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30 August 2014

The Craft Hub: Mini Ironing Board


I'm over at The Craft Hub again today, whipping up one of the most useful things I've ever made, a mini ironing board.

I've been meaning to make myself one forever and now that I have it's been in constant use.  It's brilliant for keeping on the desktop while you are sewing to press your patchwork or seams while you work because you don't have to get up and go trudging off to the 'big board' every five minutes.    But it's been pretty handy to whip out when I want to give something small a quick smoothing over too.  Excellent for children's things.

It won't take you long to make them, so why not visit my Mini Ironing Board Tutorial at The Craft Hub and find out how.

S x




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28 August 2014

Colour Collaborative: August




 Collection

Butterflies, books, medals, various types of toys and more disturbingly, skulls, seem to be the 'top hits' on Google if you do an image search for 'collection'.  I suppose those are fairly typical, along with comics, stamps and thimbles.

For a moment I was at a bit of a loss with this month's prompt.  At first I didn't believe I ever collected anything in my life.  Yarn and fabric these days are, I confess, building up but even they didn't seem to qualify.  They are bought with the intention of being used on some or other project, for the most part at least and surely a collection is something different.

A collection is made purely for the sake of having the things all together in one place, to own them maybe, to seek out every different type or style or size or issue of a thing.  I wouldn't go into a yarn shop and buy a ball of wool purely because I haven't yet got that particular shade of green in my stash for example, with no other intention to just add to the range of greens I already have on display at home.

Photo credit: Beauty Spots of Dorset by Postcard Farm

Then I remembered the postcards.

When I was a little tot of appropriate age, I went, like many of you, to Brownies.  One of the badges, I can't remember what it was called, 'collectors badge' probably, required you to take in a collection of some 'things' in to be viewed by the powers that were, in order to win the badge.  Rubbers and pencils were popular I seem to remember.  I didn't collect rubbers, or pencils, or anything else for that matter and postcards were suggested to me as a suitable type of thing to start collecting.

I don't recall being too enamored with the idea, but, no doubt with suitable parental nagging, I began to buy a postcard from everywhere we went.  Holiday towns and villages, historic houses and castles, scenic gardens, beach fronts, museums etc.  Wherever we went, I got a card.  The two above were absolutely typical of many that I owned.  In fact, I'm sure I had the Dorset one, it looks so familiar.   Then every so often I would have to sit down and glue them into a large scrapbook and label each one to say where I had got it.

By the time I had a sufficient amount to present to the Brownies for my badge (one scrapbook full), I was hooked.  Or at least, the habit had become so ingrained that it stayed with me throughout my childhood.  I filled quite a few more scrapbooks and would always be on the look out for cards in a new or different style or unlike any I'd seen before.  Poldark Mine was a novelty I remember because you could post the card to yourself using the underground postbox.  I was most excited by that and had to use sellotape to stick that card in - you had to be able to flap it over and see the postmark of course!


Photo credit:  Poldark mine by Joe and the famous underground postbox by Stuart McInnes


Long after I stopped bothering with the scrapbooks I still bought the postcards, well into my twenties.  In the college years I started collecting cards of artworks from galleries and these old style advertisements were hugely popular with me when I was studying graphic design.  In fact I have some framed and on my walls now because I still love them.  I suppose it is no surprise that they also create the palette of colours I like the best too.

I don't buy postcards any more, I don't know when I finally decided to stop, I suppose when I kept finding little paper bags filled with cards I hadn't looked at in years and started to wonder why I still bothered.
All these years later though, I do still have the urge to go the gift shop and check the cards.



: :


Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs
for more of today's great posts...

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above the River

and our guest poster...

Caroline at Scraps of Us


What is The Colour Collaborative? 
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff.
Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together?
Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too.
We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination 
our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

S x




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26 August 2014

Peek-a-boo Blanket


I've been working on a few super secret projects lately.

I've been lucky enough to get a few pattern commissions from a UK crochet magazine, which has been a new and exciting development for me.  So I've been playing secret squirrels and keeping things from you, which is a fun of a sort but it's a little hard to kerb the natural blogging instinct to share everything with you straight away!

Happily though, I can now tell you about one of those super secret projects because it's no longer in hiding and has appeared out in the open for all to see in Love Crochet magazine.

 


It's called, as you can see, 'Peek-a-boo Blanket' and I was thinking of those lovely fifties blankets that are simple but classic, with their patterns of holes as I made it.  It's a nice easy to learn pattern too, so once the first few rows are under way and you can see what's what, you'll be flying through it.

I added a little more detail to the edging to keep it interesting and I can't resist a little prettifying in the way of a crinkly edge.  But the good news is that you can easily adapt the border to a less frilly look.  That way it would be absolutely perfect for a boy too.

I used Sirdar Snuggly for the yarn because it's just the perfect thing for baby makes.  Lovely and soft and snuggly for baby, easy peasy to clean in the machine and at a reasonable price for you too.





I hope you like it and I've love to hear from you if you get a copy of the magazine and make one.  I think it'd work well in lots of different colour combinations, so please do share!

The magazine is only available in the UK (as far as I know) and I can't see any where that you can buy online, so I'm sorry my overseas friends, you'll have to wait a little longer to get your hands on this one but I will be able to release it for sale on my own site in time.

 - Update (26th August 2014):  Apparently you can get Love Crochet in the US at Barnes and Noble.  Thanks for the tip Lee!

- Update (1 September 2014): It's also available in Brisbane, so hopefully other places in Australia will stock it too - Thanks for the info Lisa! 



Pot Holder PS...

Oh and I completely forgot to include the pattern information for the potholder I made and shared in the last post.  Please pop back to the 'Small Wins' post which I've updated to with all the details (scroll to bottom of the post).

I hope you'll forgive me for not going back to each of you who asked about the pattern individually but holiday time is short so I thought this way would be quicker!


S x




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21 August 2014

Small wins


Time is a precious commodity isn't it?

Something you really notice when you don't have enough of it anyway.  I'm settling in to the back at home routine much quicker than I thought I would and have even managed to make an impressive dent in 'Mount Washmore', which has taken a quite frightening amount of washing loads to reduce to a reasonable size.

It was my plan to have the lacy bunting pattern all ready to share with you today but I'm afraid it is not to be.  Little Miss will be 9 this week and as well and making the birthday a special one, there is also a Frozen themed sleep-over party (heaven help us!) to be planned for the weekend and these things take up an amazing amount of time it seems.  That's before I've even started on the dreaded birthday cake.  (I'm not a natural cake decorator - the 'birthday cake evening' is normally long and fraught!)

But enough of my whinging, you are probably in the same boat.  Maybe not exactly the same boat, maybe not a boat headed for 'Frozen' shores with a bunch of cheeky 9 years olds in it with you but you know what I mean I'm sure.  You have plenty of calls on your precious time too.

Let's push all that to one side, just for a little moment though shall we?  Let's instead, drink in those pretty colours above.  I don't know about you but every time I see them, I think of ice-cream.  Especially given my recent return from France where they have an ice-cream flavour called Schtroumpf, which apparently translates to 'Smurf' and is exactly that shade of blue, I kid you not!  I couldn't tell you what it is that Smurf tastes like though, I couldn't quite bring myself to try anything coloured bright aqua to be honest.


And also, while talking of the colours, I like to look at this cute little hot pad as it reminds me that quick projects can be just as satisfying to complete as the long ones.  Sometimes more so, because it feels like a small win and that's a nice thing to feel when the to-do list is growing faster than you can cope with.

I actually made this colourful chappie before we went away.  He's going to go and join his mates on my Pot Holder Wall soon.  (Potholder or pot holder?)  I'd like to have a nice collection of them all hanging there eventually.  That's going to grow very slowly, but as each completed pad feels like a bit of an achievement, somehow it doesn't matter quite so much.


: : ICE-CREAM POT HOLDER : :

Pattern: Crochet Flower Hot Pad by Free Craft Unlimited
Yarn: Rico Creative Cotton

My Ravelry Project Page

S x




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