Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rain, rain, go away; come again another day

Yes, it's still raining....I think the monsoon season has started.
*Happy dance* the BF got a new job yesterday. He starts on Monday, so our money worries should start to alleviate a little now. He has to go up to Sunderland for a weeks training - I'll miss him loads, but I will get the bed to myself for a week *mwahahahaha!!!* Being an insomniac and a very light sleeper, sometimes sharing a bed can be a little detrimental to my sleep. Of course, I already have a mini schedule planned
*Bridget Jones voice* I will do some yoga every day, and will therefore lose half a stone in a week. I will eat sensibly and not have to be tempted by any manner of naughty goodies that the BF seems to wave under my nose each evening (v. bad). I will get lots of sleep and will wake up each morning deeply refreshed. I will not have to endure football or pc games played at full volume on the telly or pc and will have natural inner poise. The house will stay tidy all week as there will be nobody to mess it up! I will be domestic goddess.
Yes, I know; I live in a complete fantasy world sometimes.

Anyway, what have I been up to for the last couple of days? I rediscovered my beaded goddess that I started last year. Poor thing has been sat on one of my stash shelves guarding my mini drill and waiting patiently.
So, this is what my little floral goddess looked like at the beginning of the week when I picked her up.

And this is what she looks like today. I don't really have a plan for her. Just random swirls of colour and shapes.

This is what her back looks like so far. I like this little cluster on the top right hand side the best so far.

Yum yum. Bead porn.

It's the MIL's birthday next week, so today we made some fudge for her. Luckily she has a very sweet tooth, and the BF likes to make something for her himself. He thinks that he's very uncrafty, so it's good that he has now got the confidence to 'make' a present for his Mum.

I don't think the third box made it as far as the fudge jar *lol*

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bank Holiday Blues

I think I may have mentioned before the rules for a British Bank Holiday. The weather must be dreadful, and every other vehicle on the road will be a caravan. Rule one was in full force this weekend. There were flood warnings across the country and I think we had a months rainfall in a weekend. Good thing we didn't go away in our caravan!

So, what does a craftster do when the rain is too bad to go out? (YKYACW, you spend the whole Bank Holiday weekend crafting...) And what have I been crafting I hear you ask? Well, here is a dragon pillowcase I made for my swap partner in the Dragon swap. I tie-dyed a white pillowcase, sewed a red ribbon border onto it, and finished it off with a gorgeous embroidered dragon patch. Unfortunately I don't have a fancy sewing machine that will enable me to do this myself, but I found this patch on good ole eBay. Then I embellished it with some gold glitter.

And this is a dragon mobile - attached to a CD, so it will catch the light when it's spinning. I used metallic and glittery gel pens for this.

I also made a dragon pendant using a bottlecap and some fimo, and some beads.

I happened to glance at my cats feeding mats when I was feeding them and was appalled at the scruffy mats I was feeding them on, so I made them a couple of new ones, crocheted from my stash (you may remember that I'm using what I have, rather than buying anything new - an economic and eco-friendly policy at the moment). My cats are fed on the stairs which gives them a bit of space to eat without the dog breathing over them.When he was younger, we had a stairgate which stopped him snaffling their food. Now he's older, we don't use the stairgate and miracles of miracles, he doesn't touch it, so the mats had to be long and fairly narrow. I single crocheted a rectangle shape in orange and yellow yarn, then double crocheted a border all the way round twice, and crab stitched a border. They should go through the washing machine when they becomes grubby. I may make another couple - a set to use and a set in the wash.

Oo, and we also went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 on Bank Holiday Monday. We went to the early bird showing which is half-price, but it was still packed. Loving those pirates!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Trinkets and baubles

ZaftigMomma aka Karan, received the crocheted necklace and surprise from me in the OWS 22 swap, so I can post photos of them now without spoiling any surprises. She had everso subtly hinted that she liked the one I made for Purpleone, so I made a version specially for her with a starry button.

And I also made her a suprise necklace with lovely chunky purple beads that I've been saving for her.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Puff the magic dragon

At last! Pictures of Puff, all assembled and looking proper dragony :-)

And here's a bracelet I made for the Craftster Colour Craftalong - this months theme is 'metallic' The charm was made from PMC - precious metal clay - my first, so pretty primitive looking. It's double stranded with cute little stars and beads.

And I had this gorgeous purple fleece in my stash and inspired by the lovely pj/yoga bottoms I received from ZaftigMomma I made myself a long skirt, with frilled hem, felt and shisha mirror applique and silver ric-rack. It's lovely and warm :-)

The appique design reminds me of a peacock feather eye.

Carbon footprint

I'm thinking about what to make this month for the eco-craftalong. The theme is eco-cleaning. This is not a problem because I don't know how to be green, but completely the opposite. We're already a green household. We recycle our paper, plastic and cans through council waste collections. Our garden rubbish goes into a separate wheelie bin from our non-recyclable household waste, and kitchen scraps and soft garden stuff goes into our composter. Our personal details on paper, anything with our name, address, account details, anything we can be 'cloned' with gets shredded and also goes into the composter. Glass gets recycled by a regular trip to the recycling centre. Much of the glass I paint comes from a pre-loved source - charity shops are my favourite as I feel that the money to buy the 'blank' has gone to a good cause, and also the glass has gone from something that someone didn't want into something someone does want. I also use freecycle, car boot sales and eBay. I don't really buy that much new. Today the trendy phrase is 'reducing your carbon footprint' - I can't really do much about the petrol I use in my car as I need my car for work, but I try not to make unnecessary journeys, I walk as much as possible or cycle. I use my own bags when I go grocery shopping. I try not to use my drier very much - I prefer to dry my clothes outside on the washing line, or on hangers inside the house. I'm trying to remember to turn off my electrical appliances when they're not in use, rather than leave them on stand-by, or plugged in.

So, back to my dilemma. I have no idea what to make....I have dusters already...I have flannels and bath scrunchies and I make alot of my own bath products, I use cloth pads and a mooncup...I don't use a swiffer...I use a bagless vacuum....

I'm making some more cloth menstrual pads at the moment, will that do? I'm trying to find the perfect design - the last lot I made came out a little narrow and didn't want to fasten underneath without bunching my underwear together (I'm wondering whether the material shrank a little). This one has come out a little bigger than I was expecting, but I think I'll wash it a couple of times before I chuck out the template. (I've been making one or two at a time and test-running them, before I make a full batch.)

This is the one I've just made.

These are the ones I made last time.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another first

My first book-binding project, made for the dragon swap. I reclaimed some really good, high quality paper from work that was going to be thrown and just had a letterhead at the top and bottom. I cut off those bits and bound it with some metallic card in a Japanese loose-leaf style binding, embossed a dragon stamp on each page and one for the front, which I mounted on some handmade paper (onion paper - nice golden brown colour with little flecks in). Yay for recycling. I'm kind of on a mission to use what I have at the moment.

These are some Black Pearl inspired stitch-markers and earring which I've made for Suicidal Angel as part of a personal swap. The stitch-markers are for her sister as apparently she doesn't knit. I'm also going to make her a pirate themed bag - I'm thinking a skully motif maybe.

And yet more earrings for Bailliesbagsbaubles in the OWS 22 swap on Craftster. She likes pink. ZaftigMomma mentioned to me the other day that she had been given a wigjig by her hubby, and it inspired me to get mine out and have a play. I'm normally lazy and twist with my jewellery pliers, but the jig does give a consistent shape which is ideal for repeat patterns like earrings. The earrings on the far right, I made the beads too, from Fimo. I'm also going to include a crocheted hairband for her daughter but I haven't done that yet. Maybe today whilst I'm lushing out to Hollyoaks *lol* I'm hopefully going to get my amigurami dragon assembled today too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A week of firsts

This has been a week of firsts for me. I washed my first fleece, I span my first ball of yarn, I needle felted my first item, made my first Rapunzel scarf, and filled in my first meme *lol*
Here's my first ball - can't really call it a skein, it's just not big enough - all washed and dried and looking all yarn like. Well, Franken-yarn really. I'm going to keep it for prosperity.

And here's my second attempt. Already a much better looking yarn. More consistent, although it still has little bits that are thicker or thinner than the rest *lol* I experimented with the two different fleeces I have, spinning them on the same skein alternately. The drop spindle I received in the Celtic swap and I'm starting to bond with it. Should I name it? There's a trend of naming your spinning equipment I've noticed. I guess it (she?) should be named after a Celtic Goddess, that would be appropriate. I'll have a think. Didn't Sleeping Beauty prick her finger on a spindle and sleep for 100 years? Mine has no points so I'm not too worried!

Okay, back to the fleeces. One is alot finer than the other and has longer strands in with short golden curly locks. No idea what any of it is as I got it from a fellow Freecycler and it's free, so I can practice and play around with it. It's all good experience. Even the washing thing - sheep shit *eewww* I've already learnt that liquid stuff works better than washing powder. I've used both washing-up liquid and shampoo. Both work well, though the shampoo smells better. The washing powder just wouldn't dissolve and left bits in.

This is the other mystery fleece. Much coarser and kind of short and curly. Almost frizzy in fact.

This is my first attempt at needle felting, using mystery fleece number two. Can you tell what it is?
Well, it's supposed to be a cat. It's about 1 1/2 inches tall. I like it :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

I've been hit too

Well tagged that is. Laural tagged me for the Eight Random Facts Meme. So ok...

The rules:1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Random facts/habits

1. I have my tongue pierced

2. I kind of dislike people looking at me…according to my Mum; I have always been like this. I blush furiously and my mind goes blank when I feel I’ve been put on the spot. This is quite bizarre considering I have always been an ‘eccentric’ dresser (goth, punk, hippy) and my career of choice…..(I teach)

3. My hair has been every colour under the sun, with dreads or braids; purple, green, red, blue, pink – it’s quite a boring henna red now, and long.

4. I hate confrontation or arguments. I’m naturally a calm person, with occasional outbursts of anger.

5. I’m not a randomly tactile person. Don’t get me wrong, I hug and kiss the BF, family and close friends, but not general friends or acquaintances. And I hate it when people just keep touching you in conversation for no apparent reason.

6. I’m not really a baby person. I was never brought up round babies and I just don’t get that maternal feeling. Hand me a newborn and I freeze, like a rabbit in headlights. Now kittens…….I just adore kittens

7. I’m really bad at maths. I can deal with money ‘n’ stuff – I know if the shop keeper’s ripped me off, but fractions, geometry, algebra, and stuff like that, I just don’t ‘get’. In fact, I think I’m actually a little dis-numeric. I think that’s the right word anyway. I transpose numbers all the while. My first job out of University was for British Telecom as an Operator, and I hated it when people wanted me to read them the numbers rather than have the automated answer, because I knew that I would end up reading it out wrong. I’d get them to read the number back to me, pretending that I was checking that they’d written it down right, but really I was checking I’d read it out right. About 50% of the time, I’d switched numbers around without realising.

8. Everything I love is bad for me…..I love the sun, but I’m a little photosensitive and if I don’t wear sunblock, I came out in a bad rash. I love flowers, but I get hayfever. I love chocolate, and ice-cream, and nice bread, and cheese, and cake. Food doesn’t like me though. I put weight on easily *sigh* and as I’m only about 5’2” it shows. Luckily, I also love salad and fruit.

Well, that's all about me then folks. If anyone else would like to volunteer a hit, they're very welcome..... ZaftigMomma, Devilninny, SewingLori? Go on, you know you want to!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Catching up

I realised that I haven't got around to posting pictures of some of the things I have made for people recently.
This was made for Roxybadoxy - it was a pattern from the HeadHuggers site. I enjoyed making this and yes, it's one I will probably make for me. I ended up frogging it though, coz the first time I made it, it came out a little big. Here it is modelled by Zha'an, my disembodied head.

These two necklaces I crocheted for Purpleone. The brown one is loosely based on one in her Wists, although I made the centre motif solid and added a lovely button that I felt finished it off nicely. The other motifs are circular, though they look squashed on the bust because I had to tie them behind as they wanted to slip off. She likes brown and green.

This was more of a collar type necklace. Again, I winged it as I went along - that's the beauty of crochet :-)

And I painted this polkadot tree for RubyTuesday based off one in her Wists. It's watercolours on watercolour paper. I was a little annoyed with myself coz the tree sort of over-ran at the top - I should have made the trunk a little shorter so that it fitted.


I got up this morning and had the place to myself for what seems like ages - the BF was at work :-) How did I spend my tiny bit of quality time? Did I do some yoga? Go for a long walk with the dog? Get on with some housework? No, I made my Rapunzel scarf - something for me for a change. It's been ages since I made myself something. So I was still in my pj's at 10 o'clock, plaiting furiously, and this is what I made

Lovely, isn't it? Here's a full length shot - the whole 10 yards. The yarn came from assorted generous Craftsters who sent me selections of gorgeous yarns from their stashes as part of the Ongoing Wish Swaps.

And here's a close-up. I plaited some lengths of ribbon in with little purple and pink faceted beads too, as well as some little bells from my bead box that I used to have wrapped in my dreads. I jingle. I love it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crafty update

The BF has a week or twos work which is great news, it will pay some of the bills due shortly - he's much happier when he works - he was actually whistling round the supermarket when we went grocery shopping last night - he only whistles when he's really happy. It's just a bit of driving - he has a 7.5 tonne licence, so he can drive lorries - but it's something. He's delivering plumbing supplies to plumbers, so it's not a ridiculously early start, or late finish.

So, what have I been up to for the last few days? Apart from work, that is. Well, I finished Karan's (ZaftigMomma) flower scarflette which was a pattern from Knitty. I love how it turned out, despite the slightly vague assembling instructions (does anybody else find that some of Knittys patterns are a little vague in places?) I may make myself one (I always say that, but I'm usually too busy making stuff for other people *lol*) and maybe I'll make some for gifts.

I finished painting the dragon for the dragon swap. I went with watercolours in the end and decided that he was a fire dragon, so he's all reds and golds. I wanted to paint him in flight in blue sky, so he needed to be a colour that would show up against the blue. I've also crocheted a dragon amigurami (my first), which is sadly just a pile of random body parts at the moment, waiting for stuffing and assembling. No picture yet as there's not much point. He just looks like roadkill at the moment

I made a choker for DancingZira last night for a personal swap. She wants something gothic/rivithead/industrial inspired. I'm hoping this will fit the bill. She likes red and black; can you tell? The ribbons are meant to cascade down her back from the base of her neck. It also means that the fit is adjustable. I also like how this came out - yes, it's another project in the 'stuff to make for myself one day' pile. The idea just popped into my head and I had to make it. It exceeded my vision I think.

CraftyDeb has just sent me a pile of fabulous patterns including two bellydance patterns, a wrap skirt pattern and a sleepwear pattern, so I guess I'm going to have to get my 'lil Brother out and have a sewing session. There's plenty of football on for the next couple of weeks which I normally don't look forward to, but it may give me some extra crafty spare time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I'm spinning around.....

Wheehee!!! I span some yarn last night! I was wasting time before I went to my sisters and I thought I'd have another bash at the old drop spindle, and I finally got the hang of it! I didn't want to go out! It took me about half an hour and I could have been there all night (probably would have been if I hadn't had plans!) I know it looks crap, but it does look like actual yarn and I'm proud of it!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hair today...

Got the cheapest haircut in the world yesterday - £1 - what a bargain! I normally go to the college to get it cut - the tutors make sure the students do it right, and I like to support students too! The poor girl I had yesterday had never actually cut anyones hair before and was so nervous! I felt sorry for her. But her tutor showed her how to do it right, and stayed with her whilst she cut, and checked it all, so I felt in safe hands. And yes, it's cheap! It's normally about £7, but I guess it's cheaper at the moment coz it's nearly the end of term, and the students have to get different cuts and things assessed. It took alot longer than if you went to a regular salon, but I've had some really bad cuts and regular salons and paid alot more for the priviledge!

I spent last night drawing for the dragon swap - what do you think? It's just in technical drawing pen - I'll wash over it in inks, or watercolours I think.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self destruct. It never fails.

Richard Rybolt

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Get Knotted!!

My sister gave me a couple of books for Easter, both about decorative knotting - one was Chinese Knots and the other was Celtic Knots. Last night I dug out the Celtic knot book and had a bash. This will be for a private swap that I'm doing - Dancingzira is making me a Skorset (A corset belt) for my Gothic Bellydancing, and I am making her a choker. This isn't really a choker, but I'm sending this aswell because I wanted to try out my book and I haven't had a chance up till now! I found a really nice choker pattern on the Anti-craft site (asphixiation) so I'm going to have a go at that when I find

some nice silky crochet yarn.

Phantomssirens received her POTC swap stuff from me and says she loves it all! Phew :-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dyeing happily...

I've been quite busy lately, I had a couple of commissions for bookmarks (okay, that won't make me rich, but it's all word of mouth y'know?) so I painted the background the other day and when it's dry, I'll cut it up and pop it in the blank. I love the colours in it! I hope the recipient does too.
I've also been crocheting flowers off and on - I had an idea ages ago to make a hundred flower scarf and every now and then I make a few more. I must admit, I hadn't done any for a while, but I had a few people send me flowers with my Rapunzel scarf supplies, so it's started me off on them again! It's a nice theraputic past-time, crocheting flowers, and I'm using up all the useless little scraps that aren't good for anything else!

I found a gorgeous skirt yesterday in a charity shop - but it was white. That's no problem for a crafty chick like me, so I dyed it purple last night and when it's dry, I shall embellish it with little shisha mirrors and ribbon trim. I love maxi skirts and this ones excellent because it's not too flared. I'm only small, so alot of the peasant skirts that have been in fashion have too much material in them and kind of drown me. I look huge in them - this ones A-line, with a cute little flounce at the bottom and a bit of embroidery. Much more flattering!

I'm on a bit of a crocheting kick at the moment - I crocheted a couple of necklaces last night for Purpleone on Craftster - with a name like that, how could I not pick her! *lol* I finished my stuff for the POTC swap, but as it's a Bank Holiday, it won't get posted till Tuesday now. My poor partner Phantomssiren has fallen down the stairs and done herself an injury (methinks that maybe there was a large quantity of alcohol involved somewhere along the line *lol*) and will be sending late. Must have been a bad injury to interfere with crafting! Hope she gets better soon.

Bank Holiday Weekend!

You know it's a Bank Holiday here when :

The weather is awful
Every other vehicle has a caravan attached to it

I'm jealous! I want to be away in our caravan, but the clutch is going on my car and I can't afford to fix it yet, and till the BF gets a job, we can't really afford to go away :-(

Anyway, less moaning. We have found a couple of things to while away our time - we got free tickets for a circus and went to that yesterday! We've been before and it's a good laugh - a silly way to while away an evening - animal circus' are banned in the UK, so it's basically a bunch of people throwing themselves round the ring for our entertainment. I think this circus is a mixed European one, a couple of the acts were Bulgarian (No Krum though) and one was Spanish, The Ring Mistress (? Sounds a bit S&M *lol*) sounded like an Essex girl - she had a 'carnie' voice - you know the ones at the carnivals who talk into the PA and get you to go on the rides. There was a girl in a wheelchair on one side of the tent who had been given one of those spinning light thingys that they try and sell you as they go in and she was having a whale of a time - spinning her light like crazy and freaking out to the music!

This is a picture I took with my camera phone - not the best quality, but you get the idea!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Snoods and scrubs

Again I have been a busy girl! The weekend saw me attack the back garden, even going as far as to move the composter - a job which I have been putting off for a while! It now sits on the front drive beside the recycling bins, which is a much better place for it as it means that the kitchen scraps can be taken straight outside and popped in there rather than in the 'brown' garden recycling bin. Our kitchen is at the front of the house, so if I wanted to recycle kitchen scraps, I had to trudge them through the house and navigate the 'dogs area' in the garden - anyone with a dog will know what I mean - he has a small area to use for his business and I admit that in the winter, it doesn't get cleared as often as it sould, and the composter was at the back of this area! Now it's not, it's hidden behind a box laurel!
In between times, I managed to finish a couple of snoods for Karan (ZaftigMomma) and made her some sugar scrub! I was really pleased how the snoods came out, I had never tackled one before. (No piccys till she gets them though! I have just popped them in the post and am now ready to tackle Catpants Swiffer pad, which will be a washable cover for a floor mop thingy I think! *lol* I also made a couple of bits for Phantomssirens for the POTC swap - I'm having great fun with this swap!
The BF is trawling round the agencies, I hope he gets something soon!

Edited to add photos of the snoods coz Karans received them now! I particularly like the black one, it spirals out from the centre in a mandala style pattern! I added little star beads to the ends of the ties :-)



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