Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Elusive Flopsy - Stage 1

Flopsy is taking a little longer than I expected,mainly because I am trying a few things out for the first time. I am basing her on a pattern from Esprit Cabane called Fabric Remnant Mouse but have modified the pattern quite a bit. Particularly pleased with how the head turned out as I wanted fatter cheeks and a wider nose and bunny ears not mouse ones obviously!

I am also modifying the body and legs quite a bit so its going to take longer than I had thought but at least will produce an almost original pattern that I am happy with. Having a redo on the legs as I'm not happy with the ones I made last night.

As for the nursery, I am typing this from my new 'office' set up downstairs so we are getting there! Getting rid of the desk will be a milestone and I also have loads of packing and sorting to do still which I am setting myself up to do tomorrow.  Now it's there in black and white I have to do it although I am so tempted just to work on Flopsy instead.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Chime Owl Pattern

Here is a little soft toy I made out of some left over fabric from making the mobile. I wanted to make him a bit interactive so I added some texture into his wings by inserting foil in one side and cellophane (from the package the bells came in) on the other and some chime bells into his body.   The cellophane definitely works the best as its more crackly.  He will be tied to the side of the cot (when we eventually get one!)

Chime Owl

He was quite easy to make and as I had already made the pattern in Illustrator I thought I'd create a instruction pattern to follow in case anyone else wanted to make him.   It is down loadable from here: Chime Owl Pattern  I am thinking of making a mini version to go on the pram so will post that pattern too.

I'd really appreciate any feed back on how clear this pattern is to follow and any mistakes or improvement you think I could make.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Slight change of plan (sure to be the first of many!)

There I was trying to be practical and reuse the things we have by keeping the (currently over loaded) wooden shelving unit in the corner.  Then The Other Half sent me a link to this bookcase in the Mark and Spencers Sale with 60% off and the temptation was just too much.

House bookcase

So what if I am going to have about a quarter of the storage space I would have had?  This is going to be much more beautiful and take up far less of the space which is at a premium in this room (see there where some practical considerations!)  The old shelf will go in the roof so we can get that organised and I am going to have to rethink where I keep some of my craft things.

Also as it is being delivered the 2nd week of February it gives me a junk clearing dead line to work towards.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

One thing I am not is a "Finisher"

What seems like a lifetime ago, I was sent on a management training course by work. Part of the course involved testing for various traits and leadership qualities. I don't really remember much else about the course but one thing has stuck in my mind, that apparently I am not a "finisher". I am great at starting projects, at inspiration and ideas, but not that great at seeing them through to the end.

This is something I hope I have worked on but there are several unfinished projects lying around the house that would suggest I need to give it some more work. This is why crochet and amigurami appeals to me so much. It gives almost instant gratification, keep it simple and you can make a ball in an hour or a toy in an evening. With larger projects you can see it growing before your eyes, which spurs me on to complete things. I don't seem to have as many problems finishing them, maybe thats just because it is so much fun.

I was bought a book of amigurami with a hook and a few yarns just over 12 months ago and haven't looked back. I love it!  So I thought I'd show you a few things I have made. Some of these are still around and will make it into the nursery, others have been given away.

My first ever amigurami

Kitteh - we still have her, she will be watching the mobile with mischief on her mind

A pair of owls - big given to my nephcousin and little to my nan

Bear pod - he has a secret compartment for my little ones trinkets

Red Pikmin - the first amigurami that i made without a pattern.


Its funny how inspiration works.  I'd been noodling over the colour scheme for the nursery for a while.  I wanted something none gender specific and definitely not pastels.  It's actually a bit disturbing how hard it is to find things that aren't pastel pink or baby blue unless you are going to spend a fortune.  Anyway I digress... I also knew I wanted to keep the walls and probably the furniture white, (the room is quite small and has been painted fairly recently) and accent it with something bright.    And I wanted to make a mobile to hang over the cot, probably with crocheted birds, and while looking for inspiration I found this lovely website from the US. with a free pattern to make this mobile:

So I changed tack regarding the crochet as all the patterns I could find were a little too chunky for a mobile and had a root through my swatches of fabric until I came across these two:

I love how the chocolate colour complements the bright turquoise and lime green and that the spots on the brown fabric are muted versions of them.  Bingo, these were my colours and the addition of the chocolate meant that if I needed to go neutral instead of bright for bedding etc, it would still work.

So I went to my favourite fabric shop and picked out a few more lengths to go with them,

then set to work.  These little fellas are actually pretty easy to make, the tricky part is folding and stitching the tail end,  I think I may have made my life slightly more difficult by printing the PDF in portrait so they are smaller than intended but I think that just makes them cuter.

So four down and about six more to go!  I just hope I can get the mobile to balance properly.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Oh the Shame!

As I said the point of me doing this was to document the hopefully wonderful transformation of my office into the nest that by little bean will grow to love.  So first things first, off I merrily trotted to photograph this office.  It really is amazing what you can put up with when you are used to it, bearing in mind that most of this crap is behind me when I am working on the computer.  It is a tip, there are no excuses, its an absolute bin and for some reason I hadn't quite recognised that until I saw it shrunken down onto a digital camera screen.  So with much trepidation I am going to show you exactly what I am dealing with.

This shelf will stay but the contents needs to go.

Oh dear lord.  This is where the cot will go.

And here will be the chest of drawers/changing table.
I promise you the rest of my house is not this untidy (most of the time) but these photos have put me to shame and I have made a start since my first post this morning. I have sorted through the paperwork on the desk and started on the shelves.  I need more storage.  I suspect this might take longer than I originally thought!

I have always been a bit of a hoarder (no really?) and I hate to throw anything away that might useful.  So I am hoping to recycle and freecycle a lot of this stuff but the ecological part of me is fighting an instinct to hire a skip and just bin it all!  That is most unlike me, I guess this must the the nesting instinct in full effect.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Whys and Wherefores.

I have always been a creative person.  It started when I was very small, from making party dresses for my Pippa dolls out of tissues and cellotape, to embroidering a 'horse' blanket for my Cindys pony. From finger knitting, to Fashion Plates, it wasn't always clothes that fascinated me but just the joy of making something new from things that were lying around.  These days I mainly make things by painting, sewing or crocheting.  And I have embarked on the ultimate creative project, making a human being, to be born sometime in early June.

But this blog isn't going to be about that, well at least, not yet.  I want to document the changes I will be making to the room I am sitting in now and its transformation from the cluttered home office and craft room it is currently, into the (hopefully) serene but funky if very small nursery it will become.  I would like to have as many home made elements as possible in this room partly because I enjoy making things, partly because I am on a budget. and partly because there is such a lot of new, manufactured stuff in the world and most of it is tat.

Of course, this blog could all be just another excuse (like the crafts) to avoid doing the grunt work of sorting though all this junk and (horror of horrors) actually having to throw or give some of it away!  But I'd also like to pay homage to some of the amazing people out there on the internet who have inspired me, those that give away their patterns, advice and expertise for free, so expect links to their sites and also any other commercial links I think are cool or useful.

So here goes, I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable or perhaps get inspired to make something yourself.