The One In Which A Goal Was Achieved

Hello kitty cats, it seems like 5 minutes since I last spoke to you! At the beginning of the year I set myself some goals, one of which was to embark on the Bonny Snowdon Foundation course.

I have managed to finish this course and the final tutorial piece…

The reaction to this piece has been amazing and I’m so thrilled to say that I’ve actually sold this one!

I’m also so grateful for all the interest in portraits – I’ll be letting you know when I’m taking commissions very soon.

But Karen, we are here for the crochet! Never fear there’s been lots of that happening, including this order….

Two little sugar plum mice fairies and two nutcrackers went out this month – you guys are so good at being ready for Christmas!

This little chap is called Garic …

I can’t tell you how cuddly he is! Sorry about the pic but at least you can see my new drawing desk!

The most exciting commission happened this month. A lovely lady called Robyn ordered an I Am Brave monster for a guide camp ( to help any guides that were feeling homesick)

Well, Rodney had such a whale of a time that he disappeared 🙁

Imagine my delight when Robyn’s partner ordered a replacement and asked me to send it off secretly for him!

As you can see he was very happily received!

In between crochet I managed to squeeze in another tutorial…

This floofy bunny was so interesting to do, I’ve one more tutorial to do then it’s on to actual portraits!

September has more beautiful orders in store and … my daughter is off to uni🎉

Kisses

Karen

The One In Which The Things Got Done!

Hello kitty cats! Well I spoke too soon! COVID found me at the beginning of April – I’m glad it was the milder version and that I had 3 vaccines on board, it still managed to give me a horrendous cough, headache and shattering fatigue. The good news is I’m back to normal whatever that means lol!

Let’s have a look at what’s been happening, to do that we need to dial back to January- to when I started looking at goals for this year.

I read this book and followed Gemma James on Facebook ,Instagram you name it…

https://www.gemmajamescoaching.com

The key thing that resonated with me was Gemma’s use of the word upgrade – so I set about doing just that, first I wanted to upgrade my pet portraits so I have joined this ….

I’m working through the tutorials as we speak!

I did I live draw with Bonny a few weeks ago and this happened…..

A little Easter lamb

I have finally finished my crochet course, with an Ebook and a Facebook Group of tutorials ….

You can jump on this course by signing up here..

https://mailchi.mp/a59881afcc02/karenscrochetheroes

Once you’ve signed up I’ll send you a payment link and then the Ebook and FB group link will fly to your inbox – and did I mention that it’s only £5?

While all this excitement has been happening I’ve been working on getting some stock into my shop, including this cutie…

https://etsy.me/3s4mWBX

I’ve also started another order for my friends at Epic Bizzi Box – a shoal of angel fish….

My design

Finally there’s a new range coming! The teeny sweeties, here’s the lemon meringue lamb…

My Facebook group really helped me with this concept, are you in Darcey’s pack? Join here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/darceyscrochetpack/

I think that’s enough for today – oh I forgot I shall be taking part in the Folksy spring Fair – I’ll pop the links and the discount code on soon!

Kisses

Karen

Every Pin You Pin, I’ll Be Watching You!……

Cue sinister good morning, mwah hah, hah! Seriously, do you use Pinterest? I love it, access to all the pretty things in the world at the touch of a button, what not to like? But for me it has a more serious purpose because I analyse what people are pinning of mine and therefore gain an insight into what kinds of things  I should concentrate my design efforts on. Let me demonstrate by showing you my top performing pins.

Number 1 by a long chalk is …….


A very simple design but beautifully executed.

Then we have ……..


Everything Alice in Wonderland does really well to be fair but this outperforms the lot, I think the cuteness ( we will come back to that!) and the pastel colour scheme make it extra special.

Coming in third is this……..


A Blythe doll, I love them and the colour scheme of this photo really appealed to me… And lots of others!

That minty colour comes back in the next pin….


This is a great aspirational image, we want our tables to look like this, we want that crockery and dear lord we want that cake!!!!

The next image is exquisite……


I pin a lot of fairy images ( shocker! ) but this extraordinary doll in its breathtaking surroundings is a hands down winner.

Sometimes a pin is as much about the skill of the photographer as the subject….


The flowers are beautiful but the choice of light background and the exposure used elevate a Ho hum picture to a Wow!

Let’s not forget the huge number of tutorials available……..


I love super talented artists that are generous enough to share a how to with me!

Lastly……..


There is nothing cuter than a deer in a jar!

So, what does this tell us? The person who pins from my boards loves cute, with a bit of an edge and is likely a creative person themselves.

I am unashamedly using this info for some super cute Christmas cards and decorations!

Happy pinning!

Kisses 

Karen

Ps  there will be no blog next week as its my birthday and we are off to London, the following week will be all about what we got up to and what I bought! See you then xx

From Naff To Nifty!

Lets be quite clear from the outset, I flipping love Christmas!!! I also love a Christmas jumper. My darling daughter however has declared the Christmas jumper passé. This left this little beauty homeless …

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

If I was the same size I would be happy as Larry but alas that is not the case, so who else might this fit, step forward Miss Darcey……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

So with a few cuts and a bit of Velcro could we make a dog coat that would at least make it through the big day? Let’s give it a go!

First cut off the sleeves, Darcey is a bit of a Tom boy so I chopped them off quite short…….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I haven’t done any hemming as I only want this to be worn a couple of times, sew a little hem of you want this to last until New Year!

Then cut down the centre………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Its at this this point you need to try it on your dog to see how it fits round the middle, I needed to chop out more on either side so that it fits snugly.

Next, use some iron on Velcro for an easy and stress free fastening….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Position on both sides matching up your fluffy side with your spikes side……..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

And there you go…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Miss Darcey looking suitably festive!

Remember if your dog is very tiny or very large, raid the charity shops for suitable jumpers. If you have a jumper that you like but it is way too big, try washing it at a hotter temperature than stated, this will usually shrink it!

kisses

 

Karen xxx

 

 

 

Bling It On Baby!x

Who remembers the sparkly mini I bought in Beyond Retro? Way too small and way to bedazzled for me to wear, I knew I wanted to use the gorgeous cognac sequined fabric. To me it would be the perfect size for a bag, a bag for Christmas day that was big enough not only for the essentials but also for scarf and gloves, but still spandangly enough for the occasion.

So here is the skirt….image

First, I cut off the original hem and unpicked the waistband…..

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I then seamed the opened bottom, I used invisible nylon thread and hand stitched  it as the sequins were a bit tricky….

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I then turned it back to right side, and pinned a wide chocolate ribbon, leaving half ready to fold to the other side….

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I sewed this on again by hand using an overstitch, it would look much neater backstitched but im having problems with my right arm and I wanted to get it done for you! Then fold the other half of ribbon to the inside and sew down…….

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Because I am a too much is never enough kind of a girl, I wanted to add a large bow on the outside, giving it a kind of Great Gatsby feel……..

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Finally, the tricky subject of handles! as the ribbon I had bought was so wide and beautifully thick, I simply used a length of that.Et Voila!……..

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If you look carefully you will see the handles only pinned on, again that right arm had its way and called a halt to proceedings, if I  had more time I might have put a fastening on, and I might have reinforced it with some interfacing, but I am really pleased with the way it’s turned out, and I will be using it over the christmas season, of course I might need a new outfit to go with!

Suppliers:

Skirt from http://www.beyondretro.com

Ribbon from http://www.theribbonroom.co.uk

Kisses

Karen xx

How To Be Chic In A Shabby Way!

I love me a bit of shabby chic, my bathroom and loo were always destined for a faded glamour look, and to be honest it was easy to put together…….

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Lampshade from Dunelm and metal picture from a promotion on Achica.com

But then what are we going to cover the windows with? I had seen various panels on the net that used vintage material or handkerchiefs, as I am not the best with needle and thread and somewhat worse with a sewing machine here is my version of a vintage panel.

First you are going to need some old hankies, these are not hard to find, check any antique shops, flea markets and vintage fairs. …

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Then a piece of lightweight material roughly the size of your window,  if you want it to hang flat, be more generous if you want a more gathered look, allow 2cms for hems on the sides and bottom and 4 cams at the top to make the channel for your wire or curtain rod…….

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Start by hemming the sides and bottom, I do a simple hem, you can make it neater by turning a small hem of 1/2 cm and then turning back again……….

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The top needs a channel for your wire or rod, again either make a simple one just by turning up or by doing the small hem and turning it back again….

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Now you have your panel, simply stitch each hankie to the material, you can pin and arrange neatly or take a more relaxed approach, guess which one I do 🙂 …….

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Keep going until the panel is covered and you will be left with a panel that looks like a gorgeous piece of patched and well loved vintage fabric……..

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So there we go, falling off a log simple and cheap as chips! Next week I will show you round some of my favourite vintage shops in Brighton.

Kisses

Karen

Friends With Fringe Benefits!

We’re you a child in the Seventies? If you were you will remember fringing and tassels, and maybe not fondly! Fringing was on everything, I had a rather stupendous faux suede fringed bikini! If you are  good I’ll dig out the picture.

Well the good/ bad news is fringing is back BIG TIME…….

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And a rummage through the handbag wardrobe revealed this….

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Pretty much bang on trend, this little beauty will do me for this trend, but what if you are fringe less but don’t fancy the £500+ price tag for this Yves St Laurent fringe fest….

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So my lovelies grab your supplies:

A plain object you want to be fringetastic, bags are a no brainer but what about a pair of shoes with an ankle strap like the pink shoes in the first image.

Fringe! Mine came from New Trimmings.co.uk  and I bought a metre – I should have bought two and then I could have fringed both sides!

A glue that bonds all materials, there are loads available check out your local hardware or craft shop.

Scissors!

Here are my supplies….

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Then start measuring lengths of fringe and work your way up from the bottom if your doing multiple layers…

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Keep going….

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Et voila! One little fringed clutch for approximately a tenner…

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Let me know if there are any other trends you would like to try, there are some great floral painted bags around I might give that a try!

 

Kisses

Karen xxx

Stop Press: Karen And Bunting Announce Surprise Reunion!

I like bunting, I really do but I think like some Hollywood stars it has suffered from over exposure. I like bunting when it is quirky or made of fabulous material where the pattern takes pride of place.

I was having a browse through this book…

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and found this beautiful embellished bunting

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Eline Pellinkhof has a very muted palette, but I used her idea for some bunting for my kitchen. Do you want to make some? Follow me!

First some fabric, maybe some odd size pieces that you can’t find a use for, and a bunting template, give it a Google and loads will appear! The one I used has a handy fold over top. You will also need some ribbon to  string it all together. Of course, as its going in the kitchen it had to have some french patisserie themed fabric.

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I used some lace paper, mine is from the absolutely brilliant http://www.glitterpot.co.uk, if you scrapbook, make cards or any paper based craft, you must check them out.

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I also had some crochet flowers destined for another project, here’s Darcey helping me make them…

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After cutting your bunting shapes work out what your order will be..

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Then get gluing! I could have sewn a hem around the triangles but I was feeling lazy, and managed to glue it all together in 15 minutes! Perfect for last minute bunting emergencies, and here it is!

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Get involved in the debate that is more important than the election, are you a bunting fan or not?

Kisses

Karen

P.S great excitement at WDS HQ, we are off to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the V and A at the weekend! If I can get some photos it will be on next Wednesdays post xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Power!

Good Morning my lovelies! Spring has definitely sprung at WDS HQ, everything is coming up crocuses!image

The only flower that has not flourished is our winter pansies and that’s a shame because I love them, look at this beauty,

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In this situation there is only one thing to do, make one! Here’s my scribbles,

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If you want to make one, you will need some paper for your pattern, felt for the petals and leaves, embroidery thread in either toning or clashing colours, and beads (optional ).

First I drew a fat figure 8 to make one set of petals,

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Cut this out and draw around it twice to make two sets of petals

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Cut these out and place one on top of the other at right angles so that you can see 4 petals,

Starting in the middle, with one of your embroidery silks and using two strands, make long and short stitches to give the pansy its face,

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Then take your second colour and make the same stitches in a row around the first,

 

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The next step is to decide whether you will embroider the centre, I suggest a yellow toned silk in a french knot or beads, because I wanted a more vintage look I put a faux pearl in the centre, I also drew a larger figure 8 for a set of leaves,

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And what to do with it now? You could stick a flat brooch back to it, you could use it as a card topper, I used a slightly different flower to make this wreath,

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I put crystals in the centre of these flowers and tucked ribbon loops in between, a nice make for Mother’s Day! All felt and ribbons come from Felted Fancies Supplies, they don’t sponsor me i just love Katie and her lovely themed boxes and the fact that she sends you a packet of fizzers!

Have a great week and watch out for next weeks post which will feature my trip to what I’m told is London’s best haberdashers- Kleins of Soho!

Kisses

 

Karen

 

Here’s The Keychain For Your Imagination Key!

Last week I offered a tutorial for the macaron key chain in last weeks post, I was delighted that the lovely Mrs P from Craftodessy really wanted one, so here we go!

First collect your supplies, you will need:

three or more colours of Fimo or similar oven bake clay

head pins ( nice long ones),

a key ring or clip on bag charm ( I tend to cannibalize old ones from free key chains or cracker prizes )

jump rings,

an Eiffel tower charm ( or go wild and make a different theme),

a small piece of narrow ribbon,

needle nose pliers,

wire cutters or old pair of scissors,

a cutter for the clay- I find piping nozzles or lipstick caps are the perfect size around 1- 1.5 cm wide,

something to roll the clay, I use a marker pen.

superglue (optional).

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So first we make our macarons, warm up your clay until it feels soft enough to roll out to a thickness of 50 – 60 mm.

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Then cut out two circles for the body of your macaron.

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Next take you filling colour and roll out to a slightly thinner depth and cut one circle. Then pop your three circles together, now it’s time to add detail, take a pointed object and make little dots around the edge. Round the top and bottom of your macaron for that slightly domed shape.

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You may want to customise your colour, I wanted a paler pink which wasn’t available in the shop, just take a small ball of the darker colour and a medium size ball of the lighter colour and squish! Squish until the colour becomes even, adding light or dark to customise as you go.

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When all three are done carefully insert the head pin up through the middle of all three and out the top. Following the packet instructions,  its into the oven and as they say on the Bake Off: BAKE! Allow to cool. You may want to put a small blog of super glue on the bottom macaron where the head pin goes in.

Now we have to make a loop from the head pin so that we can attach the key ring and other charms. First make a right angle close to your macarons ( I couldn’t do this because I broke the head pin, Doh!)

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Next cut off the excess to about 1 cm

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Now we need to make that 1cm part into a loop, grab the end of the wire with your pliers and turn it over on itself.

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Keep turning towards the bend until your loop is formed.

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Now attach the macarons and charms to the key ring with jump rings, these are opened by holding either side with two sets of pliers, or if you are me your finger and one set of pliers and twist one side forward and one back.

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Once all your charms and your macarons are attached to the key ring, you can tie a small bow to finish. Et voila! You made the key ring for your imagination key!

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Now go start your unicorn!

Let me know if there is any other tutorials you would like, so long as it’s not car maintenance or marathon training I’m your girl!

kisses

Karen