Friday, 25 November 2011

Yummy Tomatoes

Back in March we bought some seed pots, tomatoes and strawberries in April we started growing them and watched as in late May the seedlings grow big enough to be replanted. 
Lots of little tomatoes plants (the strawberries grew but it was a little late for them so hopefully next year for them) were replanted, it took until August for the yellow flowers to appear and a storm then knocked them over but with the help of lots of sticks they were straightened up and keep growing and they are still growing and producing lots of little cherry tomatoes even now at the end of November. The top photo shows our lastest bowl :)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Flowerbird Fabric Collection

I finished making the 1st of the little flowerbirds I posted about a few weeks ago, plus now the rest of the matching fabric samples have arrived. The finished bird is a silk & cotton mix fabric, its very soft and has a nice shiny surface. All the other samples are 100% cotton I will make another bird up to see how it feels in the cotton. The main different between the fabrics so far has been the colour the silk mix is slightly paler but the shine of the fabric also brings out a aqua tint in the blue. The cotton print is much crisper and the colour stronger also the cotton has a more matte finish. I am going to have a play with the samples to see what else I can make. :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

International Jewellery London 2011

Last week I attended the International Jewellery London 2011 at Earl Court 2.
I enjoy this trade show, Its good to see the new trends for the future year. 
From what I saw there the big trends are - 
Silver and white metals - silver was everywhere, big chunky statement pieces to delicate findings holding an assortment of gemstones, lots of different types of silver chains, some of the more expensive ranges had white gold and platinum keeping with the white metal trend. 

Pearls in all shapes and sizes, classic to fancy coins, hearts, crosses irregular shaped, even the cheaper ranges had freshwater pearls mixed in with coloured glass. 

Colour lots of strong colours - deep purples, all types of pinks, deep greens, teals all reflecting the colour trends for the coming months in fashion/ clothing.

There were still charms and individual bead style components.

Vintage pieces were popular and this saw some gold with aged finishes, very delicate again mixed with pretty gem stones and cabochon cut stones.
Long-chain necklaces and pendant style charm necklaces, some with vintage style beads and gems but updated with leather & rubber woven into the chain giving a more updated punk style, some were very steampunk inspired. There were very shiny modern charm necklaces.
Lots of cuffs very big and chunky some had decorate cutouts in the metal others were adorned with lots of crystals and stones. Fabric cuffs also.
Macrame friendship style bracelets with embossed patterned beads. I also saw little bits of fur some real :( and some fun-fun in bright colours :)

It will be interesting to see what appears in the shops in the coming months.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

International Crochet Day 2011

Today 12th September 2011 is International Crochet Day, last year I designed a couple of free crochet bookmark patterns and I decided this year to add the open heart bookmark. If you do make it, it would be great if you could post your blog-link or photo link of your finished bookmark. Or you could make it into a scarf if you make it with a thicker yarn, maybe a trimming or applique : ).
Starting at bottom of pattern chain 10.
Chain 3 more and turn (these 3 chains will count as first double crochet USA/ treble crochet UK of first
row), double crochet USA/ treble crochet UK into the 5th chain from the hook,.double crochet USA/ treble crochet UK  in next 2 chains to complete bottom right solid square of row 1. Continue following pattern for first row reading pattern right to left.

Continue following pattern until row 60 is complete.

MATERIALS (based on crochet cotton size):
Using Crochet Cotton no. 20: about 60 meters, steel crochet hook 1.15mm/ US size 9 or SIZE FOR GAUGE/ YARN
Using Crochet Cotton size 20: width = 6.1 cm, height = 36.6 cm (metre)
Using Crochet Cotton size 20: width = 2.4 inches, height = 14.4 inches (Inches)

Here's the graph on the left, do you like the new colour I have filled the graph squares with? Do you find it easier to follow or prefer the black and grey graphs?

On the right is the bookmark using crochet symbols, sorry I could not make it bigger here, Hopefully when I get time I will make this a pdf file and add it to
Whichever you follow the graph or the symbols please start at the bottom and work your way up :)

Happy Crocheting

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Spoonflower Birds (palette-limited) Fabric Contest

Patchwork Flower Birds
Here's my latest entry for Spoonflowers - Birds limited palete (only 4 colours allowed) Fabric Contest
my "Patchwork Flower Birds" I am also making a little 3D version of one of the birds to store my crochet hooks, they will rest on its back between the wings :) I'll post it when I have sewn it up.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Two Owls and a Pussycat

Both July and August have gone by so fast, as I am in-between teaching jobs (they start again in September) I had planned lots of projects to finish and to add more to the website, back-up the data on my computer, start some new knit and crochet patterns, design more fabric prints and order them for proofing.
I did somethings on my list and it was lucky I started first with backing-up my computer as a nasty virus (I do have a firewall and up-to-date virus software which was useless) took less than 3 seconds to mess up my computer. I tried lots to sort it out (4-5 weeks of trying something everyday) but in the end there was only one solution I have had to wipe it clean back to factory settings and reload (when I found them and remembered there passwords) all the software back on again, which has taken so much time and I still have a few things to find and reload but I am nearly there and am feeling so lucky I had backed up all my files.I recommend everyone does this at least once a month I will in future.
I did start writing up the new knit and crochet patterns and begin new stuff but it will take time before I had them to the website, as even with the back-up files I now need to sort them out. I did manage to proof a few of the fabric prints, this ones for cut and sew soft toy owls, they are printed on a fat quarter of fabric.Small enough to hand sew, but I would recommend not chatting on the phone and sewing or like me push the wrong end of the needle into your thumb OUCH!
A neighbours cat popped into the garden and posed with the owls when I photographing them, its like he knew how to pose in the right place.
The smaller owl I entered into latest contest  "Plushie Pattern Fabric Contest" its interesting to see how many cut and sew toy patterns are available.

PS. Any votes would be greatly appreciated, "Thank you" :)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Free Swatch at Spoonflower

Spoonflower's Third Annual Free Swatch Day Starts Thursday, Aug. 18th, 2011

Get a single free, custom fabric swatch for 24 hours between
noon EST on Thursday, August 18, and noon EST on Friday, August 19
shipping of the swatch is free, too. Check their site for full details.

Friday, 12 August 2011


I decided it was safer to stay in at the start of the week due to the madness that spread across London and cities in England.
I had a few purse frames that I was keeping until I had some time to play with them, I  decided on hand sewing which was very relaxing, I used some of my fabric samples the floating coins and purple dandelion. 
I made a purse and glasses case (or it may end up as a crochet hook case)
I had to glue the fabric into the frame, I have not made a purse for years I forgot about this tricky stage I managed to stick the correct bits to the purse frame (and not parts of me)so it all went well in the end.

Now onto my crocheted purses they have sew in frames but take a little longer to make : )

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Little Barn Owl Cut & Sew Bag

My "Little Barn Owl Cut & Sew Bag/ s" fabric arrived today so I spent the day cutting and making the bag :)

I used my cheap-O mini sewing matching, great for quick projects.
The fabric has a reversible project bag, scissor keeper, pin cushion, pockets. I decided to cut new linings and use the printed lining as a bag also, so I have 2 bags that match.
It was good to see the design/ pattern worked. I had made a little demo bag (approx. 5th scale) in calico before designing the full scale bag, but you never really know if the pattern and seams will all match until you test the printed fabric design. I will post the other bag design in the next post.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

New Swatches

Yesterday I got my new fabric swatches from  it takes about 3 weeks (because I am the UK) from order/ printing & shipping. When you open the package the fabric is nicely wrapped in tissue paper and the person who has packed it always adds thank you and their name to the invoice, a nice personal touch. I get a batch of swatches printed together (its also cheaper than getting them done singly) you have to proof them before approving them for sale, I never really know if the prints will be the right colour until I see the samples as what looks good on a computer screen sometimes looks totally different when printed, it can even look flat or if the detail is clear, again ink will blur when printed on fabric so detail and colours can mix to much. I am happy with this batch ( the last batch had a few I had to totally redo) A lot of my designs seem to have owls or cogs/ gears or both. It even seem's to be crossing over to the crochet I have been working on lately (while waiting for my next fabric to arrive a preprinted cut out and sew craft project bag) but that's for another post : )

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Knit Nation 2011

Last Saturday I spent a relaxing day at knit nation's marketplace. Touching yarn, chatting to suppliers, renewing magazine subscriptions, buying a few goodies.
Habu Textiles had beautiful copper and bamboo yarn perfect for the crocheted jewellery I have been making, I love the colour and glimmer.
And at last I got hold of some knitpiks yarn now to start some crocheted socks : )
A soft skien of Misti alpaca (I just loved the colour and feel it may become a scarf or gloves) and some Manos silk blend in a beautiful sea blue and green mix, which I may knit into a lace shawl, for a change.
Now to have fun experimenting with my new yarn :)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Summer Porridge

One great thing about summer, now its here (the usual sun one minute rain the next)  is all the fresh fruit that's in season especially the  berries - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries all yummy and as they are in season much cheaper. 
At the weekend I like breakfast this week I made some porridge with nice chunky rolled oats (cooked with milk) a little honey and lots of tasty juicy berries, a great healthy flavoursome start to the day my favourite in summer.
Fuel to make me ready for my beaded projects, beaded crochet (some tunisian crochet) and beaded knitted bracelets and necklaces. I have even been remaking some can tab/ pull bracelets, I'll post some finished pieces at a later date, here's a few images of my hours and hours of stringing, its so much quicker to crochet the beads than string them. 
Plus I am not sure how but some beads always escape and end up in the carpet, the poor hover now sounds very unhappy.

I am still busy designing fabrics, I'm waiting for a new batch of samples, again I'll post when they arrive. Last week I was lucky I had a fabric that was just the right colour and subject matter (the competition had a limited colour palette and butterfly theme) so I entered my  "butterflies together" fabric (it matches my filet crochet chart "butterfly dance") into this weeks spoonflower competition if you like the fabric please vote for me, any votes would be greatly appreciated :)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Sales and Cupcakes

This has been a very busy month, so a little time to myself and some shopping (mostly window shopping, day-dreaming of what I will buy when I win the lottery) as it sale time again I took a visit to John Lewis and I broke my yarn diet (only a little), I decided in January I needed to use the yarn in my collection that tucked away in boxes and bags (hidden in the wardrobe) and could not buy anymore unless I had a plan and timescale to use it, plus I have no more room for storing. But feeling the nice soft  Mirasol Wachi 85% Pima Cotton & 15% silk which was only £2.95 a skein (and I do have a plan for it) plus Noro silk garden at £3.95 each I decided to make a small purchase. With a quick trip to the food hall and I found my bargain of the day half price cupcakes (well the yarn diet was broke so might as well have a naughty day) I got some cherry & geranium  which tasted a bit to floral for me, but other  family members liked them and lavender & lemon, I liked this one it reminded me of the violet sweets I eat when I was a child yummy.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Project Ocean

I was walking past Selfridges and saw their stunning new window displays for  "Project Ocean"

The windows will be on display until 12th June 2011, Selfridges has partnered with 20+ environmental and conservation groups. 

Celebrating the beauty of the ocean and highlighting the issues of over-fishing, which is scary to think of, no more fish, no longer been able to cook or eat fish (I love fish and have not eaten red meat for about 20 years)

Their large corner window is a dead sea coral installation (most of the photos I have put in this post) made from coral seized from illegal smugglers by customs officers. 
Beautiful but a sad reminder of how much  life we are losing from our oceans.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New Hook

Here's some photo's of my new Boye interchangeable thread hook set.
It has a hand carved Maple burl handle created by the talented hands of Jimbo check out his blog for more great hooks. The handle is very lightweight and a pretty grained wood, I find its a very comfortable hook to use. When I first got the hook I had injured by thumb and could not hold most of my hooks, but this one I could. I was able to use my index finder in the thumb grip and could crochet as normal. My thumb is now working again and I can use my hook as intended, but its good knowing I can hold the hook comfortably both ways.

Its also good not having to touch the metal of the hook, holding the wooden handle is much kinder on my hand, I have been doing a lot of thread work (tape crochet and filet) and beaded crochet usually I end up with a dent in my finger (anyone else have that problem?) when using my normal metal hooks but now all that has changed : ) no dents and happy fingers.

You can see the pretty grain in the wood in this photo.