Thursday, 30 March 2017

Crocus Love



Hello........... This year the Crocuses have been just fabulous here at the Summerhouse, they may have come up a little later than usual, but boy have they been beautiful.



It all started with just one or two, the cream and white kind always seem to come up first.


Then we had the clumping together kind


of some many lovely colours.


The dainty kind


that seem almost ethereal


just look at the colours when they open up to the sun, so magical.


We've also had the growing up through the grass under the tree kind, 


Lovely to see them popping they're heads up through the grass


and just look at those stripes.


Don't you just love the stripy kind? ............

Me well, I love them all

Clare xx


Monday, 13 March 2017

Pine Cone Fairies


Hello........... I have a fun make to share with you today, one of the themes for our craft club exhibition is Fairies and I just could'nt resist having a go at making some from pine cones.


The idea kind of mushroomed from the Magic wool fairies book I have by Christine Schafer, I made my first felted fairy 'here' last summer and since then with relapses I've not really got any further with felting, but when I found some pine cones in the Christmas box inspiration hit, Pine cone fairies !!!! I just needed to make some,  I  had some wooden heads, pipe cleaners and sequins in my stash and a idea what more could I need.....


Well the answer to that it turns out is lots and lots of different glues, as I discovered it really hard to get things to stick to pine cones after a lots of trail and error I finally used lock tight super glue and even then some fairy decapitations still happened eek !!!!


Once the head was on I made some pine cleaner arms and added pretty beads to each end for my fairies hands.


The arms were much easier to attach as you can just bend them around and through the cones and they stay in place.  I then used pva to glue some felt hair to my fairies head, I knotted it in the middle using baker twine to make a hanging loop, now you really have to wait quite a while for the glue to dry at this stage, if not you risk a bald headless fairy situation. !!!


I then added a pretty flower to cover the knot in the bakers twine and set about styling my fairies hair


Next up I used some leaf sequins to make some sparkly wings I used glue dots to gradually build up the wings, then I had the same old problem of what sticks to a pine cone ? as the surface is so uneven, this time I used sticky foam pads to build up a flat surface.


and thankfully that was enough to hold the wings in place.


Ta-Dah
Fairy number one 


I then decided to make a male fairy giving him a wizard like beard and pointy felt hat


I made him a larger set of wings and this time I wrapped the pipe cleaner arms in some silver sparkly yarn.


Ta-Dah

Isn't he a cutie, I love how much personality these little fairies have.


Last up I made a purple fairy, this time I made her some pretty paper wings with added sparkles I also wrapped some ribbon around the cone and added extra sparkles.


These fairies really are a lot of fun to make, after a bit of hairstyling my final fairy was ready.


Ta-Dah

So all my fairies are now on display in the local library and I was pleased to discover today that they all still have there heads, I did a bit of head testing at home before hand as I was a bit worried that the heads might come off and scare the children I envisaged going into the library and finding 3 severed fairy heads hanging on the branches and all the bodies fallen to the ground yikes............


But it was all OK, here they all are safe and sound hanging out with some woodland friends.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Woodland Flowers Mandala Ta-Dah


Hello......... It's Ta-Dah time today for this make which I started way back in May last year, you can read my first post about this mandala 'here'


but basically this mandala it's supposed to represent a year round woodland walk. I made the mandala to go on exhibition in the local library for our Craft Club.

So when I last posted the mandala was up too here and I was wondering about how to display it maybe a cushion, but I had fallen a little bit love with all the hula hoop mandala's that were about last year and so just had to have a go myself.


So  in order to fit in a hoop I needed to grow my mandala on a little bit, for the first part of the mandala I used  this pattern  but for the last few rounds I just winged it.


So I added a pale pink sparkle row, to represent frost on blossom followed by pale blues skies, blues skies and pink blossom really are a wonderful combination.
I then added a few more blue bells 
before my final round in  stylecraft special dk  Aspen.


I'm really loving the colours, as my mandala grew I kept measuring it up against the small hula hoop I bought, until it was big enough yippee.
  
The next problem was how to fix the mandala into the hoop ???


Thankfully Lucy over at Attic24 came to my rescue here as she has shared a wonderful tutorial showing just that, you can find it 'here'



 So following along with Lucy's tutorial I made a double outer round to secure my mandala, then it was just a matter of stitching it into the hoop.


 I was feeling poorly at the time so my lovely sister kindly stepped in at this point and stitched my mandala into the hoop as I was struggling to hold the hoop with my achy noodle arms.


Ta-Dah

One Woodland themed Mandala.
How the colours make my heart sing, my mandala is mostly made from stylecraft special DK with a bit of added sparkle yarn and is currently to be found hanging out on the library wall.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Fox and the Hare


Hello............ It's been a bit hectic here at the Summerhouse as I'm desperately trying to get some items made for our craft clubs annual exhibition which is due to start next week, yes I've had a whole year to make stuff but lets face it I've just been too poorly to get much completed over the last 12 months.

I had so many plans but hey ho it's all ended up a bit last minute, I'm still really struggling, with a relapse and what the Dr suspects is neuralgia, so far with my other conditions finding a pain medication I can have is proving tricky, it's been eight weeks now and I've just about had enough of it.


Any road today I thought I'd share with you these felt creatures I've been slowly making up, to fit the Woodland theme of the exhibition, they came as part of a kit with Crafts Beautiful magazine, some time ago.


So recently I've spent some time cutting out the felt pieces 


and assembling my little fox


Ta-dah 

I couldn't resist giving him some sparkly eyes.


I then went on to make this little stitchy Hare, I'm hoping to complete this set of woodland hanging decorations with a red squirrel and a deer but I'll just have to see how I go with my energy levels so low at the moment.

Happy Crafting
Clare xx

PS If anyone has any alternative/natural remedies for treating neuralgia I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Patchwork January


Hello........... Here's a little Summerhouse round up from January, seems like an age ago now.


I'm afraid January here at the Summerhouse was mostly viewed from my comfy bed, I've been really poorly since Christmas with a relapse, the lurgy and then a horrible new symptom affecting the nerves in my face and head, so painful.  I did try and keep crafting, it's my escape after all !! and managed to leave the house only three time the entire month.  So I'm hoping things will start improving soon.


Over on Instagram the month of January looked like this......


As for the Summerhouse garden I didn't really make it out there much, but not a lot was going on as it's been so cold it was lovely to see the visiting woodpecker though. Everything is behind not even a crocus to be seen, one of the very few times I ventured outside I managed to have a fall oops, slipping on route to the summerhouse, one muddy Clare my own fault as I was really to poorly to be out there.


This year I've decide to add a new mosaic to each of the patchwork posts, it's going to be all about WIP's (works in progress) that I hope to finish or get back to in the next month, here we have my Angel wings shawl, Rainbow drops blanket, Seaside pebble blanket and my Purple leave cushion which has recently had it's ta-dah moment

Well that just about sums up January, the sun is shining here today at the summerhouse and I ever hopeful for Spring being on the way.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Friday, 10 February 2017

Purple Leaf Cushion (take two)


Hello........... Today's post is a long awaited Ta-Dah, that dates back to the early days of the blog, yes I have been intending on making a purple leaf cushion with this yarn since 'here' yes that's right since 2013 !! 


Back then of course I was foolishly attempting to knit a cushion, this was long before I discovered crochet and it's lucky I did because my knitting is shockingly bad.  I persevered and it was only last  October that I finally called time on this make after yet another disaster.

A knitter I will never be...........


So I was left with a huge 400g ball of Hayfield bonus Aran, Plus some leaves I had somehow managed to knit.  I decided I still really wanted a cushion however I was just going to have to crochet mine.  !!!!

I decided to make a round cushion as it's so much easier with crochet and found a wonderful tutorial for a flat circle over at Attic24 'here'


Using a 5mm hook the circles worked up really quite quickly


something even full of lurgy my foggy brain could manage


I just kept adding rounds until


the circles were large enough for this 14 inch cushion pad, which I bought from amazon at the bargain price of less than £2.


I then simply crocheted the two half's together


Then it was all about whether to add a border or not, decisions decisions.....


In the end I opted for a simple 5 treble shell edging


Which really helped to neaten up the join.


I'd been playing around with so many design ideas, with the original knitted leaves.


here are just a few


In the end I just loved the rose leaf combo, I borrowed nicked some of the roses and leaves from my Autumn wreath, opps I'm going to need to replace them later in the year !!


and finally settled on a more is more look for my cushion, with a trio of Roses set amongst the leaves.


I then just had to stitch them in place


one by one until...........


Ta-Dah

My purple leave cushion was finished, completely different from what I originally set out to make but I got there in the end and I'm very happy with how it's turned out.

It's ready just in time for the Craft Club exhibition.
Happy Crafting
Clare xx

(who needs knitting anyway !!!)