Friday, 28 May 2010

My new arch

OK so the photo doesn't really do it justice - I had to run out quickly to snap a pic so it's not the best light - but I'm loving my new arch. This is my new flower bed which, as you can see from all the bare earth, is still being planted up but I needed to create some privacy for the decking behind - sometimes it feels like we are sitting on a stage - which of course will be perfect for Flopsy Bunny and all the ballet shows and general theatre she will be putting on but for eating a quite lunch we don't particularly want to be in full view! So I have been looking everywhere for exactly this arch and all the ones in the garden centre's where either too big, or too ornate or just too expensive. So imagine my surprise when I went into our local hardware store to buy a new bulb - there was my arch - perfect and only £10! I couldn't wait to put it up - so at 9pm last night I was putting up arches and planting clematis either side!!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ode to Sweatpeas

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
  1. I love your vibrant colours which look soooo good together
  2. I love your heavenly scent
  3. I love your delicate petals
  4. I love the way you climb and hold on with tiny tendrils
  5. But most of all I love you because you remind me of my grandad
OK - you get the picture! I love sweatpeas - but I seem completely unable to grow them. Every year I try and every year they either get eaten by slugs or grow but don't really flower and I'm at a bit of a loss of what to do. This year I have bought loads of seedlings in the hope that something might happen. Today I've planted them out, made supports for them, whispered words of encouragement and watered them in. Now I must wait and see. Until then I will just have to get my fix at the flowershop!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Felting experiment

So this is what I've been up to this week. I've started on my felting experiment. Not sure how it will turn out and I have another 5 pieces to make so watch this space . . .

Friday, 7 May 2010

Everyone needs a cute pincushion

When I saw this pincushion tutorial last year on Craftpudding's blog I knew I just had to make one - how cute is it and useful too!! It also gave me an excuse to buy (and use) a glue gun which has always held a certain excitement and fascination for me. So I collected the items needed, a left over baby food jar from Little Roo, some ribbon that came off an Easter decoration and some pretty fabric and settled down last night to finally put the whole thing together. One of the commentators on Craft Puddings tutorial suggested filling the top of the pincushion with steel wool to keep the pins sharp - which seemed a great idea so I did the same. So after waiting ages to finally complete this project it came together really easily and now I've got a lovely and really cute pincushion to use!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Felting Tips . . .

I'm certainly no expert on felting. Of the three projects I have made, one certainly didn't turn out as I had hoped, but the two bags I made - here and here - turned out fine. So I just thought I would share a few tips on felting that I have picked up on the way (it's also meant to be a reminder for me too!)

  1. Use needles smaller than the gauge requires this means that you get a better looking felt at the end and that the individual stitches will not be visible.
  2. Increase friction by adding a towel to the machine if you are only felting a small item. Or save up items for felting and wash them all together.
  3. Add a colour dye catcher or two if you are felting knitting with contrasting colours. I wish I had done this with my striped embrace bag as the dye did run and the light green wool didn't keep it's colour so well.
  4. Use the right wool! Which I found to my cost! 100% pure wool is needed but you should also look at the washing instructions, you need wool that is delicate and ideally not machine washable.
  5. Reshape the felt when it is still wet so you get the finish and shape that you are looking for.
Happy felting!!