Monthly Archives: December 2011

My Christmas Pudding!

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Yes, this Pudding is not just for Christmas! She is my very own fat Pud who is there all year round, living for mealtimes and the odd snackula that she can beg (mmmmm, rather like a certain craftster I could mention!). In this pic she is keeping me company in the conservatory (or ‘big glass cupboard on the side of the house’ as I fondly think of it at the moment- needs a tidy), while I make a birthday card for Mum, as it’s her birthday tomorrow. I have put a pic of the card below. It is an easel card, from a blank by Craftwork Cards, and I have used some really pretty free papers from a craft magazine for the background.I have also made use of my Martha Stewart butterfly and leaf punches. Now, I know Ms Stewarts punches are mega-pricey, but they really are the best, and I use this leaf one so often as it just finishes off a cluster of flowers nicely. Of course, the flowers are from Wild Orchid crafts. I like this company as they are reasonable, fast and great quality. If you just use a few flowers here and there like I do they last for ages. I LOVE putting these flowers on my cards. I have also added a Lilli of The Valley date stamp, which I have coloured using my Dovecraft decorative chalks. Again, a great buy (got them in a sale half price!) and I use them loads, as I can colour this type of stamp to match the card perfectly. The Special Mum banner is from a Nitwits stamp, again coloured with the chalks and a greeting in silver peel-offs. I’m off to snuggle on the sofa with my crocheting now. The weather outside is frightful (I feel a song coming on!……. but the fire, er, radiator is so delightful!). Bye bye for now.

…And breathe!

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Well, it’s been and gone….. again. All that preparing, but we love it don’t we? Yes, we do! I had a really good time, with my family. My children, who are turning into adults, and my parents, who are turning back into children. Oh dear! Anyway, on with the craft. Now, I haven’t given up with the hexagons, but I saw a pattern on Attic24 that I just had to start. It is the Japanese flower scarf and it looks so….. me, that I have to have it. So I went to hobbycraft and chose some gorgeous colours and started it! Just like that. Well, I did alter the pattern a little, so it was more of a ‘like that? No, like this’. Anyway, it is very much underway and so far I have made 9 flowers and they hook up very easily. That is also because I have bought myself a ,,,,,,,, wait for it, must get this right, Clover Soft Touch Ergonomic Crochet Hook!!! I know, impressive or what! It is lovely to use, so much easier on the hands than the basic metal hooks. I discovered a few weeks ago that my sort-of mother-in-law, Pauline, is a crocheter too, so I will get one for her I think as I am converted and must spread the word ! How carried away do I get sometimes? Answers on a postcard.

Kitty Christmas Greetings

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Still making cards here! For this I used an existing small card for the picture, and just embellished like mad around it with ribbon, lace, trim and sparkles. I used my fantastic snowflake punches and popped a paper rose in the centre. The background is from My Minds Eye, I just have a few odd bits of nice paper from my pads left, just as well I’ve only got one more card to make now. As well as making this, today we shopped for Christmas food and the essentials- Bailleys and of course advocate, which I guzzle like pop- not bad for someone who hardly drinks all year. I blame my Granny Thorley, for her Christmas meant Eggnog, Newberry fruits (anyone else remember those?), dates and nuts. She loved Christmas and was a huge fan of anything sparkly……… remind you of anyone? 

In the genes?

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Hello, hopefully some of will be able to squeeze in a bit of blog-reading amongst the shopping/wrapping/ Christmas cleaning (why do we do that?). I thought that today, even though it’s a tad embarrassing, I would show you a bit of my Mum’s handiwork. Obviously she made me (!), but here I am, far left in the photo, dressed in a vision of knitted twinsetness- circa 1974 ish! This type of yarn with several shades within one ball was ground-breaking in the knitting world, so I had to be her model and wear this sleeveless top with matching cardigan combo. I don’t remember objecting, so I either liked it, or I was to scared to say otherwise- not sure which TBH. My companions are my cousin Lerverne (right) and her cousin Debbie Lewis in the middle. Debbie was a bit older than us so we thought she was amazing and she is probably wearing something very fashionable. Lerverne is a bit younger, but as I was soooo tiny for my age they both look older, and I am doing my “don’t take a photo of me pleeeaaase” hunched shoulders thing, as I was very shy then, certainly not the case now! Anyway, Mum was a fantastic knitter and made me so many things, including all of my school cardis, and some beautiful things really, and some gorgeous clothes for my children when they came along. She taught me to knit when I was about 23 and she was so patient when I made (lots of) mistakes. Unfortunately Mum gave up knitting a few years ago now, she just lost interest and it got confusing for her, but I guess she passed on some of her skill, although I will never be as good as she was. 

Make this!

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I finally managed to have a go at making this yesterday with one of my girls at school. And it’s really good! I can’t show you the one that we made as Beth wanted to take it home and I forgot to take a picture. We made it in plain card as we’re a bit limited for fancy bits and bobs and pretty paper at school (cutbacks, etc!), but Beth thought that she would add some sequins and stuff and generally give it a sparkly makeover at home. Anyway, it’s a great little decoration to make with the kids (or just yourself). I’m going to keep my cards from this Christmas to make some of these for next year. Wonderful therapy!

Talking of therapy, term is over (yay!) and I now have a few weeks in which to indulge in crafts, crafts, and more crafts. Obviously Christmas will happen at some point in the middle of it all but I won’t let a little thing like that distract me. I have found stacks of patterns and activities on Pinterest that I want to try, and frankly it’s looking like (very) early retirement is the only answer……. what’s that Richard? Oh, okay, er…….. maybe not then. The thing is, I spend so much time collecting ‘pins’ of crafts that it seriously decreases the amount of time that I actually spend DOING them. Ahhhhh, it’s a hard life for craftsters!

Nearly done…….in!

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Just half a school day from doing this (see pic!), and the term shows no sign of fizzling out quietly. On Monday it was the party for our Young Carers, we have quite a few and they are all amazing. They had pizza, charades, cake and presents. We had a couple of visitors from Gloucestershire Young Carers and I was so proud of all of them. I looked around the room of happy, smiley people and was in awe of their resilience as they all have very difficult situations at home, but it’s very rare that you’ll hear them complain, and I am privileged to work with them.

The rest of the week has been a blur of get togethers, carol concerts and exam results for the year 11’s. It has been a long, hard term, and I intend to enjoy my holiday to the max!

In my world of crochet….

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This week I am mostly….. finishing kitty, and learning how to hook hexagons. My favourite crochet blog is Attic24 . Lucy has some fantastic tutorials, and she writes so well. It’s all great. She often tries patterns out, makes them more ‘bozo-friendly’ (just for me, I think) and does her own tutorial with step-by-step photo’s and lovely easy instruction ………. I strive for Lucyness on my blog one day.  I tried this flower though, and I just didn’t like it, or enjoy making it for that matter. Nope, it was a waste of half an hour of my precious life, bit dramatic maybe, worth a go, but hey, not to be. Today, however, I think I am going to wrap some presents,  and write some cards, so that I feel at least a little bit organised. Forgot to buy stamps…….. grrrrrr!