Sunday, 30 January 2011

Two Little Birdies

I've spent a few hours this weekend crocheting little birds.  I've been wanting to make one of these for a long time, but just haven't got around to it.  This was my first one:

Not bad for a first attempt, me thinks.  I apologise for the poor quality photo; too dark to take it indoors and still not really light enough outside, so the flash has washed the colour out.  It should be a sage green with pale pink button eyes and bright pink wings.  My second attempt turned out completely different, even though I used the same stich and type of wool:

So much better!  I crocheted the wings this time rather than using felt, and the button eyes were a creamy white with a brass pin and shank.  These were both made from whatever wool I had to hand and old buttons from the button tin, which holds buttons inherited from my Grandmother as well as my mother.  Here they are together:

You can really see the difference.  I much prefer Pink Lady.  The eyes are better, the beak is much, much better and she seems to have more character.  Green man looks a little sniffy turning his beak up like that!  What do you think?

I've really enjoyed making these and want to crochet lots more.  I can see them hanging on the tree at Easter, or even in the garden during the Summer.  My mind is buzzing with places to put them and I have one of two other ideas along the bird line that I want to try, but more about that another time.

Hope you've all had a crafty weekend.  Til next time XXX

Friday, 28 January 2011

Tea Break

Hello, and thanks for dropping by.  Fancy a cuppa?  I'll put the kettle on. I've just discovered a rather fabulous new tea from Twinings:

Its a limited edition black tea called Rose Garden. Find it here. It smells divine and if you sip it with your eyes closed you can almost believe you are sitting amongst the roses in the height of Summer!  I've been doing this a lot this week as its so miserable and cold outside; rain then snow, then rain; I've had enough of it and whilst enjoying my escape to Summer I've been thinking about the significance of tea in many peoples lives.  A lot of problems are shared and solved over a cup of tea.  The first thing one does when under any sort of stress is reach for the tea pot.  Tea soothes and tea heals.  Everything seems a little bit better after a cup of tea.  And I LOVE it!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes and Other Things

As you may know, I walk my Goddaughter to school on Friday mornings. She greeted me at the door last Friday with a big cuddle and said "I can smell your house". "Can you?" I replied, "Yes. You smell like your house.  I like the smell of your house".  I spent the rest of Friday walking around, bosom swollen with pride and feeling pretty good about everything.  Especially as I've been lacking in the housework department of late.  I just can't seem to get back to any sort of routine.  I'm telling myself its because I've been busy sewing a Birthday gift for my friend Betty, but I don't really believe that.  However, it has been GOOD FUN to pick up the needle again.  Betty collects Owls and I saw a soft toy kit back in November in Hobbycraft, fell in love with it and decided to make it for Betty, who's Birthday is at the end of January.

As you can see its produced by Anchor.  I decided I didn't want it to look exactly as the kit and so set about 'doing my own thing'.  I thought the wings would look better if they were laying on the front rather than stretching out to either side and I replaced some of the material with some from my stash.  Here she is with all the layers tacked on:

I used a mid-green perle thread and stitched either chain stitch or blanket stich around each shape for definition.  I felt I wanted it to be completely hand stitched rather than machining these shapes in place.  Oh and how I LOVED stitching.  I had completely forgotten how much I enjoy using needle and thread!  Thinking back it was at least ten years ago when I last did any embroidery or even machine sewing - oh, no, I lie, I did make a pair of curtains.  Anyhoo, it was a long time ago.  I decided eventually that I had to machine the back and front together, mainly because the seam allowance was such that it was so small I was afraid it would all tear apart as I was turning it right side out and thought machine stitches would hold it all together much better.


Looking at it now, I think perhaps I should have kept the wings outstretched as they probably needed to be placed just a little higher than they have ended up.  I didn't put the feet on either because they stuck out and looked odd as nothing else was sticking out, except the beak.  All in all, it was an enjoyable project, but if I do it again I will definitely cut the material much bigger to allow for a 'proper' seam allowance (the material provided was only just big enough for the provided pattern pieces) and I would place the wings and feet as per the original instructions.  I think she is absolutely gorgeous and I'm very pleased with the end result.  I hope the recipient will be too.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Look what was waiting for me when I arrived home from work

They came in a tall box and so beautifully wrapped in pink cellophane

They were a gift from my sister, just because it has been a long dark, damp Winter and she thought I might like a little bit of sunshine.

How lucky am I?

Friday, 14 January 2011

New Year Delight

Last weekend (and yes, I know its almost this weekend!) Mr C and I had Sunday lunch and spent the entire afternoon and most of the evening with our good friends, Ron and Betty.  It is something of a tradition as we do this every January.  Its in lieu of a Christmas Dinner as Mr C and I are usually at another set of friends on the day itself. We also exchange Christmas gifts, whether we have seen each other over the festive period or not.  This started at the same time as Betty and I decided (some years ago) we would endeavour to make each others gifts and spend no more than five pounds on materials.  As the first Christmas deadline loomed it was evident that the gifts would not be ready in time, and so we came to the decision to exchange them in January, thus giving us both a little extra time.  It works very well as we get to extend the festivities and there's not that feeling of emptiness that is usual after the decorations are taken down.  Betty's Birthday is in late January and mine is late February, so it works rather well and keeps us with something to look forward to until Spring arrives, when all is well with the world again (can you tell I'm not that keen on Winter?).

I always get interesting gifts from Betty and this year was no exception; in fact I think she has excelled herself with these as they are quite simply beautiful


She bought a cheap pair of plymsols and decorated them with fabric paints.  She had previously decorated a pair for herself last summer to take on holiday and I had said how lovely they were then and that I must decorate a pair myself.  Well of course, I never got around to it last year and now I don't need to! Its almost a shame to wear them, but wear them I shall and enjoy every minute of walking in them.  I don't know if I will be able to wash them but the dust and dry dirt (ever hopeful!) of Summer should brush of.  If I only get one Summer out of them, it will be a Summer of blissful memories about where those shoes carried me.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year, New Beginnings

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Firstly, a big thank you to those who have stopped by since I began this blog back in July 2010.  I can't believe how quickly people have found me and seem to be regularly stopping by from all around the world.  I actually started this blog for family and friends only, the reason being that it was easier than emailing large amounts of photos.  I found that the on-line photo albums didn't have much space for text and I wanted to describe what I had been doing, and so a blog was born!  I'm only now getting the hang of the various things that one can do with the layout and style and so on, so this year my main ambition is to fully understand how to blog and to use all the gadgets available (well, not ALL of them, you understand, but the ones I like the look of!). 

The last two weeks before Christmas was spent in bed with the Flu.  I could hardly get myself to the bathroom let alone blog, so I missed all opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas.  I am now almost recovered; I feel well in myself but still have very low energy levels.  Once I am back to normal I intend to do more crafting, take more photos and make my blog more interesting for my readers.  I don't usually make Resolutions, especially in January, preferring to go with the flow of nature seeing Spring as the start of the year.  I use January to reflect on what I have achieved so far and what I must do during the coming year and then in March I try to put into practice the decisions I have made. Ha, ha!

Well, I won't bore you any more today. TTFN, Debs. xx

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