Monday, 19 December 2011

crochet Christmas puddings


Alot has been going on in the fox household over the last few months which i will be sure to share very soon. including weddings in london, manchester contemporary craft fair, time exploring Edinburgh and a rather amazing crochet cupcake throw. all exciting stuff i know.
but right now i thought you might like to try a
 quick crochet pattern i put together for christmas puddings. totally inspired by &made's christmas puddings and twinkie chans cupcake garland on rock and roll brides blog.

you'll need

a small amount of double knit  wool in dark brown, cream and red
a small peice of green felt
a tapestry needle
sharpe needle and thread.

in brown
Ch 3 and sl st to first ch to form loop.
Row 1: Ch 2 (acts as your first dc), work 8 more dc into loop. Turn. (9 sts)
Row 2: (Ch 3, tr) in same st, (2 tr) each in next 8 dc. Turn. (18 sts)
Row 3: (Ch 2, dc) in same st, 1 dc in next st. [(2 dc), 1 dc] 8 times. Don’t break off  leave 6inches for sewing together

using twinkie chans cupcake topping -
in cream
ch 3 and sl st to first ch to form loop.
Row 1: Ch 3 (acts as your first dc), work 5 more dc into loop. Turn. (6 sts)
Row 2: (Ch 3, dc) in same st, (2 dc) each in next 5 dc. Turn. (12 sts)
Row 3: (Ch 3, dc) in same st, 1 dc in next st. [(2 dc), 1 dc] 5 times. (18 sts). Don’t break off.
Rotate your completed half-circle clockwise. On the straight edge of this half-circle, you will be working a row of 4 scallops. Imagine breaking the straight edge into 4 quadrants. (Fig.1)
Row 1: Ch 1, (4 dc) into first 1/8, sl st into 2/8. (4 dc) into 3/8, sl st into 4/8. (4 dc) into 5/8, sl st into 6/8. (4 dc) into 7/8, sl st into 2nd ch of the main piece. leave 6inches for sewing.

 turn the icing/frosting right way up and lay over the brown pudding body, using your six inches extra wool and a tapestry needle weave/sew together as pictured.

cut out 2 'holly leaves' from your green felt,

using sharpe needle and thread sew to top of icing/frosting

make a berry to be sewn over leaves
berry in red wool,
Round 1: Ch 2. Work 6 sc into 1 st ch. Sl st to first sc to join.
Round 2: Ch 1,  sc to end. Sl st to first sc to join. cast off leaving 6inches and turn inside out.
stitch over holly leaves. using end wool as needed

to make a christmas tree decoration chain 10 in any colour you like and weave into back of christmas pudding.

or make loads and attach to a chain. i left the space of about 3inches inbetween each pudding but its entirely up to you and what your using it for, where you want to hang it??? for a miniture garland follow instructions but use a 4ply wool and a 2.5 hook. they would look great on cards, as a brooch, or where ever takes your fancy.

merry christmas

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

quilting inspiration

When i was a fresh newly wed in '96 i had dreams of making my very own patchwork quilt. we had very close friends who were real all american quilters and were ready to help, and later push, me to get my quilt done. it has served us well for the last 15years, it is indeed still a lovely quilt (photos will follow soon). but lately i have found myself yearning for something new and beautiful. something that i will not find toy cars in the corners of, thanks to a few frayed seams that the kids love 'posting' into.  That won't therefore nearly knock me out when i shake it out to make the bed! 
so i find myself searching for the perfect quilt, one that will still be loved in 15years. As i take this journey (its not over yet, i don't like to rush) i have found these snipets of inspiration...
    I realise this is not a quilt but jen talbot's  bird silohette  is certainly inspiring and definately the way forward!

made from cut out bird silouettes from various paper scources.
the beauty is in the detail.

has caught my eye with this fresh bird quilt too
also made up of a variety of fabric sillouettes.
i love the oranges...

may be a bit cutesy but i love the trees
 and check out the two birds in the corner.
it just needs the right colours...
 Anthropologie are of course leading the way with their   heir loom throw
i really want to be crocheting fun like this. 

 and their  oh to deam duvet  set
is almost worth begging the money out of my husband.

 this is one of my favourites i think...

of course i'm not sure it would look quite so lovely in my bedroom with all the washing waiting to be put away??

so moving on...

jenn bell's jellyfish adds something new to the whole mix.

this modern leaf cushion  made from upcycling t-shirts is also brill.

there i so much more out there i will have to keep looking till inspiration hits and sticks.
I can't keep changing my mind you know!!!

cheers angie xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

my drifting (wood) heart

hi all,

i have been hanging out by the sea all summer and even though we live 20minutes drive from the coast it just doesn't feel the same as when we're away. we've been at Lytham st Anns, lancashire (with best friends ben and emma) and around whitby, yorkshire (camping) . Plus a most amazing, and occassionally hair raising, drive through the yorkshire moors. I find all these places so fresh and inspiring that it forces creativity to happen. 
well that and a tight budget. 

so whilst enjoying the lovely north beach at St Anns we noticed loads of drift wood. Lying in the sun begging to be collected and made into something beautiful. plus we really needed a special gift for our special friends who let all SIX of us live with them for TWO weeks!! This included coping with my early rising kids (5am, i kid you not). there's nothing like bens dulcit tones telling the kids to 'SHUT UP' in the morning. especially while steve and i are hiding under the covers laughing. sorry ben. and well the small incident involving steve, oakley, a wooden meat tenderiser and bens face... um, yeah.... lets just say everyone is ok now and i am not still laughing so hard it hurts when i think of it... well not every time...

And because they love the beach and coast so very much, and we love them so very much, this is what we decided to make. steve helped with the drilling, he seemed to think i might hurt myself?? 

its amazing what you can do with a wire hanger, driftwood and a drill!
 it was so simple and yet works so well.

i have actually brought enough home to make a matching heart for our home. a little bit twee but i loved it so much i can't wait to get the drill out. I especially love that it can be so personal to where you are and have been. 
but always be careful what you take. we want our beaches to stay beautiful!

angie xxx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

something beautiful (for peas?)

 this has got to be right up there on my wish list! i mean can you think of anything more pleasurable than serving pea's off one of these little beauties??

 me neither.
i'd just spend all my time looking at them!

 spilling peas...

these are the rather delightful creations of  nina from the netherlands. she uses vintage plates as her canvas but not satisfied with this she has fine art collages, cards and other crafty bits on  ninas blog. 

 she had me at the russian dolls!

not only this but nina does a whole personalised range too.

an easy way to bring beauty to any dark corners of your home.
you know the ones i'm talking about.
( the slightly dull areas that are void of colour)
   can be found in nina's etsy store.

and if anyone is wondering
'what might make a good birthday or christmas present for angie this year??' 
now you know!!!

cheers angie xx

Friday, 15 July 2011

teacher appreciation

 Teachers work hard! no question. they plan, they mark, they put up with kids being rude, active (mine), crazy (mine again), sad, slow, fast, you name it they deal with it. as primary school teachers they are expected to sing and dance too, not to mention teach drama! scary!!! so at the end of the year i think its only fair to give an appreciative token to these amazing educators.
But what to give to a teacher who will recieve gifts from possibly 30 other kids? its a mine field!  Last year my sons teacher expressed a great love of donughts. so come the last/few days of term he ended up with close to (if not over) 100 donughts! not all would feel this to be a bad thing but as a parent i felt a bit foolish!

i actually broke my coccyx at the very begining of this year, and it has taken this whole half of the year to recover and i'm still not there. so they have done loads extra.  as a result this year i wanted to focus on doing something useful and due to my husbands redundancy coming up fast, economical. previous years gift have included doughnuts (of course), notelets, mugs, sweets, chocolates, biscuits, bookmarks, bag charms etc...

for our teachers we have some special recycled keyrings. i'm always looking for new ways to recycle and i'm happy to see these work so well...

first i cut up some old leather boots (they were totally beyond repair) 
and some broken wellies (no one wants wellies that let water in)

then i drew & cut out the desired shapes allowing one side to be a little bigger for the actual ring.

adding the keyring cleaning the edges. perfect. 

I've gathered some other awsome ideas ou there in blogland, check these out...

its really american but i just love this DIY teachers survival kit found here

this teachers kit would is a bit easier to replicate

what could be cutter than these cookies here (look out for all sorts of ideas!)

lovely bookmarks here  and beautiful book covers here

gifts in a jar round up here thanks to club chicacircle

quilted notecards here

or quick note books with a difference here

for quick and easy treats that make you smile here

  tutorial for covering pencils & jars with scrap paper here
i've actually seen this done with book pages. really great especially if you can find a favourite book. especially effective if the print runs the length of the pencil!

If the idea of making your own doesn't appeal then here are a few things i rather liked,

found here all thanks to not on the high street

i'm not a teacher but these happy apple brooches
feature pretty high on my own wish list!!

there are so many more options and i will be adding a couple more of my own shortly.
good luck!!

cheers angie xx