Friday, 29 July 2011

Mail, hair and awards

A lovely little envelope was delivered by Mr postman today:

Googly eyes received

An old page from a Clifford book, made into an envelope?
What's inside?

Googly eyes received

Comedy eyes?
Many, many thanks to Melissa from All Sewn Up- your gift of sticky eyes made us laugh and laugh today.

The first recipients were very pleased:

Googly eyes received

I feel they'll be put to good use this holiday!
Thanks again, Melissa (Do have a peep at her lovely blog- it's lush. Xx)

That was the 'mail' bit of my title. Next is the 'hair' bit! - and I'd like to thank you all for voting on my little elf's barnet choice and can reveal that the winner .....!

Blue haired elf

I agree, I think this looks cute and I promise, I won't let the little pink and black wigs go to waste- I'll be making dolls for them soon.

Another thank you to the marv'lus people who have given me awards. Thank you so much. I still feel humbled that anyone would read my little bloggy - do check out the side-bar to the right and take a peekie at their blogs too. (I had to hijack the Mister's work laptop to put the awards onto the blog so sorry for delay- ipads are cool, but there's plenty of stuff they can't do)

Here's a handful of interesting (?!) facts about moi:

* my actual name is Sarah
* my blog is named after my daughter's nickname
* although I love holidays abroad, i feel at home when surrounded by the green stuff - grass, trees and the like
* I'm a real autumn/winter girl- dark evenings, crisp mornings, scarves, cosy jumpers, blankets, rain, candlelight, mulled wine, fireworks, long walks, real fires (preferably in pubs on a Saturday lunchtime)
* actually, I'm a real Christmas girl - all that nostalgia above made me get my Xmas groove on. Bring on the red and gold, the holly and ivy, the tinsel and stockings.

Thanks again for the awards. If you are reading this, you all deserve one too!

Right, am off to get glass of wine and catch up with all of you, too.
Have a good weekend.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

What d'ya reckon?

Well gals, I could do with your advice -

You remember the little elf I made in my last post? See here

I just need to know:

black, blue or pink?

Black hair elf

Blue haired elf

Crochet sprite with pink hair

Ta muchly!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Bits n bobs

This is one of those funny little posts where I have some odds and ends to show.

Like this crochet pin cushion/ upcycled jam jar combo.

Crochet pin cushion

Inspiration here
Rainbow colours to brighten a dismal day.

Here's another WIP. Another doll. [See the first here]

[And actually, I think my dolls are little Elves (not the sort that Father Christmas might employ, I might add). I like their pointy ears.]

Basic dolly 2

She's using the same, modified pattern of Beth's (do see here)

Now I know that many of you wonderful ladies were a tad envious of my little Noro-wool-extravaganza-charity shop-find in my last post.

Well I didn't want to disappoint you today -
Here's my latest haul: 10 balls of mohair for 6 quid. Hmmm one ball missing from the photo. Must be camera-shy

Mohair find

Look at that old BHS logo on the label- it's got to be from the 80's (showing my age, now).
And here's what I made with some of it .. Can you guess what it is ...?

Mohair wig caps

Well they are leeeeetle wig caps for my Elf (can't decide on a colour yet- will be asking you clever ladies for some advice in my next post when the wigs are completed)
And can I say- crocheting with black mohair? Suicidal. I could not see where the stiches were and so 'used the force'. Luckily, it's turned out ok. Must be some sort of Jedi luck.

Still with me? Well I also thought you might like to see how I work. I've read a few posts by other bloggers who have shown their sketches/ drawing boards and I think it's interesting to see the process. Here's my messy notebook: anyone do something similar?

How I work
(note to self: must make copies to a 21st century computerised device to prevent getting burnt in fire/ lost in transit/ scribbled on by toddler.)

Often, I wish there were more hours in the day- mine are spent with the little'uns (priceless) and then I get some quality time to mull over the day with the Mister (sanity), and then I might just get a bit of time to crochet in the evening (restorative).
I dream about crochet/crafty projects at the moment, I guess because I don't have the time during the day, but I have to say, I am the happiest I think I have ever been.

Thank you to all who find the time to follow, read and comment on my blog.
You make this all worthwhile.

Enjoy the weekend. Xxxx

Monday, 18 July 2011

Wonderful woolly world

So there's a story behind my latest crochet project:

Being new to the wonderful world of wool, I had no idea what I had stumbled upon when I picked up a few balls of Noro Iro at the charity shop.
When I saw it, I thought it looked gorgeous- loved the colour changes and could see from the label that, being wool and silk, it must be good quality.


I wasn't sure how well it would crochet, or what I would do with it, so bought it home and had a play.
Very nice, I thought.
I shall make myself a cowl or something.

Later on that evening I decided to do a bit of Googling to see what I could find out about this Noro stuff .. . and.... Bejaysus! much?...!...

I had paid the princely sum of 50p a skein and this Iro wool sells for over 10 quid a go!

Suffice to say, I was back to that shop the very next morning to buy up everything they had:


And wow! It is lovely stuff. I've nabbed some more Iro, loads of Silk Garden and a couple of skeins of Kureyon too. (see, I'm an expert now).
I think the lady in the shop thought I was a bit mad, trying to cram a gazillion balls of yarn on the top of the buggy (cue wails of unhappy child underneath the woolly mountain) and attempting to steer it with one arm (the other trying to keep the gazillion balls of yarn from spilling all over the shop).

I have no idea what to do with all of this just yet, I'm sure the inspiration will come. I feel very grateful to the lady who donated this and will do her proud.

And so, to begin, a one skein cowl, made from the Noro Iro.

Chunky crochet shrug
Chunky crochet shrug

I just love these colours.
I have to admit, it took a fair few goes to get this right; too long, too dense, wrong stitch etc. I finally arrived at a dc-ch1-dc (US) solution, which I think works well.

Chunky crochet shrug

Chunky crochet shrug

Very seasonal, I know.
If the rain keeps coming, I shall wear this tomorrow.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Handmade vintage votives

A simple algorithm:

Empty jam jars and charity shop tumblers
+ vintage lace trims and garden twine
= elegant vintage votives

Vintage votives
Vintage votives Vintage votives

Too easy. You have to try it. Look how pretty they are on my mantlepiece:

Vintage votives

And lit? Just gorgeous!

Vintage votives
Random 2


Sunday, 10 July 2011

Vintage phone case crochet

Here's a little project I've been working on recently:

Vintage phone case

I cannot take any credit for the thought process, design or original idea in any form. I simply fancied making a case for my phone, Googled an image search and found this at Cult of Crochet.
'Well,' I thought to meself, 'I love it AND I have exactly the same coloured yarn in my stash! Game on.

It was very simple to make: (click on the link for exact details)
Crochet a rectangle to fit your phone or gadget, and include button holes. This pattern used a version of grit stitch, which looks fab.

Vintage phone case Vintage phone case

I then blanket stitched a piece of vintage curtain fabric to the inside:

Vintage phone case

Then added some vintage buttons, stitched the sides, et voilĂ !

Vintage phone case

A little case for my little and very non-gadget-tech-basic mobile telephoney.

Vintage phone case Vintage phone case

Happy days.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Curry and thank you

Well, this little curry (totally homemade prawn Dhansak) really hits the spot: tasty, spicy and healthy too. It's been a regular on mine and the Mister's dinner menu for some years now, but has always been cooked by him.


Until now, that is...
So I asked him for the recipe and I will share the version in the photo which I cooked earlier.
Advance warning: all measurements and timings are estimated by the Mister, all measurements can be varied according to taste/ what's in the cupboard/ how many glasses of wine you've had beforehand and so, the curry is different every time- we've never had a bad one yet!

Serves 2 with plenty sauce. Easily up-scaled for more peeps.
You need:
Medium Onion
A few cloves of garlic,
Man-sized handful of red lentils and yellow lentils
Tsp each turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek powder, black mustard seeds,
Chillies (whatever rocks your boat- we use a mix of dried and frozen ones we grew ourselves)
10 black peppercorns,
Tsp fresh ginger or half tsp ground
1 lemon
Prawns or chicken (however much you fancy, fresh or ready-cooked
Hand-blender and pestle and mortar/ small mixer/ rolling pin

First, make the dhal:
Fry onion until softened. Add couple cloves garlic and turmeric and fry briefly. Add lentils, salt and pepper and about a pint of water. Allow to cook for 20 mins or so, until lentils are soft. Blend. (if your mix is a bit watery, add more red lentils and cook for another 10 mins or so. If too thick, add water).

Meanwhile, bash up the spices to make a paste:
Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chilli (to taste- you can always add more later), black peppercorns, 4 cloves garlic (or to taste) fenugreek, black mustard seeds, ginger, lemon zest. (if you are using fresh chicken, then marinade it in this paste while you wait for the dhal to cook)

Once your dhal is cooked and blended, add the spice paste (if you haven't marinated with it) Cook for a few mins.
Add fresh chicken and marinade and cook for 20 mins or
Add fresh prawns and cook for 3-4 mins or
Use ready cooked prawns or chicken and heat through.
Add juice of a lemon.
Check seasoning (this curry needs a fair sprinkling of salt, I find)

Serve with rice and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

Enjoy. And feel smug that this is tasty and good for you too!

P.s. My thank you's are for the lovely bloggy awards I have been given recently. Seriously, thank you.
I would love to add the pics, but my laptop is now dead and my iPad just will not (cannot?) grab icons to add to my sidebar. (if anyone knows a way around this, I would love to know)
Much love xx

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Chloe's dress and odds and ends

This post is a bit of a hodge-podge of different things I've been up to in the last week.
So here she is again, this time dressed:

Chloe doll complete
Chloe doll complete

I crocheted her little dress using a variation of Beth's (By hook, by hand) basic doll camisole pattern and added a simple shell stitch skirt. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and the yarn is cute too - it has a sparkle to it.
Thanks again, Beth. Am already planning my next doll..

Next, some more crafty makes...


Owlies Owlies Owlies
Owls with pockets? Who doesn't need one?

Making more blocks ready to print:

Crafty bricks

And some lush vintage must-haves from the the olde antique shoppe:

Vintage goodies Vintage goodies
A lovely hand stitched tablecloth- in beautiful condition. Loving that roses motif.

Vintage goodies Vintage goodies
Vintage edging and doilies (Doilies??!! My inner granny had a loud voice that day)

And, most amusingly...

Vintage goodies

Yes, bunnies. A cruet set, no less. Cute, kitsch AND useful.
Bet you all want one now.

Wishing you all a good week!