Quick crochet – baby bunny blankies

I don’t have quite as much time to spend on new crochet projects at the moment so I’ve been trying to think of some new things to try that don’t take me too much time.

Crochet baby blanketsI quite like the ‘growth’ of blankets, either doing round and round of granny stitch or by making lots of little granny squares and then crocheting or sewing them together. I’ve also been liking doing a spot of amigurumi over the last 18 months, but it can be quite fiddly doing some of the smaller bits and needs a biggish stretch of time to concentrate and count rows.

Crochet amigurumi rabbitI’ve also been using my sewing machine quite a bit more and have been making some taggy blankies – as per my previous post on this – taggy obsessions.

I thought I might try to combine these so decided to crochet some baby comfort blankies with bunnies in one corner.

I managed to work a couple up pretty quickly, doing the blanket bit during the evening when I don’t have to concentrate too much and then the bunnies during the day when my little girl was having her short naps.

A friend recently had a baby, so I thought one might make a nice gift for her, and the other one has now gone into my Etsy shop.

What do you think? I think he has quite a cheeky little face 🙂

 

Crochet rag doll project

Crocheted toysOver the years, I’ve crocheted a lot of different things – some with better success than others. I’m not very good at following patterns and tend to look at a few patterns and then pretty much make it up on the fly. A bit like my cooking really…

Anyway, as a child my mum knitted me a sort of rag doll for Christmas one year. I used to love the doll. All soft and raggedy. I had the idea that I’d try to make one for my little girl.

I spent a bit of time googling patterns and looking on Ravelry and Etsy. I couldn’t really see exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something all loose limbed and without one of those prettied up faces.

I settled on a freebie pattern but not long after I’d started, it just didn’t seem to be working, so I did what I usually do and started to make it up. Yeah, I know that takes longer really, but I get something more like I originally wanted.

Well, saying that she didn’t end up being quite as I intended, but hey she doesn’t look too bad! The hair was a whole different matter, so I think I’ll write about that in a different installment, but let’s just say she has plenty of it!

I did make some little shoes to match the dress, but they already seem to have gone missing…

Taggy obsessions – a baby sewing project

My little girl is obsessed with all things taggy – tags on clothes, bits of ribbons, bits of string, cables and even stray bits of cotton on clothes. She can’t find any taggy on any toy, even in her sleep. Every new item is turned and turned around until she finds its taggy. Every day her toys get a ‘taggy inspection’.

It inspired me to try my hand at some little taggy comforters. These are the results of my efforts!

They have worked out quite nicely. I have made one side in a soft fleece and the other side in a bright cotton.

taggy blanketI’m always loosing things so I thought it would be a good idea to use my new Kam snapper and create a little strap so the taggy can be attached to a pram or bag. I actually made the little straps myself from the matching cotton rather than use a ribbon – I think it looks pretty cool (and it’s a bit more sturdy).

For the taggies I used a mixture of textures as it all about the texture for babies! Soft fleece on one side and bright cotton on the other. There are different widths of ribbons and some velvet, plus I crocheted some pieces like twists and knots. Lots of things to be twirled around in little fingers 🙂

For extra safety (and neat freakness) I top-stitched the blankies too. It also helps them lay nice and flat.

My sewing machine also does embroidery so I’m thinking I might have a go at doing some personalised ones next – when I get a spare moment or too from tidying away all the toys after my little girl has finished her daily taggy inspection!

Crochet Doll Toilet Roll Cover

I get more requests and click-throughs on this website and my Etsy site for this one thing – crochet toilet roll dolls!

I first started making them quite a while ago and blogged about how it was impossible to find a good pattern. That started me on making my own pattern for these retro dolls. I’ve been making the dolls and selling them on my Etsy site and various vintage and craft fairs for a while. They are always popular. I make them in all sorts of custom colours!

I’m constantly asked where I got the pattern and the dolls from. Well, I’ve finally got around to writing the pattern up. It’s now available for immediate PDF download on my Etsy shop. Happy crocheting!

I might eventually get around to writing up a few more of my patterns… maybe it will be the zombies next 🙂

 

I’ve bought a new sewing machine!

Woo-hoo!

I have finally stopped procrastinating and bought myself a new sewing machine! Yes, that was another exclamation mark. Look, there’s another one!

Brother sewing machineDo you get the impression that I might be excited? Yeah, I am just a little bit.

I’ve just finished my first little project on it. I just wanted something simple to get used to the machine. I’ve got a dress that I like the pattern of but never wear it as it just never seems to fit right. I’ve chopped the top off and turned it into a simple skirt. Looks OK too. It’s nothing special, but it’s helped me to get the feel of this fab machine.

Did I mention that it threads the needles for me? Oh, and the geek in me is pleased too as it’s also got a touchscreen. My other half saw it this morning and said “Oooh did you know that it’s got a USB slot?” Dur, yeah, that’s why I bought it 🙂

Anyway, must go and check out some YouTube videos on how to use all the fancy features…

Too busy to post? Put out the bunting!

Yeah, that’s me!

I’m not quite finding the time I used to find to do little things like posting on here. It’s not even that I don’t like doing it, but I just don’t seem to find the time recently!

My little girl seems to have such a busy diary, I have enough on just keeping my Etsy shop open and keeping up with orders, and writing my regular articles for the Nottingham Post.

P1020201The main orders that are keeping me busy at the moment are for my handmade bunting. It’s all crocheted by me, including the letters so it’s quite time-consuming. It would probably be quicker to use felt letters, but I quite like the look of the crocheted letters. They have a much more 3D effect. The first one I did was something for my little girl’s room and I had so many queries I thought I start to make them for the Etsy shop.

And yes, my little girl’s room is purple…. she can’t choose colour schemes at the moment, so I choose them for her 🙂

I’ll post up some pictures of some of the other ones I’ve made as soon as I get around to it. I’m thinking they might work quite nicely for weddings, birthday and housewarming pressies.

 

 

Right. That’s it. I’ve closed my eBay shop!

Well, I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with eBay over the last few months.

I set up a shop on there about a year ago as I thought it gave a better experience for potential customer to browse sections rather that have all my goodies just lumped together. The fees for the shop weren’t too bad either. The shop itself wasn’t very flexible on look and feel but I managed to give it the flavour of Quirky Purple.

Over the last year eBay have hiked the prices and just made it harder and harder to be a successful seller on there, especially if you are a smaller seller like myself.

eBay buyers are out for a bargain, but hey, who isn’t these days? It does annoy me though when I get people contact me and offer me a couple of quid for something I spent ages making and I think I’ve priced at a reasonable price (which is probably too low anyway for the amount of time I spent making it). It’s been quite a hassle on and off.

You can also seem to get the odd  ‘bad buyer’ on eBay. At the end of last year, I had a lady buy 2 vintage items from me and she bought and paid for them as 2 separate transactions. She then complained I hadn’t combined postage – which is impossible when bought and paid for as 2 separate transactions. Anyway, I offered to do a PayPal refund to combine the postage. She then said that she wanted her money back for the 2 items as she wasn’t happy with them. No worries, says I (gritting my teeth as they were completely as described and she clearly just didn’t want them, but hey ho that happens sometimes), just return and I’ll refund. Oh no, says she, I haven’t got time for that, I’ll just leave you bad feedback. Seriously, that’s what she said, and she did indeed leave me poor feedback. I complained to eBay and they wouldn’t do anything as she said the items weren’t as described… even though I’d offered a return with a full refund. I’d never had poor feedback before and had built up a good reputation as a Top Rated Seller. I’ve always provided a full refund even if something didn’t fit or suit a buyer once they’d received it. I was gutted that eBay couldn’t help with this issue.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I’ve closed the shop. I still have a Quirky Purple account on there and will continue to use eBay for auctions of vintage goodies.

Quirky Purple EtsyI’m now going to concentrate on my Etsy and Folksy shops. They seem to fit my handmade items so much better.

Enquiries from these sites are from genuinely interested buyers. The shops look beautiful too compared to eBay. I love the way you can have a look at a seller/maker’s profile and learn a little about them. Ordering custom items is so much easier too and a lot of my customers are requesting custom items.

I love being able to create treasuries and love seeing my items added into someone else’s treasury.

Sorry if this causes you any issues as a eBay buyer, but they have made it harder and harder for me to make it worth my while selling on there… c’mon over to Etsy where the water is lovely and warm 🙂

Babies are like time sponges

P1020071Crikey, it’s taking me ages to get things done these days!

I’ve currently only opened my Etsy shop, so I can start to get into the swing of things. I’m trying to get used to taking and making orders whilst looking after a 3 month old.

Before Christmas, the only things that really stopped me getting on with orders or coming up with new designs was getting waylaid by social media, or a new episode of the Walking Dead. These days it seems like one small creature can just use up all my time like a cute little time sponge.

I’m sure anyone else with a baby will understand what I mean when I say that I seem to do everything in 10-20 minute blocks. I’ll pop her on her playmat and hopefully have 20 minutes, so I quickly make some zombie eyeballs. Oooh, I think, she’s tired so I pop her in bed and think I’ll make that owl baby hat, only to find she’s awake after 10 minutes. Then I think I’ll feed her and get cracking on the TARDIS coffee cosy, only to find she’ll want to take an hour to eat…

That’s also with trying to fit things around all those new mummy things like Baby Massage, Bumps and Babies, Baby Cinema, Baby Yoga, etc, etc. Oh and let’s not forget constantly filling and emptying the washing machine… oooh that’s reminded me – the washer finished half an hour ago so I’d better get those nappies on the line!

Babies, babies, everywhere!

Well, I’ve not been posting for a little while as I suddenly don’t seem to have much time to do anything. Why, I hear you ask. Well I had a baby a few weeks ago, just a few days before Christmas.

It’s not that before I had her that I didn’t believe friends when they told me to prepare for sleepless nights and days where you don’t get to leave the sofa, apart from to change nappies. It’s just that until it happens I don’t think you grasp the reality.

While I was pregnant, I did make quite a few things for my little bundle and it’s been really nice using them now she’s here. It’s especially nice when people as I’m able to respond with, “Oh that little thing. I made it”. Yeah, I know, sad 🙂

P1000292There was also a little amigurumi panda that I made before Christmas. This was in my Etsy shop, until I closed it over the New Year. Last week I was going through my stock so I could start to re-open my shop and she spotted it. I think it’s the combination of having a big face and being high-contrast black and white. It’s her favourite toy now…

I’m glad I managed to get some crochet stock made up whilst pregnant as that’s allowed me to get the shop opened again now. There are lots of new baby items in there now a I was inspired during pregnancy… I’ll post some of them up on here later this week. Some are already up in my Etsy Children and Babies section.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure how I found the time to write this blog post today, but I’d better go as it’s already bath time…

Vintage crochet shawls

I had a fantastic find a little while ago. A stash of vintage shawls and ponchos. Most of them are hand crocheted too.

They are a real mix of hippy chick style, evening shawls and some 40s 50s style ‘bed jacket’ style. Quite an eclectic mix!

Some of the 70s ponchos sold as soon as I put them online, but I’ve just popped up a more varied selection which would be perfect for the current cooler weather.

They are on the eBay Shop and the Etsy Shop.

Incidentally I have also sourced some cool 70s crocheted shoulder bags. These are in fab bright colours and are just on the Etsy Shop at the moment.

I’ve got a few more shawls to work through at the moment but so far they are looking fab! What do you think?