Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Valentine's Day

It will soon be Valentine's Day. I sm selling some of my crafts at a local Valentine Craft Market to be held on Saturday 9 February. Apart from hearts that I have in stock, I have made a few more crocheted cards, as well as cards with crochet decorations.
Have a look:

I bought some very healthy-looking strawberry plants recently. Some had runners on, which means I can get more plants from them. I have planted them in large pots, which I have stacked in a tower. This is how it looks:

I pushed a metal pole into the side of the bottom pot, then 'threaded' the other pots. The pots have three drainage holes spaced around the edge. There is plenty of room to add more pots as the runners grow. See the green pot on the left - it has a large runner growing in it. There is even a couple of strawberries already!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

New use for old cards

I hope you like what I have done with the piece that I cut out of an old birthday card. It was heart-shaped, so I tidied it up a bit, then made holes all round with a sharp needle. I enlarged the holes slightly with a knitting needle, then crocheted all round with Serina Bamboo yarn. I think it looks rather good!

We've had a lot of hot weather lately. My Wire-haired Fox Terrier, Maggie, loves paddling in water, so I bought a large bowl for her, as she was paddling in the dogs' drinking bowl.


I've been puppy sitting this week. My friend has bought a lovely Weimaraner called Lincoln. She already has four adult dogs, but she prefers the pup to stay with me while she is away from home. This is Lincoln, isn't he lovely? He is sixteen weeks old.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Vintage crochet

Sometimes in the 1970s I made a crochet blanket, in all sorts of different shapes and designs that fitted together. I cannot remember where the pattern came from, but I think it may have been America. I used doubled strands of four-ply to work the designs.
I have made dozens of crochet blankets since, and have given them all away, but I cannot part with this one, as it is special.
Perhaps one day I will replicate it, if I get the urge, that is!

Maggie always likes to lie on what I am photographing. She thinks she is a model!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Cotton sheets

There is absolutely nothing more blissful than getting into a bed made up with pure cotton sheets and pillow cases.
My late mother-in-law was a terrible hoarder, but amongst all the rubbish that she had was some wonderful cotton bed linen. I acquired more than thirty pillowcases, as well as at least a dozen double and a dozen single cotton sheets. Some of the sheets were still wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine, and dated from the 1970s. Paper and twine, so much more classy than a plastic bag!
The sheets and pillowcases were yellowed from having been stored, but a good wash and a few hours in the South African sun soon cured that.

I changed the bed today, putting on fresh sheets and pillow cases. It would appear that Maggie and Oscar like them as well! The duvet cover is one that I made, from remnants of pale pink and cream percale. It was in strips about 30-35cm in width, whuch I sewed together to make a broadly striped cover.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Buttons, buttons, buttons.

Like most crafters, I have a huge stash of buttons. These were kept in a biscuit tin, but I found that if I wanted a specific colour, for example, a blue button, I had to tip the whole lot out and scratch through until I found what I wanted.
Then I hit on the idea of sorting them into little jars. I was given a few 'Purity' jars, which are just the right size.
After removing the labels and washing them, I spent a couple of hours this morning sorting them, and this is the result:
The tall jar on the left holds a mix of larger buttons; the next two small ones are yellow and brown on top, and pink and red underneath. Then a tall jar of small white buttons. Then we have a small jar od large white  buttons standing on a jar of black buttons. Lastly, a small jar of blue buttons. All remaining buttons, such as green (not many of these), grey ones and metallics are kept in the biscuit tin. I hope that the time spent will save me time in the long run!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

I'm going to be on Woolhogs!

I am so pleased that I have been invited by to be one of their designers, and soon my goodies will be on their website offered for sale.
Here is a preview of some of the things I have made:

Crochet African Violet
Crochet Heart Keyring    

 Crochet Hair clip   
 Pony tail holder,
                                                                                      flower bead trim
 Crochet-trimmed hairband.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Daily bread

As a child, I never ate shop bread, always home made. In fact, the butter was home made as well, and it was my job to churn it on a Saturday. I no longer make my own butter, although I have done so on the odd occasion, but I do make my own bread.
It is so easy to do, especially as I now have a Kenwood to do the heavy kneading! I bake once a week, and cut the big loaves in half, and freeze. Then I take out what I need.

Here's what I made this morning:

The loaf on the right is a cheese loaf; after I had filled the tins (I line with baking paper, makes it so easy to get the out of the tin) I still had a bit of dough left, so I flattened it a bit with my fingers, grated some cheese on, then sprinkled with chilli and garlic seasoning. I rolled it into a ball, and baked in a small, square tin. We ate most of it for lunch today with some homemade mushroom soup. Today is quite a bit cooler, and soup was just right for lunch.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Cross Stich Crazy

I go through all sorts of creative phases; at one time it was cross stitch. Here are a few things I made:
I loved this project; I like zebras. It hangs on my bedroom wall.
I made this for my mother's 90th birthday. It was her philosophy of life. When she died, it was returned to me. It also hangs on my bedroom wall.
This knot garden embroidery is only about 18cm square, but has dozens of colours as well as gold thread. This one is in my sitting room.
This means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" and is in Irish. We lived in Ireland for six years. It hangs in my dining room, and was a talking point among my guests when I ran a B&B.
Finally, not something I did, but a surprise in my flower garden: something that came up from the compost, a golden tomato plant. If you haven't tried these, do grow them,  they have a lovely flavour.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Garden Arch

This is what we bought as a Christmas present for one another, don't you think it looks great? It was made by a very talented local man, Johan Bothma. The wheelbarrow was one that I bought very cheaply at an auction, as it was full of holes - just perfect for filling with flowers!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Picture at last!

This is the cardi with the purple buttons!

New Year, new idea

Yesterday I finished a cardigan that I was crocheting from yarn in my stash. Well, it started out as a cardigan, but ended up sleeveless, and I didn't have enough yarn!
It needed buttons, but I couldn't find any suitable ones in my button tin. What I did find, however, was some covered buttons that I had 'inherited'. They weren't covered very well, and the colours were all wrong.
Using six strands of crochet cotton, I made covers to go over the covers. I started with a 'magic ring', crocheted in rounds, then laid it over the button, cut off a long tail, and gathered to fit. The result is stunning!

For some reason I cannot, at the moment load pictures on the blog, but I am working on it!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hippo go Lucky

Have you heard of this wonderful website?
It's full of wonderful things made by crafters in South Africa. And, yes, you've guessed, I am selling on this site.
So far I have only loaded a few items, it all takes time, what with taking the photos, editing them, sorting them, and so on and so on, then you have to put in a description, upload the pics, and put in the price and method of despatch.

The latest thing I have made from the wonderful Woolhogs Bamboo yarn is pony-tail holders. They are elasticated, so that they stretch and hold.  I put a ruler in the photo so that you can see the size of them.