A book review

This will be my first ever book review… How exciting!

Over the last three months, due to illness,  I haven’t done much worth blogging about.  However, I have done a fair amount of reading and browsing though magazines.  One book which I’ve practically worn out the stunning pages of is Homespun Style by the incredibly talented Selina Lake.

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As I’ve previously mentioned, we are very slowly renovating.  These renovations were my original motivation to learn to sew and crochet.  I want to fill our home with unique handmade pieces which can be admired and cherished for many years to come.

Homespun Style is the perfect book to inspire and encourage people to do exactly that.  Every page is graced with beautiful images and wonderful snippets of crafty inspiration.

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As I browse the eclectic mix of images I feel as though Selina and her team have crept inside my mind and created a book of my very own handmade thoughts and ideas.

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Every page feel exciting and inspiring.

Selina’s book covers a wide range of homespun pieces.  Each page gives ‘light bulbs’ of inspiration, no matter what your craft or hobby.  From sewing, crochet and knitting to collectables and up-cycling.

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The book kindles desires and plans to get out there and visit both flea markets and your parents or grandparents attic to hunt for classic treasures and recyclable goodies.  Allowing you to create homely rooms which are both personal and unique.

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If like me, you are renovating on a tight budget Homespun Style is a real treat as its jam-packed with innovative and attainable ideas for both the inside and outside of your home.

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This isn’t my only Selina Lake book…  I have quite a collection building!  And I have to say each one of her books is equally as delicious as the other.

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And…  The 27th March 2014 will see her newest publication, Outdoor Living, hitting the shelves.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Mothers Day fairy will see this post and bring me a copy…

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I need to point out that all the images used on this post are taken from Selina Lake’s Homespun Style published by Ryland, Peters and Small and that I sincerely apologise for the quality of my photographs, the light was atrocious!

Sarah

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Surprises

Hello all,

When I began blogging I was unsure what to expect.  I love reading blogs but would I enjoy writing my own? Would I get be able to handle any feedback (either good or bad)?  Would people even read what I’ve written?

One thought that never entered my head was – Would I make friends?

Yet here I am, 11 posts in and already I’ve made contact with people whom I’m genuinely beginning to care about.  These are people I’ve never met face to face, I wouldn’t know them if I passed them in the street, yet over a very short space of time they’ve nestled themselves a place within my heart.

When I think about this strange (to me) revelation it makes me feel warm inside.  It makes me see that all this is so much more than just words on-screen, crafty projects and cyber chatter.  This is where over tea and cakes we can make friends, grow relationships and together make this huge place we call home seem a tiny bit smaller.

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A swap, a gift from an incredibly talented lady who I am extremely pleased to have met 🙂

Take care for now everyone and thank you for dropping by,

Sarah (and of course May)

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A catch up

Hello everyone,

I hope this post is finding you in good health and that you are all getting into the festive spirit… 🙂

I will begin with an apology for my month long absence.  Life just, very suddenly, got busy.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, it has been a good busy with career changes and craft fairs, studying and well, family life.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words therefore I am going to use photographs to tell my ‘month away’ story.

Most of my time has been taken up with making little bits and pieces to sell at a few craft fairs with Pompom in the Attic.

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I also took the plunge and had a go at creating my very own pattern for some little festive stockings, (this process included lots of head scratching, unravelling, cursing and general grumpiness.)

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Now, you may remember me mentioning in a previous post that after discovering and falling in love with Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine I had decided to book myself onto a beginners quilting course at my local wool and fabric shop, The Skep.

Well, I have now been on that course… Nerves prevented me getting a wink of sleep the night before, which was ridiculous as all the ladies in the group we’re lovely and our teacher, Brioni Greenberg was an absolute treasure, so helpful and patient.

The course was over two Sundays, by the end of the first day I was WAY behind so had to take my quilt home to play catch up, which comprised of many tight shouldered and frowny-faced hours on my own, at the dining room table with just Stan for company (everyone else deserted ship, apparently I was grumpy!).

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My beautiful fabric pack.

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Cutting, cutting and more cutting and then stitch, stitch, stitching…

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Placing, rearranging, replacing, umming, ahhhhing all followed by more frowning.

BUT… Two Sunday and 4 extra hours at home, I did it!

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Ta Dah!!!  I’m so proud and Stan loves her too (yes she is so loved, she has a gender!)

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Okay so not quite finished. I still need to hand stitch the binding in place but I am on with it and loving every second.  Plans for quilt number 2, 3, 4 and 5 are already in the pipeline 🙂

My final little adventure of the month came when the owner of a beautiful, traditional fruit and veg shop asked me if I could make her some christmas bunting and christmas stockings to trim the shop.  I have never made either item before but I decided, that while I was on a roll, I needed to be brave.

I skipped off to the Skep and purchased bundles of beautiful festive material

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Then I sketched and re-sketched and measured and re-measured and re-measured again (just to be sure).

“Measure twice, cut once”

Brioni Greenberg November 2013

(heard once, never forgotten!)

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The results of which are…

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I made the bunting double-sided so it could be enjoyed both inside and outside of the shop.

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One side of each stocking is patchwork.

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The other is plain.  All made using the same fabric as the bunting, tying it all in nicely.

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I couldn’t resist adding a little touch to their beautiful tree 🙂

And there was have it…  My November in pictures.

From now going forward I shall be more attentive with my posting and catching up with comments.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to follow and comment on my blog to date, I’m humbled that you have chosen to join me on my crafty little journey.

And now, it is time for tea,

Sarah x

Craft Fair

Afternoon all,

Last Saturday I dragged myself out of my comfort zone and into Morley Town Hall, Leeds with PomPom in the Attic to do my very first craft fair.

The foot fall was a little lower than we expected, no doubt the constant rain and sudden drop in temperature didn’t help.

But, despite the weather outside our stall had a wonderful homely feel too it.

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Between us we covered a good range of crafts from crochet and stitch to clay and paper.

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Although the day was generally quiet we met lots of lovely people and received plenty of heart warming compliments.  Slowly but surely sales were made and items were bagged up and sent with love to new homes around the world… (A set of my coasters will currently be on their way to beautiful Belgium)

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The day made me feel excited about the future.  It lit a spark within me to get organised and get some ideas from head to fabric and hook.

So together, let us raise our tea cups to a happy and inspirational handmade future 😉

Sarah x

A Beautiful Crochet Collar

Hi all,

Today I thought I would share a little project with you.  Issue 8 of Simply Crochet featured a pattern written by the incredibly talented Emma Escott from the beautiful Lulu Loves blog.    At the time of receiving the magazine my crochet confidence was more than a little low, I drooled over the patterns but never attempted them.  Each month the magazine was avidly read from front to back then simply added to the ever-growing pile on my sewing table.

Then at the beginning of last month Jenny from Pompom in the Attic asked if I would help out with a few crochet items for a craft fair they are doing in November in Leeds.  With Christmas sneaking up on us at an alarming rate, the collar pattern immediately sprang to mind as something that would be a nice addition to any Christmas Party LBD.  So last week, while I was feeling brave, I went online to Black Sheep Wools (I adore this store) and ordered myself some super soft Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo Yarn in cream, flip flop and putty.

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And then, this weekend I bit the bullet and gave the pattern a go…

Oooh what a delight it was, why I was ever scared of it is beyond me.

The pattern is super easy to follow and uses mainly treble stitches (that’s double to US peeps) with just one row of half treble (US half double) to begin with.  Now, I do everything incredibly slowly but I managed to complete one collar in around 2 hours.

The instructions say to use a 4mm hook (G/6) which will give you a 19.5″ neckline measurement.  However, I crochet quite tightly and found that the first collar was a little small on this hook (14″ neckline measurement) so I went up to a 5mm (H/8) and the collar fitted perfectly.

And here we are, my very first collar…

(I will apologise now for some of the images being a little dark, as I’ve mentioned before, we are in the throws of extending and so have light-stealing clutter EVERYWHERE!)

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I chose to keep the colour of the yarn the same for my first attempt, the pattern does change for the final row.  However, I have done a colour change since and it is incredibly easy to do.

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I wish there was such thing as ‘touch-photography’ so you could feel how divinely soft this yarn is.

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These pictures are of the very first collar I made.  The colour used is putty.

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This is a WIP shot of the second collar I made.  Here I used the bigger 5mm hook and extra stitches.  The yarn used is cream

I learnt something with this beautiful pattern – That I shouldn’t be scared of trying new things, because sometimes we know more than we give ourselves credit for.

Thanks for dropping by,

Sarah and May

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