Sunday, December 8, 2013

What a busy time of year ...

Counting down 'til Christmas ...

Lots of presents made ...

Blanket for my Nephew ... (you saw this in progress a few months ago, it's been finished for a while now)

Infinity Scarf for my husbands Auntie (So she's my Auntie too!) ...

Beaded Beads for Sweepstakes that I am in ...

I also have two secret Santas finished! but it's not right for me to show you those at the moment, just in case the recipients visit my blog.

I wish that I had made more, but time has flown.
I still have some collage photo frames to do of my son for both sets of Grandparents, as well as do some pictures for the Aunties and Uncles. That is my mission for this week.

Love to you all

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #19 - Guilty purchase... ooh look what i have!

In my local craft shop... I found some real leather offcuts! Maybe I'm starting to channel work, I used to touch leather every day but obviously for the past year I've been on maternity leave so have not seen leather offcuts or hides for a good while!
For 0.5kg they are a reasonable price and I think I'll use them to make some keyrings or include in some jewellery.
I also treated myself to a leather punch too... I'm getting lots of ideas! Too many ideas and not enough time to make them all!
What would you make?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #18 - Sunny autumn

I met up with a friend today in Tübingen. It's such a beautiful town. Full of cobbled streets and old beautiful buildings. The weather was absolutely glorious as well. Not cold at all, perfect autumn day.
We had our babies with us and strolled round the town, did a bit of shopping, had lunch and ice cream in the park.
My maternity leave is fast coming to an end. I'll miss days like this!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #17 - Preparing for Stitch 'n' Bitch

I go to a monthly meet up ... "Stitch n Bitch" which is organised by the International Womens Club (Stuttgart). I initially joined the club because I was interested in the playgroups for Zach. Once I became a member and realised that they also did a stitch and bitch I was overjoyed!

Since joining I try and go to every one.
They are always hosted at different members houses, this month it's at my house.
It's a shame the new couch will arrive 2 days later! *tsk!*

I've just had a look to see if it's going to be busy, looks like minimum 8 people!
Everyone always brings a dish to share, so there's always too much food. As host, I'll need to sort out the drinks and decided on a dish to make too.

And, maybe most importantly, what craft to do?
Should I stick with my Star afghan? Or maybe get my beads out.

Decisions decisions!

I am thinking maybe to offer showing people how to make a necklace if they fancy it.
Normally people are happy to bring and work on their things, but I have so many beads and years of experience, it could be nice to offer. :)

What do you think?

Blogtoberfest Day #16 - A few of my favourite places on the web

I spend so much time on the web, far too much infact!
Well, I can't help it if there are nice places to be. I enjoy being on a few forums and enjoy sharing interests especially when it comes to crafting.

Here are a few shout outs! Maybe you'll fancy them too!

Craft Pimp -
A place home from home! These gals are loud, fun and also very very talented!

Crafter...oo! -
lovely place to be, relatively quiet at the moment, but lovely genuine people (also very talented!)

Bead Buddies -
If you're addicted to beads and jewellery making, this is a great place! I've been a member of this place for YEARS, and I'll stay there forever!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #15 - Fish and chips night!

Well what a pleasant evening I've had!

Since it's midweek, we invited round some friends to watch the football world cup qualifier (England v. Poland)

And we offered to do a fish and chips night!
Being British and living abroad, it's one of those things we had to learn how to make it for ourselves!

7 of us altogether!

Great night!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #14 - still going strong

I'm still going strong on the granny star Afghan. I'm wanting always to start other crochet projects, but I'm determined to finish this before I move on otherwise it'll never get finished.

It's reached an acceptable size now for a baby, but since this is going to be for a two year old. I want it to be much bigger. How much bigger is the question.

I'm just going to keep on going I think.
Maybe so it has 3 sections of red, 3 sections of blue... And however many white that'll mean too. Probably with a little edging too. Can't you tell that I'm not really planning this? I'm just going with the flow until it looks right!

I'm already through the white will that I had bought, need to get some more tomorrow. I am probably going to need more blue and red too but it's all guesswork from me on how much exactly, I may just get one at a time and then make multiple trips back to the store if necessary. It's a bit extreme, but I really do want to avoid building a big stash of wool.

My quota per day is to get done one block of colour (4 rows) but of course, since it's getting bigger and bigger this is getting harder to achieve. I will continue to try though.

On a happy note... I am happy with how my crochet is turning out. Each stitch is nice and neat and the tension is good too. So nice to have improved so much within 2 projects! At the beginning it was even a challenge to hold the wool to get a good tension.

I think even now I could make more things and give them to more people as presents too and be proud of what I make!

How would you make it for a 2 year old?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #13 - My Christmas Wishlist

I've been window shopping on Etsy this evening!
Oh man there is some wonderful stuff on there.

I'm so glad that they have started doing Etsy vouchers in GBP.
This means I'll be able to put Etsy vouchers on my Christmas list!

But ... here are a few of my Christmas wishes :)
(Just in case the hubster decided to pop along to my blog, I will tweet the link and hopefully he'll get the hint! ha!)

I so love to craft... so some things like these are on my wishlist!

Because I love clouds
Because I adore kingfisher colours
Because I'm a bead addict
Because I'm a Fat Kitty Fan
Because I adore handmade silversmithing

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #12 - yummy scrummy chocci biscuits

Mmmh! I love baking... The only issue is that when baking, you've got to eat it! (Which is not good for the waist line!) So I only try and bake when I know I will be meeting up with friends the same day or following day. In this case I'll be meeting friends tomorrow, so I decided to brake this evening after cheeks (aka Zach) was in bed!

Introducing yummy scrummy chocci biscuits.

What you'll need
• 100g dark chocolate (Minimum 55%)
• 100g unsalted butter
• 150g brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 175g self raising flour

Put a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate slowly until smooth.

Add butter and allow to melt into the chocolate.

Remove bowl from pan and stir in the sugar.

Leave to cool for 3-5 mins

In a separate jug, whisk the egg and add the vanilla essence. Then stir this into the chocolate mix.

Them mix the flour into the chocolate mix thoroughly.

Once well mixed, cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to chill on the fridge for at least 45 mins.

When ready - preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6

Cover a baking tray with baking sheets.

Divide the dough into equal little neat balls and put on the tray well spaced. (The biscuits will spread in the oven)

Bake for 10 minutes,
Remove from oven
Allow to cool on a cooling rack

Enjoy 10 minutes later when the biscuits have firmed up a little!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #11 - oh poop!

I made a mistake on the star blanket... Like 3 rows back... It was in one if those places where it would be so noticeable and could jeopardise the star shape! It had to be unpicked.

I'm now in the process of redoing all my days work on it.

How frustrating!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #10 - A glamorous life!

Well, no not really!
Even though I've been very productive and creative over the past week, today has not been anything near creative!

My little man (9 months old) has had a husky cough and a runny nose over the past few days, and it's just not going! So today I decided to have a day in the house, keep him warm and happy. Bless him, he's feeling so sorry for himself. In the minutes that he forgets about his runny nose, he's a happy chappy and I've been trying to keep him entertained and giving lots of cuddles. We've even had snoozes together on the couch this afternoon!

I have managed to do a few more rows on the granny star project, and I'm happier with the blue now it's in there. Looks like I was worrying for nothing. I'll see if they like it on Christmas day when the present is opened :) (will have to keep my fingers crossed on that one!) I don't know yet how big it needs to be, of I have enough wool to complete it or anything! I'll just keep on going until it looks right, and if that means another trip to the store then so be it!

So, sorry for the yawn-post!
Not much going on here today and I hope there will be more to report soon!

Take care!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #9 - There's never just one right answer ...

Don't you think?
When it comes to creativity and definite colour combinations, so many can be right - so which one is the correct one?!

I knew that my next crochet project would start asap, I had such a good time making the blanket, that I wanted to get started on making a star afghan blanket for another Christmas present. This time for my 2 year old nephew. He can use it as a rug, a rag, playmat, something to snuggle in - whatever! One thing I knew is that it had to be a cool shape, and since I'm getting good at granny squares, after a search on Ravelry, I found a free GRANNY STAR blanket pattern! Perfect :)

I asked my sister-in-law what colour his bedroom is - light blue and red, with a hint of lime green.
Wow, what a colour combo. I had thought that red, white, light blue and mid blue would be great, and I'd drop the green.

When I went shopping though - I stuck with the same yarn type as I had for my previous project - and they didn't have a mid blue - they had a royal blue, which was too strong, and a navy blue - which was cool, but I really wanted light blue and I think it was also too strong. One or the other, so I stuck with the light blue.

Well, then - once I got them home - I had doubts.
Had I picked the right colours? Such a bold red and a pastel soft blue?
Should I have got the navy instead?

So many possibilities, none of them are necessarily wrong.
I went to my experts (The craft pimp forum - click here for the colour discussion), and everyone had fab ideas! All of them liked the colour combo already - but there were suggestions on adding an extra darker blue in and some not!

I decided really to be reasonable with myself and not just run out and buy more wool, but to start the pale blue and see what it was like in the piece before making any decisions!

Do you come into troubles like this? When there's no definite correct answer, everything is right but which is the best? Tell me I'm not alone!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #8 - Table Runner - FINISHED!

Woo-hoo! Another project finished!
that's quite impressive for me, two projects finished in two days.


Well, it didn't stay ignored for too long! I told my husband the plans so then I'd definitely do it. I cut, pinned and pressed it on Sunday - so half the work was already done. All I needed to do today was to get it to the sewing machine whilst the little man was having his midday snooze. It does sometimes feel like a bit of a race when I'm trying to get things done when the little man is in bed. So, I do think it is a little bit rushed, but I'm happy with the result.

2.40€ for a scrap of material from Ikea, and then just snip it up, fold, press, pin and sew :)

I do still find sewing in straight lines hard to do though! hahaha! Practice makes perfect I suppose!

Hope you like it! (and more importantly I hope the OH likes it too!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #7 - Crochet Baby Blanket - FINISHED!


It's finished!

Super happy with this, my first ever crochet project! Other than the fact I ran out of wool just this weekend, I got off my bum and bought some more today to finish it, and it's DONE!

It's definitely smaller than I had thought it would be, but it is just for a moses basket, which will do just fine.

So, remember; even if you have never done a certain craft before - You can with determination (and a lot of youtube videos) figure out how to do something.

HERE is the link for actually HOW I learnt how to do a granny square
HERE is the link for how I learnt how to join the squares together.
HERE is the pinterest pin of where I got the idea of how to edge the blanket.

If you're curious as to what wool and how much wool it took to make it etc ... check out my RAVELRY PROJECT PAGE :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #6 - Lazy Sunday Times

Hello everyone! Hope you are well :)
Sunday again, I swear the weeks go so fast for me.
Not much is happening today, it's completely relaxed. My son is happy bouncing round on his belly around the lounge. Playing with balls and stacking cups plus chasing the cat. My husband is happy watching a film whilst I surf the net, catch up loads of blogtoberfest posts from other bloggers and eat cake... Tasty German cheesecake. The slice was so big it's taken me over an hour to eat it!
Regarding anything crafty... I have done lots today. I've started on the table runner... And I've continued with the crochet baby blanket.
The table runner will hopefully get finished tonight. It's all pinned up and ready for the sewing machine. I'll get to the hobby room after my bubs is in bed.
The baby blanket would have been finished today... But I've ran out of white wool. *groan* the squares are done, they are pieces together and I've started the edging. I will have to pop out to the mall tomorrow to get enough to finish it plus some wool for my next project! Well tell you all about that sometime this week.
Hope you're having a nice relaxing weekend.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #5 - Something for me ... !

It's rare that I make something for me. Normally the jewellery I wear is the jewellery that my husband has bought for me (I'm a Swarovski addict!) or jewellery that I make for the sake of making, and then it ends up with me. I never, purposefully go into my bead stash, and think "right, well - what do I want for me?" and being unrestrictive with the materials.

Well, I had to change that! I collected some of my favourite beads (which was a task in itself) and I ended up with these ...

Turquoise coins, ceramic bird (and beads), handmade lampwork and green agate.
I just wanted that 'pebbly' look, the beads work so well together!

Teamed with sterling silver of course!
Have you made anything for yourself recently?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #4 - What's going on... ?

I have never ever before fancied picking up a crochet needle until recently. It's that darn pinterest again... So many tutorials and amazing projects to see.
When I was younger, I was too impatient with knitting and was happier with a needle and thread. So even though I've been in awe of many handmade crochet goodies, I've just looked on with admire and respect.
So, what on earth happened to get me to pick up a hook and get creating? A new niece, that's what!
My new niece is due in January, and I want make something for her. Since I have a beautiful sewing machine, I seriously thought about making a quilt. I received a handmade quilt for my little man when he was born earlier this year (made collectively by the peeps at Craft Pimp ) and it's so treasured, really precious to me. But I don't really have enough time to be downstairs in the hobby room. I wanted something that I could do in the evenings after the dude is in bed. After many YouTube videos and scouring pinterest for tutorials, I managed to make some granny squares successfully. In cute green and lilac, edged with white, it's going to be a baby blanket that they can use in the Moses basket.
It's not quite finished yet... But will be soon!
Here's a sneak peek.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #3 - It's a nice day for a beer ... or two!

As I mentioned the other day, we have visitors! My mother and father in law are here visiting, which is lovely. We've not seen them for a few months (excluding Skype of course!) so we have been looking forward to seeing them.

Today was a national holiday here in Germany. It's the anniversary of the Berlin wall coming down, so now there's a national holiday to celebrate it. All the shops close here on national holidays, so the best thing to do is go out and eat and drink!

We are lucky though at the moment, the Canstatter Volksfest is on! Heard of Oktoberfest? Yeah of course you must have, well, this is Oktoberfest but in Stuttgart. Which means it's not as busy - but just as enjoyable.

Big beer tents, live music (German schlager music! urgh! but who cares when you're full of several litres of beer!) dancing on tables, great food, fairground rides, lots of people dressed up in Dirndls and lederhosen! It's wonderful, it really is.

Surprisingly, the in-laws have never been. So we had to go and show them.
Here are a few photos to show you how our day has been!

Litres and Litres

Fairground rides
Busy Busy day!

It's been great!
Have you been up to anything interesting today?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #2 - It all started with a pin ...

Are you addicted to Pinterest? I think I have an unhealthy obsession with it.
It's full of inspiration, too much inspiration! Lots of links to tutorials. I'm addicted to the DIY and crafts section and I pin and pin away inspirational projects and things that I think my followers would like.

It helped me earlier in the year when I was still nursing my baby throughout the nights, and I needed something to stop myself from falling asleep whilst he lay on me. It doesn't take too much concentration. Pinterest has helped me get though many early mornings and broken sleeps whilst my newborn was new in the world.

This piece of blackwork embroidery that I did, is a result of seeing something inspirational and wanting to do it too!

Many months before this was finished, was a little birdie in my news feed ...

I love it! I do love embroidery, but the fact that it was black and white was really striking. "Blackwork Wren" so I searched in pinterest for more blackwork, and soon my eyes were opened to some beautiful patterns.

A friend of mine does cross stitch, so she was lovely enough to give to me some aida fabric and having found the pattern I wanted to do ... I was away! If you'd like the pattern, please feel free to find it on my pinterest board, or just follow me anyway!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blogtoberfest Day #1 - Stash-a-holic!

Hi, I'm Nicola and I'm a stash-a-holic!

Guilty purchase of the day ... an offcut of material from IKEA.

It's cute, lovely china blue flowers on a white background. It's a gorgeous thick upholstery fabric and the offcut (150x80cms) was only 2.40€ ... I couldn't resist!

Now, the key really is to use it soon. I find that once I buy something, that if it doesn't get used soon, it goes into the stash and it could be there years!

I bought it not knowing what I'm going to use it for, luckily when I put it on the dining room table - an idea came along. We have a lovely new wooden dining room table, and what we don't have is a table runner. My husband did mention that I should get one, and I have looked - but nothing has stood out. However, I think this could work! I best get the scissors and pins out tonight so I can mark up where to sew!

It'd be really nice to get it finished asap, I have visitors coming tomorrow for a few days, so I'm going to out this on the to-do list for next week! Will show you pictures I promise!

Take Care

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Flowers

It's been so nice to finish something and have something to show you! I've only been able to steal a few hours every other evening to craft and all the other times, inbetween feeding and playing with the little'un most of my time is taken up with a little bit of housework and a lot of daydreaming! My brain is frazzled with having so much disturbed sleep.

The daydreaming though, is filled with ideas of things I want to make. I don't always have a pen to hand to write these ideas down, so most float out of my brain as fast as they float in. Only a *few* stick, and even fewer make it to the point where I have the time and patience to make it.

When I went down into my hobby room to make these ... well, I went down actually to play with the glitter I got for my birthday, but then reminded myself of these little flowers I had been wanting to try out in the resin.

I will be making more and selling them in my Etsy shop as soon as I find the time to make them! hahah! 'til then - well i think i'll be offering a "make to order" listing.

I do love working with this stuff. I love the stained glass effect you get in certain colours.

Hope you like them too!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finish it February ...

Hello everyone!
Long time no speak... Well there's a very good reason for that... I've been making something very special, he comes by the name of Zach and he was born on the 2nd January 2013.

So there's not been much else going on!

See that quilt? That beautiful handmade gorgeous quilt? A very special quilt that was made for him by my good friends at CRAFT PIMP who each delightfully and secretly organised to make a block each... Sign it and sent it to KERRY who then quilted it and sent it to me! (Well... To Zach!) They're sneaky peeps at craftpimp... Oh yes they are! It's such a lovely craft forum with down to earth peeps I urge you to join if it's your thing!

My husband has had the whole of January of work with me. It's been tiring, and we've had lots of guests and visitors but the routine is now selling in, and I'm now starring to make to spend time on other things as well as the baby... Internet, little bits if crafting as well as washing and house work. So, this month after getting the idea from Lisa at noodle bubble she has the idea to dedicate February to those unfinished projects that are hanging around... And that's a perfect plan!

Luckily, I don't have too many projects that are unfinished... If anything I have a ton of projects that are not started! Ha! But that's not what this month is all about.... So... The main few I can think of are;
• Zach's mobile (will hang above his changing table)
• little make up bag... (This really isn't anything to special... It was just a little project that I wanted to do to get more practice on my sewing machine... may as well finish it... Even if i don't have the right size zip!)
• Trial handbag... (I have a plan for a handbag, but I want to do a dummy trial handbag first just to learn from it before I start the real one. The real one will have lots of detail and appliqué, so rather spend ages on that and then mess it up when putting it all together... I'm going to make a practice one to learn from)
• I'm also going to go through my jewellery boxes... There may be projects there that are unfinished. Will pick those up as I go along.

So... Honestly even if I just complete one of the above I'll be happy!

Do you have any unfinished projects that you would like to complete this month? Why not join in? x