Thursday, 31 May 2012

Simple Crochet Flower

I’ve been working on another crochet granny square over the last couple of days. This time I’m not going to stop when I get bored and am going to make it into one big blanket. Whilst sitting through The Apprentice yesterday (I certainly wasn’t watching it!) I thought I’d test myself to check that I could still make a crocheted flower. It would appear that I do remember what single crochets, half-double crochets and double crochets are and I can still understand the patterns in The Happy Hooker. Here’s the little flower I made…



The Happy Hooker makes these flowers into a scarf but I quite like them as coasters dotted around the place. Not sure what David thinks of that idea though.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Wedding Gifts

It turns out that there are still some crafty things that I haven’t blogged about from our wedding. In our lounge hang these two fantastic pieces that we were given as wedding presents. Lib made the cross-stitch and Ruth did the stunning drawing of our wedding venue Cley windmill. The only things that I can take some credit for on these photos are the cobwebs and I certainly didn’t make them, I just didn’t bother to clean them! Actually, I hadn’t even noticed them until I took these photos...



I’d better get a duster out before Mum sees this and goes mad! Winking smile

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Quilled wedding card

As you can see, Chris and Akiko tied the knot today. I made this last night and felt a little rusty if the truth be told. My petals could have been more consistent but I was quite pleased that I could remember how to make the roses because they’re definitely my favourite quilled flower. At some point I’m going to try making lots of them and glue them together into a heart but not yet. It’s time I got back to that kite…


Friday, 25 May 2012

Cards by Ruth Sparshott

Ruth makes beautiful cards using glass paints on sheets of acetate. She then mounts the painted acetate into apertures and embellishes the cards in various ways. I particularly love the fuchsias…

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This next one uses green aida fabric and lazy daisy stitches (I’m not sure if that’s their real name but it’s what I call them!)

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The final card is made from fabric mounted in a circular aperture and adorned with a few beads to look like dew on a fir cone. It’s so effective.


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Cards by Katie Childs and Lib Haigh

I love the simplicity of both Lib and Katie’s cards.

These first three cards are made by Katie. The cross-stitch on linen is lovely and she makes great use of the pinking shears, which are a crafting tool that I don’t own!

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This last one is made by Lib using muslin-like material, wax and water-based paint (I think…). Gorgeous.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

What a lot of time and effort

With two days left until Year 13 leave Woodford for study leave and exams, I have finally finished all of the girls and cards for my 22. The 9 owls, 13 wooden implements and 22 cards are packed away and all that is left to do is make my baked cheesecake tomorrow night. I was very ambitious this year and I’m relieved it’s all done now.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Little Owl by Ruth Sparshott

I happened to mention to one of my Year 13s today that I still have a card that she made me when she was in Year 7. This led to a request for me to take it into school and in turn took me to my “keepsakes” box where I stumbled across a lovely selection of handmade cards that I have kept over the years. I intend to post these cards, in the four crafting categories that they fall into, over the next week. This first one is a beautiful painted card that Ruth made for David. She also painted a Barn Owl for my Nan. I don’t currently have a photo of that to share but it does hang in pride of place in her lounge.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Needle felted mouse

Another trip to Leek and another new craft to add to my repertoire. This time it’s needle felting. Lib treated me to a needle felting kit for my birthday, which included a big foam pad, four terrifying barbed needles (shown below) and a bag full of felting wool. She gave me a quick lesson and then I made a mess of my first two attempts at creating needle felted pieces. Just for the record, it really hurts when you prick yourself with these needles, believe me!
I was also introduced to a little piece of heaven in the form of a craft shop in Leek, which also runs craft workshops if you’re ever in the area. It’s called Bibelot and I’m pleased to see that they are online and have their own blog, which I have now added to my feed on the right hand side. It’s absolutely fantastic!
Anyway, I set about a second attempt to felt when I got home this evening. David is a big fan of knitted mice so I thought I’d make him a felted one. This is so much better than yesterday's attempts and I can only get better (I hope). The little creature is also pictured below with David’s youngest knitted mouse.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Finishing touches

I’ve been incredibly busy this evening and it’s all been for my Year 13s. My first job was to finish the good luck cards for my form. Here are the eleven for those in my form that I don’t teach…


Secondly, I made another owl - the first on my new machine. I have decided that I’ll do the last three on my old machine just because I’ll be far quicker on it. I need to learn how to better control my material when using the new one before I tackle things like soft toys. I also made good luck tags that I have stitched onto the owl’s ears.

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Finally I set about this year’s batch of pyrography. I did thirteen implements in one sitting tonight. Now I’m exhausted and off to bed. Phew!


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Frister-Rossmann QE404 ~ oh yes!!!

Whoop whoop, my new sewing machine has arrived and it’s a beauty. I’ve spent a couple of hours reading and playing around before putting it away and carrying on with my form’s good luck cards.

Here it is. Just look at all those stitches! It makes me so happy :¬)


It came with a couple of freebies, both of which are surprisingly good quality. The set of scissors are great and just look at the colours of cotton that they’ve sent me. Perfect for a little embroidery I think.

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Here’s some of the stitches that I’ve tried out so far…




I particularly like the programmable function that allows me to stitch words…



Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my 30th birthday and I have been spoilt rotten all week. I’m currently having a quiet day recovering from last night’s party and thought I’d share the handmade pieces that I have received…

The first is a lovely hand-stitched make-up bag from Anny. See more of her things on madebyanny


This is a lovely little brooch from Maggie that will look fabulous on my new bag from Amy…


Ruth made this crocheted flower card…


Frances has done a fantastic job of curve stitching this card..


This one is from Steph and I just have a couple of days before her birthday so I’d probably best get cracking…


This card was from Maggie and was handmade in India. The info on the back says it comes from


This one is not handmade at all but it has inspired me to have a go at making something similar soon…


Friday, 11 May 2012


Year 11 made me a wonderful little booklet to say their farewells this week. I rather like my new nickname especially as it is all too appropriate! Their messages were lovely and I can see myself getting this out of my keepsake box many times in the years to come. Thank you Year 11.


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Good Luck Cards Batch 3

I finished the second batch of good luck cards on Monday and then made a start on the third and final set. These ones are for my Year 13 form so I need to make eleven for those members of my form that I don’t teach.

I first stamped and embossed all of the cards with gold embossing powder…


I then painted each one using watercolours. They took quite a long time to dry so by the end of the day I’d only managed to mount and finish four cards but that part doesn’t take long anyway.



Tonight I’m busy writing the first set of good luck cards for my Year 11s who have their last lesson tomorrow. That’s undoubtedly the most difficult part of this whole process!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Wedding Acceptance Card

My first job on Bank Holiday Monday was to make an acceptance card for a wedding later this month. I’m not sure that I’ve ever made one before although I usually make cards for the day itself. There is nothing complicated in this design but I definitely like the effect.


Monday, 7 May 2012

Quilled flower card and my 30th birthday cake

This has been a fabulous bank holiday weekend. On Saturday we celebrated Amy’s 30th birthday like it was 1933 and on Sunday I had my first of three 30th birthday celebrations (I’m very greedy) with a kids birthday party at Mum and Dad’s house. We were lucky with the weather so Katryn, Archie, Steven, Millie, James, Ollie, Josh (and I) could run around the garden all afternoon. Loved it!

So, here is the card that I made for Amy. I wasn’t sure about the quilled flower in the middle which has petals of different lengths but David and Amy particularly commented on that one so maybe I’m wrong!


The flowers take a little while to make because I have to cut the paper before curling them up around the quilling tool. Here’s a close-up…


Mum made me this fabulous cake. I have no idea when I last had a number cake for my birthday and I loved it! Thanks Mummy!!!


Now I’m all set up for a bank holiday Monday crafting and marking for my exam classes. Could be better, but certainly could be worse. I’ll post my crafting efforts tomorrow.

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