Saturday, 24 January 2015

Grow your Blog..........

Hello and Welcome to the Summerhouse by the Sea.

This is the first time I've taken part in the 'Grown your blog 'party held by  2 Bags Full and to be totally honest with you I only remembered in the nick of time that it's running today, oops never mind.

So my names Clare and I've been blogging for a couple of years now at the Summerhouse by the Sea here in the UK.  Above is a picture of my lovely Old  I mean vintage Summerhouse which is home to my crafting and is affectionately know around these parts as the shed.

Where I love to create all sorts of things from crochet to arts and crafts, there is always something going on here and a ever growing pile of WIP's

Since I've been blogging and crocheting I've been making seasonal wreaths and last year saw me complete the set with my Summer and Autumn Wreaths and I was lucky enough to have a picture of my Summertime wreath published in Crafts Beautiful magazine, (such a wonderful surprise)

I'm in blanket making mode at the moment, working on a couple of Attic 24 Cosy Blankets and also a granny blanket. I'm a bit of a one for starting new projects.

As well as working on getting things finished for a local craft exhibition due to start at the end of February with themes of The Owl and the Pussycat, Fantasia, Egypt and Masks (still in the planning stage eek).

So what else goes on here at the Summerhouse, well a lots of resting too as I suffer with quite severe ME/Lyme disease and spend most of my time stuck in bed, but a positive of this is it's led me to discover my creative side, as regular readers will know I had a bit of a tough time with my health over the last twelve months and my blog and all the other lovely like minded people you meet in blogland have helped cheer me on through the tough times so I very grateful for that.

 One last thing you all should know about the Summerhouse is that it stands in a garden full of beautiful flowers and I quite often like to share mosaic's of what's going on out in the garden.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed you're visit. I've recently set up a Facebook page for the blog which you can find 'here'  feel free to have a look around the blog archive too.

You can also follow me on Bloglovin or Google if you'd like to

Happy Crafting

Clare xx


January Days

Hello............ These January days do seem short, in fact I seem to be sleeping them away.  I'm still trying to recover from the exhaustion's of Christmas which is not to kind to us ME/Lyme suffers.

We have had lots of January days that look like this, Grey but they still hold beauty in there own way.  While a lot of the UK has been enjoying snow here at the Summerhouse we have been under a freezing cold blanket of grey.

 I've been trying to make the most of it though,  amidst all of the resting there have been snippets of magazines

and new art supplies.

I've been taking part in a online Creative Mindfulness art course,

although I'm am running somewhat behind, just need to find some energy.

Of course there has been crochet too, I've been making lots of little things easy to pick up and put down in my ten minute activity slots.

I've made another of Jacquie's cute little owls, to fit the Craft Club theme of 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

With the help of my ever present crafting assistant Merlin, hard to believe he's fifteen, he's always into mischief and the craft supplies, which is not so fun when he's trying to get into the paints !!!

As for my Cosy 'Seaside Pebble' blanket it's not been forgotten, it's just on hold for a while.  What with a secret project and trying to get ready for the local craft exhibition, I just don't have any spare crafting time at the moment, not to mention the no energy thing.

I know some of you were following along with the colours scheme so rest assured it will be back.

Just before I go I thought I'd share with you the signs from the Summerhouse garden that Spring is on it's way, it maybe cold and grey out there but look, Spring is trying it's best.

even more so in the house just look at the Paper whites I planted a couple of weeks back, I can't wait for them to flower.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Rosie Glow Magnets

Hello.......... Today saw the first snow flakes of winter fall here at the Summerhouse, not enough to lay but with the promise of more to come I'm ever hopeful. I do love a bit of snow, the perfect weather for hunkering down for a spot of crochet.

Today I thought I'd share these cute little rose magnets with you.

To make them I used the Attic 24 May Roses pattern, which gives lovely little compact roses, just perfect for magnet making.

then all I did was glue the magnets onto the backs and

They were finished.

I made my roses in Stylecraft Special DK,  (Pomegranate Fondant and Clematis)  and they were part of a Christmas gift for a friend. I'm a little bit in love with these Cath Kidston inspired colours and think I might have to make a set for the Summerhouse too.

Joining in with the Yarn along, here's book number two of my'40s reads for 40,' it's Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist, I've only just started to read it so I'll keep you posted. As for my first read 'Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald, well it didn't go so well, I had to abandon reading it because I just couldn't tolerate the racism, not really sure why a book of that nature would be listed as a classic. Hopefully it's day has long since passed.

Happy Crafting 

Clare xx

Thursday, 15 January 2015

New to Beading

Hello....... I'm afraid to tell you how long I have been procrastinating over this make. So I was determined that as it was the New Year it was time to get on with it and learn a new craft.

 I bought the beading thread and beads for this make last summer and have been putting it off since then, as I thought I was going to struggle with beading big time.

It's not the pretty coloured seed beads exactly as I'm a little bit in love with them

  The problem was more there size as they are so teeny tiny and I'm a bit all fingers and thumbs when it comes to fiddly things. 

I'm making the necklace for a local craft exhibition, which is on at the end of February, so you see time was running out.   I've never really taken to jewellery making, but I needed something to fit one of the themes of the exhibition which is 'Eygpt' and to tell the truth beading sprang to mind straight away.

Just one small problem I had no clue how to bead, but that's what the Internets  for right? So after a bit of a look about.  I found this wonderful tutorial from Beading4Perfectionist 'here'  As soon as I saw the words simple and beginner I knew it was the one for me.

So with a tiny bit of fear lots of concentration and few beads pinging off all over the place, I added  my stopper bead and started to follow the tutorial.

As it turns out it wasn't so very bad I picked up the relaxing rhythm of the pattern fairly easily, I think thanks to the wonderful tutorial.

It's a slow old process though but gradually it's started to look like a necklace.

About four hours in (which took me about a week and a half to get too)  it looked like this and I thought yippee I'm nearly there.

But then it seemed to take me hours to add in a additional strengthening thread to the top of the collar adding in black seed bead between every third blue. Then I had to make two little beaded rings to attach the clasp too before finally tying off the necklace.   

A friend kindly helped me put the clasp and extender chain on

 So my Beaded Collar was ready for it's

Grand Ta-Dah moment.

Hopefully with its blue and black beading fits the theme of Egypt for the exhibition but with a slightly more contemporary twist so it can function as a modern statement necklace too.

Here's a closer look at the pretty beads, I just keep looking at it in wonder and thinking wow did I really make that! with my shaky fumbling sausage fingers.

Happy Crafting 

Clare xx

Sunday, 11 January 2015

January Plans

Hello.......... I love this time of year full of plans and ideas for the year to come, everything seeming so fresh new and shiny

I love starting new diaries and journals, making lists and plans. This year the lists are even bigger as I have special plans to make for a important Birthday year.

So now the Summerhouses winter guests have gone home it's time to unpack the crafts supplies and get ready for the year to come.

With a new craft to learn for a New Shiny Year,

and also a huge pile of WIP's to get around to completing, so I'm out and proud with my WIP's hopefully this year I'll be dusting some of them off and getting to some Ta-Dah moments, for some of the projects have been languishing since before I started this blog eek, there I've said it now....

Blankets and bunting started but never quite finished, and long forgotten stitching projects, hopefully will have new life breathed into them.

Just like the bulbs waking up in the garden, so lovely to see on a cold winters day.

There will be bulbs in the house to, which I planted up yesterday, I can't wait for them to flower.

There are other resolutions too, I've been told to exercise by the Cardiologist to try and improve my POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is not a easy task with severe ME, as overdoing things and relapsing can put me in beds for weeks.  I'm waiting to see a specialist Physio, but in the mean time I've made a start. 

It's hard to find the balance so I'm starting off with two minutes of floor based stretching designed for people with ME, while monitoring my heart rate and then resting, at the moment I can only manage that once a week, so it's going to be a slow old process.

I also have musical plans this year,  Here I am  performing at a Mid Winter Folk Festival last weekend.  Not very POTS friendly as the sheer terror of performing in public is not that conducive to keeping my heart rate low. I really need to learn how to master the art of playing and smiling at the same time.  

I find music and songwriting keeps me going during the tough times, even if I can only play for a few minutes at a time and  a lot of  days not even that. Performing at the local folk night, is wonderful but usually puts me in bed for about a week, so I can't really manage to go that often, that's the thing with ME there is always a huge payback from doing anything.  

As I mentioned earlier this year I'm having a birthday with zero, so I've started making a list of 40 things I'd like to do.  One of the things I've come up with is to try and read 40 books, and here's my first one 'Tender is the night' by F Scott Fitzgerald.

I'm putting together a list of books if anyone has any recommendations it's going to be a mix of classics and modern reads, so far I've been taking inspiration from book lists like 100 books to read before you die and also the top 100 holiday reads. 

I'm sure you'll be hearing more of my 40 things as the year passes....

and of course I've be crocheting, as....
It wouldn't be the Summerhouse by the Sea without yarn and a hook.

I've recently set up a Facebook  page for the blog so if you fancy popping over for a chat, I'm generally about.

Happy Crafting and a Happy New Year

Clare xx