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Monday 31 August 2009

The Need To Knit

I was chatting on a craft forum about Aran knitting, and it reminded me of when I knitted my first garment. I was about 16 and in the Rangers. Several of the girls had lovely Aran jumpers, either made for them or purchased. We were all going away for a weekend in the winter and knew these would be ideal (in the days before fleeces!). So I asked Mum to knit me one before our weekend away. No luck there! My knitting skills were very poor, I had tried several times with the help of my mother and my grandmother to learn, but it was hopeless.

There was a wool shop within easy walking distance of my school and so one lunch time I called in and came out with a pattern and two skeins of Aran wool. The rest was saved for me so I could go in and buy a few skeins at a time. I found a victim to hold the skeins while I wound them into balls, and started on my own jumper. The text inside the pattern was Greek to me, what did P.3, C.3F., C.3B., P.2, C.3F., C.3B.,P.3 mean? And that was just one row of one panel pattern. I must have driven my mother mad, keep asking what this meant and what that meant! Slowly I worked it all out with her help and the pattern began to take shape. Actually the fact I managed to complete the band of ribbing before launching into the patterns was amazing for me!

I knitted at every spare moment and had the jumper ready for my weekend away, it had several imperfections in the patterns where I had 'pearled' instead of 'knitted' or vice versa, but I was really pleased with the finished result. That jumper was worn such a lot, by my sister as well as myself. My knitting skills improved and later I knitted another from the same pattern. I found a photo of myself wearing the second jumper, on a day trip to Greenwich. It was one of my first days out with Alan. These photos have been scanned in from colour negatives,
I am gradually working my way through the big pile of negatives we have collected over the years. I think this must have been about 1981/2. If I keep going I may find the negatives from my weekend away with me wearing the original jumper!

Sunday 30 August 2009


I have been looking at a few of my favourite blogs and spotted these two challenges.
Think I will have a go at these if I get time this weekend. The first is from Stamp With Us and is a card sketch:

The second is from Page Maps and is a scrapbooking sketch. Studio Calico have donated the September "Cotillion" kit! You have to create a layout based on this sketch -- any size, any orientation, any way you want to interpret it (using any products you would like). The theme is wide open. The contest ends Sunday, September 13, 2009.

Flower Fairies

One of the girls is leaving work this week, and so we wanted a big card everyone could sign. I went big with the fabric cards, same idea as the cards I posted yesterday, but bigger (A4). These are the quilter's panels, I got from And Sew On back in June. The letters for Adele's card were cut with QuicKutz Moxie.
The letters for this cherry blossom fairy card were cut with the Robo and Ariel Italic font.

The letters for the lavender fairy card were also cut on the Robo and the font is Walt Disney.
I added some Stickles to the lavender.

Saturday 29 August 2009

Party Animals!

Some time ago I posted about buying some lovely children's quilt fabric from Quilter's Haven.
Today I finally made some cards with that fabric. Children's birthday cards ready for the next few kid's birthdays in our family.
One for Jessica:

One for Hannah:
One for Lucy:
... and one for Oliver:
Here's how I went about it:
Gather the fabric pieces, an 8x8" card (Craftwork Cards), bondaweb, iron, and a sewing machine, with black thread. I made a template for the size I wanted to the finished squares and another for the bondaweb size.

Cut out the square design and iron.
Cut a square of Bondaweb, using the template, this will be slightly samaller than the fabric square.
Iron bondaweb into position on the back of the fabric square.

In pencil mark desired finished size using template, on back of fabric.

Trim design and bondaweb to finished size along pencil lines.

Remove backing paper from Bondaweb.

Iron design onto the front of a 8"x8" card.

Using a zig-zag stitch and black thread, machine stitch around all four sides of the design.

Take the top threads back through to the back of the card with a needle.

Tie ends in a knot at the back.
Return to the front of the card and add a greeting or name with letter stickers. I used Doodlebug Designs here.
Picking colours from the design, take the itinial letter (American Crafts, Thickers) of the animal and the child and mount on a small piece of card. Ink the edges.

Mountthis one a second piece of coloured card slightly bigger than the first and ink the edges again.

Then add to a piece of black card slightly bigger again. Add detail to match the pattern on the design in white gel pen. Add to the card with 3D foam pads.

Add smaller lettering with provo craft letter stickers.

For the first card I cut the greeting with QuicKutz Moxi alphabet.

Friday 28 August 2009


Yesterday we spent the afternoon and evening visiting these three lovely babies. Our niece Heather's triplets. Just wish they lived nearer so we could spend more time with them and helping Heather.


And Hannah

Monday 24 August 2009

Change of Heart

Here is another page I made at Jilly's on Saturday. I used the September Scrapaholix kit. There are three pieces of patterned paper and so far I have only used one. I have also used two of the four sheets of Bazzill card stock. The colour matches are excellent. I gutted the Aqua coloured Bazzill, and cut the My Mind's Eye paper down by 1.5 cm on all four sides as I did not want to loose too much of the corner designs. I used stamps to continue the patterns over the edge of the paper onto the card stock. The flower stamps are from Stampin' Up, and the swirls are from Autumn Leaves. The Cricut alphabet is another one of Jill's I used at the crop. I cut the photo mat with scalloped scissors and added a drop of Liquid Pearls to each scallop.

The photos show Emily, before and after dying her hair red. We were on holiday in Suffolk and she decided she needed a change, the colour is stunning, and really suits her.

Feeding the Kids

After an email from My Mum confirming this was Crystal Palace Park Zoo I was able to finish off this LO. See yesterday's post. Basic Grey Lemonade papers were perfect for the colours of all the hand knitted cardigans. Thanks to Linda for the inspiration on the title! Thanks to Jilly for the lovely crop on Saturday as always, and for matching up the Bazzill Basics with the delicious Lemonade colours. I also need to thank Jilly for the loan of her Cricut and her new 'Life's A Beach' font.

Sunday 23 August 2009

Hollywood Album

Yesterday a Jilly's crop I finished the last LO (maybe, could still do more!) for my Hollywood Album and so updated my slide show of this event.
More Basic grey papers - Granola this time. Another page map. Scenes of Venice Beach and Muscle Beach visited on the last morning before we headed for the airport and home.

Children's Zoo

I love these two photos of my sister and me at a zoo with our Mum. I have emailed her to ask where they were taken as I started a layout with them yesterday and want to add some journalling. I'm wondering if it was at Crystal Palace. It's always a good idea to ask Mum, as she comes up with a little memory or two I can add as well. The photos were scanned from colour slides, and taken by my Dad back in 1964.

I could probably do something clever to them to enhance the colour, but I rather like the way the colours of these old slides take on this soft tone. I wonder who the lady is sitting on the bench, looks like she is trying hard to have nothing to do with us rabble!

Friday 21 August 2009

Goblin in the Forest

Remember my post from June showing Emily's selection of goblin body parts! They were waiting to be made into goblins. Here is the first of her little creatures complete and posing for a photo shoot in Rendlesham Forest.


Monday 17 August 2009

Learn Something New Every Day

I am joining Shimelle's 'Learn Something New Every Day' class in September. My prize for winning a class in her 'Month of Colour' was to choose from a selection of classes. Here is what she has to say about it: "September is a special kind of second new year: the time of year when we head back to school, set new goals, live up to our shiny new intentions and embrace the idea of doing a little something to make ourselves a little better somehow.
Around here, we do that with an online class called Learn Something New Every Day.
Now it its fourth year, this online class encourages you to observe the world around you and learn from your daily experiences and surroundings. We work with a small format album to make thirty daily entries, and we adopt a few short cuts and techniques to make those daily entries possible in even the busiest of weeks. And once you’ve joined, you’re welcome to participate for as many years as you like at no extra cost.
The class includes:...preparation notes delivered next week...thirty daily full-colour pdf prompts delivered to your inbox ...access to a private class forum at shimelle.com to chat and share your work...permanent file archive so you can come back to the materials at any time
PLUS New for 2009:Although the principles of the course stay the same each year, the prompts are revamped to show you a new book with a new look. This year’s additional materials include:...for paper scrappers, this year’s featured album is made with repurposed supplies that will encourage you to stretch your supplies by recycling some items from daily life, and the option of a
kit for scrapbookers in the UK....for hybrid scrappers, four pages of printable accents to include in your album (available to download on the first day of class)....for digital scrappers, five page templates (layered .psd files) and a mini kit of papers and embellishments designed just for the class, plus the option of additional digital supplies available when class begins.
So you’ll get all that too, whether it’s your first year to sign up or you’re joining us again in 2009"

I love the newness of September, even though I no longer go to school or college, it's still going on for my children. They will be starting their last year of school this September when they enter year 13. It's AS results day for the girls on Thursday. I'mlooking forward to learning some new tricks!

Saturday 15 August 2009

The Finished Apron

Just a quick entry for today, travelled back from Suffolk and lots of other jobs to do after two weeks away. - two loads of washing now dry and the food cupboards, fridge and freezer now full.
Here is the apron finished off as a gardening card for Marion. I mentioned this in my blog post a couple of days ago. Started off using left overs of Cosmo Cricket 'Early Bird' papers, and a Horseshoe Craft stamp.
I used garden string for the apron strings, and several QuicKutz dies for the tools and flowers.
All attached to a Craft Creations card inked around the edges. Letter stickers from Provo Craft.

Friday 14 August 2009

Mojo - Kelly Goree

My lay out (above) is for Mojo Holder Challenge 122.
Please pop over the the Mojo Blog and welcome this weeks guest the fantastic Kelly Goree. Kelly is best known as a fabulous designer for Basic Grey (BG). If you would like to see more of Kelly's Brilliant paper crafting please visit her blog Behind the Pages. Kelly is one of my favourite designers and uses my favourite papers too. See more of the design team's takes on Kelly's lay out (left) by visiting the mojo holders blog.

The sketch:

For my lay out I used a photo of me and my son at our niece, Heather's wedding in 2007. A rare affectionate moment shared with Andrew deserved a page of it's own in the wedding album. When I look at this photo I realise how much his appearance has changed in the last two years - the difference between fifteen and seventeen is amazing!

I used BG Phoebe papers for the background, tags and weaving papers. Using a combination of 12 x 12" and 6 x 6" papers. I added a lot of brads from too many different companies mention!

I started by cutting all my strips 1.5 cm wide, and inking all the edges. I worked the vertical strips by sticking them with reposition-able Herma just at the top of each strip. Then worked in the horizontal strips, varying the distance between the strips. Again I stuck these just at one end (the left). These were carefully woven in amongst the vertical strips.
I cut the ends of the strips off so the lengths were randomly different as in Kelly's original design.

Once happy with the weaving, I added two rows of machine stitching around three sides of the page. Then I arranged my photo and the tags (cut from papers, using one of the tags in the collection pack as a template).

The dark grey letter stickers were from an artist called Marjoline Bastine (I'm not sure who makes them). The pink letters were American Crafts Thickers. A whole mixture of different coloured brads (to match the papers) were added one to each end of the woven strips.

The flower and tree stickers are Disney Princess by Sandylion, stuck to scraps of Phoebe papers and either added directly to the page or raised with 3d foam pads.

Don't forget to check out the Mojo Holders Blog for more challenges.