Hello friends, how have you been? Life here has been the normal mix of school, church and craft activities. I’ve transformed my living room from fresh spring…
…to cosy autumn.
I updated the twigs above my fireplace with sparkly apples, autumn leaves, felt apples and mushrooms and a couple of orange slices.
I also changed my cushion covers for cosy knitted/crochet covers in autumnal colours.
And this week I celebrated one year of (fairly) successful homeownership – hurrah!
I’ve just enjoyed a week off from school. My challenge was to finally unpack those last few boxes which had been lurking under beds/taking up space on my craft room floor! It took three days, multiple black bin bags and a trip to the charity shop, but I now feel that I’ve properly unpacked – hurrah!
This jumper very nearly ended up at the charity shop, but at the last minute I snatched it back from the bag. I’ve rarely worn it (it was way too big when I bought it but I couldn’t be bothered to take it back to the shop!) but I love the colours. And I realised that it would make a super cosy cushion cover, a perfect addition to my autumnal loving room!
I was a bit hesitant at first – my Mum and Granny always drilled it into me that you can’t go cutting knitted fabrics! – but I took the plunge and found it was actually easier than I expected. After I cut the pieces to the right size I whizzed it through the sewing machine (going over all the seams twice, just to make sure they hold), turned it the right way round then crocheted along one edge to make button holes to keep it closed.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out and it only took about half an hour too! I’m now on the look out for other jumpers to cut up…
Last year I was inspired to start a thankfulness list. I’ve really enjoyed it (even though there was a 4 or 5 month break somewhere in the middle of the year!) and have decided to expand on it this year. As well as continuing the list I will also aim to take a photo of something that I’m thankful for every day this year.
So, to keep track of all my photos, I’ve started a new blog. If you would like to take a look the first post is here. And if you would like to read a fuller explanation of why I started the blog, have a look at this page.
Every now and then there may be some of the same photos appearing (I’m often very thankful for finished projects!) but each blog will mostly contain different things. Feel free to pop over and have a look if you’d like to – but I won’t be offended if you don’t!
The last couple of years at school we’ve had a craft swap morning in the last week of term before Christmas. Each teacher prepares a different Christmassy craft and the children choose which two they would like to do during the course of the morning. It’s always lots of fun, and the older children are fantastic at helping the younger ones. This year I stole an idea from another teacher (one who’s on maternity leave at the moment, so I didn’t feel too bad about it!) and decided to make Christmas wreath decorations from puzzle pieces.
They’re very simple to make (even with lots of children!) and there are several tutorials around if you want to see a step by step version. Basically start with a circle of card and tie a length of wool/string/ribbon to hang it with later. Stick puzzle pieces to the card then add a second round of puzzle pieces on the top, preferably to cover the joins as it makes the wreath stronger. At this point you could paint it if your puzzle pieces are not green on the back as mine were. Then add any decorations – we used sequins for holly berries and added a bow (I just googled Christmas bow and found lots of suitable options).
The ones we made weren’t very big, but were just the right size for the children to complete in an hour. The puzzle I used was kindly donated by a local charity shop – I asked if they had any incomplete ones and they came up with a 3000 piece puzzle that had 2 pieces missing! I offered to pay for it, but she said that I could have it because I was using it in school – so kind!
The other wreath I made was one for the back door. In previous years I’ve reused a willow wreath, changing decorations according to the seasons. But this year I decided to keep the flowery wreath (which has been up since the spring!) intact and make an entirely new one for Christmas.
It was fairly simple to make – I used an embroidery hoop as a base and wrapped the ribbon around it, securing the ends in the hoop. I added a bow at the top and stitched baubles, bells and decorations around the edge. The bottom of the wreath gave me the most stress as I wanted to add a cluster of baubles, but they didn’t hang right no matter what I tried. In the end I gave up and used a big bell instead! It makes a very pleasant jingling sound whenever the door opens or closes.
Hello! I have managed to emerge from the life-sucking force that is school for one week only – the perfect chance to catch up on everything I’ve pretty much forgotten about over the last 8 weeks. I was actually hoping that I’d be able to write a post earlier in the week, but it seems that holiday times can be just as busy as work times!
I started the week by staying with my cousin and his wife in London.
They are the most wonderful hosts, so very welcoming and lovely. I had a very relaxed stay with them and managed to do a lot of reading, a fair bit of crochet and a trip to Ikea! I deliberately didn’t take my laptop and it was wonderful to have a few days away from all the distractions of the internet. And I very much enjoyed looking at this picture on their wall…
It’s so quirky, and I love the fact that the yarn is stitched on to the canvas.
I was also inspired by a blanket my aunt made – she knitted it, then backed it with fleece.
It makes a really weighty, snuggly blanket. I think that if I ever get round to finishing my CAL stripy blanket (which I’d really like to do – at some point) I’ll back it with fleece. That might also help to disguise the wonky edges!!
The crochet I’m working on at the moment can’t be revealed just yet as I’m busy making presents, but I can give you a sneak peek. This stripy item is a Christmas present…
…and I’m using this beautiful yarn (James C. Brett Aria) to make a birthday present.
The photo doesn’t do it justice – it’s really a deeper red, and has teeny tiny sequins attached every few inches. It’s really lovely, but a little tricky to work with. It’s really fluffy and if (when!) I make mistakes it’s quite hard to unravel.
There is a lot more I’d like to show you, but thought it would make too long a post to put it all in one! To be continued…