Monday 7 July 2014

Blog Hop!

A lot of you have probably been seeing/partaking in the Blog Hop.  The lovely Sam of Betsy Makes has passed the baton onto me... so here is my post!  You can see Sam's Blog Hop post here - I recommend you have a good snoop around if you don't already follow her blog.  Sam makes such gorgeous things, and everything is photographed so beautifully - it's a pleasure to spend some time there!

Now, onto the questions...

What am I working on?

Well, there are always a few things in progress around here.  I think you can all identify with that!

This is my cotton stripy blanket - I started it in September, so it's been lurking around for some time.  I think it's about half way through now and it's got to a size where I can have a snuggle under it - and if there's one thing I like, it's snuggling under a blanket!  (Yes, I know it's summer, but I still like a dose of cosiness!)

I'm also working on a cross-stitch project.  It seems this might be about two years in the making - ooops, how did that happen?!

  However, in the last week I've got quite addicted to it and things are progressing...

I absolutely love the colours and the retro pattern.

The last project is in the very early stages and involves these fabrics...

When I say early stages, all I've done is washed the fabric.  I have to confess that is a rarity for me - I'm usually far too impatient for such things as fabric washing.  (Unless it's an ancient pair of the Lumberjack's linen trousers!)  You can see I haven't moved onto the 'iron the fabric' stage yet.  You'll have to wait to see what these pretty fabrics will become - if I ever stop over-thinking my plans and actually get cutting...

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You know, I'm not sure my work really does differ from others of its genre.  It's hard to identify your own style I think (well, it is for me).

Waterlily Blanket

I would like to say my style is bright, colourful and funky.  That's the sort of thing I like, but I'm not sure the funky side comes out in what I make.

Cushion Cover

Maybe I'll just say 'colourful' which definitely isn't anything new or different!

African Flower Cushion Cover with Stripy Back

Why do I create what I do?

Well, I just love making things!  I can't really explain why I have this need to create.  My sister-in-law always laughs at me if we go shopping and I spot some miscellaneous item and start poking and prodding at it, "hmmm, I wonder if I could make this?".  "Why don't you just buy it?!" she says.  Sometimes when I'm in the middle of something fiddly and tricky I wonder the same thing myself.  What was I thinking???  Why have I created all this unnecessary work for myself?!  What was the point??  Usually, in those happy times that it all works out, I'm glad I made the effort.  I love that feeling of looking at something and thinking "I made that".

As to the things I make... sometimes it's something I need, such as a phone case.

Crochet and Cross-Stitch Phone Case

Or a make-up pouch.

Zipped Make-Up Pouch

Other times it's something I fall in love with and just HAVE to make...

Sidewalk Shawl

...even if, let's be honest, I never wear shawls!  Sometimes I put it on if I fancy a stroll in the garden and it's a bit nippy, but that's about the extent of it's use.  And I only do that so that the poor shawl can fulfil it's purpose in life in some small way!

How does my creating process work?

I'm constantly being inspired by things around me, by blog posts, by Pinterest images... it goes on.  Ideas pop into my head all the time and I try to get them down onto my ever-growing craft 'to do' list.  There are things that sit neglected on that list for years until the right moment comes, if it ever does.  There are other ideas that I jump straight onto because I can't wait to get started.

Lots of the things I make are using patterns that other people have created.  Even if I think I've come up with something new, a few Google searches usually reveal that someone has already thought of and written a pattern for it!  I'll either follow it, or adapt it to what I want.

My Christmas Star Jar Cover was one exception.

Free Tutorial

I had such a clear image in my head of what I wanted to make and was sure that someone must have made something similar already.  If they had, I couldn't find it.  So, I got to work attempting to turn the image in my head into reality.  That process involved playing around with yarn until the vision was realised!

In general, though, there isn't really much of a process at all - if I feel like making something, I make it.  Or at least give it a go.

Well, that was rather waffley and picture-heavy!  Maybe I went a bit overboard...

Enough about me... onto the blogs for you to hop to!

Anna of Nummer Elva

I used to work with Anna a few years back and we became firm friends - cemented by our crafty passions!  It was Anna who taught me to crochet - she really is a crochet whiz.  Her blog is written in both Swedish and English, and is full of beautiful photos and amazing crafty creations.

In her words...

My blog is called Nummer Elva (Number Eleven) after a little red cottage in the Swedish woods. I mainly write about my first craft love crochet but also about some other crafty bits and flowers and gardening. These are things that make me smile and make me happy. I am Swedish but I left Sweden several years ago and now I live in a crochet covered (if you ask my husband) 1930-ies house in Hampshire with my family and a black cat. Welcome to my blog!

Visit Anna here.

Alex of Hydrangea Girl

Alex and I have been following each other's blogs for two or three years I think.  A couple of months ago we met up for Blogtacular.  It was great to meet in person after so many virtual comments and conversations, and we had an excellent time together!  Alex has a very stylish interior design blog, full of perfectly styled images and great DIY projects.  As the Lumberjack once put it, "she's far too cool for us.  Why does she read your blog?!" - ha!

Alex has been frantically busy lately, and has now sailed off on holiday, so I've taken a few words from her blog...

Hello!  Welcome to my website.  My name is Alex and I'm addicted to all things design.  Here you'll find me talking mostly about interior design, DIY and incorporating affordable design into your home.  I also write a bit about felines, skulls, graffiti and anything unusual or out of the ordinary.

Visit Alex here.

Anna and Alex should be posting their blog hop posts next Monday 14th July (or there abouts).  Make sure you go and check them out!

Phew - a long post.  Thanks if you managed to get through the whole thing.  And welcome to any new followers, it's great to have you here!


  1. I've really enjoyed reading this blog post and learning more about your creativity. Just love everything you do, x

  2. HI Maria, thanks for asking me! Very exciting! Love your post! It is definitely a great way of getting to know new and old blogs better! xx

  3. Hi Maria! I foud your you with the Blog Hop and i love to read about your versatile creativity! I've always tried to play with buttons and old band t-shirts but when I start to crochet it became my favourite craft activity! Have a nice week!:::Silvia

  4. What a super post! Love your WIPs - the cross stitch actually looks similar to the fabrics in the next photo, the colour palettes work together! The stripy blanket is beautiful - and love the yarn in the colander! I'm going to try that, and maybe even thread the yarn through one of the holes like a proper yarn bowl! ;-) Thanks for sharing your creativity! Chrissie x

  5. It is great to read more about you and how you work and what you are working on. I love your stripy blanket, and it is never the wrong time of year for a blanket in my opinion!! xx

  6. I so enjoy looking at your work. Тне stripy blanket is a great project!

  7. So much loveliness Maria and gorgeous colour!....Your cross stitch is reminding me of some CK Pop Flowers fabric I have a small piece of in my's beautiful and I l really love your Christmas Star jar covers too,
    Happy Tuesday,
    Susan x

  8. Hi Maria, I'm so behind on my blog reading - sorry to be late to your blog hop! I'm really loving your cross stitch, the colours and design is so pretty! Thanks for taking on the baton :o) Sam xxx

  9. I'm always inspired by how many projects you have going on. And sometimes you do the unheard of - actually finish projects. I've been meaning to crochet your sidewalk shawl for about a year now. I better get on with it and start it soon (something I've written far too many times on your blog). Whenever I see it it makes me think of hot drinks and crisp autumn strolls. On sidewalks, perhaps.

    FFS, you make me laugh. Of course, I'm far too cool for you. Who are you again? Mary, is it? Do I know you from somewhere?

    xx A

  10. Hi love your work like to know what yarn and colours did you use for your stripey blanket please

    1. Hi - thank you and sorry for the delay in my reply. There is now a new post with the yarn and colours detailed here:
      I hope that helps!

  11. Wow, all of your works are fascinating. But I must agree I have never seen one make a phone case in such a way. You can also use a biodegradable wooden phone case. Though it is very durable, eco-friendly, and light in weight, you went with the wool and stitches. Indeed you have a unique vision.


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