Thursday, 29 January 2015

a growing collection

crochet squares

One of my vague new years resolutions was to resurrect (and possibly finish off) some old craft projects. I started this crochet stitch library way back in 2011, and while it hasn't been totally abandoned, I have neglected it a little over the last couple of years.

So I've decided to make a more specific resolution to try and crochet a new square each week until I have a big enough pile to bring them all together in a blanket.

It's going well so far. I've added a few more to the collection using some of the leftover colours from Ben's winter scarf.

stitch library 2015

I especially like the basketweave stitch. In fact, I might use it to make some cushions in some chunky wool over the coming months.

I think winter brings out my productivity with wool crafts.



I have one remaining catnip sardine from the batch I made just before Christmas, so decided to have a little giveaway over on Instagram. You can find me over there as @debbie_hill and I'll announce a winner on Monday.

Oh, and if you have any sweet pictures of your cats over on your account then please do share!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

things I like this January...

1  •  2  •  3  •  4  •  5  •  6  •  7  •  8  •  9  •  10  •  11  •  12

Some favourite picks from Pinterest. See more here.

Monday, 19 January 2015

a weekend jaunt

Rye building

We took a little trip down the coast to Rye this weekend. We only went for one night but it was just enough to blow away the January blues and have a little break.

towards Rye harbour train tracks Rye castle The house with the seat

We wandered around the village, explored the bits of the countryside that we could without getting too muddy, ate great food, played pub games, and generally just pottered about.

It was grand!

Oh, and the rain held off long enough on Saturday morning for us to climb up the church tower and take in the views. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a problem with heights (for those that do it might be a bit much).

Rye view Ben view from the church

I think one night holidays might be the way forward. I like the minimal planning involved, and it makes the weekend seem much longer.

Rye nature reserve

Sunday, 18 January 2015

handmade christmas: a scarf diary for Ben

scarf roll

I decided to make Ben a scarf for Christmas (another bit of secret present making). He had mentioned before that he liked the knitted diary loop scarf I made for myself a few years ago so I decided to make one for him.

scarf diary

I picked out some colours that I thought he'd like and swapped colour for every day of knitting until the scarf was complete. It added up to about a month and a half of knitting in total, with some days missed due to the lack of opportunity for covert knitting.

scarf diary

It turned out really well. I was happy with the colour choices and Ben was really pleased when he opened it on Christmas day. Perfect for keeping cosy on winter walks.

And here he is modelling it this weekend on a trip to Rye.

loop scarf

Happy face.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

handmade christmas: catnip sardines

catnip fish

As well as making presents for friends and family this Christmas I also made some presents for the furry friends in their lives.

Christmas for cats!

making the sardines

To make them I started by cutting out some felt sardine shapes from a paper template I made. I then sewed some little fabric pouches to hold some catnip that I bought online (highest potency apparently).

After that I embroidered on some markings and sewed on some felt eyes to give them a bit of character.

fish construction

Finally I sewed around the edges, put the catnip pouches in the middle of each fish (for maximum protection from sharp claws and teeth) and added toy stuffing around the edge.

And voilĂ ! A shoal of sardines.


And just look at these little fellas enjoying themselves...

the cats

Clockwise from top left: Tiffin, Eddie, Louis, Pixel, Harry & Holly. 

Sweet ones! They were a total hit I think. So much so that a few of them are fish no more.

I'm taking this as a good sign of appreciation.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Christmas card factory

christmas penguins

It's the last day of Christmas, and before we have to hide all evidence of Christmas for another year I thought I'd share the cards that we made this year.


Bang on trend I do believe. Plus, they're Ben's favourite.

We forgot what penguins looked like at first...

christmas card production

...but I think it worked out ok in the end.

Now don't forget to take all the tinsel down.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

handmade christmas: knitting needle cases

knitting needle rolls

I was quite organised this year and decided to make a few Christmas presents for friends and family. I'm going to share them here over the next week or so, now that I don't have to keep them hush hush anymore.

It's been a while since I attempted any sewing projects as I often end up slightly disappointed with the results (big ambitions plus a lack of patience is my downfall) however I really wanted to make some knitting needle/crochet hook cases for both my mum and Ben's mum so I gave it another whirl.

I'd made something similar for Yumi once before too so I didn't think it was an overly ambitious project. And they turned out pretty nicely indeed!

fabrics and buttons

I bought some lovely patterned fat quarters (I could get addicted to browsing in fabric shops) and used some vintage buttons that I had knocking around and managed to make these two needle rolls over the course of a quiet weekend.

knitting needle cases

My mum didn't realise hers was handmade when she opened it on Christmas day so I think that's a sign of sewing improvement!

Maybe I'll try and get on my sewing machine a bit more this year.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

hello 2015

Happy new year! I hope you all had a lovely cosy Christmas break.

I had a really lovely festive time, although I have been a bit under the weather for most of it which has left me feeling a bit sorry for myself.

2014 was a grand year though! I had lots of fun, went lots of places and put some wheels in motion for the year ahead.


Ben and I picked up this decoration at Art Junky in Brighton just before Christmas.

It reminded me of the church we saw in Reykjavik when we visited early last January. One of my favourite ever holidays.

church in Reykjavik

I haven't really had the brain power to think of any clear resolutions or plans for the year ahead yet but I want to set myself a few goals so I'll give it some thought and maybe start the new year a week or so late. That's ok right?

I do have one plan though: Move house!

The best plan (with the best man).

christmas decoration