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Archive for the ‘Crochet’ Category

Welcome Back

Wanted to share some pictures of my new crochet pals, that I bought from Rues Bears on Etsy. There is Oscar the bear, Mr Bamboo the panda, Rae and Cooper the puppies and well I call them; Lilli and Lavender, the grey mice but Rue calles them Sebastian mouse in case you are tempted to buy any of these for yourselves after reading this and seeing them here.

Mr Bamboo the panda and Oscar the bear. Rues Bears
Mr Bamboo the panda and Oscar the bear.
Crochet puppy dogs, made by Rues Bears
Rae is the chocolate brown puppy dog and Cooper is the one in the copper coloured jumper. Hand made by Rues Bears on Etsy
Two grey crochet mice
I call these two Lilli and Lavendar. Lili wears the pink jumper and Lavender the lavender col jumper. Hand made by Rues Bears.

I have a very busy brain, its hypervigilant and over thinks everything which is hard work but I also notice that sometimes words start to rhyme and thats when the poems happen. I think I posted previously about the crochet mice I collected from another Etsy seller and had been writing stories in verse about them. Later I found someone else and bought a tiny crochet girl and an tiny crochet elephant. THEN I found Rues Bears and now I have a box full.

Crochet animals
Some of my crochet companions for creative writing.

I call it my story box, its been really good for my mental health, as on days when the words flow I write story in verse about an adventure one or the other of them has had. Other days I draw little illustrations along the side, which is making me very very hapy as I’ve always wanted to be able to draw and my drawing is getting a lot better, with the practice. Other days I ink in the drawings and another time I colour them in. On days when my body isn’t playing or I feel awful I can go to the journal and read the stories.

Box of crochet animals
This is the story box, filled with crochet animals from Etsy. I use this to inspire my writing and drawing.

I was the person at school, who loved when you were given a picture and asked to write a story about it. I admired people like Beatrix Potter who would draw from nature around her and write her stories. I also grew up watching the programes from Small Films studios; Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and of course not forgetting the Clangers. I have no desire to get into stop motion filming but thanks to online drawing classes with Jane Davenport, I’m please with how my confidence in drawing is getting better and being able to draw and colour them in on days when I can’t write and on the good days when the words flow write the stories. Its pure joy. Its also good as it takes so few supplies which is good when my energy is so low.

I’m glad I grew up in an era before the internet, where you made up your own games your own entertainment from imagination. Now tech is great, but it can be a mixed blessing and some time away from it can also be a good thing. I’m thankful my parents gave me pens and pencils and paint as well as books handed down from around the family. We didn’t have holidays or spare funds but they made up with that with TIME, and you can’t buy that in any shop, and it means the world.

At times though the world gets so swirly, too fast, too loud to spikey and I fall off in overwhelm, then can’t process anything. I need to take time away from all that sometimes and be still, meditate, cry, it all out. Then after enough rest maybe on good days create. Life sure is a roller coaster of challenges and emotions and sometimes NOT trying to keep up, when it gets too much is a kind thing to do for yourself and your sanity. On those days I turn to the dolls and the crochet animals n just play.

I’ve also found some new channels on You Tube and a few more self help books have come home. But I’m guessing people are on this blog for creative stuff, so I hope you enjoy this post and the photos.

If you are in love with these characters too, here is RuesBears on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RuesBears and you can choose your character and its choice of jumper colour. Rue is a wonderful person and I highly recommend her, and no I’m not paid to write this, in case any one wonders.

Best wishes and thanks for reading. I’ll write again when I can. stay safe

Billie πŸŒˆπŸ™πŸ¦“

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Welcome back, today I’d like to share with you a special little someone who is inspiring me to write poems and stories in my creative writing journal. His name is Ethan the Elephant and he is from Rue’s Bears on Etsy

Crochet Elephant
This is Ethan the Elephant from Rue’s Bears on Etsy

Here is the poem he inspired me to create.

Ethan the Elephant comes home

Ethan the elephant, came across the sea

Rue Yates made him, just for me

He doesn’t smell of dogs or cats

Or logs upon the fire,

No perfume smells to make me dizzy

I did ask first and she’s no liar.

.

He’s here to inspire poems

And stories that I write

If you are still on the fence,

Just know that, all will be alright.

.

Her creations are amazing

Adorable its true

You can’t stop, just at one

You’re bound to want a few

.

Buy them quick, they do sell fast

And made so well, they’re bound to last.

.

I hope you like them,

Just like me.

When you see them

You’re gonn go, ‘Squeee!’

.

So adorable, they’re here to cheer

They’ll bring joy, to loved ones near

If you can’t go there, to hug

Send a bear hand made with love.

written by Billie @billiescraftroom.wordpress.com

So I feel I need to clarify the smell thing. I have THE most sensitive nose/body ever. Perfumes, washing detergents, pet smells all send me dizzy and queezy so before I buy anything handmade, I always have to message people and try to find a delicate way to ask, if items are made away from animals n other scents. Not always an easy task. Rue was amazing and was not at all offended by the question and reasured me though there were animals in the house they had no contact with what she creates.

Later I read her bio on Etsy where it mentions the cats and dogs she cares for and how she creates by a log fire, so then I worried he’d smell of wood smoke but I had asked if it was smoke free home and she’d said yes.

ALL WAS FINE, beyond fine, amazing, wonderful perfect.

Ethan arrived today in a sturdy box all wrapped in tissue and was amazing. Not a whiff of anything at all, just like Rue said he would be.

I don’t think Etsy lets you write LONG essays in reviews, so my poem would be too long, so I write it here instead. I love her work so much I have ordered Delilah duck and Sebastian mouse too. The size is written in each animals listing but here is Ethan next to my A5 Stationary Island journal, for comparison.

Stationary Island A5 journal and Ethan Elephant from Rues Bears
Here is Ethan the Elephant from Rue’s Bears on Etsy next to my A5 Stationary Island journal, where my stories and poems live.

I really love Rue’s work, her Etsy store only opened in December so I do hope you will go over and see what she creates. If you like her work do share it and this post. I’m hoping to interview her for being an Artist of the month, so pop back soon for more details.

Links

RuesBears on Etsy UK, her shop is based in Ireland.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

PS. For clarity and full disclosure I did BUY Ethan, so this is an independant honest review, just my opinion of how I found Ethan and Rue. I wasn’t sent anything free to review. I didn’t set out to write a full on review, it just kinda happened because he was so amazing and Rue was so amazing. Soz fan girling a bit aren’t I, oops

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Welcome Back

Late the other night I was scrolling, as u do, and I found the most wonderful crochet creatures on Etsy. They HAD to come home, they have inspired sooo many stories and poems, that I bought a new journal especially for them.

The dolls have dolls! Crochet pals arrive and I have so many stories about them.

Hands are wrecked so can’t write or draw or post atm. but hope to share more, when I can. Until then, here are the dolls holding a few of the new mice characters, who’s stories I’m writting. There is more to share but OWW hands 😦

Would you like some crochet pals for your dolls or yourself?

If you would like mice like these, here the shop I bought them from is on Etsy

ElizaLike; Hand crafted paraphernalia Etsy shop link

I think I bought all her mice, but there are still bears there, I have a bear too and its wonderful. Eliza has assured me there will be more mice when time allows.

I have been writting stories and drawing these cute mice and the bear. I have other crochet items on order will let u know about them when they arrive and I’m in love with a little bunny and a unicorn too but life got expensive so having to sit on my hands. Not litterally they are too sore for that but u get the idea.

Self care project; Connecting to your sences

This all came from the fact that anxiety and depression are really bad atm, especially with the pain and dark nights too, so I house forraged for things that FELT nice and gathered them together in a box. These crochet pals are looking nice so too is a book that I just treated myself too which is called The boy the mole the fox and the horse. OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE that book so much. Its a HUG in a book.

MUST rest hands but yeah, if ur looking to take care of yourself in the unsettling times, gather things close that look good, feel good, taste good and smell good. They don’t have to be all in the same place but when the world gets too much, its great to know where they are, and have a safe place to retreat too.

I’ll be under the purple blanket for a while but will come back when I can. I’d say send food but I have allergies, pls send house elves instead.

Best wishes, thanks for reading

Stay safe

Billie πŸ¦“πŸŒˆπŸ™πŸŒˆ

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Flower Chain

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of a flower chain that I started to make.

Flower Chains

Crochet Flower Chains

Being new to crochet I was struggling to understand written patterns, so off to You Tube and after watching the Flower tutorial I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, decided to make more flowers but keep them joined together, daisy chain style. I am still hoping to get some yellow, white and green yarn to make the right colours for a Daisy Chain but these are ok for a start.

My tension as you can see is terrible so they look a bit raggedy. I’m trying to work on it and in the mean time live with it as, they are a learning project not really a put them on the wall project.

Links

Here is the blog post where I linked to the How to Crochet a flower video by The Making Spot

I’m looking forward to making slightly different ones for a daisy chain, I remember spending many a play time at primary school, in the summer when we were allowed on the field, making daisy chains. It will make a nice little project that I can take slowly and add to over time. Nice that that daisy chain will be an everlasting one too πŸ™‚

Anyone else remember making daisy chains? They seem always to remind me of long hot summers with friends, just chillin πŸ™‚

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie πŸ™‚

I’m definitely thinking this crochet lark is like doodling with yarn πŸ˜‰

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Learn to Crochet with Wendy Poole; The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Crochet.

Learn To Crochet with Wendy Poole DVD

Learn To Crochet with Wendy Poole DVD

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Wendy Poole
  • RRPΒ at time of writing: Β£15 directly from Wendy Poole including P&P
  • Run Time: 1 hr 47 minutes
  • Picture 16:9
  • Format: DVD – 5
  • Standard PAL
  • Region: All

Reason For Buying

This year I set myself the crafty new Years resolution to learn to crochet. I bought a book, and I couldn’t follow it. Being dyslexic I am a visual learner and although there are lots of tutorials on You Tube everyone has different styles and you get confused. Heard about Wendy’s DVD on Create and Craft back in January but didn’t buy it at the time as I had just got a DVD with Knit and Stitch magazine and didn’t think I needed it. After months of still not progressing I bought the DVD and here’s how I got on.

Contains

Quote from the back of the DVD

‘Learn to Crochet with Wendy Poole’ will take you step by step through everything you need to know from the very beginning.

We start with basic introduction to the art of Crochet. You then follow the 3 basic lessons based on Wendy’s own classes.

Thee is also a BAsic Stitch directory, with UK stitch terms and USA equivilents.

The Tips and Techniques section teaches you everything you need to make your projects, including increasing and decreasing, crocheting pieces together and joining colours.

Finally there are 5 different project ideas to follow that can be made without using a pattern.

Pros/Cons

  • Well described techniques
  • Learn by making things
  • Stitch directory in UK and USA terms
  • Lots of techniques for finishing and joining up crochet pieces
  • Selection of nice projects

Cons

Just one

  • Choosing a hook. I was hoping for more info in this section. This was little more than; here are the types of hook available, rather than which was better for which type of yarn etc. Also at this point the camera was looking more at Wendy than the hooks, so you didn’t get the best view of the hooks either.

It was the only downside, the rest of the DVD more than made up for this.

Build Quality

Excellent. A few places editing cut off words, a little over bright in places but well focused and good sound levels. Although there is some music in the background which I usually hate, it was VERY low and not obtrusive.

Excellent menu system to quickly get to the section you are after.

Value for Money

Excellent.

Would I buy it Again?

Totally and recommend it to anyone who wants to crochet but is a visual learner.

Summing up

This is a fantastic DVD. I have been skeptical of books and DVD’s claiming to be ‘The Ultimate.’ anything, as they often disappoint. NOT the case with this DVD, it truly does what it sets out to do. Takes you by the hand and shows you with demos how to create flowers, granny squares, stitches and so on.

When Wendy was on Create and Craft she said of this DVD that after watching it she wanted to leave people not just able to create the one project but have the skills to make whatever they wanted to in crochet. After watching it, I have a lot of practice to do to perfect my new skills but now I can go and find projects I want to make and refer back to this for key elements of the design.

I love the way that rather than starting out with stitch after stitch as other books and so on do (which is a good plan but boring), with this you start by making a little flower, so straight away you have created something lovely. This is a real confidence builder and after watching it through a few times you can crochet along with Wendy and create along with her. This is a great way to bed in new skills as you link them to an actual project, which really helps.

This is an excellent DVD, if you have always wanted to crochet, I highly recommend it. If you have been looking at all the lovely crochet projects in magazines and around the internet thinking ‘I want to do that’, then this is the DVD for you. Now I’ve seen this, I’ve gone back to the ‘how too’ book I bought and can better understand what it means.

Especially delighted as since I was little, I’ve always wanted to make a granny square. I was given a dolly blanket by someone in the family and always wanted to make one for myself. Didn’t have the patience then, not sure I’ve got the dexterity now, but if I only do a little at a time and with plenty of rest in between, perhaps I’ll be able to make a little mat for my laptop to sit on, or a cover for my Kindle.

I am looking at makingΒ  little flowers and snowflakes, just hope my RSI will settle and let me do this at least occasionally, in good weather.

Thank you Wendy for an excellent DVD. Here is my Granny square.

Granny Square created after watching Wendy Poole's DVD

Granny Square created after watching Wendy Poole’s DVD

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie πŸ™‚

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Simply Crochet; Magazine Issue 5

Simply Crochet Hooked on Handmade. Magazine

Simply Crochet Hooked on Handmade. Magazine

  • Title: Simply Crochet; Hooked on Handmade. Magazine Issue 5
  • Publisher: Future Publishing.
  • Issue 5

My Reason for Buying

I bought issue 4 as there was a free shawl pin on the cover (which I needed and liked) and liked the look of the projects. Enjoyed it so much I bought this issue without seeing much about it.

My challenge for this year was to try crochet, I bought a couple of issues of Knit n Stitch early on, but they were weekly and expensive, I bought a book but wasn’t over inspired. I like to see projects that inspire me to learn how to make them to encourage me to learn the techniques needed. I also fancied having a magazine to flick through with a cup of tea πŸ˜‰Β  I tell you this as often a review is based on how well the book lived up to the expectations of its reader, for their purpose πŸ˜‰

Contents

Patterns: Granny Square Ideas, Flower broach, Beret, Floral cushion, Cardigan, Lacy Mug hug, Amigurmi doll, Little mermaid, Mandala, Motif, Hexagons, tea pot cover, Tie, Earrings, Scarf, Dog scarf,

Good Reads: Hooked = ideas, websites. Notebook Jane Crowfoot tips and ideas. Broomstick lace. Profile. Crochet Then and Now. Yarn reviews. Coming Next Month. Vintage Treasure. How too. The Workshop, The Guide Diagrams and charts

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Wide range of projects for all ages, stuff for beginners, as well as more adventurous crochet artists
  • Little projects as well as garments. LOVE the motif section, LOVE the mandala section
  • The Workshop and The Guide, get you started with basic stitches and techniques
  • Love the quality feel of the magazine
  • A great way to find artists and books to inspire you
  • A great way to find retailers if you are needing supplies

Cons

Bearing in mind I am a total newbie to crochet.

  • It would be handy if they had some information about how to read patterns, in their guides at the back. Its the one thing I haven’t found in there and have got a bit lost.

Value for Money

Excellent

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, haven’t subscribed as funds are tight BUT will keep a close eye on the magazines blog and as soon as new issues come out if there are projects in there I like I would buy again without hesitation.

Summing up

This is the first magazine (on any topic) that I have really enjoyed for ages. It feels loved, it has thought about what people like and has even had questionnaire’s in the first few issues so people could feed back on what they did and didn’t like about it.

This magazine reminds me of Stampington publications. There is inspiration, a classy, classic feel rather than cheap and nasty look of some magazines which are very actually expensive. I like that the editions are un-sealed so you can see what you are getting for your fiver. Too many other publications are a blind date, you can’t see if there are things in there you would like to make as they are covered by free gifts or sealed so you have no idea what you are getting.

The projects are like the magazine classy, classic and if you are a ‘new age vintage chic’ kinda person you are going to love this. I’d highly recommend getting a how too book to get you started but if like me you are in the early stages of the hobby, there are lots here to get you inspired and want to create. I particularly enjoy the fact that the little projects, like the smaller motifs and mandals and so on are things you would like to make, to have in your home. Other magazines ‘smaller’ projects can seem cheesy or just for the kiddies or the other extreme very large and complex projects.

This looks like a keeper, some things I’ll be able to do now, and come back to the more involved things when my skills improve. Great job Future Publishing and thanks too for the blog which gives a heads up on the projects for the current and upcoming issue.

Links

The Blog also has a preview of the magazine to see if its your kind of thing πŸ˜‰

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie πŸ™‚

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Welcome Back

Early this year I promised myself I’d give crochet a try. Recently I have been buying Simply crochet magazine, it has some lovely projects for all levels and I adore the mandala’s and granny squares, this month they had flowers.

Sadly though, my poor little brain couldn’t work out the meaning of the patterns, even the ones they said were simple, but I am VERY new to it all. So I headed off to You Tube as I’m a visual learner so I tried there instead. YEY

Here are the flowers I made

Crochet flowers

Crochet flowers

Now you see the one in the middle, it wasn’t meant to be like that it was meant to be the start of a circle but I kept getting those big chains over the top. They were trebles into the center of the ring, {sob} its driving me nuts but I can’t stop the big loops. I think its my tension that is off, but can’t sort it yet. I did so well with double crochet so can’t see why I’m having such problems with these.

I was trying for the pattern by Wink on page 58 of issue 5 of Simply Crochet Hooked on Handmade.

If anyone can shed any light on what I’m doing wrong shout up, I’d love to sort this out.

Links

Here is the video tutorial that I followed to make this flower, thanks to The Making Spot for such a clear easy to understand tutorial πŸ™‚

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie πŸ™‚

 

***Update***

 

After watching this flower tutorial and another one and having a practice, I realised what I was doing wrong, the chain 3 was only meant to be at the start of the round, not for every repeat. DOH!!! Simple once you know eh!!! I’m now much further into the pattern and have definitely had a light bulb moment with the crochet. Hunting out more flower,motif tutorials on You Tube. Gimme a shout if you know of any πŸ™‚

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