Friday, 18 May 2018

Ragbag Butterfly

Hello ..............  As you have probably guessed health wise things have not been so good around here,  I'm not going to go into it now but I am going to share with you this scrappy butterfly picture I made a few months back for the craft club exhibition.

It was a bit of a last minute job as in a whole year I'd not made very much at all to include in the exhibition so was feeling a bit guilty that, I'd let the other members of the group down and we were going to have a bit of a empty wall.

 So the theme was butterflies.  I was in bed, as I am most of the time and suddenly realised I had the perfect template for my scrappy butterfly right in from of me on the duvet, so I traced one of the butterflies onto some card and then raided the ragbag.

I had a old tunic in there with lots of embellishments and sparkle and set to cutting it up, in search of pretty shapes I could add to my butterfly.

I then found a scrap of fabric left over from a patchwork quilt my sister made, which I used for the main body of my butterfly, adding a contrasting piece for the centre I simply added a little bit of stitching to define the wings.

You know me I just couldn't resist adding a little sparkle too, so I added some sparkly gems, for the antenna and to add a bit more decoration. The camera dosen't really pick it up but they are very sparkly.


 That was about it, I simply found a backing paper and put the whole lot together in a frame.  One ragbag butterfly to flutter and sparkle on the library walls.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Eastern Jewels Blanket

Hello.......... I have a exciting post to share with you today, something very new for the summerhouse.

Yes I've actually ordered a colour pack and I'm going to follow a pattern and stick to it hopefully.  When I saw this little beauty by Janie Crow in the Eastern Jewels Colourway created by Lucia Dunn back in October I came down with a case of the wanties, yes I needed some Eastern Jewels in my life. 

So when some friends suggested we have a very slow crochet along I just couldn't resist ordering the kit.  The colours just make my heart sing.  I'm making the blanket with a group of friends with Chronic Illnesses, so I'm hoping I will be able to keep up, with one square a week, although I've found that difficult some weeks.

Now although I've fallen very much in love with the look of the finished blanket, some of the colours are proving a bit of a challenge for me, as they are quite different from the summerhouse's usual colour palette.  I've never made anything where I didn't pick my own colours before eek.

I felt quite happy with week one just the Tomato round gave me a bit of a wobble.

Week two was just perfect soft gentle colours.

In week three I had to confront my fear of Mustard, eek in fact I just couldn't face calling it mustard and spent the week calling it saffron ha ha whatever gets you through.

In the end I didn't mind it so much with the duck egg toning things down, so clever in a million years I would never have put these colours together.

Now as for week four, I just had to imagine I was in a Moroccan Spice market to get me through.

Week five was interesting too with Sage, Vintage Peach and Tomato in the mix.  I'm definitely broadening my colour horizons.

So at the end of the first month this is what I had, my exotic Persian Tiles

Week six had me on much happier ground, even with Saffron Mustard, the colours say Springtime to me and make my heart sing, my favourite weeks so far. Reminds me of one of my favouirte flower combo Yellow Roses and Purple Iris.

So there we have it, my colourful adventure for 2018.  A huge thank you to Janie Crow for the original Persian Tiles pattern and Lucia Dunn for this amazing colour way.  I can't wait to get onto the Mandalas.

Happy Crafting 

Clare xx

Friday, 2 February 2018

Floral Wreath

Hello.......... If there is still anyone out there in blogland that stops by the summerhouse, I'm sorry I was not about very much last year, but with a health crisis I kind of lost my crafting mojo a bit, for a long time I just wasn't well enough to crochet and craft.

This make kind of helped me find my mojo again, I made this wreath as a secret Santa present for a crafting group I'm a member of on facebook.  Now I  ummed and rrrrred about whether I was well enough to join in with the secret Santa but in the end I decided to go for it.

I wanted something quiet easy and low energy to make so decided on some crocheted flowers. Now this make didn't start out as a wreath at all, but a garland. the very pretty yarn came from a kit that came with Mollie Makes magazine.

I made the flowers up as per the patterns in the magazine, only to find that when I threaded them onto some bakers twine they would not hang straight., they just kept falling forwards.   This was probably because I couldn't resist decorating the flowers with pretty buttons and beads.

That's when panic set in as I was very poorly and didn't have the time or the energy to make something else. So it was time to put my thinking cap on.  Straight away I thought wreath but knew I wasn't well enough to make one of my full crocheted wreaths.

Then I spotted a large embroidery hoop in my craft basket and inspiration struck, using double sided tape at the top of the hoop, to hold the yarn in place, i started winding the yarn around and around to cover the wooden hoop.  

It took me a few days as this was quite a workout for my weak noodle arms. Once the hoop was covered I simply used another piece of double side tape to hold the yarn in place at the top of the hoop, before tying off the yarn around the metal clasp. 

I then simply used PVA glue to attach the flowers to the covered hoop, which seemed to hold in place really well.


My wreath was complete.  I really hope that the recipient likes it, sunny colours to cheer a winters day.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx


Saturday, 11 November 2017



Hello............ Earlier in the week my sister put in a request for another crocheted Poppy, so my crafting time this week has been spent making one.

The pattern I used is a free pattern from Simply Crochet magazine which you can find here, it's the best Poppy pattern I have found. The Poppy is crocheted in one piece and once you get you're head around the pattern it's quite simple to make.

I did adapt the pattern a little, crocheting it all in red instead of starting off with a black centre.


This was because I really wanted to added a button to the centre of mine.

Not the best pic but here's a quick selfie of what it looks like on.  It you want to make a donation, to the Royal British Legion, then Simply Crochet have kindly added a link, or you could just pop a donation in one of the collecting tins when you are out and about.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Pretty Pumpkins

Hello............... Now I know what you are thinking, I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but for the last few weeks I've loved seeing all the pretty crocheted pumpkins appearing all over my Instagram feed and after seeing the cuties, Lucy over at Attic24 made 'here' I could resist no longer.

So I grabbed my chunky hook and then I did something terrible, I broken into the yarn pack I've ordered for crochet along starting in January. Eek I just couldn't resist I needed a chunky pumpkin in my life.

So with double stranded yarn I set to work (Spice and Tomato)

I even doubled stranded the top

My first pumpkin was born.  

As you can see it's quite a handful.

So that was it I was hooked, this time a very pretty vintage peach one with cream stripes with added golden sparkle, for this I used the tutorial in Lucy's post. 

This one had me dreaming of a pumpkin fit for Cinderella's coach, so pretty.  Now if I'd stopped here I would have been ready in time for Halloween, but I always think things look better in threes and I was hatching a plan.

 Adapting the original pattern to change yarn every two rows and using a much smaller hook.

So I could have the cutest stripey pumpkin, well maybe this one is more of a squash....

but I think I love it most of all with it's sparkly stalk and fiery tendril.


My Happy little pumpkin family, so sweet I think I will keep them out on display all autumn.

You can find the original pumpkin pattern here over on Planet Junes blog. So a huge thank you to June and Lucy for sharing there talents with the world.

Happy Days 

Clare x

Monday, 2 October 2017

Throat Chakra Mandala

Hello Lovlies....

I'm sorry its been so long since my last post its been a bit of a time of it here at the Summerhouse.  'P' who is my full time carer had a stroke at the beginning of July. It was thankfully mild but never the less a Stroke and is taking some time to recover from.

With everything and my health already so much weaker this year, for the first time in 28 years of chronic illness, we had to ask for some outside help,  as I just couldn't manage alone while 'P' was in hospital.  I hated asking for help but after I collapsed at the washing line, my sister knew something had to be done.  

Sadly we live in Kent where you can only access adult social care via something called the Enablement Service,  not ideal for someone struggling with a chronic illness that means the more you push them the sicker they get.  The six weeks of Enablement I received from this service pushed me further into relapse and made me sicker than I've ever been, hopefully it has not caused permanent damage to my health I guess only time will tell, after quite a battle some care is now in place but it's really not ideal.  

Any how, that's another story and I really don't want to bring you all down.  With everything, not much crafting has been happening around here, although over the summer I did slowly make a new mandala to display my crystals on by my bed.

I can't really tell you how I made the mandala, as I kind of just made it up as I went along,

I can say that I had lots of help from my new crafting assistants, (we're still working on the rule about not playing with the yarn)

But over the weeks

round by round my little mandala grew

I selected colours to represent different crystals.

Working on the mandala from bed when I had a little energy to spare.

Until Ta-Dah it was finished.

It felt so good to achieved this little make, a glimmer of normality in the darkness.

I'm calling it my Throat Chakra Mandala because the colour blue is associated with the throat, the yarn colours were chosen to represent the above crystals. in order left to right we have Blue Agate, Blue Chalcedony, Aquamarine and Turquoise.

Middle row contains Sodalite, Blue laced Chalcedony, opalite, blue howlite

The last row contains, Lapis Lazuli, quartz, celestite and white howlite.

Which one is you're favourite???

Such lovely calming hues of blue.

As you can see I've been putting it to good use already

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

As for the Crafting Assisitants,well they are growing up fast, they are nearly six months now and cute as buttons.