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Sunday, 28 October 2012


As the clocks went back last night I thought I would also give you an update on the alarm clocks (aka chickens). With it being darker in the mornings they have generally been much quieter; squawking to come out of their house at about 8.30am and then (most of the time) being relatively quiet in their run until we decide they can come out. Often they will make noise if they hear people coming and going out on the road but it never lasts for long.

8.30am was so lovely, most of the time we were awake waiting for their call to go let them out and this morning was no different; until we realised that it was actually 7.30am!! That's not fair! Today didn't matter as to us it still feels like 8.30 but tomorrow when we get used to the time change (and the bedroom clock is set correctly) we are not gonna be happy bunnies! 

I know lots of people with kids out there will be say '7.30am, what you complaining about!!' but I don't have kids (well the feathered variety I suppose you could argue) and I like my small lay ins. I'm only 23, and I get up for work at 6am so I deserve the extra 2 1/2 hours on my days off I feel!

On the upside Ginger has now laid for 149 days in a row now!! That's pretty impressive! Clever girl - unlike her noisy sister (yes Silver is out there now squawking her head off grr) who has slowed right down because of the weather. Our egg supply is looking a little depleted at the moment!

The garden is looking worse than ever before too. The grass is non-existent. I can only hope that come spring it picks up again. There are a few patches that look like they are trying to grow again but I can't see it having much luck. I think we may need to speak to the landlord about having it all graveled. It always struggled because of the tree, so the addition of too much rain a couple of chickens has wiped it out!

As you can also see from the picture, the chicken defenses didn't last long either... though having said that the one keeping the stones off the patio down by the house is still up, and mostly intact. I suppose it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Another upside, down in the border on the patio I have one surviving flower!! A pretty dwarf sunflower! 

Actually there were two but the chickens broke in and demolished one of them! Its almost comical really!

Crochet injuries

Well yesterday was a productive day; finished 2 of the 4(.5) Christmas bags (all bar sewing in the loose ends), cleaned the bathroom and crocheted 3 more granny squares!

I am getting used to crochet a bit more now, however I do seem to be developing injuries that can only be related. Before bed last night I had swollen knuckles and a sore hand; probably from where I am holding the wool/hook quite tight as its still a bit alien to me. Also I had blinking sore bottom teeth (yes definitely related!). I have never had this before with any of my other projects so I can only assume that I am concentrating so hard that I am pushing my top teeth against the bottom ones! Its obviously subconscious as I keep telling myself to stop doing it then 10 minutes later realise they are hurting again! By the end of the evening one tooth was full on out of place (well slightly)...

So in the name of craft I shall end up with arthritis and buck teeth!

Still a little way to go before I have a blanket!

Friday, 26 October 2012

It's taken me all day but

I have made my very first granny square!!! It was a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be but I got there in the end. They are not nearly as good as my cousin can do but for my first attempt I am pretty happy.

It was actually pretty difficult to find a tutorial which made sense to me. After going through several, Squidoo  came to my rescue with their simple to follow instructions. I could get the first chain stitches and making a circle, but the double crochet bit was doing my head in! I learned the double crochet using Crochet for Dummies but I just didn't understand how to make it work on the granny square until I realised that I was going though the whole circle rather than picking up a stitch (as such).

I am really impressed with my crochet hooks as well. As I had never done it before I only got some cheapy ones from ebay but they are really good! Just goes to show that not all cheap eBay stuff is rubbish!

Eventually I want to make enough to make a blanket. Hopefully still while the weather is cold!

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Now I have borrowed mum's sewing machine (until I buy my own, or she wants it back), Scott and myself have to come to some sort of agreement. We only have a small space to play with so it's impossible have his drums/uni work space/studio (HAHA!) and the sewing machine all in use at the same time. 

Although we are sharing, unfortunately I have the raw deal - though actually that depends on the way you look at it - Scotts working whereas i'm having fun! He has this thing where he struggles to concentrate on uni work unless he has a designated work space where he can spread out his papers (and laptops) and sit up to a desk. This was never an issue for me as I am happy working anywhere as long as the seat is comfy and there's enough space to have a folder beside me. This does mean Scott has dominated the table for the majority of the time. I don't mind really as his work is more important; but it does make me wish we had a bigger place where we could have an office/craft space we could share but without getting in each others way!

He let me have some time this morning to take in my work tunics and take up my trousers as I START TOMORROW!! Other than that I am taking advantage of the times where he is at uni or doing something else - which isn't often as he's like me; when you know you need to do stuff it's difficult to do anything else for too long without feeling guilty. We brought a new printer the other day so I managed to begin my patchwork bags I am making for christmas.

Just a taster as I plan on making a tutorial for these bags!

Although my projects may take a little longer than ususal, I will still very much enjoy making them!

Thursday, 11 October 2012


Can be a pain in the arse!

I have just finished the ruffled bag I spoke about in my last post. It's taken much longer than I thought for two reasons. The first reason being that that day at home I took to do it we spent in Wellington; then when I then got the sewing machine back to Bristol, I ran out of cotton so had to wait for a new bobbin arrive. The other reason it took so long is that I have quickly learned that making ruffles can be somewhat time consuming if you want it to look right!

My first mistake was with the cutting of the fabric; right where you don't want to make a mistake! I was using mums wonderful craft mat, quilting ruler and rotary cutter. Stupidly I lined my fabric up on 1 inch instead of 0, making it an inch too short once cut! Maths was never my strong point. Luckily I have got away with it as the bag pannels are in 2 sections so I just made the other pannel an inch longer. You would never know if I hadn't of said!

Much of the bag design consisted of gathering. Although I have done it before I don't remember it being as much as a pain at this. Maybe I found it more difficult because it needs to look good because it makes up the mian style of the bag. I dunno.

Once I got the hang of it it came together pretty quickly and I soon had the lining and outer ready to put together.


The straps also had ruffles on them. These were by far the hardest to get right at they were small and long so fiddley to get right. I stitched the edges to stop them fraying, giving me chance to play with some of the cool stitches mums sewing machine can do. Many of the edging stitches didn't really work with the material which was fustrating. I think it was because it was such a thin piece to sew, it didnt flow that well.

As most bags are, the lining and the main part of the bag were sewn together inside out then turned the right way for finishing. Well this caused another massive brain ache for me as I couldn't work out which way they the straps needed to be so they were sitting right when turned the right way! After 2 failed attempts I gave up, cut open the seam in four places (where they were sewn into the inside the lining haha), tucked them back in the right way and sewed the holes up again! My patience was wearing thin by then! Got there in the end though!

Just because I hadn't yet had enough of ruffles I also added a flower to make the front more interesting as I didn't put the hoops in for the straps like the original pattern wanted. The flower was the easiest part of all of it. However, in my true idiot style it took me three attempts to position it right on the bag. Also I was going to have 3, one larger one then two smaller each side but my large one ended up being so large I thought I would leave it there! I have some material left over if I want to add more in the future; though having said that I still need to make the matching purse so I doubt there will be much left after that.

This was the first time I had made a flower and I could only find one tutorial which came close to the sort of thing I wanted. I kind of followed it but instead of having one long piece of fabric I used a 3in by 21in piece for the outside and 1.5in by 21in for the inside. So it matched (and didn't fray), I egded the fabric like I did the straps.I think the sparkly button in the middle finishes it off nicely!

I have put a zip in it like I said I wanted! However I made it up as I went along so it probably could have been much better if I had followed a tutorial for recessed zips, theres plenty out there!