Sunday, 30 November 2008


It's that time of year again when everything ends up in a pile of paper hankerchieves, a box of aspirin and a flu diagnosis. No crochet or blogging for me. Just browsing the internet for funny pictures of people sneezing (see above!!) and trying not to complain too loudly.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Isn't Etsy great

I've been buying Christmas presents on Etsy - I think it's great if you can source really unique gifts and support designer-producers at the same time. There so much talent out there and Etsy is a wonderful home for many of them. I'd be dishonest if I didn't say that it's all wonderful, but at least there is the choice and a home for everything. I love browsing the 'Handpicked' range every day which is a personal choice of an Etsier and it certainly opens the treasure-chest!

As you can see, I've set up my own shop there, Bee@Home, and it's been a wonderfully simple process. So...if you are a designer and haven't taken a peek at the process of establishing yourself there, then hurry, hurry and get over there!!!

My fave raves at the moment are -

Little Black Rabbit (Vintage Tin Charm)

Oktak (mini-frame pouch)

Quixotic Cards (Winter Wonderland Reindeer)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Decorating the holidays

I must be feeling a bit Christmasy as today's post is all about decoration. The reason probably is that I'm busy sewing and knitting and crocheting orders and, as this doesn't allow so much time for the blog, I want to catch the mood while I can.

The posts are a short but sweet and this one is for all those who want to keep it 'real' and create their own decorations. I'm increasingly meeting people who are being really creative this Christmas and making many of their presents. I'm sure it's because of our new economic situation but I hope the feeling will last long after the bankers have left the building.
First off are the autumn leaves from Craftystylish which may have a November feel about them but with a little adaption could be made to suit Noel. I love Craftystylish for all it's ideas so pop over and see what creativity you could get up to.More in the spirit is fablehandmade and her bunting. Of course, Jenn is an old friend of chaincreative and she catches the vibe of folk Christmas' so nicely with this pattern.
Little creatures and figures are such a feature of many decorations and you only have to go to Etsy and tap in crochet christmas decoration patterns to find a wealth of them. Rudolphs, angels and Christmasy cartoon people. Anyhow, let's keep it simple with this little pattern from Owlishly which keeps it simple and not too sweet.
Truly feeling a bit of the tinsel tingle now so let's finish with a dusting of snow with these snowflake patterns from Australia, not a country I immediately associate with snow!! These are starched.
If you go to Flikr and go to starch crochet you'll find tons of examples of decorations that have been stiffened to attention!!

The picture at the top of the post is from my favourite blog, Fryd+design and the lovely Jeanette. The images are constantly inspiring.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

In the jungle

I started with my first Saturday of 'work' at Loop which was so much fun. It was super-busy and alot of the people coming in were saying that they're really fired up to make their own Christmas presents this year. It's almost becoming a cult!
It's such a great way of showing that you care and, at the same time, having a little fun for yourself in the making. Crochet, of course, is such a whizzy way to get things made fast and these little guys are a lovely way to make someone tiny (or even bigger) very happy indeed.

Amigurumi seems to be the most popular way to create your own little toys and I'm not going to disagree. What I'm looking for is something different.
I love Roman Sock for finding great ideas and patterns. The site is the brainchild of a very talented crocheter from Scotland. Glasgow to be precise, and every pattern is beautifully and humourously represented. My super-favourite that we can all try our hand at is her meerkats and there is a pdf for you to download. She also has many other adorable critters and this fennec fox above is particularly lush. Pattern please!!!
Deep in the forest something stirs. Look what I found!!! PlanetJune is the creation of another UK native now living in North America. She has really created some cute amigurumi characters which, similar to Roman Sock, take an altogether quirky look at the skill. AfriAmi look simple and fun to make and you can purchase the patterns from the site.

Last but far from least is tildafilur from Etsy who I've featured before. All her patterns are available and they are adorable. Winter was never so fun as making the skiing polar bear!!!

Friday, 7 November 2008

A Toy Taster

Just to start with a cute little character to start off our Christmas ideas list. Gourmet crochet is a buy-online pattern service and they have some neat projects to get you going. I'll be featuring lots of ideas in the coming weeks but let this be the entree to a perfect meal! Just go to Dolls and take a peek.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Don't worry, be happy

It seems that the air is filled with concerned voices and fearfulness. I know it sounds superficial but sometimes you have to go back to basics to get your confidence back.

All of this made me think that Christmas this year should be an opportunity for investing more time (not money) in creating gifts that have more meaning and value because they have a personal creativity. I'm not alone. There are books being published every day and discussions in every paper and I spotted this article by the Sunday Times writer, India Knight. Her book, The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less pretty much tells us what our mothers knew best. It's about time we learned some lessons from it. I've just completed another well-attended beginners' course of crochet classes and I can tell in my own little field that there's a hunger to pick up some long-forgotten skills. Learning was never so fun and potentially so profitable.
The internet is a-buzzin' with ideas and projects and I'll be looking at a few in the next few weeks. Before then, I wanted to alert you to a nice publication from the States (good luck to all of them today, by the way) which you may, or may not, already know about.
Craft: magazine is choc-full of ideas and projects and lots of crochet. I love this hanging decoration from Emilie Friday.
A digital version is available which is useful for international customers. There is an excellent blog which picks up on the magazine and it's contributors and it gives hours and hours of happy browsing. In addition, if you want to really enter the digital age, there are podcasts of patterns and projects. For more ideas there is a Flikr Craft: pool which features finished projects and work in progress. I love this one from Feltroterapia. There isn't much crochet there so...

...get to work!!!