With the fantastic weather we are having at the minute I am inspired to create a new crochet blanket that reflects my love of the beach. I love the colours of the sea and sand, the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt in the air and the fresh breeze that you just don’t get anywhere else but at the beach. One day I will have my beachside summer house so I can enjoy it all the time but until then I will just create a new blanket that brings to mind lazy summer days by the beach. Not as easy a task as you might think since there are just so many shades of blue to choose from! For a bit of help and inspiration I have been using a great colour tool from Sherwin-Williams called ColorSnap. It takes any picture and shows you the colours that make it up. It is based on their own paint colours but you can use it for inspiration for wool colours too, which is what I am doing. I have been looking at pictures that really say summer and sea to me and I have loads of inspiration to choose from now – the hard part will be narrowing the colours down so I don’t end up with a mammoth blanket. Anyway here are just some of the colourways I love, which would you choose?
We had a fantastic day at a local craft fair on Saturday in Knockbreda Parish Church. It was the first real outing for RecklessHen and the support and comments we received were amazing. We worked into the wee small hours for days beforehand but it was all worth it. We were in the company of a great selection of our mega talented local crafters and surrounded by so many pretty things it was hard to know where to look next. We just love a real craft fair where the beautiful items on the stalls have been lovingly created by the stall holder and where you can see their love of their craft when you chat to them. There was also a great brass band playing as people arrived, delicious scones and traybakes and a mouth-watering BBQ to be had. Add in the face painting, games and puppet shows and all in all a great day. We will need to sleep for days now but we can’t wait for the next one 🙂 Here are a few photos to give you a little taste of the fabulous crafts on offer. Now to get our Etsy shop up and running!
For Christmas my kids bought me a wonderful new gadget that I had never come across before – a bunting cutter. Or to be more precise the We R Memory Keepers Banner Punch Board. I love making fabric bunting but I had never thought of making paper bunting until now. This morning I decided it really was time to get my new toy out and give it a try and OH MY WORD I just LOVE it! So far I have only tried out the pennant shape but it can also cut flag and crest shaped bunting as well – the possibilities are endless :). It cuts perfectly every time, no ragged edges, all the pennants are the same size, the holes are punched in the same place on each triangle and it can cut from 1 inch to 8.5 inch pennants. I have spent a very happy, relaxing morning playing around with my stock of colourful papers and now have some new bunting to decorate my notice board, some teeny tiny bunting to use in card making and some to sell at our next Craft Fair. All in all a great day so far and the sun is shining as well!
I have been looking around lately to try to find a cute box to keep my yarn pegs in. If you haven’t discovered yarn pegs yet then check out Lucy’s blog post about how she makes hers at Attic 24. They make planning a blanket so much easier since you can try the colours out beside each other to see which combinations are going to work best. It saves on expensive mistakes when you end up buying colours that just don’t work together – I’m sure we’ve all been there! I am just building up my collection of Stylecraft Special DK colours from the yarn I have been using with my Attic 24 kits from Wool Warehouse. I have used 3 different kits so I have quite a few colours now and I will just buy the rest of them over time until I have the full set. I do have the Stylecraft Special DK colour chart but I find that it helps me see the colourways I am planning if I can lay the pegs out side by side and move them around to get an order that I’m happy with, which I can’t do with the colour chart. Anyway back to the storage problem. I couldn’t find a box that I really liked that was big enough for all the pegs. I saw lots I liked but they were too small or too big and the ones that I saw that were the right size I didn’t like. I wanted the storage box to be something that could sit out on display with all the lovely coloured yarn showing. In the end I decided to make my own so I found a perfect sized storage box and I bought a wooden heart to go on it (I collect hearts so it had to be a heart), I got out my Annie Sloan chalk paint and my sparkly Modge Podge and hey presto – the perfect yarn pegs storage 🙂
For anyone who crochets there is a great CAL (crochet-a-long) going on at the moment with Scheepjes wools. It is called Last Dance on the Beach, runs over 14 weeks and is in memory of Marinke Slump ( aka : Wink) from www.acreativebeing.com and was the final design she was working on when she passed away. Each week we are given a new piece of the pattern and a great video tutorial to go with it. Even though I am fairly new to crochet I have been able to follow the patterns without any problem. There is a fantastic Facebook group full (and I mean FULL – almost 14,500 members) of helpful hints, tips and support. It’s not too late to start the CAL so if you fancy giving it a go join the Facebook Group, order your kit and join us. There are 3 colourways and 2 types of wool to choose from, or you could make up your own colourway to fit in with your decor. There is something very satisfying about creating a beautiful blanket and knowing it is all your own work 🙂 It is also pretty amazing to know that while I’m sitting here in Belfast crocheting this pattern there are hundreds of people all over the world doing exactly the same thing.
Like many of you I have had a bread-maker for quite a few years now, though it spends most of its time sitting lonely on a shelf. But every now and then I feel the need to be an earth mother and out it comes to fill the house with that amazing smell of fresh bread baking away contentedly while I rustle up a steaming pot of homemade soup to serve it with. I have to confess though that I usually buy ready made mixes for my bread machine – laziness I know but some of them are very good indeed. Over the weekend I felt the call of the earth mother in me so out came the bread machine and off I trotted to Lakeland to pick up my favourite mix – Laucke Crusty Bread Mix. This makes a really tasty crusty white loaf that is as good as any you can buy in the supermarket. Two hours later and we were enjoying our crusty bread with strawberry jam and a cup of tea. What’s that you said – no soup? Well no, unfortunately not, as I got distracted looking up soup recipes on pinterest – but they do say it’s the thought that counts anyway 🙂