Sunday, May 27, 2012

Feathered friends

Please excuse messy, weedy garden beds, I have big plans for them very soon!

How's your weekend been going?
We have had a good one, Andre had his friends around for a birthday gaming marathon on Friday night, they did manage a few hours sleep so it was all good.  
Last night I had dinner with a bunch of local girls, lots of food and chatting and a great evening catching up with some lovely ladies.  Also had a few glasses of some delicious pear cider, think I've found my new poison! haha...

Anyway, we went out today for fish and chips in Sorrento, and when we arrived home I found we had a feathered visitor.  This gorgeous girl had flown into our backyard and wanted to make friends with our chookies.

She took quite a while figuring out how to join the girls in their yard, but eventually she gathered her courage and flew over the fence....honking loudly...

 ..... unfortunately my girls have very bad manners and did all they could to stay as far away as possible to their exotic interloper.

Such a pretty girl! (at least, I think she is a girl)

Look at her beautiful feathers and such vibrant blues ...........

her tail feathers were spectacular..... chookies were feeling a bit like the country mice in their brown speckled feathers, and were most put out as our colourful friend outstayed her welcome.  There was much disapproving clucking.
They retreated to the hen house and answered her sad honks with ignore.  I had lots of fun taking pictures of the pretty thing.

 The penhen (I think this is what she is) was a lovely bird, wandering around the chicken yard until the girls were locked up for the night, I think she got lonely then, so flew up onto our roof, maybe to roost for the night.

I hope she is still around here in the morning, such a welcome visitor, she really brightened up our garden.  We have been here for 15 years and have never seen a peacock fly in before.  I wonder here she came from.

 I hope you have unexpected visitors brighten your day too!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

flower brooch tutorial- wanna make one?

Hi there.
How's your week going? Good I hope.
Today I have a little tutorial for you.

Do you want to make a flower brooch? You do? Great! 

You will need some 8ply (DK) yarn in a few different colours if you are like me and like lots of different colours in your flower, or you can use just one and not bother with all the colour changes. It's up to you!
You will also need some 3 or 4 ply yarn (I used cotton)  to 'outline' your flower in sc.
You will need a 3.5mm hook and a 2.5mm hook. And a button. And a brooch clasp.
I think that's all.

I am explaining this in US terms, so for you English ladies, sc = dc, dc = tr, tr = dtr.

Anyway let's have a go.........
Use your 3.5mm hook to start with.....

......Make a magic ring by cutting a piece of yarn and making a loop, like so.  This is the centre of your flower, and you join your centre colour over the doubled part of your loop....

 ....and make 20 sc stitches in this loop.

Now pull the two threads that made your magic ring and it should tighten up nicely into a circle, now you can close the circle with a slip stitch into the first ch.  Bind off if you are changing colour for the petals.

Join petal colour to any st, ch3, *skip next st, and into the next st, sc, ch2*  continue around the circle in this fashion and join with a slip stitch into first ch. 

You should have 10 2ch loops around your flower centre.

Next, slip stitch to the first loop and make a petal into the loop.

PETAL: 1sc, 1hdc, 2dc, 1tr, 2dc, 1hdc, 1sc. 

Make 5 petals around your flower, going into every second 2ch loop

Join the last petal to the first with a slipstitch and bind off.

Now to outline the flower.  Get your 2.5mm hook and the thinner yarn and join to the start of a petal.  Sc around each st, doing 2sc in the top 3 stitches of each petal to help them sit a bit better.
Slip stitch across from the last stitch of one petal to the starting sc of the next, and when you have gone around the whole flower,join with a slip stitch. bind off.

You should have something that looks a bit like this.  This is the front set of petals, now you make the back petals.

Back to the 3.5mm hook, turn the flower over and find the 2ch loops in between each petal, like this.

Join you second petal colour to any of these loops, and make a PETAL. (the same as the front petals).
(fold the front petals into the middle to make working this behind round easier)

After making the first petal, ch2 behind the front petal to get you to the next 2ch loop, and continue in this manner around the flower until you have 5 back petals made, ch2 across to the first one and join with a slipstitch.

It should look something like this now!

 Change to 2.5mm hook and thinner yarn and outline the back petals.
Join the yarn to any 2ch in between the back petals and slip stitch to a petal.  Sc in each st around the petals, doing 2sc in each of the 3 top stitches, the same as the front petals, and a slipstitch across each 2ch between the petals. Join with a slip stitch and bind off.

Tighten the centre ring again if it has loosened and knot the ends together. It is just about finished!

Sew a button in the middle, and tidy up the threads, and you have a completed double petal flower! Yay!
At this point you can sew the brooch clasp on and be completely finished, or you can make a couple of leaves to sit behind the flower.

 To make a leaf, I just chained 13, then skipped the first stitch, and did the following into the chains:
1sc, 2hdc, 2dc, 1 tr, 1dtr, 1tr, 1dc, 1hdc, 2sc,   
and then I worked backwards along the other side of the chain for the second half of the leaf.  You can adjust this to as many or few chains as you like to make a bigger or smaller leaf.

Sew the leaves onto the back and sew a brooch clasp on too and you have one finished flower brooch!!

Ta dah!

I hope that was easy to understand, probably clear as mud! haha!

I found it was quite easy to crochet over the threads from the previous rounds so it was easy to tidy up all the ends by just snipping them off.....
umm...what else? I'm sure I've forgotten to tell you something but I can't think of anything at the moment so I hope it works out ok!

Joining in over at  the new Our Creative Spaces here if you want to have a look. 
Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Something newish....

It seems a while since I popped anything up here, another week flying by, life can be so busy with everyday things, it is easy to not get around to the computer, and then blogging takes a back seat and I have to get my mojo back!
Anyway, maybe I haven't posted much because I have been on a bit of a go slow with my hooky things. Too much going on in real life!

Soooo.......this is a piece I have been working on recently, it has been quite slow going because I am trying to figure out the pattern and write it down as I go, it is still pretty random but at least I will be able to reproduce it if I want.  It is kind of a little sister to my big random stripe blanket I finished last year.

This is done in cotton on a smallish hook (3.5 mm I think) to keep it reasonably tight, I think it will look quite cute when it is a finished cushion.  Kind of gypsy like.

.......still lots of colourful threads to deal with......wahhhhh!

Bye for now!

PS. A tutorial is on the way for the flower brooch!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Round here....

So this week has been flying by, starting with a lovely Mother's Day lunch with the family, I scored some long awaited books ( I think they deserve a post of their own), and hugs and kisses, I was happy.
Mum liked her brooch, (I always though you spelt brooch 'broach'. Sorry, wrong. I see how everyone else spells it this way, so I am going with the flow), so that was a winner.

......finally got around to cleaning up my craft space, I ended up moving everything into new spots, change is as good as a holiday and all I have been spending a bit of time in there hooking up some more little flower thingys. Fun.

What have you been up to round your way?
I hope the week is going fine!

see you soon!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fun flower make

So after my big few weeks of blanket hooking I have been having a nice change with some much smaller makes.  Instant gratification. You can't beat it.
I wanted to make a double layered flower that was kind of a graphic representation of a flower, with a fairly sculptured, 3D effect.  I like edging the flower petals with sc, I just like the play of colours that this allows I guess.
I couldn't be bothered looking for a pattern in googleland, so had a bit of a play around and made something up myself, I am sure it is not that original, there are heaps of flower patterns out there already!

The red one at the back is my first version, I improved it slightly for the red and white one, and made a couple of other changes for the blue and green one.

I have to say it was FUN making these!  I want to make a lot more!  It is so great to be able to potter around with colours and different yarns and buttons. It was so good to stretch the creative muscles (even if it was only for this little bit of whimsy!), and I am really happy with my sunny flowers!  Having a design idea in the head and then seeing it come together as a finished thing is very satisfying.

I am making these flowers into little colourful broaches ( I suppose they are quite chunky really).

I was inspired by the fact that Mother's Day is next Sunday here, and I wanted to make something for my Mum.  My poor Mum, still getting handmade presents from me, nothing's changed since primary school!! Hah.

Anyway, I've got to go and get a few broach backs for these ( this one is just balancing on my cardi for the photo, could not find one safety pin in the house!) 

So I am off to enjoy the gorgeous sunny day we are having with a big walk, a nice bowl of soup for lunch and some cooking for the boys this afternoon.  I do have a very lucky life!!

Hope you are all having fun creative days wherever you are!

Joining in with the peeps over at Our Creative Space, go see what everyone has been up!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Star Stich Blanket No.2

Hi there!
Over the weekend we had some pretty ordinary weather. It was cool and wet and dreary, perfect for guilt free daytime crafty action.  I  had so much time I actually got my second star stitch blanket finished!  
So here are some pictures!  

....all folded up nice and neat........

....and all spread out flopped over my very old sleepy hollow chair....

 .......I do love these colours (if you haven't noticed before!!)

I have had a few comments regarding the star stitch and the formation of the little defining 'line' in between each row of stars, apparently it is a bit different to the tutorial I linked to in the Star Stitch post.
I will try and take a couple of photos to show how this line forms in my blanket.
It is actually the back loop of the hdcs that makes this line, it just appears as you crochet into each hdc.
Anyway, I will show you in a photo when I make another one soon.

Thanks for dropping by, hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

rainy day craftyness.... what have you been up to today?  
It's been raining here all day, gloomy and cold, so I got the fire going this morning, warmed the place up, and bit the bullet and tidied up my craft room.  I felt so much happier after it was all nice and tidy, and the best bit was I didn't feel guilty about spending the next couple of hours hooking away on my blanket!! A very pleasant afternoon on this rainy day. (Another star stitch blanket.)'s a flatter version, must admit I do like these colours! 

....and one very soggy garden!!  It usually takes a few days  for the water to subside once we get puddles like this.  At least the garlic is getting a good soaking in! poor chookies (a bit blurry, sorry!) looked very bedraggled, they have a nice dry house they can go into, but they preferred the rain!

Anyway, see you later!