Friday, 27 March 2015

Easter Chicks

Hello......... The other day I had a bit of a crafternoon here at the Summerhouse

and made one of the Felt Chicks from 'The Big Comic relief Crafternoon magazine'.

I'm still stuck in bed feeling pretty rotten, so I wanted a quick little make to take my mind off my symptoms for a while, this was perfect as it was quite a low energy make, I gathered together some felt and thread and set too.

In no time at all I had cut out my felt chick and stitched it together, I decided to deviate from the pattern at this point by using a contrasting coloured felt for my wings.

I also decided to glue on some googly eyes instead of stitching them with black thread.

Next up came the legs and Trouble!!! yes my little chick was supposed to have little wire legs and feet, so it could stand. But alas it was not to be I think I had the wrong kind of wire as it just kept breaking. (that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it !!)

Until all I had left were legs that looked like this eek, time for plan B

A good old bit of yarn to the rescue, much safer territory for me than wire.  I simply thread a couple of beads on to each leg and 

 my little chick was complete. I think I'm going add this little chick to my Springtime Wreath over Easter I'll sit him on the wreath with his little yarn legs dangling down.

Once I'd made my felt chick there was no stopping me it seems I'm in a Easter Chick frenzy, as I made this cute little fellow this morning using Lucy wonderful new pattern that you can find here so adorable I just could not resist when I saw them on her blog yesterday.

This cute little yarny chick was soon hopping of my hook this morning, with more to follow I'm sure.

linking up with KCCO
Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Magnolia Blossom Tutorial

Hello...... I'm back in wreath making mode at the moment, making a few additions to my Springtime Wreath.

So today I thought I'd share with you a quick tutorial, of these Magnolia Buds, which all happened quite by accident the other day.

You see I had a few of these flowers lying around the place, not knowing what to do with them, I'd hooked them up when I was trying to find a flower for my Waltz of the Flowers Bunting.

 I found the pattern for these cute little flowers 'here over on Mrs T's blog but in the end decided not to use them on my bunting, so what to do with them.......

As my energy levels are low at the moment I was looking at them the other day thinking would it be possible to used them on the wreath in some way.

They were a little too large to use flat on the wreath, but after a bit of playing around I managed to make one of them up into a blossom. 

 So if you fancy making some too, first up you need to pop over to Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouses wonderful blog and hook up some flowers, then pop back here and I'll show you the rest...........

So here's how I did it,  first up I folded the flower in half (well just under, as you can see from the picture)

I then folded the flower in half again, and arranged the petals, before simply stitching up the sides with some cream yarn.

I then made some little stamens by making four yarn loops, by stitching through from the back, and leaving a little loop each time.

Once I had four loops I fastened off and then snipped through the loops to make the Stamens, trimming them to the desired length.

 Magnolia buds, 

As I used the flowers I already had, my flowers have several colours but I kind I like how some of the colours show through the layers of petals

They did proved quite tricky to photograph, due to there bud like shape, but I can't wait to try them out on the wreath, so pretty, yay for Springtime.

A big thank you to the very talented Mrs T for the original flower pattern, I hope she doesn't mind too much that I've have morphed mine into Magnolia Buds

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Sunday, 22 March 2015

This Week

Hello.......... This week at the Summerhouse has been a bit mixed, I could just share with you all the good parts, avoiding the bad,  but that's not what I tend to do on my blog, I've thought long and hard about whether I should share some more details of my ongoing  health problems in this post, as I don't want to bring anyone down, but it's a reality of my life, so here it is bad all.

The week started well with my Christmas Crocuses finally flowering in the house, well worth the wait.

 There was the gift of a new scarf too, the sun starting to get too strong (when it's out) for my  medication induced sun allergy, so this will come in very handy, I'm loving the gentle Spring colours too.

This week there have been way to many medical appointments, three in total. It's just no fun being a medical mystery, I got the brush off from yet another consultant.  Who went from saying  a few months ago 'I will get to the bottom of this', to this time saying 'Well Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme disease, POTS are all such a grey areas of medicine at least it's nothing serious, try and stay positive' 

 As for my pancreas which completely stopped working for a few months last summer, leaving it now damaged but at least working again he said 'Of all my thousands of patients, yes you are one of the rarer ones, I can't tell you what happened, but it is linked to you're Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as when your CFS relapses you're diabetes gets worse !!' .

If I do have CFS I've never heard of it effecting the pancreas like that, the Lyme Disease Association when contacted said Yes Lyme disease could do that, but of course according to NHS consultants 'It's not that', it's a 'Grey Area' you know.

I could have screamed at him had I the energy, 'not serious !!!' it's had a serious and devastating effect on my life for the last twenty years !!! Mostly housebound, only out of bed a hour or so a day, having to use a wheelchair, organs packing up with no explanation, is pretty serious to me. Sorry rant over, sometimes it's just so frustrating.

My GP was much more helpful and ordered a load of blood tests, saying 'You have never had a definitive diagnosis, it's got to be something endocrine and autoimmune, maybe something completely new but we just don't know what, so hopefully something will show up in the tests, I'm not getting my hopes up though.

Merlin didn't fair much better, he's a cat with a very sore ear at the moment and he made the vet aware of it by having a diva style hissy fit on Wednesday, he's not a happy boy and left both the vet and I bleeding to make his point.  So I'll be spending the next week chasing him around the house with a bottle of ear drops. It's not going to be easy with energy levels at zero,I'm spending most of my time stuck in bed at the moment four months into this relapse.

At least spring in coming along nicely out in the garden,

I do love this time of year.

The Polyanthus are waiting patiently to be planted in the Summerhouse window boxes, Pinks Yellows and Purple this year.

Fridays Eclipse was a strange one here at the Summerhouse sadly it was way to cloudy to see, but it did get very dark and gloomy, not a bird was to be found in the sky, the air kind of still and eerie.   Amazing that it fell on the Spring Equinox as well.  

It felt odd not to be assembling my Springtime wreath this year as is my tradition on the solstice, but it's currently in the craft exhibition, at least it will be back in time to be decorated for Easter.

So most of this week has been spent feeling pretty rotten, recovering in bed from various medical appointments, sadly no crafting was done at all, but at least these pretty roses were here to cheer me up.  Fingers crossed I'll be heading out of this relapse soon.

Clare xx

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Craft Club Exhibition 2015 (part one)

Hello........ I'm a member of a local craft club locally, which meets every couple of weeks, so it's good to go along to when I'm well enough. Each year we have a exhibition in the towns library, which is running at the moment. 

So about a year ago we picked the themes for this exhibition, which are 'The Owl and the Pussycat', Fantasia, Egypt and Masks'  What's good is that we are able to work at our own speed from home, which is great with my limited energy levels. 

 So today I thought I'd do a round up post of all my exhibition makes.

The Owl and the Pussycat:

For the owl and the Pussycat I made a couple of Bunny Mummy's cute little owls, 

you can find the pattern here

I also made this felt owl cushion,  you can read more about it 'here'

Egypt :

 As for Egypt well I procrastinated for a long while on this, I bought the beads back in the Summer but, kept putting off making the necklace as I'd never tried beading before and thought it was going to be really tricky.  That's one of the good things about having set themes you end up trying crafts that otherwise you might never have tried, you can read more about the making of the necklace here


For Fantasia after watching the movie, amidst last summer's mandala madness I painted this Fantasia inspired Mandala with added glitter and beads.  You can read a bit more 'here'

Then I finished off a very old WIP to make my Waltz of the Flowers granny bunting.

I also made a Fantasia version of my seasonal wreaths which you can read about  here


Last but not least, came a spot of mask decorating, finished in the nick of time the morning of the exhibition, you can read about the making of the mask 'here' . For this theme we were each given a plain cardboard mask to decorate any way we wanted.

So that's a years worth of Craft Club makes, to tell you the truth it's a bit of a relief to have them all finished and be able to concentrated on some other makes for a while, I'll share some photo's from the exhibition another day, so this post doesn't end way up too long.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Friday, 13 March 2015

Five on Friday

Hello .... This week I've been loving all the crocuses blooming in the garden, I really love to see the ones growing in the lawn.

I've been making yarny plans

for a few new additions to my Springtime wreath.

I've also spent way to much time trying to figure out how to crochet a bluebell, this is attempt number four.  I want to add some to my wreath, fingers crossed I'll figure it out, who knew crocheting a bluebell would be so tricky.

This morning I've been flicking through the pages of the Comic Relief craft magazine, while cheering  Dermot O'Leary on with his dancing ( he dancing for 24 hours, for the charity, for those outside the UK), It's such a good cause anyone else 'doing something funny for money' today?

I'm also waiting for the last of the Christmas bulbs to flower, not long now.....

I hope you had a good week too, joining in with Amy's Five on Friday 
you can find about a bit more about Comic Relief over on Amy's blog as she had dedicated her five on friday post to it today.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Mask....

Hello.........  I'm a member of craft club locally and every year so far we have had a exhibition. This year for one of the themes we were each given a cardboard mask to decorated.

I decided I really wanted to use flowers on my mask in some way and started to play around with some ideas, I ordered some lovely mulberry flowers and set to work.

First up I gave the mask a couple of coats of acrylic paint, and then started cutting and gluing the flowers onto the mask.

I attached them with glue dots removing the stamens from some of them and adding little sparkly gems.

To form a mask over the eyes.

I then decorated the sides with sequin leaves, gems and a larger mulberry flower. (I'm a little bit in love with these paper flower)

Next up came the tricky bit, I really wanted to make a fascinator type structure to add to the top of the mask, the only problem was 'I hadn't got the first clue how !!! ' So after much head scratching I came up with a plan.

Using some florist wire, glitter butterflies, beads and paper flowers, how hard could it be ? well it turned out  to be quite tricky.  Why do I have these ideas and make life so hard for myself.

So I started wiring it all together

Threading on some beads, which I held in place with PVA glue.

Adding a few sequins and gems as I went. The whole thing was a bit unstable to say the least and precariously wired together and them clipped with a large pink butterfly.

The next problem was how to attach it to the mask I tried super glue but it just keep sliding off and collapsing, leaving a very stress Clare when the glue melted the paint on the mask, which thankfully after repainting I was able to hide by the pink butterfly.

In the end a friend had the bright idea of wiring it to the back of the mask and then gluing it in place with some extra strong glue she uses for making glass fused jewellery and yay in worked.


Fascinator attached, I had originally thought the mask would have been finished at this point but on hanging it I decided that the glitter lips were a little too pale.

So I bravely took the decision on the morning of the exhibition to re do them using a bright pink glitter glue, they are not good as I'd have liked them to be but I think they work so much better than the paler colour.

My completed mask.

 Here it is up on the wall in the local library, with some of the other masks, I'm loving all the glitter and sparkle and how they all turned out.

Happy Crafting 

Clare xx

I'll post a little more about the rest of exhibition another day xx