Wednesday, 9 March 2016

On my hook- Tunisian Crochet cowl. WIP Wednesday.

So, this week I have been mostly working on a Tunisian Crochet Cowl. The free gift this month with Simply Crochet magazine was a 6mm Tunisian crochet hook and a pattern book. Some of these  patterns are looking quite tempting, particularly a couple of cute colourful cushion cover. Only drawback? I don't know how to 'Tunisian Crochet'. :-(

Never mind- onwards and upwards! If I can teach myself to crochet I can teach myself Tunisian! After a few false starts I got my head around Tunisian Simple Stitch. I fumbled through this on my own with written instructions but there is a nice clear video on Tunisian Simple crochet on YouTube from Free Crochet Videos-do please pop along to the blog to check it out along with a nice clear picture tutorial.

After having a delve into my stash and coming up with a couple of balls of Stylecraft Vision Dk in redcurrant which is a nice self-striping pink shade (unfortunately now discontinued) I decided to whip up some kind scarf/cowl- so that's where I'm at on this #wipwednesday. I will post a pic once completed. :-)

So, what are you working on at the moment?


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Upcycled Coffee Jar Vase for Mother's Day

Here in the UK Mother's Day is fast approaching and unfortunately finances are tight at the moment. Seriously. I can't even afford to think about spending money. Fortunately, my Mum appreciates a nice handmade gift and as I have a junk room  craft room filled with supplies I probably have enough bits and pieces to throw together loving craft a simple thoughtful gift.

With this in mind I waded into my craft room and put my thinking cap on. Candles are out as I made her candles for her birthday (actually, I made her make her own candles and called it a 'tutorial' as she had been asking for a while for me to show her how I made ones I had made for her previously ;-) )  A crochet gift is out as I also made for her a crochet jar cover to make a candle in a 'shabby chic' upcycled jam jar. Wish I'd taken a picture of that, I was quite pleased with the results. Sooo, what do we have?:

  1. Empty coffee jar 
  2. String
  3. Chalk Paint mix (add to normal paint to make chalk paint) A similar product can be found here on Ebay
  4. Green tester pot of paint (my mum likes green. Bonus! :-) )
  5. Outliner dragonfly stickers Similar butterfly ones available here on Amazon 
  6. Matte Mod Podge glue. This is the exact glue I used on Amazon 
*please note these are not affiliate links. I blog for fun not profit. These links are just to point you in the direction of similar products to those I have used*

So,to make this vase I thoroughly washed and cleaned the jar and removed the label and all sticky residue.

I then mixed up the tester pot of paint with the chalk paint mix. I applied 3 dragonfly stickers to one face of the jar. I applied the chalk paint being careful to have all brush strikes going in the same direction. I was going for a rustic sort of finish so I didn't mind visible brush strokes. I then allowed it to dry for approximately 2 hours. 

The next step is to carefully remove the dragonfly stickers. I used a pair of tweezers to grab one end and then carefully peel it away. Even being super careful some of the paint on the centre dragonfly came away with the sticker, losing some of the detail,so I went back in with a tiny a paintbrush and added in some of the bits that came away. If I made something similar again I may choose a less detailed design to make it easier to remove!

The next phase was adding the twine rim. I generously applied Mod Podge to the rim and wrapped the twine around in a spiral,keeping it as tight as possible and applying any more Mod Podge as I went, if it was required. I then applied a layer of the matte Mod Podge all over the case to give a little protection to the paint layer. It then needed to dry for about another 2 hours.

Finishing touch, added a twine bow and we're  ready to go! I'm going to add a bunch of daffodils as my mum likes daffodils and think they'll go nicely with the green. I'll try to grab a pic with the daffodils before I hand them over. :-)

*edit*  I've just been out and got some daffodils and some lovely tulips  which are an orange/yellow mix,so I've taken a quick snap now.
Once they have opened up a little bit, by the weekend, I'll put the best ones into a nice display but right now it's looking pretty good. Now all I need to do is keep these flowers alive until Sunday! A challenging task for the not very green-fingered me! :-) Worst case scenario.. I'll get more flowers!

If you like my vase, please add a little comment to say hi!!! Sometimes it's nice to know I'm not talking to myself! Not that I won't still talk to myself but if I start replying to myself we're in trouble!! :-)

Monday, 16 February 2015

Crochet Rock covers- a super quick cute crochet project.

Coral pebbles free crochet pattern- these pebbles are perfect weights for the tablecloth and napkins - they make pretty paperweights on my desk too!Whilst meandering around Pinterest I came upon this cute crochet project from, and it made me think about a rock that we have had on display in our living room for a number of years.
This is the rock in question:

Doesn't look very interesting right? But what makes our little rock different is that my Husband and I found it whilst walking on a beach many moons ago (11-12 years ago? A long time anyway.. :) ) And what made this rather boring looking rock special enough to pick up and keep for all these years is that it is in fact two rocks.. well, two halves of one rock that still fit together perfectly, and the romantics that we are have kept it, because we are two halves of one rock that fit together perfectly. 

Ok, enough of that... bleurgh :-p

So with the post from onechurchillsgreen as inspiration I grabbed a hook, a couple of oddments of dk yarn and whipped up a couple of crochet covers. 

I didn't use a pattern, I just went with the flow, making chains and doing a variety of single and double crochet stitches until I came up with a lacy pattern that pleased me. I happy with the two slightly different patterns, one like a sea urchin and one with a flowery pattern.

The underside of the rocks have a mesh pattern on them to hold it in place, again I just did a variety of chain and single crochet stitches until it held securely in place and then fastened off.

And here are my rocks on display on my fireplace.

A little more interesting to look at than before and it probably took me a total of 15 minutes to whip up.

Have you made any quick and satisfying projects?

L x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Decoupage coffee table budget makeover

I've been thinking of updating our little set of nesting tables in the living room for a while now, and yesterday I decided that as the weather was nice I would venture outdoors and begin a bit of a revamp... starting with the little table I use the most first.
As you can see my little table is not in the best of condition.  I'm one of those people who can't help but spill their drink. All the time.  Every time.  I'm terrible.   And so the surface is marked  as the wood effect is just a laminate it  has peeled in places. 
The first stage was to give it a couple of coats of ivory chalk paint, like I used in my shabby chic mirror makeover.  After a couple of coats of paint all over and they had dried thoroughly I added two layer of clear wax to give it a bit of protection. It was all ready looking better.  The last stage was to decoupage the top of the table. I used a vintage print wall paper sample from the DIY store, so this was free! Bargain :-) Two coats of Mod Podge Glossy has sealed the top.

Oooh look, you can just see my toes in the last pic!  

Total cost of this make over £1.19 for a tester pot of paint.

I have two other tables to makeover so I will do step-by-step pics for one of those, and maybe take a few better pics.

L x

Monday, 3 March 2014

A day in the workshop with Lucy

It's been two weeks since I last posted and really it's because the time has just flown by! I've been back at work after a period of illness and to add to the fun I've had the most awful cold that has just dragged on and on for the last two weeks.
Today is about a lovely workshop I attended at the beginning of February with the lovely Lucy from the Attic24 blog.

It was the first workshop Lucy has done, and also the first crochet workshop I have attended. It was a nice small group of 8 ladies, some travelling from as far away as Scotland and Wales. I had a lot shorter journey from Leeds to Skipton! Despite the weather being grey, windy and awfully wet we all had a good time (at least I did, I'm sure all the other's did too!) and were suprisingly quiet as we all concentrated so hard on the pattern. In fact, now I think about it, the drenching I received on the walk back to the train station and the damp cold journey home might have had a hand in my stinking cold!
The project we were working on was the wonderfully cute Bower Bird. I know Lucy is working on a tutorial for the Bower Bird and I'm sure she'll share it on the blog as soon as she can. Here is her Post including her workshop- you can just see my hands on the left of the picture and my crochet hook roll!
We all finished our birds and had a little bag of goodies to take home to finish our bower including a nice little bag of lavender so we could make our next little birdy into a lavender bird. I haven't made another bird yet but that lavender sure smells amazing! Here are our little birdies all lined up.

Mine is the teeny tiny bird! I was the slowest that day because I was concentrating so hard on being perfect and being absolutely 100% perfect on my count and I crocheted so tight Birdy is half the size of everyone elses! Never mind- he is small but perfectly formed!

Here is Lucy taking a pic of our birdies and one of me having a geeky 'look-I'm-with-Lucy-and-she's -faaamous!' moment.
I must say I found Lucy to be lovely, friendly and welcoming (not that I expected otherwise) and the cafe that her workshop is above does the most aaaammmaaaazing Rocky Road. Yum Yum. If you are ever in Skipton check out Cooper's Cafe Bar- you walk past it on the way to the town centre from the train station.
I haven't, as yet, finished my bower. I'm not 100% sure I don't want to make another bird in brighter colours. I'm happy with my purple and green bird, but I'm  not sure if he would look a little lost in a colourful bower. If I do, I'll turn Birdy into a little individual hanging ornament.
Today we had a hint of sunshine so I literally ran out into the garden a took a few pics of Birdy perching on my climbing rose. 
So here he is: 

Hope you all have a lovely week.

L x 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Yarn wrapped tealight holders

Today I thought I would share with you a way I have been upcycling/recycling some glass candle holders wich have run out into nice colourful yarny tealight holders. They are super simple and quick, you may well get your fingers a bit sticky but that's really the extent of the hardship involved!

First find a jar you want to wrap with yarn. This is a Yankee Candle which has burned all the way down to the end leavig only it's waxy residue.


Then you need to clean out your empty jar:

You will need some PVA glue or Mod Podge or similar, a brush and some left over yarn. I used a self striping DK weight yarn and PVA glue.

Paint some glue on your glass jar. You need enough to stick the yarn to the glass and to the yarn above it so it sits tightly together, but not so much that it's all squidgy and oozing out between the yarn and running down the sides. I find it best to paint a bit of glue on at a time, wrap the yarn around and keep 'nudging' the yarn up so it sitting all snug together and not leaving lots of gaps.

Keep wrapping and nudging all the way down to the end. Snip the end of the yarn. Make sure your yarn end is glued down securely and leave to dry. Overnight is best.

And that's it all finished. Isn't that easy? The jars I had have lids so, to give them a little face lift to match their new yarny exteriors, I crocheted little motifs in the same yarn. I used the free patterns for 'Teeny Tiny Flowers' and 'Teeny Tiny Hearts' from Attic24. They were just the right size to fit on the glass lids.

A good blob of glue and voila!

When everything is dry add some tealights and light 'em up! I like the way the candles glow through the colours of the yarn.

As you can see from my pic you don't have to stop at jars for tealights. I used the same yarn to wrap an empty, cleaned out beer bottle and now it can be used for flowers.

What will you be wrapping?

L x

Friday, 7 February 2014

My happy crafty day

Hi again. I thought today I'd share with you the lovely day I had yesterday pottering around the house and getting a couple of crafty projects done. It was very satisfying all in all.

I'm very pleased to have finished some crochet fingerless gloves. This is only the second pair of gloves I've made and my first were really basic so I was really happy with these which use two different stitches (back loop double stitch and extended double uk terms) to create a ribbed band and a different pattern on the main body to create interest and I added a couple of little buttons on the cuff.


The pattern for these can be found here at CROCHETDREAMS or on Ravelry. There is also a pattern that matches for boot cuffs which I'm sure I'll make up at some point. The pattern is simple and relatively quick to make up (the pattern says two hours for the gloves but it took me about 4 hours for both gloves. Maybe I'm a fairly slow crotcheter, or maybe it's because I watch TV at the same time ;-) )

The second thing I got done yesterday around finishing the gloves was giving a couple of frames a shabby chic makeover. Inspired by the progress on my mirror at the weekend I pulled out a pair of cheap black plastic photo frames I bought from the Pound Shop recently in order to give them a makeover (for anyone from the US reading this the Pound Shop is sort of equivelent to your Dollar Store) Here they are:

Not too attractive I think you'll agree. I liked the vintage style detailing around the edge but black plastic? Yuk. There is nowhere these would go anywhere in my house. First I gave them a coat of the ivory chalk paint I had left over from the weekend. It had been in an airtight container but had got a little drier and thicker. This may be a problem for some projects but I liked the texture that it gave, like old plaster. Here they are after one coat of paint:

Not bad but some of the black was still showing through so I let it dry a while and then added a second coat.

Much better. I didn't want to 'distress' the frame by scuffing away any of the ivory paint as I didn't want any of the black to show through so to pick out some the detail I very lightly sponged on a pale lilac colour. I mixed together my own colour by mixing up some 'powder purple' coloured chalk paint (which was a little too bright to look vintage in my opinion) and then added in some of the ivory.

 I hope that you can see the purple on your monitor.. it's not showing up so well on mine and I have tried my hardest to get a picture in good light. It is very soft and subtle though.

And here is a nice picture of the finished frames. Quite a change from the nasty black plastic. I am so pleased with them and can't wait to find the right pictures to put into them. They will eventually go into our bedroom as I am working towards a Shabby Chic makeover of the whole bedroom in the summer time. :-)

Thank you for reading. If you have liked this post please leave me a little comment to say hi!

L x