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Well it looks like summer is over here in Yorkshire but that is ok.

There is nothing quite as delicious as the prospect of a weekend where you have nothing to do except create so I will watch the rain from the comfort of my sofa and make Christmas ornaments while watching DVDs … it is a hard life sometimes ;-)

I have been doing some research on patchwork ornaments as I need a new design for this year’s friends and family gifts and came across this very useful web site last night with links to all sorts of lovely stuff – the site is called Pinwheel Ponder .

She also has a Pinterest Page with some other gorgeous stuff on – look at these lovely fussy cut kaleidoscope ornaments from the Quilt Art Mountain Vistas blog of Lynn Crosswell.

 

Fussy cut ornaments Lynn Croswell

 

I also wanted to show you my latest creation, I am temporarily moving away from knitted animals to make some more Xmas stockings but this is one that I have just made for a friend from re-enactment.

I have called him Hannibal after the famous story of Hannibal and his elephants as their route took them just past where my Mum lives in Spain!

 

Medieval elephant 2

I knitted a jumper out of wool that is meant to look like maille and gave him maille legs as well and made a little linen surcoat with my friend’s heraldry on. I also did some laces on his boots.

I like the way his legs are shiny in this photo :-)

Medieval elephant

It was the first jumper and boy’s feet I have knitted and as always Julie’s pattern was very easy to follow.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend and week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Hello again

Just a quick post to show you the second of my Little Cotton Rabbits  knitted elephants.

Bonnie elephant Spain

Meet Bonnie – short for Bonita as she was completed in Spain which is why she is posing among the bougainvilleas at my house. She has been sent to live with Becky, Ellie’s best friend from University, who loves elephants.

Am now on with the third elephant – have done 9 bunnies so far – I love knitting these just as much as people like receiving them!

Thanks for visiting.

Hello there

I am very excited to have just finished the first of many of Julie’s fabulous elephants, available from her web site  along with all the bunnies and the fox pattern (will have to knit one of those next).

She is a very lucky girl as she has 3 pretty dresses and the cutest little tail.

Eva elephant

Eva elephant 2

Eva elephant 4

Eva elephant 3

Eva elephant 5

Eva has gone to live with my cousin’s daughter where she will meet up with my first ever bunny Florence who is very much loved by her elder sister so hopefully they can play together.

Now on to my second elephant – one day I might knit something else but these are too cute to stop!

Thanks for visiting.

Hello there

Hope you are all well and happy. I am having a lovely time, having just got back from our week away of National Trust properties. More of that to come, saw some fab stuff as always and had a great time with my very brilliant friend Kerry.

I am very lucky to have someone who I have so much in common with, we have had a wonderful week of camping, mini pyjama parties in the Travelodges and seeing some beautiful stuff.

We started our trip with the Templecombe Medieval Pageant – way down South in a very lovely little village in Somerset. The eight hour journey was worth it as the event was excellent. I have not been to this one for 10 years but will be going again.

The sun shone all weekend (a miracle) and our water and cold flannels were much appreciated by the boys on the field.

For this event there is a mini fort that the boys attack and defend, we were inside on Saturday and outside on Sunday and it was great fun hiding behind the walls listening to the guys with the battering ram trying to get in.

Templecombe battle 2

Cooling the boys down before the battle.

Templecombe battle

Waiting inside the fort.

Templecombe battle 6

The battering ram.

Templecombe battle 4

Templecombe battle 5

At the end of the battle – me in the blue dress looking for survivors!

Templecombe battle 3

All these photos are courtesy of the brilliant Pat Patrick who comes along to events and takes so many lovely shots. It is great to have a record of the events like this and we all really appreciate it.

I also got to meet Maria, my friend Kat from re-enactment’s,  beautiful new baby and give her this bunny – who I have named Lavender.

Lavender bunny

I did some finishing while I was away and am very excited to have made my first elephant – again from Little Cotton Rabbits. Photos of her  to follow.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

Hello there

The title of this blog post needs to be sung really as I am doing in my head, another wet Saturday here in Yorkshire, pity as it was so lovely earlier in the week and I was planning a little jaunt. However more time for blogging, knitting and baking :-)

This is a catch up post really (on the grounds that there are no finishes to show at present) and I have been meaning to post a couple of things for a while.

Firstly my very talented friend Helen (she of the quilts) is also making other things including these cute bunnies just in time for Easter.
She will have some for sale through her Etsy shop at some point for £6.50 but if you are interested please go and visit her at the new blog she has.

Helen's bunny

themagpiecat.blogspot.co.uk/

And I have been meaning to post some pics of Ellie as a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding. I just got the disc from her so here she is looking very lovely.

The baby in the photo is the friend’s little daughter Lizzie who I made a bridesmaid bunny for, you can see the bunny on one of the present tables in the last picture.

Ellie bridesmaids

Ellie - bridesmaid 2

Ellie - bridesmaid 3

There will be no blogging for the next couple of weeks as we are off on holiday ;-)

My lovely Mum will be here next weekend (it is her birthday on Friday) and then we are off to Bavaria (or Bearvaria as Jake keeps calling it – think he is expecting to see some bears) for a week of visiting medieval towns and castles. Very much looking forward to it and as usual will take lots of photos!

See you soon, thanks as always for visiting.

Hello and happy Mother’s Day for all of you in the UK. I have (virtually) met lots of brilliant, creative and dedicated Mums through blogging and I hope that you have all been thoroughly spoilt today.

Here we have a double celebration as my little baby Ellie is 23 today! Seems impossible but time is flying by.

I made her a special cake – which we had at breakfast as she had to leave this afternoon!

Ellie's birthday cake

She is very happy at the moment as she has not only passed her driving test (second time around with only 1 fault) but has also this week bought a car :-)

She is practising at the moment but she is planning to drive to some of the events this year with me so that will be very exciting! She has also had a year’s extension on her contract so all is good :-)

Here is the car – it is called Kim after its number plate! Can’t wait to have some fun trips to re-enactment in it.

Ellie's car

I had some great presents and flowers from the kids including these very pretty button jars that Ellie made for me – perfect in my newly sorted craft room and loads of gorgeous buttons for embellishments!

Mother's day buttons

While we were having our sewing weekend a few weeks ago she was sorting some of the stuff that she left here and came across this pump bag that I made her while she was at school. This was the name band that I stitched for her.

Ellie's pump bag 1

Ellie's pump bag 2

She must have been about 8 when I made it. A that time I was doing a lot of cross stitch and made lots of cards using little motifs like these.

There has also been another bunny from the production line, this one is Isabella and she will be going to live with a friend from re-enactments new-born baby daughter.

Isabella bunny

Am very happy at the moment as it is nearly the start of the re-enactment season, I am going on holiday very soon with Mum and the kids to Bavaria and the clocks have gone forward so there will be lighter evenings! Hurrah for Spring and Summer to follow… lovely!

Hope you have had a happy day, take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone and Happy International Women’s Day. I would just like to take a moment to thank all those wonderful, inspirational women whose blogs I read for sharing their lives, their creativity and making women’s work in all respects valued.

Like many women my age I grew up in an era where craft, particularly women’s craft was not seen as really relevant to the modern world.

I had a very traditional single sex education and learnt to cook and sew but never really valued those skills though I have always enjoyed both.

It is lovely to see those things now on mainstream TV (though more is needed – dedicated sewing, quilting, knitting and embroidery channel I say!) and to see many women setting up their own businesses online selling their items and their patterns and sharing their passion for craft.

One woman I think deserves a particular mention (though there are so many brilliant people out there) is Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits who is a wonderful creative crafter and a fab mother and has shared her work with so many people and brightens everyone’s day.

Knitting her bunnies keeps me sane and shares her love and I have two of my latest creations to show you.

Sophie and Daisy

Here are Daisy and Sophie – don’t they look cute together, Sophie in the pink looks like she is a very loving older friend to little Daisy.

Daisy is for my sister-in-law as a birthday gift and is my first go at stripy legs and Sophie will be a present for a friend’s newborn great -niece.These are my fifth and sixth bunnies and I have more to come!

But as well as those I have been making a hat on request for my sister-in-law, the grey one is the one she originally bought and she gave me the multi-coloured wool to create a version of it.

Amanda's hats

This meant my first foray into knitting without a pre-set pattern but I was aided by my friends at knitting group in working out what to do.

I was in my local craft shop (shh don’t tell but I did buy a little tiny bit of stuff for a project I am working on) and was talking to the lovely lady serving me about the Great British Sewing Bee and she told me of a really good blog that she had found that gives advice on techniques used in the episodes.

It is called Little Black Duck Blog and is run by a mum called Victoria and it is going straight into my favourites!

This is the link to Episode 3 about working with stretch fabrics and she has advice and links to all sorts of fab tutorials for different techniques as well as other general sewing tips.

I have a few other projects in the pipeline that I hope to be able to share soon and am enjoying some sunny blue skies here in Yorkshire (among the showers!)

Take care and thank you as always for visiting.

Hello everyone

I know I may have said a few things recently about how I wasn’t going to buy any more yarn or fabric as I already have enough and the craft room really needs sorting out as I have run out of storage so there are bags everywhere.

BUT when you see really lovely yarn and it is very cheap (2 Euros a ball which is about £1.70) and it would knit up wonderfully and there is a beautiful grey for more cute bunnies and some pretty colours for dresses as well then you just have to don’t you?

So I did and here is my lovely new stash!

New bunny wool

It is a very silky yarn – it is a double-knit but quite thin so the new bunnies are going to be smaller but it knits up really nicely, there is a slight sheen to it and it is very easy to work with.

I have finally tried a bunny with striped tights, this is one for my sister-in-law for her birthday and she likes funky colours so I thought I would go brighter with this one.The picture below shows the body and ears.

Sully slippers

Oh and I got some fab new slippers while in Spain – I love Sully from Monsters Inc and they had these in the Primark in Elche, sadly only in children’s sizes but I managed to squeeze into a size 5.

New Sully slippers

Am back in the swing of things again after what seems like a very long break from work :-) Can’t believe it is nearly the end of Jan already.

Was thinking back to this time last year when we had lots of snow – so far we have just had a bit of wet and windy but the spring bulbs are starting come up in my garden so hopefully we are on our way to warmer weather (leaving the house in the mornings in daylight would be nice!)

Hope you are enjoying yourselves whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

Xmas Door wreath

Hello and Happy Christmas to you all. It is 7am on Christmas morning and I am taking advantage of having older children who will not be up for a couple of hours to have a quiet cup of tea and a little blogging time.

I have sorted out the stocking and the presents are under the tree, we have baked gingerbread and a Yule log and so we are all prepared – except I have still to finish knitting the final Xmas stocking which I plan to do today while watching some festive TV.

I have finished the bunnies though and have done one in a Christmas dress.

Xmas bunny

This one is for Ellie and I have called her Chloe as when I was expecting Jacob people kept asking Ellie if she wanted a brother or a sister.

She decided she wanted a sister when she was told she had a new baby brother she burst into tears and said she wanted a sister called Chloe :-)

She got over her disappointment though and she loves having a little brother (albeit a 6 foot 2 inch brother is hardly little) now.

This is our first Christmas here in the new house and so far we have had a lovely time, Ellie and I went to the Christingle service at the local church last night which was lovely, then for a meal in the local pub (rare for me to be in there without my knitting as it is our group’s venue).

They are staying here for New Year but I am off to Spain so will be back in a couple of weeks, term finished late this year so I have taken advantage of the fact that we do not start back until mid January and am on leave for 2 weeks which will give me plenty of time for sitting on the terrace knitting.

I have already chosen next year’s stitched Xmas ornaments after seeing the same design on a couple of blogs so will be making a start on those – nothing like being well prepared! And of course there are always more bunnies to knit :-)

Hope that you have a lovely festive season, take care and see you all in 2014 – thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

You would think that someone who makes Christmas ornaments nearly all year round and started knitting gifts months ago would be finished well in time for the last posting dates wouldn’t you?

You would not imagine a weekend of frantic finishing and a sudden realisation that one of the bunny gifts does not have any legs at the moment :-(

Only realised yesterday as well that the bag that was going to be given with one of the bunny gifts was still unfinished – oops.

However I am doing well despite the lateness and have the gifts that need to be posted ready to go and will be doing more finishing this week including the legs – was sure I had a whole bag of completed bits but one bunny has had too much Xmas cheer and is legless ha ha :-)

The finished bunny I have named Lucy though she is going to my cousin’s daughter who will name her, hope she likes her as much as the other cousin’s daughter did with the first bunny I made.

I made the bag in the summer – it is made from recycled jeans and a pillow case and it was the colour scheme of the pillow case that inspired Lucy’s 3 dresses.

Lucy Bunny's bag

Lucy Bunny and bag

Lucy Bunny dress 2

Lucy Bunny dress 3

I love the way she has wonky ears, all the bunnies turn out with such different faces. Lucy looks quite serious don’t you think?

Lucy Bunny head

Have also made up all the stitched ornaments into little hanging pillows.These are all JBW Designs from Sew and Sew.

Xmas ornies finished

I have little to excuse myself for this tardiness except the fact that I have been very busy at work and possibly have tried once again to make too much in too short a space of time ;-)

I think when I sort out the craft room in Jan I shall have a noticeboard and will write a list of projects and timescales so I can keep track, especially as I have so much medieval kit to stitch for next season.

Planning not helped by the fact that I have just subscribed to a new magazine called Love Patchwork and Quilting which has given me so many new ideas for things that I want to make.

Love Patchwork magazine

What about this little bird ornament – can you imagine some of those in Christmas fabric?

Love patchwork mag

They have a first 3 issues for £5 deal on their website at the moment and it is a very lovely magazine with links to lots of other lovely blogs.

I have been looking at the work of Amy Smart whose Diary of a Quilter blog is full of lovely, lovely things. So many ideas and so little time!

Anyway back to my finishing now – only 9 days to go till Christmas eek! Thankfully the food shopping is nearly all done so I can concentrate on crafting!

Hope you all have a good lead up to the festive season and thanks for visiting.

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