20 signs you’re a crafter

  1. You’ve always got fluff, cotton or glitter stuck to your clothes
  2. You’ve always got some hand injury whether its a burn, cut or just general stab holes
  3. You’ve more craft supplies than you can recall
  4. You see anything you like you can’t afford and you just know….. I can make that much cheaper!
  5. You may not go out for days and that’s ok
  6. Your idea of a good night is a cosy night in pjs crafting away in front of the telly
  7. If your not crafting your thinking about it or planning your next project
  8. You have way more crafts supplies than you’ll ever use….
  9. …. yet you still buy more……
  10. …. because you haven’t quite the right colour.
  11. If your main tool breaks you literally feel like you’ve lost an arm or leg, or both
  12. If you can’t craft you simple can’t figure out what else you’re meant to do\
  13. Your project is the first thing to figure out when going away from home right before snacks
  14. Your house is verging on a junk shop and you don’t care
  15. You  eye up clothing and bedding for the funky patterns wondering if its ok to buy them for cutting up
  16. Anywhere you go especially somewhere new you immediately find the craft shops
  17. Your phone is filled with your latest projects, work in progress, craft wishes or your next purchase
  18. What you up to tonight/ this weekend is usually responded to vaguely. If I really told you you’d not ask again
  19. You have at least 10 of each thing because you keep forgetting you already bought one
  20. You find ingenious ways of using household items to use in your crafts such a fork pompoms

Dreamcatchers

I’ve been a little missing this week and therefore missed Tuesdays blog due to ill health.

After sharing my Fox ‘Dreamcatcher’  a popular page shared it and this didn’t go down well. It was then shared on by someone who feels very strongly about Cultural Appropriation which I understand is respecting someone’s culture and not undermining it such as making cutesy dreamcatchers that aren’t even dreamcatchers and saying they are.

click for the link (text is wrong)

However it turned a little nasty and made me wonder why I bother. It was a gang up on me and my work and it lost its message. Calling my work nightmare inducing and no more than a cat toy doesn’t teach anyone about why it may (or may not) be offensive to make dreamcatchers and call them that.

As I understood the main issue is many makers and buyers see them as trinket and don’t appreciate the history and meaning behind them. The problem is the one person they chose to pick on is me and I have always loved the meaning of them, what they were designed for, why and how. I like them because of what they are not and I just so happened to also like how they look plus I enjoy making them.

You can make you’re own mind up by researching here’s a link to start you off.

So without further a do lets make some hoop decorations!

  • You will need some metal hoops – these are sold as dreamcatcher hoops and come in various sizes. I used 5 inch for the rainbow, pink and fox and 3 inch for the white.
  • DK yarn for pink, 4 ply for white and rainbow.
  • feather to compliment your yarn
  • 3mm hook for the pink, 2mm hook for the white and rainbow
  • pony beads in various colours
  • needle for weaving in ends

You can download the pattern for the white and pink ones on Ravelry

The rainbow hoop is my work but not my design you can create it by following the Dream Catcher afghan square up to round 5 or 6,depending on your tension, 2mm hook and 4 ply yarn.

Alternatively you can buy them on Etsy just click the top picture.

 

Tie Dye T-shirts

I was gifted a Tulip tie dye set in a craft swap so we decided to have a go! I used a shop bought cotton tshirt, a shop bought mostly cotton with a but of polyester tshirt, 2 tshirts that i made and the left over fabric.

We folded in various ways to see what would happen. The boys wanted swirls with youngest not exactly watching his colours. The eldest stuck to instructions and created a colour wheel type effect.

we used a combo of elastic bands and string including doing a scrunched up technique and one where you almost create ears on the fabric all over. Once done it needs wrapping to keep it damp and therefore helping to set the colours a bit more.

Here are our results. As you can see the swirls worked fab can you tell which one is the youngest efforts. The scrunch effect is lovely and definitely one I’d like to do again.

The fold and tie was lovely but I folded almost like I was rolling it when I think next time its need folding concertina. The other issue we found which I’m unsure of why is the t-shirts I made shrunk!! They were done in cold water and went smaller when rinsed which has never happened before.

So with that in mind we are redoing them this weekend. I will be fully pre-washing my fabric before making the t-shirt and I have wool to dye too so watch this space.

Hair Bow Hoop Holder

After making my earring hoop holder from a hoop I had the idea of a Hair Bow holder.

You will need a big hoop (depends on how big you want, mine is 12″, approx 1-2 metres of grosgrain ribbon, a lighter, strong glue, ruler and scissors.

First up take the outside hoop off we will only be working with inner hoop for now. Measure about 6 cm from one outside edge and cut slightly longer than need.

Glue on end so it is flush with hoop but ribbon sits straight, this may end up on an angle.

The middle ribbon is approx. 5 cm from the outer ribbon and then position last ribbon in same manner. You may wish to hold them with clamps till slightly tacky.

Replace the outer hoop and tighten. Leaving the glue tacky will allow any transfer to outer hoop and help it hold.

Trim ribbon so it’s as flush to hoop as you can manage then using lighter seal the ends of the ribbon. This will stop it fraying.

Your bow holder is done! It is such a quick but effective project. I chose to use thick ribbon partly as I loved the rainbow. You could use thinner ribbon and add more lengths or leave some dangling underneath to increase how much your hoop can hold.

Depending on what bows you use thinner ribbon may sag so wider ribbon is best. You can use other ribbons but grosgrain is less lightly to pull, fray and be affected by clips. Mine holds 30 small to medium clips/bows. #

What you get when buy handmade

I wanted to write this for a while because I often think buyers don’t understand.

I create patterns and make items so it’s a bit of a mix of what I do but I wanted to explain how it tends to go.

For  a pattern I have an idea that blossoms in my head I start thinking of the shape I want it to be what kind of neck and sleeves it might have, how it should be constructed and what look I want for the crochet stitches.

All my children’s clothing are from small newborn to age 5 but as I have a doll that wears 0-3 month clothes this tends to be my testing size.

So I make one in 0-3 months which can take 2-3 weeks depending on if anything goes wrong. I start off doing my chains for that size and then working out what amount of chains the bigger sizes need this is even before I start crocheting! Next up is working out how long each section needs to be so for a cardigan how many rows till I need to make space for sleeves that’s for 11 sizes. I continue in this way for each little bit which involves a lot of maths and this is where the time goes,

Once that’s done I have to write it out, take nice pictures, deal with my own typos for the poor testers and usually rework some calculation out that I messed up. After that’s all done I can then release it and advertise it and hope it sells. This whole process took around 6 weeks.

I made a circle cardigan for adults and once someone said to me why not just test the sizes yourself seen as you’re doing nothing. It took 7 yes SEVEN months to get to the point of testing!! it was a hard slog of creating nice patterns working out sizing but not only that working out a formula for working out each size stitches and also working out what I’m left with, how to divide it all off numbers. Then hoping it fits. In all that pattern took around 8-9 months from me starting to releasing. if I had to test all sizes myself it would never get out there.

This is just one side though I have young children so each time I’m working I get 10/15 minutes before I’m interrupted again and again again. It’s a lovely time but boy does it delay things.

So when you next buy handmade/created remember the real person working extra hard behind the scenes often for free.

 

Sensory Play

For his birthday Rune got a tuff tray and despite my intentions I’ve not done as much as I wanted with him but here is a mini round up of what we did do.

I got him some water beads as it seemed an easy, cheap fun thing. They took ages to swell to start off with so that was an anticlimax. My vision was he would have a spoon a bowl and play feeling them stirring etc. He threw them…. literally…. all over my living room and howled with laughter at me chasing the incredibly bouncy things. Once we got him to calm down he then stamped on them repeatedly with lots of squealing.

Thankfully they were easy to clean up.

Anyone with a toddler knows they are like dogs and like to go into every driveway! Rune loves stones he likes the sound under his feet, the feel, throwing and collecting in pots. So a £3 bag of stones later and I’ve a happy boy stamping on them, sitting in them, throwing around the garden and throwing them into a metal pot to create a great sound!!

Yesterday I made a small batch of cloud dough. This is 2 cups of flour, 1/4 baby oil plus colouring. If you don’t have oil based colour it will speckle but I decided speckle was better than mushy flour colour alone so popped some paint in. This stuff is like the shop bought kinetic type sand but cheaper. He had a spoon, a pot and his hands. He got bored a bit faster with this one so next time I think I may put some diggers and things with it and make some extra colours too. This stuff keeps well so you only need to make up a batch every so often.

This is the day of his birthday we have a foil insert for it its fab to peer into, place a rainbow on or to look at other symmetry. It is a great base for normal play too and the water beads would look fab on top double bounce!

Next month we plan to paint, make gloop, shaving foam and more of the same above!

Earring Hoop Storage

I got my ears re pierced less than a year ago now  and I’ve been rebuilding my collection slowly which included storage. Years ago I used to just throw them all in a box but started to find my ears hurt and they would go a bit old looking.

So I wanted more grown up version, that looked nice and showed off my earrings. I started off with a frame with plastic canvas in which worked but was too flimsy, a pain to get earrings off, got too small (oops) and it was no good for hoops.

You will need a large embroidery hoop mines about 16 inches and a fat quarter of lace. (1).

Take your hoop apart and place the inner solid ring on a flat surface, drape the lace on top and the outer hoop with screw on top and push down (2).  Tighten the screw and pull the fabric taut. Be careful though if it’s too tight and you tug too much lace will tear so go slow.

Next up trim your lace. I trimmed it so when laid flat it was flush with the edge of the inner hoop (3). I glued the edge down turning it towards the middle (4). You could use any strong glue but liquid glue that will stink into the lace a little and dry invisible is best. Hot glue would make too much mess.

Add a ribbon loop to the top to hang up. I decided to add a bow to hide the knot in the ribbon. Start with 2 rectangles approx 12 x 9 cm. Sew together leaving a gap at the bottom (5). Turn out the right way and fold in half lengthwise (6). Fold the edges back down to the fold to create a concertina (7) and pin to secure. Cut out a small strip and fold in 3’s lengthwise (8). Place around the centre of your bow and secure at the back. With this strip it’s better to cut it too big and trim down.

Sew your bow onto the ribbon at the top and you’re done.

You may have noticed my crochet earrings on my hoop. If you missed the post click here.