Friday, 23 December 2011

More festive surprises

And again...

I arrived home from work to find our Christmas decorations had been put up around the house! Just the tree left to adorn, with a note on it that it had been left for us to decorate together as a family. :)

This was such a relief as this year everything has been so busy I was feeling quite stressed about not having time to get the house looking festive.

Apparently it was the Cornish Christmas Fairies who did it this time...!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

An early Christmas present!

My daughters came home from their nan's today with an early Christmas present for me and hubby. 

They had both seen busy baking and brought us a box of homemade mince pies! Scrumptious. :)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Teal Dreams

I recently was offered the wonderful opportunity for a custom yarn-dye order. It was very special as the yarn wanted was pure cashmere laceweight to match a dress fabric sample for a wedding shawl.

I've never tried to dye a yarn to match anything specific before, but there was plenty of time so I was more than happy to accept the challenge!

We settled on two laceweight yarns - a pure cashmere and a cashmere-silk blend. They both have their own special qualities - the pure cashmere is sumptuously soft, whereas the cashmere-silk almost glows with a gorgeous sheen.

I settled on three different combinations of two dye colours (teal and turquoise) in the dye bottles and, with a little trepidation, set to work!

I'm so pleased to say that the yarns turned out beautifully. They were both slightly variegated, as intended, and both yarns took up the colours amazingly. The colourway named itself - "Teal Dreams".

The result - one happy customer and one happy yarn-dyer with a little more experience gained!

I'm looking forward to more of these opportunities, so if you'd like some custom-dyed yarn for a specific occasion just let me know!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Teenager in the house!

We had a very busy but lovely weekend - our eldest daughter turned into a teenager!

Happy Birthday Connie - we're so very proud of you.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Marshmallow scarf

She's done it again...

It took my daughter a year to knit her first scarf. The second one has taken just three days!

Just in time to wrap up and stay warm on the way to school.

Check out the Gok-style needle hairdo!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's addictive...

It seems that knitting is catching on in our household.

Here's my eldest daughter with the gorgeous baby alpaca scarf she finished this evening - her first ever designer knitting project!

I bought the yarn, needles, and pattern for her when we went to the KnitExpo last November, and she's finally finished it.

It's her first experience of ribbing, eyelet increases, casting off, and following a pattern. Quite a learning experience!

Job well done I reckon. Go knitter girl!

Sunday, 16 October 2011


It's time to call it a day for the old mini-greenhouse.

This has been worth every penny - I've lost count how many years we've used it!

I can look forward to treating myself to a new one next Spring.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A late bloom

Look what finally appeared in our garden!

These seeds were potted up in a named brand compost that I bought this spring. I won't be buying that one again. 

Every pot filled with that compost this year was stunted and the plants have barely grown - and there were a selection of different types, so I would have expected something to thrive!

These sunflowers finally started growing when I gave up and planted them directly in the garden, not thinking they would survive the slugs and snails. 

I'm so pleased they did.

Happy sunflowers, happy me!

Monday, 3 October 2011

and finally...

...the third scarf, using the King Cole Twist Aran yarn.

Drop-stitch this time - enough ripples for a while!

I love the way this has turned out. I think the yarn looks so much better knitted up than it did wound into the ball.

It's available to purchase in my Etsy shop - why not start your Christmas shopping?!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Some kinda magic

I used to have a manager at work who though that knitting was some kind of magic - he used to describe it as something along the lines of twiddling about with string and ending up with something you can wear!

Yep, I guess that about sums it up.

So cast your mind back to last month's bits of string i.e. my yarn purchases from St Ives.

I've been twiddling - or more specifically, knitting - and now 2 of the finished scarves are listed in my Etsy shop just in time for the early winter we're forecast to get this year!

The first scarf uses the soft and cosy James C. Brett Passion yarn.

This is so colourful I'm finding it hard to keep it out of both my daughters' grasp!

It's a lovely chunky scarf which shows off both the lace stitch pattern and the colour graduations beautifully.

The second scarf has the most beautiful colours, I just couldn't resist buying this yarn! It's the King Cole Riot, also super soft and non-itchy.

I chose a slightly different stitch pattern, but stayed with the ripple effect. I just love the way it highlights the colour transitions.

The crochet flower button fastening is completely removable. I sewed a long thin button across the back so it can be threaded through the scarf layers wherever you choose - or used on a different scarf altogether.

As for the third scarf - watch this space!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Sophie!

Today is my little niece Sophie's birthday - she's 2 years old!

I won't get to see her but we sent a parcel of goodies including
Sophie's present - a sweet little poncho as requested by her mum.

I first knitted one of these for her sister Sara two years ago - she's still wearing it and apparently the girls were arguing over it, with Sophie deciding that she wants it for herself!

Her mum asked for a pink and green combination so it's different to Sara's but still co-ordinates with the vast quantities of pink clothing that Sophie has.

I used a combination of Sirdar Summer Stripes and Stylecraft Special Twirl DK yarns knitted together for the bosy, with Sirdar New Fizz for the edging and the Summer Stripes yarn for the flowers around the neckline.

Full details can be found in Ravelry, but I'll include the pattern here too:

Use Summer Stripes and Special Twirl yarn together throughout on 7mm needles.
  1. Cast on 3 sts
  2. Inc 1, knit to end
  3. Repeat 2 until 80 sts
  4. Knit 27, cast off 26, knit 27
  5. Knit 27, cast on 26, knit 27
  6. K2tog, knit to end
  7. Repeat 6 until 3sts remain
  8. Cast off
  9. Crochet around neck edge with double yarns
  10. Crochet around outer edge with New Fizz yarn
  11. Crochet flowers with Summer Stripes yarn and sew around neckline
All done!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Rediscovering tie dye

Many years ago I used to be made for tie-dye clothing - tops, skirts, leggings, the lot. It worked well with the tight jeans and leather jacket biker chick thing at the time!

That was all long forgotten until a distant memory inspired me to transform a couple of forlorn summer tops in my wardrobe.

I had bought these in a bargain offer from Matalan a couple of years ago. There were 3 for some silly price - so I bought one each in white, turquoise, and pink. I'd hardly worn them as the straps were just that bit too long, which meant I was forever hitching them up at the bust!

This summer I finally got round to unpicking the straps at the back, shortening them and sewing them back on. Great! I wore them a couple of times, but still knew I'd wear the coloured ones more if they were patterned...

Enter 1 sachet of Dylon cold dye in "Vibrant Purple", 3 rubber bands per top, 250grams of salt, and a saucepan of cold water. 

One hour of dyeing later, plus almost another hour of much rinsing, these are the results!

I gathered the pink one lengthways and wrapped the rubber bands around sideways.

With the blue one I did the more traditional circle tie-dye where you grab a piece of the clothing and pull it upwards, wrapping the rubber band around so the whole thing ends up looking a bit like a jester's hat!

I love them and have worn them so much already. Now my eldest has seen the results, she wants to have a go too. It's a great (and cheap) way to transform plain tops - so why not grab a couple in the sales and have a go yourself?!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Destash time

I'm clearing all my glass seed and bugle beads that are too small for my requirements - basically anything that's too small to thread onto 4ply yarn!

I have bagged up various colourways such as this selection of blues and greens.

You can find all the available ones in the Destash section of my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Multistorey car park woes

Just got back from a nightmare trip into Truro...

Me & eldest daughter drove there in my little old Megane and parked on the ground floor of the multistorey car park, got the parking ticket & then realised I couldn't lock the car as the remote locking had stopped working - which meant that I couldn't start it either as I have to use the same signal to switch off the automatic immobiliser!

I phoned hub who drove to us with youngest daughter, and he played around with locks whilst we did the stuff we needed to in town. Still no joy when we returned so he phoned the vehicle recovery people to come out to us.
He also phoned the car park helpline to see about the parking ticket expiring but they had no sympathy - we had to keep feeding the machine every hour until we got the car (well 2 cars now!) moved...
2 hours later the vehicle recovery people still hadn't arrived. I finally drove hub's huge Volvo estate for the first time ever (not stressful at all!) through the holiday traffic to get to my doctor's appointment near home - just made it in time.

We got home after raiding the cornish pasty shop just as hub arrived back in my car!
The problem? Apparently the remote control locking system on my car is infra-red, just like the flourescent light in the car park I was parked underneath... They had pushed my car back 10 feet & it all worked fine...!!!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Front Page

Woohoo - I made the Etsy UK Front Page again - this time in Onetenzeroseven's gorgeous collection - thanks Oneten!

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I have to share this lush treasury with you that I've been included in... mouthwateringly good!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Woolly Warmth

I've been included in this gorgeous woolly treasury by bebbyjumpers today as part of the current Knit1Treble2 team challenge - so cosy!

Here's a quick look at the woolly goodness that I treated myself to yesterday too:
Look out for some new knitted lovelies using these yarns in my shop soon - or I might just keep them myself...!

And finally, the gorgeous moonstone stud earrings that my daughters treated me to for my birthday. 

They were bought from my favourite local jewellery shop - Velvet Crystal.

Exactly what I wanted - thanks girls!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Yes it's that time of year again...

We went off to St Ives for the afternoon by train for a family day out and had a lovely time despite the weather trying to lightly rain for most of the afternoon.

We had a most excellent lunch at the Fire House Restaurant, then strolled around the beach and harbour and paddled in the sea.

The tide was coming in fast so we made our way back to the shops where I stopped in at House of Bartlett and G J Beads. Well a birthday without buying yarn and beads just wouldn't be right, would it?!

You can see me here with my dear hubby - I'm wearing my new Weird Fish fleece that he bought me - so warm and cosy, and I love that deep teal colour!

Then it was back home on the train and off to my in-laws for a cold buffet dinner, topped off with chocolate birthday cake.

A lovely family birthday!

Sunday, 14 August 2011


We went for a great bike ride today at Bissoe, and then on to Truro to see a freestyle motocross event.

Sadly although we waited and went back twice we missed all 3 shows as the times were changed from the ones announced! Grr....

So to cheer ourselves up we went home, got the chiminea going, and toasted marshmallows in the dark... lush!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Birthday discount!

It's my birthday on Monday, so I've set up a new discount code in my Etsy shop to share my celebration with you all! 

Simply place your items in the basket and before you complete checkout enter the discount code CAKE45 and you will see a 20% discount automatically taken off your total - easy! 

The code is valid from now until the end of Monday.

So share my birthday happiness and grab a bargain too!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Falmouth Week

We have just got back from spending a great afternoon in Falmouth as part of Falmouth Week, in the most glorious weather - sunny but not too hot.

We took the train from Truro - a lovely 20 minute ride, cutting out the hassle of summer traffic and parking.

We then watched the Animal Bike Tour display - most excellent!

We ate some tea at The Rumbling Tum cafe - the most delicious steak and onion chutney ciabatta with fries & salad, then squeezed in a quick visit to the local bead shop and the traditional sweet shop before watching the Red Arrows display over the harbour.

Back on the train, then to our local pub with friends to round off the day. Fantastic!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Front Page!

It's been a while but thanks to the efforts of the CraftBritannia team one of my silk crochet necklaces made it to Etsy's UK Front Page today!

It was part of this gorgeous treasury put together by the talented Imynda - who also creates and sells the most fabulous crocheted items herself!

I'm happy to say that views and hearts have gone skywards, which is A Very Good Thing. :)

Love birds

Yesterday I saw a beautiful love birds luminary that had just been listed on Etsy which I think is absolutely beautiful. 

It has inspired me to create this love birds treasury - which led to me to some other fabulous finds as always. 
Take a peek!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Race For Life 2011

We're so proud of our daughters. Last Sunday they BOTH completed the Race For Life, and did brilliantly.

I couldn't take part due to recently having my appendix removed, so my youngest daughter decided the night before the race that she would use my entry.

They took part in the amazing 1600-strong warm-up first!

My eldest daughter then jogged the 5km with our friend, and they finished in a brilliant 40 minutes!
My youngest walked it with a school friend and her mum, and they finished in just about 1 hour. Fantastic!

We'll be entering for next year's Race For Life soon - hopefully I'll get to do that one!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Local wildlife

We've not been short of new wildlife spottings in our back garden this last week.

Firstly we found this huge fella under a plant on the rockery!

Quite a scary looking chap but apparently it is the caterpillar of an Elephant Hawk Moth.

It's very common in Britain, although I've never seen the moth or the caterpillar before.

Then this morning we spotted this beautful Peacock Butterfly basking in the sun on our new wall around the lawn - another big specimen!

I expect to see a few of these as we have stinging nettles growing in the area behind our Cornish hedge, which is the primary source of food for these caterpillars.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

K1T1 July Sale

I taking part in the Knit1Treble2 team's July sale on Etsy which lasts until 24th July.

There are lots of items in many shops to choose from, each offering various discounts - take a look at the shop announcements for details.
In my shop use discount code KNIT1TREBLE2SIX at checkout for 10% off all purchases.

Quick - go take a look - only 3 sale days left!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Warming up a damp and chilly summer

This treasury by CwtchBugs should do the job nicely!

And here's another - berry lush!

The Art of Craft Fairs

Yesterday I started writing what would have evolved into a series of posts about my experiences of selling at craft fairs. was looking around to see if there were any other tips to link to and found the UK Handmade have just started an exact same series! 

The first part is packed full of useful information if you're starting out on the craft fair market. Well worth a read!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Unexpected Interlude

There has been an unexpected break in blogging due to my dastardly appendix making itself known and having to be forcibly removed!

I went into Treliske hospital in Truro last Thursday and the surgeons removed my appendix by keyhole surgery on Saturday morning. I was home on Sunday and am now in the slow but steady recovery process.

The staff at my GP surgery and the hospital have all been excellent - I'm so grateful for their help and expertise!

Normal blogging will resume shortly, once my stomach muscles can stand more than a few minutes at the computer at a time...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Project reveal

OK, I'll let you see the finished item from the last peek-a-boo project...

It's a beaded crochet necklace - very soft and lightweight, with fabulous summer colours.

I love it so much I'm keeping it for myself for once!

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Art of Mask-making

My daughter has had to make a mask as a piece of Art homework over the last couple of weeks. She does enjoy Art and has put a lot of effort into this.

To start with I suggested she use a flat cardboard mask with an elastic strap - the kind you can buy for kiddies parties - as a base as we have a couple left over.

But no - to her credit, she wanted to make a shaped mask - the perfect fit for her face. I could only think of one way to do that - papier mache!

So here she is at the start - we covered the eye and nose area with clingfilm and I started layering on strips of newspaper coated with pva craft glue.

Once we had a few layers she sat there patiently waiting for it to dry a little - plugged in to her mp3 player to pass the time! 

Once it held it's shape, we transferred it to my polystyrene head form to dry properly. 

She added a few more layers over several days, ending in a white paper layer.

She's spent the weekend finishing this off with paint, sequins, feathers, etc. She's used a garden seedling stake for the holder which she's wrapped in ribbons. 

Excellent effort I reckon!

If that's put you in the mood to buy one for any forthcoming parties, Grin, Grimace and Squeak! make some amazing masks such as this one available to buy on Etsy.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Finally it's a wrap

Remember the Pebble Wrap?

Well it's finally finished and available to purchase!

Goodness only knows what kind of mental block I had on finishing this.

Now it's done though, and looking gorgeous (in my completely unbiased opinion!)

You can see more details and photos over in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Peek-a-boo Project

It's that Handmaiden Sea Silk again - this time with a selection of glass and wooden beads...

Any suggestions of what the final item will be...?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I've been feeling very bloaty in my stomach in the afternoons recently and I think it's to do with eating commercially-made bread. 

This article in the Telegraph newspaper discusses the situation, and makes sense to me! 

So I'm having a few days of reduced bread intake to help reduce the discomfort. Here's a tasty bread-free quick lunch I made yesterday in a few minutes - Summer Pasta Salad:

  • Boil a handful of pasta bows for 10 minutes, drain and cool slightly by rinsing under cold water, then put in your serving bowl.
  • Stir in a handful of washed, shredded spinach leaves and leave for a minute to soften slightly.
  • Stir in a spoonful of sundried-tomato pesto and mix thoroughly. 
  • Add a handful of chopped yellow sweet pepper, a slice of cooked diced ham, and a few quartered cherry tomatoes.
  • Season and enjoy!

Monday, 27 June 2011

THEAjewellery giveaway

I've been browsing round a few different Etsy teams recently, and happily found a great giveaway via the Craftcult team!

THEAjewellery is giving away some fabulous beads in return for a little linkage across the web - not much to ask for!

Details can be found on her blog.

There are so many beautiful items in her shop, that I can't begin to link to them all. 

However this gorgeous casual necklace is one of my current favourites.

Take a look and see which you love!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Lining a bag - sewing for dummies!

I do have a sewing machine but I rarely use it. Most of the sewing I do is darning tears, re-sewing split seams, re-attaching buttons, etc.

But I have this crochet bag - worked from the pattern I have for sale in my Etsy shop.

I love the bag - the weight, size, colours, etc, but I don't use it. It flops about quite a lot and I always intended to line it. Well finally I got round to it! 

I had chosen some gorgeous patchwork cotton to use months ago. I had matching thread, so here's how I did it.

First I made a couple of very rough paper templates from a sheet of paper from the recycling. 

One template for the front/back, and one for the side/base. 

I used this to cut my fabric.

I pinned, tacked, then seamed the sides to the base. 

Then pinned, tacked & seamed the front to the sides & base, and repeated for the back. 

The corners were tricky, and are not the neatest things in the world, but they're never going to be seen, so I figure there are worse things in life. :)

I put the liner inside the bag so I knew how far down to pin the top hem. 

I sewed around the top, then hand-sewed the lining into the bag. 

Done - easily, since I could manage it! 

Hopefully I'll get to use the bag now.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Galaxy mania!

More galaxy brooches awaiting their beads...

Which is your favourite colourway?

Monday, 20 June 2011


First up - Happy Father's Day! Hope all Dad's everywhere had a fab day, whatever you did :)

Last night and this evening I spent reskeining a couple of 500gram megaskeins of DK merino superwash wool.

I bought them from Fyberspates a while back, and have finally got round to wanting to dye them and get them into my Etsy shop!

I wanted to divide each megaskein into 50gram skeins ready for dyeing. I knew how many metres of the wool there was per kilo, so I calculated the length for 50grams from that.

I know that my niddy noddy winds a skein of 1.9metres each time round, so I could calculate from that how many times I had to wind around to make each skein.

I added a couple more winds each time for good measure - nobody likes underweight skeins!

It didn't take as long as I thought, and my arms lasted out. Now I have a gorgeous pile of 50gram skeins ready for the dye pot!