Monday, 31 August 2009

This Need for Beads...

... has taken over the last week of my life. I'm off to Covent Garden in a moment to source some lovely materials for all the ideas buzzing in my head. Before I go though I'd like you to take a look at what I have been up to last week.

This is my first ever beaded crochet bracelet you've seen in previous post and another one that is already adorning my friend's wrist - belated birthday present that's put a smile on her face.

Mrs G in action

...and the bracelet is ready!!!

This will be one of my favourites. Love the vibrant colour combination for summer!

This pink, lilac and pearl white is for my mum. It's very muted and classy, and bigger beads in the middle add extra style.
And finally here's something I'm experimenting with at the moment. I'm trying to work out how to use the beaded tubing to create ear-rings and rings. Ear-rings are already a clear idea in my head, but the ring needs further work. At the moment it's far too bulky to wear on the finger so I will have to use just a section of tubing for the top ant attach to some sort of ring base. I have a few ideas, but too early to share.
Have a wonderful bank holiday. If you're not going out why not crochet a beaded bracelet. Here's Bees workshop to get you started. I'm off for my fab supplies. Covent Garden here I come!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Bracelet Extraordinaire!

Another Sunday, another fabulous day and another creation I am ever so proud of!

Last Sunday four of us have gathered for a creative workshop taught by lovely Bee of chaincreative. Sarah, Stacey, Aveen and yours trully decided we can master the art of tubular crochet with beads. Ha ha!

Not one to be beatten easily I must confess this tested my patience a little bit, but with Bee's mantra in my head -"it's easy once you get going" - I have set out to succeed. And succeed I did, although i will let you all be the judges of that. All I say is my work colleagues were impressed.

Workshops with Bee are always an event I look forward to and then regret they end so quickly. But after every single one of those I left with a new skill which has completely hooked me.

The Bead Crochet Workshop was no different. The day was beautiful, hot, glorious sunshine, the surroundings were cosy and peaceful and Bee was her usual enthusiastic self , spurring us on and not letting anyone give up. What better way to spend a day than rummaging through colourful beads, picking colours for a project and then turning them into a wonderful piece of jewellery.

Girls, this really is my idea of a perfect Sunday!

This is my first attempt. I'm planning a few more for sure. I already threaded beads for one more and I don't think I will be stopping there.

I finished my bracelet at home on Sunday evening after the workshop and I have been wearing it every day since...

Monday, 10 August 2009

Say YES to a cup cake!

It's official. Cupcakes are all the rage! They are fashionable, they're in, they're it! Why are they the sweet of the moment? Maybe because they're easy, maybe because they're bitesize or maybe because they're delicious and oh so pretty!

The art of the cupcake is getting popular and fast. It's such a simple piece of sponge that's pretty fool-proof and yet offers the huge potential to make it look like a cute little work of art. Is it any wonder we're all doing it?

Not one to let any trend pass her by, yours trully has rolled up her sleeves and got stuck right in. I bought the most delicious cupcake receipe book with the pictures just asking to be licked. They are from the hummingbird bakery. If you have never heard of it follow the link and let temptation guide you.

So there you have it - my humble attempt at the cult red velvet cupcake. You have to trust me that underneath all that buttercream icing the cake is surprisingly bright red! I think I might have to work on spreading not slapping the icing at random, keep the sugared rose petals and skip the chocolate shavings, make it neat next time.

I'm happy to confirm that in spite of slapdash decorating my red velvet cupcakes have passed the friends and family taste test!

To finish off I'd like to show you something absolutely stunning. It must take indescribable patience and precision to come up with these. Betz White I salute you! Before you ask yes they are knitted cupcakes. And, although you can't sink your sweet tooth in their luscious gorgeousness, these you can keep and admire for ever... so go on say YES to a cupcake...

The images is this post are borrowed from:

Book Launch

I must tell you about the book launch, that took place last Thursday. Claire Montgomerie of Loop (my favourite shop this side of the Atlantic) was launching her new book Easy Kids Knits and to celebrate the big event we gathered in every knitter's mecca - Loop in Cross Street.

The evening was wonderful and the turnout huge, despite lousy weather. I have enjoyed it immensely, met some lovely people equally obsessed with all things hand-made and all very very talented indeed. Another Clare, aka Ginger Knits, baked some delicious cupcakes and we all got treated to a few glasses of bubbly - the high life I was simply born to enjoy.

Like most talented crafty people I couldn't resist wearing some of my creations. I was complemented a lot on my knitted shrug, but the wire crochet earrings with pearls have stolen the show. Made me so so proud.

As if that wasn't enough I won the star prize in a raffle - a huge gift box of gorgeous yarn from Sublime. Now that was the proverbial cherry on the cupcake!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Hearts in Herts.

These are my lovely new crochet coasters. I got sooooo hooked on crochet I keep finding little projects to practice on and these were just perfect. Such pretty little things, quick to do and you can make as many or as few as your heart desires. If you fancy having a go here is the link to Bella Dia and the pattern.

I have also started experimenting with wire and combining it with beads, as that went pretty well, I have taken on wire and pearls and the results are good - girls at work loved them, but they need to be perfected. When they are I will post some photos. For now I'm so proud of my coasters I might even make some placemats to match.

And here's one I made earlier... started it during my crochet class with Bee, but only managed to finish it off this weekend. It's a crochet bracelet, felted in the machine with pink and purple beads stitched on after. Another little project that delivered lots of fun and satisfaction.

...of course while I'm having a hot affair with crochet I can't be neglecting my knitting. I managed to fit in a couple of knitting projects into my days, mainly due to a long daily commute from the rural Hertfordshire to the heart of London (it's all hearts in this post?). My handbag is of the "big enough to fit the kitchen sink" variety and always contains a book, an i-pod and a knitting project or two. Yes, dear reader, I KNIT EVERY DAY! ... and lately I crochet nearly every day too. So many ideas - so little time...

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Kiosk Kiosk

Last week on Sunday something very nice happened. Claire Montgomerie aka Monty with the help of Bee Clinch have been spreading their enthusiasm and knowledge of knitting, crochet and sewing on the South Bank at Kiosk.

Being an avid enthusiast of knitting and now also wonderful crochet, thanks to Bee, I ventured out from my little cosy pad up north (Hertfordshire) to cheer on my favourite crafters and their new venture. It was to promote the crafts by giving free advice and on the spot tuition and troubleshooting.

There were some lovely creations on display and available to buy from Claire and Bee.

This little girl astonished us all with her amazing dedication and talent. Very inspirational and reassuring that the all things crafty will live on. Olivia came not knowing what knitting was, and within minutes she was knitting away quietly, tongue out, concentration on her face.

Of course there were rewards in the form of these yummy cupcakes from Sugar Rose, absolute works of art in their own right. You can find out more about them from Make&Bake.

The weather was shaky, but mainly held up and I managed to escape before the rain came down. Views were quite magnificent all round and tourists were aplenty.

I was so glad I could make it as nothing makes me more happy than the company of happy people, who share the same passions...