Thursday 30 May 2013

Crafty Cuppa and a Catch Up

In my last blog post I told you all about my attempt to spring clean and off load ALOT of clothes. In the absence of any blogging this week, I thought I would sneak in a crafty cup of tea whilst Hubby and Baby B have quiet time and catch you up on what I have been up to in the last week or so. 

Before the crazy washer woman days of Thursday and Friday I did update my twitter feed with a couple of crafty bits. I made a 'postbox' for Baby B which was a five minute jobby as he is learning all about the post man and sending and receiving letters. He loves to 'post' things. 
I also posted a picture of my blanket progress. You can see here I have started the cycle of colours again but I haven't had much time to crochet this week so the second picture shows where we are at now. 
On the baking/food making front last week, the boys and I made some Rice Krispie cakes and I attempted another not so successful trifle. On Friday night, I hosted a make your own pizza night. The dough, I have resolved, was so good it rose out of the bowl, over the sides and down though the oven racks (as that was where it was resting). Luckily, I managed to save enough and make a good enough tomato base and with a mixture of toppings from our stores and our guests, we got four pretty good pizzas. Followed of course by another bake from me. An apple and rhubarb oat crumble. Not my best efforts but it went down ok. 
On the spring cleaning front I managed to wash, dry and donate four massive black bin liners of clothing to Oxfam, make a huge pile in the garage for the tip, donate all my baby hangers to a neighbour who wanted them and donate all of Baby B's old bottles to the wildlife park and hedgehog hospital through a lady from my local WI.
In the middle of all the errands to be run on Saturday, we managed to get locked out of our house and Baby B and I got a recovery Mocha Cookie Crumble and a smoothie and chocolate coin whilst Hubby B had to teach for a couple of hours. We also sold and had our spare bed removed, scary times. The bedroom exchange begins. Our guest bedroom is going, we will have Baby B and Bumpleton share that room and the smaller room will be a study, space for a blow up bed and probably a crafting area...we will see how that goes down.
On Monday I experienced my first time at Bourne Airfield Bank holiday market where I bagged myself a back copy of a card making magazine for £1 and 90 sheets of crafting paper for £1.50!
On Tuesday after midwife and dentist appointments and a morning at work for Hubby B, we headed off to Mansfield for a family wedding. We had a fab time despite mine and Baby B's colds (luckily Hubby B was just over his) and we got home at lunchtime today.

I fully intend to spend tonight and tomorrow recovering before a weekend spent browsing Cambridge Garden Show on Saturday and probably more clearing out on Sunday.

For now, I might go eat some chocolate and crochet some blanky :-)

Mrs Crafty B

Thursday 23 May 2013

Spring Cleaning

As I put my third load of washing in this morning and stared at the next three, I thought to myself "this is worse than doing my own washing." So what exactly am I doing? Why so much washing? Why isn't it 'mine'? Am I mad? Then I thought "who else does this?" So let me enlighten you.
Spring is well underway and the spring cleaning is going very slowly. My main issue is that I am a hoarder. It's not news to any regulars over here at Crafting a Daydream and probably not to those who craft either. I'm sure plenty of you have a 'stash'. I feel like my hoarding comes from forming sentimental attachments to material objects. Probably due to lack of security growing up or something. I am absolutely convinced I will be able to re-use or up-cycle everything at some point. This is causing me cringe feelings and creating huge piles of stuff in our modest house. Over the last few years I have had several clear outs which have resulted in me putting piles and piles of clothes in the garage and vowing that if I don't take anything out of these piles in six months, I'll just nip them off to a charity shop. I never have.

In the three years I have been in my house, having moved from Sheffield to Cambridge, I have been married, had a baby, been through an emotional/physical roller coster, dealt with a family life changing 'issue', grown up a bit more, changed my lifestyle and still, I don't see this as a reason for a change of wardrobe even though most of my stuff still exists from pre-twenty...yes PRE-20. That's um.... *cough*7*cough* years ago maybe..... So why can't I just throw the stuff out? I convinced myself I would use some fabric for crafting and hid behind that as well. Ridiculous. In the midst of preparing for a second child and realising space is reducing, especially with my also being a child minder, I have bitten the bullet. I'm not actually finding it that hard. I think it's because as my life situation has changed dramatically and I feel more secure and happy in my environment and with the people around me, as ridiculous as it sounds, I feel like I am really not bothered about the pair of beautiful pj's that no longer fit me, because I can just go buy a pair that I can actually wear. Realistically I am NEVER going to fit into ANY of this stuff and if I did, I would look ridiculous. I deserve new stuff. There I said it. I might have to raise a few pennies and wait till I lose post baby weight but thats ok. I'll have something to look forward to!

So why the washing? Like an idiot I stored all of the clothes in the garage, cue damp smell and spider webs. I know that when donating to charity, most of the clothes get thrown away but that won't stop me feeling good about making a donation and if I donate clean clothes, which, let's face it, is just good manners if you're going to bother, then they will use more of the stuff. I figured I better get to work after putting it off for so long. So my kitchen is currently a laundrette, my currently damp garden is a 'drying' arena (ergh) and my bed is a mess as I brutally rip clothes from my wardrobe and don't think I wont be doing the same to Hubby B's.

Next up in my spring cleaning mission? A trip to the tip with the pile of 5 or so boxes of just rubbish, binning/recycling the pile of magazines from which I vowed I would cut inspirational pictures and setting up eBay to sell some old handbags, books and jewellery. Well, as good as donating to charity feels, I need to fund my new wardrobe somehow!  It might be worth noting that I haven't made reference to what I will be doing with my stashes of yarn, pretty paper, storage vessels etc....I WILL use them for crafts ;-)

Happy spring cleaning,

Mrs Crafty B

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Meet the Maker: Karen Deverson of Lavender Babies

Welcome readers, to another Meet the Maker interview. Today we are meeting Karen Deverson.
Firstly, two very important questions.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee, cappuccino

Biscuit or cake?
Biscuit, shortbread

Great, so cappuccino and shortbread in hand, tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm Karen Deverson and I am a holistic therapist and teacher. I have had my own business for eight years.

Give us some info about the item that you are sharing with us?
I was inspired whilst pregnant last year to create totally natural products. My sprays are made with crystals and essential oils, evolved from that, using my knowledge of crystals and essential oils. I have a range -Lavender Babies, for bump, baby & beyond, and a range - Lavender Moon, for adults & older children.

What inspires and motivates you?
My children, constantly.

Do you have a crafting space?
I work from my home, wherever I can find the space and peace!

Any big plans for 2013?
To develop my business as much as I possibly can.

So can we join you in your virtual world? , twitter @lavenderbabies , facebook & . E-mail:

Finally, some quick fire questions that we are dying to know the answers to. 

Favourite colour?

The best season?

Your favourite food?

The best day of the week?

What is the best word?

Favourite place?
Walt Disney World Florida

Your biggest achievement?
Giving birth to four healthy, beautiful children, my fourth was last year.

Thanks so much for sharing your item with us Karen :-)

Mrs Crafty B

Monday 20 May 2013

Photography Light Box

Last year, in the knowledge that a white background may help with lighting object's that I wanted to photograph, I attempted to make a little staging area in two different ways. It was a huge failure (including the melting of some of my sugarpaste flowers :-( ) Here are a couple of photos that I did take using them.
At this point, I had never seen the concept of a lighting box. Following my post about photography woes, I decided to have a little look at ways amateurs like myself could take decently lit photos if I didn't need them to be contextualised. I found several ways in which you could make something called a light box. There were lots of different tutorials, guides and links etc so I tried to take the best of all of them and go all 'Mrs Crafty B' styleee and do it my own way.

I've started with a prototype but actually it worked pretty well. I ended up with unedited photos like this:
So here's how I did it. First I raided my crafty hoarders booty. Let's admit that as crafters, most of us hoard and so have a collection of 'stuff' somewhere! I dug out the following items:

- a box - in true mummy style I found a nappy box
- some white tissue paper - saved from....something
- a ruler
- scissors
- a craft knife
- some sticky tape
- A3 paper.

Now, the last item is actually supposed to be card and will work much better when I replace it with something really sturdy but paper was all I had to hand. So, the process.

I cut the flappy bits from the top of the box and laid it on its side. This is the side from which you will take photos.

Using the craft knife and ruler I scored a square panels from three sides of the box. At this point, you should have something looking a little like this.
I then covered each of these three empty spaces (not the top) with white tissue paper, pulling it taut and sticking with sticky tape.

I laid the box back on the one still complete side.
I cut the piece of A3 paper so that it was narrow enough to slip inside the box in a curve. It should run from the far side of the bottom of the box to the top edge of the complete side with no panel cut (this side should be at the bottom as you are looking at it).
As you can see, the reason that paper is not ideal is that it creases very easily and causes little shadows and easily spotted blemishes on the finish photo.

Now for the photos. Some tutorials show you to light the box from the top but I'm of the mindset that sunlight is the best lighting so I took my box off to the conservatory, set it up, popped the objects inside and got snapping.

Once done, I used iPhoto to sharpen or brighten the images etc, although most did not need adjusting at all.

This box is so small that I could only really use it for small items, but it is a prototype so once I know I have somewhere to store it I will make a bigger one from a studier box with card for the insert.

So what do you think of some of these (unedited) photos so far? Hopefully I will get to use it in some better sunlight soon! Do you think this is something you could make use of for those not contextual pictures?
Mrs Crafty B

Friday 17 May 2013

A Week in Words

Going against the grain and ignoring a top rule of blogging (or so I hear); include lots of photos for your readers. I decided that today I will just write about my week. Not the norm for me but hey, who likes the norm ALL the time and who like rules?! (I'm sure a picture will find its way into here somewhere for those that get bored.)

My focus is the week that I have had as a new Mummy to be. I'm sure your sick of hearing about children and babies and pregnancies No, me neither, and everyone has a different experience right? I was doing ok up to whats gone wrong? Anxiety! Not the 'woe is me' kind of thing where I'm going to sulk and moan but the kind of anxiety that apparently every mum to be will feel, even if she has done it before. I thought I was immune! I've done this before and I know what to expect so what's the worry?

I started this week feeling particularly hormonal. I couldn't be doing with Monday and when hormonal turned into feeling a bit unwell, I gave up on Monday as soon as it started....I wish. I work on a Monday afternoon so with two little munchkins to look after, I plastered on my 'fun' face and got on with the day. Luckily I had a bit of time to recover at my weekly crafts group and got my fix of crafts and great company. Straight to bed when I was home but I woke up with the same feeling of being under a bit of a cloud on Tuesday as well as some PGP issues returning.

It dawned on me that my first pregnancy, spent till week 36 in an air conditioned office where I could take regular breaks from my desk to stay comfortable, was actually not a bad way to do it. Being at home with a 21month old (sometimes x3) is a different story. I can hear all the mummies now screaming 'BUT EVERY WOMAN WITH MORE THAN ONE HAS BEEN PREGNANT AND HAD A CHILD'. Yup, agreed. I'm not one to compare so I'll continue. I have found it quite difficult being pregnant and having Baby B 24/7. I am at least an hour away from friends and family so I can't have regular breaks and yeah I could probably get out a bit more than I do but everywhere involves a bus trip and for the first three/four months I could barely leave the house for sickness and following my miscarriage last year I was terrified of doing anything that might upset things (even though I knew I couldn't cause anything). This all played on my mind a bit on Tuesday. Previously I had thought that my only worries about Baby 2 were how Baby B would react. I had no other concerns. I would just have an extra being to look after right? Nothing would change.

How wrong I was. On Tuesday evening, Hubby B brought up the conversation about a new car. He is so tall he cannot physically have a car seat behind him in our Corsa so we need a new one before September. He is due to be abroad three times before then and we only realistically have a few weekends to do this with weddings/birthdays in the schedule....Oh the pressure. We don't like pressure. So Tuesday night I went to bed and I cried. Actually, a second Baby is going to change a lot for us. Maybe not for everyone but for us it does. Why didn't anyone tell me!!! Oh the drama.

Wednesday was a busy work day and I started to realise that my not feeling well was actually starting to feel a bit like a blood pressure issue. I had low very low blood pressure with Baby B. The midwife has suggested low iron as I have anaemic tendencies and had very low iron count after Baby B's birth. I started to dwell a bit on what was wrong instead of right and vowed Thursday would be a better day.

On Thursday, I still had some anxiety about everything that would need to be thought about and organised before D-Day. Damn my being laid back and thinking that I had nothing to do and when the hell would we change the rooms around when I am already the size of a.........WAIT! Thursday was my calm down and chill out day. My appetite has been extremely poor as has my diet and I know deep down that actually I have been neglecting myself for the sake of making sure Baby B, Hubby B, my clients and others afar have what they need from me. On Thursday I did a bit of admin, did my normal house chores and basic Mummy duties but aside from that I did nothing. Hubby B came home and I cleared off for a soak in the bath. I did of course make sure our dinner was ready to go first and Baby B was fed and ready for bed!

Today I started the day with a huge drink with an iron supplement in the hope that this will start me on the road to feeling much better. I am pretty sure my low mood and anxieties are due to my feeling just plain rubbish. Although I have managed to finally tackle my ironing pile today, I have done little else and Hubby B is bringing steak home tonight in an attempt to boost my iron some more. Yummy.

I am looking forward to a visit from a friend over the weekend and Baby B is currently obsessed with 'Dad, Dad....Dad' so hopefully, Daddy and Uncle C will be the entertainment committee for the weekend and I will have a chance to pop my feet up, crochet my blanket and drink some nice smoothies. I'm sure by Sunday I will be back to my positive self again...if I could just shift the headache.

Anyone who knows me will know that this is not my normal self. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good moan, but generally our house is full of positive laid back energy, fun, love and being 'buzzy' (sorry couldn't resist). I am putting this week down to feeling unwell and the realisation that I do have a few things to prepare in only a handful of free weekends. There's no real panic though, because realistically, all Bumpleton needs when he arrives is, Mummy, Daddy, Baby B and maybe some nappies. If we don't get the car in time, I'll treat Hubby B to a bus journey home ;-)

Happy Friday and have a fab weekend,

Mrs Crafty B

p.s. Here's one of Baby B when he was tiny :-)

Wednesday 15 May 2013

New Project: Crochet Wave Pattern Blanket

Last week, I posted a picture of a set of bright coloured espresso cups.
I felt that this set of colours really worked together so I raided my yarn stash to find some similar colours and wondered what else I could make to add that splash of colour elsewhere.

As I have baby number 2 on the way and intended to crochet another blanket, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out the wave or ripple pattern I keep seeing around and about and I set to work searching the net and figuring out the pattern that I would use. I then worked a little test piece. Here it is.
I then decided on the order of colours I would use and set to work on my foundation row. As this is worked in rows, it's quite nerve wracking in terms of counting correctly. I used near to 200 chain stitches for my foundation row and working back along it, as I neared the end, I hoped that I had indeed counted correctly and I wasn't short a stitch or would end up with an extra few! Such a perfectionist. Needless to say I was overjoyed to discover I had the right amount of stitches and I set to work on my second row. I had some alone time over the weekend so I manged to get started on my third and fourth row. I'm soon to start the 5th with a third colour and so far I'm happy with the result.
I will keep you posted on this project and if it works out nicely I will upload the pattern for you all to make your own wave crochet blanket.

Happy Crocheting

Mrs Crafty B

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Meet the Maker: Lakisha Jews of Sweetest Handz

This week we are featuring our very first handmade cards. Take a look at these lovely designs and read on to meet the maker.
Firstly, two very important questions.

Tea or coffee?
Tea with honey

Biscuit or cake?
Lemon cake with chocolate icing...delicious

So, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am LaKisha Jews, Owner & Card marker of Sweetest Handz. I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I am married to a very loving, supportive husband and we have 2 children. I currently work full-time but with HOPE that will soon change. But I always manage to sneak in some card making time.

...and what about the item that you are sharing with us?
This set includes 3 cards that were sold as Thank You cards. Each card was handmade using Studio G which were completely blank. I used some light blue card stock and scrapbooking paper. The rhinestone embellishment and white flower are part of the Recollections line. The smaller flowers were a bargain find. I assembled the flowers to the rhinestone embellishment and created the layout on the card in perfect harmony. The inside of the card is left blank so the customer can express their own thoughts.

How long have you been making cards and how did you learn?
I started card making in 2009 as a hobby and my love for creativity. Card making was self-taught, I have never taken any classes.

When did you start Sweetest Handz and why?
Sweetest Handz LLC was started in July 2012. I started this business from the response I received from family and friends. The response was so positive and overwhelming that I started selling handmade cards.

What inspires and motivates you?
I take a lot of my inspirations from other card makers and crafters. When I see other crafters work; my creativity wheel goes into overdrive. My motivations comes from seeing my finish product and the joy & appreciation from my customers.

Any crafting heroes?
My heroes are all the talented crafters/card makers.

Do you have a crafting space?
My crafting space is located in my basement and it is steadily growing everyday. It is time for me expand my work area.

Any big plans for 2013?
My plans for 2013 is to keep doing what I truly enjoy....card making. I also want to expand to various boutiques & consignment shops. I am keeping my fingers crossed to get into at least one card retail store. I want to take some advance classes to enhance my card making skills and attend some craft expos. I plan on taking some business courses as well.

So can we join you in your virtual world?
Please do stop by all of my virtual worlds and stay awhile.... You can purchases cards on my Facebook page: Sweetest Handz; Twitter: @SweetestHandz; Pinterest: Sweetest Handz. I also have a Etsy shop... Sweetest Handz 

Finally, some quick fire questions that we are dying to know the answers to.

Favourite colour?

The best season?

Your favourite food?
French Fries

The best day of the week?

What is the best word?

Favourite place?
My back yard

Your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement was turning my hobby into a passion then into a business. I am so proud that I am stepping out and taking chances on this venture.

Sounds like you have lots of plans for 2013 Lakisha and I'm sure all readers will join me in wishing you all the best with them. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs Crafty B

Monday 13 May 2013

Crocheted Jute Basket

You may remember a couple of weekends ago, I posted a picture of some jute twine I purchased.
This was purposely sourced because I wanted to have a go at crocheting a basket. I love the idea of creating a basket for odds and ends in any colour I wanted, in any size, for any space I chose.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Photography Woes

So, I have been thinking. Dangerous I know. Since mentioning it last year, I have been giving some more thought to a small online shop and what I might add to my stock. I seem to hit a brick wall every time I think of this. Photography.

I love including pictures on my blog, on Pinterest and on Facebook and good photos will be key to setting up an online store but I'll be honest, I don't have a clue. I mean I do have an IDEA. I know how the focus button thing on my camera works and I know daylight is best for light etc but that's as far as my knowledge goes. I did consider a photography course at the local college but the term starts when Bumpleton is born so that's out of the window for now. I have recently been looking into crafting myself a little light box and I think what I need to do is sit with all of the specialist magazines I bought for Hubby B last year and the IPad for browsing and just have a good old read. Then I'll get practicing. Of course I'll share my have shots with you and hopefully we will see some improvement. It's pointless me indulging in all these crafty things and telling you about them if I can't share them with you with lovely photos.

All that said, I do have a few photos that I did take and by absolute chance, they were pretty good. I mean any photographers reading this might tear these to pieces but I was quite proud.
What do you think? If you should ever speak to Hubby B by the way, these are photos taken by me as I'm sure he would try to claim some as his own. We did indulge in a little photography competition in the garden, me with my tiny digital Canon and he with his huge...well I don't know...but he changes lens'. EEK I'm such an amateur! Calling all photographers! HELP!

Mrs Crafty B

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Meet the Maker: Heather Jones of The Unique Seat Company

A while ago, I picked up some literature at Chatsworth House about a lady who does traditional upholstery. When I started Meet the Maker, I knew that I wanted to involve all sorts of crafters and so I couldn't wait to feature Heather. I'm so glad she was willing to take part!
Firstly, two very important questions.

Tea or coffee?
An expensive filter coffee in the morning, followed by a much cheaper instant coffee for the rest of the day and tea if I am thirsty.

Biscuit or cake? 
Definitely cake. I found a recipe for Raspberry Torte on the Waitrose website a few years ago and it has become a bit of an obsession with everyone. You must try it out!!

So, tell us a bit about yourself. 
Well, I was born, raised and decided to stay in Sheffield. It is an amazing city. I love lazing in the sun, walking (as long as I have a dog to take with me), art (check out, craft fairs, interiors, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen (I feel I should apologise for some reason) and the occasional, adrenaline pumping, heart racing, type of activity that drives the cobwebs away. I dislike being cold, bad food, badly upholstered furniture and people who constantly moan about their situation and then do nothing about it.

 ...and what about the item that you are sharing with us?
This Edwardian wingback armchair has taken me an incredible amount of time to complete. I bought it from an antiques shop in Wales when I was on holiday and then had to pay a courier to bring it back to Sheffield as it wouldn't fit in the car. Oh joy! I stripped the chair right back to the frame, re-sprung the base and traditionally upholstered it using horsehair. I wanted to produce something unusual and eye-catching and hopefully, I have achieved that.

How long have you been doing traditional upholstery and how did you learn? 
I have doing traditional upholstery for almost 7 years now. The Unique Seat Company was set up in 2008 but I trained a year prior to that, not far from my Dad's home town in Wales. I did a one week course initially, just for fun, and then the crafting bug hit me and I returned soon afterwards for another 6 weeks to complete my Diploma course.

When did you start The Unique Seat Company and why?
The idea for The Unique Seat Company was conceived back in 2004 when I was a frustrated and very bored IT professional. I wanted to be able to have something tangible at the end of the working day. Unfortunately IT did not provide that. I had also purchased a small Victorian cottage - I wanted to furnish it with antique furniture but was unable to find anything, well upholstered, in a remotely acceptable fabric so, I decided to learn a new craft and do it myself.

What inspires and motivates you?
Listening to and being around successful, positive people. I try to stay away from anyone who says that “it”, whatever that may be, can't be done.

Any crafting heroes? 
Crafting requires a huge amount of blood, sweat and tears so, I have huge admiration for anyone capable of creating something beautiful with their own hands, especially those who are doing it for a living.

Do you have a crafting space?
Yes - I finally moved into my workshop last year after previously working from home. To be able to walk away from work and close the door is very important to me. It is situated near to Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield and the whole area has a really good vibe about it.]

Any big plans for 2013? 
Yes. I try to have big plans for every year. This year those plans are; make the website fully e-commerce, set up intermediate level upholstery classes, diversify with painted, antique furniture and organise a craft fair in Sheffield - please get in touch if you are interested in taking part.

So can we join you in your virtual world? 
Absolutely! Website: Twitter: @Owner TheUSC Email: Telephone: 0800 1216210 In Person: Come and visit me in person at the workshop or at any one of the craft shows I attend up and down the country throughout the year.

Finally, some quick fire questions that we are dying to know the answers to.

Favourite colour? 
Purple - because it was Donny Osmond's favourite colour (alledgedly), because I love the film Purple Rain and because it is such a sumptuous, feel-good colour. I think I have given my age away now! 

The best season? 
Summer - I love the sun and the heat. The hotter the better.

Your favourite food? 
Porridge - It makes me feel less miserable when the weather is cold.

The best day of the week? 
Monday - but only since I started working for myself.

What is the best word? 
Smorgasbord - I first heard this word in Canada when I was about 11 and even though I didn't know what it meant back then I loved it anyway.

Favourite place? 
My garden, in the summer, without doubt.

Your biggest achievement? 
Hopefully that hasn't happened yet - can you ask me in another 20 years?

I shall pop a reminder on my emails to get in touch in 2033 Heather. I'm sure everyone agrees that it was lovely to meet you! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us into your world.

Mrs Crafty B

N.B. Heather is offering you lovely readers 10% discount on upholstery courses booked before the end of June 2013 (attended before end of December 2013). Don't miss out! Get in touch with Heather on the details she provided in the interview mentioning Crafting a Daydream at

Friday 3 May 2013

To Be Mummy and a Mummy to Be!

This morning I came downstairs to find the mess from our return home yesterday. Baby B and I went out to the City on the bus to run a few errands and met Hubby B for a late dinner. By the time we came home, all bags etc were dumped on the breakfast bar,  Baby B was put to bed and the grown up B's just about managed an episode of House M.D before calling it an (early) night. 

As I came into the kitchen, I sighed to myself because I knew that these bags contained things to put away, cards to write, gifts to wrap but wait......I then remembered that yes, I might already be a Mummy, but ALL Mummies-to-be get a Bounty pack! Yes! I picked mine up yesterday and my focus shifted from breakfast with the boys (Baby B was happily eating toast already) and I was itching to discover whether my 'mum-to-be' pack actually had anything for me. Back when I was pregnant with  Baby B, I got solely baby stuff. I was grateful but you know, what about mum? 

So imagine by delight when I opened the bag to find a bottle, not a sample...but a BOTTLE of the moisturiser that I already use and which I discovered was running low at the beginning of the week. Oh how I was pleased that I forget to pick some more up yesterday. Not even just the same brand! The actual one I use. Thanks Simple. 
I also received a tub of decaf coffee. This defies the point of coffee for me really but I enjoyed a mug this morning none the less. Hubby B pointed out that they should offer and mum-to-be-for-existing-Mums pack because they might provide a little bit of caffeine. I know it's not good for Bumpleton but a little bit is ok and occasionally much required with three 20month-ish boys running around! 

My sample of washing powder (which every mum/mum-to-be loves) has been put to use already with my first load of the day and all the papers/vouchers/magazines have been sorted into useful/recycling/reading for later. 

My moisturiser excitement is slowly dying down and I am facing a few loads of washing to prepare some clothes for a charity shop and I fully intend to get in my first proper 'weekday nap' in with Baby B today. We have visitors over the whole of the weekend so maybe I'll do a little housekeeping ;-)

I hope you all have something lovely planned for the long weekend.

Sunshine wishes,

Mrs Crafty B 

Thursday 2 May 2013

Crocheted Plant Pots Covers

Having spent a bit of time in the garden recently and enjoying the fruits of Hubby B's labour, I thought I'd share a bit of a spring time make with you.

Last year, I made a green plant pot 'cozy' or 'cover' to put around the orange plant pot in the picture below. As I had organised a craft fair in September I wanted some quick easy makes for my stall. I made a few more pot covers to fit either 3" plant pots or plastic drinking cups. I had a few cups left over from Baby B's Birthday party and decided they could be recyled as plant pots if I dressed them up with these. Here are a few that I made on the 3" plant pots.
I went for a nautical style with the far one. This was made with a smaller hook and the stitches are quite tight. The top goes right over the edge of the pot so none of it can be seen. The second in from the right stops just below the top of the pot and has a slightly more 'spacy' style. The second from left also goes right over the top of the pot and you can clearly see the pot colour through it. Unlike the green band style cover, the other three go all the way around the pot. The downside being that you wouldn't want to use a pot with holes in it in case it gets wet. But they are fully washable so if they get a bit dirty, its ok.

I am definitely going to make some more of these either to sell at fairs or just to pretty up the house and garden. I'm sure Hubby B will be ever so pleased. I might even jazz them up with some crochet flowers :-). They would also make a great starter project for new crocheters!

Mrs Crafty B

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Knitted Ruffle Scarf

Back when I was making gifts last year, I tweeted a picture of this scarf in progress:
I knitted this for Big Nanna B but unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished item. Well, at least I think I did. I can't find it anywhere. I had quite a few impressed faces at the site of this scarf as people assumed that it was a very complicated item. Of course I was completely honest and told them that it was one row of 9 stitches knitted over and over and it was in fact the kind of yarn that made the ruffles; nothing to do with my knitting skills, I can assure you of that.

I loved the finished item so much that I decided to make another for a friend. This time, black with sparkles.
I love it and although it's way down the list. I would love to do one for myself.  The yarn I used for both of these was Rico Can Can Disco Yarn Scarf Wool. The top one was red mix and the bottom, glitter ruffle black and silver. The range of these yarns it amazing with many different colours, shades, mixes, with or withput glitter, different lace effects, some with tassel things on; the list is endless.

I will attempt to provide a small tutorial on how to knit with this yarn. It is so simple and easy and I would urge anyone, even knitting novices like myself, to have a go. They knit up extremely quickly and make great gifts. 

I hope this has provided at least a small bit of inspiration for your handmade gift list! 

Happy yarn hunting!

Mrs Crafty B