Tag Archives: craft

This is Brigman back on the air!

[And if you get what the title of this post is referring to you are officially as awesome as me!]

Hello peeps and a belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Imbolg to you all!

I just checked and it’s been a good few months since I posted, well, ANYTHING! August in fact was my last post. Oops! Here is where I would normally post an excuse or two, but mostly I have just been in a bit of a blogging slump to be honest. Or, as Austin Powers would say “Crikey! I’ve lost my Mojo!”

But I have decided to get back to it and actually, you know, write something, so here’s a quick round up of stuff.

I have been getting into jewellery making lately, I’m not great and I’m still practising the various techniques, and there aren’t many pics yet, but I will post later about that new hobby.

I didn’t do a single stitch in January. Whether crocheted, knitted or sewn. Not one! But…today and yesterday I have more than made up for it lol! I finished an outstanding WIP which was a knitted hat and did a quick make yesterday which was a knitted tape measure cover – a free gift with a knitting magazine.

I made just the one decoration over Christmas…a knitted heart.

And I have been buying crafty books like crazy.

A new crochet ripple blanket is on the go…

And a trip to London meant a visit to John Lewis’s haberdashery section (I so rarely get to use that word these days…haberdashery) and of course along with the purchases of needles and notions there was sock wool!

The crochet stormtrooper blanket is coming along I dont have an exact number of squares out of 625 but i think it’s around the 130 mark…so a while to go yet!

And books…I finished my reading list for 2017 except for 3 (Anna Karenina, War and Peace and Vanity Fair), which was to read all outstanding books on my shelf. I think I did pretty well considering I must have read about 3 or 4 times as many books as I went to the library and keep getting sidetracked after work in places like Waterstones and WHSmith!

I’m still on the go with Anna Karenina at the mo, but have just finished Hag -Seed by Margaret Atwood which is a re-working of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, I really enjoyed it and as I didn’t know the plot beforehand, I can safely say I do now!

I have the next couple of weeks off work…more work done on my foot…gah! Just chop it off already and give me a fake one like Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One!

So that means more time for crafting, reading and writing. I have discovered 2 magazines in UK called Writer’s Forum and Writing Magazine which have inspired me to get writing again, even if it’s only for me. I’m thinking of entering a few competitions so watch this space (of course that means I actually have to get the ideas from my head to paper or screen sometime…but it’s a goal and it’s out there now).

Right, that’s it for now. It’s getting late and I have things to make!

More crafty stuff soon, have a good night and a better weekend 🙂 x

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Loom Knitting

Last week I bought a set of circular knitting looms from my local yarn shop. I’ve always wondered how to use them and after watching a video on Youtube I have it all figured out (at least the knit stitch – haven’t tried the purl yet).

And it is so QUICK to knit on. I made the smaller hat in an hour and a half and the larger one over 2 evenings. They both use 2 strands of yarn, the smaller hat using aran weight and the larger one chunky weight yarn.

The smaller hat was made on a 36 peg size loom and the larger one on a 41 peg size loom.

I followed this tutorial on Youtube. She’s really good and has a website, just google Loomahat and see what comes up.

Have a go and see how quick and easy it is to knit things in the round! The looms are not expensive at all to buy and you will wonder why you didn’t try it earlier! 🙂

There were no seams to weave in, it was all knitted in one piece with no increases or decreases and the only thing I had to sew in was when I gathered it all at the top at the end.

P.S. you can add a pom pom to the top if you want to finish it off properly.

 

Listen to Your Muse!

Ignore your muse at your peril folks.

Sometimes you have a list of WIPS and things to make as long as your arm – some have been on the go for ages and some have deadlines and some you like better than others.

And sometimes your muse says “Nope. I’m going to crochet a bunny jam jar from the latest issue of Mollie Makes magazine! So there!”

Why?! I asked it.

My muse just shrugged and said “I dunno – coz bunny ears! That’s why!”

And she was right. Bunny Ears! 🙂

And the ears even have wire in them which makes them…wait for it…FULLY POSABLE!

Please excuse terrible pic – tried resizing and it got all confused! xx

A Plethora of Grannies

Today’s post will show you a plethora of grannies.

But first…

(Incidentally have you seen The Three Amigos? It was one of my favourite films as a child! I’m weird I know…but it’s really funny). By the way, I don’t think I will EVER find a clip from a film that is relevant to an obscure and underused word of the English language, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself (especially as it came from memory and not a Google search).

What is a ‘plethora’? According to the online Cambridge dictionary it is: ‘…a very large amount of something, especially a larger amount than you need, or can deal with.’

ANYWAY…

Here is a little pic of what I have been making to try and get rid of some of the freebie magazine yarn.

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These ones below are obviously smaller and instead of 4+ rounds they have only 2 and then a round of double crochet (single crochet in US terms). I saw this pattern for a blanket made from squares like this in a book by Nicki Trench called Cute and Easy Crochet. I have a few balls of really soft yarn left over from YEARS ago, right when I started crocheting and didn’t know what yarn to get (so in my kind of style I ended up with 8 balls of it to practice with!). I will do as many of these diddlers as I can with the wool – no labels of course, I think it was Sirdar Snuggly but can’t remember- and then see how many I have. They feel really soft and snuggly and not as rigid as the others above.

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So there you have it kids. A new word and some new grannies. Does it get better than that? Actually it does…I can smell the chocolate cake my wonderful mother is making 🙂

bloglovin’ vs Stumbleupon

Good morrow fellow bloggers, it is I, Ellen, here to tell you about 2 blog sharing sites that you may or may not want to join up with.

It’s kind of like the Matrix in one respect – “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Last week I signed up to both Bloglovin’ and Stumbleupon. One I love, one I hate.

Stumbleupon

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine), that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social -networking principles.     WIKIPEDIA

I joined this first and I have to say I was a little confused and non-plussed with it all. You sign up, make a tiny profile, choose some interests and click stumble. You get a random web page linked to those interests you specify. NOT A BLOG, BUT A PAGE. Yes you can continue looking around the site/ blog but you only get one at a time. You can like or unlike the page. The more likes a page gets the higher in the stumbleupon rankings it gets and therefore more likely to be seen by more people. You can add and share your own content, but who wants to be inundated with your followers pushing their own stuff on you all the time, you know? Press stumble button again and you get a new page.

I also found a lot of the pages were old, years old, some even when pages were grey and square/ rectangle boxes everywhere (I’m trying to say they wouldn’t have looked out of place in 1999!).

It’s all a bit overhyped if you ask me.

Bloglovin’

This one on the other hand is much easier to use, it’s much clearer with a more modern and cleaner finish to it.

Bloglovin’ is a platform that allows users to read, organize, and discover their favourite blogs on mobile and desktop. It is a design-focused platform that aggregates feeds from sources with RSS feeds, allowing users to discover and organize content. As of April 2014, Bloglovin’ reaches over 16 million global users monthly. Bloglovin’ caters primarily to the “lifestyle” crowd. 90% of Bloglovin’s users are female.       WIKIPEDIA

Bloglovin reminds me of Pinterest but instead of pins, you get blogs and their pages. It’s very visual like Pinterest, so I imagine those posts with pictures do better on this site than just words.

Sign up and straight away you can search for blogs, I recommend searching for and claiming your own first. I find it’s better if you’re searching for blogs with the whole address on here ([example.wordpress.com]) but again you can search for your personalised interests on here.

To claim your blog, type in your address and click on yours when it comes up, to the right will be a little link that says ‘claim it’ and click on it. A little box with code in will come up, copy and paste this onto a html blog post (the last post I published shows you what the code does – it verifies you are the blog owner and provides a link for people to follow you). So you will need to have wordpress open in another tab ready and waiting when you claim your blog.

I couldn’t find a way to do this on the dashboard so I had to use the my site page to do this (when you see all your stats and have the option to use the reader you will see all the options on the left side, that’s the page I mean). Click on add new post and you will find a tab on the top right which says html, click on that and post your code there. Publish the post. Done.

Sounds complicated but it’s really not!

Bloglovin actually offers a useful help page so there are lots of screenshots to help you.

So, what next? I will keep up with bloglovin, but I think I may be deleting my stumbleupon account soon, it’s that horrible in my eyes. Maybe I could upload something, but it’s very difficult to work things out I think.

So, these are just a couple of options if you want more ways to generate traffic to your blog or just to reach out to more blogs, since they won’t all be wordpress ones.

Maybe you will have more luck than I on stumbleupon, maybe you will hate bloglovin. Good luck with both and hope to see you on bloglovin soon.

Ellen xx

 

Testing, Testing, 1 2 3

My discoveries with WordPress continue. But in this case I am seeing what a poll looks like on my posts. Just a look-see!

Here goes…

 

OK, so the white doesn’t show up as well as I thought it would and I need to leave a couple of spaces after the poll really, to be able to see what I want to write next. I guess this is a good way to get feedback, especially if I keep it open for a week (which I think is the longest I can anyway).

It’s something different. You can post videos, images and audio to go with your poll if you wanted.

Why use a poll? Got a new pattern/ idea/ project you want feedback on? Want to know what people would think is a reasonable price for something? A poll can be a useful way to get feedback for your crafty business plans (although not scientifically accurate as not all of your followers will vote) and it can offer something different for your readers who are used to just words and pictures.

Do you want to have a go at one? Dashboard – Feedback – Polls

It’s very simple to create and you get a choice of layouts too. Have a go, just to say you made one.

And did you know you can change the message at the bottom of your posts which says ‘leave a reply’ ? It’s right before the comments section.

If you want to customise that too, go to Settings – Discussion and take a long look at what comes up – you can even change how long you want people to be able to comment on posts (do you want to close comments after a day/ week etc?).

May the WordPress discoveries continue!! Ellen xx

Pink is the new Black!

First of all, before I get started, thank you Mrs Blooms for the carrot cake recipe you posted for me, anyone wants a good recipe to try, head on over to https://candeloblooms.com/ and add it to your recipe collection right now! Thanks again! 🙂

Second I have been asked by 3 people today what I am giving up for Lent. The answer is a resounding, huge, big fat NOTHING. OK? Good! And no, I didn’t even get pancakes yesterday…*sighs*.

Something different for my craftiness today. Is it crochet? Is it knitting? Is it cross stitch or baking or writing? Nope. Pottery.

My friends Lizzie and Kerrie bought me a pottery course for my birthday last year and for the last four weeks I have been making pots and hearts. The course is run at a shop called PoppyRose and it’s just off Stockton High Street on Silver Street. The course was run by a lovely mum and daughter couple called Lou and Ann and they also do other crafty courses if you’re interested, head on over to http://www.bypoppyrose.com/ and have a look – lots of nice crafty things in the shop too! If you look on their facebook page you will find a lot more pictures on there. There are lots of lovely local regulars that go along as well, some making bowls, figures, throwing on the wheel, little pretty flowers…and it’s been really nice to try something totally new and different to the usual kind of crafty things I do 🙂

Here is what I have made so far:

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Some little hearts and shapes to hang up. I had fun mixing the colours for these (I especially like how the butterfly turned out). To those friends who I wrote names on…oops just act surprised lol!

They have been fired once, now painted and glazed and will be fired a second time. So it’s not a quick process at all. It takes WEEKS and yet I cold have a crochet scarf done in an evening! They will also look shinier once they have been fired.

I really enjoyed myself and can’t wait to see how these turn out, so thank you girls!

I guess I don’t really do Wordless Wednesdays do I?!!

Ellen x