Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Art Journalling

Until a few months ago I had never heard of art journalling, now it seems that everyone is at it! Some are quite incredible and imaginative. I decided to have a go. I have a little book in which I have saved sayings that took my fancy, so I decided to use them in an art journal.
I found an old (unused) sketch book with a spiral back, and have used that.
This is the cover:

I covered it with a photocopy of some patterned paper that I had, stuck on a little picture, and a border of ladybirds.

Inside the front cover:

I stuck on a photocopy of music, then glued on leaves that I had dried. I lined the ribs of the leaves with gel-ink pens in different colours.
The first page:

I painted this yellow, then stuck on some dark yellow hand-made paper that I had torn. I dotted various colours all over. I stuck on more dried leaves, and a cut out of blue flowers. Then I wrote in my quote.

Not too bad for a first attempt, is it? I'll post more pages as the inspiration takes me.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Using up ends of yarn, and a pretty present

Today I decided to use up all the ends of my Woolhogs bamboo yarn, as I now have a new supply. I decided to make a tin can cover (thanks, Angella, for the idea), as I wanted to give a present to a friend. Here it is:
It's amazing how good a baked bean can be transformed

The can is now a pretty pen pot, that I am sure my friend will like.

Once again, thanks Angella for the inspiration.

While I was making this, my gardener handed me a package that had been delivered. This is what I found inside:

I had taught Angella how to do ripple crochet, and this is how she thanked me. I feel some embroidery coming on! Thanks so much Angella for  lovely gift, and so beautifully packaged, as well.

Saturday, 23 February 2013



I went to check on the veges in my shade house this morning. This is the shade house:

It's about 72 sq metres, and there are eight long beds/ The tree in front is a pin oak, and it is huge!
Here is a picture I took of the pin oak one autumn, just as the sun was going down:
Anyway, back to the produce! We have had a lot of beans this summer, and I have picked some almost every day. We also have loads of tomatoes. Now, these were never planted, but came out of the compost! There are some huge jam tomatoes just getting ripe, as well as the usual salad tomatoes. But what amazes me is the number of little red cherry tomatoes, and well as hundreds of pear-shaped golden tomatoes. There is one huge plant growing in one of the flower beds, and it is loaded with fruit.
Whenever I get potatoes that sprout they get planted out into the garden.
Today, as well as picking tomatoes, I dug up a few potatoes: just look at these:
So tonight we shall be eating home-grown beans and potatoes. For lunch there will be a tomato salad. I love my home-grown veges!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Vintage Crochet Bag

Yesterday my friend Angella came to see me. She wanted me to show her how to do ripple crochet, as she was having trouble.
She picked up "my" method quickly, and is now making a cushion from her work.
While she was here, I dug out this crochet bag to show her, which I made at least forty years ago. Someone had given me the wooden handles, so I had to make a bag to fit!
Looking at it again after all these years, I see that I had used two strands of different coloured yarn for the stripes, which has given the bag a marled effect.
If I can get the handles again (I know a clever man who would probably make them for me) I would like to make this bag once more.

 You can see that each side is different. I think I made a long strip, then joined at the sides, and gathered into the brown at the top, which I sewed onto the handles. Each handle has a row of holes along the bottom.

The handles measure 22cm across at the widest part, and the bag is 30cm deep, and 45cm wide across the bottom. I had intended it as a knitting bag, but the needles kept falling out! It now sits in my craft cupboard with balls of yarn stuffed into it.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Crochet Handbag

It took me about a week to make this bag, working in the evenings. Don't you think it looks great? I have lined it with a double lining in turquoise. I am offering it for sale for R350. Interested?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Vintage patterns

Today I was scratching through my pattern book stash (I do this from time to time). I have always loved vintage patterns, and have some books dating back to the 1930s, when most knitting was done in 2 or 3 ply, and double knit had not been heard of!

I found this American crochet book, that dates from the 1970s. Hope you like the patterns.

Here's a jersey for your man, made with squares.
 Two coats for the dogs in your life
A lovely long skirt to wear on winter evenings.
A blanket to keep you warm. I love the way the colours are laid out.
Finally, a cushion that would use up all your yarn scraps
This proves that good things never go out of fashion! If anyone needs a pattern, please let me know, and I will copy it for you.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Baby Booties

I was asked by a friend to make some 'vintage' style baby booties, so I did one in crochet, and knitted the other. Before I was ready to send them to her, I found two knitted pairs in my stash, so I shall send all four to her.
Here they are:
The white ones at top left are knitted vintage, and the green ones bottom right are croichet vintage. The other two pairs are in a more modern style, i.e., using a thicker yarn.

The teddy bear is mine, and is called Fred Bear, due to his rather ratty fur!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Looking at the past

I was browsing through some old photos that I had scanned into my computer. This is my late mother, she died in August 2006 in her 93rd year. December 2 this year will mark her 100th birthday. I believe this photo was taken when she was about 18.

She had lovely, wavy dark hair, and really beautiful eyebrows! Her hair stayed wavy, but turned white.  
This is her on her 90th birthday:
My mother's hands were never still: even into very old age she would knit, crochet, and sew. She would also read a lot, and loved crossword puzzles.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


I went to a little shop today that sells all sorts of fabrics. They have a box of odd buttons on their counter, which they sell at R5 a cup full. I took about ten minutes to go through them and select the brighter coloured ones, as most of them are dark, drab colours. Then I added a cup without sorting through. This is what I got for my R10. Quite a bargain when you are a crafter who always needs buttons.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

I just had to make this cushion!

I found this picture of a cushion on the internet, and just loved it.

I thought the pattern was lovely, and the colours very subtle. With only this picture to guide me, I decided to make it. I have had to change the colours a little, and I have not added beads around the first blue circle.
I mounted my piece of crochet onto ecru linen, and put a zip down the back so that it's easy to get the pad in and out, The yarn I used is Elle 100% double knitting cotton, so the whole thing is washable.
I have decided to sell the cushion, and here is how I intend to do it.
If you would like to buy it, please email me on, saying how much you are prepared to pay. This is a secret auction, and the highest bid wins!  I will send the cushion to the highest bidder post free once payment has been received.
Keep those bids coming in! I shall keep this offer open until the end of February. If I am not offered what I think it is worth, sorry folks, but I won't be selling!
Now I'm off to knit some booties!


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Four hearts

The title sounds like a brige game! Last evening I made four hearts. I did them in pinks and reds. I used no pattern, just my imagination, and I think they turned out rather well.
They measure 10 cm at the widest part.

I made them using my favourite Victorian crochet hook.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Nesting bowls and large heart

I've been busy over the weekend; I made these nesting bowls:

The smallest is 6.5 cm in diameter, and the biggest 11cm. They are made from Elle DK cotton. The colours available in this yarn are amazing.

See how neatly they fit together. I think I will be selling these at the Valentine Craft Market on Saturday.
Then I made this heart, I am busy doing another in different colourways.
It measures 18.5 cm at the widest part.