Thursday, 31 March 2011

OOh a blog award!

This has been a busy week...creating and cogitating! 
As a new blogger I am still trying to get the balance right with posting, commenting and sharing!

I was excited to receive a Liebster blog award from Becky at The Fuff Pot this week. Her nomination description was very thoughtful, and accurate, as a new blogger I have found her comments on my posts positive, helpful and  friendly! So, Thank you Becky!

I gather that I have to accept and display the award and pass it on to other bloggers with less than 100 followers. 

One of the reasons I began blogging was to acknowledge some of the people who inspired me to do so.. so here's a chance to say a huge thank you to Tracey at  I made it!  .  Tracey has 2 blogs but its this crafty one that I love!  I am always uplifted by her posts and admire her  creativity and skills at traditional homely crafts, baking and gardening. We have lots in common and go back a long way!! Keep up the great work Tracey! 

My other nomination is another blogger with 2 of which I am already a daily reader, although its really new.. Johnshaven a photo a day ..from Starfish Studio gives daily photos of an Aberdeenshire Village.
It gives me a chance to slow down, reflect and indulge in many beautiful images...some of them of the sea...which I do miss here in the Midlands!
So Thank you and please keep up your photo diary (I appreciate how much work goes into it!!) I love it!
Thanks for all your friendly comments too.

I would like to also 'big up' Liz at That Fuzzy Feeling who received the award at the same time as I did..I'm a big fan of all her creations and have learned a lot from her friendly posts and comments. Thanks Liz.

I hope to keep blogging, being inspired and challenged by other bloggers so once again:
Thanks to you all so far and keep up the great creating!
Ali x

Saturday, 26 March 2011

I can sing a rainbow!

I had intended to do more crafty posts but the explosion of colour in the garden has given me other ideas!
..and yellow...
..and pink
..and pink again!
..and green...
...and purple...
..and blue
..I can sing a rainbow...sing a rainbow.. sing a rainbow too!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Throwing in (with) the towel!

As all our washing in usually done at 30 degrees I have been reluctant to felt woolly items in the washer, it seems such a lot of energy for little bits of knitting!.  I have had some cool felting results with a boiling water technique but thats for another post...

Some 'wash and filtz it'  wool had been sitting in my stash for a while so I knitted a strip, tied it securely in a pillowcase and chucked it in with some towels at 60 degrees ( they are treated to a hot wash every now and then!)

It has felted well and you can still see some of the stitching which gives more texture..... I'm looking forward to exploring this technique a bit more and will be kniting bits to throw in with the towels in the future!

Whilst I'm airing laundry in public..... I use liquitabs which probably are not the most environmentally friendly of soapiness but I do try to re-use the packaging . My favourite re-use is my home made card stash. I have been making my own cards for about 11 years and have recently started storing them in the perfectly sized liquitab container. The real bonus is the wonderful smell that greets you as you open the box....I like to think it permeates the cards but by the time they reach their destination its probably been substitued for another aroma!
I keep my needle felting needles in an old clear glasses case.....where do you store your tools?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Flower Power

I love hyacinths the overpowering sweet scent and the transformation from tightly packed green buds to towering colourful and delicate bell shaped blooms. 

We have had pink ones this year.....but last years were blue. We rather unceremoniously dumped them in the garden (minus the pot) when they had finished flowering.... and to our surprise they bloomed again this year. Even more amazing  - there were 3 blue blooms- and now there's 3 blue and 1 white! 

It has been difficult to capture  the true colour of  deep blue with a pinky purple edge...they are beautiful - a real brightness in the garden. 

We'll be putting this years in soon!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Every spring I gaze in wonder at the snowdrops, crocus flowers and daffodils in various stages of colourful bloom.
I had a go at needlefelting snowdrops last year...
I made sketches and photographed crocus blooms and daffs too.
A couple of years ago I'd found this Debbie Bless SoHo wool and earmarked it for a delicate purple crocus...
As it didn't seem right to create a crocus in any season other than spring, I started one last week as they were flourishing in the garden.
The darker base is thowsters waste and the colour shading is a result of the variation of colour and width in the wool.

Whilst mostly pleased with the result it also got me thinking...
  • the background colour is important - if I did it again I'd probably use a pale I could add some thin green leaves
  • a crocus is often pictured closed... and if open - from above
  • when you see a crocus it is usually not alone...there are whole crowds of them smiling in the sun
  • what could I do with a single crocus? Perhaps a brooch (this one's a bit on the large side for that)...or a card... ??
However... I think what it brought home to me most is how delicate and intricate the patterning on a crocus is, and how this does not always easily translate into being needlefelted, particularly with yarn! (I might try white merino and purple silk another spring, although at the moment I think I may have got the crocus creation urge out of my system!!)

I may stick to more abstract and less delicate blooms in the future......I have another this space!!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spring has Sprung !!

What a lovely sunny afternoon for a walk in the park....

Nests up high and down low!

Buds and beautiful blue sky...

Saturday, 12 March 2011

T 4 2!

I've been keeping my fingers busy with these mug cosies!
Given as birthday gifts to friends... with the warning that they may be more decorative than practical!
The pinky purple wool is hand dyed Teeswater bought whilst on holiday in reminds me of heather.

The green wool was the end of a ball from a friend and just made it round the mug!!

Something to go with a cup of tea?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A hairy one!!

3D or not 3D...that is the question!!

Thanks to a brilliant tutorial from That Fuzzy Feeling I have had great fun making my own felt bowls.....
I began whilst waiting for some new wool so used a few different colours for each one..and as I'm not good at following instructions to the letter I used the tutorial as a sarting point..and felt my way round!!

Each one is completely different in form, shape and density!,I expect as I am still learning and experimenting. The brown and orange one is quite firm whereas the orange brown and yellow one is much more flexible.

I like aspects of them all so I'll keep on creating....
Having been a flat needle felter for a while ....I can cheerfully say yes to 3d too!!.....................................Bottoms up!! >>

Friday, 4 March 2011

Billionaire's Shortbread

In the absence of spring sunshine for woolly photos:

My son had been asking to recreate his Nanna's millionaire's armed with 3 recipes and a spare Saturday the other week we began the project!!
It tasted yummy and disappeared fast..the only minor critisism being there was maybe a bit too much caramel..(obviously my son has not inherited such a sweet tooth as me!!).
One of the fave songs on our playlist at present is I want to be a Billionaire (X factor has a lot to answer for!!) so we thought our mega caramel layer cake lived up to its new opulent name of Billionaires shortbread!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Blooming Colourful!!

Becky at The Fluff Pot asked about my colourful flower....

Not this Christmas but last one I gave these colourful bags to my sister-in-law and niece. I have been really pleased to spot them on photos of family events since.
The wool is Allsorts Rowan Biggy Print and the bags are Felt-works that I bought at a craft shop.
I have a small foam pad that I slipped into the bucket shaped one to needlefelt the flower. I seem to remember that I used a washing up sponge for the zipped up bag as it had a narrow opening!

The yarn is great to work with as it is multicoloured and multi-width too - giving different vibrant results each time. I love working with bright colours...but I am currently being drawn to more natural shades too.
After a lot of 'flat' work I am now branching out into 3d..... watch this space.... waiting for some spring sunshine to photo my recent needlefelting - expecting some this afternoon!