Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Little Roo is here ...

Little Roo finally made his grand entrance into the world (10 days late ...) on the 6th December and he is absolutely gorgeous. A wonderful Christmas present for us all and Flopsy Bunny is a besotted big sister.

Needless to say, blogging and making things have taken a back step. Although I did manage to get this done before Little Roo arrived; a stocking present for Flopsy Bunny. The pattern came from Little Cotton Rabbits blog. I love the rabbits that Julie makes and was very excited to see that she had posted a pattern for Christmas tree decorations. This mini bunny was quick to make, but a little fiddly as it is so small, but I am really pleased with the results. A very cute bunny for a very cute little girl!

So here's to a happy and healthy New Year to everyone and I hope 2009 will be a creatively inspired one!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Life goes on ...

So I'm still waiting for Little Roo to make an appearance. This baby is obviously not going to be rushed and wants to make a grand entrance to much cheering and whooping. After the first few days of feeling annoyed that things were not happening, I have now become quite calm about the whole thing and resigned to the fact that I have no control over when this baby will come.

Instead I am getting excited about Christmas. Flopsy Bunny has been opening doors on her advent calendar and dancing to Jingle Bells on our Christmas CD. I am in full swing making chutney to put in our family Christmas Hamper. I always like to make up a batch of jam, relishes and biscuits to give to family at Christmas. Not least because it helps with any glut of produce we have. This year we were given a whole lot of cooking apples which have been made into Spiced Apple Jelly and I've just finished some Pumpkin Chutney. I've recently found a great blog - Gerwerken, which has lots of lovely tips for a green and budget conscious Christmas. Ideas include receipes for making candles and soap as well as other crafty ideas - well worth a look if you want some inspiration.

I've also been busy knitting and have made Flopsy Bunny's doll a hat and scarf for Christmas - another stocking present which uses up left over wool! I was really pleased with the hat which I think has come out well. I had several attempts at getting the shape and size right. I've also finished my sister's bag - whey hey! Slightly disappointed that the light green wool dyed a little darker in the felting process but still love the shape and the way the colours blend together. Fingers crossed she'll love it too - although I must remember that it's me who has the bag obsession not her!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Just teasing ....

It's a girl! Sorry still waiting so still don't know if Baby Roo is a girl or boy. I made this heart for a friend's baby who arrived 11 days late - maybe it's something about November babies that makes them want to stay put ... It does mean that I have a bit more time to finish my sister's bag which is coming along well and then I think I might take a rest and think about what I want to make for myself.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

7 Days to go and counting ....

Well it's a week to go, or thereabouts before Little Roo makes his/her appearance into this world and I have decided - probably rashly - to see how many crafty projects I can do in the time left. OK, I know I should be taking things easy and I have done a lot of the really important stuff - like sort out the linen in the airing cupboard (of course that couldn't have waited until after the baby was born), I've also chosen some (gorgeous) fabric to re-upholster a Victorian nursing chair I found in a junk shop and I've sorted out and tried to find homes for all the accumulated clutter that has been building up for a while. I've even made a start on the Christmas shopping.

So now I can relax, sit down with my sewing and knitting and try to rest. I definitely need to get finished the felted bag that I am making for my sister's birthday. It's in the same style as my embrace bag (see photo in my first post) but I've gone for a stripey look (well I wouldn't be Spots and Stripes otherwise!). Looking at the colours that I've chosen they are quite Christmassy too, but then her birthday is two weeks before Christmas. I then thought I would make a little stuffed heart for a friend's new baby and try making some fabric door stops which I was going to add to my Etsy shop. So we will see - hopefully I will get a chance to post to let you know what I've managed to achieve before the baby arrives, otherwise you might not hear from me for a while. But please come back and check when I'm back in action.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Bumps, Babies and Balls

Baby Balls
Originally uploaded by ClaireAB2008

The imminent arrival of baby number two - Little Roo (as we have been calling the bump on account of him/her being so bouncy) - has got me thinking (eventually) about baby things. Having a baby in the month before Christmas does make you wonder what presents to buy and we probably wouldn't have got much if it wasn't for Flopsy Bunny. She is very excited about Father Christmas coming and so I will need to make Little Roo a stocking too. Luckily I came across a great idea on Ravelry (I'm so totally addicted to this site!) of knitted balls, if you are interested the pattern is from i like lemons. These balls are really quick to knit and a good stocking filler for little babies. I then got a bit carried away as they are also a good way of using up wool I've got lying about so I've also made a set for a friend's new baby (see above). I've been experimenting with the filing to try and make some tactile sensory balls, by adding cut up plastic bags (crinkly noise) and little bells - although I am a little worried about health and safety on the crinkle ones!

That's all very well I hear you say but haven't you forgotten about the pink slippers you have been promising us? Ahem, well, yes, they are finished but not my finest creation to date. They got a little misshapen in the felting process so don't exactly match, although Flopsy Bunny is quite taken with them, bless her. I think I have decided to stick to felting bags - a much easier enterprise!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Bonfire Weekend

Despite the rain, there has been sparkle this weekend with bonfires and fireworks going off all over the country. I love this time of the year with all it's celebrations - things to look forward to in the dreary winter months. Bonfire night is a wonderful night for wrapping up warm and tramping into a muddy, soggy field with your wellies on. Standing by a huge bonfire, we gaze at the wonderful fireworks as they light up the sky and whoosh and bang above our heads. It is so much part of our culture that I'm sure most people in the UK don't even think about the origins of this night. I didn't really either until, working at an international university, I had to explain to some overseas students what bonfire night was all about. Their puzzled and bemused expressions made me think it is funny how this medieval celebration has continued in our culture all these years. But it's great as it does bring the community together and it is a lovely spectacle.

Also it gave me a chance to knit a bonfire night scarf for Flopsy Bunny, her first scarf, she was very excited by it and it keeps her toasty warm. Unfortunately the pink felted slippers seem to be becoming a bit of a farce. I have unpicked several versions, all of which have not quite worked out. I can only blame my hormonally addled brain ... I've gone back to my original plan of knitting the slippers by Midnattsol and just trying it out and seeing what happens. I was a bit reluctant to do this at first as it meant that I would be wasting some lovely wool if the slippers came out in the wrong size but I am taking a leap and going to see what happens. I'm sure I will be able to find someone who's foot will fit - a bit like looking for Cinderella....!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Change and transformation

This week has been one of change, the clocks went back (well technically that could be considered last week!), we had the first snow of the season (albeit a light smattering) and ordinary pumpkins became scary faces. Flopsy Bunny and I had great fun making our pumpkin face and dressing up for Halloween. Flopsy Bunny decided that she was going to dress up as a witchy ballerina and looked terribly sweet in her pink tutu, witches hat and pink spotty tights.

All of this does seem to herald the beginning of a new season, the nights are drawing in and log fires are now a daily occurrence. So I MUST finish off poor Flopsy Bunny's new slippers. There have been a few developments on the slippers. I was raring to start making ones I had a pattern for until I realised that the wool I intended to use was the wrong ply and so now have taken the brave step of designing my own pattern. I'm quite used to creating new designs but do feel a bit of trepidation over these slippers because of the felting. I have to make them bigger than I need and then hope that they felt to the right dimensions in the washing machine. So far I have made two soles and am now on the sides. It is taking longer than it should because I'm having to make up the pattern as I go along. Anyway, I'm hoping that by my next post they will be finished and there will be a (proud?) photo of these little pink pixie slippers. I am even going to try some needle felting having seen a video of how to do it on Pipp's Purses blog.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Cupcake or Fairy Cake?

It's a question I must ask my American friend. The word cupcake is so cute but I think I do prefer fairy cake - it conjures up mystical memories of childhood, those individual cakes in their pretty paper cases with icing and sparkles on top. I can just imagine fairy's at the bottom of the garden eating smaller versions with their tea!

Flopsy Bunny and I have been baking recently, not fairy cakes unfortunately (but as I am thinking about them will do any day now!) but chocolate biscuits and I began to think that she needs her very own grown up girl apron. So when I saw some cupcake material in my local fabric shop I just couldn't resist. I have designed a pattern and made what I think is a very cute girly apron for a very cute girl. I got so taken with the apron that I opened an Etsy shop and thought I would sell some in my shop. I'm very excited about my Etsy shop (another new beginning!) and am busy thinking up other things to make to add to my store. Please check out my shop and have a browse around, there isn't much there at the moment but am hoping some fabric door stops will be in the making soon...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

New Beginnnings

I love new beginnings ... there is something about that mix of excitement, expectation, trepidation and unknowing that makes life new and wonderful again. That is how I feel right now with so many new beginnings starting their course it seems my life will be taking a new direction and I'm not sure where it is going.

This blog is a case in point. I am launching myself 'out there' wondering what this blog will turn into and how it will develop. Will I be dedicated and post regularly or will it wither into the ether? I'm hoping to record a year of my crafty endeavors and hope to get some inspiration from you. Although with the imminent arrival of baby number 2 (another new beginning) I am going to need lots of inspiration or is that sleep?!

My nesting instinct has well and truly kicked in and I am knitting like mad, the only question is what next, shall I opt for felted slippers for flopsy bunny (my rabbit obsessed daughter?) or something for the baby? There is some pink Rowan Yarn in my stash pile calling out for slippers and after the success of my last felting project I feel gun ho to felt again. So there we are - decision made - will start the slippers tonight (already have the pattern thanks to Ravelry and Midnattsol's blog ). I'll let you know how they turn out...