30 Nov 2014

Crochet Blanket almost there...

All the individual granny squares are almost done!
Finally the end is in sight...

Soon to be 200 pretty squares will soon {I hope} become a pretty blanket.

No pictures of them/it till it's all done and been gifted.
Sorry just in case my daughter {Lolly} passes by, unlikely but not impossible.

As we enter December I get distracted, thoughts of my youngest daughters birthday and Christmas are popping into my head.

Fighting for a place in the single cell that still seems to spark!

Birthday Bunting goes up on the night of the 1st ready for Loopy's birthday on the 2nd...
that marks the start of Christmas decorating and then I'm dreaming of pretty decorations

What seems like miles of paper chains are on the list, 
I've left it too late {again} to make them from felt...perhaps next year?!

But first the blanket!  
And a name for the blanket, I cannot give a blanket away without giving it a name!


I have an awful feeling I need to order more white to complete it, ack who am I kidding?  
Looking at it I KNOW I need to order more white...off to the Wool Warehouse I go.

23 Nov 2014

Retro Caravan Craft Space { 2 }

No photo's today

 a big *SIGH* instead

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment...
what needs doing to make my crafty space reality is so far beyond my ability that it's all I can do not to have a good old grizzle over it!

The constant rain and dark skies don't make the problems look any better.
In my fantasy world I would either buy a nice 'new to me' van which is dry or pay a professional to come fix mine.

But that is a fault in me, I like to have instant fixes.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that all good things come to those who wait and hard work brings its own rewards.

So I take a deep breath and do what I do when I want to put my head firmly in a bucket of sand...
...pop the kettle on and pick up my crochet.

I guestimate 

{I wish spell checker would stop telling me guestimate isn't a real word!} 

that I still have another 50/60 squares to go on Lolly's blanket, which I would like to have done for Christmas {this year}

So perhaps it is meant to be that I cannot carry on working with the Crafty Van...for now
And perhaps I concentrate my efforts on the blanket.

All good things come to those who wait...
{repeat, repeat, repeat}

15 Nov 2014

Retro Caravan Craft Space...

I've made no secret that I would Love A Craft Space all of my own!
I have a lovely large family, but we have a regular sized house and there simply isn't enough room for all my bits and bobs.

I thought about a new shed down the garden but in my heart of hearts I knew what I really wanted was a little caravan!

As always I had no budget.  So I knew it would be a waiting game for the right little van to come along....

and along it came!

It was terribly expensive
a whole £10 was handed over in exchange for this

A 1992 {I think} Sprite

It was and still is in a right old state!

I've said it before but the 'I could do that' attitude has taken me on many a crafty/DIY venture.  
From papering the walls, ripping the tiles off the kitchen and re-tiling, endless painting, furniture restoration, crochet, baking, tiara making, sewing... 
the list is literally endless.

It had been used by a young lad working away from home and was full of fag ash, butts, filthy clothes and vile bedding.  The real cherry on the cake was the HUGE bottle of pee he had left in it.
Filthy after months on a building site...in all honesty it was tempting to leave it behind, cut my losses and run to the hills

But I didn't.

I set about clearing the piles of crap and in the process found £1.83 in change, 2 PS3 controllers and a pile of DVD's with a 2nd hand value of around £20!! Oh and a nice pair of Wrangler jeans that my son can wear for work.

Inside was, on the surface, ok-ish.  
Filthy dirty but loked quite sound...
oh how wrong could I be!

With a screwdriver, a hammer and a dream I've set about gutting the van out.  
Bonkett seating has gone, the sink and hob ripped out.  If it didn't unscrew the hammer took care of it.

I've left one seat to store the awning 
{haven't checked it yet but hopeful it will be ok}
and the washroom wall has been left so I can create a bit of a storage space for the ugly bits.

The carpet had it's own eco-system and also went to the dump.

So whats left to do?...

Deepest of Deep Breaths

It has damp, lots of damp and that will be the biggest challenge. 

This is taking me way, way, beyond my comfort zone or ability


You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet...

and looks like you have to almost destroy an old caravan to bring it back to glory

4 days into the project that's where I'm at.

The work will be slow, done when I can afford it.
The aim is to have it in the garden for Summer 2015...but we'll wait and see!

6 Nov 2014

Tear Jerker! - #MontyThePenguin

Nearly every year it brings me to tears...this year is no exception!

My middle son has a bear called Hector and this ad is reminding me of them...
back to blanket making

31 Oct 2014

The Candy Floss Suitcae...

I admit this could become an addiction/obsession,
...that said when you can make cush pretty things
who cares!!

This isn't mine, my sister is the lucky owner

Before the event it was a standard not very pretty vintage suitcase

Halfway through it was named...

The Candy Floss Suitcase

almost finished

and just awaiting the final touches
something to cover the nasty mark on top of the suitcase
What to do?
Decisions, decisions!

Ta-Da moment to follow...


24 Oct 2014

Progress on the blanket...

I like to name my makes, call me quirky but it makes them more a part of the family.

So far, touch wood, this blanket is moving along nicely the pile of squares is growing at a surprising pace...

but it has no name and that simply wont do.

It is taking up my spare moments.
I don't like to crochet outside the house, I've tried it a couple of times and people seem to assume I know what I'm doing...which in all honesty I don't feel I do.  
That or I feel they think I'm simply showing off...which I'm definitely NOT

Back to the blanket.
I am this time weaving the ends in as I go, I make 20 or so squares and weave those ends in.  I'm hoping it will make the final making up process more enjoyable.  
It makes the actual square making a tiny tad slower but it's also nice to take a break from the nifty crochet of making them!

Each square is measuring 4" x 4" so to make it a nice BIG comfy size I'm thinking I'll need between 180/200 in total..
90 down...90 to go!

19 Oct 2014

Sunshine Suitcase...

What seems like a long time ago I made the
Suitcase of Wonders

A thing of beauty: a vintage suitcase covered in gorgeous Amy Butler fabric.


Alas and is so often the way I found my brood and I in need of pennies more than we needed a suitcase of wonder...and off to market it went.

It left a pretty suitcase hole in my crafty little life.
Don't get me wrong I have a few old suitcases but non that were as wondersome the the suitcase of wonder!

So one sunny afternoon this summer I found myself at home with an old case and a couple of cans canary yellow paint!
Well one thing led to another and before I had time to think it through I had a bright and chirpy yellow suitcase...
black blob is on the camera lense :( }

but still I wasn't happy.
I know hard to please right!?

What it needed was that little extra zing
and how else but Pip Studios papers.

{OK I could have used something else but all I had were Pip Studio samples}

And here it is in all its sunny glory, not a suitcase of wonder but a suitcase full of the sunshine it was created in!

 It makes my little heart sing and a sneaky smile peeks out whenever I catch a glimpse of it.

8 Oct 2014

Hello my luvvy's...

Oh how my nieces blanket has been a labour of 

My first and nearly almost my last granny sqaure blanket...all those ends to sew in!!

150 squares each with 4 colours...

But it has all been worth the effort

for the finished blanket is hopefully going to be well loved and much used by my niece L's.

It has been a project on the go for almost a year, despite several pokes I struggled to get the mojo to keep on after I put what I had together December 13 and realised it wasn't as big as I wanted it to be.


So more wool was ordered and when I found out that L's was off to UNI then it was the push I needed!!

So I finished it just in time for her to take with her on her BIG adventure to UNI.
Big enough to snuggle under on the sofa and just right to lay over a single size bed!

But what's that I hear you say?
*has she gone mad there's no photo?*
No you're tight I didn't get a photo of it finished!
I know, I know, I totally suck at before and after photos...
I wish I didn't but I do so lets not say too much more about it and move on...

Onwards and upwards then
I have been busy.

Baskets have been sprayed, furniture painted, a cloth doll or two has been made and I have started another blanket!

Slowly I need to work my way through my requests list for blankets, with 6 kiddos it may take some time though.

The new blanket is for my #3 Lolly.
Colour choice is hers

 to tie in with the colours in her room
the Ercol chair

standard lamp/shade

 pretty shelf

Inspiration for the squares from an amazing new to me blog 
Color and Cream

This time I will learn to sew the ends in as I go!

I think it may just be my new blog crush...

18 Jun 2014

Birdcage Gardening...

Should be the next BIG thing...

If like me you have little and larger lads who insist on kicking a football around the garden like they're at Rio  then this is the way forward!

My birdcage planter i
thriving from this pretty little thing



little beauty!

Literally overflowing with prettiness...

I can vouch that it has survived their best attempts to use it as a goalie and is just simply stunning!

17 May 2014

Vintage Inspiration in the Garden...

I have a small, chicken ruined garden.  Last year I set about re-seeding it, which went ok-ish but it is still in need of a lot of love.

You will I hope see a theme in my crafty blog, of re-purposing old bits into new bits.  
Or re-jigging things to work.
Mainly painting stuff...it is a joke in the family that if it stands still long enough I will paint it.

Roll on a pot of wood stain later and we have progress on the patio

I've taken the chalk board down and re-housed that down to the grassy area and dumped the shelves that were in the corner as they had rotted.  Just need to re-paint that fence!

The ladder was lingering in the house for far too long, gathering dust and not being at all useful.  
It is now suited and booted, almost finished to hold some pretty plants.

The bench in the back is one of two, sturdy old school benches fished out of a skip a couple of years back.  
We don't have space a proper table and chairs out here so we tend to use the benches as a table or flexible seating if the teens have friends over.
The other one will I hope have tomato plants growing on it shortly {in preparation for chutney making later this year!}

The deckchair is also one of a pair, bought at a dump many years ago.  Stripped back awaiting a new cover {ooo you'll like it when you see it}

The boot rack bought last week at the booty for a wonderful £3, long on my wish list but not being prepared to pay retail I thought it would just stay on the wish list but lucky old me found one!

I got fed up of seeing the pink birdcage waiting for love so have lined it with moss and filled it with a selection of hanging basket flowers!  It looks lovely and is outside the window where I spend many hours washing up!

The strawberries are in old enamel bread bins, planted last year.
Fingers crossed I will beat my youngest kiddos to actually have more than the one strawberry this year!

And tadpoles!

Once again not really a craft but things that keep me busy!
All practical stuff.

15 May 2014

Sewing and Such...

I could rather grandly call it 'my desk' but in reality it's the dining/craft table that lives in our dining/play room.

There is a theme with the table, I clear in preparation to work/craft at it and various kiddos will come along and fill said cleared space with their work/craft.

Space in a 3 bed house and 7 people is a thing of rarity!

Recently my eldest, Abba, has been as busy as a Bee, turning gorgeous Liberty fabric into even prettier cushions along with a whole host of other sewing projects!

In a recent break from her sewing I started a new project that has been in the wings for far too long!

My middle daughter, Lolly, has been after a standard lamp for her room for quite a while.  
I had the stand and shade 
{this one}

After a bit of a re-think she decided she would like it all white so I set to work on another stand and stripping the shade of washi tape and pom poms.

I have a selection of lovely linen table cloths and found one with a couple of minor imperfections and set about making her lampshade out of one of them

It was/is going well until we hit this week...

GCSE's start this week and Lolly has taken over the desk for her revision. 
So once again the desk is not mine to play with for a time

I am so very near finishing the shade, it has been a lot easier to make one second time around 
{despite not having the original shade pieces to use as a template}

The first one I did was a labour of love

which after not selling at the last fair is now hanging, 
albeit upside down, 
on my landing!!

And I have a plan for this lovely table cloth, I'll give you a clue...
think window

13 May 2014

Vintage Plate Cake Stands...

Crafting has been occurring...not in an organised planned way but in a much more higgledy-piggledy way.

What and when has depended on the weather, space available and what tickles my fancy!

On a recent search for a lost pack of buttons I stumbled by happy accident across the bag of 'bits' needed to drill and convert plates into cake stands.
3 years in a cupboard, put away 'safely' 

So roll onto a chillier day and a little ta- da moment

A very pretty mix of pastel green fine porcelain

The makings of more

Very pretty!

Is it crafting?
I'm not sure I can really call it a craft but it has been keeping me happy!

29 Apr 2014

Raspberry Ripples Crochet...

Behind my front door my little fingers spent March busily crocheting away in a blurry fury to finish off the pink stripe blanket!
{now known to me as the Raspberry Ripple}

And finish it in time for the birthday I did!!

It is once again just so much nicer than I had hoped...

I was still busy on the morning of the birthday, adding the finishing touches of pom pom trim to the sides.
I didn't follow a pattern in the end for the pom poms just used my brain

(and surprisingly it all came out very nicely in the end).

What else, what else?
That has been it for March, most, no all my time was spent with the pink blanket which grew and grew!

I must, must, must finish the Christmas blanket though, once that is upon the lap of its recipient then I can concentrate on other little follies!

18 Apr 2014

Up-cycled Bird Cage...

A while ago, well last year, I had an idea after a bit of buyers regret.  
I had spotted at the boot sale a really cute very old bird cage.  It was small but curvy and reminded me of the little old fashioned caravans {that I dream of owning}

Anyway at the time as much as I liked it I had already filled both my arms with booty and in the heat couldn't be bothered to struggle back to the car with it.
Hence the buyers regret...snooze you lose

Roll onto to a wet day earlier this year and I found a bit of a beauty...

The idea I had brewing was split in 2.

A shelf for my girls room, which would mean cutting the front of it off and inserting a shelf


to fill it with potted plants as I have a set of steps for the garden which it would look lovely hanging off

Now if it was to go into the girls room it would need to be white so...

but it wasn't rocking it for the girls and I put plan B into action...

Paint it bright pink to either go in the garden or list it for sale...

I have to say I think Plan B is the better one

and it sits nicely with the hand-made Cath Kidston Budgie fabric lampshade...