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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Not all ideas...

..actually work.

Whilst others do.

I wasn't sure about the "Minion" but other folk seem to think he is fine...
 ...and the "Ghost" (free pattern found on line by a friend) worked beautifully but a colleague suggested knitting a "TARDIS" (the Dr Who telephone box). This wasn't such a success a) because I didn't have the right shade of blue b) because the TARDIS is square and the innocent smoothie bottles are round so it looks rather distorted. Ho-hum...at least it is another hat to add to the collection.

Innocent Smoothies stated they wanted to achieve 2 million mini hats this year which means they would be donating £500,000 to Age UK to boost funds that help elderly vulnerable folk deal with heating issues during the colder months of the year. Around mid-May they said they had reached approx. 1.2 million (the deadline for submitting the hats is end of July).

Our "Craft & Chatter" group at work will be well over the 100 mark by mid-July when we will be packing them up and sending them on their way.

Here are a few more that have been added to the collection...
 ...the one with the multi-coloured bobbles at the back seemed like a good idea at the time LOL - let's just say there will not be a second one knitted.
The collection box is filling up nicely...
...and the good thing is, folk are getting to use up all those odds and ends of yarn that they have hanging around the place (you all know how we crafters don't like to throw anything away).

I've now cracked the 100 mark for little hats and will be keen to see just how many my final total amounts to when we have to send them off.

Our group have said that this has been quite a bit of fun and some of them may continue in between other projects so that we get a head start for next year.....................................

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

I've knitted...

...ninety-one mini hats; so far.

The total currently stands at 94 hats, three of which have been made by colleagues (one by Heather, one by Pam and one by Kristian). Lynn has been knitting away and promises her finished items when she has attached some bobbles and Francis has been knitting little character hats that just need some googly eyes attached.

I thought I'd done about 70...
 ...and just kept adding the finished ones to the box.
These little hats are so easy to knit - perfect for an evening in front of the TV...
 ...and the basic pattern can be 'played' with to create all sorts of designs. Here are a bunch of 'bell flowers'...
 ...in a variety of different colours.
Yesterday I added a few more hats to the box and decided to tip out the contents...
 ...this was the pile and it was quite a surprise to find just how many I have knitted over the past few weeks.
I had a go at making a 'Minion' type hat...
...but it didn't come out as I wanted (a touch of leaky elbow syndrome). Still, it's another hat for the collection.

We are aiming to send our hats off by the middle of July so there should be plenty of time for me to break that 100 mark......................................................................

Thursday, 15 June 2017

My first...

...completed parchment project.

If you promise not to look too closely (and spot the wonky snipping around the edges and the odd pierced hole that shouldn't be there) I'll show you my finished Christmas gift box.

I did all the outside panels using the Scalloped squares Groovi plate rather than create different shaped panels for each side.

The Groovi plates are a great starting point...
 ...which can be decorated in any way you like. This means even traditional 'parchers' can make use of them (much easier than measuring and trying to draw straight lines with perfect corners LOL).

The "S" on the front of the box was my first attempt at grid-work...
 ...and despite a couple of 'oops' moments I was very pleased with the finished result.

The inside of the box was decorated with some small (less detailed) panels...
 ...with a touch of glitter and 'spray & sparkle'.

The background for the "N" was from a small grid...
 ...which meant that the pattern had to be 'matched' to fill the space - I think this is my favourite panel.

On the sample that Joanne made, her "O" panel was round (using the scalloped circles Groovi plate)...
 ...so I had to adapt the design slightly to fit a square.

The "W" was stippled (only the second time I have done this) and it seemed to take for ever...
...but once done, the background was created with the random use of the micro sun tool.

This Friday I have a couple of parchment classes so will be continuing with my "Twas the Night before Christmas" book - just 3 pages left to do.

At this rate I should have at least two completed projects by this Christmas.....................................

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

"Little boxes...

...made of..."

The box that we made as the base for the parchment project was such a nice idea that I thought I would have another go at making one.

The box is constructed from 300gsm smooth white card and covered with PP from a paper stack that I bought in Poundland (the stack was one of several A5 sized pads that they had and the paper is actually very good quality).

Here is the resulting 'make'...
 ...I didn't have any very fine magnets that could be used as a closure and Velcro was also too thick so I raided my ribbon stash.

The inside of the box was covered in the same PP...
...although I did consider using a contrast.

A lovely sturdy little box - perfect to pop a gift or some fancy chocolates in and still have a cute storage box afterwards................................................................

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

...and double Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Windows 10 carried out some up-dates on Sunday & Monday and whatever was done means that Windows is no longer friends with Blogger.

Yesterday, I spent ages trying to get into Blogger only to be faced with a blank white screen.

Today, I have spent ages trying to get into Blogger and although I have finally succeeded, things are not running smoothly.

Windows 10 & Blogger - will you please 'kiss & make-up' so that I can get on with the things that I need to do...........................................................

Friday, 2 June 2017

The little hat collection...

...is growing.

I had a bit of a play over the weekend - after all, despite it being a Bank Holiday weekend there wasn't a great deal to watch on the TV of an evening.

So the knitting needles were busy and I made around 20 little hats...
 ...two of my 'plays' are shown in the photo on the bottles.
The yellow & green and the blue & white were a couple more...
...they were sewn up at this week's "Knit & Natter".

Some of the other folk in the group have been making hats too but they also need to get them sewn.

The knitting part seems to be quite quick & easy but we are all less than enthusiastic about the sewing LOL

Still, we seem to be doing well and hope to have a good collection completed and ready to send off by the middle of July.

I'm looking forward to seeing how much of the box we manage to fill.............................................

Thursday, 1 June 2017

I told you...

...I had a busy weekend.

Despite parts of the UK having temps that were better than Jamaica, the weather over the Bank Holiday weekend wasn't that great - spells of heavy rain & thunder storms made it difficult to plan anything.

On Friday & Saturday the weather wasn't too much of an issue as I had craft classes. However, I really wanted to get my fence at the front of the house stained.

Due to the thunder storm Saturday evening, the fence wood was too wet to apply stain on Sunday so I concentrated on getting the washing & other household chores done. I was lucky, the rain held off until around 4pm so the washing dried and luckier still, the rain didn't last that long.

So Monday, bright & early, I was determined to get the fence done.

I had previously managed to get the front door painted as it is under the cover of the front porch area...
...and as you can see, it is now "Village Green". I used a satin exterior wood finish rather than a wet-look glossy finish.

Several hours later.

The front fence was changed from a tired "Red Cedar" colour to "Forest Green"...
 ...it looks a bit patchy here as it wasn't completely dry.
I'm very pleased with how it looks...
...and despite the initial doubts...
...I am loving the new colour.

The sky started to cloud over and rain had been forecast so I didn't get to do the front facing side of my back gate but I should get that done next weekend.

Now I just need the rain to hold off long enough so that the grass can get cut................................

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Late May Bank Holiday...

...was pretty busy.

On Friday afternoon I met up with my friend Hilary for lunch and then went to a parchment class at Pinnacle Crafts. Another page of my 'Twas the night before Christmas book was completed leaving me just four pages yet to be done.

The weekend before had been an "All day" class where we started on a pretty decorated box. I managed to complete the construction and make a start on the decorative panels.

Here is the box that Joanne produced as a sample...
 ...and as you can see, when the lid comes off...
 ...hidden inside are some little shelves (big enough to take a few choccies).
Joanne made two versions, the second being a more general use box...
 ...and folk were given the choice as to which one they made.

Because it was bank holiday weekend, Joanne had arranged another "All day" class so I was able to get stuck in on the panels.

Here is my letter "S"...
 ...lots of 'grid work' and embossing. Which was then followed by lots of snipping (my favourite bit - NOT!!!).
The other panels were then worked upon...

...by the end of the lessen I had completed all but the "W". This will take a while as the letter is 'stippled' and then the background pattern will need to be done.

I will take some more photos once I have finished and mounted all the outside panels. Then it will be a case of doing the panels for the inside of the box.

This has come together surprisingly quickly but will probably take another couple of lessons to complete. I loved the box construction and can't wait to see the finished item.

You never know, I might even have a go at the other version......................................

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

We're joining in with...

...the BIG knit.

Each year the company who make 'innocent smoothies' here in the UK have a drive to raise money for "Age Concern". This money helps to provide the elderly with the means to keep warm during the Winter months.

For those of you who live here in the UK you will be familiar with the sight of bottles of smoothies sitting on the shelves in the stores, wearing little knitted or crochet hats - and some of these can be quite ornate. The 'hatted' bottles usually hit the stores around Autumn and for every bottle with a hat sold, 'innocent' will donate 25p to Age Concern.

This year they want to put 2 million bottles out there with hats - so far they have received in excess of 1 million but the deadline is closing in (hats have to be with 'innocent by 31 July).

I received an email reminding me about the deadline so I asked the "Knit & Natter"/"Craft & Chatter" group if they wanted to make some hats that we could send off for the cause - they said yes.

Here are a few that I have made...







 ...nothing overly fancy but I'm going for numbers.
We have a collecting box so that others in the office can contribute...
...even if they don't attend the craft group.

If you knit/crochet, why not have a go too. There are lots of free patterns on the Internet - along with details of where to send the completed hats. These little makes are a great way of using up all those scraps of wool for a good cause.

Sitting here chatting isn't getting things done so I'd better get back to the needles.............................

Monday, 22 May 2017

HUGE Shock...

...Pinnacle Crafts has decided to close its physical shop.

Please see the following message: -


Hi everyone,

We hope you are well?

We would like to announce that we have taken the decision to close our shop here at Barleylands and concentrate on our on line offering and also our lessons and workshops.

So, we won’t be closing Pinnacles as a whole, just the physical shop... Therefore as a Pinnacle Crafts Club Member, you will still be able to use your discount on our website and also attend our Card Making and Parchment Craft lessons and workshops. In fact, we are looking to expand these.

So, if you are interested in any of our workshops then please let us know. And, if there is sufficient interest, we will open up additional dates, as the ones we currently teach are pretty much full on a weekly basis.
 
From Tuesday 23rd May 2017, until a date to be announced we will be having a

Rummage Sale in the shop.

Everything is 50%

off the marked price to everyone..

(stock on our website has been “zeroed out” until after the event. The sale is just in store.)

We acknowledge and appreciate that Club Members Discount Weekend would have been this coming weekend. This sale is instead of this event.

We will not be taking any orders at this time, the sale is just off of the items we have in stock.
 

So, that’s half price off of all remaining Adhesives, Dies, Cutting Plates, Parchment and Groovi products, pre packed card and paper, Stamps, Inks, Punches, Embellishments, Paints, Wooden Shapes & MDF, Pinflair & Cross Stitch Kits, Pens & Pencils, Pan Pastels, Tools & Equipment, Books & CDs and already Reduced to Clear items.

In addition, the following products have been reduced in price;

All loose single sheets of card & paper – 20p each (yes, if it says £1.49 on it, its 20p!!)

All loose single sheets of Peel Offs – 20p each

All loose single sheets of Non Die Cut Decoupage Sheets – 20p each


Gift Vouchers

Gift Vouchers are still redeemable in the shop, or can be used for workshops or on our website after the event.

Fixtures & Fittings

We will be offering our card/paper stands and Billy Book Cases for sale. If you would like to lay claim to any of these please let us know.

The A4 and 12”x12” paper stands are £2.50 each, or 10 for £20.00. Sight as seen and can only be collected between 20th – 24th June 2017. Cash only...

The Billy Book Cases are £10.00 each or 2 for £15.00. Again, sight as seen and collection only between 20th – 24th June 2017. Cash only...

Outstanding Orders

We would encourage you to come and collect any outstanding orders you have been advised which are now in. Orders which have outstanding balances to pay will be honoured at the discount at time of ordering only.

Magazines

We will no longer be holding our range of magazines in stock. So, if you are on our list of recipients, please be advised of this.


Please feel free to share this message with any of your fellow crafters and/or Club Members who you know do not receive this newsletter, as this Rummage Sale is open to everyone.. If you have a blog or belong to any social media groups, crafting groups, School Clubs, Guides or Scout Groups, etc, please feel free to share this message with them too as there are some great bargains to be had which will help keep the costs of running such groups down.


We’re sure that this message will come as a bit of a shock to some of you. We have been here at Barleylands for almost 14 years and in that time we have seen crafting and retail in general change beyond recognition... We hope you understand why we feel the need to make this change to Pinnacles at this time..

N.B

We will be closed specifically on Sunday 18th June 2017 (this is not our actual closing date though). This is so we can celebrate Fathers Day with our Dad, something we have not been able to do on this day in 14 years.


We look forward to seeing you soon.

Pinnacles....

This is such a shame as this has been my 'go to' place every weekend for as long as I can remember - and as the bank manager will confirm, this has been where a big chunk of my salary goes.

Classes will continue and the message says that their on-line service will also continue but such a shame not to have the physical shop once the sale is over...I am an impulse buyer and rarely come out with just what I went in for.

Anyhoo...

If you happen to be in the area, do take advantage of the sale. A great chance to stock up on a few bits & bobs...................................................................................

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Would you believe it...

...it might be completed by Christmas 2017.

If you are scratching your head and wondering what I'm going on about, let me enlighten you.

In December 2016, I attended an all day workshop at Pinnacle Crafts where Joanne was showing us how to use the "Twas the Night before Christmas" Groovi plates along with traditional parchment techniques.

As I've told you all before, I am not a "Parcher" - I love the craft but am not very patient so am not particularly good at it. I enjoyed the class but joked that it would be Christmas 2020 before my book would be completed; if lucky.

Well, I've attended a few more classes and have actually constructed my book...
 ...easy enough task using 6x6 card blanks.
Here are my completed parchment pages...




 ...I actually only have five more parchment embellished pages to go.

On the Saturday of Bank Holiday weekend, I went to Carol Whalley's crop at the Toby Carvery.

During the course of the day I managed to construct a cover for my book...
 ...using images from the Hunkydory little book.
I have also added a few more pages throughout the book so that I can use some more of the images...
 ...and this one was actually framed using the new scalloped square Groovi plate to create a frame.
The Hunkydory little book has some lovely images and I love how they work well...
 ...scattered throughout the book.
I thought this image was perfect for the back cover...
...such lovely artwork.

The outer covers will probably get a bit more embellishment once the inside is completed but for now I don't want too much there that could get caught or damaged.

So here we are in the second week in May 2017 and things are coming along nicely. I have a few more lessons booked so that I can get the rest of the parchment elements done and all being well it will be done in plenty of time for this Christmas.

This has been quite a large project but for the first time in ages, this is actually for me. So it is lovely seeing it take shape....................................................

Monday, 8 May 2017

I can crochet...

...as I'm sure regulars who visit my blog can confirm.

I always have a blanket or throw in progress as they don't take a lot of concentration and are things that can be done whilst watching TV.

However, it is a good many years since I made anything 'fancy'.

I have also managed to confuse myself by watching a mix of American and British videos about crochet as we both tend to have different terms for the various stitches - so I decided to attend a class.

Denise at Craft Arena had a basic refresher class advertised but unfortunately it was full so I bit the bullet and signed up for the class where we would be shown how to make a crochet necklace. The class was taken by a lovely lady called Sue Broughton and in the two hour class we completed a necklace and had a play at making one with beads - fab two hours.

So what did I do when I got home?

I dug out a ball of Rowan Egyptian DK cotton that I bought a couple of weeks ago...
...I love this dark teal colour and the yarn is so soft...
 ...and next to no time I had made another necklace (Just needs a suitable button for fastening).
This was the necklace that I completed in class...
 ...and I had a button for this so it is completely finished.
Unfortunately, Denise was out of stock of the white Rowan cotton so I bought some DMC...
...it is slightly finer but with the added beads I was really pleased with the finished look.
I had some 'Sugar & Cream' cotton yarn which is a heavier weight...
 ...and this red necklace was soon added to the stack.
I didn't have many beads left but decided to make another teal necklace...
 ...the beads are threaded onto the yarn before starting...
...and the beads are crocheted into the foundation row...
...another necklace completed...
...with beads evenly spaced around the neck edge - it looks much prettier in proper light.

Would you believe these pieces only consist of two rows of crochet - so they are very quick and easy to complete.

All I need now are some pretty buttons to act as fasteners.

Of the cotton yarns I have used so far, the Rowan is by far the nicest to work with so I think a few more colours will be jumping into my basket in the not too distant future. I also love the glass beads so will be getting some more of those (they do a lovely pearl colour that I think will look fab against the teal).

I have made and added these to my present stash for occasions coming up during the year and yes, I think a few will also end up as Christmas gifts.....................................................