Monday, March 25, 2013

Upcycling and sewing

Today I want to introduce you to my sewing machine:
 
 
She's a beauty and I've had her for nearly a year now but until now all I've used her for is altering jean cuffs or sewing up holes in old clothes.
 
But today I've been creative with my sewing machine!
 
With an pair of my husband's old jeans (I wouldn't be mean enough to take a good pair of his and start cutting them to pieces!) and an amazing upcycling idea
 
 
I made a WIP bag! 
 
 
It's the perfect size to hold a couple of skeins of yarn, a pattern, hooks, scissors and any other little things a WIP needs :)
 
 
My sewing machine embroiders too and I couldn't resist writing a little saying on there, especially one that is so true: so many WIPs...so little time! 
 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yarn in the news

I was reading a few newspapers online this morning and I found this article. It's a light hearted piece about why knitting is fun and celebrities who knit. There are a few nice photos and the first one is actually crochet:
 
You can knit all sorts of creative things, such as this fried breakfast created in wool by Designer Kate Jenkins in Brighton
 
A full English breakfast in crochet! I love the mushrooms and the eggs. I saw a potholder pattern online this week that was a fried egg too.
 
But one of the comments says:
 
Why would anyone knit a woolly breakfast? What on earth is the point?
 
How sad that people make comments like that. People make things like that because, for them, it's fun, it's cute and it's a hobby.  What do you think? I wish more people made pretty knit and crochet things!
 
 ~
 
 
I saw this Orange tree earlier this week. The photo has come out quite small but you can still see the oranges. All the orange trees seem to be full of fruit at the moment.
 
~
 
I hope you all have a lovely weekend and get lots of crafting done! I'm going to try and make some progress with my Tranquility Shawl which has been lying abandoned in my WIP drawer for a couple of weeks now.
 
 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Giveaway win and bloglovin

I won a giveaway!
 
Lovely Barbara over at busy fingers, busy life had a giveaway on her blog a couple of weeks ago and today a package from her arrived at my front door:
 

 
It was so much fun to open up a gift wrapped with ribbon!
 
 
 
The prize was a lovely cotton scarf with the prettiest crochet detail on the border

 
 
Thank you so much Barbara for such a nice prize! It's prefect for the spring time when I love to use a light scarf.
 
Please, go visit Barbara over on her blog and say hi. She makes beautiful things :)
 
~
 
Today I've signed up to bloglovin'. I've added the gadget on the side of this blog underneath my followers button if you want to follow me there too.
 
I need to spend a bit of time there and get used to the layout of it and when I do I'll be adding the blogs I follow there too because when google reader disappears, I want to be ready! I don't want to miss out on any of my favourite blog updates.
 
~
 
And earlier this week I saw this picture on Facebook:
 
Girl crocheting - Pierre-Auguste Renoir
 
 
It's an 1875 painting by Renoir called 'Girl Crocheting'. I think I just discovered my favourite painting!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Clover, Guinness and.....paella

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
 
I've used today as an excuse to make a little crochet clover leaf: 
 
 
It only took 10 minutes and because it's so small and made of cotton I didn't even need to block it!
 
The pattern came from a great book called 100 flowers to knit and crochet by Lesley Stanfield:
 
 
The book has lots of patterns for leaves, fruits and vegetables so it's not just flowers! It was a Christmas gift and today was the first time I made one of the patterns.
 
And after that we went out to an Irish bar near where we live that we saw months ago but had never been inside before
 
 
had some typical Irish Guinness
 
 
....with a not so typically Irish tapa....
 
 
 
paella!
 
And carrying on with the food theme, look at these strawberries we bought yesterday:
 
 
It's definitely strawberry season here in Spain now and there are delicious strawberries in all the supermarkets/fruit shops. I couldn't resist buying such a big box of yummy looking strawberries and look how big some of them are:
 
 
They are so sweet too and after bringing that huge box home we've got our snacks/desserts for the next 3 days or so :)
 
I bought this crochet magazine earlier this week. It's a 'crochet around the home' special and there were strawberries here too.
 
 
I saw some more beautiful spring flowers growing too:
 
 
 
Have a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A new FO

One WIP down, a drawful still to go!
 
This is my latest finished shawl:
 
 
 
The pattern is called Oveja and you can find it here on ravelry.
 
 
It's a simple pattern to follow but the end result is, I think, really pretty. You can adapt it to make it as big or small as you want too.
 
 
I love it in this yarn too. It's SMC Bravo Rainbow and it's 100% acrylic something that I don't normally use, but I am so glad I made an exception this time - the colours are amazing!
 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Caprice shawl

I finished my French souvenir shawl!
 
 
I am so happy with it! The yarn was wonderful to work with and I love mix of colours.
 
 

 
 
The pattern is so pretty with 3D flowers:
 
 
A lacy border which I had to make up because I ran out of yarn to finish the pattern.
 
 
 
I'm really glad to have finished one of my wips.....
 
 
..... but I've already started something else! I'm so bad!!
 
Have a wonderful weekend :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

A crafter in Toulouse....part 2

I'm back from France and I can't believe it is March already, this year is going by so quickly!
 
Today I want to share some photos of Toulouse with you.
 
It really is a beautiful city with some much to see and do. Because I was going to be on my own during the day (my poor husband was working) I made a list of museums I could go to in case I got bored walking around but I didn't visit a single museum in the end, I spent every day discovering a new part of the city! Something I liked is that it felt like quite a safe city too. You've got to be aware where ever you are nowadays but I certainly didn't feel unsafe anywhere I went.
 
The river and canal that run through the city make it a really picturesque place.
 
 
 
 
 
 
There are a lot of students there too so it's a busy and vibrant city but there are some beautiful parks that are lovely to sit and relax in
 
 
 
 
 
 
That tree really took my eye, the branches are so curved and twisted.
 
 
There are many beautiful churches too, each with a wonderful history.

 
The St Etienne Cathedral:

 
 
 
 
and the Basilica of St Sernin (right):
 
 
 
 
The Capitole is spectacular, day....

 
 
....and night
 
 
 
 There are lots of beautiful squares:
 
 
 
 
Streets perfect for wandering around
 
 
 
And I even had my own 'Amelie moment' breaking the sugar on a creme caramel!
 
 
That's my favourite desert and it was so nice to eat one in France!
 
Another thing I liked about Toulouse was that even though there were plenty of big, chain stores there were also lots of lovely, independent shops of all kinds.
 
Being a crafter I was most interested in craft shops and my two recommendations for any crafter visiting Toulouse are:
 
La Droguerie which is in 20 place Roger Salengro (that's the square in the photo above)
 
and
 
Fifi Jolopois in 11 rue de Cujas.
 
 La droguerie is a lovely yarn store (I blogged a little about it here) and Fifi joloipois is the most amazing bead shop I have ever been in!
 
 
 
 
It's very close to the centre and is definitely worth a visit, although you should give yourself plenty of time to take it all in and enjoy everything they've got on offer!
 
Here are a few of the  beads I bought:
 
 
I've already made some earring with some other beads I bought there which I'll take photos of and post later this week :)
 
My stash increased a fair bit on this trip too! Instead of buying a souvenir I wanted to make my own, so I bought some French branded yarn (Phildar) there and started a scarf:
 
 
 I'm going to try and finish it this week and use it to remind me of a lovely trip :)
 
 
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