Monthly Archives: August 2015

Harry Potter Halloween Party

Hi peeps,

Just a super duper quick post today.

 

Have you started thinking about Halloween yet?

Do you like Harry Potter or know anyone who does?

Do you like Halloween or theme inspired parties?

Check out the link below for cheap ways to host a Harry Potter Halloween party…

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/easy-ways-to-throw-an-epic-harry-potter-hallowe#.cuNWXR8w1

 

Lumos! And the light of inspiration is lit!

 

Ellen x

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Blast from the Past!

Hello loverly people 🙂

A very Happy Friday to you all!

First of all may I say thank you very much for reading the nonsense I write about the things I make and like. Yesterday I got over 1000 hits for the time, which I think is pretty good considering I only started blogging three months ago. I have always liked writing, even as a child and a teenager and it’s nice to come back to it now that I’m older (although at uni I did enter a couple of writing competitions…how did I find the time?).

So, yaaaaaay! And it’s funny, I’m texting people saying…”Ooh look! Someone from Japan is reading my blog!” or “Malaysia today!” or “And today we welcome readers from New Zealand, Argentina, Russia and South Africa!”. It can be a little obsessive with the stats can’t it? Or is that just me?!

I think it is up to 37 countries now…here’s to another 37! x

Secondly, I have been busy sorting out the past couple of days. 2 big bags of paper recycling, 3 boxes of cardboard recycling, 1 bag of plastic recycling, 1 full bag of rubbish and some random metal recycling later and it looks like nothing has changed! I sorted under my bed and my wardrobe drawers (which is an achievement in itself on these bloody crutches) and though they are still sort of full, I feel better knowing how much is gone…

I also uncovered some things that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Who knew I still those 2 pairs of shoes which I have had for 6 years but NEVER worn out the house? Who knew I still had that Easter basket from way back when? Who knew I still had vacuum-packed un-popped popcorn waiting for at least 9 months to go into my popcorn maker?!!

But I did find some crafty things too.

Like this. My first ever project in Textiles. My secondary school was always pretty crap in that we had to rotate technologies and I only ended up doing textiles twice in 3 years. This is a tie-dyed top hat (minus the cardboard inset because it took up so much storage space). We had to design a logo to go on the front of the hat (God knows what mine was supposed to be) and then applique it on.

Oh, and did I mention I was 14 when I did this? Almost 16 years ago.

IMG_1528

 

I also found something I did for my Textiles GCSE, when I was 16 years old. Don’t remember the brief for this, but I chose to do a wall hanging of a map of Egypt as I was a complete nerd and loved (still do) Ancient Egypt.

It’s a bit crumpled, but oh well!

nile

And look at all those different techniques! Applique, computer stitching, hand stitching, sequins, fabric paint, seed beads, other beads, homemade pyramid button out of modelling clay…

obelisk

pyramid

horus eye

Oh to be 16 again. The things I would do differently and the things I would do the same!

Needless to say…I got an A.

My Mother did how to sew a button and a zip. She made needle cases and an apron. What do we do nowadays? Make top hats and nothing at all that is useful…#justsaying

And I also found this cute cushion from Lizzie in the back of my wardrobe 🙂

eeyore

EEYORE!

A busy couple of days 🙂

I feel much more mobile and motivated now. The period of frustration while my foot healed from surgery is, while not over completely, definitely nearly ending. For those that don’t know, I had to have 2 bones in my left foot fused together because 2 other bones had not separated properly and were causing these 2 to grind together. It was very painful and meant that walking long periods, and even on uneven ground was really difficult. BUT, I’m now walking on crutches, after having a cast on for 15 weeks and it’s amazing how good my foot looks (if a little thinner than my other one). I wont scare you with pics but the scar is barely noticeable and although it still hurts a bit, I think because I’m putting weight on it, it is definitely getting there. It’s a good job I am happy being indoors crafting away on my own – there have been very few days when I felt down because of it, some ups and downs are to be expected of course, but overall pretty positive! It’s funny but I think crafters are the only kind of people happy to have time to recover from something…”Oh no! I fell off a tree and now my leg will take 2 months to heal? Oh, dear, but on the plus side that’s at least 2 months of knitting…” or it’s “I know it hurts and it’s quite bad, but this broken ankle is quite good in many ways…because you need to drive me everywhere and that means time in the car to crochet!” Lol Us crafters will use any excuse!

Now, to get back to work and on with things.

So, sorting out is a bit mundane, but a good first step to getting organised and independent.

Tomorrow I am going to make some special fruitcakes for my mother. It was her birthday on Monday and I made her a chocolate cake but what she really wanted was a big special fruitcake, but I didn’t have any currants or sultanas, so that’s tomorrow. Ingredients include currants and sultanas, apple, Bacardi, spices and the usual eggs etc. nom! Will try to remember to take a pic but it’s never my priority when my hands are all sticky!

In the sort out I also found my glass painting and needle-felting boxes…yes, you heard me right. I have a box for each of these things. So, to look at that tomorrow.

And not much time for flowers for Yarndale project left …haven’t done any crochet for a while which needs remedying!

This seems a long post. I am going stop because I started this 45 minutes ago as I keep distracting myself!

Have a good weekend and make the most out of whatever you do

Back soon

Ellen xx

If Craft was outlawed…

What if CRAFT was out-lawed?

 

A horror story…

A nightmare…

An unthinkable world…

 

The events would unfold like this…

 

Late 2015: Parliament debates the dangers of travelling on public transport with crochet hooks and knitting needles…receives tiny amount of media coverage

 

January 2016: Evil Miss Annie Haekelgarn is elected as Mayor of London. Under her watch, wool shops slowly start to disappear from London’s streets, meaning it is harder for those who have woolly hobbies to buy the materials.

 

April 2016: The Minister for Education bans Textiles as a subject in British schools…there is an outcry as pupils are forced to do extra Maths and Science instead.

 

August 2016: There are now no wool shops left in London. Online sales surge.

 

January 2017: Government orders all dressmaking / design / textile degrees to be dropped by universities. Evil Miss Annie Haekelgarn helps her brother-in-law Mr John Strickmasche into office. He is now the Mayor of Durham. Wool shops start to disappear in Durham and the North of England.

 

March 2017: Crochet hooks and knitting needles are banned on public transport. Government says the risk is too great.

 

April 2017: Government bans knitting and crochet in public places.

 

September 2017: Mrs Elizabeth Yarnwise is caught knitting on a park bench. She refuses to pay £500 fine and is arrested and sentenced to 1 month in prison.

 

October 2017: Protest rally in London in solidarity with Mrs Elizabeth Yarnwise. Protest ends in violent clashes with police and general public. Knitting needles are thrown against people like javelins. Close hand-to-hand combat ensues with crochet hooks. Wool used as whips and lassos. 340 injured. 57 arrested.

 

December 2017: All Xmas trees in London are yarn-bombed…perpetrators never found.

 

February 2018: Raid in Newcastle causes headlines. Group of 15 “Yarnies” caught in clandestine meeting. Several bags of wool were seized as well as needles and hooks. All 600 knitting magazines burned.

 

May 2018: Annie Haekelgarn petitions parliament to shut down wool shops online. Parliament agrees. No wool is imported into Great Britain.

 

July 2018: Government orders all sheep and alpaca farms to get rid of their animals and grow veg instead. Farmers protest. It doesn’t work.

 

October 2018: Black market springs up. Women who are desperate for new patterns and wool meet in dangerous and remote places to smuggle wool. Miss Ramona Nacktwolle caught by police smuggling wool in her cleavage. Several knitting patterns discovered in her giant handbag. She is made an example of and sentenced to 3 months in prison, where she is forced to watch Jeremy Kyle and Hollyoaks on TV.

 

January 2019: By this time all festivals regarding yarn have been shut down. All creative blogs blocked. Sewing and crafting books burned.

 

August 2019: 2000 women march into parliament. It’s August so it’s empty. They manage to occupy it for 1 week. All are arrested. Several MPs who were actually ‘working’ in August die in the ensuing chaos.

 

September 2019: A hero emerges. The Yarnivator. No-one knows who this mysterious woman is. She goes around the country leaving packages of yarn on people’s doorsteps. If caught, the recipients are arrested. The Yarnivator’s biggest coup? Evil Miss Annie Haekelgarn caught opening her package on her doorstep…the swat team swoop in and she spends 3 months in prison.

 

2019 – 2025: People have to knit and crochet in secret. A code is created. All yarnies lift up their trouser legs slightly when they pass on the street. If they are wearing homemade socks then they are a yarnie! Gradually it becomes more acceptable to knit and crochet. The Guardian dares to print a crochet pattern in protest. The Sun’s page 3 girls are now wearing knitted tank tops. The BBC pushes for The Great British Sewing Bee to be allowed back on TV. They win…but it takes until 2029 for them to be allowed to show the fabric and not have to blur it out.

 

2030: With the death of Evil Miss Annie Haekelgarn in a freak skiing accident in Switzerland involving a bear, a camembert and a size 4mm crochet hook, there is hope in the air. The first ever LONDON WALLY is held (London Wool Rally) where a record breaking 3 million people turn up. The law is overturned and people can once again knit and crochet in public.

 

2031: Mrs Elizabeth Yarnwise becomes the 2nd female Prime Minister. Her first official photograph shows her wearing a knitted sweater and a woolly hat. She vows “equality and wool for all!”

 

2034: The country once again embraces the textile arts and they are very much in vogue. It seems almost as though it was always cool to crochet as The Terrible Textile Times are forgotten. New patterns are published daily as are new crafty blogs. There are so many new magazines and books one hardly knows which to buy. Youtube is now bursting with young people jumping on the bandwagon. A new minister for craft is created. Suddenly football is deemed to be dangerous by the government…

 

 

It could happen!

 

 

A-Z of Crochet

A-Z of CROCHET

 

A Afghan http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Crochet-Afghan-Patterns

B Bavarian crochet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd4QPW64Xl8

C Corner to Corner blanket https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-CNLEtrSLs

D Dye http://www.thedyeshop.co.uk/

E Erika Knight (designer) http://www.erikaknight.co.uk/

F Food http://www.twinkiechan.com/

G Giraffe https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/189458063/crochet-giraffe-pattern?ref=market

H Hooks http://www.funkyneedles.co.uk/

I I-Cord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjXsRkr1oWo

J Jewellery https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/crochet_jewelry

K Knitting…nemesis of crochet http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gallery/2012/oct/31/halloween-knitting-10-evil-projects-in-pictures

L Loom (hairpin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6dwEvhp0Bs

M Mandala http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/2015/06/mandalasformarinke-crochet-project-in-memory-of-wink-from-a-creative-being/

N Nicki Trench (designer) http://www.ravelry.com/designers/nicki-trench

O Oh Dear! https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=crochet+disasters&biw=1366&bih=622&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0CCAQsARqFQoTCIedibXiv8cCFXFK2wod7_sMXw

P Pattern http://friendsofpineridgereservation.org/difference/craftforprr.shtml

Q Queen Anne Lace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jth8nRFm89w

R Rug https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z81GLekCwo

S Snood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2zC1gfoE50

T Tunisian crochet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EdRuM6I-3w

U US vs. UK http://www.yarnfwd.com/main/crochet.html

V Vintage https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/wonkyzebra

W Wool http://baaramewe.co.uk/?variant=3272919620

X X-Rated https://www.pinterest.com/madron48/x-rated-knitting-crochet/ (warning: rudeness is here… so adults only please! )

Y Yarndale http://yarndale.co.uk/

Z Zebra https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/214286012/crochet-pattern-pdf-amigurumi-zebra?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=crochet%20zebra%20pattern&ref=sr_gallery_1

The Liebster Award

THE LIEBSTER AWARD

Proof that somebody has been reading my ickle blog…YAAAAY!

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Keri at www.repurposingjunkie.com Thank you very much!

If you haven’t already seen her blog, then you should head over there now! I like seeing the creative ways she repurposes old things into new things. Very environmentally friendly!

I particularly like the birdfeeder post which you can find here….

http://repurposingjunkie.com/?s=birdfeeder

 

I had never heard of this award, so here are the rules…

 

Answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you

Provide a link back to the person who nominated you

Nominate up to 11 new bloggers

Ask them your own set of questions (up to 11)

Post these rules in the post

 

 

Here are my answers to her questions below

 

When did you start blogging?

June 2015, so I’m a complete novice!

What is your favorite movie?

I have 2 – Chocolat and The Blues Brothers

DC Comic fan or Marvel Comic fan?

Marvel definitely!

Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors?

I like both. I think I am an indoors person who really wants to be an outdoors person, yet just can’t make it outside for whatever reason!

What are some of your hobbies?

Crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, candle-making, sewing, reading, keeping up with my German and French and desperately trying to learn a little Italian as well.

What genre of music do you listen to?

I like a variety of music. World music, film soundtracks, big dance bands…

Do you have a nickname?

Um…Saru! It’s Japanese for monkey…it’s a long story!

What is your favorite dessert?

Hot chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream…nom!

What is one of your favorite stores?

I like Hobbycraft, they are usually quite big shops in out of town shopping precincts. They have a good selection of different crafts under one roof.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

The most interesting and fascinating place I have ever been is Bangkok, in Thailand. There is so much going on in this city and it is so different to any other city I have ever visited –there are good shopping malls and the markets are amazing, the transport is really different (take a cab ride in Bangkok and take your life in your hands!) and the temples are really beautiful. I would go there again in a heartbeat if I could 🙂

What’s your favorite Starbuck’s drink?

Oh dear! I don’t have a Starbucks near me and have maybe been in one only once or twice in my life?!! I would probably pick the hot chocolate though as I don’t like coffee. I’m British, so tea would be good too – but with lots of milk and a biscuit!

 

My nominees:

www.monarenton.com

http://www.kirstyholloway72.wordpress.com

 

And here are my (random) 11 questions for you:

 

Which 3 famous people would you like to be stuck in a lift with?

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

What have you learned from blogging?

Knitting or crochet? Pick one…

What would be your top tip for anyone starting up a blog?

If you won a million pounds, what would you buy?

What do you do in your spare time, when not blogging?

If you got rid of all your possessions and could only keep 3, what would they be?

If you could share 1 funny / embarrassing / secret thing about yourself, what would it be?

What’s your favourite kind of cake?!

Favourite place you’ve visited?

 

So, there you go. Over to you two!

 

Love

Ellen xx

My Week Offline

Hello guys and gals…

This week has been ENTIRELY offline and it has been quite nice actually, thank you very much!

No pointless procrastination, no looking at sites which distract me, not much social media. Heaven!

So what have I been doing?

I made some nice fairy cakes the other night (left my phone upstairs so no pics, yes I’m going with that rather than I ate them all before I thought of pics) and this doesn’t sound particularly exciting except for I managed it all on crutches! So, yay me!

I have also been decluttering, although at quite a slow pace – some space cleared under bed, some old mags recycled, some socks thrown away. So even though the place is messy at the moment…I know it is empty really…that makes no sense but it does to me!

I have also finished my big cross stitch project which I may have mentioned a few posts ago. With no detail and backstitch it confused people but now there is just awe. Of course I still need to iron it…but let’s leave that for another day.

I have had this kit on my shelf for a couple of years…it is called ‘A Dictionary of Cake’ by Bothy Threads.

dictionary of cake

 

And I have also been perusing some magazines that dearest mother got me.

 

mags

I like OM YOGA, it has inspired me to get back into Yoga. I used to do it quite regularly about 10 years ago (way back when I did Yoga from a VHS!) and I did it at university for awhile but as with everything it is either finding or making the time or motivation to do something. I think from now on I will start small and try to do 10 mins of Yoga every day even though it’s a tiny amount. Also, for the past few months I haven’t even been able to stand properly because of my foot, but now that I am starting to be more mobile, I see no reason not to be fitter as well…baby steps though!

And look at that pattern for PJs! I have never sewn clothes for me before but I’m thinking that PJs will be a good (and cheap) starter project. That’s from Simply Sewing which I think is a new magazine in the UK…I’ve never bought it before anyway!!

I have also been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award so more on that tomorrow. Hopefully internet will not be deciding to play up as it always does when I need it.

That’s pretty much it for now…Mum’s birthday on Monday so need to think about that! And my brother is off work for a week now so he better come and see me soon! Feels like I haven’t seen him for ages and he only lives a few miles away…

Until next time,

Ellen xx

Ripple Crochet Blankie Done!

Yo! Wazzup peeps!

Today there is good and bad news.

The good.

I finished the Ripple Crochet Blankie….yaaaay! It is the first time I have tried the ripple stitch which is a lot quicker to do than I expected. It has taken about 4 days, but I’ve been ill for 2 of them so I didn’t even touch it.

I basically just used up 3 colours of yarn which had been sitting in my stash for awhile, but I think the pink looks a little strange around the edge though! I added 2 rows of double (or single if you are in US) crochet around the edge.

It was only meant to be as a practice but I decided to keep going and make something of it.

 

belly blankie

 

Sorry my picture taking skills are pretty naff! I just can’t be bothered to crutch it around to the bed and stand and wobble and take another picture! Lazy me!

And the bad news?

Don’t try dusting your prized possessions while on one leg and one arm in a crutch. I managed to break one of a set of 2 candleholders that I got from the Isle of Wight when I was a little girl…the glass smashed everywhere 😦

They were from a shop called Oasis (I think it is still there) which sold all sorts of weird and wonderful things like candles, flowers, home stuff. Yes, that was the kind of shop I liked when I was 12 years old!!

Boohoohoo – cue lots of sad faces and cry noises. Oh well, it serves me right for trying to clean…I should just leave that to someone else :O

———————————————————————————

I haven’t done much reading over the past few days (1Q84 wiped me out last week) but I’ll try and do a bit more of David Copperfield tonight.

And I want to try and bake something tomorrow so I will have to have a look at some recipe books tonight as well.

That’s all for now,

Ellen xx