A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


The poncho is finished!

Hooray, it’s finally done. This seems to have taken ages for such a quick, simple item. I finished the crocheting over a month ago but have been making pompoms for the edge. I had to stop making them after the first ten as when I was tightening the yarn round the pompom, it was cutting into my little fingers. I was trying to find a solution to that when I realised that if there were pompoms all around the edge, they’d stick in my back when I sat down.

So, I made a braid, threaded it through the top row of granny stitches and stuck a couple of pompoms on the end. I’m quite chuffed with the result.

The pattern is called Cowl neck poncho and is by Simone Francis, bought on Ravelry. I used Kirkland aran yarn, bought at Aldi.



Hinged ring mini book #01

Last December Cal did a tutorial in the FB Paper, Scissors, Story group for a wee little mini book that I thought would be perfect for some pictures of the cats. It was really quick and easy to make, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I ended up making two as I loved the design so much. This is the first one.

The opening should be on the other side, but guess who managed to stick the cover paper upside down. It works fine though. It’s all just a bit back to front.

The papers and die cuts are from a paper pad that I bought years ago, before we’d even got the cats. I saw it and knew I would need it at some point. It’s by Deja Views. I had a sheet of rub-ons that matched so I did some of those onto plain white card and cut them out to make more die cuts. The teeny little cats marching all over the place are die cut. I got the cutest little die from The Scrap Lab and it’s perfect for tiny projects like this.

This is what you see when you open it out. There are six cards hanging from the rings and a pocket on the right, (which should be on the left LOL), which has another card in it, with more kitty photos.

And with the cards folded up to see beneath them. These are the fronts of the six cards. I have so many photos of my kitties that it was hard to choose just a few but I had fun doing it. I tried to pick ones that showed their personalities. I’ll post pics of the other book in a few weeks. That one has cat photos in it too, but I used mostly kitten photos as I have so many cute ones.


SAL – Precious dreams #07

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’ve been carrying on with Precious Dreams.

I’m getting more into it now and have picked up speed from the last update. What has helped is that three of the colours are quite distinctive compared to the ten shades of grey. The navy background, a bright blue and the green. I tend to use the blue and green to navigate by so have started doing those first, and using blue and green highlighter on the chart so I can see at a glance that the next stitch goes above a green one etc.

This is where it was up to last time.

This is where it’s up to now. I reckon that’s about 2700 stitches so I’m happy enough with that although I was hoping to finish page three. There’s slightly less than 900 stitches left of that page though and as there are only 1800 stitches in page four, I think I’ll carry on and do that before putting this one away for a bit. That’ll be the top half finished then and I can see if that sewing thread that I used for gridding will pull out. I suspect I’ve split it in a few places so I might have fun with that 😉
It’s absolutely covered with cat hair. It seems to attract it more than other projects that I’ve done. I’ll wait until it’s finished before trying to defluff, otherwise it’ll just get fluffed up again though.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, Gun, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, CindyLinda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, DeborahMary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ

Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.


Something a little bit different.

I had a smashing time at the NEC craft show a few weeks ago. We didn’t stay long as I was struggling a bit with the crowds but as we’d got there early, I managed to get pretty much all the stuff on my wish list, and a few things that weren’t.

One of the stands was selling wooden kits. I only glanced at it as we went past, until I saw this. Anything cat-themed is worth a second look so I stopped to see what it was. I couldn’t quite figure out what to do with it so asked the lady running the stall and she showed me one that she’d finished and gave me loads of tips on what to do plus pointed me to their blog.

While I was buying it, I spotted some mini cabinets that were made up and filled with teeny items. I was tempted but thought it best to make the cat ornament before buying anything else. These are the cabinets on their website. Just look at the examples! I really want to try that.

The cat is finished, and I really enjoyed doing the painting, inking and assembling. He’s hanging in my craft room now and I’m chuffed to bits with him. I’ve bought a cabinet to do next but am going to use it as incentive to finish scrapbooking the Baltic cruise. I must stop putting that off in favour of shiny new crafts.


Small square mini book

This is another mini book from a tutorial by Cal Summers in the FaceBook group Paper Scissors Story. It’s the most complicated one I’ve done so far, but the instructions were so clear that it was easy to make, just a little fiddly in places. (I came close to glueing my sleeve to the front cover at one point. I should not be allowed to play with double-sided tape.)

I used papers by Scrapmir, which is a brand that I hadn’t come across before. The example for the class used Peaches and Cream, which is very pretty but I had my eye on the Blue and Blush collection, which was terrific value as it included die cuts, envelopes, chipboard and frames. Lots to play with, plus some of the papers and embellishments had gold on them. I added some gold mirror card and some G45 flowers, also from Scraplab, and I was all set.

The example had a lovely shaker pocket on the front, which I was looking forward to doing. It was square but once I’d seen the lovely round frame in the pack, I needed to do a round one. Possibly not my brightest idea. All I’m saying is that cutting circles in two pieces of 2000 micron chipboard is not as easy as doing straight lines. I’m really chuffed with the result though.

I used one of the round die cuts under the shaker pocket and have three different colours of sequins in there, which Cal matched up for me. I made a bouquet of the G45 flowers, tied it with ribbon from my stash and added a few sequins round the bouquet. (they’re just peeking out to add a bit of shimmer.)

The back and spine have patterned paper on that matches the paper on the front. It’s matted on black and then gold.

Inside are four pages held in by hidden hinges. There are two styles of page. The A page has flaps and pockets on both sides. The B page has a belly band holding a folded piece of card with pockets, and then stacked pockets on the other side. I laid mine out as A B B A. The inside covers have a flap and pockets too.

These look quite plain as I haven’t decorated them yet. I’m going to do that as I add the photos, which will be done monthly, next year. We’ve rejoined the National Trust and intend to visit at least one place per month and this mini book will be a record of that.

I’ll show you a couple of the pages now, but I’ll probably post the finished pages through 2020.

I loved making this one and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I’m learning loads by following the tutorials and can’t wait to do the next one.



SAL – Precious dreams #06

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’ve been carrying on with an old project that got abandoned about four years ago, probably because I wanted to do some shiny new projects. It’s a lovely design though and I’d like to get it finished so my plan for next year is to stitch on this for a few weeks and then do a smaller project before coming back to it. Hopefully that’ll stop me getting bored of this one again and it’ll get finished.

It’s called Precious Dreams and I got the chart from Etsy. I’m sure I got it from Kimshobby but it’s not listed there now. I did spot a few others that Iiked while I was checking though 😉

This is where it was up to when I last worked on it back in September 2015. It’s very different to my usual stitches as it’s tent stitch and is over one. It’s very fiddly and there are a lot of stitches. It’s taken a lot of concentration to figure out what I’m doing as it’s been so long. I had a system going but it’s taken me a while to remember it LOL

I’ve made a tiny bit of progress. I started by doing a couple of squares of plain navy to get me back into the rhythm of doing tent stitch and then started filling in the bits from the next unfinished column. It was quite gappy where I’d gone a bit off piste and hard to see where I was putting the stitches until I got used to it.

Excuse the rubbish photo. I usually take the photos in natural light, but this one is at night so the colours are all off and I had to take the pic at an angle to avoid a shadow. Hopefully you can see the bit that I did.

I’m thinking that I might try to finish a page before doing something else, and then going back and doing another page. I’m on page 3 of 8 at the moment but pages 4 & 8 are only two columns wide and 5 – 8 have less rows than the top four. I guess that means that I’m pretty much halfway so it’s all downhill from now on.

The other projects that I have lined up are mostly charts purchased on Etsy, that I’ve kitted up ready to stitch.

The big bang theory by Wee little stitches
Buffy the vampire slayer by Wee little stitches
Timey wimey by Pixystitches
Hobbits by Pixystitches
I never finish by Nerdy little stitcher

I also have several Disney kits that are on the pile of possibles. I’m thinking that little lot should keep me busy for a while LOL

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, Gun, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, CindyLinda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, DeborahMary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie

Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.


Loaded pocket minibook

This was another tutorial by Cal Summers, on the FaceBook group Paper Scissors Story, and I couldn’t resist it. This one is a very simple construction compared to the mini books that I’ve been making, but still very clever how it’s made. Mini books have really evolved since I used to make them ten years or so ago.

The tutorial used Christmas papers and this would make a smashing Christmas card for someone special. I wanted to make a sort of thank you card though, for a friend who has been very supportive over the years.

I used Graphic 45 again, which is fast becoming a favourite brand, especially for this type of project. The collection is Imagine and is a bit steampunky with balloons and clocks and butterflies. It’s very pretty and has some lovely sayings in with it. Cal has some gorgeous Graphic 45 collections at Scrap lab.

This is the front with lots of layered fussy-cut elements. It opens up to reveal this. There are a couple of pockets which are stuffed with various elements, such as tags, a concertina book and a card.

It didn’t take long to make and I really enjoyed the process. Fussy cutting is very soothing, I find.