Saturday, 22 December 2012

I have been....

...away from my blog for a little while.

It wasn't intentional, just a few things kept me busy. I have been ill this week, which meant a hold on all things - work, crafting, posting - doing anything! However, I'm happy to be much better now!

In my last post, I talked about plans for making a vintage toned throw, and how I was giving myself a colour detox. Well, those plans are still a work in progress. I bought some yarn and started working away on a simple granny square throw - small squares in 4 colours joined together. I'll share more on this once its complete. This is a simple project and doesn't really represent what I ultimately had in mind - its more of a step along the way while I get a feel for the kind of colours I want to use.

I have some other, purple toned yarns set aside, which I think will eventually become a vintage style throw. I've just had them on the table while I've been working, looking at them together, trying to decide for sure which colours I like together. Then, once I decide that I need to think about what kind of stitch I want to use - definately something different from granny squares I think!

I've also been trying to take colour inspiration from other things around me, while I plan this project, snapping them all on Instragram to remind me! The purple Dahlia, orchid and dried lavender I have on my windowsill are my current inspiration! Wow, when I look around me and see how many purple things I have, I have to admit it really is one of my favourite colours! I think I'm leaning towards more blue-purple tones at the moment, like the lavender.

Even my china has been helping me on this journey of colour discovery. I was recently lucky enough to get hold of two more Royal Albert mugs to add to my collection - the pink and yellow mugs shown above (the green one I already had). These patterns are from their Bronte series (named after the classic authors, Emily, Charlotte and Anne). I think my favourite is the pink with purple flowers, seen in the foreground of the image just above, but I love them all!

That's about all for now, another post tomorrow I think!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Colour therapy

Brrr, it is chilly here, I am really grateful for our fire!

The last few days, I have been on a colour detox (sort of!). Not the kind of detox where you abstain from colour altogether, but the kind where you just let your imagination go, take inspiration from all kinds of places and try not to restrict yourself - just go with what feels and looks right to you in the moment rather than aiming for something specific. So maybe that's a colour retox then!

This all started I guess back in October. I bought a big batch of Stylecraft Special DK yarn in many bright colours and started playing. I then bought some more and because of the difficulties of ordering yarn when you can only see it online, ended up with lots of colours that I loved, but which didn't really work together. There then began a period of colour frustration where I could only use some of my lovely yarns together, whilst wanting to use all of them! I then moved into a stage of acceptance - I just worked with colours which I liked together, and accepted that the other lovely new colours I had would have to stay on the backburner for a bit. It was during the acceptance period that my colour therapy throw was born! (and yes, before you start to wonder, I am being facetious in my talk of colour therapy - I don't take it that seriously I promise!)

I'll tell you more about this throw when it's finished. I really want to talk about the project ideas currently on the backburner which have had time to develop as I worked on this throw. You can see the colours above are all quite bright, saturated hues - purples, pinks, blue, turqoise and green are all featured. The other colours which I felt didn't go with those used here were softer, more neutral colours. I had stashed away a biscuit colour, lovely old rose colour and some grape and plum shades.

Whilst I worked with my bright colours I had time to think about what I could do with these more muted shades, and the idea for a vintage, shabby chic, neutral colour palette throw slowly emerged. After a lot of browsing around on Pinterest for inspiration (you can see the colour inspiration board I have been building here), I began to realise that I had colour palettes for not one, but possible 2 throws in mind. One with old rose, blush pink, biscuit and cream tones, and one with lavender, lilac, grey and off white tones. My working title for these is 'vintage pastel throw' at the moment. Today I took the plunge and ordered yarn in shades that I think will work. I can't wait for the delivery to arrive!

Looking on Pinterest and working with the bright colours I already have also reminded me how much I like frosted candy coloured shades together too - you can see some of this appearing in the colour therapy throw above - I'm talking about sugar pink, baby blue, violet and peppermint which you can see on the outer rounds in the picture above.

Watch this space - more on the plans for my vintage pastel throw soon!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas decorations

This weekend I have been getting ready for decorations, spending hours yesterday making the house look warm and festive

We have a sort of rustic theme with gold colours this year for most of the decorations. I've given the tinsel a miss and opted for a more pared down look, which I really like.

Of course it would not be a proper Christmas at my house if there weren't some homemade decorations! The felt hearts shown above were made by me. They are very simple to make. Just cut two heart shapes from felt using a paper template. Sew red or white buttons to the front of one the heart shapes. Place quilting wadding or other stuffing (make sure it's non-flammable) between the two heart shapes and then sew a simple running stitch around the edge of each heart in contrasting embroidery thread, to form a simple stuffed heart decoration. The hearts can be hung using contrasting ribbon.

I also made these tree decorations - they are cinnamon sticks (not for eating!) tied around with some garden string to form a bundle. You can then thread the garden string through the centre of a couple of dried orange slices and tie a loop at the top to make something which can be hung on the tree.

Merry Christmas everyone, stay warm!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Pretending to be a Provincial Lady

Royal Albert Damask Old Country Roses china
I feel I am mentally pretending to myself that I have more time for out of work pursuits at the moment than I actually do. The result of which is this post!

I had my birthday last week, and was given a very pretty copy of E.M. Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady which you can just see the cover of in the pictures here. I haven't actually had a chance to start reading yet, though I will very soon! It's something I have wanted to read for ages. Now that I have finished my study course, my brain keeps telling me I should have time for all these things. Somehow it is not quite coming true though!

Sigh. My problem is a very minor one in the scale of things, but still. I think I am experiencing crafting burnout. This is what comes of having no time at all for your favourtie hobbies for a long time, and then suddenly having that time given back to you. You try and pack in so much in such a short space of time that you actually end up stressing yourself out with it!

This is what has happened to me. I now have way to many knitting and crochet projects on the go as well as some sewing I'd like to do, and several potential ideas for future projects floating around my head. Its starting to make me feel a little crazy as I don't know which to do first!

I have still squeezed in time to spot the lovely Royal Albert Blue Damask Old Country Roses tea cup on eBay and purchase it! This is the blue tea cup which you can see in the pictures (with tea in it), and goes so well with the Peppermint Damask pattern cup which I bought in the summer. I felt so lucky to be the high bidder and snag this cup!

Well, back to crochet. I really can't list all of my crochet projects here, but I can tell you about a couple of them!

Christmas cushion covers

I decided it would be nice to make some simple red and white cushion covers, just to help tie the Christmas colour scheme together in our living room. This isn't an ambitious project - I am only aiming to make 2 covers in total. Here's the start of the first cover:

Crochet starburst cushion cover in red and white
Do you remember this design? Its the same as the design I used for my starburst cushion covers back in the summer.

Flowers in the snow blanket

This is also the same pattern - I'm intending this to be a throw, but its only cushion cover size at the moment. To be honest it may in fact end up as another cushion cover - somehow the colour scheme is not motivating me enough to make it grow any larger!

Well, thats all for now. I really will try and post more regularly - hopefully the next post might actually contain a finished project!