Dotty about crafting!

Last week a friend introduced me to a  local newish ceramic studio:
and oh my I’m hooked. The shop is a beautiful little place, very clean, fairly minimalist and not really how I would have expected a studio to look. It was very tranquil with relaxation music on in the background and tastefully decorated with just some examples of decorated items and of course the bottles of paint, adding a splash of colour.
After a lot of umming and aahing (I was like a kid in a sweet shop!) I decided on decorating a pot to hold some of my pens in the craft room. Then I had the difficult decision of how to decorate it it and what colours to use. There are ideas for techniques both on instruction cards and also on predecorated pots around the shop. It was such a tricky decision but I finally decided on a simple technique for my first time. I painted the inside in a coral colour, the outside in a light turquoise and then added raised spots.
 
I could have decorated so many things as I had tons of ideas whirring around in my head but I limited myself to the one pot for the first time.
I had to leave the pot there to be glazed and fired in the kiln. It was so hard to leave it as I wanted to take it straight home and admire my handiwork but leave it I must. I was able to pick it up a few days later and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. 
I am so much looking forward to going back again very soon as there are so many things I want to make…the possibilities are endless!
Karen x

Variations on a theme

As much as I do love crocheting, it can take some time to finish a project especially if I’m working on a blanket.  I’ve got 2 blankets on the go and another longish project in the pipeline but I just had the urge for a quick crafting fix. A bit of crafting where I could achieve a finished product in one evening. My go to craft for a quick fix is often cards. I find it really difficult to make cards for a particular person or occasion but sometimes I’ll just get an idea of a theme and make a few variations. This time it was flowers:

I’m really taken with these flowers, they’re just so fresh looking and perfect for Spring. These cards were the inspiration behind the flower bag in my last post Easy no-sew embellished bags. They were so simple but enjoyable to make and I’m so pleased with the outcome.  Making these cards has reminded me how much I enjoy card making, it really gives me a sense of achievement, I really must start setting aside time every now and then for an evening of card making.

What’s your go to for a quick crafty fix?

Karen x

 

Easy no-sew embellished bags

I am so so chuffed with these little beauties! I’ve had these canvas bags for a while with the intention of decorating them in some way but the right idea just hadn’t come along. I had thought of maybe drawing on them using fabric pens but I couldn’t think of a design. Anyhow, I was having a poke around in my craft room this weekend and rediscovered some bondaweb and some hearts I had cut out for a project a few years ago. The idea of using fabric to embellish the bags was born. I utilised some of the hearts I found and after making some flower cards (blog post to follow) I decided on upsizing the idea to use on  one of the bags.

These bags were so easy to make:

  1. Cut out the desired shapes from fabric.
  2. Cut out the shapes again, this time from Bondaweb.
  3. Iron the Bondaweb onto each of the fabric pieces.
  4. Assemble the pieces onto the bag and then iron into place (I steam iron through a tea towel).

Hey presto.

 

Lovely as both bags looked, I just couldn’t leave it there, my button box was calling me and the centre of the flower was just the place. What do you think?

Obviously the button was sewn on but could  just as easily have been glue gunned in place.

(Apologies for the lighting in the photos in this post but I just couldn’t wait for tomorrow and better lighting, my impatient brain decided that they needed photographing NOW!)

Little Miss has decided she wants a bag too and the ideas are already whirring. I’d better get cracking on it soon, she’s even more impatient than me!

Karen x x

Painting in a bag!

Last week Little Miss was off kindergarten poorly for a day. She was too poorly to go to kindergarten but still needed occupying (as did I after 2 mind numbing hours of CBeebies!) and was desperate to paint.  I had seen this activity posted on Facebook last week and had to try it out. It was fairly quick,  so much fun (for both of us), so little mess and produced some lovely art work away from the usual muddy coloured painting when all the colours get mixed together! here’s how we did it…

Step 1: squirt blobs of paint onto a canvas

step 2: pop the canvas into a clear sandwich bag or cover with clingfilm

step 3: ‘paint’ with your fingers  until the colours spread around the canvas

step 4: when you’re done ‘painting,’ peel off the plastic

 

step 5: take a blank piece of paper and press the plastic onto the paper to make a print with the excess paint

And hey presto, two colourful pieces of art work…

Karen x

Decorating Eggs

I love the Easter tradition here in Germany of hanging little plastic eggs in the home and on trees outside, it  provides a much needed injection of colour after a dreary winter. For several years I have taken part in the tradition at home and have also decorated these little eggs at school with the children. It pleases me no end that Little Miss is now of the age where, not only does she want to help me hang the eggs up but she takes great pleasure in painting them too.

We had so much fun painting eggs on Saturday that she requested we do it all over again on Sunday.

To start with we were drying the eggs on cut up toilet roll tubes but then I discovered that they stick as they dry and leave a little line around the eggs as you peel them off, so my lovely hubby came up with this fab idea…

What crafty things have you been up to recently?

Karen x

The Power of Pottering

Sometimes you just can’t beat a good potter and that’s pretty much what this last weekend was all about here. Usually on a Saturday morning I get up and go for an early run (because, lets face it, with a 3 year old in the house, lie ins are few and far between anyway). However, that morning quite frankly, I just couldn’t find the motivation. By the time I had been downstairs and made a cup of tea, Little Miss was sat in our bed playing games (educational, honest!) on my ipad and hubby was dozing. So, I thought sod it, I’m going to potter. I tidied up my wardrobe, bagged up some clothes for the clothes bank and thrift shop, did a few housey bits I’ve been meaning to do for ages, like topping up the soil in the house plants, and tidying round and I have to say, it felt great. Sometimes there’s  nothing better than doing little jobs around the house (when you’re in the mood for it!). I love having a clear out! Every time I take a bag of ‘stuff’  out of the house, I feel a bit like  a weight has been lifted, like the house can breathe a bit more. I really do think clearing out your stuff helps to clear out your mind too!

After a bit of further pottering around the house we went for a walk into town and a potter around the shops. It was a lovely spring morning, coolish but dry and a little bit sunny and on the way we noticed  spring flowers  peeking their heads out, bringing some much needed colour amongst the still bare trees. The sight of those spring flowers, crocuses, snowdrops, really does make my heart happy. We may have had rain since and be forecast even more as the week goes on but those little blooms are definite proof that spring is on its way, yippee!

At the shops we got a few bits for little Miss (I’ve never seen someone so excited at the prospect of new socks, pants and pyjamas – but they did have Elsa from Frozen on!) Then we took a wander around one of my favourite shops that sells lots of tat (you cant go wrong with a bit of tat sometimes) but also some lovely crafty things. I actually only went in for some crafty bits for little miss, eggs to decorate and canvases to paint but I also found these lovely little packs of spring coloured and glittery cotton, perfect for crocheting small spring flowers and this polystyrene ring and so my next project was decided… a flowery spring wreath, which I’ll hopefully have finished before Easter.

 

The rest of the weekend went on in the same relaxed way, decorating and hanging the eggs (I know we’re a little early but I needed some injection of spring colour right now!). I just love that little miss seems to developing my fondness for all things crafy too, although I do have to step back a bit and remind myself not to take over sometimes! We had so much fun painting and hanging the eggs that I think they deserve their own post (to follow soon)

 

On Sunday we went for a lovely long walk and I managed to fit in a few rows of crocheting on my granny stripe blanket. All in all a much needed, lovely relaxed family weekend.

Karen x

WIPs & IIWs (works in progress & Ideas in waiting

Like so many  creative people, I always have so many ideas whizzing around in my head waiting (not very patiently) to come into fruition and too many projects already on the go.

In the vain hope to help organise my thoughts and  work methodically through projects I have decided to list them, with the plan of working through them one (or maybe 2!) at a time. So, here goes:

WIPS

  1. Small granny square blanket – I only have 10 granny squares to go on this one before I can begin joining them together. Eeeeek!image1
  2. large granny square blanket – I love love love the randomness of the colours on this one. Only 8 squares done and 14 colours to use so quite a lot still to do. image4
  3. pom pom rug -So near yet so far finishing this one. Over 100 scrummy, fluffy pom poms made but no idea how many I need until I start attaching them to the backing. Less than 3 months to complete this as  I want it done for my daughters 3rd birthday. No pressure then!image3
  4. NOEL Christmas bunting – I ran out of time on this last year and had no urge to finish it after Christmas. Only  the binding to finish, so not a big job.
  5. chevron knitted blanket – Sadly, I think this may remain unfinished for some time as I’m more keen on crocheting than knitting at the moment. I started this when I was pregnant but ran out of time and then lost the urge to knit. It is often on my mind though, so I am sure I will finish it one day, when I finally dig it out of the depths of the craft room.

IIWs

  1. Garden bunting – I only bought this yummy oilcloth fabric at the weekend and I cannot wait to get started on it. I want this done and in the garden asap so I can enjoy it before the weather changes, we’re due a scorcher at the weekend! image3
  2. Reading/play tent – I love adore this bright fabric from IKEA! This has been on my to do list for quite some time but must be done ready for little ones 3rd birthday in December to house the pom pom rug. image1
  3. crocheted blanket for moi! – when I turned 40 earlier this year I treated myself to this bag of gorgeousness. I fancy making myself a lovely bright blanket but I haven’t decided what its going to be yet. Maybe granny stripes or zigzags. There’s no time limit on this one and I’m determined to enjoy the process of seeing this grow gradually.image2
  4. Tote bags – This zingy little stash of fabric has been growing gradually and waiting patiently to be made into bags for Christmas presents. image5
  5. Crocheted snowflakes – I was gifted this book for Christmas last year and am itching to get going with making some lovely little snowflakes for the Christmas tree this year.51dvlj6ml7l_small2
  6. Crocheted flower picture – For at least the last year I’ve had the idea of making lots of lovely bright crochet flowers, stems and leaves and somehow attaching them to a canvas. This feels like a springtime project so may well hang around at the back of my head until it pops up again ready to burst into life.

Well there we have it, my first blog post with pictures! Whoopeeee! Its taken me ages but its all a learning process and I’m loving it. Hopefully listing all my projects and ideas like this will help me to work through them in a sensible order. Watch this space for some finished projects…

Karen x x