Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Another good read and a Stanley winner!

Hello! How is your week going so far? It is a normal old week around here, and as the weather has turned nasty again, I think I might actually get a fair bit of creative time over the next few days. Yay!

So, I thought I'd show you a good read.  I was in the city last week and bought a copy of Alphabet.  I had seen this on a few other blogs and it looked very interesting! Alplabet is a new journal ( it is kind of too nice to just call it a magazine!) and is full of interesting people and reads revolving around the theme of family.  Really lovely photos, and lots of great stories.  I think I will keep an eye out for the next issue!  :)

Also, it is time to pick a winner of my 'Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon' giveaway!  Thank you to everyone who entered and shared some of their favourite reads, a lot of titles I recognised from my own childhood and there were also some new ones to me to check out.  It was actually really nice to reflect back on my childhood favs, I think I might have to put together a little list and share it over here one day.  
So anyway, with at great amount of fan fare, the winner is Jodiebodie!  Congratulations!   
If you see this, could you email me your postal address and I'll get it sent to you ASAP.

That's about it for today, what have you got planned for the rest of the week? 

Monday, July 28, 2014

weekly stills

1. I am on the home stretch of this little blanket, hopefully I'll have a proper tadah for it later this week, just depend on how long it takes to weave in all the ends.  My favourite bit. Not.

2. The lovely pincushion I received as part of the Pincushion Swap I took part in, thanks so much Louise! I hope the one I sent got to it's destination ok!( Swap organised by Tash and Bec of Little Bit of Thyme and Handmade and Home, good one ladies! :) )

3. More crochet stamps on the go.

4. I love the colour of this wool I bought at the Wool Show.  It is actually even nicer in real life, sometimes it is hard to find good shades of green, and I love this one!

5. Taking five while the floors dry, what else is a girl to do! :)

Joining in with the other weekly stills people over at The Beetle Shack.

What have you got planned this week? 


Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Friday Finds #9

Hello everyone, how has your week been?  It's been busy and interesting around here this week, I have been doing lots of blog business things that are quite exciting!  And a fair bit of hooky too!

So anyway, I present to you my 5 Friday finds for this week!

1. At SketchInc I couldn't decide between the cute heart brooch and the gorgeous Frida Kokeshi doll so I decided to put them both up here. This shop is the brainchild of Becky Kemp and there are loads of cute things, I really like the custom painted Kokeshi dolls!


2.FreyaArt is a gorgeous shop full of beautiful illustrations by Freya Ete, I love her range of greeting cards, and fine art prints.  Very covetable!


3.Senkki  make a beautiful range of mid-century inspired furniture and shadow boxes, I love this circular one. I am very partial to shadow boxes as a lovely way of displaying crafty collections, so interesting and eclectic.


4. ZoomYummy creator Petra has lots of crochet patterns in her shop, I like this chunky floor rug, but there are loads of cute little things too!


5. mibostudio is a design studio that creates these lovely paper products, how cute are these downloadable paper animals! I think they would be a fun project with kids. (or maybe I'll just make them up for myself!)   I love the Festive Friends set as well, just so cute!


So that's what I have for today, have you got anything planned for the weekend?
Whatever you get up to I hope you have a good one!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon, a review and a giveaway!

Hello everyone! 

Today I am excited to show you something lovely a very creative lady has been cooking up. 
Fabulous Kate Bruning, the mastermind behind Greedy For Colour blog, (one of my favs I have to say) has written a beautiful children's book, called 'Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon', 
and self published it, the clever thing! 

Kate makes amazing things out of yarn and a hook, I am sure many of you have been watching all the interesting and beautiful creatures and props Kate has been making over the last year or so on her blog, I have been very keen to see the finished product, and it is just as cute and wooly and magical as I expected!

Not only has she written a lovely story about Stanley rabbit, she has created a whole crocheted world in which he inhabits. I just love Kate's crocheted mini world, it is so full of details and little bits of fantastic crocheted ephemera, so beautiful!

I love how the fonts are different and colourful,  and the dreamlike quality to Stanley's world really makes me want to create a crochet mini world as well!
There is also a section at the back full of crafty patterns to make a Stanley rabbit of your own and a hot air balloon and other cute things from the story.  This is perfect, as the story really made me want to make my own Stanley and balloon.   Definitely on the to do list.  They would make lovely presents for little people (or big people too!).

I can imagine a whole flock(?) of balloons dangling around my house, I think it would be quite a lovely sight.

Here are a few of the pretty pages to show you what I mean! Gorgeous!

.....love those magical  mushrooms and mini mice :) .... 

.....a glittery, magical land, I want to go there!.....

....cute family snaps on the inner cover, love all those little baby cots.....

So, Kate has very generously sent me a copy of her book and also one to giveaway to one of you. 
How good is that! :)

Kate is selling her gorgeous book through her Etsy shop over here if you'd like to have a look.  I think  it would be a great present for crafty kids or crafty anyone really!  
(And supporting a lovely creative talent so a win/win really!)

So if you would like to enter the giveaway, just leave comment telling me what your favourite children's or crafty book is, I'd love to get some new recommendations, and I will pick a winner next Tuesday!

Good luck!

Have a fantastic day people, hope the sun is shining wherever you are!


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Monday, July 21, 2014

The Australian Sheep and Wool Show 2014

 Hello crafty peeps! How was your weekend?  Mine was great!  

Yesterday my man and I went on a drive to Bendigo so I could visit the Wool Show (officially The Australian Sheep and Wool Show I think), I hadn't been there before, and I wanted to check to out this year.
It was a great day, filled with colour, yarny goodness and people who were so enthusiastic about all the stuff I love!  I was pretty much in my element!

I had my first ever try at spinning yarn, something I think could become another addictive hobby. The lady at the stall convinced me that yet another crafty hobby was perfectly alright, so I bought a drop spindle to practice with at home.  A friend of mine has a big bag of fleece shorn from his sheep and has said I can spin that if I'd like, so I had better get practising.  I also got a rundown on how to clean and card the fleece, although I fear it went in one ear and out the other, so that will require more investigation.

And as you might imagine, there was a lot of gorgeous wool! Beautiful, colourful squishy balls of yarny pleasure!  

It was a little overwhelming, and there was almost too many choices, so I actually was quite restrained with my shopping, I did buy some lovely 10ply hand dyed in natural dyes, like brown onion, walnut, red cabbage and madder ( great names I thought!).  I hope I bought enough to make a blanket or at least a pillow case.  I also saw some scrummy alpaca that was in beautiful strong colours, but my budget had been blown by this stage, so I just had to admire it.

There were lots of things for the spinners, huge piles of colourful rovings just waiting patiently to be spun into lovely yarn, lots of spinning wheels and people sitting contentedly spinning amidst the crowds.  I looks very relaxing actually.
Weaving also got plenty of attention and I saw lots of cool looms for sale.  I just wanted one because they are such interesting looking piece of equipment!  Weaving is also on my list of things to try this year.  I had a chat with an artist who made these amazing woven artworks, they were tiny and intricate, and beautiful.  I am going to attend a workshop in August and learn how to weave in miniature with embroidery thread. It looks amazing, very contempory!

There was also plenty of crafty talent on display, most stalls had lovely examples of knitting and crochet and plenty of patterns and kits to get you started.  And a hall of competition knits, crocheted things and spun yarn, it was interesting to see which pieces had won prizes, it was hard to tell which items were the best to be honest, I think the judges would have had a difficult time deciding.

 I had a nice chat with the ladies on the Machine knitting display and have rekindled my interest in having a go at this.  I am not having my luck finding a machine, I keep getting out bid on Ebay, and it doesn't help that I am not really sure what I am looking for!  Apparently there is a machine knitting group in Koo Wee Rup that I should get in touch with, that's reasonably close by, so must put that on my to do list too!
It was quite an inspiring day, my brain was buzzing with all the things I want to do!  My patient husband got quite the crafty ear bashing on the way home but managed to seem reasonably interested in my chatter!  (he didn't actually come to the show with me, happy to drive me there and preferring to explore Bendigo for a few hours by himself , he's a good guy!).
I stopped by the Knitting Mills before we left Bendigo and stocked up on a few bargains from the back room, and somehow quite a bit of colourful 4ply found it's way into my basket, I have a few crafty plans for that stuff! 
We also visited Maldon on the way back for a late lunch, oh I love that town so much!  One of my favourite spots to visit when up Bendigo way.  They have great pies too! :)

So all in all a lovely day out. 

I hope you had a good weekend, did you have a fun one too? 

Talk soon!


Friday, July 18, 2014

5 Friday Finds #8

Hello friends.  Thank you all so much for the lovely response to my little crochet stamps, I'm glad they brought a smile to your faces too! :)  It is funny how a little bit of whimsy can cheer you up,  I am imagining a whole heap of crochet stamps whizzing around the world connecting us through little bits of crafty love and care!  How wonderful that would be, especially today with all the terrible news from around the world, days like this I wonder what makes us humans tick, capable of such extremes of behaviour, it is hard to comprehend why people do what they do sometimes.....

Anyway, I am trying not to listen to too much news today, it is just so sad, and a bit scary....
on to other lighter matters I think!

I have my 5 Friday finds here for you, a nice little bit of escapism for a grim day.

1. LittleDoolally has made this lovely baby blanket, and sells the pattern in her shop. There is lots of crochet goodness to be found in this shop, I do like the colours she has used.... :)


2.MarinskiHandmades makes these gorgeous girl bowls, so cute!  I think I might have to add one or two to my quirky ceramics collection, Marina does beautiful work!


3.Pomadour's Craft Cafe is a fabulous resource for crafty types, I am sure you have probably heard of this great shop before,  full of the Japanese craft books that are styled so beautifully.  There is something about the Japanese craft aesthetic that is very charming!  Definite crochet eye candy! While most of the books are in Japanese, the crochet ones have charts for the patterns so it is not difficult to follow.  I found a lot of new titles available since my last visit.


4.ValekRollingPins makes these lovely embossed rolling pins for patterned cookies, what a cute idea! There are different patterns to choose from, I like this classic geometric pattern, but there are some very cute robots and dinosaurs too.  The baker in me really likes these!


5. Lisa Congdon is an amazing artist who amongst other things, creates beautiful images with inspirational quotes, she also has a couple of gorgeous books out. What a talent, I love her work!


So that's it for today, what have you got planned for the weekend?  I am hoping to get to the Bendigo Wool Show, can't wait to check out all the wooly goodness!
Talk soon! 


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Monday, July 14, 2014

Crochet a postage stamp!

Hello! How are you going?  
I have been busy, want to see what I have been hooking up over the weekend? 

I have been making some little crochet stamps.  You know, like postage stamps but woolly!
I know that this is a totally impractical and whimsical thing to make, not really useful, but I think they are really cute and would be a lovely thing to receive stuck on a bit of snail mail. (Maybe somewhere inside the envelope not actually on the outside of the mail!) 

And that is why I decided to have a go at making a crochet postage stamp, I like to add a postcard with a thank you message to all yarn orders that go out of my shop, and I like to stick a little decorative bit of crochet, like a flower or heart or whatever I have been making.  
One of the ladies who did the Blog with Pip course, Yvette of Bear Loves Dove, has started a little linky thing called 'Smile Inducers', and that is what I was trying to create when people open up there postcard, a little smile inducing moment.  I was thinking it would be nice to make an actual stamp out of yarn to go on the postcard. So this is what I came up with!

I thought I'd make a little tutorial so you can make your own crochet stamps too, to pretty up your mail or gifts.  So get out your small hooks and fine thread and lets make a stamp !

Ok, firstly crochet up some little squares, mine where 12 stitches by 12 rows, I used a 4ply cotton and a 2mm hook.  Make 2 of each colour, 1 for the front and 1 for the back.

Next, get your embroidery cottons out and have a bit of a play embroidering on patterns of your own choice to personalise your stamps, you can do anything you like!  Some suggestions - words, flowers, hearts, geometric patterns, smiley faces, etc. Embroider onto one piece of your crochet that will become the front of your stamp.
I have embroidered some flowers on mine.

Next, get your back and front and crochet them together using a slip stitch through both layers, with picots every second stitch to create a kind of 'stampy' edge all the way around your stamp. This means that all the messy back bits of the embroidery are hidden inside the two layers.
 I used a 1.5mm hook for the edge.

Sew in your ends and there you have it, a crochet stamp!

What do you think?  I am really happy how this little project turned out.  I know these are purely decorative, but sometimes it is nice to make something just for the fun of it, to create something to put a smile on your face. 

I might hook up some more of these for a wooly stamp collection, or just to add something whimsical to my thank you postcards.  It was nice to do some embroidery for a change too.

......this is what the backs look like, quite neat and tidy........

......so that is what I have been up to, have you been making anything fun?
Are you someone who makes practical things, or are you more into the cute little useless fun make?
I think I do a bit of both.  Or course it is great if you can make something practical that is cute and fun as well!

I just had a thought that they would make nice brooches if you sewed a pin to the back,
 so quite multi functional after all!

Have a great happy day.