Sunday, 18 February 2018

Upcoming classes

I went on a craft class booking frenzy before Christmas, then I went on one last week at lunchtime at work.  I did a lampwork class before Christmas (I will show you soon, promise!) which I'd like to do a follow-up class to, and I went on a ceramics course in January.    I thought you might like to see which classes I've booked.  If you click on the link, it will take you to the class listing where it's available as a separate page.

Weaving - at the end of February at Rural Antics at Hanwell Wine Estate.  I'm really excited about this!  I have no idea if I'll enjoy weaving but I do want to give it a go.  And if I do like it, weaving looms don't take up THAT much space do they?

Bentwood chair making - in March at Rural Antics at Hanwell Wine Estate.  I'm going to make a chair!!  I've never taken a class at this venue before, but when I'd booked them, I discovered one of my friends is friends with the owner and apparently she's lovely so I have high hopes!

I want to do another couple of courses here, if these ones go well!  I fancy the table making and the spoon carving.

In March I'll be going to the Creative Craft show at the NEC (click here for a ticket offer).  Not sure if there are workshops on?  Sometimes there's a make and take.

Tatting in April at the Leicestershire Craft Centre.  I bought a shuttle tatting Craftsy class ages ago and gave it a try but just couldn't get it.  I think I need to be shown in person, then hopefully I can follow the Craftsy class.  I'm very excited about this, me and wonderful mum tried to find a tatting class for years and failed.  Another new venue for me.

Then I have the Bag Retreat in April in Wales - this is run by Mrs H.  I went last year and it was brilliant.  Whilst not a workshop, there are a lot of workshops within it, learning about different aspects of bag making, and we get 3 patterns and lots of help, so it is like a very long workshop.  With alcohol.  

Papercutting in May at Two Little Magpies.  Again, another new venue, it's pretty close to my house so I have high hopes for this one as it'd be convenient to go back!  I know I could learn paper cutting from a book/tutorial, but I still haven't picked up my craft knife and at least this will get me going.

Felted Pods in June at Needle and Thread.  This is wet felting with a resist and I've fancied having a go for a while.  Me and mum avoided wet felting classes as she had terrible arthritis and it wouldn't have done her much good as it's very physical.  One of my first ever craft classes was Nuno Felting, so this isn't completely new to me.  It's another new venue and, after I booked it, I realised I don't even know where it is!  Turns out it's in Lincolnshire so it could be up to 2 hours drive for me!!

Well that's the first half of the year sorted for a craft class a month!  Hopefully I can do the same in the second half of the year (or maybe even fit a few more in this half!).  If any of you live in the midlands and have any recommendations for me, please let me know in the comments.  I'll try anything - other than sewing/quilting.  No idea why but I just don't fancy sewing/quilting classes!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Creative Craft Show 2018 - Offer!

Good morning,  I have been up to my eyeballs in paint and polyfilla for a few weeks now.  A friend is coming to live with me temporarily and I've been getting her room finished.  No time for crafting...  I'm missing it so badly!

I have attended a couple of classes which I'll write about soon, the only problem is, I haven't collected the finished products yet - next week!

Today I've got a very special offer for anyone who enjoys a good craft show.

This March, Sewing for Pleasure and Fashion & Embroidery return to the NEC to join The Creative Craft Show for a four-day craft extravaganza. Brimming with supplies and demonstrations, the shows expect to welcome thousands of crafters and would-be crafters through the doors as trends for mindfulness, upcycling and home-made continue to grow.

Taking place at the NEC from 15 – 18 March, visitors will be treated to over 200 stands selling the latest innovations for a multitude of crafts from knitting, cross stitch, paper crafting, jewellery and dressmaking. It’s the perfect opportunity to build your stash or find inspiration for a new mindful hobby.

Make the most of our special reader offer and get 2 tickets for the price of 1! Simply order your tickets online at and enter the code OV101 or phone 01425 277988 quoting OV101
Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult.  For more information visit

Terms and Conditions:
All prices relate to a one day adult tickets bought in advance. Offer is not valid on the door. Prices: Manchester & Glasgow £8, Birmingham £12, London £10. Phone lines open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday (4.30 Friday) – standard tariffs apply.  Offer valid until 5pm on the Monday prior to the show, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Use code OV101 at checkout.

I really enjoy the NEC craft shows and I'll be going to this one - anyone else planning on going?

Thursday, 25 January 2018

lazy crafting

So, I have a new friend 😳.  He likes sloths.  Perusing Pinterest for absolutely no reason at all (probably procrastinating the housework), I came across this free pattern at The Twisted Crocheter for the cutest little sloth you've ever seen.  Go and have a look.  Seriously, mine doesn't look anything like that one!

I found the pattern at lunchtime, printed it out and that night crocheted all the pieces whilst gossiping with a friend.  I used some yarn I had to hand and I think perhaps it was too chunky - sort of an aran weight.  I didn't think it would be a problem as I used the size hook recommended in the pattern.  It turned out huge!

I spent part of the next two lunchtimes sewing him up and adding the embroidery.  His legs and arms don't stick out to the front as I think they should!

Nor does he wrap round my thumb as he does on the photos on the blog post and pattern.  I cut a thin slice of velcro and sewed the hook part to one of his arms so he will cling on.

I'm pretty sure my new friend thinks I'm a weirdo, but he didn't say that to me!  He seemed to be quite pleased with it and he hasn't ditched me yet!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Works in progress - a feltie and New York

I had a little spare time at the weekend and, instead of painting or decorating as usual, I actually sat down and did a little crafting.  Not much, but a bit!

I was sent this book to review on my blog and I finally made a start.  I'm working on one of the projects.  I've only got as far as cutting out the pieces, but it's a start, and it's a nice in-front-of-the-tv project.  Can you guess what it is?

I can't remember if I've shown this before.  This is a Satsuma Street design.  Most of what you see was stitched by my mum.  We both loved New York and both bought a copy of this pattern.  I hadn't got round to starting mine, but mum did.  She fully kitted it too, so I have everything to hand.  I've probably added about an hour's worth of stitching to this piece so far, just filling in some blank spaces.  It came in the hoop but I think I'll have to swap it for Q-snaps as I keep losing the tension - my main bugbear with hoops (and yes, the inner ring is bound).

Watch out for some progress soon!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Tackling my WIPs - Toiletry tote

As I'm starting to get back in the swing of making (still not every day like I did for years, but at least once a week which is a good start), I thought it would be good to finish some of my WIPs.  We had a meeting of the East Midlands Modern Quilt Group last Saturday and I took along a project that will be celebrating it's first birthday soon if I don't get on with it!

I started this Toiletry Tote by Mrs H back in April at The Bag Retreat.  With another retreat looming in April, it was about time this was finished.  Plus I actually NEED it as my current washbag is falling apart.

This pattern is not for the feint-hearted!  Mrs H writes brilliant patterns and they are easy to follow, but maybe this one was just above my level.  Not that I've ever let that stop me!  Above you can see the pain panel of the bag, all sewn together into a tube with the lining outermost.  One of the side panel lining pieces is on top.  

I didn't get much further than this!  I did sew a zipped side pocked which I clearly neglected to photograph.  Inserting it into the bag is the next step.  A step which completely flummoxed me due to missing out a step earlier in the process!  Luckily Mrs H is a friend of mine and answered my stressed out message immediately telling me I'm a fool!  

I plan to update you on this very soon...

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

crochet shawl - a new start

Hello!  I've dropped by to show you the shawl I have started crocheting.  I took the photos last night and I'm now typing away on my work laptop... and I realise I have neither a link to the pattern nor the details of the yarn used!  I will let you know on the next post about this shawl!

Whilst I was struggling with my broken shoulder, a friend lent me a shawl to put around my shoulders when I was cold as putting on a jumper was difficult.  I loved that shawl.  I did, reluctantly, give it back to her when I could take my arm out of my sling, and I immediately started crocheting one of my own.

I did quite a bit before it stalled.  I'm not sure why it's stalled... decorating probably!  This is definitely going to need blocking when I've finished!

It's a really pretty 4-row repeat which is quite easy to learn.  The pattern starts at the top and so each row gets progressively longer.  I'm going to take this in the car with me tomorrow as I'm heading down to see my brother and nephew with my dad (he's driving, not me!).  It is the first anniversary of losing my wonderful mum, I still can't quite believe it.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Handmade buys

Happy New Year!  I seem to have become a bit stuck at blogging.  I started blogging 7 years ago and have done so regularly, right up until last year when my life fell apart and I broke my shoulder!  Things are on the up and it's about time I started blogging again as I have missed it.

I have been a bit rubbish about taking photos, so I'm going to ease myself back in by showing you the presents I bought for family and friends (and myself!) at various craft fairs in and around Nottingham last December.  I managed buy almost completely handmade last Christmas - exceptions being my brother (I couldn't find handmade whiskey!), my dad (so hard to buy for) and my nephew (who got some toys as well as his handmade goodies).

These cards are Stuff and Nonsense by Corrina Rothwell.  I saw her at a lot of the fairs and she's so talented.  I hope you can read them if you click on the photo?  These three cards sum me up perfectly so I bought them, then a frame and they're proudly displayed on my living room wall.

Jessica Wilde has some gorgeous botanical prints and jewellery pieces.  I picked this one up for my cat loving niece.

Hello Sunshine made these fab Gin bottle earrings, and the picture is by Sarah Turner Eco Art and Design.  The pictures are made from real cans.  My sister-in-law is quite fond of gin so these were destined for her.

Hannah Stevens is another talented local illustrator and these pictures suit my nephew down to the ground, so I bought them and then some frames to put them in.

This wasn't all the presents I bought, but I seem to have forgotten to take photos of the rest!

I've been so tempted to join in some of the 2018 challenges I've come across around the blogosphere, but I don't think I'd be able to keep up.  I'm still easing myself back into crafting and blogging and perhaps should keep the pressure off.  Maybe next year!