Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Little bits of our home today.

A little Easter bonnet making this morning before a lunch with family and friends...

A little bit more...

Happy Easter to you all. Jo xx

Saturday, 30 March 2013

A can of worms.

Does anyone else work in a craft space like this or is it just me??

Glue, off cuts, rubbish, stickers, pens etc.

Inks, stamps, ribbon, flowers, stuff etc.

Jewels, eyelets, scalpal, glue syringe, brads etc. and that's not even going under the desk!

I sort of get used to working in this carnage but just recently, maybe since I have been blogging and spending more time in the office, sitting in here has become quite depressing.You see so many images of graceful rooms and creative craft spaces but in reality, I have a cubby hole under the stairs on the first floor where I am allowed to make as much mess as I like!

I opened a can of worms today and took everything out of the 2m x 3m office to wipe the filthy, dusty bench down. Just to clean it you understand. It all got a bit scary when it looked like this dumped on the lounge floor:

Cripes! What had I done? I washed the bench then painted it, which was a bit silly really because then I could not put anything back on to wet gloss. So I painted the walls as well while I was in the full pain of it.

I then had a complete craft clear out and threw away two huge bags of paper bits - and I mean bits, tiny, tiny pieces What was I  saving those for! I threw away packaging from allsorts of craft stash. I used to do a lot of scrapbooking at craft groups but since having the children I have not been so I emptied a full wheelie trolley and a craft bag for crafting on the move - mmmm! where shall I put all this stuff now?

Bloke put me up another shelf so I managed to make a dent in the pile. He's a good bloke you know.

I already had the boxes and jars but the boxes were virtually empty so I sorted stuff into piles and boxed it away but still within easy reach. Then as Big Sis was at a Birthday party and Little M with top dad hit the park, I whizzed up this:

I have enough to make a roman blind and a pinboard too but really that is another day! It is a bit bumpy but for the first time since I was 16 I sewed something without swearing. The sewing machine always brings out the worst in me - knotty birds nests, broken needles, sewing fabric on the wrong side (anyone else!!) so I was astounded that in 45mins I managed to whizz this together without any problem. As I sorted through more stuff I found half a card I was trying to make which got swept out in the morning frenzy. I enjoyed finishing it off on a clear workbench.
I am sitting here now typing away in a very clutter free space with plenty of room to put my elbows and my feet. I have realised I have written a much bigger post today - it must be the headspace I am feeling, that or the paint fumes!
GMT clocks forward tonight so lovely light nights for me to get alotment fever next.
Chat soon Jo xx

Friday, 29 March 2013

Hooray! Stripy Hoody

Hooray! the stripy Hoody is finished (you would not believe how many forums there are on the word stripy or stripey!) I put it at the end of her bed this morning as a surprise and gettting her dressed this morning was surprisingly easy.

So, quite pleased then...

She even ate her breakfast wearing the hood to perfect this fuzzy hair...then it started to get a bit cold!
I know other people on more beautiful blogs get that lovely staged photo thing going on but it was 8am with an excited girl who would not stand still so I could not get her to stand where there was not a car, milk bottles, garden fork or general garden flotsam in the background so my humble creative apologies.
It is not very often you make a jumper out of left overs from a hat - it is normally the other way round but this is what I had already made..

I bought 8 balls of this yarn Sirdar Recycled DK  because Big Sis does not like wool on her forehead so cotton has been much more of a success this winter. She wanted matching hat, scarf and handbag which I then had to do for Little M too. The jumper took just over one ball of each colour because I only knit size 1-2 years because she is so small.  

Love to hear your comments as ever, stay tuned in. Jo xx


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Want to see Tribal Belly dance?

I have mentioned that I go to bellydance classes and I thought I would give you a sneak peek into the sort of stuff we do. There are loads of different styles from all different parts of the world and we try allsorts but below is Tribal style - my favourite!

The outfits satisfy my 'inner-goth' and the dances are simple but so effective when you dance in a group. This one is choreographed but sometimes we do a follow-my-leader style where one dancer goes to the front and everyone else has to copy by keeping an eye out for particular hand/arm/hip movements which are a code for a particular sequence.It is called 'improv.' Then someone else has a turn as the leader (if you are brave enough!)It is so much fun and as soon as we step out the audience sit up in their seats.

This was at our local community centre for a charity event to raise money for a village in Africa and later on the bill was a phenomenal African drum group and we couldn't stop dancing!!

I hope that helps you understand why I make strange looking headresses and crochet bra tops.

Enjoy life, that's what I say. Jo xx

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Emergency Crochet

Keeping track of what the girls need to take to school or nursery feels like a full time job and I try super hard to be organised but today I forgot that Big Sis needed to take in a decorated hard boiled egg for an egg rolling competition.

I went home and immediately started a creation with Little M to take into school later on. I did look online for a pattern but if I am honest I just kept going until it looked OK. It does look OK until...... turn it over.

Little M coloured in the egg with felt pens, then we rustled up some eye stickers and ended up with a granny-in-a-headscarf affair. Still cute though! In terms of egg rolling, I thought she may be disqualified for protecting the egg but she won and was really pleased with her chocolate egg prize. The things mums do eh?

Some of you who have been tuning in may have noticed the stripy background which is a nearly complete hoody jumper for Little M. It would have been a finished item if I had not spent the morning crocheting an egg cover in an attempt to look like an organised mum! So you will have to wait a little longer.

Well an eggs-trordinary day all in all!! Chat soon. Jo x

Monday, 25 March 2013

Wish List

I fell in love with these, the colours, the variation in crochet stitch and the general three-ness of them! I love things in threes, I don't know why?! These are going on my wish list.

Check out the free pattern here on ravelry or go straight to the site.


Mollie Makes Crochet

I can dream can't I?
Look, despite the weather I can still dream about wearing a light weight mac and spring scarf can't I? My friend showed me this in Mollie Makes this month issue 25 and I am going to have a go after the stripy jumper is finished. On the hoody bit now so not long.

I will need to go and have a look under that magic sofa and see what wool I can find!
Happy Monday. Jo x

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Craft show NEC

It was an hours train journey and a dicey drive to the station today for us to go to the NEC in Birmingham to the craft show. We had to negotiate these snow drifts first.

We saw lots of lovely things. I did not go with a wishlist, I always think that is fatal, you never find what you want then.

On our meander we saw felt, braid work, trims, wool, fabric, tools, papercraft stash, demo's and a whole lot more. Here are a few of my favourite things.

Out of this world Asian trims and braids to complete my tribal bellydance top from Aarti J. Purchase #1 made.


An amazing jacket made from braid stash leftovers aptly named...

Jo's jacket!

Machine stitched beauties like this wall picture.

I also bought new buttons, cardstock for cardmaking and a Sublime pattern book for £1.99!!! So all in all a great day of inspiration and bargain hunting, I would definitely go again.

I'm off to have a little play with my new stuff. Keep warm. Jo xx


Saturday, 23 March 2013

More snow and knitting.

Lots more snow here today at Three Stories High.

Inbetween making the happy little snowmen and drying out gloves, I got a sleeve finished.
I will be starting on the next sleeve this afternoon after a little trip out sledging I shouldn't wonder! Then I will be playing my usual game of 'wool-roulette' hoping I have enough yarn for the hoody.
Keep warm. Jo xx

Friday, 22 March 2013

Where are the daffodils?

Has anyone else in the UK woken up to this today?

My work course has been cancelled this afternoon, my highly choreographed childcare has gone up the swanny, I had to walk Big Sis to school nearly a mile this morning but on the plus side, I can carry on knitting that stripy jumper! Snow on the 22nd March? Where are my daffodils? What is going on??!!

Cosy Friday everyone.Jo x

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Now the Front

I have bought tickets for the craft show at NEC Birmingham on Sunday with my Mum and my Aunt and I thought I should be wearing something suitably hand-crafted so I finished off the 'Turtle vest'. I was not sure how to finish this garment at the front but it needed pulling in a bit otherwise the back was flapping about and not making the circle shape so I went for five buttons - not my favourite buttons, I must say but I am happy to change them when I find some heart-stopping ones on Sunday at the show!

It is very dark and dank here at the moment and I am on my own today (my photographer is at toddler playgroup with my Mum!) but I tried my best in the conditions.

I thought it would feel heavy in cotton aran but it feels really comfortable.I just need to find the perfect top to go underneath now. Thanks for looking. Jo x
Edit: If this is your first peek check out the back here

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Look what happens when you make lots of them... Ohhh! how I wish I had bought all of the zips from the charity shop...

Chat soon. Little M's stripy jumper is coming on a treat. Jo xx

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Zip brooch

It is only 8.17 in the morning but I have already made something today!! The children were dressed, watching a bit of TV and not bickering so I popped upstairs to do a little sewing.

I bought these zips in a charity shop a few weeks ago for 20p each and had some ideas in my head...

There were more and I wish I had bought them now because I made this lovely brooch.

I thought the metal zip edge would make it look a bit 'rock-chick' but when the zip is splayed out it looks like little jewels. I Love, love, love it.

Well anything else I do or make today is a bonus because I feel like today has already been worthwhile. Happy Tuesday Jo xx

Monday, 18 March 2013

Crochet Jar Tutorial 1000

Firstly, hooray! I have had 1000 hits on my blog and I am delighted, it is so motivating to know that people pop in and see what I make everyday.

Look,I'm not the first person in the world to make a jam jar cover but here is a tutorial if you want an idea of shaping and sizes. You obviously have to adjust the 'pattern' to fit your jam jar shape. (UK crochet terms used)

I used a 3.5mm Hook and fine DK yarns all with a bit of shimmer. You can make a chunkier version, just adjust your hook size to your yarn and measure as you go.

Ch 37 as a foundation row

Row 1:
Ch3, skip first 5 chains, 3tr in the fifth ch, *Ch1, miss 2 ch, 3tr* repeat to end. 1tr in the last ch. Turn.
(Doing a ch1 between each cluster makes the work bulge out from the foundation row to accomodate the blow out on the bottom of most jars)

Row 2:
Change colour. Ch3, miss first tr space, 3tr in the next space and every space to the end. 1 tr in the last space.Turn. (there is not a ch1 between each now because we want the work to nip in a bit for the straight bit of the jar)
You can see how the work blows out at the bottom as you make the second row.
Row 3:
Change colour. Ch 3, 1 tr in the first space, 3 tr in the spaces to the end. (you will need to judge whether you need 1tr or 3tr in the last space but essentially you need to keep the sides straight so use either 1tr or 3tr )
And so on... keep changing colours and working rows of 3tr in each space until you reach the top of your jar. my Peanut butter jar needed 8 rows in this fine Dk yarn for example.
Top row:
Change colour. Ch1, make a row of dc missing some stitiches to nip the work in for the neck of the jar. I skipped a stitch on each cluster and it starts to curl the top of the work in. Work 1 more row of dc in the row you have just made.
So your crochet part is finished, it has some ends to tidy up and it should be curled in at the top and bottom like your jar hopefully.
Sew in ends and sew up side seam. This looks unusual but the tight neck will stop in slipping down.
Hooray!Now you can see why I needed a bit of shimmer, I bought these butterflies in a pound shop in the easter crafts section and thought they would brighten up my 'home corner'.
A crochet jar that matches the colour of my crochet hooks, what could be better than that? Hope yours works out well too. Jo xx
Chunkier version using some Aran and 5mm hook is here.