Sunday, 23 August 2009

Just call me the recycling queen (or how to reuse all those old t-shirts)

When you have four children you quickly generate a lot of clothing. Some of it I pass on to other people or the charity shop but, since most of it comes to us secondhand in the first place, by the time my lot have finished with them, most of the stuff is only fit for the bin.

Now if there is one thing I can't stand, it's putting things in the bin. It feels a little immoral throwing out clothing, even if it is stained beyond all recognition and full of holes! So, I came up with a way of reusing all those t-shirts and pyjamas in a braided rug:

The girls have this rug in their bedroom now, and as well as adding a splash of colour they say it is very comfortable to sit on. I have put in lots of their favourite tops that they wore to death, woollen tights that had holes in, a couple of old breastfeeding tops of mine, and some old school t-shirts (those are the yellow bits in the close-up!), and the little one's outgrown pyjamas.

A real nostalgia trip and, best of all, very few bits for the bin!

I'm wondering about putting together a tutorial for making your own - do let me know if you are interested!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Just for a change ...

... I painted a picture :)My eldest daughter loves Charlie and Lola (don't we all?) so I painted this in acrylics and outlined it in pen. (Unfortunately I rushed it a bit to get it finished before the littlest one woke up and smudged it ... gah)

Caitlin is most thrilled with it though.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Cupcakes for a Fun Day

No crafty stuff today (lots of WIPs!), but today eldest daughter and I made some smartie cookies and smiley buns, ready for tomorrow's Fun Day on our estate. Despite the superb weather we have had this summer, it looks like the rain has fairly well set in, so I think it will be a wet day. Fingers crossed for sunshine!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Summer happiness!

When I was in one of the local gift shops last week, on impulse I asked the guy who owned it if he ever took things from local craftspeople. Anyway, one quick conversation later and he is very keen to see some of the bags that I make - yippee! So I decided I ought to make up a new batch. Here's the first - you lot get a sneak preview!

I went for a nice summery look, a departure from my previous "blue jeans" ones. I have improved on my design a little and now incorporate a magnet fastening and an inside pocket (it's not as wonky as it looks, honest!)

I need to do another couple of bags to take in I think, but am sticking with the recycled jeans thing for now as it's become a bit of a signature style. I'm pleased with the way this turned out.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A little bit of kitsch

I love bright colours, but generally tend to steer away from anything too kitsch (WHAT??? I hear you say?) - no really, I do! However I couldn't resist making this heart-shaped cushion.

To soften the effect, I used a red and a bright pink knitted together, so that it gave a mottled effect. I quite like the way it has come out. Perfect for a rather dark corner in the hall.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Dyeing success!

I've always fancied having a go at dyeing but never got around to it - but finally decided to take the plunge and have a go with some food colouring:
I used red, yellow, green and blue, painting it onto the yarn which I had previously soaked in vinegar, then I "cooked" it in the microwave.
I was really pleased with the final result!
However when I came to knit it up I found that where the colouring had "pooled" at the bottom of the bowl I had created a kind of dark brown, which appeared as blobs in the final result when knitted up:
Ah well! Beginner's error I guess. It was great fun and I will definitely try again, though I might pick just one colour next time!!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Mr Tickle in stitches

I love designing and creating intarsia but it's been a while since I did any now! However Calum had been asking for a Mr Tickle jumper for ages and I had an idea in my head, so I finally came up with this!

Getting the arms to line up was a bit of a fiddle, and as you can see by the time I had frogged and reknitted this one three times I gave up:

However this one was a little more succesful!
Calum is thrilled with it, I had to sneak it away when he was sleeping to wash it!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Hello and Welcome!!!

After struggling along with my old blog at miaoucrafts for some time, I have finally decided to make the switch over to blogger in the hope that I can revive my enthusiasm for blogging and hopefully create a little more interest! I know that some people have had problems viewing my old blog, unfortunately these issues were related to the server and beyond my control. So thanks for visiting, I will add some pictures and update you on what I've been up to (provided this technnophobe can work out how to do it!) - watch this space :o)