Happy half birthday

I have been seeing loads of designs with cats on lately and wanted to make a card for my friend.  However her birthday is in December, so I decided to make her a “half birthday” card!

I used a TiddlyInks digital stamp, coloured it with Copics and cut it out.  I then used a dotty stencil and distress ink for the background.  I made another stencil by cutting out paw shapes and using the holes as the stencil.  The sentiment is stamped in Stazon black ink.


I am entering this card in … TiddlyInks Challenge #183 Happy Birthday



TiddlyInks Challenge #183

This is my card for the new TiddlyInks challenge.  The digistamp is called Schoolboy from TiddlyInks.  I coloured it in with Copics, then cut it out.  I stamped a Kraft baseboard with some Crafter’s Companion Journal Jottings stamps using Distress Ink.  Then I die cut the numbers and added Distress Ink again.  Stuck them on, added the image with sticky buds and die cut the words Happy Birthday on white card coloured with Distress Ink.



Anniversary hearts and birthday flowers

I took a blank white rectangle of card and used a background stamp to add one line in black and two in purple.  I drew around the edge of the card with a black fine-liner pen.

I sprayed purple and red spritzing ink onto white card and then die cut three hearts from the result.  I stuck them along the stamped lines vertically and outlined them with the black pen.

I stamp the greeting and cut it out, inked the edges and stuck it to the card.  Then inked the edges of the card and stuck it to a white card blank and doodled round the edges of that.  I added two purple gems to the sentiment and liquid pearls to the hearts.


On this one I followed a card in a magazine.  I made a card blank from brown yardstick.  Then cut two patterned papers the same size and doodled around the edges.  I stuck one on the other on the brown card, overlapping.

I then stamped the flowers and fussy cut them out, stuck them on and drew leaves.  I wrote the sentiments and added those.  Finally I put liquid pearls in the centres of the flowers.


A card for Mark

I have a Welsh friend who is two days older than me.  We met when we were working together and have kept in touch since I left there 19 years ago!!  (Yikes!).   Anyway it is his birthday on Thursday so I have made this card for him…….


The dragon image is from Bugaboo stamps and the sentiment is a stamp which was free on a magazine.  I drew in the faux stitching around the edge of the card to match it.

Copics used: Reds R02, R05, R17, R27..  Browns E000, E00, E31, E35

Grab a cuppa – you could be here a while……

Eeek, I’ve been away so long that WordPress has changed! Where is everything??

So where to start?  Let’s go back a couple of months……..

At Christmas I bought Colin & myself tickets to the British Open golf which was just up the road in Hoylake this year.  Finally the day came round at the end of July, it felt so long between booking and going. I got tickets for the final day but we also got some tickets for one of the practice days so I could take some photos, as cameras weren’t allowed on the actual Championship days – not that everyone abided by the rules!!  We got to see all the big names, notably Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Miguel Ángel Jiménez – who smoked a cigar almost constantly! – and loads more.  On the final day we got a seat in the front row of the stand on the 3rd green, so got to see all the top players come through really close up.

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A couple of weeks later I had another birthday, with lots of fab presents from lots of lovely people.  I wanted a sewing box but not a little twee one, something big and sturdy, so I decided I would like a toolbox from B&Q!!  This one that Colin bought me is brilliant, there are all kinds of compartments and plenty of room for all the sewing paraphernalia I seem to have already accumulated.

My mum and step-dad gave me some money so I got a matching set of two briefcase type ones to put knitting needles and bits in.

All this organising is down to the fact that I decided the house needed to be decluttered.  I think things had reached critical mass and there was so much “stuff” that just didn’t need to be here.  So there has been a bit of a blitz!  It is by no means finished but I think we are over 50% now.  Old cooking and gardening magazines were thrown out, books were culled, bookshelves replaced, shoes stored in under-the-bed bags.  We went through our wardrobes and gave clothes to the charity shops, Colin tidied and re-arranged the small bedroom/office and we got some nice new pictures.  There are still some jobs to do in the tidy rooms, such as sort out drawer contents but my next task is the back bedroom.  As we were going along in the other rooms, items that we weren’t sure whether to keep or not went into the spare back bedroom which got fuller and fuller and already had loads of my yarn and other miscellaneous junk in it.  So it is now a huge task.  I AM going to do a yarn de-stash, and will probably get rid of all my straight needles too as I never use straights, so there may be some on eBay soon.  Some other items too.  Anyone want an original Wii?  Hardly used?

This weekend I finally get to fulfil my ambition of doing some yarn-bombing!!  I have had a project in mind for a few years but never got round to it.  When the knitting group lost our friend Helen, my boss and owner of Stash Fine Yarns, I thought perhaps we could do something as a tribute to her so I revived the idea.  Rather than doing it anonymously, I wanted to try to raise some money for charity, so I got permission from the council to decorate an elephant sculpture in Chester.  We have all made squares in knit group and they are all assembled and ready to go.  The local newspaper has interviewed me over the phone about it and will feature it on their website and in the next edition.  This is what it looks like at the moment!

So getting onto knitting – hmmmm not a lot of that going on.  I’m still suffering with my hands, I still have carpal tunnel in my left hand and have now got two trigger fingers in my right hand, so it’s all a bit difficult and slightly sore.  I’m getting a bit done though, I’ve made one Runrig and one sock!  And there are a lot of projects in the new Interweave Knits ad Knitscene that I would like to make.  However I did succumb to some new yarn.  As I couldn’t go to the Pop-Up Wool Show due to work, I contacted one of the vendors and asked them to put a skein of yarn aside for me and my lovely friend Hayley collected it.


This is a skein of WooSheeps 100% BFL superwash sock yarn, 600m to 150g.  The colour is Imperial Purple and it is gorgeous.  I also have another Zauberball, this time of the Crazy type from Lottie, one of my workmates.  Colour 2095, it is a slightly pinky red, red, and wine mix.


And finally, oh my word, how do I describe the next one?  You really have to feel this yarn to believe it.  It is the softest yarn I have ever felt!  I just want to cuddle and pet it.  It is Mirasol Llama Una, 100% baby llama, 100m to 50g.  Get some – that’s all I’m saying.


And look how well it matches some fabric I bought.photo-8

I have a few pennies put aside for Yarndale too of course.  This is at the Skipton Auction Mart on 27th and 28th of September. I will be there on Sunday, with my Baarmygirls podcast co-host Janey Laney!!  I am attempting to make a Baarmygirls Podcast T-shirt so if you see us, come and say hello.

Talking of making, I have also been doing a bit of sewing.  My mum recently got a new chair and I offered to make her a cushion for it.  It turned out rather well so I made 4 for myself and threw out the old manky cushions we had in the living room.


I also discovered, completely randomly, some Japanese sewing books (translated into English thank goodness).  I bought one, The Stylish Dress Book 1 and was so enamoured by it that I bought two more, Basic Black and Feminine Wardrobe.


You get 26 patterns in each book with all the pattern sheets in a folder at the back.  These can be confusing as there are only four sheets so all the patterns are printed in different colours on top of each other, so you have to search around for all the correct pieces.  When you’ve done that you then have to add seam allowances as they are not on the patterns.  But if you get through that bit you are on your way.  I made the cover project from Stylish Dress Book first


I didn’t quite insert the sleeves correctly and it looks a bit “maternity” but I still like it.  There are so many things I’d like to make from these books, here are some of them…

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but I’m going to start with pattern F from Stylish Dress Book, which fellow blogger Eskimimi has made such a fabulous job of.  I’ll use the fabric above and then knit a small cowl to match from the baby llama.

Well hope to see some of you at Yarndale, we’ll be recording on the day so be prepared to be interviewed!!!

Party, Gary Numan, sewing and yarn – an eclectic mix!!

Ok, so where did that month go???  I have no idea.

The World Cup is in full swing but luckily we have two tellies so I can watch Wimbledon.  Murray is looking really strong this year, so he could make it 2 in a row.

The weather has been really good for a couple of weeks, but I have still managed to keep my lily white legs!!  My step-dad’s side of the family all got together for his birthday last week and everyone was brown except me!  It’s hard work staying this pale you know.  Talking of the party, I didn’t think I would make it as I was pretty sick on the Friday and had to miss work on the Saturday.  But luckily I made it for the Sunday and we drove down to Oxford for lunch!


Here we all are (step-dad Bill front left)



Fab birthday cake, “The One that Got Away was THIS BIG!!”

It was a lovely day and great to catch up with people I haven’t seen in 20-odd years!!

Then on the Monday evening we went to see Gary Numan.  Yes, THAT Gary Numan.  He’s been gigging and making albums since the late 70s.  I have a friend, Chris, who is a mega-super-fan and he came up to stay overnight and go to the gig.  It was a small venue, probably about 500 people and we had a great view.  We stood at the side of the stage behind a couple of guys in wheelchairs so we could see perfectly.  Wow, but it was LOUD!!!  I was deaf and hoarse by the end, and dripping wet as it was one of the hottest days of the year so far.  If I’d known you could take photos I would have taken a proper camera, but here are some iPhone pics.




Me & Chris (who is also brown!!!)

Anyway, onto some crafty things………..

On the sewing front I have had two success and a sort of failure.  I attempted the tunic top from my previous post but I think I made it too big and it also has no shape, so it just hangs, too long to be a top and too short to be a dress.  A couple of the girls have suggested I add a tie/belt so I’m going to do that to pull it in a bit.  But I need to make the tie first, so no pics yet.  My two successes are a Delphine Skirt from Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch, (the one on the cover) and a red batwing top from New Look pattern 6648.  I was pretty pleased that I made a pretty good effort (although with room for improvement) at an invisible zip on the skirt and I added pockets.




Contrary to the evidence here, I do in fact possess TWO arms

The neck is a little wide but as the material is a knit fabric and a little warm for this weather, I can see me wearing it with a long sleeve top underneath in the colder months anyway.

I may possibly have bought some more patterns but I couldn’t possibly comment.  I think the dress is really cute with the black contrast fabric.

And onto knitting!!  I have been very slow and am still working on my Linum Tee.  I am on the final stretch now though.  I think I have made a mistake using cotton instead of linen as it seems to be growing.  It may need to go in a slightly too hot wash at some point.  There have been some tempting offers at work lately and I couldn’t resist some skeins of Araucania Ranco at £3.95 each.

So that is what I have been doing to fill my time.  Didn’t get to Woolfest but am looking forward to Yarndale in September.

Oh and don’t forget to listen to The Baarmygirls Podcast episode 5!!  And send us your thoughts, you will probably get a mention in the next episode!!

FO: Purple socks & some sewn bags

I finished some socks!


I used my usual 60st pattern on 2.5mm circs and the yarn is Drops Fabel.

And then today I did some sewing and made a couple of bags.  I bought the fabric last week in Dunhelm Mill, there is a big new store opened locally.  I think it is an upholstery or curtain fabric so is thicker than dress cotton and so I didn’t bother to line them.  A colleague at work is having a big birthday so I am going to give one to her with some HiyaHiya needles inside it.