I love making colourful things and working with textiles, especially crochet and patchwork and particularly in retro 1970s-style! I also love being outdoors, growing things, and walking in the magical mid Wales countryside where I live.
Wow, it really HAS been a long time since I posted on my little blog, hasn’t it?? SO much has happened this year, it’s been a bit of whirlwind to be honest and blogging has taken quite the back seat! My creative life has moved into whole new areas in this last year and I’ve been having a wonderful time making new things, trying new ideas and meeting lots of lovely new people too.
So first off, I have moved house AGAIN! I now have a wonderful, permanent home (for the first time in, err, EVER) with lots of space and my very own craft room, that I like to call my Playroom! That’s it to the left of the front door. And as you can see, I also have a WHOLE new wilderness of a garden to tame! In fact I have three – one at the front, one to the side, and the main one here at the back. It was a bit of a wrench leaving my old garden behind I must admit. I’m very glad of this little video I made of it a couple of months before I left to remind me how lovely it was, and also how quickly a garden can change – who remembers what my last one looked like when I arrived??
As you’ll know from my last few posts here, starting this summer I’ve been co-hosting a craft stall with BitsaTat by Delia at our local Arts & Crafts market every month. It’s been a wonderful social thing to do and I’ve really enjoyed meeting lots of other makers and being part of the lively creative community that we are blessed with here in the Marches.We have a great craft group in our little town too, and every Wednesday afternoon you’ll find a bunch of us surrounded by yarn, fabric, threads, and tea (and often cake!) in our local cafe. Over the summer we did a little ‘group project’ to make a display for the cafe, which was so much fun that we’re all agreed we need to do another! You can see the finished results on our Facebook page, but here are some of my contributionsI’ve not been doing so much sewing this year, but still plenty of crochet and lots of felt creations! Mainly in the form of headdresses and hair clips where I’ll use a mixture of wet felt and needle felted shapes and embelish these with embroidery, beads, applique, and all kinds of bits I’ve picked up in charity shops and car boots. I absolutely love these creative journies, I never know quite how they’re going to turn out!We’re taking a break from the craft stall for the winter now and I’ve almost finished setting up my craft-space Playroom, so there should be a bit more time for blogging over the coming months. I have crochet cardies to share with you, plus my latest obsession – felt and fabric beads! Hope you’ll come and join me!
Hello everyone! Wow, have I been BUSY these last few weeks…. mainly making faerie houses and felt flower headdresses, ready for my first stall at Kington Arts & Crafts Market tomorrow! This is a new joint-venture effort between me and my super-talented friend Delia (see Her Facebook page Bits A Tat for more info) and if all goes well, we shall be making it a regular monthly thing. Fingers crossed!
It should be a lovely lively day tomorrow, with lots of fabulous hand-made and vintage treasures on sale plus street music provided by Nat Brewer. 9.30am til 3pm at the Market Hall, Kington HR5 3DP. So do come along for a browse if you’re in the area, we’d love to see you!
But enough of that!! You want to see the latest crazy funky headdresses, don’t you?! Ladies, gents & all between, I give you my July collection (modelled by my new glamorous assistant)…
The Purple Princess… Frida Flowers…The Deluxe Mermaid…and finally, The Little Mermaid clip (for those who don’t want to go ‘the full mermaid’)!Thank you, as always, for sharing my Creative Adventures with me! Hope you enjoyed the pics. Wishing you a lovely weekend one and all 🙂
The weather has been mostly warm and sunny for the past week (apart from today of course, because it’s a bank holiday here in the UK!) and I’ve been continuing with my Mission to transform my garden. Just for reminders, here’s what it looked like when I moved in just over 2 years agoYep, the area filled with rubble to the left, between the two tree stumps, is the same as the one in the pic at the top! This has been the final part of the garden to receive the Sarah Special, Organic Permaculture No-Budget treatment, mainly because it was literally a pile of refuse – rocks, rubble, builder’s plastic, and broken glass. I’m not up to lots of heavy digging and had no means to import top soil, etc, which anyway is against my ‘zero budget’ principles! So I’ve been pondering what to do with it for a long time. Then a few weeks back whilst re-reading Graham Bell’s classic book ‘The Permaculture Garden’, I hit upon the solution! And here, I’ve even made a little video to show you how I did it!
Pretty cool, huh?! I am, of course, exceptionally chuffed!
Meanwhile the rest of the garden is busy transforming itself, now. The flower bed that was one of the first beds I created back in 2015 has totally come into its own this year and is looking amazing. Again, here’s what it looked like when I started:By planting mostly perennials, bulbs, and self-seeding annuals and keeping the planting dense to supress the weeds, I really haven’t done much of anything to it this year. It got mulched with compost last autumn, a bit of a weeding in spring before the perennials had gotten into full growth, and a sprinkle of organic chicken manure pellets. This is how it looks today!
Hope you enjoyed my little tour! Wishing you a flowery, low-maintenance kinda week 🙂
Greetings, mortal folk! Welcome to our Faerie settlement. Our local builder has been very busy lately as you can see, having just scored a whole pile of new materials at WonderWool last month. Shall we take you on a little tour?
That online embroidery course last year has resulted in some rather fancy door and window frames The clematis are flowering nicely at the momentvery good for attracting the wildlifefaery houses are remarkably fertile places, and all sorts of interesting things like to grow around them of course it’s not only faeries who are attracted to these little abodeswe don’t mind though, there’s plenty of room at the top It’s a very friendly neighbourhood I’ve got a feeling there will be a few more of us very soon! Wishing you all an enchanted faery weekend! 🙂
I can’t believe it’s a month already since Wales’ premier woolly event, the Wonderwool Wales show! Me & Cy packed up our cameras & tardis-like shopping bags, raided the cashpoint and donned our best me-made crochet wearables, landing at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth around 10.30am. THREE giant halls packed with all kinds of displays and GORGEOUS STUFF awaited us!
Some of the local Guild Group’s work We saw plenty of real ones too but only this sheep was up for a photo opportunity with Cy Felt fish! I loved this rug-making technique using scraps of wool fabric rolled up like swiss rolls, although I couldn’t quite work out how all the sections were joined together!This amazing piece is a hand-knitted map of Llandysul, home to the National Wool Museum. (Spot the me-made crochet jumper No. 2, finally finished just in time for summer, oh well…) I loved all the tiny little details, SO much work has gone into this beautiful pieceThere didn’t seem to be so much crochet on display as I would have liked, although to be honest we didn’t get round the whole thing so I may well have just missed it. My fave was the vibrant colours and varied textures of Jane Crowfoot’s ‘Sunshine and Showers’ blanketSince we are now both totally hooked on needle felting we had a field day rummaging through piles of beautiful wool tops and I came home with a bulging bag full, as well as some gorgeous yarn for next winter’s first jumper project. All in all a Grand Day Out – the sun shone, we met up with friends, had a yummy Polish Cuisine lunch and talked about crafts all day long! Perfect… Already dreaming of next year’s…
It all began when I decided I wanted a tribal-belly-dance-style headdress to wear to the Barefoot Dance… on the day of the Barefoot dance! So of course being me, I made one for myself with what I had to hand, which was some bits of felt, funky buttons and beads and some leftover ‘dreadlocky’ felting yarn! All this got stitched and tied together with thread and attached to a (now re-purposed) alice band. Whoo-Hoo: tribal headdress, funky felt style!And THEN, me and my Phoenix Crafts pal Cy went on a needle felting workshop with the brilliant Emma from Ffolky Felt, and we were hooked! (Or should that be ‘barbed’??). So I’d had this idea to make a mermaid headdress for my dance pal M., and this was my first go at a flower for it, made at the workshopHow cool is that?? – BUT, a bit on the big side and a tad heavy for the alice band. So I came up with this insteadand THEN, I bought a hot glue gun, and life has never been the same! Here’s the finished Mermaid HeaddressI’ve been on a roll ever since! I made one for another friend who asked for lime green and turquoise. I had some beautiful wool felt I got at last year’s Quilt Festival in those EXACT colours, plus some sparkly turquoise beads found in a charity shop for 50pI absolutely LOVE making these! They are so much fun to do and to wear! I made myself a MoonFlower headdress next (modelled here by Cuddles the Tiger), to go with my Velvet Party fRock. The flowers are a combination of shapes cut from home-made wet felt & wool felt sheets and needle felted pieces all worked together with the felting needles. The band is covered with some scrap dress fabric, and I finally got to use the sequins I bought that never made it onto the actual dress! Another friend had a Significant Birthday a few weeks back, so I made her something to match her party outfit. She liked the flowers but didn’t want an alice band, so out came the hot glue gun and some crocodile hair clips. These are her flowers, again a wet felt/wool felt sheet/needle felting combinationThese are the finished clips, embellished with beads and dreadlocks. Pleased to say they stayed in her hair all evening, despite some vigorous dance-floor action. Groovy!
And since I was going to said S.B. party I thought I’d better make myself something too. This is my first go at doing wet-felt spikes. I like the way they look BUT: sooo fiddley. I finished up adding some needle felted ones as well, much easier to make.
(and quite tricky to photograph in all their dreadlocky glory, too)I’m totally addicted to this felting malarky, I’ve been making all sorts of funky things lately. More soon, but for now – Wishing you all a bright sunny weekend 🙂
Winter is ALMOST over, hurray! And it’s feeling pretty spring-like here: the crocuses are out even if it IS still a bit chilly. But I have braved the March winds and emerged from my hibernation, and I thought I’d begin by sharing with you some of my finished crochet projects from the dark months…
So, first up, YES, I did finish the purple alpaca jumper! And I have worn it to death ever since! It’s very warm and snuggly without being too weighty, which is exactly what I wanted. It did look pretty smart when first completed but it’s already begun to pile rather disappointingly (shall I name names, Drops Alpaca yarn??) as you can doubtless see from these pictures. Hopefully this will be temporary! I pretty much followed a freebie pattern from African Expressions (download HERE, code 6006) using my trusty size F hook. However their tension square/size guide made no sense to me whatsoever so I just measured an existing jumper and worked it out for myself. My main other changes were to leave the bottom 3″ of the side seams free (tunic-style) and add two rows of the shell edging from the bottom to the sleeve cuffs as well. I am chuffed to bits that I can make wearable jumpers and am now working on No.2!Inspired by this success, I decided to have a go at something lacey and complicted! Ages ago I was given a skein of beautiful hand-dyed Araucania Botany Lace yarn and I’ve been pondering what to make with it ever since. This Whole New Concept of crocheting my own clothes, plus the revelation that lightweight things can keep you warm led me to alight on THIS PATTERN by Girlie’s Crochet for a sassy bolero-shrug-type thing. The pattern actually looks more complex than it is, and because you join-as-you-go the squares, it turned out to be quite a quick make. It also turned out that a 100g/415m skein was about 5g short of what I needed! So: VERY many thanks to my lovely friend M. who came up with something suitable from her stash for me for the edging! I think the contrasting yarn works rather nicely don’t you? – And I’m especially chuffed with the little shamrock ends on the ties!Now I bet you’re wondering what became of that marathon project, my take on Attic 24’s Cosy Stripe, the Boho Blanket?Whoo-Hoo!! Finished just after Xmas, so yay, I DID achieve my aim of getting it on my bed before the year was out!I do totally love the way this turned out, with it’s sumptuous mini-granny-square border, finished with a combi of Cosy Blanket edging and a dinky picot. The colours feel so gloriously gorgeous and it brightens up my dingy bedroom so much! For the record it took ONE HUNDRED AND SIX squares to go right around this blanket and no, I will NOT be making another one. EVER…And while we’re on the subject of squares, I have also spent very many an evening hook in hand engrossed in some DVD or other, and turned out yet another bunch of these to send off to KAS-CareI’ve been experimenting with making super-chunky squares by crocheting a thinnish yarn in one colour together with lots of odds and ends of other colours and weights. These were done with a size G (4.25mm) hook and are great stash-busters! (I think of them as my ‘Blake’s 7 squares’ as they took me the whole of Season 1 do…)Not content with sending them my own squares, I also unearthed some my mum had made aeons ago and offloaded passed on to me, together with a big bag of yarn. So I had fun adding extra borders to make them up to size and into the parcel they go!I hope you’ve all had a cosy winter and are ready to venture forth into Spring! As usual I have more projects lined up for this year than I will ever finish in a lifetime, but hey at least I’ve got plenty to choose from!
Brr, I don’t know about you but it’s FREEZING here in the Marches at the moment! This morning the water in the top of my rain barrel was frozen solid, and it didn’t thaw out all day. Times like these, the best place to be is snuggled on the sofa with some cosy winter crochet projects. And since it is properly cold now, my creative thoughts seem to be rather pre-occupied with making things to keep me warm!
Remember about a year ago, when I started an Attic 24 Cosy Stripe blanket project for myself? And then I saw this lovely version with a granny square border and was inspired to do something similar? Uh-huh… Well, it took me about 2 months to crochet the blanket, and I am STILL working on the border! In fact I Lost the Will with this project over the summer, but recently I’ve picked it up again and have now made what I HOPE is all the granny squares, so maybe it will even be finished and on my bed before the year is out, who knows…?!Now, another past project with which I Lost The Will was my first attempt at crocheted clothing – the granny square ENORMO-CARDIE, way back in Feb 2014. It’s taken me quite a while to get over that particular disaster, but I thought I’d have another go, this time at a nice simple jumper. And it’s coming along rather well, as you can see! Watch this space for a WhooHoo any day now!