A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


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Baltic scrapping #08

Six more layouts, all from our day in Tallin, Estonia. We had a brilliant time there and really loved exploring the old city.

The intro page, which follows the same format as the others. The photo was taken in one of the lovely gardens that we came across.

This one is about docking and how we sat in Islands, eating our breakfast, as Tallin came into view during the sail in. We had an amazing view of the Old City from the ship. Like the paper? I bought a couple more collections of travel-themed papers. This one is lush and is Simple Vintage Traveller by Simple Stories. I love everything about it and am loving using it.

Once off the ship, we did a guided walk from a book that I’d bought before our departure. It took us to loads of interesting places, with information about everywhere we went. We started off at Fat Margaret Tower, which is this layout. The next layout is about Pikk Street. On Pikk Street we went into the KGB cells. I’m not sure the phrase embellishments are entirely suitable for there but I didn’t have much else that’d fit. Finally for this post is a layout about the Town Hall Square and the bit of shopping that we did there. I’ve got a few more layouts from Tallin, but I’ll save them for another day.

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SAL – Aconites #01

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’ve started a new project.

It’s a tiny stitch and is embroidery rather than cross stitch. When I bought it, at one of the craft shows, I thought it’d make a nice change but I’ve been intimidated by it ever since.

In the kit you get the fabric, threads, an image to trace and some carbon paper. Plus loads of instructions! The first thing I needed to do was the tracing, which you do by layering the image, carbon paper and fabric and holding them steady with drawing pins. Then you trace over the image to transfer that to the fabric.

You’d think that’d be simple, right? Nope. There’s no way I was going to put drawing pins into my desk so we needed to find something that I could pin into, that’d also be hard and smooth enough to trace on. Stephen found a shelf lurking upstairs that he’s been meaning to ‘do something with’ for a few years. It’s mine now 🙂 Then I just needed to pop the fabric into a hoop and I was ready to go. To give you an idea of scale, the hoop is a 7 inch. The threads are silk, which I love using, although I’ve had to use lots of hand cream as any rough skin catches on the fine threads, and my hands are not in great condition.

This is where I’ve got to.

That’s all the traced area filled in, although it’s not very neat. I’ve struggled with it and found it quite frustrating when I couldn’t get it even enough, and with silk you can’t keep redoing it as it frays so quickly and goes all fluffy instead of sleek and smooth. I got to the point where it was ‘good enough’ and I plan to hang it high up so I can’t see the uneven bits.

There’s quite a lot more to do on it. There’s the background, lots of grass, a large cobweb etc. That’s all completely freehand and as I’ve struggled with having a framework to fill in with the flowers and leaves, I’m sure that I’m going to hate doing the rest with no guide as to where to stitch. I think it looks ok as it is, so I’m going to leave it at that. (I know, I’m a wimp,)

I found a smaller hoop in a nice green that goes with the design quite nicely so I’ve put it in that with a circle of felt stitched on the back and it’s now on the wall. (as high up as it’ll go) Not one of my favourite projects and I won’t be doing anything like that again, but I’m glad that I gave it a try.

Did I mention that I made a spreadsheet to work out how many SAL updates each project could have this year? I love spreadsheets! Aconites was allowed three updates so as I’ve only used one, I have two spare to spread out among the remaining three projects planned for this year. Yay!

Next time I should have made a good start on a cute little project by Lizzie*Kate.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaKathyMargaret, CindyHelenLindaHeidi,
JackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare,
Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

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.


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The big knit

I’ve been busy crocheting little hats again and have quite a few to show you. I thought I’d do a few more simple hats, as they all raise the same amount of money, regardless of whether they take 30 mins to do or several hours.

This is the first batch that I did. I really must stop using the coloured googly eyes. The black ones look fine but the pink, yellow and green ones look quite creepy!

I saw on The Big Knit Facebook page that some people had found multi-coloured yarn at Poundland and thought it’d make a nice change to do some really brightly coloured ones. I found the yarn ok in our local store but as it was on offer at 3 for £2, I got a couple of the other colours. Then I spotted another colour that I wanted so ended up with six balls in the end LOL

There were three multi-coloured ones, a really bright one with a very short colour-change, which made a nice sun hat. (I’m thinking it’d make a nice psychedelic elephant!) There are two pastel ones with a longer colour-change. I took one of them with me to the Craft Group meeting at work and made a few bobble hats plus another elephant. The bright yarn makes lovely bobbles! Ruth brought along one that she’d made to add to my collection. Isn’t it pretty! I made another octopus. I may make more. They’re quick, easy and fun to do. I got a booklet in a crochet magazine that had patterns in to make egg cosies. They’d come out way too big if I followed the patterns exactly as they’re in 4-ply and I’m using DK, but with a bit of adapting, I managed to make a dragon. He’s a punk dragon!

I also made a unicorn. One of the Poundland yarns was a white with sparkle which screamed Unicorn at me. I used the other colour-change yarn to do his mane and tummy.

That brings the total up to 50, so halfway to my target.


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SAL – Snowflake Serenade #04

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and Snowflake Serenade is finished!

This is how it looked at the last update. I loved stitching Frosty the snowman. He may be my favourite section, partly because of the French knots which came out perfectly at the first attempt. (Much to my amazement!)

This is the final box, which I’m calling The 12 days of Christmas as the birds look like they might be the 2 turtle doves.

And this is the finished piece. I think I completed this in record time (for me) so I’m chuffed to bits.

I’m trying to find some nice snowflake fabric to frame it with but this seems to be the wrong time of year for a decent selection. Trust me to want stuff out of season LOL

I’ve got the next project ready to go and hopefully will have some progress to show you in three weeks.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunJessSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaKathyMargaret, CindyHelenLindaHeidi,
JackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare,
Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

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.


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The big knit

And there are more! I downloaded some more patterns from Jo’s Big Knit and had fun making some of them. There are several crochet patterns there but mostly they’re knitted ones. I found enough crochet ones to keep me out of mischief for a while though.

I liked the pig, especially his wiggly tail. The sunhat is one of my ‘make it up as I go along ones’. I did a rabbit and a rat. I couldn’t fathom out the instructions for the rabbit’s ears so I made my own. They both have tails, one a pompom and one a long thin one. I loved the frog pattern and the octopus was fun to do as well. I may make more of them at some point. I did a few more bobble hats. They’re quick and easy and are good for using up the last bits of a ball of yarn. I’ve finally got a pompom maker so I can do matching bobbles! Then I thought I’d try the elephant pattern. I really liked that one and may have got a bit carried away. Aren’t they cute!? I may make more elephants. I’m wondering how many different colours I can make LOL

These little hats are great to keep my hands occupied while I’m watching TV and don’t take long to make. I may get back to other crochet projects at some point but at the moment I’m having far too much fun with these.