Thursday, 30 July 2009

Tall (Tree) Tales

We are lucky enough to have lots of tall trees which make a small but thick wild border to the garden. Sometimes it feels like a little woods all of my own...

...all mine except for a little sharing, as around the garden you will meet other folk...
Like Sir Ollie out for a stroll,
or a greedy Squirrel twosome looking for snacks on the birdtable,
or a woodpecker who prefers to lunch on the lawn than at a height...

and just last week I noticed someone new...
can you spy them? Look closely... the base of a tall tree is a tiny patch...

...and a tiny path to a tiny door...

...where fairy folk do live!!

I overheard the green woodpecker telling his friends, the Robin and the Jay that these fairies are the common bottom of the garden types and have been living here long before I ever did... since the invention of gardens in 1500 BC*. Until, as they hid another set of keys they happened to hear one of said big people speak of a magical portal called Etsy, they remained unseen by the big people... but as soon as they returned to the tree, their tiny computer (made of acorns and spider web wires) took them to NothinButWood where they found the most darling front door to their tiny home and they just had to have it!
They are so pleased with their little door, they really want to show it off and don't mind they are now 'seen' fairies one tiny magical bit...


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A Brief History of Blanket Bunnies...

(or what those thingies at the end of the last post were)

Bunny 1 "J"

This is a Blanket Bunny... you'd probably guessed that already but I had to start somewhere.
This is in fact the very first one and this is how he came about with 7 other little friends...

Bunny 2 "L"

Long, long ago (also known as April) I was contacted by Neville Bunny's adoptive mum who wanted a snuggly for her baby. Not knowing what a snuggly was made this a bit of a puzzle, but I like puzzles so I said I'll give it a go...

Bunny 3

Well... it turns out a snuggly is something playful yet soothing, part toy and part comfort blanket.
So thats what I stitched a Bunny toy with a blankety tummy, which meant they rather named themselves "Blanket Bunnies"

Bunny 5

They are rather square tummied creatures, made of squishy soft fleece with cotton patches for texture and a bit of colour. A nice wide belly at 10 inches across, but from the side...

Bunny 4

...they are quite skinny bunnies, quite empty and floppy though their faces and paws are well fed. And of course they haven't all been boys...

Bunny 6

My favourite thing about them is their pose-ability. Its incredibly hard to get a good picture of them in their lazy flatness with the little good photo space I have but they will happily sit...

Bunny 7

...or let you hug them tight around they middles...

Bunny 8

...or lie and show you their little bunny tails!

So there they are! 8 happy baby Bunnies all together, almost in the order they have been skipping off the sewing machine. I'm pleased to say most have found new homes, the very first with a big "J" for Jack on his belly, very closely followed with some other personalised ones which is something I love to do. I do hope to have some in my little shops soon...

'Soon' will more than likely be September as my army boy is off to do his army thing in just a few weeks and I plan to spend as much time as possible with him before he goes. I'll keep blogging patchily no doubt and I'm still be stitching, though once he is off I hope to keep busy by being a whirlwind of craftiness...

One final Bunny pic...

Bunny 4 again

...and off I hop!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Blanket Love

I have truly developed a deep blanket love over the past few weeks.
Quite possibly an another obsession as I'm wondering if I could make a princess and the pea style bed out of blankets...

Princess and the Pea from Tim Walker 'Pictures'

Wouldn't it be lush to have a bed like that? Though I am thinking blankets, but I love that picture so much, in fact I think I love every photo of Tim Walker I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to treat myself to a copy of his book in a sale, but I have only got a few pages in so far because of my need to absorb every detail... but I tell you it's all so wonderful *sigh*
(google books is having a limited preview! go look! go look!)

Around the internet and some lovely bricks and mortar shops too, I have been spotting the perfect blankets for this dream bed. Huge chunky cable knits (pg 34), vintage patchwork, floral quilts, hungry holey foodie quilts, plump crochet flower beds, light fluffy pistachio knits... not wanting to be the most well blanketed homeless person around I have resisted.

My feverish crocheting has helped keep me away from the homeless scenario. I haven't begun my piecing as I discovered I don't know a few things;
a) what kind of pattern I should arrange the squares (some how deciding to be 'random' instantly killed the randomness of the look so 'pattern' is needed)
b) how big and what shape I want it
and probably most importantly
c) I don't know how to join crochet pieces and until I learn that, there's no blanket for me. But that hasn't stopped Sir from getting comfy...

...and its been another smaller blanket project keeping me busy...

Though they may not look it, they are kind of blankety. They are also the 7th and 8th of their kind, so I will leave it until another post to give a better explanation and lots of pics.

It only seems fitting to say
"Sweet Dreams"

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Jolly Lolly Freebies!

Hooray for Summer!

And Hooray because as promised I have turned my little Jolly Lolly into some printable paper loveliness for you!

Jolly Lolly Gift Tags!

I am even more smitten with these than I am with my labels and I hope you like them too.

So printers at the ready...

(click picture to enlarge to full A4 size)

Once you click the pic, it *should* fill the page with your A4 sized sheet ready to print (no downloading as I'm really not clever enough to do that!) I think they are best printed on thin white card but they are just fine on thicker paper too. As well as the paper, scissors, a hole punch and some String/ribbon are needed.

Once you have your sheet, cut around each double lolly shape (it very tempting to cut through!**) and fold along the middle line. Punch a hole just above the folded edge and tied a loop of string through each. Easy peasy!

As well as popping them on gifts, a blob of glue to keep them closed and they make sweet summery hanging decorations too!

I do hope you enjoy them and I'd love to hear if anyone does use some
(and if there is problems, let me know that too.)

Quite accidentally, this little freebie come on my 200th post! I had taken my eye off the post count so I was a little surprised to have reached such a number. A little 'Thank you for reading' giveaway will follow soon but for now there is cake and many many big Thank Yous!!

Whipped cream and icing sugar makes the best emergency frosting!

Do help yourself!
I am off to enjoy them with tea and granny squares...

** oh, I suppose you could and make twice as many flat gift tags :)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Square eyed

By sticking to my plan of Granny-ing every day, I now have 56 squares in just over 2 weeks! I can't believe how addictive granny squares can be, last Saturday was the only day I manage to stop at just one!

All together that is just over half my blanket (although I'm thinking maybe it should be bigger and go for 140 squares... we'll see) so I think this weekend I will start piecing it together (thanks for the tip Hannah!)

Maybe its the granny effect, but seeing neat rows of anything squareish is really pleasing to me.
Like lovely new labels...

I'm so smittened with how the little lollies came out. I'm working them into some little paper loveliness to share with you all in my next post :)


Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Going a Little Granny Crazy...

I proudly present my 1st ever granny square...

*takes a little bow as very pleased with myself, as not only is this the 1st crochet square, but all so the first time I have ever successfully followed a wooly pattern and ended with exactly what I wanted to make*

The urge to learn the granny square hit me quite hard after a week of Kirstie's Homemade Home repeats, what can only be described as granny square flickr porn and seeing the granny square blanket on FOTC many many times. The final push was an its-too-hot-to-knit wool sale which actually had some of my perfect colours.

In my wardrobe, I seem to be swapping black and white for grey and cream a lot right now, but a muted green has always been a favourite.
With my armfuls of cheap lush yarn I have decided to make my own blanket and knowing it takes a lot of squares, I started thinking a granny a day was a good plan.

Above is friday...


...Saturday evening (a couple extra to get it going) ...

....Sunday (really should do something with my hands with all the tv watching going on)...

...and Monday (!?! I may had gotten a little carried away)
Maybe not the most successful -a-day project but a good start to blanket.

27 down... 73+ to go!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Sunny = Lazy

Yep, I'm blaming my lack of craft (and blogging) on the hot sunny days we've been having!
The sun makes me want to be outdoors and the heat makes me so lazy... and then quite fussy after a while. One way or another, I find so way to link my productivity to the weather - too hot means laziness, too cold is uninspiring, too bright means I need to be outside (not in the craft room), too dull means icky photos..., what's a girl to do?

Well, she could take a tray of goodies out to the lawn and stitch there, which is exactly what I did albeit rather slowly with long pauses for clouding spotting and cordial drinking of course.

Hooray for un-melt-able felt lollies! Real ones would not have stood the heat at all, and neither could my needle - broke in half while twiddling in my fingers, poor thing!

I really am quite pleased with this guys, especially with those sprinkles. I never realised how difficult it is to stitch randomly on purpose, but I think all that daydreaming helped with the scattering :)

The stitching, and photos of, all happened a few days ago but the editing, shop listing and posting about was all today's work. I also made a start on a felt ball thing and crocheted my first ever granny square. Today the weather has been warm but overcast with a little bit of drizzle... proving my theory that it IS the weather's fault after all.

Have Happy 4th of July's and lovely weekends