Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting On With Jo's Gifts . . .

My Brex has got many friends, but one of her oldest is Jo, who first lured Brex away from Wales, to live in Bristol - or Brizzle as Brex calls it :)

Jo has been going through some pretty bad times this last few years, with health problems being the worst of it, as she has a rare growth that has attached itself to her brain stem, which needs excising every few years :(

For a life that can be pretty bleak, Jo is one of those rare people - a true optimist! She looks on life with as much positive thinking as anyone could in her situation, but she always has a smile on her face, no matter what.

She has a great fondness for pink, and is as girly as can be, with copious amounts of 'blond moments' thrown in to the mix, and she is an unashamed romantic :)

Despite all she has gone through, when she found out that she was expecting, she was totally delighted, even though it meant changing her meds to suit the growing life in her womb and, when she told us her news, she had that same positivity that she always manages to find. Like true friends, we were happy for her happiness, and are praying that everything goes well for her and baby.

Jo found out recently that she's having a boy, and so I immediately looked through my yarn stash for the colours Jo wants, as I promised her a cot blanket for her little one :)

As soon as I finished making the lion for Brex, I started on the blanket. As it happens, I'm able to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes, as the blanket I'm making is the Juicy Fruits & Whipped Crème Throw from this summer's challenge with The Crochet Crowd (Link Below). Mikey has so very kindly given us a choice in sizes for the pattern, and so I chose the Baby Blanket size, as it will be the right size to use as a cot blanket - and so I started crocheting :)

I asked Jo if she wanted a specific theme, and she told me that, apart from the colours she had chosen, if I could do something to reflect Dolphins or Unicorns she'd be a very happy lady :)

The colours I've used, I think, reflect all the bright, jewelled colours we can get in the sea, so often on a sunny day, and so I decided that, to make this even more obvious, that I'd crochet some Dolphin Appliqués  to put onto the blanket (Links Below).

While I'm doing this, I also decided that I might as well crochet a Dolphin toy for baby, as well as a Unicorn toy, using the same, or similar, colours to the blanket, thus keeping them all together as one gift.

Well, I've finished making the blanket, and I've crocheted all the Dolphin Appliqués - I've made 4 small, and 4 medium, ones. I looked all over the internet for a larger appliqué to put centrally on the blanket, but couldn't find one anywhere, and so I used the Three JQ Designs pattern, and re-created a much larger version - after much frogging and restarting! :)

I had found all of the patterns on various free pattern sites and, although I haven't sewn the appliqués on yet, I think they're going to look good, especially as I used 4 of the colours from the blanket to make one each of the 2 sizes :)

I've also made a start on the Dolphin Toy - a pattern I came across recently - and, after I finish that, I'll be making a little Boy Unicorn, to go with it all :)

Once I've finished it all, I'll put the pics on here for you to see how I've done -  but here's a pic of the blanket so far:

The Crochet Crowd

Juicy Fruits & Whipped Crème Throw:

Dolphin Appliqués:

Three JQ Designs:

Susan Whitlock:

Dolphin Toy:

Unicorn Toy

Sunday, July 28, 2013

10 Things To Be Thankful For :)

I've just found another blog, called 'A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall', and Christine, it's writer, is doing a '10 things to be thankful for' thing.

She asks on her blog that everyone join in, and so, as it's been far too long since I did anything like this, I decided to join in :)

Ten Things of Thankful

So, my 10 things to be thankful for are:

1.   For Jehovah God, who helps to sustain me when I can't do it on my own anymore, and for the love He bears for me.

2.   For my husband, who is a loving, kind, and very humble man, who is so very generous of his time to everyone he meets.

3.   For my daughter, who was my gift from God, when I'd been told I'd never have children - and she's given me such joy over the last almost 29 years, that I am amazed :)

4.   For what health is left to me. Although I struggle, I know there are people a lot worse than me, having to cope in situations I doubt that I could cope with.

5.   For my family & friends, who help to keep me grounded when my life starts spinning apart.

6.   For my pets, who give unconditional love, no matter how ghastly I'm feeling.

7.   For the slightly cooler weather, and the rain that's still falling as I type, so that hubby doesn't have to water the garden today.

8.   For all the beauty around me, where I can take my soul's ease, as I marvel at all God has created for us.

9.   For the gift of reading, as I delight in the written word more than anything.

10. For the chance to discover ever more fun things to crochet!

There are plenty of other things I could write, but I'll stop at this 10, for now :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Here, and Gone Again . . .

 Well, my daughter swooped in on our lives, rather like a whirling dervish, and spent a couple of days turning our, rather staid, lives upside down :)

The house is dreadfully quiet now that she's gone again . . .  :(

But, while she was here, we managed to catch up on all the news, and I gave her all the things that I'd been crocheting for her, such as bikini tops to wear in the desert when she goes to Burning Man, and a cool head wrap designed by Clare, of bobwilson123 fame (Link below), which is just about big enough to fit all of her dreads in :) 

The major thing I made for her, though, was a crocheted Lion, made from a free pattern I'd found on Ravelry (Link below). Unlike the pattern, I cut the fur short, as I didn't want a shaggy-looking Lion, I also used a pair of safety eyes, and a nose, instead of embroidering these, as it was going to an adult, rather than a child, and I also made a vest and leg-warmers for him, sewing - rather shakily - my daughter's name, and the name of her newly started business on the vest :)

I actually finished the whole thing around 2 minutes before she stepped through the door, and the look on her face when she realised he was for her was priceless - I am such a fortunate mum, to have as loving a daughter as I have! :)  

Anyway, after a lot of daft suggestions for names, that came mainly from hubby - and anyone knowing him at all will realise just how daft that can be - Brex decided that she'd leave his naming for when she takes him to her next festival gig, as she's sure she'll discover it by then :)

Here's some of the pics that Brex took of her newest companion - his muzzle looks a little skewed in the pics, but it isn't in reality:

In a way, it was such a relief to finish the lion - it had taken around 4 days to crochet the parts, stuff them, then sew it all together, but it then took a further 3 weeks to add all the fur, one strand at a time - if I ever want to take up rug making, then I've had all the practice I need with this! :)

To be fair, if my hands were a little more flexible, and without the arthritis, I probably could have done it in a fraction of the time, but they aren't, so it did :/

Yesterday, as a bit of light relief, I started the summer's Crochet Crowd project - a blanket/afghan/throw, made with another of Red Heart's wonderful patterns. This pattern is the 'Juicy Fruits and Whipped Crème Throw' (Link below), and Mikey, one of the leaders of The Crochet Crowd, has given us until September 2nd to make it. He also gave us a choice in which size we wished it made, which is great for me, and is a super thing for him to do for us all, as he did all the math himself to ensure we had the choice, and that it would come out in the right size! :)

Because of all this, I can now 'kill two birds with one stone', as the saying goes, and crochet the pattern into a baby blanket size, as I've three of them to make for various family and friends, who are due babies from September through to December time.

The original colours in the pattern are lovely but, as the baby I'm making this for is a boy, I chose instead to use a variety of colours from the Red Heart Super Saver line, such as Blue Windsor, Amethyst, Light Periwinkle, and Real Teal. I've also used a beautiful 
turquoise, made by the Robin DK brand, as I didn't have this shade in the Red Heart. The colours go beautifully together and, as the baby's mum loves Dolphins, I'm going to crochet some as appliques, and sew them onto what looks like a jewelled sea :) 

When I've made it, I'll post a pic on here to show you how it turned out :)

P.S: For anyone who loves to crochet, and who enjoys chatting to others about it, The Crochet Crowd (Link below) is the perfect place to go. There are free patterns galore to try out and Mikey, who is one of the three who run the whole show, has made some amazing tutorials, to suit anybody - from those who are beginners, to the really advanced 'Hooker', as we all call ourselves :)

Mesh Head Wrap Crochet Tutorial:

Lion Pattern:

Juicy Fruits and Whipped Crème Throw:

The Crochet Crowd:

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Oh, So Quiet . . . .

I can't believe that it's been nearly 4 weeks since I posted anything!

Despite the lack of this, I have actually been about as busy as I can be, health permitting - and it's all things that I'm crafting for my daughter, either as presents for her, or for her friends, and so I'm unable to post anything on here, in case she sees what she shouldn't - well, until she comes here for a visit and sees the stuff for herself, anyway :)

I've finished the majority of the little bits & bobs I was doing for her, and have been concentrating for quite a few days - with even more of them to come before I finish - on one particular present for my daughter, but it's a surprise for her, so all I can say is 'Mascot', and that's all I am saying! Lol

I've been looking through all my girl's latest photos - she's a keen picture taker and, as she's working at every major festival this year, she's had plenty of subjects to photograph. As I can't be there with her, it's lovely to see the fun she has been having, despite all the hard work :)
I spoke to her last night on Facebook, and I found out she's going to be going back to the Burning Man Festival, with the Firework Collective, this year! Excitement! :)

As I can't put up any pics of my work, I thought I'd share a few pics of my very hardworking girl. They're not in any particular order. :)

Brex with Slamboree, Eden Festival

Brex with Pyro Celtica, Eden Festival
Brex on Fyre!

Brex with Ashley Dawn Clarke, Glastonbury

Brex chillin' at Beatherder

Hear Brex Roooaaar