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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today’s Tutorial : Crazy colourful crochet circles

Here’s a sneak peek of a project I’m busy with at the moment. In fact every moment when I sit still, I keep my hands busy with this.

I am crocheting loads of these colourful circles which will ultimately be sewn onto a long cushion for my daughter’s bed.

Now by “long”, I mean long- think the width of a Queen-size bed and then the height of a standard pillow.

I got the idea when we saw one in a shop recently, but it was simply too expensive - especially since I could make it! I’ll be making the cushion up in a lovely natural fabric- almost the colour of burlap (hessian) – perhaps a little lighter. I think it will look gorgeous with all those colours.

I’m almost done with all the crochet circles, and just as soon as I’ve finished straightening out my pigsty studio and found got out my sewing machine, then I’ll whip up the cushion. My daughter is hoping it’s before she changes her mind again on her decor scheme! - Remember the “orange” decor ?– well that’s evolving (thankfully) into a more pleasing  natural look finished off with these crocheted circles. Note- there is still splashes of orange in the circles –LOL!

After many a trial and error, I have finally figured out how to make these circles – (You’ll see some of mine aren’t ‘perfect’ – those are my trial and error ones which were kept anyway!! LOL). believe me, after you’ve made this many, you eventually figure it out!

If you would like to make these – here’s a tutorial how to crochet them :

(My first tutorial on crochet – so please forgive me if it’s not very clear- please ask questions if you need to! Winking smile

Red heartIf you click on any of the highlighted words, you’ll be redirected to a tutorial on how to do that particular stitch.

NOTE: In South Africa and the UK, we use the term Double Crochet instead of Single Crochet (US term). For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to refer to DC as SC – it’s easier as the tutorial I have found for you on the stitches refer to DC as SC. {hope that makes sense!}

I used a 4mm hook with Double knit yarn. (I think it was double knit- I’m no expert!-it’s just plain old ordinary wool – the thicker your yarn, the bigger your project will turn out.)

  1. Crochet 6 chains.
  2. Join into the first chain with a slipstitch to form a circle. Light bulbChain 1.
  3. Crochet using SC into the ring as many times as you can. (Probably around 6-8). Join the circle with a slip stitch.
  4. Chain 1.
  5. Crochet into each chain twice using single crochet (This is how you increase stitches).
  6. Join the circle again with a slipstitch into the first SC.
  7. Add a new colour in. Chain 1.
  8. Continue the next round with SC, but SC twice into every second chain. (First Row)This will ensure that your circle lies flat and does not curl up. Sun
  9. The next round, only increase into every 3rd stitch.
  10. The round after that, increase into every 4th stitch –and so forth.
  11. keep going until the circle is the size you would like. I have varied the sizes of my circles slightly and for further variation, here and there I’ve thrown in a row of DC (Treble – UK and RSA).

SunRemember : Join circle at the end of each round with a slipstitch and start each new round by chaining 1.

** NOTE : If there are too few or too many increases in a round, your circle will not lie flat. If it curls in, you have too few increases, if it buckles and gets wavy, you have too many increases.

Light bulbThere’s a really simple way to make an adjustable magic circle to start with – the circle is so much easier to control, especially in other projects when you need to add lots of stitches into a tiny centre circle. Watch the following video to see how:

FilmstripHere is a video I just found (after writing this entire tutorial –LOL) which explains really well how to make a “magic circle” and how to do the slipstitch at the end of each round to join the circle. It also explains exactly how and where to increase each round. Easy Peasy! Go take a look – you will be able to learn exactly how to do this without having to read instructions!

What I love best about these circles is just when I start getting bored with my circle, it’s time to end it off and start a new one. LOL- Not much patience here Smile with tongue out! Have fun!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Atc’s, Flowers, Birthdays–crafting bliss!

Hi there!

I have been making things, crocheting things, printing things, and am planning on sewing things too! I haven’t blogged for ages as I’ve been keeping myself busy with all kinds of crafty creations.

First off, I started making some ATC’s – I joined an online class with Bonnie van Esch to find out more about making them. She had some really cute vintagey printables included in the class too – some of which you can see in my “ATC’s in progress” photos below…

Once I have a few completed, I’ll post some pics on Flickr and will let you know (for anyone wishing to do some swapping).









Then I also joined Bonnie’s awesome new self-paced class called “A Pocket full of Posies” . We’ve made 5 flowers so far – each one different to the other. Bonnie’s videos are super easy to follow and I eagerly await each new post to see what the next flower will be.

NOTE: You can join at any time as the class is totally self-paced. So pop on over and join us! It’s $15. I think there are around 12 classes.

Here’s one of my felt roses I made from her class which I popped on top of a facecloth cupcake: So cute!


Take a look here for instructions for folding the facecloth

I haven’t taken photos of the other flowers yet, but will do so soon.

The rain has also started (at last). Even though we’ve not had huge storms with loads of water yet, but it’s started and we’ve had a good couple of showers. This was our first Summer rain and I caught my son standing simply watching the big drops splashing on the paving outside.

Then, he simply couldn’t stand it any longer and when I looked again he was standing outside getting drenched! LOL!

Then I have some photos to share of my brother’s 40th birthday party. I made some cute cupcake wrappers and flags and food toppers.

They farm with chickens, so my sister-in-law decided to run with a chicken theme for fun. She had bought some paper napkins, so I scanned one and used that as inspiration as well as using the actual image for the cupcake wrappers. Don’t you just love those cute chickens on the cupcakes?


Then it was my dad’s 75th birthday. So I decided to host an elegant dinner party for 10 of his friends last Saturday. It was a surprise party and we managed to keep the secret so well that he didn’t even recognise his friends when he walked in the room! (He was told they were some of my husband’s colleagues from work).

Here are a few photos of the decorations. I made some cupcake labels and flags as well as treat bag toppers. The treat bags were just for fun as my dad absolutely loves liquorice – especially Liquorice Allsorts. I got the idea for the “eat me” treat bags from somewhere on the net. I can’t remember exactly where, so thank you to whoever gave me the idea!

I then made around 10 wine-glass lampshades for the table, continuing with the black and white vintage images. (Most of which came from Karen over at The Graphics Fairy) – click on her button on the right hand column here on my blog.

Although not very masculine, I guess, I added some vintage teacups on the table with roses floating in them nonetheless. The one below is actually very special as it comes from the tea set (which I still have) which my dad “gave” his mom when he was born 75 years ago in November 1935. When I was younger I thought the design was awful – now I love it! I love the unusual art-deco style and especially the black details. It’s very sentimental to me, so I never ever use it for fear of breaking something.

032I often use tea cups as vases on my dinner table settings as they add colour and just the right amount of quirkiness.

Yesterday was Shannon’s year-end singing concert with the studio. She looked so lovely all dressed up that I simply had to take a photo. The dress for the evening for the performers was semi-formal, so she had to borrow a dress from her cousins. (I was not going to buy an evening dress for her that she would wear once for a couple of hours). The only problem I have is she looks so grown up when she dresses up like this! I think I prefer her usual shorts and tees! LOL!

shannon 20112010Well that’s my lo…nnng story for this Sunday evening. Hope you have a lovely week full of loads of craftiness!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wise words

Today I received an email with this poem. I think it is so true, so I simply had to share it here on my blog.

It really makes one realise that there are simple things in life which we should never take for granted. Simple things that could make life a little easier perhaps…

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising...
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.



Monday, November 8, 2010

A little Christmas Spirit

I have been seeing lovely floating snowflakes drifting down in blogland of late. Don’t you think it’s cute? It’s a great way to add a little Christmas spirit to your blog.

Now we have HOT Summer here over Christmas, but I still love snowflake ornaments on my tree and love the idea of a white Christmas. So to get me as close to a white Christmas as I’m gonna get this year- I visited this site:

And followed the very simple instructions for adding the widget to my blog. LOVE these little hints of Christmas floating all over my blog. Don’t you/


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Online craft class…

Hi there crafting friends. I just thought I had to tell you about an online self-paced class that is starting on 12 November 2010.


My blogging friend, Bonnie, is running a really fun class :

“A Pocket full of Posies”

She will be teaching the art of making various types of flowers from fabric, felt, crochet etc. I love the variety!

To find out more, click on the image below to be directed to her blog…


Please join me, I’m signing up!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wineglass lampshades (& free printables!)

Hi everyone,

I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but been busy busy! I’ve completed quite a few crafts, been oil painting like crazy and even got stuck into tidying up my (very messy) studio.

I recently discovered gorgeous wineglass lampshades in a local magazine. They are super easy to make and so cute when made up. They really add something so cute to a dinner table!



Cute huh? You like them? Well I have a little gift for you…

Three Printable wineglass lampshades!

Click on each of the images below to be redirected to a downloadable PDF document.


wineglass lampshade3  wineglass lampshade2 wineglass lampshade1

Instructions :

  1. Print out onto light-weight cardstock
  2. Cut out
  3. Glue the sides together to make the lampshade shape – make adjustments as you need to fit your wineglass.
  4. Now grab that glue gun and some trim (from a haberdashery store) and add a trim on the top and the bottom. Alternatively you can cut the edges with deckle (shaped) scissors just to zhoosh it up a bit. Personally, I find the trim just makes them look that little bit more professional.
  5. Now place a tea light candle into the wineglass and pop your shade on top!

Remember- you can add flowers (silk ones, crochet ones etc), beads, felt shapes, well just let your imagination run wild!!

Now off you go – make some of your own!

Before I go – the graphics are courtesy of Karen of The Graphics Fairy. Thanks Karen!

Oh, and do leave a comment! I would LOVE to hear from you and in return visit your blog!