22 September 2011

All Pegged Out

I don't know why I always decide to do things at the most inappropriate time but that's often the way it seems to go.

The thing that I'm here to talk about today for example.  Today, you see, I suddenly decided to make myself a new peg-bag. I don't know how long I've had it in my head to make myself a new one, an eon or so, give or take.  Suffice to say it's been long overdue.

The things is, the old one irritates me.

For a start, it's not very pretty and for a finish, it's not really big enough to hold all my pegs, without them dropping out here and there around the garden.

As the job of a peg-bag is to hold pegs, that's a fairly major failing I'd say.   This thing is neither practical, nor pretty and if a thing is not practical and not pretty what, I ask you, is the point of it blighting in my house any longer?   Well, quite.

So, with Autumn upon us and Winter rapidly approaching, (if those British 'Weathermen of Doom' predicting October snow are to be believed) hanging out clothes on the line to dry and the accompanying accoutrements for such a task hardly seem the most pressing concern right now.  There must be only a hand full of days where such laundry luxury will be possible.

See what I mean about inappropriate timing?  Peg-bags are not exactly top of the agenda right now, and yet 'right now' is when I decide, out of the blue, to make one.

While the urge is there though, I decided to go for it.  After all, the urge to do this has taken it's sweet time coming and if I shun it now, who knows when it will dare to return?   No, it's best to listen to these random ideas as and when they arise and make peg-bags while the sun shines.  As the old motto definitely doesn't go.

Here it is then, the spur of the moment peg bag...

I like her.  She's deliciously floral, ribboned and pretty.  She's got a lot more depth and girth than the old model and she's also very accommodating in the peg holding department.  Which is everything a peg-bag should be I feel.

The ultimate test will come at the next 'oh my word, it's raining!  Quick get everything in now, now now!' moment.  But I have every faith that she'll perform admirably well!

S x

19 September 2011

Ch, ch, ch, ch, changes!

I do love to tinker with things!

I try to restrain myself for tinkering with this site too much though, as it can be a pain for you, my dear visitor.

I hope though, you don't mind bearing with me today while I do make a few changes around here.  They're mostly of the cosmetic variety, but I think it'll all be a little cleaner and a little easier to find things around here when I'm done.

I've put on the links on the right hand side now so that they're all together.  Everything is still there and hopefully you'll be able to find all that you want with out too much extra scrolling about.

I've also updated my menu bar at the top there, so that 'Tutorials' will now get a page of their very own.  I know there's only one of them so far, but I'm kind of 'signalling my intent' as it were and I thought it'd be a nice quick way to navigate to these posts.

I've also cleaned up the Patterns page and split it into the free patterns on the 'Freebies' page and patterns for purchase on the 'Shop' page.  I've also grouped them by either knitting or crochet for your easy finding pleasure.  I think it's sleeker that way and will make things easier as these pages grow in future.  (Hopefully the very near future!)

If I've broken any links or anything annoying like that, please do let me know and I can fix it post haste for everyone's comfort and convenience!

S x

15 September 2011

Turning Cartwheels

The sun is shinning, the washing is drying, the house is (reasonably clean), I've just had a yummy lunch and I've come to do a little bit of Ta-Dahing.  All is good and right with my little world today.

These are going to be the subject of today's post

These are my cartwheels.  I don't know why that became their name, but it did and that's how I can't help but think of them.  They are going to made into a shrug of my own (somewhat tortured devising), but before that, let us go back to the beginning.

When I try to think of how the idea came about, I'm not sure I can remember.  I think it came from a number of different pictures I've been seeing lately here, here, here and here.  That and these wonderful colours which had been in my head as a kind of palette ready for action for a little while.

I didn't plan it that way because it was still pretty summery when it was first concieved, but I think they have a pleasing Autumnal feel to them.  I love that word:  Autumnal!

So the circles started to pile up, which you may know, is my very favourite part of the project.  I love the colourful heaps, the pretty displays and all that potential!  Potential is exciting.

Ummm, happiness!

Then came the construction.  This bit I wasn't sure of, it was a kind of 'suck it and see' type procedure, but I came up with a method fairly painlessly and so the networking of cartwheels began.

This stage took quite a while...

But after a while, it started to come together and resemble a garment.  At some point during all this I decided on a simple edging of double (or single, if you prefer) crochet to set it off, with just a few of the colours in.  It seemed right.

And then, it was done.

Such an enjoyable project, I don't think there was hardly a moment in the making that I didn't love, which is usual for me.  Normally, especially when the end is in sight, I start to flag and want the whole thing over with, but this time I was content. 

Well, with the possible exception of sewing in all the 'networking' ends which, in my excitement of getting it all together so I could see the shape, I didn't do as I went along.  Still a solid Sunday's work saw the back of the blighters!

So, there you have it.  Ta, if you won't mind me saying it, Dah!

One more thing.  I know you'll want to know, so I have all the oh so important yarny details for you:

It's made from a sport weight yarn called Bergère de France Idéal, which I picked up at my local-ish shop.  It has a great range of colours, including ones that I felt exactly matched my palette imaginings at the beginning.  Here's the colours I used:

20555 - Cyclamen (Raspberry pink)
20743 - Loess (Khaki green)
20754 - Olivine (Olive)
20846 - Chenas (Plum)
22375 - Balladone (Soft violet)
23026 - Danseuse (Soft pink)
23040 - Citonnier (lemony lime)
24241 - Cendre (Ash grey)
24872 - Calanque (Peacock)

I used just about half a skein of each of the above to make all the cartwheel and a little more of each of the border colours.  Then to join all the circles together I used 3 balls of:

23316 - Vannerie (Beige)

See you soon.

S x

Oh, I almost forgot!  I'm entering this little shrug in the 'Celebrate Color' competition over at Stitched in Colour.  It's a great competition, with some lovely prizes to be won - go and check it out!

S x

10 September 2011

Back to the Old Routine

It's been a little strange this week, getting back into the normal routine of school days.  It feels an awful long time since we've done the getting up early, the packing of lunch, the "haven't you got your shoes on yet?  I've asked you three times" type thing and I can't say I've missed it very much.  For the first year I've found it harder to get into the routine than fall out of it.  Funny how things change as those Little Ones grow isn't it?

We did all of our  'back to school' preparations last week, sharpening pencils, sewing in name tags, folding the PE kit, digging out the new lunch box that we brought at the beginning of summer, now where did we put that, I know it was around here somewhere?

Out we both set on Tuesday, best foot forward for a new academic year.   My Little Miss has settled straight back into it I'm glad to say.  She seems unfazed by a new year, a new class and a new teacher and for that I'm very grateful.

So, that leaves me.

What have I been doing with myself now that I have the house to myself again?

Well, I've been treating myself to the most shockingly lazy, housework shy, craft indulgent week that I've had for a long, long time!  I have waved the hoover around and flicked a duster about, the washing machine has been whirring and meals have been cobbled together, but mostly, I've been sitting my behind on various comfy places around the house making this thing, or that thing, as I see fit!

Which means, I'm happy to say, I have something to show you!

I wrote not so long ago, of these darling little patches...

What joy they have given me over the summer.  In fact, just seeing that picture makes me want to do more right now.  Yes, I did have me some fun patching away quietly whenever I could steal a moment or two.

I had a fabulous plan for my patches, but once I had gotten to this...

...stage I had to wait for more time, time which would allow for a stint at the sewing machine and this week did deliver!

I wanted to make a sewing machine cover you see.  Now that I have my room dedicated to craftiness I can leave my sewing machine out on the desk all the time.  Very good and very handy indeed, but also very dust collecting - bad.  There was a dust cover included with the machine of course, but how dull, white and unexciting it was - also bad.  So this was my plan, a pretty, crafty and patchy cover - perfect!

So here she sits, all beautiful and ready to be seen.  Shall I show her to you?  Of course I shall!

Isn't she cute?  The best part is she has real thrify-cred too.  Much of the fabric I used was old material salvaged from old clothes and most of the rest I already had stashed.  I allowed myself one small new purchase, some red Flower Sugar by Lecien.  Here's my patches:

1.  Little One's old dress
2.  My Nan's old blouse
3.  Little One's old dress
4.  Little One's old dress
5.  Little One's old dress
6.  Flower Sugar by Lecien
7.  Pink Paisley by Cath Kidston  (Which they don't have any more on the site, but looks like this)
8.  My old blouse
9.  Rose Sprig by Cath Kidston
10.  Little One's old dress

Probably not very useful if you've seen something you love which tuned out to be a dress I cut up, but it does make me happy to re-use things in this way.  Making a dress my Little One wore that I loved, into a sewing machine cover which I can also love, makes for a very happy me.

I lined it just with simple white fabric

and I love the binding, which is also from stash and turned out very well

and sets it all off nicely.

It wasn't all plain sailing though and in the interest of fairness, I must tell you I did mess up the lining size slightly leading to a very snug fit, as you can see by the way it bulges as it stretches slightly to fit over the bottom

and also to an unsightly tuck, which in my immense laziness, I just hid round the side.

Naughty, I know, but it's only for me and sometimes, just sometimes, I find life too short for perfection.

It is time to go now and I must go and put my sewing machine away to bed...

Good night!

S x

01 September 2011

Coming to a Close

It's ironic that today should suddenly be so sunny and warm when the weather lately has been turning distinctly 'End of Summer'.  It has been feeling very much like a season coming to a close.

Also coming to a close are the Summer Holidays.  This is the last week before my Little One returns schoolwards, and today in fact is the last full day of just Me and She time.  There's the weekend of course, but this was the last of the girls together days and we've been making the most of it.

Biking on the new birthday bike, painting, drawing, building and re-building Lego, playing with Lego, playing Lego X-Box games (yes we're currently in a bit of a 'Lego' phase!)

but also baking, swinging and sliding.  Daddy was away tonight so we made our own pizzas too, it's been fun!

But although I met the above two ends with mixed feelings I have nothing but pleasure at these last closures.   All my projects that I had hanging around at the start of the holidays, are now complete, finished, closed, the end.  In fact the last two have been finished a while ago now, so let's see them shall we?

First of all, I shall refer you back to this little bloggy post when you might recall I was having problems sticking with one project.

I had these little hearts from my one of my favourite sources of inspiration, Attic24, all piling up with an idea in mind...

I'd been toying with the idea of a kind of net curtain for my craft room window, but I didn't want anything that blocked much light.  In the end I came up with this dangling arrangement, a window 'dressing' I suppose it could be called.

It kind of reminds me of a happier, more colourful version of raindrops falling down the window pane on a wet day.

...and out of the blue, I decided to start this pretty pattern too.

This darling flower came into being by way of the happy conjunction of my pretty new bedding (as shown previously on Sandra's Cherry Heart) and an absolutely delightful pattern by the clever Michelle at Loving the Vintage which I have been coveting for quite some time.

I took the colour inspiration from the bedding which I think it works reasonably well all in all but I do oh so adore this pattern.  So pretty, so delicate, flowery and girly - delicious! 

So, I have some new 'pretties' to adorn my bed and a lovely squishy squashy snuggle buddy for bed-time.

So yes, some things are ending, but that means lots of new things are beginning.  Lots of reasons to be cheerful and lots of new projects to start... but that's for next time!

S x
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