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August 2008
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October 2008

Present for a young stitcher


This little item is on the twee side, so if you have a twee aversion, look away now.

A simple little stitching project for a beginner stitcher, or gift for a beginner. I put this one together very quickly to add to a raffle prize for the Macmillan coffee morning.

The raffle prize included this needle book, some hand-dyed felted wool, this lovely sewing book, some hand-dyed felted wool, a length of antique lace, a linen tea towel, a variety of embroidery floss colours, a hoop and a small pair of scissors - it was all tucked into basket.
This little kit would make a nice, simple Christmas gift for a would-be stitcher.

Go on, whip one up: You will need: two pieces of felt about 9cm x 13cm, another piece of felt for an inside page and two scrap pieces for a button flap and a pocket. You will also need felt for flower petals, a button for the flower centre, a snap (popper,)and embroidery floss.

  • Cut two pieces of outer felt (I used pieces from a felted wool blanket.)
  • Cut a piece of regular felt, about 8.5 cm x 12cm, in another colour for the needles and pins - the left edge will be stitched into the cover. Using pinking shears on this felt creates a nice edge.
  • Tack a smaller piece of felt (about 8cm x 4cm) to hold buttons on the left and stitch it to the cover on the top edge, use thread that is the colour of the cover felt.
  • Stitch another piece to the cover (about 8cm x 6cm) along the sides and the bottom to create a pocket, again use thread that is the colour of the cover felt.
  • Cut out five petal shapes from a flower colour of felt and one small strip of green felt. Stitch them to the cover in a flower shape and sew a button for the centre. Chain stitch a stem, add petals with a satin stitch or bits of green felt and stitch a strip of felt to the bottom. 
  • Sandwich the felt that holds the needles between the cover pieces of felt and hand stitch or machine stitch the three pieces together down the left side.
  • Sew a snap to the outer edge to hold the needle book closed.
  • Add a blanket stitch around the edges with embroidery floss, fill with needles, buttons, pins, etc. and "Bob's your uncle!"*

After writing this I now know I have a serious problem with the word felt, each and every time I type it it comes out flet. Am I alone in this affliction?

*Couldn't get my head around this bit of slang after moving to the UK. Who is Bob? I don't have an uncle named Bob, and you don't know even know my uncles.

Coffee for a cause


Friday morning was bright, warm and sunny as some friends and I served up coffee, tea and cake in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan's "World's Biggest  Coffee Morning" is a fantastic, simple way to raise money for a great organization.

I wish my photos were better of the day, these two were the best I took. At least I got these little cookie monsters.


Mimi and Fergal, some younger supporters

We simply brewed coffee and teas and baked cakes, invited local people around and served them all for a small donation. To earn additional money we held a raffle. We had great fun putting the coffee morning on and made a few hundred pounds for a cause that affects most of us in some way or another.

If you live in the UK, I highly recommend holding your own coffee morning or donating to Macmillan to try and help them beat their 2007 "Coffee Morning" record.

If you live outside the UK, hold a coffee morning to support charities in your own part of the world. It's easy, fun and very worthwhile!

The season begins


Although nothing has hit these blog pages for a while, I've been busy with the upcoming Christmas issue for these pages. The upcoming issue will feature an extended craft column for making Christmas gifts with children, this image is a little preview.

Dianne and I also just completed some mosaic making sessions for Crafts at Mistletoe Cottage. Here is a finished mosaic mirror by Clare, who happened to also give birth the day after her class (three weeks early.) Congratulations Clare and Etienne!


We weren't sure how popular these mosaic classes would be but they sold out and attracted a very creative crowd -thank you to everyone who joined us. See more of what we got up to here and check out the CMC site for the dates of our upcoming Christmas sessions.


Finally a little birthday gift sachet for Cara (image of the front and back.)

September is a major birthday month for us, a whopping nine people to remember (mine included - ugh!) And Becki, I'm sooooooo sorry yours slipped on by without my giving it proper attention, actually no attention. I will make it up to you - promise!

Also, thank you for all the lovely comments about and interest in my Butterfly Kisses pattern - the response was amazing, if not surprising :)

New craft euphoria


My parents have been visiting from Calif for the last two and a half weeks. And though my mom categorizes herself as "not crafty," she whipped up a set of crocheted coasters for us. See they put ice in their drinks over there in those parts and icy drinks need coasters.

However hot drinks were more necessary during their visit as we only had about two sunny days during their visit. And it's still raining, hence spots on the window - although there usually are spots on our windows even when the sun is out.

So while they were here, I picked up the crochet hook myself and made a coaster, not the one pictured, mine didn't come out terribly flat, or circular. Although I did master it in the end with more than a few chuckles from my mother along the way (apparently I'm not allowed to multitask while crocheting because I lose count.) We were going to back the coasters with a circle of fabric but ran out of time.

Fueled by my eventual coaster success I attempted to make this bracelet by Futuregirl.


I saw her pattern last year and liked it so much that I thought it would be worth trying to learn to crochet again.

I followed the pattern all by myself (her tutorial is very well written.) Alice, the creator, emailed me that it was super easy, and it was - thanks Alice. I'm now experiencing that euphoria one gets with the success of a new craft. Although not technically new to me, my mom did teach me around age 8 but it fell through the sieve that seems to be my brain somewhere along the way.

Give it a try.

Now that I'm learning, I will put one of Cindy's patterns on my list to try. This is one of my favourites.

Note: There are various weights of crochet cotton and mine was a bit thicker than the one used for the bracelet pictured in Futuregirl's tutorial, I also used non-uniform beads. Clearly I have a lot to learn.