Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Dorset Buttons!

Hellooooo - is anybody there? How can it be that I haven't written a post since April!!!!  Well today that is going to change and I promise to try a little harder and keeping you regularly updated with the crafty goings on that are keeping me so busy.  I am still doing crafts every two weeks at the Beacon Cafe which is run by volunteers  at the church I go to.  Today we made dorset buttons, have you ever heard of them?  I have to confess I hadn't until a lovely lady who is always finding bits and pieces at home that she thinks I might be able to use gave me a bag full of curtain rings.  She couldn't quite remember what these button things were called, maybe somerset buttons?  I hadn't the faintest idea what she meant but decided to do a good google search and there I discovered they were Dorset buttons (as counties go she really wasn't that far off).  Well I was in for a real treat, such prettyness
in the images came up
I should have prepared my craft for today yesterday but had a rather disrupted day which turned into a very distracted evening and so as I went to bed last night, Dorset Buttons popped back into my head as a craft that I had everything for, yarn, needles, curtain rings and scissors - phew!  This morning I got up and got started as soon as my arthritic hands would allow me.  It took me an hour to do the turquoise button at the top of this post, so I knew that it would be possible for some folks to get one done or almost finished in the two hours that our coffee morning runs.

So off I went and what a brilliant response I had!  One of the ladies loved doing it because her favourite stitch was blanket stitch and that it what is used to do the outside of the ring, another just enjoyed the prettyness and repetition of the pattern.  There was also a desire to show grand-children how to do it which is what finally prompted me to get this post written.

If you would like to have a go, there is a great photo tutorial that I found here. I enjoyed doing it so much I started another one

I have been thinking about future craft fairs and wanting to do a few make your own kits of some of the stuff that I make.  Having done these and braids I am now thinking they would be very good places to start.  So watch this space and see if I finally get around to making some kits up!

Happy Crafting x.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Micro crochet.

This last week was really exciting starting two complete newbies off on the crochet journey.  The first was able to complete this competently after just an hour and a half as you can see she was able to get off and running again with minimal prompting....

The second person sped through her hour and a half and was able to go onto circles as well

I love teaching in the order that a client wants to learn.  For some, repeating a process over and over again is not good, however if you are able to let them experiment with new techniques they can much more easily see where their skills are going to be able to take them.

If you are interested in learning then please do go to the page on this site that gives you more information on how to contact me, or you can always leave a comment of course!

In my own playtime this week I have been back working on my  micro crochet projects, this is crochet using a 0.5mm hook and organic cotton sewing thread, here is the result

As you can see none of these are more than 2 cm tall!

As you can see I have been adapting a pattern that I brought before Christmas from the amazing double treble trinkets  .   This is the pattern for her Christmas mice that I purchased on Ravelry.  Instead of making the Christmas hats I made them all a little different, here are some close ups.

This little mouse is wearing glasses and reading a book.

This one has a sun hat on and is carrying a shopping basket.

This teeny weeny one is off to fly a kite!

They are all mounted on little 10mm buttons which means they stand up beautifully.  I wonder what you would have a mouse of your own doing?

Happy Crafting,   Jane xx


Monday, 4 April 2016

Crochet Lessons

I have now added a new page to this site which will take you to more details about the private and group crochet lessons and other crafts I am able to offer.

It has been lovely to be slowly building up the number of lessons I have given and have recieved lovely feedback from a lady who had her first ever lesson last week, here is the message she sent me on facebook

Thank you so much for the crochet lesson today! I'm soooo chuffed I've finally got if the starting blocks after many, many previous failed attemps. Thank you for being so patient with me, can't wait for the next lesson in May! x
This is what she was able to achieve in just 1 1/2 hours 
 as you can see she was confidently able to start again, showing that the learning was getting in!

If you are interested in learning then please do get in touch, details can be found by clicking onto the page tabbed crochet lessons.  

Happy Crafting x.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Make your own Easter Tree.

It's lovely when there has been lots of grey wet winter days to start looking forwards to Spring.  Easter is another celebration that I look forward to, so I thought I would put Spring and Easter together for a craft for the people that enjoy crafting at The Beacon cafe where I volunteer.  This is such a easy and cheap craft I thought others might like to do it to - I'm doing it again on Friday with some women I meet with weekly.

What you need:

Twigs, I used willow but you could use any.
Air drying clay, this is heavy enough to keep the twigs stable.
A small container for the twigs, I used a little metal bucket from The Range
Assorted printed paper
decorative eggs, I used polystyrene from The Range.
Pritt stick glue
glue dots.
tissue paper


1. Put some glue dots around your container

2. Wrap with some lace ribbon
3. Put some pritt glue on the ribbon and wrap that around
4.  Put a piece of clay in the bottom of the container and put your sticks into it
5.  Make sure it balances okay
6.  Fold a sheet of paper about 1 inch as shown below and cut out a leaf shape from the fold, making sure that you don't cut the fold. Cut as many leaves as you want to.

7. Open the leaves out and glue one side

8. Wrap around your branches
9. Thread your eggs if they aren't already hangable

10. Wrap some crunched up tissue paper around the twigs on top of the clay

11.  Finish your tree of by decorating it with eggs

It's been nice doing something apart from crochet, as much as I love that of course.  I haven't been totally hook free, I have made myself a tea cosy, which I am totally in love with
Happy Crafting

Jane x.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Getting ready for Craft Fairs.

February turned into a busy month!   It was great to get lots of jobs completed, here are just a couple of pics.....
clerical tops for a soon to be ordained vicar friend.
new curtains for my living room!

I also continue to be busy doing crafts at my local parish church's Beacon Cafe.  These are some of the crafts we have done recently.....
safety pin brooches
stamping and chalking cards and adding ready made toppers.
 punched tissue paper shapes glued to glass tea light holders
The crafty corner at the cafe continues to grow as more and more of the visitors get brave enough to come and see what we are making.  It is a great atmosphere and I really enjoy meeting with regular attendees to the crafts as well as those that just like to come and do something when it particularly takes their fancy.  As a parish we do not charge for the drinks, cakes or crafts at the cafe, just asking that those that are able can make a donation towards the costs.  Here is a picture of the crafting in action...

The rest of my time (apart from when I swim up to 8000metres a week you know!) I have been busy getting ready for the start of this years craft fairs.  I have signed up again with Michelle at From the Craft Box it was a real pleasure doing the fairs through her last year and so I didn't hesitate to get myself booked in again.  So far I have got to thinking as far as April and so these are the dates I will be doing...

After such a successful end to last years craft fairs where I ended up with very little stock left (my folksy shop is looking pretty empty too) I have been busy making to replenish supplies.  My first market this coming Saturday is the day before Mothering Sunday, so I have got a selection of items suitable as gifts including fairtrade cotton brooches, luxury fairtrade wash cloths with organic soap and these teapots with their tea cosies...
I really enjoyed designing and making these and have a feeling there may be quite a few more appearing if I manage to get them from my head to my hook.

I also have lots of Easter goodies which will be at the next two markets, I had lots of stock left over from last year (having given lots to a shop to sell which they marked up with ridiculous prices and so didn't sell) so I haven't had to make much so far, though will have to see whether I will need to top up supplies after this Saturday.  Here are some of my Easter items.....

 Pop open eggs to hide sweet treats.

 Hanging decorations.

Easter garlands.

There will also be a good range of children's toys and decorative pieces, here are some of those and where the patterns come from if you fancy having a go at making your own!

 Flutterbugs, my own design, pattern available here 
 Flossy dolls, my own design, pattern available here 

 Tiny tea sets in a drawstring bag, my own design, pattern available here
 These teddies are my own adaptation inspired by this design 

owls, an adaptation of this pattern found on pinterest 

I have also made a pile of little hair clip flowers which always sell well along with matching brooches.  All the crochet in the pictures is made using Debbie Bliss Eco-baby, fairtrade, organic cotton, the bee tea cosy also uses Sirdar Simply Recycled cotton yarn.  So I think I am about ready.  Over the next couple of days I just need to do my pricing list.  I have my cash float ready, I tend to organise this at the end of every craft fair to make banking the cash easier and me having another job to get change before the next one.  I wonder what else might fall off my hook before I get there on Saturday!

If you are new to this blog, then please do visit my facebook page, my pinterest page, my ravelry page and my shop. I love to find new designs to share!

Happy Crafting,   Jane x