Last Week I Was Mostly Making …

Last Wekk i Was Mostly Making ...

Felt Flower Brooches

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This Week I Have Mostly Been Making …

This Week I Have Mostly Been Making ...

Mug Hugs.

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I’m Back

Hello Internet. I missed you 😦

Our recent upgrade to a faster Broadband connection did not go well.  Many hours were spent on the phone to wretched call centres (good job the calls were free!) and many explanations of the problem given (why do you have to explain the problem to every person you are transfered to – can’t they talk to each other?!) but we were without internet access for what seemed like a lifetime. Apparently some numpty at the broadband company enabled our faster broadband connection before we had actually received the superhub modem.  This in effect cut everything off.  Now you would think that this would be easy to switch back wouldn’t you?  HAHA No! But we eventually got it all sorted and ended up negotiating a deal with the company that is less than we were paying before, by way of compensation for all the palaver.

In the meantime, while there was no T’internet I was able to make up quite a few brooches for sale.  Will post pics in a separate blog post for anyone who would like to see. So there yu go, “every cloud …” and all that 🙂

But it’s nice to be connected with the outside world again.  To illustrate this, I began knitting a mug cosy and it was going well until I had to stop and cast off.  Now I couldn’t remember how to cast off for the life of me!  In my defence, I am not a prolific knitter and it had been a while since I had picked up a pair of needles.  I tried to figure it out using common sense but it had me stumped.  I went to turn to my great friend Mr Google, but then remembered that we had no internet.  Boo!  My cosy had to sit on in my craft box, needles jammed into the ball of wool, until we got our connection back. When we were reconnected my first Google was ‘how to cast off’!

O love the Internet but there’s a lot to be said for good old fashioned books!


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I was trawling through the internet looking for a new craft to try and found this blog post on Kumihimo. Sounds easy to pick up and hard to put down. Just the sort of craft I like!

52 crafts in 52 weeks

This week has been full of beautiful sunshine, sketching and crafting – and quite a bit of eating. If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been up to, head over to my paper and cloth blog. Now, on with week 45…

Making kumihimo in the garden

Phiona (aka @RareNotions) challenged me this week to try a craft I’d never even heard of: Kumihimo.

Any idea what it is? After googling, I found out. Kumihimo is the Japanese craft – so many of my favourite crafts are Japanese aren’t they? – of braiding. The resultant braids are used as ties for jackets and obi – they were once used by samurai as a decorative way to lace their armour.


As I near the end of my 52 weeks I’m trying to save some money and not buy new equipment for every craft so I was keen to find a DIY alternative to the braiding disc…

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It’s My Bag

I have a new bag. A tan satchel, a bit like the old school ones. Hubby spotted it in a fab little bag shop in Southport and I am now its’ new owner.

It has a little space for a label and so I thought I would embroider something for it. Maybe my initials surrounded by a nice border. This is my project for this evening. Will post later with an update …

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Felt Flower Brooches

I recently started working with felt. It’s wonderful! It is so easy to work with – it doesn’t fray when you cut it, it is very tactile and comes in a range of vibrant colours. I spotted bundles of felt in my favourite shop (Abakhan Fabrics) and couldn’t leave without buying some. Inspiration came as I was sorting through a jar of buttons and before I knew it, I was madly stitching up some flower brooches.


The photo isn’t brilliant, but you get the idea!


Each one is completely hand made, no machine stitching for me!  I used DMC floss to stitch because I found I could get a far better match for the felt colours.  They are hand cut, hand stitched and finished with a button. A saftey brooch fastener is securely stitched into the back and they look best when worn clustered together. I have three of them on my winter coat, in shades of blue and green and they always draw comments.

They are not perfect, but then not much in life is.  Despite being the sort of person who gets irritated by skewiff pictures, I have come to love the wonkiness in these brooches! i have a whole bunch of these sitting in my workbox, in readiness for a local craft fair that I have my eye on, plus a whole lot more waiting to be stitched up.  I’d put the pattern up on the blog, but it doesn’t take a genius to work it out!


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An Ackwith

This post first appeared on my ‘beginner blog’ over at

I spent a lovely Saturday morning trawling stitching blogs and found the most amazing samplers in people’s WIP. I was particularly impressed with the Mary Wigham samplers, having long wanted to do a large heirloom type sampler myself. Here’s a picture of the sampler in case you are not familiar with it:

I found several people who departed from the suggested colourway and their versions looked lovely. The original was stitched in 1790 when there was not the vast array of colour choices available in silks that we enjoy now. So while there is variation in colour, some of it looks muddy.  Then again, maybe the original colours were a lot brighter and better defined, it’s just that age has robbed them of their glory?
I also found a few people who corrected the mistakes in the original pattern, producing a more symmetrical result.  Others kept the mistakes in, viewing them as charming rather than irritating.  I guess it depends on whether you believe you are stitching your own version, or a reproduction of an original.
I’m putting off starting my Mary Wigham until I decide in which camp I am.  I know that I am the sort of person who see’s the mistakes, especially in patterns of such symmetry.  Slightly skewiff pictures irritate the life out of me, and I checked all our patterned mugs before purchase, for off-centre patterns and other design faults/blemishes.  So much so, that the ladies of the china department in Lewis’ think I am nuts!
I have made mistakes in my own stitching (who hasn’t) which has me unpicking and grumbling, even when the mistake is so small that it could easily be incorporated into the pattern without too much bother.  So if I do start stitching this it will be a huge wrench to be deliberately doings things wrong.  But maybe that’s a lesson I need to learn….
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