Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Superheroes and Alfons Mucha

Hmm ... well they certainly don't sound like they go together!

However that is the variation in the atcs (Artist Trading Cards) I have made this week!

On I am in a swap called Marvel Superheroes.  
I had to join this swap as in our house everyone is Marvel mad!

Adam had a big tin of coloured pencils with these superheroes on and I decided that they would make a good impact with the close up of their faces.

Captain America and Hulk are my favourite cards.  Thor is okay but I am not too keen on Iron Man - the one I thought would be the easiest!

I decided to use a transfer that one of the boys hasn't used.  
I coloured a bit of a fire blast sort of effect as the background using copic style markers 
and the blending pen.  
Then carefully transferred the tattoo transfer over the top.

In the Ravelry ATC swap group we've had two themes for June - Elephant's Eye - this one I haven't attempted yet.  It is on my to-do list!  The other was to make atcs in the style of Alfons Mucha.

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing these whilst England did incredibly badly in the match on Monday night.

They were fun and embraced the girly side after those superheroes!

I decided I would colour these in with colour pencils as I wanted to achieve a softer effect.

However before I started colouring-in I copied them all on one sheet with just the black outlines as I also want to colour them in with the alcohol pens and achieve a deeper effect.

That way I can also put them in my Gallery at

Loved the experimenting with different colours.

And the ornate hairdos!

Hopefully the girls I am swapping with will like them as much as I do!

This last one is my favourite (along with the first one)!

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The bane of my knitting so far ...

I am sure that everyone who crafts has one project that was just the bane of their life.

No matter how many times you tried it, things would go wrong, and it ended up taking so much longer than it needed to ...

This is mine ...

It is a fantastic little jumper by TinCanKnits that literally has sizes from babe to grown up.
It is a free pattern and part of their Simple Knits collection.

It is a gorgeous little sweater knitted in the round with a purl stitch panel down each sleeve.  This panel was the first hurdle I made myself - I didn't read the pattern properly and purled the sleeves all across the top!  So first frogging!

I used a gorgeous aran weight yarn called
Sublime Luxurious Aran Tweed

which was on sale at Hobbycraft in the shades of Indigo and Vineyard (I think ... I've only gone and thrown the label away)

This is a lovely yarn to knit with - thick and soft but with the feel of homespun.  Only problem was I had bought a limited amount.

I checked with my sister-in-law-to-be and she gave me Jack's measurements and I made the one year size.  Only problem was when I was knitting it I kept thinking it wasn't going to be big enough - even though the measurements seemed to fit.

It didn't fit!  There was no growing room at all!

So second frogging and this time it was ALL of it!

This time I went for the age two thinking that if it was too big - it would be one to grow into.  So off I knitted again ... only this time I didn't have enough yarn!  Seriously!  And I didn't have time to order over the internet as we were on route for Jack's first birthday and I was finishing it in the car.  We did an emergency stop at the Hobbycraft at Bristol only to find they didn't have any.  D'oh ... it was a sale yarn!  So I bought a yarn that I felt went the best in a tweedy mossy shade.

And off we set again.  I decided that I'd use this new yarn as the ribbing at the bottom and use the suplime yarn up by making stripes with it.  I had little bits and bobs from frogging it.

Only when I was on the first lot of ribbing I realised I'd picked up DK (double knitting) weight yarn instead of aran.  Urrgh!  I decided that as it was a fairly thick DK I would go with it.  I made sure I didn't rib too tightly with it and all in all I think it goes.

I managed to finish it off at the get-together.  And it fitted!

Only to have it returned by my parents on the Monday as it had started to come undone!  Where I'd been desperately trying to finish it (in a room that wasn't that brightly knit) I'd somehow managed to cast off and drop a couple of stitches on the way. Seriously sad face!

So again I frogged the ribbing back and re-did it.  This time I pulled and stretched and double-checked to make sure there were no loose stitches or anything... and then posted it off!

So there you go ... the bane jumper of my life!

Actually when you got knitting it knitted up really quick - especially once the pattern had been read properly.  And it hasn't put me off - I've cast another one on!  

Does that mean I'm a glutton for punishment?  Or just determined that one sweater will not win!

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Just one more ...

A little while ago The Factory Shop had some yarn on sale that was super cheap 
... 3 balls for something ridiculous like £2.00. 

So I bought a shedload!

Well I have worked my way through a lot of it with various projects.  

I had some balls left that I decided just to crochet some circles 
and see how many I could make and how far they'd go!

There were many colours in the yarn - pink, navy, mossy green, grey and a dark grey.  So I had to pick a colour to go with it and not detract from the jazzy yarn itself.  So I went for white and silver grey.  

I decided to go with a check effect.  I think it makes those little circles pop!

I left just enough so that I could round the border with some of the jazzy yarn 
... and there you go a little baby blanket!

... Just one more ... he he!  Who am I kidding?!

... Look what I started the other evening ... 

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

At last a bit of sewing!

It would seem that all I do is crochet when you look back at my past few posts!

Oh and a bit of art too!

I have been trying to catch up with all the things I have completed recently and - I admit - there has been an awful lot of crochet blankets (in fact I have one more finished but I won't post about that one today).

But just to show that I have had the sewing machine out recently ... 

here are my latest batch of drawstring washbags 
using the fantastic pattern by Jeni Baker who blogs at In Color Order

I love this pattern and find that once you've figured out the layout of the fabrics you're away! 
 It makes a lovely lined drawstring washbag.  

You may see a bit of a theme here with some of the fabrics!  I bought a fat quarter pack from Hobbycraft.  I loved the bright jewel colours and the pattern and thought they would make superb washbags. 
 I also knew that I had fabrics at home that would co-ordinate with them.

Which colour-way is your favourite?  I love the jade green myself.

Then I decided to go for a bright pink and lime green mix.  Nice and summery, and pretty too.

Oh and a cow one too!  I think this one has the look of old-fashioned country cottage about it.

So ... who needs a new washbag ....?

☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸. •*¨*• ☆

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Red, Cream and Blue Stars

Almost patriotic!

I saw a pattern a while ago of a crochet star blanket and as I love stars I just HAD to make one!

There is something about the combination of red and blue and white (or cream as in this case) 
that I just really like.  It brings me thoughts of little boys' bedrooms all decked out in 
red and blue patchwork quilts and sail boat pictures on the walls...  

So it had to be a Star Blanket in those colours.  

I decided against doing all the stars in the cream as I wanted to use the blue and red in equal amounts.  
I also wanted to create more of a patchwork effect.

It isn't huge - ideal for a sofa throw or a cuddle blanket for a child; 
one to have at the end of the bed in case it gets chilly!

I also decided to keep the edges as they were rather than try and straighten them up 
- I felt that it gave it more character.

I think that, one day, when I have more time and more yarn (!) then I want to make one of these for me 
- big enough to fit our bed!

  I have an idea of just having white stars on dark blue background ....

☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸. •*¨*• ☆

Mind you ... there already is a huge list of things in my head that I wish to create ....

☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸. •*¨*• ☆

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Raspberry Ripple into Circles

I am sure many (if not all) crafters still have bits left even after trying to use up supplies/scraps.

I made the Raspberry Ripple blanket and found that I still had a project bag with 
various size balls of pink yarn inside.  Hmm what to do?

Make lots of pink crocheted circles of course!

I thought long and hard about what background colour to use for these pretty pink circles (and some blue from the varigated yarn used in the Raspberry Ripple) ... and decided I'd go really bold and chose black. 
I do think pink and black go well together, don't you?

And as you can see there are some circles that include black in them - as I found I didn't have enough of that particular pink to make a whole circle.  I decided that as it was a blanket bred from the idea of using up the scraps that a few circles that really did use up the last bits of pink would be perfect to go in the blanket.

I went for a thin pink border in the only ball that had enough to go all the way round!  
I think it finishes it off just right.

I love the way the little circles of colour pop against the black background.

And ... I've used some more yarn up!  

Does that mean I have an excuse to buy some more .......?

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

MAY 31 Day Art Challenge

 I love the side of me that is into the textile side of crafting; but I also like art ...

One of the greatest presents for me would have been a big pack of felt tip pens that were all in colour order and a colouring book or pad.  I used to draw so much when I was younger.  In particular dancing ladies in long frocks and frilly tops; then ballet dancers; gymnasts; at one time I had a fascination with drawing shoes and boots on bodyless legs!  My mum always got my brother and I to draw our Christmas cards.

Well I found a website a year ago.  It think I have probably written about it before but here's more about it ...

It is an absolutely fab website that has many many members all of whom are artistic and creative.

You join with a user name and then you can download all your works of art - but in particular Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).  These are little cards measuring 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".  On these are all sorts of art work from drawing to collage to textile work ... the variations are limitless as far I can tell!

And we get to trade them!  If someone likes your little piece of art they can ask to trade and then you have a good old nose in their Gallery and see if there's an atc (or two) that you'd like to own.  Addresses are swapped and atcs sent to their new homes!  With the added benefit of earning "itrader points" - a point for each swap (although negative ones can be posted when a swap isn't carried through).

These points mount up and having more than a certain amount means that you can then enter into arranged swaps.  These are when a member chooses a theme and players then join and make three (or four if they make one for their host as a thank you).  These are then sent to the Host and they swap them back out with you ending up with three different cards from three different players.  It is wonderful to receive these little swaps and to see the artwork created.

There are many different swaps.  The one I am concentrating on today is one that was entitled MAY 31 Day Art Challenge. 

We had a prompt for each day and off we went ... trying to create a piece of art for each day using the relevant prompt.

I, of course, was a little behind and so thankful when we were given until 15 June to complete the challenge. And here are mine ....


1 - Succulents 

2 - Rain

3 - In a Bottle / Jar 

4 - Illustrate (or collage) a Book cover. 

5 - Fairytale character 

6 - Zentangle 

7 - Eyes 

8 - Mother's Day 

9 - Zoom In View of... (Flower, bug, animal, your choice) 

10 - A cute monster 

11 - Bubbles 

12 - Pick one word, use it on your card somewhere. 

13 - Birthday 

14 - monochrome 

15 - numbers 

16 - abstract 

17 - moon 

18 - Use postage stamps. 

19 - Fairies 

20 - Mermaids  

21 - Use washi tape on your card. 

22 - Brown - Create using only shades of brown. 

23 - Focus on negative space. 

24 - Paint with watercolors. 

25 - Dreams. 

26 - Stick People (ok, have fun with this, be creative!) 

27 - Circles 

28 - Ice cream. 

29 - Sun. 

30 - Memorial Day 

31 - Use one of these May symbols - emerald (birthstone), Lily of the valley (Flower), Taurus or Gemini (zodiac)
use the word "MAY" somewhere on your card. 

See?!  The possibilities are endless and so much fun!

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