Monday 30 May 2011

Toadstools and Cupcakes

The bank holiday hasn't been too bad - I managed to spend lots of time with friends and family, and that has been good fun!  It's just the alone times in between that have been a bit tough...

Anyway, no point moaning on about it.  (I am currently playing "Lonely" by Akon on my laptop while I type this... hmn maybe I'm wallowing in misery!  Although the fact that I'm doing this is actually making me laugh... it is a tad comical!)  Maybe next I'll find "All By Myself" and will do a Bridget Jones...

Anyway!!  It was my friend Anna's birthday last week - I made her this card:

I'm actually really pleased with that card - I made it months ago, before I even started blogging - just got sudden inspiration and had to make it for Anna, even though it was well in advance.

And I made her this cupcake lavender bag:

It seemed to have been well received!

"Lonely... I'm so lonely... I have nobody to call my own......."  (My new ringtone??!!)

Sunday 29 May 2011

Button Swap!

Now that Kandi has received her parcel for Lucey's Button Swap, organised by Lemonade Kitty... I can show you what I sent her!

**  Somewhere to keep buttons... a button-detailed drawstring bag:

I made this in keeping with Kandi's love for old-fashioned floral prints, and embellished it with lace and buttons.  I used pale pink fabric across the front, and for the lining.

**  Some big (3cm diameter) wooden printed buttons (in the drawstring bag):

**  A crocheted flower brooch, with fabric-covered button centre:

**  A lavender bag, decorated with buttons sewn on in a heart shape:

**  Some magnets made with fabric-covered buttons (available in my Folksy shop):

**  Some drawing pins made with fabric-covered buttons:

**  More buttons:

**  Something edible... well, it had to be chocolate buttons didn't it?!  (Kandi sent me the exact same as I'd already bought for her... great minds think alike!):

Kandi has posted about it on her blog here.  You are probably all following her blog already, because it's great and she makes such lovely things!  This was my first swap, and I really enjoyed it - I'm so glad I decided to go for it!  I also couldn't have asked for a more lovely swap partner - thank you again Kandi!  And thanks to Lemonade Kitty for organising it!

I hope you're all enjoying the long weekend!

Thursday 26 May 2011

Cupcake Decorating

Today I had the day off work to go on a cupcake decorating course with my lovely sister-in-law.  It was actually booked before 'The Break-Up' but was lucky timing to get away and do something fun.  We went to Confetti and Spice in Henley-On-Thames - we'd got a cheap deal through Groupon (of course!)

I'm not the best at cupcake decorating (I'm more of a cake-eater!), I'm much better at other forms of crafting (well, I like to think I am anyway!) - but it was still great fun!

The cakes I made actually don't look too bad!  The purple one with flowers on was the worst - my icing didn't want to stay on the cake (it looks even worse in real life - the flowers are decidedly dodgy too, but you can't tell in the photo!) but the rest look okay!

I don't actually feel like eating them at the moment (I'm notorious for my sweet-tooth, but it's not its usual self right now... wow, things must be bad...!)

While we were in Henley-on-Thames, we had lunch and popped into a couple of the shops.  I bought myself this lovely pink timer for the kitchen:

A suitably girlie item for the home, now that I am a lonely spinster woman... (Oh, woe is me!)

Thanks again for the lovely comments.  I have been so overwhelmed by the love and support from friends, family, colleagues, and blog friends... you don't realise how great everyone is until you go through a tough time like this.  The world is full of decent people - who knew?!  ;o)

Wednesday 25 May 2011

New Baby Gifts

Right, I'm back and I'm going to be cheery!  Firstly, I'll briefly say what has happened (because if I read a post like my last post, I'd want to know what had happened - maybe I'm just nosy!)

I just want to say thanks for the kind supportive comments, they were lovely to receive.  Rohan and I have broken up, after five happy years together.  We had different incompatible dreams, and we'd been ignoring that issue as we were so happy together.  We had to finally stop ignoring it and face facts.  It was a mutual decision, but a pretty devastating one.

Anyway - no more about that - no more moaning and being depressed - we are here for crafty news!

My lovely friend Anna had a baby about a month ago... these are the handmade gifts I gave her:

Handmade card:

Little knitted duck (did look a bit like a snowman at one point while it was in progress... but think the duck-ness got there in the end!):

A keyring with the initial of the new baby - can be hung in the nursery, or on the changing bag, etc:

And his big sister's initial:

I think they all went down well!

Monday 23 May 2011

Parcel for South Africa

Since my last post on Saturday, my personal life has gone through a trauma... so I'm sorry for not replying to recent comments - I will soon.  I want to say hi to the new followers - it's lovely to have you following - and thanks to everyone who commented on the last post.  I will try to be back to my normal cheery self soon.  (Or at least seeming cheery would be an improvement...)

In the meantime, here is a post I've had prepared for a while, but I was waiting for the package to be delivered before publishing:


Rohan's Gran recently celebrated her birthday over in South Africa where she lives (Rohan is from there) so we posted a little box with a handmade card and a little handmade present.

I made a card...

...and a little crocheted padded hanging heart...

with a button and beads.  I used a pattern from Easy Makes Me Happy, and added the button, beads and hanging loop.

To be packaged up and sent to South Africa.

I've had to wait before posting this, to make sure the parcel was received first (and it takes forever for post to get to SA!)

Saturday 21 May 2011

Look what I got!!

We're currently up in Oxford visiting Rohan's parents, and I brought my button swap goodies up with me to take photos, as I've been a bit busy lately, and I didn't know when else I'd get chance!  Didn't want to keep you waiting!!  :o)

As mentioned in my last post, the swap was organised by Lemonade Kitty, and my lovely swap partner was Kandipandi - who sent me the most gorgeous things!

**  Colourful button bag:

Button Bag, adorned with buttons
Beautiful bead detail on the button bag zip

And what was in the bag?  Buttons...!

**  Cute bird brooch, with button detail:

**  The cutest little lavender-filled mouse (Kandi knew I'd seen it in her folksy shop and loved it!)  Isn't he just adorable?!:

**  You could see the gorgeous handmade box in my last post... look at the lovely buttons printed on the box!... what was inside it?!  Lift the little felt lid (even the felt lid, complete with handle, was so exciting!) and there was a gorgeous colourful button charm bracelet!!:

I'm wearing it right now!

(Not sure if I look a bit deformed in this picture - my wrist is to the right, and the start of my hand to the left.  I couldn't figure which way round it was when I first looked at the photo, and thought my hand was a weirdly deformed arm, and wondered why I'd never noticed how oddly shaped my arm is!!!!  Then I figured it out... phew - I'm normal!)  ish!  ;o)

**  A beautiful pastel felt lavender heart, covered in lovely buttons.  I love it all, but I think this might be my favourite!!:

It looks even better in real life - so pretty!!

**  A pretty button and ribbon kit:

**  Even more gorgeous buttons, so beautifully presented:

**  Some yummy chocolate buttons (mmm mmm!):

**  And a lovely handmade button card - so pretty!!

Wow... wasn't I lucky???!!!  It was the most wonderful fun to receive this package and find all these lovely things!  Everything is made so well, and presented so beautifully!  I'm so grateful to Kandi - I really am so pleased with it all!!

I only hope that my swap gifts for Kandi will match up to these!!

Thursday 19 May 2011

I'm so lucky!!

I signed up to Lucey's Button Swap, at Lemonade Kitty, and was partnered up with the lovely Kandipandi - lucky lucky me!!  Kandi has been a fantastic swap partner - so lovely and friendly and helpful... and the package she sent me is wonderful!!!  Thank you so much Kandi!

It arrived at work today...

I was sooo excited!!

I opened the box to find this...

You can see a lovely home-made button card in the background and lots of lovely packages and a very cute home-made box!

The light in the photos isn't the best, as they were taken in the office on my desk!  (But I couldn't wait until I got home!)

A couple of the girls came round to my desk, to share the opening fun!!!  It is a predominately male office, so the blokes were probably wondering what on earth we were getting so excited about!!!

To see what beautiful wonderful delights we were getting so excited about... you will have to wait I'm afraid!!  Sorry!  I didn't get home until fairly late today - and the light wasn't the best.  I did take pictures of it all, but they weren't that great, too dark - and I want to do justice to my lovely goodies!!

All my home-made bits for Kandi are already made - I just need to get a couple of things, and then I will be able to send my package to her!

Again - thank you Kandi, you are so generous and talented!!!

Wednesday 18 May 2011


Yesterday was the last day at work for a friend of mine, so I went to his leaving meal and drinks last night - had an excellent time, but have been sooo tired at work today!  31 is clearly too old for going out on a work night - worth it, though!

Something tells me it won't be a very productive evening tonight!  Although, I did receive this in the post today...

What on earth is that?!  Dried lavender!  I ordered it about a week and a half ago and it finally came today - I haven't been having much luck with receiving post lately!!

Well... it's not a very pretty picture, but soon I should be able to show you what I am using it for - and hopefully that will be a pretty picture!

Also... I just wanted to say:

  • Thank you to those of you who follow my blog - those who've been following since nearly the beginning (which wasn't that long ago really!) and those of you who have started following more recently - it's so lovely to know that you are all interested in my crafting!

  • Thanks for all the answers to my boring post yesterday - they were good to know!

  • Finally... thanks for all the lovely comments on my African Flower hanging!  They are really appreciated!

No more about the African Flowers... ;o) but here is a random picture of some cut-off ends (for no particular reason except that it looks colourful!) and you may recognise those colours...  hehe!

Bye for now...

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Quick Boring 'Layout' Question for my Readers...

Just a quick one...

Last night I published my post showing the African Flower hanging and the layout all looked right on my home laptop.  When I got to work today and popped in for a quick look on my work laptop (because I'm addicted!) two of the pictures were side by side - with one of them overlapping into the Blog Archive list on the right hand side.  That isn't how it looked at home!  Very annoying!

I've now edited the post so that it looks right at work (when I get home... who knows how it will look!)

I was just wandering how it appeared on everyone else's screens last night?  Was the layout right, or were two pictures side by side with one overlapping into the right hand column?

One other question... when I edit posts do they appear in your Reading List again?  That could be annoying if the same post keeps re-appearing because I keep editing it!

Thanks!  (And sorry for the boring post - I just had to know!)

Monday 16 May 2011

What did I turn my African Flowers into...?

I made an African Flower with the extra two double-crochet borders around... and this is the result...

In total I have made this big one, and five smaller ones...

Five lovely African Flowers...


Don't they look pretty...?

Put all six together, with a few beads...

... and you get a lovely African Flower Hanging!

That big flower at the top is hiding a crack in the corner of the mirror, which has annoyed me since I moved into my flat.  Well, it only took me five years to sort... but now it is hidden with this lovely hanging!  Yay!!

The pictures of the hanging aren't the best, as virtually no light ever gets into my dingy flat!  Usually I take my crafty bits to windowsills to try to get some light on them... but I couldn't bring any light into my hall I'm afraid!

I can't claim credit for this idea... I spotted it on Meme Rose's lovely blog, here.  Although, her hanging is not covering any unsightly mirror cracks and is in an utterly beautiful home I could only dream of!

My next post will not be about African Flowers - I think I've done this to death now!  I do so love them, but I don't want you all getting bored!

Sunday 15 May 2011

African Flower - How To

Thanks for all the lovely comments about my African Flower!  It now has some friends...!

To The Krafty Cupcake and B... give crocheting a go!  I struggled a bit with it at first, but once you practise a bit, it does start to make sense.  My Swedish friend, Anna, is brilliant at crocheting and she got me started on it.  It does help to have someone with you to show you what to do, but there are some great tutorials online.

Heidi Bears is brilliant - really detailed step by step instructions with clear pictures:

Chain Stitch and Single Crochet
Double Crochet

Those are the only stitches you need to be able to make this African Flower, which is actually really easy... especially using Heidi Bears' African Flower tutorial!  For Kandi, this is the tutorial I used (I meant to refer to it yesterday, but forgot!):

African Flower Tutorial

I only crocheted up to a point - I didn't do the extra borders round the flower.  This pattern is so easy to follow (even for a novice like me), with such clear pictures, that I recommend you all give it a try!!  You'll get addicted - I am now considering how many different things I can make with them - cushions, throws... the list goes on!

For those who need a bit more incentive to start crocheting...

Wouldn't it be worth it just to own a set of these colourful crochet hooks?!  Ordered Friday afternoon off ebay, arrived on Saturday - excellent!  Hopefully I am now prepared for every crocheting eventuality!

Colourful fun!

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