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A Playstation for …

So instead of getting on with all the projects I currently have on the go at the moment, yesterday I disappeared into the garage in search of chip board, wood, old carpet and string.  I had an idea that I could make a Playstation.  At lunch time I finally emerged, triumphant, with a Playstation fit for … a kitten!

The kitten hasn’t arrived yet, but she has been reserved and will be coming home soon.

Meanwhile her Playstation has pride of place, awaiting her arrival. But somebody’s nose is slightly out of joint!

Back from Manchester … fuelled by cake

Soo and Lynda travelled up to Manchester at the weekend for Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Fair.

As we had hoped, it was a riot of crafty inspiration and left us full of ideas for hours and hours worth of makes.

The beautiful tweedy and flannel patchworks will send us searching through our fabric stash.  I’m already eyeing up Mr handmadebysoo’s Harris Tweed hacking jacket and wondering how many patches it would make!

With thanks to Richard for his recommendation of Home Sweet Home, we enjoyed an inevitable (though very large!) slice of cake before setting off back to Lincoln.

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Sisters share crafts across continents

My sister continues to create all sorts of decorations from felt at her ladies craft group in Baku.  This has inspired me to have a go.  So using Larissa Holland’s lovely French Hen pattern, some new felt which my sister bought me, along with some bits and pieces from my stash, I’ve made a start.

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I’ve loved doing all the embroidery on the tiny felt pieces.

The fiddly part comes when you have to assemble everything.  My French hen seems to have rather stumpy legs and her wings are a bit wonky, but on the whole I’m quite pleased with her.  Wonder what my sister (expert felt crafter now!) will make of her.

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My completed French hen.

A very special pomegranate

My sister currently lives in Baku, Azerbaijan, but she pops in to handmadebysoo towers quite often, considering the distance involved.  You might almost say it’s her second home in the UK.  On her last visit she brought a very special gift, a china pomegranate, symbol of Baku.  This now has pride of place in my kitchen.

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The other thing she revealed is that she has finally (re)discovered her creative side by joining the Baku ladies’ craft group, which is the cause of much rejoicing here!  The Baku ladies work all year creating wonderful crafty things to sell at their Christmas bazaar to raise funds for underprivileged children in Azerbaijan, like these gorgeous felt gingerbread houses.

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Are you joining Kirstie and me at the Handmade Fair?

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As a lifelong crafter and huge fan of La Allsopp, handmadebysoo has been given an exclusive preview of the Handmade Fair 2015.  Here are the details:

The Handmade Fair is back! Following on from an incredible first show at Hampton Court Palace in 2014, Kirstie Allsopp will be returning this September once again to run the country’s most exciting craft event.

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This isn’t your average craft market – it’s a long weekend of hands-on workshops, entertaining interviews, ‘make and takes’, and all the shopping and fabulous food you can manage! Plus Kirstie will be there every day to host some of the sessions and, of course, craft!

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Take a look at the full line up over at www.thehandmadefair.com

PS. Did you know they’re also running a Christmas Fair this year?

handmadebysoo will be there!  Join me!  I have a free ticket going spare!

Taking place at Manchester Central from 20-22 November, The Handmade Christmas Fair will include all things crafty as well as all things Christmassy! Find out more at www.thehandmadechristmasfair.com

Farewell, January

January

Being a summer type of person, I have never really liked January.  All those cold dark nights and the flat feeling that Christmas is over for another year, with spring still a long way off.  It’s even worse that in January  I get to be another year older, although inside my head I am still 27!

So this year I stitched this little celebration to mark the passing of the winter months and gave it to M whose birthday also falls in January.  DeeDee and Ailbe feature along with some seasonal flowers, a snowflake and some champagne to cheer us all.

During our snowy walk this morning, on this last day of January, Ailbe decided that, unlike Julie Andrews, snowflakes on his eye-lashes are definitely not one of his favourite things.

Happy Friday, Fenton Knitting Group!

Black Forest Gateau handmadebysoo

Black Forest Gateau handmadebysoo

Yet another week has simply flown by and we are almost into February already.  My days are very busy, planning lessons and teaching, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My Friday smile this week came as I reflected on the week gone by, the knitting project I have finally finished and the next piece of sewing I am itching to start and my thoughts turned to my little knitting group.  On Tuesday evenings everything stops for just an hour and a half and my ‘knitting ladies’ arrive.  I started the Fenton Knitting Group soon after we relocated to Lincolnshire.  We are only a very small band at present but hope to grow as the word gets round.  We are not all knitters, but all needle crafters are welcome and what a laugh we have.  My poor, long suffering husband can hear us from his ‘office’ and is convinced we are fuelled by something stronger than tea and cake.  But no, it is simply the pleasure of sharing our ups and downs, not always craft-related, with like-minded people.  I make the cakes, though I am most definitely not the best baker and certainly not very good at decorating them, but years of whipping up sponges to feed hungry children coming home from school means that I can manage a Victoria sandwich.  Occasionally I become a little more adventurous and bake a Black Forest Gateau and this week it was my personal favourite, Flapplejacks.

Thank you for your company, ladies and Happy Friday!

 

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Happy Halloween from handmadebysoo

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The pumpkin has been carved and we enjoyed delicious home-made pumpkin soup for supper last night (don’t ask for the recipe as I basically just threw in anything I could find in the fridge, including some mozzarella, and some herbs from the garden – how very witchy!)  A string of knitted smiley pumpkins and spooky ghosts is hanging at the front window and my tiny knitted witch (courtesy of a Jean Greenhowe pattern) is standing ready for the trick or treaters.

The Fenton Knitting Group

So far at the Fenton Knitting Group there has been some heavy-duty cable knitting, a lot of hand sewing and a bit of crochet, and a great deal of nattering!  The cakes we have enjoyed to date have included Victoria sponge, apple cake and raspberry and white chocolate brownie.  If this sounds like a great way to spend a Tuesday evening, why not join us?  Everyone welcome.  You might even get to meet the knitted imp!

The imp relaxes