Thursday 14 February 2019


Good morning all!  I disappeared there for a bit.  I've been having some health problems since I quit smoking before Christmas (thought quitting smoking was meant to be good for you!!) and it's completely sapped my motivation to blog, craft, or really do anything...  I have managed to conquer it on occasion though, so thought I'd show you what I've been up to.

Work has continued on my craft studio.  I put up some shelves.  They had been in my old craft room and I felt like they needed painting.  I painted them the same colour as my floor, and then, just for the hell of it, stencilled the bottoms!  I LOVE them!  No, the stencilling isn't very obvious, unless you're sitting down or short.  I am short so it's a win for me.  Since this photo, I have done more.  I'll do a post about this soon.

Silversmithing class continues and I have been playing with some domed circles in copper, silver and a teeny tiny one in gold from my mum's wedding ring.  

This comes out now and again.  A pretty piece of fabric, some teal and pink threads, doing what I fancy.  I haven't worked on it much recently due to the ill health and have instead been either crocheting (post coming soon!) or working on a small cross stitch I started.

I'm starting to feel slightly better, so I'm hoping to be back properly soon!  

Friday 11 January 2019

Copper and silver necklace

There'll be no review of 2018 or goals for 2019 from me.  I did so little craft last year, I can barely believe it.  I would like to craft more this year, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself, so I'll make what I make and post when I post!

I finished this necklace before Christmas.  I've shown you peeks of me making it.  In this post from March last year, I showed you a bit of the technique!  Making soldered chain IS a time-consuming process, but I'm also quite slow and made various other things at the same time!

It's made from copper and sterling silver.  I made large jump rings, soldered them and cleaned them up, then rolled them through the rolling mill to flatten them.  They were then hammered to add texture.  I then made what felt like about a gazillion small jump rings and soldered it all together.  I then spent a LONG time filing and sanding each and every link!

It is finished with a hand made and hammered toggle clasp.  I love it.  I love mixed metal jewellery and I love rings like this.  I'm not sure I'd embark on making another chain from scratch though!

Thursday 6 December 2018


A while ago (summer time maybe?) I showed you this photo of a new project I had started.  It stayed like this for months and months and months until I picked it up and finished it in one sitting!

It is from the book Sew Sweet Creatures by Lark Craft.  I was asked to review this by GMC, however all opinions are my own.

There are 16 projects in this book, and I love that they are shown on the index, not just a written name, but a picture of the project.  It makes navigating the book so much easier.

How cute are they!  I want to make that little fat lion!

Lots of them have cute little accessories too.  It may surprise you to read that I didn't make the rabbit...  I'm not sure why, but I decided to make the pig.

All the templates are full size - I love that, I hate having to find somewhere to enlarge projects and I can't just "nip to the copy shop", I have no idea where there is one or if these things even exist in this day and age!

There are loads of photos for each project and the instructions are well-written and easy to follow.

Ta-dah!  No idea why these photos are so blurry... maybe Superpig was flying around so quickly I didn't notice, but my camera did.  Or maybe I'm just crap at taking photos!

The mask is removable, it's just tied on.

As is the cape.  Want to see what's underneath?

A little curly tail!

This pig was sewn by hand, though it would be possible to do some of it by machine, it would be far too fiddly for me.  I enjoyed making this little pig and I like some of the other projects in the book, I would recommend it for anyone who fancies having a go at making some whimsical little creatures.  

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Temari ball craft class

A couple of months ago I did a workshop at Threads in Derbyshire.  It's taken me this long to post about it as my life has been so hectic recently.  I'm not sure I'm going to be able to continue blogging, I haven't blogged in weeks and I'm 2 weeks behind on my blog reading... time will tell.

Anyway, back to the class.  We made Temari balls!

The photos above and below are my ball at the end of the class... I was so close to finishing!  And, first time ever, I finished it off when I got home - photos later.

Cathy always provides a kit, and scissors are available, so you don't need to bring anything except your lunch.  There's also plenty of homemade cake throughout the day...

We chose our colour schemes from packs that Cathy had made up, I deviated slightly from my usual blue/purple preference to blue/pink!  The ball is a small styrofoam ball that Cathy had wound with old tights before the class to save time. This gives you something to sew into.

First we wound the ball with yarn, just to cover the black from the tights.  We chose something close to our thread cover in case we missed any parts, or any peeked through.

And then we wound the ball with thread.  Just ordinary sewing thread.  Yes, it took quite a while!

Next came measuring to divide the ball up - I think we made 10 section balls?  This stage took AGES as it had to work from all different directions.

Perle 5 was used to mark out the divisions...

Then the embroidery began!  We started with a pretty basic ball.  It's fun and soothing.  During the class Cathy showed us various other examples and wow... you can make some amazing Temari balls.  If you haven't come across this before I would recommend Googling it.

More embroidery... We had 3 different colours of Perle cotton plus one sparkly thread in our packs.  It was up to us what combination we used and how many rounds of each before changing colours.

As my measuring wasn't completely accurate, I did have to fudge a bit on the number of outer rounds to make the edges meet.  Cathy did point out that it doesn't matter too much and showed us some examples of embroidering other designs over those marking threads you can see a tiny bit of above.

I'm not sure what the picture above was taken to illustrate!

And here's my ball with the internal silvery bits added!  They didn't take long at all and, I think, really finish it off.

This was massively enjoyable and a great way to spend a day.  If you are in the East Midlands area, I'd definitely recommend any of Cathy's classes, I've done a few in the past, including Schwalm and Crewel.  I bought another kit to make a second ball...  of course, I haven't got round to it yet!

Friday 2 November 2018

an unexpected finish

I mentioned a few posts ago that I'd got my crafty motivation back.  I had a few days off work sick (just a really bad cold, but I was falling asleep as I drove to work so I turned round and headed home again) and I managed to accidentally finish a project.

I inherited this from Wonderful Mum.  The pattern is by Satsuma Street and it's Pretty Little New York.  New York is special to our family.  Mum and dad visited back in the 90s and loved it, so for mum's 50th (1999) he took her to New York again.  On her birthday, he took her for a walk to Strawberry Fields in Central Park where she found me and my brother sitting on a bench!  We all loved the city so much and have been back a few times since.

I got it just like that, she had been working on it before we lost her.  It was all kitted up with the threads cut to length and threaded on cards.  I knew I wanted to finish it, but it took me ages to get on with it.  I'd put a few stitches in here and there, but the first day I was off sick, I picked it up again.

And this happened!  I haven't ironed it yet, and I hope the hoop mark comes out ok.  I should really have taken it off the hoop but I have difficulties with mum's stuff sometimes.  I get over emotional and can't look any more.

I loved working this and I love the finished pattern.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.  I should probably add mine and mum's names before I frame it.

Sunday 21 October 2018

Silver and gold necklace

I managed to start and finish a piece of silver jewellery in just a couple of weeks rather than a few months or a year or more!  OK, so I started it back in July before the summer break, but technically it was only a few weeks!  

I thought I had some process photos of this necklace, but I can't find them so maybe I don't.  I used argentium, which I used before making my brother's ring, and again I used pieces of my mum's wedding ring.

I pierced out the five pieces of argentium in varying sizes and cleaned them up.  I punched the circles from mum's wedding ring using the hydrolic press and my circle punch kit.  The original idea was to completely inlay them into the silver batons, as I did with my brother's ring.  After fusing the gold to the argentium, I loved the way they protruded, so decided not to roll them in.

I bought some thin tube and the omega chain, then cut the tube to fit the backs of the batons.  I soldered them in place before cleaning everything up.  I then cut more pieces of tube to act as spacers.

You can see them on the photo above.  Then it was just a case of threading everything on to the chain and resoldering the clasp.  Job done!  This is a necklace I will treasure.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Back on it! The shawl...

You have probably noticed that I've been lacking in crafting motivation this past year or so.  Aside from my regular silversmithing class and the various workshops I've taken, I've hardly crafted at all.  Suddenly, that all changed!  In the past 8 days I've completed 6 projects, mostly old ones.  I was feeling ill and took a few days off work and just felt like sewing and crocheting and making.  So, I have a load of blog posts to write!  I'll space them out though, just in case I lose my mojo again (please, please, please don't let that happen).  

So, the second finish was a project I started in December last year, you can see the post here if you like.

This is the Sunny Day Shawl (free pattern) which I hooked up in Stylecraft DK yarn.  I used grey, turquoise and green though I don't know how I came to this conclusion as the pattern actually calls for 6 colours!

In these photos it hasn't been blocked, and, to be honest, I'm not sure I'll bother!  I'm sure it would look amazing - especially the picots on the last 2 rows, but I'm lazy.  By the way, I took the photos on my craft room floor, what a fab background!

Due to the way it's designed, the rows get longer and longer and loooooooonger as you progress.  It was taking me a couple of hours per row by the end.  I did enjoy it though.

I love the pattern and the way it changes part way down the grey.

and look at those curly ends!  It's been wrapped around my shoulders already thanks to the chilly weather that's descended on the UK.  I may need to make a shawl pin to hold it in place as it did dip in the washing up at one point!

I have really missed making stuff.  So happy to be back at it.