Happy Stats (yes, it’s back!)

Blogging | Monday September 20 2010 | 5:40 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , |

So it’s been a tough few weeks.  I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve had a happy skippy smiley time and been away having fun.  But a few corners have been turned and myself and others are starting to get back to ‘normal’.

Family wise there are things going on which won’t be over soon.  But it’s these times that remind me why family comes first.  First, last and everything in between actually!  And they always will.

As for work and pending redundancy, well… time will tell.

I wanted to record a few happy things as from the past few days so welcome back to Happy Stats:

  • Having my say!  As part of my redundancy (or any redundancy) there is a consultation period before any final notice is given.  It’s a chance to give feedback on the situation, its impact etc.  Well, I had a lot to say.  Sometime there are advantages of being very pedantic.  I’m a stickler for policy and procedure, but also for fairness.  After several days of crying, I spent the last few weeks researching, thinking and getting my head round things and this past week its all come together into really quite a harsh report that I submitted at work last Friday.  Now that it’s out of my hands I feel a combination of relief and apprehension.  But as I said, time will tell!

 

 

 

  • My new Cath Kidston pillow cases.  They make me smile to myself when I lie my weary head upon them. (Look, you can see them in the pic above!)

 

  • Preparing a guest post for someone else’s blog!  Ooooooooh, fancy that!

 

  • Starting to plan my Christmas makes, and receiving orders to make other people’s presents too!

 

  • Oh Comely magazine!  Fantastic, witty, stylish and quirky. GO BUY IT!  I can’t put it any plainer than that!  (If you read Issue 2 come back and tell me how much you laughed at the article about posting things in the mail!  I cried laughing!)
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An apple a day

Craft | Wednesday September 1 2010 | 5:40 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , , |

Two of my buddies from work are getting themselves a Civil Partnership this week and I wanted to make them a little gift to celebrate.  I have settled on a set of my super cute little apple coasters which are a real favourite of mine and have been really popular with everyone who has seen them.

I got the pattern from a booklet in a magazine earlier this year (sorry, can’t remember which one) and they are really simple to make.  The basic shape is really simple as it starts off as just a few circular rounds then the last one makes the curvy apple shape with a combination of slip stitches, doubles, half trebles and trebles.  Simple but very effective in my opinion!  I have tried to adapt the basic pattern to make a pear shape too but haven’t quite mastered that yet, but it isn’t far off.  I’ll share pics of that if I ever master it.

And in case you’re wondering, all the rubbishy stuff is still going on, but I have decided that as crafting and blogging are what keeps me sane and clinging onto the planet, I am not going to let them be affected!

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A surprise in the post

Craft | Tuesday June 8 2010 | 9:36 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , |

I had a lovely, unexpected surprise in the post today when I arrived home from work. A brown envelope was waiting for me which could have contained anything from a bill to some random advertising thing. However, it wasn’t anything as dull as that. It was a lovely treat… £25 of Hobbycraft vouchers!  Whoop Whoop!

The last time I was in my nearest store in Stockport it had had a facelift and they were having a draw to win gift vouchers to celebrate.  I duly filled in my details and forgot all about it.  You see, I never win anything!  I can’t say that any more can I!!

I’ve spent plenty money in Hobbycraft and other craft shops over the years so it’s great to get a bit of it back.  I think I may use my winnings to buy some lovely Amy Butler for Rowanyarn.  Last week I treated myself to 3 balls and haven’t decided what to do with them yet.  I might just pop back for some more and get enough to make myself a bag.  Yes, that sounds like a plan!

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She’s a star!

Craft | Monday May 31 2010 | 7:24 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

I’ve just completed my first ever commission!  How exciting!  So I decided to make a little step by step guide for you to share it!

I was recently persuaded to take my stock box into work to show the girls what I make.  They were very complimentary about my bits and pieces and bought quite a few things which was really lovely.  I do find it hard taking money from people I know but as they said I can’t just give things away and I don’t charge over the odds for them.  I really just cover the costs of materials and not much more.

Anyway, my friend at work was telling me that it was her neice’s first birthday was coming up when I was showing her the little embroidered pillows I’d made.  She said she would love one with her neice’s name and stars on it, so I set to work.   Here’s how I did it…

What you need:

  • Felt – for main body plus different colours for decoration
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery thread – matching and contrasting shades
  • Stuffing / wadding
  • Buttons – 2
  • Ribbon – 1.5 x width of cushion

What to do:

1.  Cut two pieces of felt to the finished size you want the cushion to be (this one was approx 15cm x 11cm)

2.  Cut a variety of stars in contrasting felt in different sizes

3.  Lightly mark the name / text on the front side of one piece of felt

4.  Using back stitch, embroider the letters in a contrasting colour (I separated the floss down to two threads) 

5.  Embroider one of the stars to the back of the cushion

 

6.  Place stars around the text until you are happy with the layout and colour placement

7.  Embroider the stars in place using a variety of stitches and colours of thread

 

8.  Join front to back with running stitch, adding ends of ribbon at top right and left corners between the two layers (don’t worry if ribbon isn’t very secure, you’ll fix that later)

9.  Fill with stuffing before joining final edge (you could add lavender at this stage too)

 

10.  Sew a little button to each corner where the ribbon is joined, making sure you go through all the layers including the ribbon.

11.  Hang up and enjoy!

 

 

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All Wrapped Up

Craft | Saturday April 10 2010 | 12:05 am | No Comments | Tags: , |

I am delighted to report that my contribution to the Fox’s Lane pincushion swap is complete, wrapped up and going in the post tomorrow!

The big question is… who will the recipient be???

P.S. I’ll post pics of the contents when I know parcel has been received

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Puncushion Swap: The Make

Craft | Tuesday April 6 2010 | 12:50 pm | Comments (5) | Tags: , , , , |

Since last weeks craft fair is done and dusted – onto the next thing…  my contribution to the pincushion swap organised by Fox’s Lane!

I’ve racked my brain and rummaged around the Internet.  I’ve ransacked my stash and I’ve routed out the ideas.  I was torn between sewing or crocheting my pincushion and I even considered a make that included both. 

But in the end I settled for crochet to make a rather simple but, in my opinion, cute little pincushion.  What swung it for me is what the recipient does for a living as it is appropriate linked to that.  I’m not going to say any more that may give away who she is but when she receives it I hope that a) she knows what it is and b) she sees why I chose it for her.

The raw ingredients:

So what is it going to be…. a donut, that’s what.  I found the pattern on Ravelry and really enjoyed making it.  I was torn between making a donut or a slice of cherry pie and given that Caveman and I have been watching Twin Peaks (again) recently it was a hard decision to make.  I just had to remember that it wasn’t for me!

I used yarns from my stash so I can’t be sure what they are for definite but I think the cream shade is Patons Smoothie.

I took lots of pics as I went along so here are the stages of the recipe:

Hmmmmm donuts! 

Don’t you love the shiny pins as sprinkles.  I need to buy some more pins to send in the pincushion as these few are from my own pincushion for artistic purposes only at present, but it wouldn’t be complete without them!  I do hope the recipient likes it when the parcel pops through her letterbox along with a postcard of Manchester and a couple of other little treats to make her smile!

 

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