Karoo Vintage Mystery Crochet Along

The Woodland Colours would not leave me alone – I really should NOT have started another project, I have so many WIPs knock-knock-knocking on my conscience but when there is a creative itch that strong – there is nothing for it but to give in!

Karoo Vintage Crochet Along by Jen Tyler

Along came Jen Tyler with the lure of her Karoo Vintage Mystery Crochet Along – I can’t seem to resist a CAL and I love a mystery. I love the sense of community that builds up around crochet-alongs. So, with my sensible head telling me not to, I started the Karoo Vintage Mystery Along back in July.

Crocheting along with Jen is like going on a crochet Safari, one never knows what is around the corner – it is a rocky road and not for the faint-hearted, be prepared for a challenge! She does not have her patterns tested before publishing them and so there is the odd mistake. She gets her puffs and popcorns mixed up on the video so one has to remain alert and cross-check with the written pattern. But her patterns are still worth the effort.

You can see more photos of the stages of this one on my Ravelry Page,

If I made this pattern again (I will NEVER make this pattern again!) I would make changes to simplify it and add to the stitch count in certain rounds which pull the work too tight – that middle dark brown section for instance.

But! it is done and it is an amazing piece. The details are extraordinary. I learnt a lot.Karoo Vintage Mal – it is finished apart from about a month’s worth of ends to sew in! Yikes!

It is worked in Stylecraft Special DK and a 4.5mm hook and it measures 1.5m square.

I did enjoy making it, but I have to admit it was an effort to finish it: mainly because I have no specific use for it and it does not go with any of the colours in my house. But I am sure that by the time all those dratted ends are sewn in it will have found a home and a purpose.

Remind me, I must not be tempted by another Crochet Along until I have finished the 8 blankets for my 8 grandchildren ……. oh wait – I’m doing one now! with Attic24.

What can I say, I am a hopeless case.

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Whimsical Collage: 2

Back in November I went to a fabulous 4 day Mixed Media Collage Workshop led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach. See my first blog post about it here.

It was such fun getting messy and creating colourful papers in readiness for our first 6 collages. We used pages from old books we had been supplied with – books that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The print adds a layer of texture and interest.mixed media collage workshop

And the books themselves make perfect little sketchbooks to carry around for those odd doodling momentscreating collage papers

Julie and Nathalie have a great way of introducing the theory of colour and composition in fun bite-sized exercises. Julie BalzerIn this one we were mixing tones of one colour using black and whitemixing tones, acrylic paints

no paint was wasted, we cleaned our brushes on more paperusing old maps for collage

collage paperand then experimented with stamps, building up layers of marks, pattern and colour – my memory is a of a frenzy of fun and activity as we all dashed off all these wonderfully inspiring pieces without really thinking

stamping, acrylic

In this way we gradually built up supplies and confidence, moving towards creating pieces we were pleased with.six 6 x 6 collages, mixed media

The background of this one is the newspaper I was using to protect the cloth beneath. I think at this stage it reminds me of textiles …. still more to do in those blue squares, but I’m not sure what yet……

newspaper as art paper

I wondered about adding a little knot of silk remnant

mixed media, sari silk

and maybe some stitching …… hmmm …. not there yet.

Julie’s first Blog post about the workshop  explains the format of Day One and Two.

There is a picture of me (the 8th one in) in pink Tshirt, working away, ( and a couple more later on) plus loads of pictures of fellow students and their work. This blog post alone is inspiring enough to keep me busy for weeks as I remember all I learnt and discovered.

And then we were ready to work towards some finished pieces.

Next up –  working in a series: six collages on 6″ x 6″ card

collage

Julie’s second Blog Post: Whimisical Collage in the UK Part Two shows lots of these from the group. You might be able to spot mine in amongst them.

mixed media

The best part – building the layers with stamps and oil pastel lines and scribbles

The next part is wondering if they are finished or not

mixed media collage

The 4 on the left have a story attached to them, but that is for another day ……

Joining in with Kate and her Scrap Happy January band of happy scrappers.

 

 

 

There’s a Whole Lot of Crochet Going On

Hello everyone!spcal

I have been a bit quiet in blogland for a while – I’m in hibernation mode and loving it. Warm fires, stews bubbling away on the woodburner and plenty of dark evening time for crochet and doodling.

For the 4th time I’m joining in with Attic24’s January Crochet Along. The first was the Cosy Cal, second the Moorland, Third was last year’s Woodland and now I am making this year’s Sweet Pea Blanket – oh what a joy it is to be part of this wonderfully supportive cosy crochet community. The Facebook Group Attic24 Moorland and More is a great place to spend some time for crochet chat.

I love the colours Lucy has chosen, I would never have put Magenta and Pomegranate together, but she is a genius when it comes to mixing 15 colours in a blanket design. In the past I have substituted some of the colours but this year I’m sticking to her colours …. but not her order! My creative mind just has to have a play.

Part 1 completed in Stylecraft Special DK and using a 4.5mm hook

Sweet Pea Cal, Attic24

Lucy gives three options for the colour order: Posy which is what she calls organised random, Colourwash, which blends blocks of colours and Repeat which is all the colours in a repeating sequence of 15 rows. I could not decide which one I liked best so I am making a Baby Blanket size and am mixing up the Posy and Colourwash styles and hope it works.

I’m not quite sure I like the above order, so I did a sample doll’s blanket with a slight adjustment

Sweet Pea Cal, Attic 24

Here is the Doll’s Blanket order, going from bottom to top:

  1. Violet (foundation chain, sc (US) row and row 2)
  2. Lavender (row 3)
  3. Violet (row 4)
  4. Lavender (row 5)
  5. Plum (row 6)
  6. Magenta (rows 7 and 8)
  7. Pistachio (row 9)
  8. Magenta (row 10)
  9. Meadow (row 11)
  10. Cypress (row 12)
  11. Pomegranate (rows 13 and 14)
  12. Blush (rows 15 and 16)
  13. Candyfloss (row 17)
  14. Blush (row 18)
  15. Candyfloss (rows 19 and 20)
  16. Cream (row 21)
  17. Pistachio (row 22)
  18. Cream (row 23)
  19. Meadow (row 24)
  20. Fuschia Purple (25 and 26)
  21. Magenta (27)
  22. Fuchsia Purpke (28)
  23. Magenta (29)
  24. Wisteria (30 and 31)
  25. Soft Peach (32)
  26. Wisteria (33)
  27. Pistachio (34 and 35)

doll's blanket

The Sweet Pea blanket has caused such a buzz! It is exciting to be part of it.

Over 5,000 – yes FIVE THOUSAND, Sweet Pea Packs have been sold by Wool Warehouse!

It makes my heart sing to know that the world is being wrapped in Sweet Pea blankets!

I am hosting a Sweet Pea Gathering for anyone making the blanket, so on Sunday 3rd. February I will be somewhere in Bridport at 10.15am for coffee and crochet, with anyone who wants to join me! When I know how many would like to come along I will fix a venue – I have a couple in mind.

I chose Bridport as it is my old stamping ground and where Lucy grew up. She still visits and blogs about the area, so I thought it would be fun and a nice link to meet there. I’m very excited to see who turns up.

Have any of you been tempted to join in with Lucy’s Crochet Along this year?

Joining in with Ginny’s January Yarn Along

Windows

windows

Happy New Year!

I do hope the festive season has been kind to you all and you were able to spend it in the way you wanted to.

Here we are at our first photographic meet up of year – I really am excited to see what windows you have found to share with us over the coming months.

But first a Round Up of links to the posts in 2018:

January: Sparkle,           February: Warm              March: Scale.           April: Yellow            May: Flower            June: Sunlight.           July: Sculpture           August: Flake           September: Case          October: Tree           November: Patina.         December: Glitz

And a very warm THANK YOU! to all who entered the challange in 2018:

Nanacathy,         Gillyflower,             The Crafty Creek,             Postcard From Gibraltar, Rainbow Junkie,             Sewing Etc,            Murtagh’s Meadow,                Quaint Revivial, Cathy @ Still Waters,                    Kristabella’s Hodgepodge,               The Grange RangeSusan Rushton,              Hook This, Weave That,

You all made it such a fun challenge and it was lovely to link in with you on the first Tuesday of each month.

So here we go again: I wandered round my village last night and got some very blurry photos, but I kinda like them

Must get myself a tripod if I’m going to take photos at night again

DSC_0524

DSC_0523

They look a bit drunk! Very appropriate for New Year’s Eve.

Cheers!

Join in by leaving a link in the comments any time up until Tuesday 5th February.

Have fun!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Joining Rambling in the Garden

flatlay, fireworks, oak twigs

Question: If you were from another planet looking down at the Earth and saw a globe struggling with pollution, war, famine and the lack of resources given to health and social care……..How would you feel about seeing so much time and energy (and money) being sent up into an already struggling atmosphere for a few moments of transient beauty?

I make a plea for those resources to be redirected into our hospitals, giving homes to the homeless, preventing conflict, paying more to our carers and more scientific research into clean technology.

❤ ❤ ❤

Of course, with all of my heart, I wish you all a very happy New Year, bringing health and happiness to you and your families.

❤ ❤ ❤

I also wish for a raised awareness to come like an asteroid into our collective consciousness, otherwise our future is too bleak to contemplate.

Whimsical Collage Workshop: 1

At the beginning of November, on my way up to Yorkshire, I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous 3 day workshop: ‘Mixed Media, Whimsical Collage Circus’ organised by Art Workshops and led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach.

It was a residential workshop held in the Holiday Inn in Coventry and there were about 36 attendees.

We were 6 to a table. Look at the contents of the goody bag that greeted usworkshop goody bag

The organisation was superb, and Nathalie and Julie are excellent tutors.

They would first do a demodemo in art workshop

 

Then we would go back to our tables with a simple set of instructions and create.

One of the first exercises was mark-making

mark making, art workshop

No paint was to be wasted – to clean our brushes we used up any excess paint on newspaper and old book pages.

See the wonderful creative flurry on our tableart workshop, mark making

The best thing was that we were only given about 5 – 10 minutes to do each exercise – no time to think, just paint – it freed me up so much.

At this stage we were creating papers we would later be using in collage.

creating papers to use in collage

Gosh it was fun!

Julie and Nathalie both create a range of foam stamps that were there for us to excperiment withfoam stamps

We could also buy packs of them, foam stampsbut by the time I had decided which ones I would like, they had been snapped up!

There was an amazing array of art supplies in the ‘shop’ and lots of shopping going on!shop

It is hard to know which ones to buy before using them – this one of Nathalie’s turned out to be one of my favourites. She had made a book with each of her Foamies stamped as a simple repeating pattern

Nathalie Kalbach stamp

The fun comes when you use the stamps over other layers of paint. Here’s what happened when I started to play with it

mixed media

The trouble is I like it too much to tear it up for collage. You know that feeling I’m sure.

We did some fun exercises and had lots of laughs – at the end of the three days we all had 12, 6″x6″ collages to take home.

I will tell more in a future post, but in the meantime, Julie created a Vlog about her whirlwind trip to Ireland and Coventry which includes our workshop (starts at about 18.40 minutes in) – she has such energy!

 

Happy crafting!

In a Vase in December

in a vase on Monday, December UK

Brigthening up the grey December days, these are flowers from the pelargoniums I brought in from the garden at the end of October. They are flowering again.

They sit colourfully in the vase with Euonymous.

The backdrop is my current crochet work-in-progress. The Amanzi throw by Jen Tyler.

Worked in Stylecraft Special DK and a 4.5mm hook.

Joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

and Cee’s FOTD