'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

31 December 2008

New Years Resolutions

I wasn't going to do any because no-one ever seems to keep to them and then get really disillusioned, but after reading a thread on the GP forum (and being in a really good mood these last few days) I decided I would. They are very non-specific so hopefully more easily achievable.
  • To look forwards instead of backwards with regards coping with the death of my Mum.
  • To play more.
  • To craft, craft, craft.
  • To enjoy life.

Hope everyone else has success with theirs too.

T-shirt cushion

This is the t-shirt cushion that sits on Ds3's bed. He has a small obsession with campervans (gets that from Hubby) so we couldn't get rid of the t-shirt. Doesn't take much to do this - just stitch the arm and neck holes, fill with stuffing then sew the bottom. Easy-peasy.

Previous Makes

Just thought I'd show you some of the things I've made in the past - I didn't realise quite how many things I'd done until I started looking round.

On the bed is a fleece blanket which I made by cutting up 2 small fleeces (they're never big enough for a double bad are they?!) then making a patchwork blanket by sewing them all back together again. I had to lay them all out on the floor, jigsaw style, then pin and stitch them. Looks good on the bed.

These next 3 pictures are a wooden sewing box I made about 12 years ago. I made the box then covered the outside with wadding and fabric, then made the padded inside lid. Hubby made the plastic tray that sits in the inside.

I had a peg bag that was bought in a charity shop until it fell to pieces. I made this out of some fabric from a quilt cover (bought in the sale because I liked the pattern) and the old wooden coat hanger that was in the old peg bag. I then stitched some ribbon around the opening to (hopefully) stop the fraying. I was really pleased with this.

30 December 2008

I'm on a roll

I'm definitely having a good day - I've just finished the dracula card for the lovely mama on the GP forum. I'll post a piccie once I know she has it safe and sound.


I've come to the point now where I need to move forward with my grief. I've found it so hard to come to terms with it over the last three years but feel now that I need to look forward to the positives in my life and not dwell on the past. It still hurts so much but it's not helping me (or the family) by letting it rule my day-to-day life. I may not be explaining myself very well but I know what I mean :-). So anyway, this Sunday my hubby is taking me to my Mum's house, where her partner still lives, to finish sorting out her bits. We've managed to sort out the photos and clothes but now we have got all the craft stuff to share out. There is so much. I've also rang to arrange a plaque to go in the Garden of Rememberance where her ashes are scattered.

I need to get it done in the New Year so we can start the year on a positive note.

Arn't old sheets great?

It's been a very productive day today - we do get them sometimes. After making the wrapping paper bag I got carried away slightly and made the dog bed cover (yes it does have cats and mice on it), re-made the felt sausages as we didn't like them in a string and re-stitched the eyes on the green mini monster (yes this is the 3rd set he's had). That's a couple off things of my list.

And, Hubby is happy with this pile of soft rags that were left over from the sheet as well.

2 of the sausages sizzling in the pan ;-).

Mini monster

After sorting out Ds3's bedroom and wardrobe I took these out as they have a couple of stains on them so they are no good for the charity shop. I'll try and think of something to make them into. The last t-shirt that we didn't want to part with was made into a cushion which sits on his bed. (I'll try and remember to post a picture). Any suggestions very welcome.

Wrapping paper bag

I didn't do any sock knitting last night (far too grumpy with it still) so this afternoon I have made the wrapping paper bag. I just cut a piece off an old sheet that was given to me, folded it in half, then stitched the bottom and side. I then folded the top over so that it finished the seam but also made a space for the ribbon to go in that I would fasten it up with. Voila!

29 December 2008


Well I'm so disappointed with myself - yesterday I had the first sock at 6.5cms in length for the cuff so then I could start on the pattern. I ended up pulling the whole lt down because I was decreasing the stitches on the 4 needles when I shouldn't have been. The pattern asks for ssk then yo but I was still losing the stitches - don't know how?!?! So anyway, I've pulled it all down (there was no way I could pick up the stitches again if I only pulled the pattern bit down) and have started again. So disappointed. I'm just going to knit a rib pattern all the way down to the heel and hope that works ok. I have to say that this kit was supposed to be a beginner kit...maybe they expect people who want to knit socks to be the same people who knit wonderful and more complicated patterns in other things. Anyway, we shall see what happens and I'm sure to be on here moaning some more when I get down to the heel bit ;-)

26 December 2008

I'm knitting socks...Yipee

Got my socks started, yay. Takes a bit of getting used to all the needles but it's going ok so far. As I'm not an experienced knitter I'm panicking slightly about the pattern bit and all the abbreviations/stitches, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I've already had an order from hubby and ds2, but we'll see if they're still on order when I've finished these ;-).


Now I know this is really sad, but I'm so pleased with the things I made for Christmas presents this year that I'm going to start my spreadsheet ready for next year. I would like most (I kknow that will be very difficult with my older children) of the things to be handmade by me or by other people. I decided to start my list now because when I went to visit my very good friend the other day, she said she wished she'd asked me to make her Christmas cake again. I told her off for not asking - so this is my first present added to the list ;-). I've got loads of ideas (many from the lovely mamas on the GP forum) already so if I write them all down now then I won't get in such a tizzy next year (hopefully).

There were a few things that didn't get done on my Nov/Dec list so I've done some housekeeping (not that sort ;-) ) and updated my lists.

Some fantastic Christmas pressies

A wonderful sock kit (Altered Element) from my wonderful hubby. This was actually on my wish list - hopefully start this later.

Some velour fabric (Myriad), again from wonderful hubby.

And, a counted cross-stitch of flower Fairies from the in-laws. These things should keep me busy for a few weeks :-)
Hope everyone else got something they wished for too.

23 December 2008

Changed a mini monster

We (hubby and I) decided that the green mini monster looked too much like a frog with his button eyes so we've changed them to stitched eyes like the other 4. Looks much better.

I have found a use for my knitted leaves...

.............on this flower. I decided that my Christmas cracker treat would be a flower instead of a mini monster. This pattern is also from How to Knit, and was very easy. I have added beads around the edge and a button in the middle to add a bit of sparkle.

22 December 2008

Santas and Monsters

I meant to add these pictures earlier but I forgot. My favourite is the bottom one because he is nice and simple.

Well, no.3 and no.4 are very pleased to meet you all. Just one more to go.

Santa and mini monster 2

Well, here's monster no.2 - no.3 has arms and legs so far, so hopefully by the end of the day he'll be ready to meet you ;-).

Just wanted to show you a couple of cross-stitches that I've made in previous years (think they both took about 3 years each to make). I tend to get fed up doing cross-stitches, they're great to start with then it's just a bit repetitive. The top one is a hanging one and the bottom one is a bell pull which I bought at a stitching fair in Harrogate that I went to with my Mum and Nan many many moons ago.

21 December 2008


Remembering my beautiful Mum who died three years ago today - who should be here to see her 3 beautiful grandchildren grow (one who she has never seen), who should be sat knitting and sewing and gardening, who should be singing along to Westlife or Metallica, who should be dancing, who should be listening and caring and cleaning when I've told her to leave it, who should be on the other end of the phone when I just need to chat and who I never thought I would miss so much. I know your with me in my heart Mum, and you come in my dreams, but its just not the same.

Monster Pattern

I got the pattern for the monster from Usbourne How to Knit. Here it is (forgive me for no proper abbreviations - it's a kids book and I'm just learning ;-) ).

1 x 50g ball of aran wool (doesn't use much though)
4.5mm needles
sewing needle

For the body (make 2)

Cast on 20 stitches.
Stocking stitch (knit a row, pearl a row) until the knitting measures 7.5cm.
Next row, K2, slip the first stitch over the second one then K to last 2 stitches, K2 together.
Next row, P to end.
Repeat last two rows until you have 12 stitches left.
Next row, P to end, then cast off.

For the arms (make 2)

cast on 5 stitches.
stocking stitch until knitting measures 7cm, then cast off.

For the legs (make 2)

Cast on 7 stitches
stocking stitch until knitting measures 10cm, then cast off.

Pin the two parts of the body with the right sides together. Sew together (back stitch) using the thread left from the casting on. Leave bottom for stuffing. Turn the body inside out then stuff with stuffing wool. Sew up the bottom. The edges of the arms will have rolled in, so they don't need to be stitched. Use small stitches to attach to the side of the body. As the legs are wider they may need small stitches to sew them (I didn't do this as mine were rolled in like the arms).
Attach to the body. Use ordinary sewing thread to make eyes and a mouth, or use buttons/beads.

A card made for me. And some treats.

Here's my Christmas card to me from my darling hubby. Thank you so much, it's beautiful.

I ordered some fabric from ebay as a Christmas present for someone as they have just bought themselves the Cath Kidston Make! book and there were a few extra pieces (this person won't have green things in the house as they are superstitious) so I can add them to my stash :-).

My cocoa butter arrived yesterday too. Ooh, there are so many things I want to be making that I'm not sleeping properly at night as my head won't stop whirring. Why aren't there more hours in the day - actually why do we have to do things like housework.

19 December 2008

Bags again and a mini monster

Here's the second bag complete. Thought I'd better do the design different as one is for my sister and the other is for my sister-in-law. Probably should have chosen different material too but never mind ;-).

And here's the finished mini monster. I halved the size of the main body (20 to 10), decreased the stitches for the legs by 2 (7 to 5) and left the arms the same (5), then I just knitted the length I wanted. Just got 4 more to do to fill the Christmas crackers.
Spent the rest of the evening getting party games ready for tomorrow and blowing up balloons - 3 for me 47 for hubby ;-), hee hee.

Preparing for tomorrow's birthday

As we have a birthday in the house tomorrow, I've got the bunting and happy birthday sign that I made. The bunting is pieces of fabric cut to shape with pinking shears. I then tacked them inside a cotton strip and then hand-sewed them altogether. It's about 14ft in total.

I made this sign a few years ago. We used to hang one of those plastic 'throw-away' happy birthday signs. This was made using the word processor for the letters, which were cut out and then I laminated them (4 laminates in total). Much longer lasting and much nicer to look at.

I've been terribly grumpy the last few days and needed to 'make' something yesterday so I sat and knitted 3 leaves (one has mysteriously vanished) - not very exciting but, hey, something I'd not done before, and they only took about 10 mins each. I've also started some mini monsters to go in the Christmas stockings - managed to get 1 body, 2 arms and 1/2 a leg done - still 6 days to go so should be plenty of time, right ;-).
I also succummed to a 15% discount that ebay were offering me and bought some cocoa butter - not organic but something to get me started. Might just make some vanilla ones first as I have some vanilla extract in the cupboard - hope that works the same.

17 December 2008

Another Hat Finished

Well I've finished the luminous hat, with dangly bobble as requested. It actually doesn't look quite as bad as I imagined ;-). Just got to brave the scarf now.

16 December 2008

Birthday card and hat

This is the birthday card I have made (using watercolour pencils again) for Ds1 who will be 11 on Saturday. He's into horror stories at the minute so hopefully he'll like this.
I've also been knitting the luminous yellow hat for Ds2. I have to say that the wool (100% acrylic) is horrible to work with - it squeaks and pulls tight - but it's what he wanted so I'll knit away :-)

Little Monster!

Well, I managed to get this started AND finished yesterday. Don't quite know how as Ds3 went to bed at 7.30pm but was then up again at 8.20pm. Kids are great aren't they ;-). Had to take him to bed with me at 11.30.

So here's the little fella - destined to wait patiently in someone's stocking on Christmas eve.

15 December 2008


I have managed to finish my secret Christmas present - no picture though as I don't want the person who it's for to see it :-)

Bead Angel

Look what arrived in the post today - all the way from Portugal. Another wonderful mama from the LETS scheme on the Green Parent forum has been busy making these gorgeous bead Angels. Thank you so much L she is beautiful.

Last Card

This is the last Christmas card I am making and it is for my darling hubby. I did it with my watercolour pencils again - it as actually darker than the photo shows - while he was in bed from his night shift.

I'm hoping to finish my secret Christmas present today and start the knitted monster, but we'll see how the rest of the day goes.

14 December 2008

Cards for our boys

These are the cards I have done for our 3 boys. I drew them last night (during a candle ladened power cut) using the watercolour pencils I have. I'm not a great artist but you have to give it a go don't you. Just got to do one more for my darling other half.

13 December 2008


More cards. I actually make these with card and the old cards from previous years that have been cut up.

12 December 2008

Stockings and Wreaths

This is the stocking I made for my ds3 last year. My mum had already cut it out...I added the bits on the front and then stitched it all together.

This is the one I have nearly finished for my new nephew (born yesterday). Just need to make the fabric tag that goes on the top.

I made this wreath 3 years ago. It is a florists ring which is wrapped in green ribbon. I then made loads of bows out of christmassy ribbon and pinned then on the ring with ball headed pins (is that the right name for them?????). I then added some small green and red bells. Voila!

11 December 2008

Pictures of Bag

The bag was already made (bought for £1) and is a really heavy weight cotton. I used the template from the Green Parent Magazine and the fabric I won on ebay for the heart shape, making it smaller each time. There are 5 hearts and then the button sewn in the middle. Hope the recipient likes it.