Liberty Bag

Which ones to choose?!

Well, I’m ashamed to say that it’s not just wool that I seem to acquire, I’ve got a fair old stash of fabric too just waiting for the right project!

As well as larger pieces, I’ve accumulated a fair amount of smaller pieces, including lots of Liberty cotton, and decided the time was right to make a start on using them up!  Now that I’m back in the swing of regular crafting, I thought a project bag would be the ideal thing as it’s always handy to have somewhere to store current wips (that’s ‘works in progress’ for the uninitiated!)  Notice the use of the plural form there too – it’s universally acknowledged amongst crafters that you can never have too many projects on the go at any one time!

After a flick through my various sewing books, I decided to go for a simple lined drawstring bag and let the fabric be the star of the show.  Basically all you need to do is cut 2 rectangles of fabric, one slightly longer than the other (this piece will be the lining).  The extra length is used to fold over the front of the project to make the channel through which you’ll thread the ribbon or cord used to close the bag.    You fold each rectangle in half and hem around them both (making sure you leave a gap on either side at the top of the lining piece) pop the lining inside the main bag and fold the casing over to the front.  You can then thread your ribbon or cord through the opening on either side of the casing.

 

If you’d like to have a go yourself, just let me know and I’ll send you full instructions, or there’s a lovely tutorial here which will show you how to make a simple, unlined bag. 

The pattern I was following was taken from The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing.  In addition to the fabric, the pattern called for 2 metres of ribbon and 4 beads.  After an extensive root through my ribbon box I realised I would have to buy some as I had nothing long enough, but I managed to find some I liked for 60p a metre – so that’s another £1.20 of the budget gone 🙁   I did however discover some lovely wooden beads in my many bead jars that would be just perfect.  I cut the ribbon in half and, using a safety pin, I carefully threaded it through the casing.  Once I’d pulled the ribbon so the ends were the same length on both sides I went to thread the beads on, only to discover the hole in the beads was too narrow for the ribbon to pass through!  At this point I was determined not to spend any more money on the project, and keen to get it finished, so decided to simply make some ties from the same fabric as the lining, and sew them directly on to the ends of the ribbon instead.

Ta dah!

 

I’m really pleased with the result.

All I need now is another project to put inside it! 🙂

What to do with a Wedding Bouquet?

Signing on the dotted line

I was determined not to get carried away and spend too much money on flowers for my wedding, so decided to make my bouquet myself.  Initially the plan was to order specific flowers from a local florist, but then I thought why not just go along to the local supermarket the day before the wedding and buy a few bunches of whatever was available?   I was delighted with the result and ended up with flowers I’d never have chosen otherwise, including some beautiful bright sunflowers.   I also picked a pale pink peony rose from the garden to include, and my Mum brought me some gorgeous blue cornflowers as they’re a particular favourite of mine, so they got added in too!  Basically I just arranged them as I would for a vase and tied lots of twine up and down the stems to make sure they would hold, which they did thankfully! 

I really didn’t want to leave my bouquet behind when we left for honeymoon but knew there was no way I could take it with me, so had to find some way of preserving it.  I read up a little on the best way to dry full bunches of flowers and found lots of articles suggesting they be hung upside down in a cool, dry place.  Never having tried this before, but with no time to experiment with another bunch of flowers first, I decided to give it a go and hung the bouquet up in the garage once we were home from the wedding.

On our return from Skye 3 weeks later I took a peek and was delighted to find the flowers had dried perfectly.  I was really worried that the petals might have dried and fallen off the stalks, and that I’d come home to a pile of petals on the floor, but thankfully they were all still attached to the stems!

 

The colours had faded and were now subtler shades rather than the bright vibrant colours they had been, but i don’t think there’s any way to avoid this happening.

The dried flower heads cut and ready

Pot pourri seemed to be the best use of the flowers and I decided to carefully cut off the flower heads and keep them intact rather than detaching the individual petals.  After Googling several articles on how to make pot pourri, I knew I needed some sort of fixative as well as something to provide fragrance.  The most common fixative it seems is Orris powder (which I didn’t have needless to say!), but it turns out that powdered cinnamon works too, so that’s what I went with.

 

Purchase number 2!

Unfortunately I didn’t have any essential oils to give the flowers a lovely smell though, so knew I’d have to use some of my budget to buy a bottle.  The cinnamon I’d used made me think of Christmas so thought I’d team it up with some orange oil (which always makes me think of  Christingles).  As it happened, Holland and Barrett had some in their sale, so I’m now £2.74 down.

 

 

Whilst I didn’t have any oils at home, I did however have a spare lemon left over after my first attempt at home-made lemonade, so I decided to have a go at drying some lemon slices to add to the potpourri mixture.  As well as being able to dry the slices in the oven on a very low heat, it’s also possible to dry them in the microwave on half power, or using the defrost setting.  I have to say it took considerably longer than the 6 minutes the instructions I’d found stated, and after about 25 minutes I decided to just spread them out on a  fresh plate and leave them on the windowsill to finish drying.  3 days later and I had some beautifully dried lemon slices and a lovely citrus smelling kitchen!

 

The potpourri, complete with lemon slices, is now in an airtight container that gets a little shake every day to help the powdered cinnamon and orange oil work their magic on every petal before it’s time to turn it out into a bowl in a few weeks time!

A wonderful reminder of a wonderful day 🙂

My first purchase!

Finding a project to take with my on my journey up to Skye was a really easy decision – it had to be socks!  They’re such a lovely portable project and knit up quickly too – satisfaction guaranteed!   However, deciding on which pattern to go for was not quite so straightforward – you wouldn’t believe how many different variations on the basic sock pattern there are – long leg, short leg, ribbed cuff, roll cuff, cable pattern, lace pattern – and that’s before you consider all the different heel and toe variations!!  The socks were going to be a present for my Mum, so I chose a pattern I thought she would like – a simple ankle sock with a roll cuff  – and I raided my stash for a really pretty self-patterning yarn.   You can find the pattern here if you’d like to have a go yourself.

The Journey Begins …

The Hearth at Horsley

I cast on my 64 stitches for the cuff of Sock 1 at our first stop-off, which was for coffee and cake at The Hearth in Horsley, Northumberland.  I often knit socks with 4 double pointed needles (dpns) but decided to try 5 this time as that’s what the pattern suggested.  One of the many things I love about knitting socks is the fact that there are so many different ways to make them, so lots of opportunities for experimenting, which is always great fun!

 

Picking up the Heel Flap

 

Some 70 miles later and we’d arrived at Dumfries where it was time for lunch.  By this point I’d knitted the cuff and heel flap so was able to pick up the heel stitches over a sandwich at Nona Lou’s in the Old School (I reckoned it was safer to wait until we’d stopped rather than attempt picking up stitches in the car)!

 

Now that I was back to knitting in the round again, it was just a case of completing the gusset  decreases to get my stitches back down to 64.  After that it was just plain knitting until the toe shaping – perfect knitting for a car journey!

Admiring the view at the Skyeburn Teapot

We always stop for a cup of tea at the Skyreburn Teapot at Gatehouse of Fleet (you’ve probably realised by now that coffee and cake feature quite heavily in our lives!).  As it’s only 30 odd miles from Dumfries I didn’t get much more knitting done, but by the time we reached Stranraer (our destination for the evening) Sock Number One was really taking shape.

 

 

Stranraer, and time for bed …

Ben Nevis

After a lovely evening with friends at the Stranraer Folk Club, we made our way to Fort William which would be our base for the next two nights.  Sock Number One was finally finished that evening and here it is, outside our b&b, with Ben Nevis in the background.

 

 

 

Sock Number 2 started life the following day on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig.  The views were incredible but it was soooo hot!  Thank goodness we’d managed to find two little hand fans as I think we’d have expired otherwise!

 

 

 

 

Deer spotting at the cottage

Once we arrived in Skye Sock Number Two knitted up in no time (with the help of more coffee and cake obviously!) and before I knew it I was ready to Kitchener stitch the toes on both pairs to finish them off.

 

 

 

Purchase Number One!

 

Imagine my horror when I sat down that evening to sew them up only to discover that I’d forgotten to pack my darning needles!  The only thing for it was to buy some, and thankfully there’s a wonderful shop near the cottage called the Handspinner Having Fun, that had just what I needed.

 

 

Sock Number One finds his mate

 

When I set myself a budget of £52 for my Project 52 Challenge, I never imagined that my first purchase would be for something that I already had!   I was so keen to get the socks finished though to give to Mum on our return, that I bit the bullet and splashed out the princely sum of £1 for 2 lovely needles!

 

I must admit that using up one ball of sock yarn hasn’t made much of a dent in my yarn stash which was one of the major inspirations in embarking on this project.  However it’s a start, and it’s really making me think twice before buying anything new.   There are several times when I’ve been seriously tempted (I mean there is just so much gorgeous yarn out there!) but I’m finding real enjoyment in making use of what I’ve already got.  I’m conscious it’s still early days in my project, so here’s hoping I can hold out for a little bit longer!! 🙂

Week 8 – So far behind!

The Honeymooners return …

Well I’m finally back home after a wonderful wedding and honeymoon, and boy am I behind with my crafting!

Views like this one overlooking Knock Bay in the south of the island are definitely not conducive to work!

Naively I thought I’d be able to take lots of my HoneyBridge House work away with me to Skye and be incredibly productive, but it didn’t quite work like that.  Instead I found that I began to slowly unwind until I was so relaxed all thoughts of work disappeared completely.  The scenery in that part of the world is simply stunning, and the pace of life so much slower that it becomes impossible to do anything in a hurry.  It was such a lovely feeling to just live in the moment and wring the most out of every second of every day.

However, whilst I didn’t manage to get any of my admin done, I did find time for plenty of relaxing crafting during my time away.  Some of this was planned (I’d been given a birthday voucher for a day at Dragonfly Studio on the island, and was really looking forward to improving my spinning with the owner, Annie) but lots of it just happened by chance – like the RSPB Open Day we stumbled across where I got the opportunity to make a bird box and try my hand at sunlight printing.  You can rest assured that all of this ‘happenstance’ crafting will most definitely find its way into a project or two over the coming weeks, so watch this space!

Wedding projects – update

Another thing that didn’t quite pan out as expected was the number of photographs of my projects that I envisaged being able to take during the Big Day itself.   I ended up having far too much fun enjoying myself to even think about taking photos, but thankfully lots of other folk have sent us their pictures as mementos of the event.

We were blessed with glorious weather, and having all the immediate family together was just wonderful, and made it such a special day.

 

See if you can spot Knit and Purl the crocheted mice, and the decoupage flower jars on the table amongst all that cheese and cake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the eve of the wedding we went up to the venue in Horsley and set up the tables with the flowers and a selection of games – all ready for afternoon tea the following day!

 

 

The Wishing Tree – bunting in waiting!

 

Everyone wrote us a lovely wish to hang on the tree, so I’ll be looking at turning them all into bunting very soon.

So, where does that leave me in terms of my 52 Projects challenge?  Well, I’ve certainly got some catching up to do, but have plenty of ideas and the beginnings of a few items already started.  Now that I’m back home (with no more major events planned to distract me!) I can get down to business and crack on!

Watch out for project 6 appearing next week …

Week 4, 3rd Finger Left Hand!

Well, whilst I didn’t actually manage to get anything completed this week, I’ve got 2 projects in the planning stages – I just need my wedding guests to help me complete them now!

PROJECT 4 – BUNTING

 

I’m taking my display tree along to the ceremony and leaving a selection of pretty tags of various sizes for guests to sign their names on, and maybe write a little message if they’d like to.

 

 

 

The idea is to use the completed labels as ‘flags’ on a row of bunting which I’ll probably hang on the fireplace.   I’m thinking about interspersing these wedding labels with some other bunting, possibly maps, but the jury’s still out on what the finished bunting will look like.  I think I’ll need to see the wedding tags first and take it from there.  So, watch this space for the finished project!

 

PROJECT 5 – PROGGY HEART PICTURE

The finished look of Project 5 is much clearer in my mind, although I’m still considering how to finish it off.
Over the past few years I’ve done a fair bit of ‘progging’ and really enjoy it.  For those of you unfamiliar with this traditional mat and rug making craft, the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead have a fabulous  introductory booklet that gives some of the history as well as instructions on how to make your own mats.

You start out by drawing your design on the back of some hemmed hessian.  The hessian is a lovely fabric to work with, but it frays quite badly so definitely needs hemming.  It’s also a good idea to wear an apron, or put a cloth over your lap whilst you’re working, or you’ll end up covered in bits of it too!

I knew that I wanted my picture to be a heart, but you can be as creative as you like with your design.  You can start drawing it out in chalk, which you can simply rub out and re-draw until you’re happy with the final version.  At that point, simply go over the chalk with a felt pen.  You’ll be progging over the felt pen line so you don’t need to worry about it being visible from the front.

Once you have your hessian prepared and your design marked on, you need a selection of fabric.  Traditionally, old clothes would have been cut up to make rugs with, and this is always a good option.  However you can use any fabric, and it’s a good idea to experiment with different thicknesses on a spare piece of hessian to see the different effects you can achieve.  Any fabric that frays can be cut on the bias and this should lesson the fraying a bit.

Prepared fabric and proggy tool

 

The pieces should be very roughly 5cm by 2cm, but it really isn’t an exact science.  Personally I really like the look of uneven pieces as they lend a certain rustic charm to the finished item.  For speed I cut a lot of my fabric using a rotary cutter and quilting ruler, but cutting it by eye using fabric scissors is just as good.  For my heart picture I’ve gone for cotton fabrics and used an old shirt of Harry’s, a top I bought from a second hand shop in Skye when we were over there last year, and a selection of Liberty fabric that I’ve collected over the last few years.

 

Okay, once your hessian is prepared and you have a selection of fabric to work with, you’re ready to start!  It really is a simple technique and quite therapeutic too.  There’s an excellent video tutorial showing exactly how to prog, but there are really just a few simple steps:
1. Have the back of the work facing you at all times.
2. Begin by making a large hole with the progger tool at any point along the outline of your design.
3. Using the progger, push one end of a piece of fabric about half way through the hole you’ve just made, from the back to the front.
4. Make another large hole about 3/4 threads away from the first, still following the line of the felt pen outline.
5. Using the progger, push the other end of the fabric through from the back to the front into this second hole.
6.  Repeat the steps above with the second piece of fabric ensuring you start the second piece in the same hole that the first piece ended in.
7. Continue to fill in all of the design outline, before completing the rest of the picture.

Front of the canvas showing outline completed

I’ve progged the outline of my heart so that our wedding guests get an idea of what the finished picture will look like.  I’ll leave the basket full of fabric, the progger tool and some instructions and will hopefully get the chance to show everyone what to do too.

I still need to decide on how to finish the picture.  At the moment I’m thinking about maybe hemming the top and bottom and sliding through a large twig, attaching some twine and hanging it up that way but, as with the bunting, I think I’ll need to see the finished picture first to get an idea of what will look best.

I’m really excited to think we’ll end up with a lovely  piece of art for our home that will be full of happy memories as all of our wedding guests will have helped to complete it 🙂

Project 3 Update

Yeah, I’ve finally got around to finishing off the jars I was decorating to go on the tables at the wedding, so that’s another thing to cross off the list 🙂

With just over a week to go to the Big Day, there are just a few little jobs left to do, but all the big things are sorted now, so I’m really enjoying the build up to the day itself.

Northside Farm, Horsley

I went along to our wedding venue (Northside Farm in Horsely) a few days ago for the final run through with Olivia, the lovely owner.  It was the day of Storm Hector, so an interesting journey, with plenty of branches on the roadside and piles of leaves everywhere.  Once I got to the venue though, the sky was bright blue and the view across the valley was incredible.  If we get a sunny day for the wedding it will be wonderful!

I’m really looking forward to going back next Sunday to set the room up ready for the ceremony on Monday.  With it just being a small do, it shouldn’t take long, but I can’t wait to put all the flowers out and make it ‘ours’.  I’m also really looking forward to bringing my jars back home afterwards and using them at home as they’ll be a lovely reminder of the Day 🙂

 

HoneyB inspecting my handiwork!

So, last week I’d got as far as decorating the jars with the tissue paper, but still needed to finish them off.  I had a good root through all my old bits of ribbon and ironed anything cream or yellow that I thought would go and that was the right thickness to cover the rim of the jars.

I tried them all out, picked my favourite bits, then used my glue gun to attach the ribbons to the jars before popping on a button or two to cover the join and add a bit of detail.  Simple!

 

 

Just waiting for some flowers …

The plan is to mix the decoupage jars that I’ve decorated with some blue ones I found in a local charity shop during one of my regular visits.

All that’s missing now is the flowers!!  I’ll post some photos after the wedding so you can see them in situ and let me know what you think 🙂

 

 

 

Week 3, Project 3, £0

Gosh, this last week has just flown by!  I had plans to get so much done but with the wedding coming up (only two weeks today!) other things have taken over.  I was determined to try and keep to my crafting schedule though, and as my 3rd project is another one for The Big Day, I just had to crack on!

My lovely yarn bowl present along with its gorgeous tissue wrapping paper

Now, during a recent crochet course, one of the lovely ladies gave me a beautiful yarn bowl as a wedding present, and it came wrapped it 2 sheets of wonderful tissue paper which I loved.  I’ve really enjoyed using the bowl, but I didn’t want to throw the paper away, so I kept the sheets out on my table in the craft room in the hope that if I saw them every day, then a use for them would spring to mind – and it did!

 

I knew I wanted to decorate some jam jars to use for flowers on the tables at the wedding, and my initial plan was to use wire and beads to make little decorative handles for them.  However, looking at the tissue paper, I decided to have a go at some decoupage instead.

 

 

Getting ready to start

If you’ve never tried decoupage before, it’s really easy and very satisfying.  The name comes from the French verb ‘to cut out’ and it’s a brilliant way of decorating all sorts of different items, as well as making use of scraps of pretty paper too.

There’s a great little beginners’ guide to decoupage which will explain exactly how to get started here .

 

About to set off!

Depending on what you’re doing, you can carefully cut the paper pieces for decoupage, or tear them to give a nice rustic look which is what I wanted for this project.  I set to work tearing up the tissue paper into smallish pieces, and got my trusty PVA/water mix out again (as you can see, I’m starting to run low so will definitely need to replenish my supply soon!)  Then it was simply a case of covering an area of the glass with glue mix, then popping a piece of tissue paper on top and covering the paper with the glue mix too. Next I placed another piece of tissue on the glass, so that it slightly overlapped the first piece on an angle, and covered that in glue mix too.  I then worked my way around all of the jar. adding one piece of tissue at a time, and ensuring that the tissue pieces overlapped as I went so that the glass was properly covered.

Glasses drying upside down in the sunlight

Once I’d layered up the tissue paper on each of the glasses, I picked each up in turn and slowly turned it round inspecting carefully to make sure there were no gaps.  I realised I’d missed two or three little bits but it was easy enough to cover them up with another piece of paper, before leaving them all to dry on the kitchen window ledge.  Once they were dry I gave them all another coat of PVA/water just to protect the tissue paper as it’s so thin and I wanted to make sure it was properly attached to the glasses.

I could have put more layers of tissue on the jars too but I really liked the delicate look that I’ve got so far so decided to leave it at that.  As you can see from the photographs, I’ve left the rim of the glasses clear (where the tops would screw on) as I’m thinking about putting some ribbon on them.   I’ll have a little experiment and post a photo of the final jars once they’re all complete 🙂

So there you have it, project number 3 finished (well, almost!)  Now, what to do next …

 

Week 2, Project 2, £0!

Well, I was wondering what to make for my second project when I walked into the wonderful Recycling Peasant on a spur of the moment trip to  Darlington.   I’d never been into the centre of Darlington before, but Mr HoneyB was attending a writing event so I decided to have a wander around the shops while he was busy.  I was just on my way back to meet him when I saw an intriguing looking alleyway, so I just had to explore and I stumbled across a quirky little studio.

The Recycling Peasant in Darlington

 

The Recycling Peasant is run by the lovely Jackie whose mission is to make use of things others no longer want.  I bought a gorgeous pair of earrings from her which she put in a pretty little paper box that she’d made.  I told her all about my ’52’ project and she suggested that I make a box for my second item.

 

After a quick demonstration from Jackie showing me how to fold a square of paper into a box, I was all fired up and began thinking of what my own box would be for, and what I would use to make it.  With my wedding looming, I decided something for The Big Day might be a good idea, and plumped for a little box to put our wedding rings in.  The next decision was what paper to use?  It had to be something I already had so I wouldn’t have to spend any of my precious budget, and I remembered the old road atlas I’d found when I was clearing out the boot of the car the previous day.  As we’re off to Skye for our honeymoon, I thought that would be the most appropriate map to choose, and there were 2 pages to work with which was great.

Completed box made from pages from an old atlas

After a bit of manoeuvring I managed to position one of the maps so that Teangue, which is where we’ll be staying, would be on the front of the box and more or less in the middle, so I was ready to cut out my square and get folding.

If you fancy having a go at making one of these little beauties yourself, there’s a fab little video tutorial here.  Once you’ve made your box base you just take a very slightly larger square of paper and fold it in exactly the same way to make a lid – easy peasy!

 

Varnishing the box with a PVA & water mixture

 

I soon realised that the thin atlas pages wouldn’t be very sturdy, so decided to give the box a few coats of varnish.  I used PVA glue that I’d mixed 50/50 with water.  In fact I have a jar of this on permanent standby in my craft room as it comes in handy for so many things!

 

Mini crocheted mat

Once the box was finished, I thought that the rings might rattle around a bit, so had a look for a smaller container I could place inside.  Now, I have to admit to having a bit of a thing for little boxes and tins, and it just so happened that I’d kept the gorgeous little tin we got from the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh (which is where we were having afternoon tea when the lovely Mr HoneyB proposed!)  As well as the afternoon tea, they gave us lots of little goodies to take home, including a gorgeous mint in a little tin which turned out to be the perfect size to fit inside my box.  To finish it off, and to make sure the rings would sit snugly, I crocheted a little circular mat using a Mermaid’s Purse Yarn that was specially dyed for me for the wedding by the lovely Sheena.  She even named the colourway ‘I Do’!

So there you have it, one custom made box complete with mini tin just waiting for two wedding rings to make their home inside 🙂

The finished box, plus tin, all ready for the rings!

Week 1, Project 1, £0!

Well I’ve had such a lovely week starting my 52 projects in 52 weeks challenge, and been overwhelmed at the support I’ve received.  Thank you all!
As you may remember, I decided that my first project would be to make 2 little mice that I can use to decorate my fruit and cheese wedding cake when I get married in a few weeks time.  I scoured the internet hunting for a suitable free pattern and came across this little beauty from Janette at The Green Dragonfly  There are some truly fabulous free patterns available on-line (check out Ravelry if you’re not already a member), but one of the key criteria for my mice was the height, as I wanted them to be big enough to be visible, but not so big that they would swamp the display.  Janette’s pattern fitted the bill perfectly as the finished mice are about 8cm tall.

Hand-spinning Annie’s gorgeous dyed fleece all the way from Skye

I was definitely drawn to the ‘Dragonfly’ name when it came up on my pattern search, as the yarn I had in mind to use comes from the fabulous Dragonfly Studio on the island of Skye where we spent a wonderful holiday last year, and where we’ll be returning to on our honeymoon shortly.  Well, I say ‘yarn’, but it was actually hand-dyed prepared fleece that I’d bought from Annie who runs Dragonfly Studio, so it needed to be spun before I could use it.  Annie’s family have a small croft with some rare breed sheep and they prepare and dye the fleece to sell as well as making gorgeous knitted items themselves (and yes, the place really is as idyllic as it sounds!)  After an initial few attempts at hand spinning my fleece last year,  the tubs have sat on my shelf just waiting for the right project!  I can’t believe a whole year has passed since our visit to Skye, but thankfully I’ve got a spinning workshop booked with Annie when we go back as, whilst I managed to spin the fleece into a workable yarn that I could crochet with, it turned out to be more of an ‘art’ yarn than a nice, even 4 ply!  There were some definite ‘knobbly’ bits, and some extremely thin bits that almost snapped, but I’m telling myself they just add to the rustic charm of the whole thing and give the mice a bit of character!!

All that’s needed is a head!

The pattern itself was beautifully written with lots of photos and step by step instructions along the way so it was a really enjoyable project to crochet.  I particularly loved the part where Janette recommends using a stitch marker to keep tabs on how many rounds you’ve crocheted, but then writes, “I know some of you are going to go ahead and not use a marker (surely not!), so if you lose your place or end up a stitch or two out, you can always eyeball it”.  How many of us can relate to that!

The hardest part was definitely giving the little mice a face, and I think I may redo the mouths, but I’m really pleased with the finished result 🙂

Mr and Mrs Mouse

Crochet mice and After Eight cheesecake

 

The mice worked up quite quickly, but I’ve realised that if I’m going to get through 52 projects in 52 weeks, then I’m going to have to make use of every opportunity I can to craft.

 

 

 

Crochet mice and veggie flatbread

 

This was a lovely portable project, so I was able to take my crochet bag with me most places, which really helped.  I know this isn’t going to be an option for other projects, but I’ll just have to make the most of it whenever I can.  Any excuse for coffee and cake eh?!

 

 

The only thing left to do, is to find suitable names for the two little critters.  Any ideas folks? 🙂

52 Projects, 52 Weeks, £52!

Well, my little business has been going for just over two years now and lots has happened during that time!  HoneyBridge House has evolved from just making handmade books to offering workshops in book binding, then workshops in lots of other crafts too such as jewellery making and proggy mats.  Workshops are great fun, and I’ve met some truly lovely people, but it’s been difficult juggling lots of different crafts so I’ve recently decided to just focus on knitting and crochet.  This is allowing me to really hone my skills which I’m thoroughly enjoying, and I have to say it makes for a much tidier craft room too (although you’ll see from the photo that there’s still a long way to go!)

                       Things can only get better!

There are lots of wonderful things about    running your own business and working for yourself, and I really enjoy helping other people learn.  However I sometimes struggle with the lack of routine that I used to get from ‘regular’ work.  Workshops tend to be most popular at certain times of the year, and there are definite lulls early in the year and during the summer.  One of the other issues is that often I spend most of my time making items for workshops and not for myself (the danger of turning your hobby into your business I suppose).

Like many crafters out there, I have built up a rather impressive stash of fabric, buttons, wool, beads, paper etc etc, all of which I’m loathe to get rid of as you just never know when you might need them do you?!  So, I’ve decided to set myself a challenge … to make 52 projects, over 52 weeks and only spending no more than £52.  The idea is that I will finally be forced to raid my craft stash as I will try to make use of what I’ve already got rather than buying anything new, I’ll finally get to make lots of lovely things for myself, and I’ll have a bit of routine into the bargain by posting my progress every week.  What could possibly go wrong?!

And so to my first project …

Mr HoneyB and I are getting married on 25th June and I’m trying to incorporate a few handmade bits and pieces into the wedding.  I’ve made the cake myself from a recipe given to me by a wonderful friend.  It’s a lovely fruit cake (or at least I hope it’s going to be lovely!) and we’re having it plain with lots of gorgeous local cheeses as you can’t beat a nice bit of fruit cake and cheese can you?  Anyway, I was all set to buy some felted mice to display with it when I decided that 2 little crocheted mice would make the perfect first project.

I’ll post my progress on Monday and let you know how it goes … 🙂