himself to suicide.  He was always professional when he needed to be so it goes to show that things are not always what they seem behind closed doors. May his troubled soul now be at peace and he is playing the game of his dreams up there with all the footballing heros who have gone before him.

I will always remember him as the floppy haired young player in this photo

Photo from here

I imagine the next home game will be very emotional for both players and spectators alike.  My husband and son are season ticket holders.  I would also imagine that there will be a permanent tribute at Elland Road eventually.

RIP Mr Speed

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Easy Crocheted Brooch

Today is my very first post on It's A Creative World.

I made a crocheted brooch. It's easy peasy if you can do basic crochet.

US terminology

You will need a few scraps of leftover yarn. The thickness is totally up to you. I used chunky which I believe is called bulky in other countries. It gave me a brooch of approximately 3 inches in diameter. You could use thinner yarns doubled.

I used a 6mm crochet hook.


Using the magic circle method (explained here) chain 3 and then do 10 double crochet (explained here) into the circle. Join with a slip stitch into the top of the chain 3.

It should look like this:

Chain 3 and then do 4 lots of double crochet into each double crochet from the previous round. Slip into the top of the chain 3. Weave in your ends and your crochet part of this is done. The 4 lots of double crochet makes it slightly ruffled. If you prefer it to be flatter then simply substitute the 4 double crochet for 3 double crochet.

It now looks like this (yes I was naughty and took the picture before I got rid of the ends):

Now comes the fun part. Grab some buttons and beads and let your creativity loose.  I used just ordinary sewing thread doubled for attaching the embellishments as some of the items I used were too small to fit yarn through. Invisible thread would be great for this part.

Sew a pin to the back and you are done.

There are numerous other ways of using this project. It would be great to dress up a bag, for fastening a scarf, as a hair accessory or on your papercrafting projects.

Thanks for looking at my design.  I've linked it up to Ravelry here

Friday, 11 November 2011

Punky Scraps Sketchy Challenge

This week on Punky Scraps we have a sketch challenge.  The details of the sketch and yummy prize are over at Punky Central

My take on the sketch is this

The backing paper is Prima Alla and everything else is Websters Pages apart from the orange pompom flower from Basic Grey and the camera die cut which is Amy Tangerine. Oh and a few splashes of various mists.

Take A Moment... remember all the very brave men and women who have lost their lives over the years to make our world what it is on today - Remembrance Day.

I got to thinking the other day about the first world war prompted by a book series I am currently reading (we never did the world wars in history at school). The books are the Sutton series by Elizabeth Elgin. Definitely worth a read if you like a bit of history mixed with a spot of romance.

Both my grandfathers were born around the time of the first world war and then both served in the second world war and met their respective spouses. My paternal grandfather met my grandmother while he was stationed nearby. He originally came from Wales so probably would never have met her otherwise.  They then went on to have my dad a year or so after the war ended.  I only found out how they met when it was mentioned at his funeral 3 years ago. I also found out recently that my paternal grandmother had an uncle who she never met as he lost his life at the tender age of 17 for his country. My dad and grandmother will be placing a cross on the cenotaph today for her uncle and a cross on my grandfather's grave.

I don't know how my maternal grandfather met my grandmother. She came from Northern Ireland and him from England so I am assuming they met in the war considering the age of their eldest child. Unfortunately she tragically died not long after my mum was born so nobody really has any tales of her history and my grandfather died in the seventies.

On my husband's side there is also a wartime tale as his maternal grandfather was an American soldier stationed here.  I don't know much about his father except that he was born just before the second world war started and served in the RAF as my husband was born on the base which is now Robin Hood airport.

Without the war bringing those people together who would otherwise not have met lots of people would not be here today. Kind of thought provoking really.

So I am wearing my poppy with pride today in memory of those who have died to make this world the place it is today and those who served and lived but unfortunately are now no longer with us to share their memories.

RIP my grandparents Walter, Lancelot and Margaret and my grandmother's Uncle Harry and my husband's father who is also no longer with us.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Punky Scraps Challenge 33

This week the challenge over at Punky Scraps is a two parter to take inspiration from.

We were given a quote and a photo by Nat

Now I don't swear - well not the f word or other really big ones - so I do apologise if anybody is offended by the quote. 

However it really did strike a chord with me. Having had a few really bad days with the little one and his aspergers outbursts (mainly due to frustration because his thought processes are very different to normal people) I read the quote again and thought yes I really need to do just that.  I am the worlds worst for over analysing absolutely everything and sometimes it is difficult for me to move on from one of his meltdowns. I am still wound up but he is nice and calm and the perfect child most people see his as again. Mind it took 4 hours the other day for him to reach that stage and all over something really silly in my mind but in his it was very big. Even the tallest, ever patient, big brother had reached a stage of losing his temper with him. 

Anyway MOVE ON is what I must learn to do and not just in this situation but in other situations too which really mean absolutely nothing at all. I'm a terrible grudge bearer and I think trying to live a bit more by this quote might help with that a little bit too.

So here is what I made with those two fab pieces of inspiration