Sunday, 22 November 2015

Flowers for Memories

I was hoping to visit a friend at a craft fair today but I've been fighting a sore throat all week and thought it best to stay home in the warm and rest, rather than go haring off cross country in the cold. So I did a bit of crochet instead and produced my first flower for Flowers for Memories.

I had already had a browse through Ravelry for flower patterns and came across this Orange Gerbera by Camelia Shanahan. I turned out the blanket box full of wool this morning and came across something I don't remember buying at all but it was the perfect shaded wool, from yellow to red. The pattern actually used crochet cotton, not wool, so I knew mine would come out a lot bigger - the ball band said to use 5-6mm hook but I used 3.5mm to try and keep it smallish. The pieces worked up very quickly and easily and I pinned them to my little home-made pressing board (please forgive the stains - it's very well used!) and lightly steamed them them so they weren't too curly. I soon realised if I used all the rings of petal shapes, that my flower would be HUGE! So I left out the biggest petals (top right in my pic). Instead, I added 2 more petals to the petal ring at bottom right, so it would be long enough to form a double layer. The centre is green, although the one you see in the photo I decided was the wrong shade and made another in olive green. And here it is finished, next to the pattern.

Tina's Allsorts, Flowers for Memories

Although it is perhaps more dahlia than gerbera, I am none the less very pleased with how it turned out and I quickly glued a brooch pin to the back to finish it. I think the next one will be made just in white with a bright yellow centre, for a daisy. I have a little white in Patons Smoothie that will do the job nicely. I was going to make some more in this lovely variegated wool but when I bent down to pick the ball up from the floor, this is what greeted me -


Never mind, there's enough to make some more, I'll just have to wind off the green as I get to it. Although it might be ok to make a green flower I suppose. 

My first day of my new Monday job went well - I think. It's been nearly twenty years since I worked in a shop and although I was somewhat nervous to start with I did enjoy the day and am looking forward to next Monday morning. The staff are all really lovely too which is always a bonus. Being a Monday, it wasn't overly busy, but the Cathedral's Christmas Market has just opened and apparently an awful lot of people who visit Winchester just for the Market, can't resist popping into a craft shop they haven't seen before. There are even times when they get a whole coach load of people pouring through the door together and you don't know who to serve first! Can't wait for that!!

My regular job is now really busy as well - it always is this time of year - but we have the added complication of two members of staff unfortunately now on long term sick leave. And no help to cover... By the time I was asked if I could go full time again for a while, it was too late, I already had a second job and didn't want to leave when I had only just started. So somehow I need to magic up extra hours to do someone else's work as well as my own. I get the feeling I am going to be very stressed very soon!!

With so much going on at work(s!), I haven't really wanted to do any sewing at home. Maybe my mojo has burned itself out was a bit manic for a while there. I'm sure it will be back soon though. So I'm very glad I've kept busy the last few weeks making things for the craft fair as it's happening 3 weeks today!!!  It's on Saturday December 12th at Bishop's Waltham Jubilee Hall - I've put a link on my facebook page. If you happen to live in the area, do come along and say hi - and spend loads and loads on my stall!! (Hee hee!!)

Sun 22nd Nov

I had a go at the white daisy last night and have just taken a quick photo - the lighting is rubbish today, so it didn't come out too well. But I'm very happy with how the daisy itself turned out. I made it a little differently from the first flower. Although I still followed the pattern instructions on working the petals, I just made one continuous line of them, rather than break the yarn and start again for the next size petal. I made 16 of the smallest petals, then 16 of the second size. And a simple yellow centre.

Tina's Allsorts, Flowers for Memories

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Woo Hoo!!

Woo Hoo!! I've been offered a job to fill my Mondays!!!    :-)
I noticed the local craft shop emporium was advertising for part time staff, so I popped in for a chat with the owner. (I had asked before, when I first had my hours reduced but they had nothing available at the time.) The staff in there are all lovely and I've been a customer for eight years now, so I was chuffed to bits when she just said, yes, OK, can you start next Monday? It was the most informal interview I've ever had. Very refreshing.
I haven't worked in a shop for a very long time. And never in a craft shop. I'm slightly worried about how many things I'll be wanting to make as my head starts to fill with more and more ideas...
It's only until Christmas initially, to see how I get on and whether we like each other etc but it will be very good to have something structured to fill my Mondays again. My poor old body clock still doesn't know what day it is...Or the month come to that! Is it just me or has this year just flown by? It doesn't seem possible that it's almost half way through November already - the Christmas market opens next week!

I'll still do the craft fair in December with my niece of course but will have less time to make anything else to sell. I'm glad I've tried to keep myself busy over the last few weeks preparing for it - I really did try to take the attitude that I had a work-from-home day, not another day off.

I do feel somewhat guilty that I haven't had time to make any dresses or shorts for "Dress a Girl" for ages now. And I have yet to find the time to make the Flowers for Memories brooches I had planned on doing either. I did think I might be able to make them during lunch breaks but they have been getting shorter lately as work has now become really busy for a variety of reasons. But I will make them.  I will!

And I may not have as much time to blog in the run up to Christmas either. I've got to squeeze in some christmas shopping too...

Anyway, that's all for now, I just wanted to share my news. A new job...exciting but a bit scary too. Wish me luck!!

Monday, 2 November 2015

They've got wings!

The chickens now have wings. I was out and about today and saw some pink felt that I thought might be ok and as it was only 36p for a small square, I decided to give it a go. Well, the colour was just right and it turned out to be quite quick and easy to stitch the wings in place.

So I now have a happy flappy flock of chickens!!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Memories of a sunny day

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day with blue skies and a surprisingly warm temperature for the time of year. It made me think back a year, when I spent a very similar day with a good friend at Hengistbury Head. In fact, I think it was even a little warmer this time last year. It was November 1st and the temperature was over 20 deg C!
The beach huts at Hengistbury are amazing - they look more like miniature houses, never mind huts!! We had a lovely time wandering amongst them and along the beach, admiring the wonderful array of colours they were painted with shades of blue, turquoise, lavender, green and cream.

Hengistbury Head

There were quite a few owners there, making the most of the sunshine and where they had the doors open, you could see how well appointed they were and they even had an attic room, with a ladder to climb up. Oh how I wish I had a beach hut to visit as often as I could, filled to overflowing with every craft I could think of! I can't think of anything better than being by the sea while I busy myself with crafting. It would be sheer heaven. But I don't have a beach hut so I shall have to content myself with daydreams of one...
Speaking of crafting, I've been busy finishing off the Sugar Mice, giving them all whiskers -

Sugar Mice

Tina's Allsorts, chicken pin cushion
I've also made a little flock of chicken pin cushions, complete with tail feathers. I can't quite decide whether to add little wings on them or not. They look ok without them I think and I'd have to buy just the right colour felt to make the wings. And obviously, the wings should have been hand stitched in place before the bodies wre stitched together - they'll be a right fiddle to stitch on now. We'll see. I've got some fancy pins somewhere - I'll have to hunt them out and put some in each chicken.
I've also made nearly ten covered notebooks/diaries in an assortment of colours. I've not had chance to get any decent photos of them all yet. They'd look good lined up together on a bookshelf. And I thought I'd do a few simple little rectangular lavender sachets, as well as hearts. And some "sheep-shaped" lavender bags - or should that be lavender baaa-gs!! I've not photographed them properly yet. The question is, having made all these things - will they sell?... I have my fingers very firmly crossed!!