Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knit Wit…

Present spoilers – all SIBLINGS – LOOK AWAY NOW!!!



Are you gone???


That means you, Cate!!!!!

Another blog post about speedy craft projects has been put on hold as the subjects were overlapping, but with that thought process in mind, this first project (COMPLETED before the end of October – how much do you hate me??) has been a blinding success…

P1050550My lil bro wanted an oversized beanie and, with a chunky wool to hand, a variation on this little number took me all of four days to finish. Speedy, specific and stylish.

Needless to say, it will look much better on him. 


I’m delighted to see these gorgeous socks added to the store of patterns available on the Goodhousekeeping/CountryLiving/Prima website… They’re knitted flat and then seamed, so qualify as my ‘I’m scared of socks so will be easing into them gently’ pattern… If they don’t turn out a complete disaster, lil sis will be getting a pair in scrummy Cashmerino… She’s got some purple patent brogues that would just be splendid with pink lacy socks…Watch this space for updates… but don’t hold your breath…


Finally though, in a bid of madness, how fabulous is this project??? And by fabulous, I mean, of course, completely sodding bonkers.

From ‘Simple Knits with a Twist’ by Erica Knight… Loon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Toast & Sparkle

Winter for me is all about the combination of jewel tones, wooly tweeds and sequins and beads. The unexpected spangle, the warmth of opaque tights, the layers of interesting textures…

Toast has always summed up my ideal wintery layers perfectly… And their party collection is simply scrumptious…

I have already been inspired by this to make this…(doesn’t look great here, but trust me that I’m delighted with it!!)


The attendent sparkly in their pre-holiday collection is stunning – check it out!

Stunning Alessia Dress, but not quite sure how it’s £395… Oh, maybe cos it’s silk and is detailed as Elegant dress in an opulent silk jacquard woven on a traditional narrow loom and painstakingly finished by hand.

Wool devore Lina dress for £185

Wool Aida coat comes in at £495 – probably cos all that embroidery on the STUNNING collar is done by hand. Blimey.

Scrummy Silk Velvet Tunic for £129…

imageThere’s obviously a ‘relaxed velvet top’ trend going around…

(this one from Boden is £49)

Good thing I’ve got some teal silk velvet left over from a ballgown below that is simply DYING to be brought out over the winter. Watch this space…

Yum, Yum and once again, Yum.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trying to Care A Little Less

Hello there

As you may have noticed, I have recently been trying to drag this blog, kicking and screaming, back in the direction to which it was originally directed…That is, crafty, creative, bridal, beautiful and less of the nappies and neuroses…

This has coincided with, or maybe demonstrates, a rather more uplifted spirit in these parts. My head is feeling better. My daughter is much more fun, and the days are going by in a blur of broken toys, rescued ornaments from orally fixated babies and incessant rounds of laundry… With the occasional knitting and crafting. If it weren’t for the size of her, I’d highly recommend to the powers-that-be that babies were born at this age. She’s active enough to wear herself out, she’s cheeky enough to be fun, she’s sentient enough to try her luck, but also know where the lines are being drawn (well… kinda) and… well…

The dark days are over (so it seems) and where once these lyrics filled my head, now I can’t stop humming this.

The relief is palpable…

Normal service will be resuming shortly.

And I can’t thank you all enough for sticking around and by me for the last few months. The catharsis of writing to *you* has helped more than I could ever have known.

Fabulous Frocks but…*

Lovely M&S comes up trumps again…

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And even the usually-vomitous Per Una has upped its game…

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*Would have ALL these in my sights were it not for the fact that EVERY SINGLE ONE is made from polyester. Which my delicate sensibilities simply cannot bear (ie it makes me sweat like Niagara Falls)… Which is probably just as well… The lack of pennies and suitable invitations is too tragic to contemplate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

International Swaparama

Ravelry swaps are now a bit of an addiction…

From Trash To Treasures was a swap that had no budget at all… The intention was to spend as little money as possible for your project – the focus was on recycling, re-using and re-purposing!

From Australia I received the most stunningly impressive parcel of goodies…

  • Six skeins of handspun Australian purple wool
  • A beautiful cable/textured/beaded/charmed Christmas stocking made of rescued wool from an ex-sweater
  • Mini pincushion, mini needlecase
  • Knitting needle bangles
  • CANDY…

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And the BEST BIT:

  • Handmade socks TO MY VERY OWN MEASUREMENTS!!!
  • What a lucky girl!



In the other swap, entitled Shiny Pennies, you had to spend a limit of $10, send yarn, a pressie that would be considered a shiny penny (ie a happy thought!) and a little note…


I was sent all the way from New Mexico…

  • Beautiful hot pink sock yarn
  • Lavender soap
  • Handmade necklace
  • Handmade stitch markers
  • Tootsie Rolls (specially requested American Candy tee hee!)
  • An original page of sheet music to be my shiny penny – I’ll be making it into these shortly…

Aren’t I a lucky girl??

And I have now caught the swap bug… watch this space for as many post-Christmas sign ups as I can manage…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Labels, trims, stickers and printouts

With the crafty season fast approaching, I have been asked by a friend to suggest some formats for labels for her chutney jars that she plans to give come December…

Vintage style labels from Suzee Que

If you’re clever with Photoshop, you could amend these with your own text.

And then I just gave up altogether and got very excited about this font

These vintage style images of courgettes (zucchinis) and tomatoes and a fruit basket of apples …

zucchini tomato_trans_175


And so I made my own…

Searching images ‘Botanical Fruit’ in black and white (also works for veg of course) gets you the most wonderful line drawings that shouldn’t use up ink too much and will add just a little *something* to the labels…

On an aside, I’ve also been enjoying the glorious Making Time column…and will be showing you some crafty goodness that I’ve been working on shortly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bags of Character, if a little on the Dorky side…

Now I’ve long been a fan of the stylish-yet-comfy shoes in the fashion collections of Clarks, but until this week I’d not been too much a fan of their bags. By my reckoning, there seemed to be a lot of pleather, dodgy satin evening bags and not much else…

All change for this autumn, however…

Tiara Sparkle in brown leather £59.99

Tiara Reign in tan leather for £44.99

Tiara Reign in brown mock-croc leather for £44.99

And last, but not least, Rowan Berry in yellow leather for the bargainous £14.99

Autumn Geek Chic, here I come…

In my imagination, of course… I’ve yet to sell anything of great enough significance to justify ANOTHER bag…

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hair There and All over your Head…

Great big fabulous hair fascinators for brides, maids, guests or just for doing the hoovering…

Silk Rosettes $38.00

Rhinestone & Tulle $195.00

Handpainted Double Bloom hairband  $145.00

Bridal Mini-Hat $285.00

Pearl & Swarovski Hairband £92.00

Vintage elements Bridal Headpiece $64


Rolled silk flower and netting headband $50

Ivory blusher birdcage with feathers and flowers $89.99

Josephine Gold and Turquoise $105

And finally… how’s this for a colourful way to work with your pallette on your day??

From this wonderful Etsy Seller, Wedding Aisle… Would never have dreamed of mustard and magenta, but boy is it fabulous.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

My Homespun Creations

Hello there, dear reader.

With all my crafty world kicking off over here, I thought I’d share some bits and bobs that I’ve been creating here in my ‘basement studio’ and take a straw pole from the lurkers out there for their opinions, thoughts and general positions on my products…

I’m delighted to say that Homespun Living products can now be found in THREE SHOPS in the local area and seem to be selling well. Have been investigating various craft fairs and other opportunities to sell my wares but I’m not sure about outlay for table vs likelihood of sales vs outlay of time and stress vs vs vs vs … Any of you have any thoughts or experiences on this front??

In any case, thought I would show you what I’ve been creating recently…

My Snail Mail cards have been very popular so I thought I’d create a gift-line of sets of four notelets with vintage stamp motifs…£6 for 4 notelets.

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Also, to follow on from the colouring-in alphabet cards, I’ve created two sets of mini-colour in cards from my own line drawings for little ones to send before and after the holidays. They’re only A7 (A6 folded) so it shouldn’t be too taxing to decorate and write mini-missives inside… £3 for four printed notelets with hand stamped envelopes…

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Finally, I’ve had a fabulous photographer friend take some much more beautifully styled than I ever could shots of some of the products not yet online … Here’s a sneak peak…

06 01

Thanks Elodie!

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(And thanks to Elodie’s husband for the loan of a bottle of Chateau Neuf-de-Pape and to her two fabulously stylish daughters for borrowing their magazine-ready bedrooms for the shoot!)