My little felt fabric pincushion.

This week I have been learning a little bit of blog DIY and updating a few places to run on Genesis (with grateful thanks to Tim at Colneis for helping me unpick the mysteries of CSS and become a little more enabled in thew world of codey-wodey-timey-wimey stuff). The result is the PoP looks similar but is actually quite different. This is on the back of Max and I learning the basics of Magento for our brand new version of CraftMerrily, the loveliest Hama Bead, Fimo and sundry other craft brands shop in the universe*.

It’s been a busy few months. And now that it is done and the bulk of a blanket commission is done and Fran is finished her GCSEs and everyone seems more or less settled, I can start some of my garden and house plans.

And learning a few new skills.

I’ve got quite a love affair with felt fabric, and we bought an xCut machine a few weeks ago to use for the business. I’m not much of a stitcher but I’ve been collecting some ideas on pPinterest and started having a go at some little pin cushion and embellishment type things. Here is one.

#feltfabric pincushion side one #sewing #xcut

And the other side.
#feltfabric pincushion #sewing side two #xcut

It was a remarkably pleasant way to spend an afternoon in the garden while Bene played and now I have a very pretty pincushion. I’ve got a corner of my dining room which is supposed to be my craft desk to make full of little lovely semi useful things; I think this might go and live there.

I think it would be quite fun to have some little kits of this type of thing in CraftMerrily actually. I might have to create some.

My felt ideas board has lots of followers and I add to it a lot. But here is a stitches one – do you know any stitches I need to learn?

*This is completely true.

Follow Merrily Me’s board Stitching on Pinterest.

Heart to Heart.

20140514-234339.jpg

Cheesy title ;)

Last week I purchased an xCut machine, a euphemistic expression for ‘decided the business needed one’. I do have great business plans for it but first I need to play :)

I’m not massively interested in paper crafts, though I keep meaning to do some scrapbooks but I do love felt, though not the cutting out do much. My Pinterest board is full of ideas and pretty popular :)

This weekend I had a little go; now I need to learn to embroider. I need more craft time and a guarantee of a long life!

20140514-234339.jpg

So I’m thinking about projects and how to make things for home decor without being twee. What would you make?

A little bit of felt #sewing #stitching #craft happiness
I’ve added how it looked when I finished it. I was quite pleased :)

Sunday Stitches: Knitting again but crochet too.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done any knitting but the opportunity to review some yarn came up recently and it was too good an opportunity to resist. The first item is a work in progress but you might have seen me Instagramming it; it’s been quite enjoyable to get back to knitting for a change though it has to be said my technique and tension seems to have taken a bit of a tumble while it has been on the back burner which is annoying.

Seems to be coming along okay. #knitting #bergeredefrance #review

Something I really want to work on next is combining knitting and crochet together. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not likely to get heavily into clothes making and so items for the house are going to be my focus when it comes to yarn crafts. I’m determined to make sure all the girls leave home with a blanket to wrap up in and a cushion to bother and that’s going to take some time. I’m loving filling my home with things I’ve made – clothes don’t cut it for me in quite the same way. But I do love knitting and a knitted blanket takes a pretty long time so I think perhaps hybrid items might fit the bill quite nicely.

Anyway, here is the current work in progress for the review; it is Bergere de France Estivale yarn, fine with hemp and sequins and totally different to anything I’ve used before. I’m enjoying it, even though I’ve kept the stitch simple and I’m looking forward to finishing it off with my first hybrid ‘Knichet’ project ;) This is my first foray into 4 ply knitting since I had Fran and although I am making it on big needles to give it a light and fluffy feel and make sure I finish fairly quickly, the experience has been very pleasant. I’m enjoying how it feels to work with and the look of the piece that is appearing.

Otherwise I’ve been trying to read a bit more and have made a start on putting together a blanket my sister has commissioned me to make. I do like to have a granny square project on the go and I’m enjoying playing with colours with this one and trying to get it just right.

Making a start on a blanket commission for my sister. #crochet I do love the start of a project.

What are you making at the moment? Leave a link in the comments if you like :)

 

Time to start finishing this blanket.

20140102-232424.jpg

Last night I finished the 180th square of this blanket.

20140102-232424.jpg

If I even mention another blanket any time soon, shoot me. I love this one but two plain granny square blankets in a year is too much. This one has half the squares already in rolls, so hopefully a few evenings will see it finished.

20140102-232550.jpg

I have my meagre Rowan Renew supplies left (it’s discontinued, wail….) and I’m hoarding it for a while now.

Meanwhile, the living room is getting a make over. Once you do this to the main room wall, there is no going back.

20140102-232725.jpg

I’m a very unsure decorator, there just isn’t enough time to really research. I’m grumpy because I wanted to buy posh paint but it doesn’t look right. And I can’t fathom a look in my head and it’s an expensive waste of paint and time if it’s awful.

However, I’ve hung a red sheet up and now I think my chosen patches may yet work.

20140102-232917.jpg

One thing is for sure, it won’t be brown any more!

Ps, Sherlock? What did you think???

Bene’s Christmas Stocking.

iPhone March 2013 340

 

Last year I made Bene his very own Christmas stocking; as a January baby he was just old enough to enjoy unpacking one with some help and I wanted it to be special to him, not just bought off a peg. I have a vivid memory of the girls wanting to buy Freddie a stocking ‘ready for next year’ and looking at all the ‘First Christmas’ ones and I hated the idea of going out an negotiating all of that; I just knew it would be too painful. Besides, I had an urge to make one – the girls are all deeply attached to theirs and won’t let me replace them with home makes so Bene was my last chance. And I had plenty of felt fabric!

iPhone March 2013 340First I drew round one of the girls stockings on red felt and then I cut out the appropriate dark green add ons to make it look authentic. (I actually can’t think if I did those for both sides or if I was shockingly lazy and only did one side). I stitched the inner edges of the green bits with a decorative line of red stitches to make it look pretty before gluing them into place. Then I did blanket stitch all around the edge. Top TIP: start by going across one side of the top of the stocking first, then go round the stocking and finish off by doing the second side of the opening at the top. If you are clever, you’ll get it done all in one piece of thread. Maddy designed the train pattern to match the ‘Bene Express she woodworked for him when he was born. She glued it all on to the cloud shape, stitched around the outside edges of the main shape to give it some definition and we stuck it in place. Just perfect.

The Bene Express made by Maddy & his favourite @bigjigstoys train.

Considering hew is now totally and utterly obsessed with trains – and in particular all his lovely BigJigsRail, I think he is going to be very pleased to see it back out again.

Last year it was filled with toys like these.

iPhone March 2013 545We love our Haba Baby Toys; they feel wonderful, look gorgeous and keep little people happy for absolutely ages. I didn’t wrap most of his (I think I folded some in tissue paper) and he enjoyed just diving in and helping himself. This year I think he will be in full mental present opening mode pretty quickly. It’s going to be good to have a toddler in the house for Christmas again this year. It’s been a long time. Too long.