Sunday, 31 March 2013

Spring cleaning, chocolate & a Fox amongst the chickens!

Origami paper fox
Who's that peeping out behind the basket...?
Happy Easter!  I hope you are surrounded by all things yummy today - we certainly seem to have had a massive amount of chocolate appear in our house this morning which will probably take a while to clear!

Talking of  clearing, I recently ran a last ever sale and closed down my bead shop in order to be able to move on a little (workwise) and, with a zillion beads to still sort out & get rid of, have started to knuckle down to the task of sorting out and re-organising my 'creative space'. I guess you could call it Spring Cleaning and of course, what it has really done is reveal just how much of a total hoarder I really am!  There are things I could never find when I needed them and others that are long forgotten but I am doing my best to sort everything out.... 
somewhere in this here pile is something very useful (....I think)
(don't even ask me why I have an old Thunderbirds game in this pile!)

Anyway, I will get there and it should mean that I have a much better space in which to sit, create & dream.  

To kick start the re-vamp I popped off to Ikea and bought 2 nice new white tables (to help give me a sense of clarity) and, now I've got them all set up and have spent a few days sorting around them, I thought I should really stop and test them out  - just to see if they are up to the job.... and so here we are with another little make and all those Easter chickies had better watch out!

Meet Mr Fox...

As you can see, Mr Fox is made of paper and I think he's rather cute!  He's very simple to make and all you need is a square of paper to practise with.  

Want to make your own paper Fox?  Just follow these steps....
 (1)  Begin by folding your square of paper from one corner to another (as shown) to form a triangle...

(2)Fold the triangle in half to give you a centre crease then open back up...
(3) Now use that centre crease as a guide for bringing one of the sides inwards as shown

(4)Do the same on the other side...and you should end up with a square shape like in the picture above
(5)Fold in half 'backwards'...
(6)Hold it down on a flat surface..

(7) Fold the side section over as shown... 

(It should now look like this)

(8) Now open the 'concertina' bit outwards as shown above..

(9) Bend the middle point down to form the 'face'

(10) Put a bend in the 'tail'...

(11 Draw in some foxy face features..(you can also 'open' his mouth if you want!)

Stand him up and put another small kink in his tail and he's done!

Now you'd best go tell those chickens to watch out...
He's coming...

Watch out chickies!
Well, I think I can say the tables are fit to work on so I'd better be off to do some more tidying... and maybe eat a little of that chocolate :-)

Happy Making!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Quick crochet make...anyone for Easter bunny bunting?

crochet bunny bunting
Hi there!  It's a dull old day and the start of the school holidays so thought I pop another quick Eastery make on the blog for you. It's some crocheted mini-bunny decorations (must be having a fad on making everything small... don't ask me why - I just go with the flow!) I'm thinking that if you made lots, and maybe some flowers, you could even make them into 'mini-bunny-bunting' to string around the branches which would be uber cute. They are also super fast to make so you've got plenty of time to get making them in good time for Easter.  

So let's get started.....grab your 0.3mm crochet hook and some fine white dk yarn and start out with a magic circle...

....and make 2 ch into it

Now make 5 dc into the ring...

Join back to the 2 ch to make a circle...

Make 2 dc in each dc all the way around then make 4 ch...

...then make 1  x triple treble into the same stitch (i.e. first dc) make 3 ch and ss to same stitch again (you should end up with a cluster that makes up the first bunny 'ear' as shown above) ss in the next 2 dcs (to move the thread along), then make 3 ch make a triple treble in the same space 
...followed by 4 ch and ss back to the same stitch again to complete the second bunny 'ear' cluster

To complete the bunny head, now work a row of 1 dc in each dc all the way around.  Cut the thread and finish off.

Use a little embroidery thread to add the nose, mouth & eyes in a style of your choosing...

...all done and you are ready to make some more!

Don't forget to make some little flowers for your bunting - I put some small pearly shell buttons into the middles of mine..

(I'll write up the pattern for these later)

I'm thinking I might deserve a little early easter chocolate after all this work... 

Enjoy xxxx

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Easter, Blossom & Pink Crochet Chicks...

It seems to me that no sooner than I have finished all the Christmas chocolates and got my sweet tooth back under control that the 'Sugar-Fest' that is Easter arrives!

I think I saw the first eggs in shops around the end of January (or thereabouts) and have so far managed to avoid getting into it too much but now, with only another week before the schools break for the holidays, I thought I'd get into the spirit of it with a little themed make.

On a whim, I've decided I want to crochet a little pink chick that I can maybe pop on our Easter Tree later on so I've had a rummage through my wool stash for some suitable yarn which I think was a 'Rico' baby wool (I'm afraid the label has long gone!)

Pink Easter Chick
Anyway, after several goes I have worked out a nice little pattern that, with the addition of a few 'features' makes this little Miss Chick...what do you think? (she thinks she's a bit of a cutey-pie posing about in her little nest :-)

At times it's a wee bit hard to concentrate since the arrival of Teddie... I have quickly learnt that puppies are rather like toddlers i.e. they need constant attention, feeding, training..etc.  And it doesn't help that he likes to run off with my wool the cheeky so-and-so!
Give it back Teddie!
He is so cute though that you just can't stay cross with him for long and he is improving his behaviour every week - it just takes a lot of patience and a watchful eye (I caught him chewing an electrical cable today...eeek...  a fried Teddie would not be a happy Teddie!)

So, do you want to have a go at a mini-chick?  If so, you first need to choose your wool (fine DK or 4 ply) and grab a small 2.5mm crochet hook. Ok - here's the step-by-steps....

(1) Begin by making a 'magic circle' and make 2 chain (ch) into it.

 (2) Make 5 double crochet (dc) into the magic circle then pull the thread end to close the ring slightly

 (3) Join to the first 2ch with a slip stitch (ss) to make the first round then make 1 ch

(4) Now make 1ch, 1dc in the first stitch and then 2 dc in each dc all the way around.  Join with a ss and make 1 ch 

(5) On the next round make 1 dc in each dc, join with a ss and make 1 ch ready for next round

 (6) Now make 2 more rows as per Step (5) and it should be starting to look like the picture above...

 (7) On the next row, 1 dc then 2 dctog all the way around (this will start to decrease the stitches so the top of the 'egg' shape forms)

(8) On the next row, 1 dc in each dc then repeat step (7) for the final row

 (9) Now cut the thread (leave a tail of several inches) and finish off by pulling the end through the last crochet loop.  

(10) Now you can stuff the 'egg' shape.  I find it easiest to use the crochet hook to help pull the fluff down inside as the hole at the top is quite small.

  (11) When that's done,  thread the loose end of wool onto a bodkin and make a running stitch around the top of the crochet stitches and draw it to close & knot (you could have done another round of crochet but to be honest it was so fiddly that I found this was a whole lot easier and pretty neat!)

  (12) To make the chick's legs I cut 3 short lengths of pink craft wire and threaded them through the egg at the bottom as shown above

(13) I then twisted the wires together, made a couple of right angle bends for the 'feet'  and spread out the 'toes' (in actual fact you could use pipe cleaners  - I just didn't have any to hand - and they might be better because the ends of the wires can be a bit scratchy unless you file them so do be aware of that!)
Now all that's left is to start adding a few features. I used a couple of stacked flower shape buttons for a hat..

   .... a couple of seed beads were sewn on for the eyes

...I cut a tiny piece of yellow felt for the beak

 ...and glued it into place!

 ....and here's the finished chick!

Here she is posing amongst the early spring blossom....hey - maybe that's what I should call her!

If pink is not your thing simply make in yellow or white - they will still look cute.  I think I shall categorise this as a 'fiddly-but-fun' project!

Happy Making :-)