Sunday, 27 April 2014

Handmade Decorations and How to Make Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

So this weekend has also been a crafty one, making me very happy (I'll have to get married more often ;)) My lovely bridesmaid came to stay and we got going with some assembling of decorations, very productive! We had a lot of fun together as well of course :)

Using Lace, Ribbons, Hessian, and crochet flowers assorted, we made some jam jar candle holder...

And that's another one of my heart wreaths in the middle :)

We also began assembling the table place cards...

... and made lots of tissue paper pom poms! The barn where the reception is is really big, so I wanted to have lots of bursts of colour all over the place. Tissue paper pom poms are easy and quite cheap to make so we thought that this would be one good way of using the space. 

To make them, you just need 8 sheets of tissue paper, roughly the same size. We used a mixture of colours so that each one is different. You then fold them as if you were folding a fan, over by about an inch and then back, repeatedly until the end

Then tie some string around the middle. We used a lot of string, so that you can use the ends to hang the pom poms once you're done...

... to get the fuzzy effect on the ends you then need to cut a semi-circle at each end...

Then gently pull back the layers from the middle to make the pom poms...

Ta Dah! And now we have a few pom poms around the house... we didn't unfold all of them, but wanted to just check it worked a few times. C is delighted (!)

Hope you are all having a lovely relaxing weekend :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Gaining Control?

I love this picture of Bella. She just lay down on the sofa one day, as lazy fat cats do, and happened to be on top of the remote control. Being too lazy to move (oh the indignity!) she shuffled over and appeared to gain control... She lost it to C when he decided he wanted to watch television of course...

As I mentioned in my last post, I have finally gained some control over all of the little bitty things I've been crocheting for our wedding in May (one month today, eeek!)

I finally stuck a load of hearts on a piece of cardboard (inspired by this pattern here.)
I'm so pleased with the results, I think it's really effective. One down, eight to go! I'm going to use the wreaths as table decoration, with glass jars containing tea lights and flowers dotted around them (and one in the middle I expect). I now have a mound of hearts waiting to be made up so that's this weekend's task. 
And once the wedding is over, I'll gift them as part of thank you presents, adding a ribbon so they can be hung on the wall.

This weekend my wonderful friend and Bridesmaid is coming to stay and we are  making up the place cards for tables, adding the little flowers. We'll also be attacking a load of jam jars with ribbon, lace and twine. A crafty weekend indeed :) To be accompanied with tea, cake and lots of chatting. 

My other little project over Easter was finishing the swatch of half double crochet I began using cheap Wilkos yarn. I made a rectangle, folded it upwards and then crocheted the sides together, making a very functional make-up purse...

I ruined the creativity by sewing the button on wonky, so will have to fix that at some point. Nevertheless I can tell it will get much use!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Some Vintage Crochet

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter - I've loved looking at all the wonderful crafty Easterness in Blogland! I've spent Easter in Suffolk with my parents, being decadently lazy, whilst ignoring the PhD work that I really ought to be getting on with.

I had a look through some old craft magazines that Mum's got. My Grandpa bought them for her when she was quite a bit younger than I am now, she must have been about 14. He bought them every week as a treat and she says she used to pour through them looking for projects and inspiration. She's much more crafty than I am, she knitted and sewed her own clothes, as well as crochet and rug making and all sorts. I'm not sure if anyone has ever come across the wonderful magazines, they're a series called 'Golden Hands'.

Mum made a smock like the one on the cover - once I get my sewing machine working I'm going to have a go at one as well, I think it would look great with leggings. I just love looking through them, there are some wonderful projects! And the pictures are just gorgeous, they absolutely look how I imagine the 1970s would have!

How great is that lampshade?!

Well anyway, when I was flicking through I found a pattern for crochet place mats. It was a lazy Saturday afternoon so I decided to just have a go....

... and I was delighted! Definitely the most complex thing I've attempted and I learned some new techniques which was great. I think I'm going to try with some different colours next. I even blocked it, which I was very proud of myself for! It's a bit like all these glorious mandalas that everyone's doing I suppose. I've given it to Mum because she really likes this kind of crochet.

I also busied myself with another cowl like the one I made myself here. I wore it for my hen weekend and my bridesmaid who organised the whole thing loved it. I thought I'd make her one as a thank you, in the same colour. Again, a really quick crochet project...

So quite a productive Easter weekend really. There has also (FINALLY!) been some progress with wedding crochet, which I will write about next time.

What have you all been up to craft wise over Easter? Hope you're all enjoying the warmer weather :)

Helen xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

And now for something completely different....

...jewellery making!

On Saturday my wonderful bridesmaids organised an amazing hen do for me. They know me pretty well needless to say, and the afternoon involved crafting and afternoon tea!!

We made some lovely jewellery. The theme was pearls and we were each given a string of a particular type and then were helped to make earrings, a necklace and a bracelet. I was too caught up in it all to take pictures of the process, but it was much easier than I thought. The fiddliest bit was getting the various fastens on, but the two lovely ladies were so helpful.

Here are my creations:

We were able to choose from a huge range of colours, but with the grey pearls I had chosen I decided to stick to simple colours, and was very pleased with the result! We used crimp beads to keep the beads in place on the necklace, which we squashed with pliers to keep them fixed to the wire. The earrings were quite challenging, getting them to fix to the fastening but we were in capable hands.

Here are the individual pieces: (excuse the light, C is fitting a fire downstairs so I am banished upstairs where there is not so much space for photo taking!)

And of course we all wore them for our evening activities, dinner, drinks and dancing!!

Here is the yummy afternoon tea: it was scones, ├ęclairs and Suffolk apple cake, so unbelievably tasty and served on wonderful vintage china :)

As you can see I had a wonderful tiara for the day (the rest of my 'attire' had to come off for the jewellery making as it got in the way!!)

If you're ever around the Suffolk area and fancy a spot of jewellery making, here is the website, I would highly recommend them! They do classes, fairs and all sorts. Definitely a new crafting hobby I want to pursue.... maybe after the wedding though!!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Flowers, flowers, flowers

Once again I've hit a bit of a busy patch... not as much time for crafting as I'd like sadly. I've been crocheting lots of little flowers for the table place cards at the wedding, only another 40 or so to go (!) I know they'll look lovely when they're done, but I'd much rather be crocheting blanket squares, or cowls, or Easter goodies! The sight of all the ends that need sewing in does not fill me with joy I have to confess.

I will be attaching them to some thick brown card and then my lovely bridesmaid who has neat hand writing will write the names! I'm toying with the idea of adding buttons to the centre, but it might depend on time by the time I'm done. We're trying to make the wedding as personal as possible, so an element of my new found crochet obsession only seemed right!! 

I also realised that I hadn't used the half treble stitch, so I'm trying a swatch in some cheap wool from Wilkos. When crocheting in rows I still seem to be inconsistent with crocheting through front, back or both loops, so I'm just going to practice until it comes right. No idea what will become of this, it's an odd width! I was thinking maybe a simple little purse (I need a new make-up wallet) or maybe something else... watch this space!

Helen xx

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spring Cowl

Ta Dah!

It only took me two evenings in the end, I went to visit my Nana on Monday and just sat and crocheted while I talked to her. Really pleased with the finished result, I think it looks pretty and I'm loving the colour: it's a cheap acrylic yarn off Ebay: Cygnet chunky. I used a 6mm hook, and this pattern from the wonderful Fiber Flux blog.

I don't think the lines are supposed to be there technically - I think I only crocheted through the top loop or something by mistake - but I quite like the effect :) The pattern's so easy and looks so nice I'm going to buy some nice variegated yarn and make one for a friend's birthday.

It's very snug without being too bulky for Spring: perfect!

I hope all your projects are going well :)