Friday, 23 December 2011

Seasons Greetings!

Some 'makes' and inspirations from 2011 - not as well documented as I'd like but a little snippet! So much enjoyment and experimentation - not all commercial successes (little time for that these last few months!), but a lovely journey all the same :)

I'll be continuing extra office duties in the first month of the New Year, and then back to 'normal' crafty hours - pheeeeeew! Thanks for bearing with me these last few months where commercial work had to take a back seat, but on the plus side I learned to crochet - way hay!!!! There's always a silver lining to every story - I hope you have a wonderful festive season, I will 'see' you at some point in the New Year when I will be back on 'crafty' duty :)

Time for a lovely family break now - which I will be very thankful for :D

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur bho Tweed Delights!

(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Tweed Delights!)

Alison x

Monday, 19 December 2011

Better Late than . . .

Sorry, much later than anticipated I'm revealing my bunting - all FIVE flags! (it's very short bunting and would be more suited for hanging along a mantlepiece) - I'm pleased how it turned out, but that gold lurex thread still irks me and it's yet to be hung permanently. I hung it here for the sake of taking a photo, against the backdrop of one of my brother's pastel drawings which hangs over my mantlepiece . . .

. . . I prefer the uninterrupted view of my landscape picture so the bunting hasn't yet found a permanent home! Very enjoyable to make though, and I'm looking forward to making more along the same lines - I really like the traditional plaid effect against the tweed (minus the gold thread of course!!!) . . .

It's been a bit hectic here between a coughy, spluttery husband and other events which seemed intent on scuppering my Christmas preparation plans, but I think I'm on track now - too late to panic now in any case! I have one last gift to make, if I'm lucky I'll make it today. My crochet cushion was finished off, but I cheated and used cream tweed for the backing - I'd still quite like to add a lace crochet border but time is running out . . .

I really wished I'd been able to make more of my own decs, and other handcrafted goodies, but other events have taken over - I bought these cute ones at work, which were made by students with learning needs. They had a lovely stall and had oranges decorated with cloves and ribbon, but I kept mine on my desk at work - to remind me of what I could be doing if I was at home!

Never mind, soon be Christmas - later-gaters! :)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Kitsch . . . and even more kitsch

I'm always trying to capture the little robin redbreasts that seem to pop about our garden (all year round it seems!) - but to no avail. I eventually resorted to 'stealing' one of Little S's Xmas decs from the tree, just to get the effect you understand, hehe:) . . .

Here is our little fluffy friend in his 'natural' glittery habitat (he also 'tweets' a little tune when you squeeze him - just thought you'd like to know that!!)

Leading on from kitsch Christmas decs, my 'festive' binding arrived yesterday, and is more 'kitsch' than I had hoped for - it has a gold lurex thread through the tartan which is NOT what I wanted - ah, well it looks like the 'kitsch' theme is following me whether I want it or not! Here it is . . .

. . . never mind, I'm going to enjoy using it for some festive bunting - hope to show you the results later in the week!

Bye for Now :)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

my creative space . . . playing around

I'm a little late with My Creative Space today . . . in fact I didn't even think I'd be participating, but severe weather warnings kept me at home - I made the most of it of course :)

I'd ordered some bias binding from E-bay at the weekend, to get me going with some bunting-making - the 'festive' bunting hasn't yet arrived but a lovely, pretty daisy print one came yesterday and I couldn't resist playing around with it, just a little bit, hehe! . . .

. . . I'm not actually using the tweed I initially intended here, I just grabbed the first thing I saw - you know how it is, you get a notion to do something and all sense of reason goes out of your head! I sort of like really zany mixes though - colourful plaids and delicate prints - nothing is sacred here!!

I was so keen to get going with my bias binding I just leapt in with Size 10 feet (I don't acually have size 10 feet - don't worry!!!) - cut out a cardboard template and had a little play around . . .

. . . I might actually find some use for some woven labels I ordered recently - they're FAR too long for my usual 'makes' - I thought the 'handmade in the Hebrides' would be in itsy-bitsy size text but alas, not! In the back of my mind I thought I'll have to come up with some 'elongated' makes . . . and then 'bunting' came on the scene - sometimes I really think there's some divine intervention going on :D

Well, I hope the weather abates a little by the morning, otherwise I'll be out of a job and be labeled as an unfit mother to boot (the boys stayed at home today too) - I wouldn't have sent a dog out in the rain and gales that lashed against our kitchen door today!! More creative 'tails' here :)

P.S. Claire over at Sweet Birdy Love is having a fab 'too-whit-too-whoooooo!!' giveaway right now - she's been such an inspiration to me this year - her creativity seems to be boundless! Go give her a visit, she's very welcoming hehe :)

P.P.S. Unfortunately I've been having some unsavoury 'spammy' issues over the last two days and have had to enable 'comment moderation' - something I did NOT enjoy doing - I hope this won't deter comments, it's merely to keep the nasty 'spammy' peeps at bay till I figure it all out!! Apologies for that - bye for now! x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Snowy scenes . . . and polka dots

We woke up to some beautiful snowy scenery this morning . . .

Let's hope it stays like this for Christmas - finger's crossed! :)

Sorry I've been a little absent of late - busy finishing off a couple of Christmas gifts - any left to make will be done at leisure now as they're for local family relatives, I'll be crocheting on Christmas Eve at this rate, hehe :) So many things I want to make at the moment - some will have to wait until after the festive season is over, when I'll be back to my usual office work schedule.

This weekend, I've been thinking about bunting, bunting and more bunting, after purchasing this little book from Amazon. A very cute little publication which has got me really inspired to make some of my own - I'm imagining my house covered in the stuff - great fun! To me, bunting sounds like Christmas decorations that you never have to take down - way hay!! :)

I've just sat down on the kitchen floor as I was going to take a pic of my shiny new oven to show you (strangely two days after I'd been on my work trip our old one died!!!???) However, I noticed that I was wearing my new polka dot socks with ribbons on them - I think they're probably more interesting than my new oven (much as I love it!!!) - socks aren't usually something I get excited about but . . .

. . . if you have to wear socks, I think you should make a statement, no??

As with EVERYTHING at the moment, I'm thinking I would love to CROCHET a pair of socks!!

Right now I'm 'dreaming of a white Christmas' . . . and some more crafting time!

Have a Happy Monday :)

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bats and Beanies . . .

I had to take a little trip to the mainland (Scottish) at the end of last week - work-related, but quite nice all the same! It's good to be back though, even if after spending a night in a "posh-ish" hotel it reminded me of how much I have to declutter my little home - I've spent the day clearing the decks and trying to get my house looking like a little hotel-ish LOL!! It hasn't really worked, but it looks a little better now, hehe :) If it ever does look like a hotel, I'll definitely take photos and post them here!!!!

'Little S' was a little bored on Saturday afternoon/evening so he decided he wanted to make the 'bat-cookies' we'd left over from Hallowe'en - I was shocked that he didn't want to decorate them so I had to decorate my own one!!! (I copied the picture on the packet-mix - ooops!)

He was a bit 'miffed' that he was the only one in the house without a crochet beanie and asked for a black one - who am I to argue!!! Here's the beanie in progress - it's in a bowl because I was using the wool 'doubled up' as I thought it would be too thin and lacey-looking otherwise - it turned out really thick and warm but a good fit so he was happy enough!

I'm almost finished my present-making list for Xmas, and I want to spend some time making my home looking nice and cosy and Christmassy - I ordered a little booklet from Amazon on 'bunting-making' - watch this space! You never know I might manage some Christmas bunting, but it's a long shot!!

Back to a four-day week this week (but there are noises about a strike at the office-job - are you allowed to stay at home and crochet during a strike??? - it doesn't sound very militant, he he!!) Bye for now :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

A re-draw . . .

Sorry I'm a little later than planned getting back to you re the Giveaway - unfortunately the original winner didn't get back to me so I got my Other Half to draw a new name out at the weekend which was Fiona! Congratualtions Fiona - I will be in touch with you very soon :)

I'm still busy with extended office hours and gift-making - well I started, so I'm going to finish!! I'm having a ball really - lots of experimenting and playing around with different yarns- it's an excuse to have some fun to an extent, and hone my crochet skills too of course :) It's a 'win-win' situation - not sure what the recipients will think though, hehe :) Anyway, my eldest (16 year old) is wondering about the house wearing the new beanie hat I made for him over the weekend - I'm overjoyed that he likes it so much! (sorry, no pics - he's a teenager - enough said!!)

I have no crafty pictures of my own - so here's Little S's crafty 'makes' from school this week - they had a crafty 'masterclass' all this week at school and made a drawstring bag . . .

. . . a squishy fishy pin-cushion

. . . and a cute decorative celtic-inspired wall decoration

That's all from 'Little S's' blog this week, hehe! I'm going to have a hectic week this week for one reason and another so maybe absent until the weekend at least - have a lovely week y'all :) Cheerio an Drasda!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

my creative space . . . jumping up and down with excitement!

Look, look - I made it! I felt like a five year old who'd just learned how to tie shoelaces, ride a bike or count to ten - or all three things together, hehe! I know, this looks like quite a non-descript sort of crafty item - it's actually a crocheted boy-beanie and I'm not afraid to say how proud I am of my first attempt . . .

I came across the pattern on Ravelry and scoured all the posts people had made on the pattern - how invaluable was that!! In the olden days you'd probably go and ask your Granny, or your Auntie or your Great Great Auntie who lives up the road - nowadays you go online and check how someone on the other side of the planet made their beanie hat - I'm so glad I did though :)

Checking out other people's posts on the pattern allowed me to avoid disappointment and make the beanie to the correct size to fit an adult/teen. Bizzarely it fits everyone in the family - from ten years old to adult - unfortunately no one would model it for me - not even me!!! (I really do not look good in a hat of any description!)

Thankyou Ravelry for providing me with so much information - here's a link to my notes on Ravelry for the pattern - what a clever, helpful site :) More 'daft' crafty types here - where would I be without them??!! :)

P.S. I'm still waiting for the winner of my Giveaway to get in touch - if you're out there Suze, please get in touch - otherwise I will do a redraw this weekend : /

P.P.S. So sorry - I'm just realising I did not manage to get back to last week's comments - this office work malarkey is playing havoc with my blogging routine - many, many apologies - that's just not 'cricket' : /

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The winner is . . . . !

Sorry to leave you in suspense - the winner of my Giveaway (as picked by my Other Half from a 'bowl' - he's very reliable as he has absolutely no idea what I get up to on my blog, hehe!!) is Suze! Many congrats Suze - please get in touch with your contact details, as I don't see an e-mail link on your blog, but I'll leave a comment there in the hope that between 'here and there' you'll get the happy news. Thanks to all who entered - I appreciate it, and it has indeed had the required effect of keeping me connected with my lovely blog-readers :)

The other 'winner' of the day is 'Little S' as he managed to complete the Cross Country race held at the Castle Green, Stornoway, this morning. It was freezing, wet and generally pretty miserable weather but there was a great turnout. He got a medal for competing as everyone did, and although he was nowhere near the real winners I was pretty impressed that he completed it as he had done NO training whatsoever for it - well done kiddo!! :)

I'm off to 'chillax' now - it was really exhausting watching all that running this morning LOL!! Have a lovely weekend :)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Giveaway Closed

My Giveaway is now closed - many thanks to all who entered it! I'll announce a winner over the weekend - if you haven't left contact details, please keep a tab on my blog for the next couple of days so you'll find out if you've won or not :)

Cheerio an Drasda! x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

my creative space . . . just an idea

I'm plodding on with making a few crochet christmas gifts - every so often, taking a wee side road to some other experimental crafting. I had an idea in my mind to try sewing onto card - a really simple idea but I'd never really done it much apart from a brief foray into making gift tags with sewn on tweed/fabric.

I'd love to make some handmade festive cards this year (this may never materialise!) so I had a go on Monday and machine-sewed some cream tweed onto a pre-folded card . . .

. . . and then made a very rustic attempt at hand-embroidering a christmas tree - it's pretty 'pants' as far as embroidery goes, but I did it free-hand and I think it will lead on to more attempts with a similar idea ie.sewing onto card, embroidered motif, etc. It's quite nice just to have a little 'acorn' of an idea - you never know, I might get to take it to another level . . . or not, hehe! :D

My extended office hours will possibly take me to the end of the year, or very near to it but I'm holding my own and keeping my little 'crafty' head above the water, just about! I think I'll have lots of new ideas to work with when I get back to having more crafting time though.

My Giveaway is open until 5 pm Thursday 10th November (British time) if you want to enter - it's open to anyone, anywhere!!

More creative ideas over this way - byeeeee :D

Thursday, 3 November 2011

my creative space . . . and a Hebridean Giveaway! :)

I'm showing a creation from a couple of weeks ago as I'm currently working on some Christmas gifts - sssshhhhhh, Top Secret!! This was a prototype version of something I thought might make nice gifts . . .

It's a little 'woollie' crochet coin purse made from a simple pattern I came across on 'Ravelry' (thanks to 'J' over at TartanKiwi for pointing me in that direction!)

I wasn't sure what to do with it once I'd finished it because I wanted to make more of them in slightly 'funkier, colourful' yarn for giving to younger family members, so I thought it might make a fun Giveaway gift, along with these other items . . .

My blog is a little oasis of calm and creativity for me at the moment, at a time when I'm unable to be as craftily productive as I'd like - so thank you for still bearing with me :) I'm hoping my Giveaway will keep me feeling connected to the crafty world while I'm working my extra office hours this month!!

If you'd like to win this little Giveaway package - (it seems to have a particular Hebridean twist, what with the sheep and the croft houses!!) just leave a comment (it's open to anyone in the world). My giveaway package seems to sum up what's currently inspiring me - crochet, embroidery, silvery bling, . . . em . . . sheep??!! (perhaps not, hehe!!) What's inspiring you in the crafty world right now? I'd love to hear your comments :)

I'll leave my Giveaway open till this time next week, 5 pm Thursday 10th November (British time). Make sure your comment enables me to contact you if you've won!

More creative peeps over this way - Byeeee :)

P.S. Apologies I've been unable to make time for much commenting myself recently - I have been reading though, honest!!! :D

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Wooo hoooo oooo!

Here are some pics of our Halloween celebration yesterday (it was very minimal!). 'Little S' got into the spirit of things though . . .

He decided to carve his own pumpkin this year (under supervision of course!) - he's the jolliest 'unscariest' one I've seen! He looked a little 'gummy' before being lit up . . .

He made a couple of chocolate covered apples from a packet-mix (bad mummy!) . . .

And there was some cake too . . .

OK, OK - I bought it at the supermarket, hehe!

These were all very haphazard and spontaneous goings-on in the afternoon as we were going to go and see a screening of Nosferatu in our local Arts Centre in the evening. This was a really fab event (part of the Hebridean Book Festival) - we happened to know the musician who played (and wrote) the accompanying music - he lives in the same village as us, so we really HAD to go!! We weren't disappointed - a wonderful atmospheric silent movie (1922) and a fantastic musical accompaniment.

Many congrats to Peter Urpeth for his beautiful piano playing - we were completely mesmerised - thanks for a great evening Peter :D

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

my creative space . . . looks familiar!

Ah, sorry! My creative space looks very much like last week's, only I've progressed quite a bit with my project and decided to continue with my crochet cushion cover. I was a little undecided last week what I would do with it. You can no longer see the cushion pad behind it - hurray! Just the other side to complete now, hehe :( To give myself a little break from this slightly more time consuming project, I'm amusing myself by doing other little projects like the crochet daisy in the middle (it's not attached yet). It's not perfect, but I was pretty pleased with it all the same . . .

This crochet malarkey is great fun especially when you're short on crafting time, as I am at the moment - it's so easy to pick it up whenever, no setting up required - perfect for me right now :)

More crafty peeps over here - byeee :)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

my creative space . . . works in progress

Sorry, I've been a bit out of touch this week, but I decided to take a complete break from the laptop and concentrate on chilling out and enjoying my October break - the weather has been pretty appalling so far - excellent crafting weather, hehe! Here's a little something I started on last night . . .

I started out with the intention of covering this round cushion pad - but now I'm not so sure, and might just make it into a plant-pot coaster or something, add some crochet lace round the edge maybe?

It's a lovely texture though and another enjoyable crochet experiment - the finished item will probably be a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law, whatever it turns out to be!

The soap sachets are all finshed. Here's a sneaky peek - I can't show them too graphically as they will be gifts for family members - look away now if you're a close family relative - ooops! :) . . .

Here's the last of the scones I made yesterday - we had a roaring open fire on as we had snow yesterday - and my Big Sis was hoping to visit, but didn't quite make it - sorry Sis, there's only one left!!! (I'll make some more today hopefully!)

It's the 'whisky olympics' - oooops, sorry I mean the National Mod , hehe!, in the Hebrides this week - I haven't seen any of it yet as my boys aren't involved, but I might grab a bit of the atmosphere at the end of the week if I manage to drag myself away from my cosy fire and warm scones. The weather is certainly on the up - look at the lovely pink skies we had this morning - really gorgeous . .

I will TRY and grab an image of the mod this week but won't make any promises! 'See' you soon - more creative peeps over here - I'm popping over there myself :)

P.S. 'Tweedie' activities will resume as soon as possible, hehe! :D

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Crochet, moonlight and cake . . .

Well, another week has gone by and no time for a blog post in between - never mind, I'm here now! The few grabbed hours of crafting have been spent on my crochet projects and I'm happy to say that I'm finally dipping into the lovely bundle of cotton yarn. I've been using a pattern for a crochet soap sachet and aiming to make a few in all the differnt colours of yarn, as Christmas gifts - I think I'll enjoy going out and choosing some yummy complementary soap to go ino each one :) Three made so far and two more to go - they're so nice to make and very satisfying to see each one in a different colour . . . here's a snippet of the turquoise one . . .

I'm completely amazed at what you can make with crochet once you learn the basic stitches - the heart motif in the pattern is teaching me some basics of increasing and decreasing stitches which is something that baffled me initially, so it's a good learning ground. Ooops, I'm in serious danger of becoming a crochet bore, hehe - but you know it really is good fun and I really urge you to try it - I'll shut up now!!

We've had some lovely still nights this week with a fabulous full moon, the picture doesn't really do it justice . . .

Hopefully, this week we will get some nice weather because I am now on my October holidays with the boys off school for a whole week - hooray!!! I plan to have a lovely relaxing break, some more crochet, a few nice walks and maybe the bike will make the journey from out of the garage.

I bought this book at a discounted book sale this week with the idea of being a bit of a domestic goddess too, haha!

Actually the photographs of the cakes looked so gorgeous I couldn't resist it - well' that's my holiday wrapped up - I'll pop in if I have any yummy treats to declare!

Bye for now :)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

What I'd really like to be doing . . .

I was having a little go at making some 'you know what' (that word which must remain unspoken!) decs last weekend - that silver crochet thread is proving to be very useful for some other crafty projects! Plan is to make a few for craft-fairs and maybe a few as gifts. Just simple stuffed tweedie squares with hessian twine attached to the corner - voila, now they're a cute diamond shaped hanging, decoration thingy. A few embroidered silver stars and 'Bob's your Uncle' as they say :)

Thing is, what I'd really like to be doing is playing around with the gorgeous sorbet coloured crochet yarn in the background - aren't the colours lovely - I can almost pretend it's Summer time when I look at them, maybe that's the attraction, hehe!

With all the extra hours at the 'office job' I'm spending a lot of time on this little bus, when I'd really like to be doing something else, like crafting!! At least the scenery is nice :D

I took this pic last weekend as I was trying to capture how flat-calm the sea was looking - there wasn't a breath of wind. Very pretty, but I just wish I didn't have to spend so much time on that darned little bus these days - never mind, I guess it's better than the London Underground at rush hour! Back to some crafting in the very precious hours I have left this weekend :) Byeee, till later . . .

Saturday, 1 October 2011

I've been busy - honest!

Sorry for the long gap between posts but I have of course been camera-less while Other Half was off on his jaunt, followed by 'Little S' catching the usual school-bugs which are on the round at the moment. Both things combined of course gave me a little extra crafting time this week, so I was playing around with a new idea for some funny little 'croft-house' brooches. I was thinking of making some kind of corsage-type brooches with my crochet flowers but before I knew it I was making little stuffed houses - hmmmmmmm, funny how your creative brain takes over, hehe!

I thought they would be quite fun for some upcoming craft fairs which I've just received word about (the Summer fair has been and gone unfortunately but I still have stock, so ready to rock-and-roll!). You can see they're quite rustic which is how I wanted them to look - they're cuter in real life, honest! I'm working on a few in different colours but as they're hand-embroidered I won't be churning them out, just a few!

Next up came a little idea for some Christmassy lavender bags for the fairs - there's a little crochet project in the background too which I was really chuffed about making but they might turn out to be gifts so I'll keep them low profile for now :

Finally I managed to stuff a couple of beach-balls which have been WIPs for rather longer than I intended but I did eventually finish them - they might make their way to my online shop, I'll keep you posted.

This afternoon's dilemma will be 'to crochet or more 'tweedie' work' - perhaps I'll do a little bit of both! Have a lovely weekend :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

my creative space . . . shiny, happy :)

Well, I'm happy to say that I can show my finished attempt with my silver thread/beads project, and I'm really delighted with it. This crochet 'thing' has really got me fired up! Here's my 'shiny, happy' . . .

. . . thing. It's an eight sided star/christmas decoration from my crochet 'how to' book (Learn to Crochet edited by Sally Harding) and I really enjoyed the challenge of making it. This is of course my second attempt as the first attempt went a little 'spidery' and askew, but I decided to make a fresh start and bumbled my way through the pattern, but I loved every minute of it . . .

I'm completely amazed at how versatile crochet is - so many possibilities! This crochet star is supposed to be starched to stiffen it for use as a decoration, so that may be the next stage, although I must admit I'm terrified in case I 'spoil' it - I love it so much! (clock the little silver beads - aren't they cute?)

Well back to the office tomorrow, sheesh, this 4 day working week is quite demanding (OK, two of them are only half days but . . . ) :) 'Other Half' has absconded for a week taking my camera with him - how will I cope?? (without my camera I mean, haha!!!) Well, sorry no blogging till next week, boo hoo :/ See you then :D

More 'shiny/happy' peeps over here.

Monday, 19 September 2011

First attempt . . .

This is my first attempt at using the silver thread I showed in my last post - the pattern/thread required the use of a tiny crochet hook, so small it wasn't even in the crochet hook set I had bought so I used the next one up. I was half way through the second row when I clocked that the level of difficulty shown was 'three stars' in the book, em . . . for advanced crocheters, I knew I was in trouble then, hehe!

I think 'Little S' and I decided it looked a bit like a silver spider - anyway I'm now on my second attempt at this project and I hope I'll finish it even if it doesn't look perfect as it's not a gift or anything, just an interesting experiment. You'll notice that the beads have been strung onto the thread I'm using - they're supposed to be integrated into the pattern on the last row - I hope you're suitably intrigued!! (and I really hope I'll be able to show you something finished eventually - whatever it will look like!)

Just to add some 'tweedieness' to this post in case you think I've completely abandoned my fabric of choice - here's a little coin purse I made with the cupcake fabric. I'm hoping to make a little batch of them either for sale online or locally - haven't figured that out yet! . . .

. . . more cakes inside of course - hope you're not hungry hehe! I've used that lovely fuschia pink tweed - I don't think there's a girl on the planet who could resist that combination, Harris Tweed and gorgeous girly pink - what's not to love :)

Well, I better whizz around with my magic wand and get my home spotless after the weekend - if you believe that you'll . . . :D

Hope you had a good weekend - Happy Monday :)

Oh, just moving on from the pink link (that's a good rhyme!) I managed to get out on my very treasured bike at the weekend, and had a lovely spin to the local beach just a few minutes away . . .

Isn't she lovely? I bought her about a year ago and have had some lovely spins to the beach (one of the reasons I got it!) and some fun jaunts out the moor track with 'Little S' (a bit hair-raising actually!). She was a reward for my full-time office stint last year - purposely bought in pink and silver so the boys wouldn't be tempted to run off with her - it's worked a treat and they don't go near it! But also as 'Big S' reminded me, they don't go near it 'cos they know I love her so much - I didn't realise I'd expressed so much adoration for her, haha! :)

Cheerio an Drasda!