Friday, 10 July 2015

Afternoon granny square delight!!!

I thought it was about time I shared something crochet related, so I'm going to talk about my latest crochet project!  I have managed to be quite organised lately with regards to my ongoing projects.  It's quite unusual for me to only have one thing on the go at a time, maybe it's because of my already limited crochet time.  I can't afford to be doing too much at once.  I'm not sure how long it will stay that way though, my mind is already bussing with idea's for other projects!!  It my also be because my current project, as well as the one before, is very important to be.  A little while ago I suddenly realised that neither of my older two boy's own a single object that has been crocheted by me!!!  That must be some form of child neglect!  To have a mother who is an avid hooker and not own a single crochet item, it must be unheard of.  I mean, sure, as babies they had blankets and things, but those are all safely packed away in memory boxes!! 

I simply had to fix it, and my first thought was a blanket!  In my crochet history I have made a few blankets, mostly as gifts and a few for around the house in general, but the boys are always fighting over them.  So I thought it would be a good thing for them both to have one they can call their own!!  I thought it only right that the oldest get first, he had waited the longest after all! 

After trawling through pinterest in search of the perfect blanket I finally decided on this 'as we go stripy blanket' from 'not your average crochet'.  With money being a bit tight, and an ever growing wool supply, I thought it was about time I used up some odds and ends of wool that I already had!  It really didn't take as long to complete as I had expected, probably about six weeks or so, which is good going for me!!  Any way here is the finished result........

I'm pretty proud of it and more importantly BT loves it, it sits on his bed and is frequently used for T.V. days! 
With blanket number one finished it was time to move on to number two!!  I gave pinterest a bit of a break this time, as I remembered having seen a blanket I liked in one of the issues of Simply Crochet Magazine.  This Rainbow Brights blanket was my initial inspiration!
I loved the idea of the Rainbow colour scheme, but I knew NJ wouldn't like the pinks, so I changed the colour's slightly.  Taking out the pinks and adding in some extra green's and blue's seemed to work well.  This is the colour scheme I went with....

The pattern was a basic granny square, but I made the square's one round bigger than the pattern stated.  I love doing granny square's, it's just the type of pattern you can do without thinking too much about it, so they fly off the hook and before you know it your surrounded by little square's!  Very satisfying!!! 
Although the squares are quick enough to do, the blanket seems to be taking a long time.  Probably because the children are off school for the summer, the only crochet time I get is in the evening's when the little monsters are in bed and few snatched moments where I can throughout the day!  Like yesterday evening while dinner was cooking, the older two were out playing and baby was happy playing on the floor. 
The ring is now the safer option, when he doesn't have your full attention, from he learnt to roll it's amazing how far he can travel just rolling over and over!!  Between shouts from outside of 'mum BT's stuck up a tree' (he actually was), and scream's from the floor when Mr Elephant went out of reach, I actually managed to do a little crochet!
I'm trying to be really good this time and sew in all the ends as I'm going, like most people, it's the part I like least, so if I can do it as I go along it won't be so bad!

I'm trying to do the square's a colour at a time, so I do all the squares in one colour then join them into the main blanket while I'm crocheting the cream boarder, using Lucy's 'join as you go' technique!  It's coming together slowly, but surely! 

I'm really pleased with how it's turning out so far and I'm already starting to think about the boarder!  I want something really fun, I was thinking maybe pom-pom's attached around a simple treble boarder, or maybe a popcorn stitch boarder.  What do you think?

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Enjoy the little things!


Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and find they were the big things!

One of my favourite quotes! It's been in my head a lot this past week, I've been forced to realise just how quickly time is passing and how quickly our babies are growing up.  Particularly, my littlest baby!! Just going from milestone to milestone, from one first to the next.  It seems like no time ago at all that we were taking him home from hospital and having his first night at home, first bath, meeting family for the first time!

Then, in the blink of an eye, we were doing first spoon-feed! 

In the past week alone we have had HP'S first night in his own room, his first tooth and he has rolled over for the first time!!  Understandably, a little much for any mother to take!  While, I love to see him doing so well and achieving all these little goals, ultimately it means he his growing up and a little to fast for my liking. 

Just look at that cheeky little face, devouring the strawberries!                 

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to slow time down, so I have came to the conclusion that all we can do is try our best to live in the moment, and truly experience out lives as they are happening.  This is no easy feat, most of the time I'm so caught up with the daily routine of cleaning, cooking, feeding, school runs etc. to truly enjoy the little things.  So this summer the plan is to take life at a slower pace and enjoy as many moments as I can, and hopefully give the illusion that time is going even just a little bit slower.  

All of this philosophical thinking brings to mind another wee poem that I like very much and should really try to live by, so I will leave u with that!

I hope my children look back on today
 and see a mum who had time to play! 
There will be years for cleaning and cooking,
but children grow up while were not looking!


Friday, 3 July 2015

Inspired by Fairy's

So after our recent trip to Slieve Gullion, I felt very inspired to create something pretty in our own garden.  Obviously a Fairy garden was the perfect solution, so I trailed through pintrest for hours, thoroughly getting lost in the world of fairy's.  There are some amazing examples of fairy garden's out there,  some simple everyday item's used to create the most magical and enchanting space's. 

Feeling truly inspired I headed out to the shops in search of some fairy like item's, primarily some sort of fairy house.  My first thought was an upturned flower pot, but I liked the idea of adding flowers, so in the end I went for a  pretty watering can with a lovely dainty flower in the top.  Of course I couldn't just leave it as an ordinary watering can, it wouldn't be complete without some sort of crafty make over!

I made a little door out of lollipop sticks and added a little button door handle.  Some large button windows and little lacy ribbon around the top, finally the addition of a pretty flower growing out of the roof completes the look, but now our fairy house needs a garden!  I created a little winding garden path using mosaic tiles.  A little moss dug up from the darkness under the boy's trampoline, by my ever suffering husband, created some greenery either side of the path.  Two topiary trees that I had from a dolls house I once refurbished either side of the door made the perfect entrance! 

Then, it was decided our fairy's would need some company in their garden, so along came Sammy snail and knobbly gnome.  A few more miniature looking plants (my knowledge of gardening is limited to nothing), I just picked some that looked like they would belong in a fairy garden!  A windmill ladybird completed the garden and I have to say I am very pleased with the finished product.  The boys were two, especially BT, who has just recently lost his first two baby teeth and thought it would be a lovely place for his tooth fairy to stay when she has to visit.  His tooth fairy is called Trixie, I think he is sort of hoping that by giving her a nice place to stay she will leave him some more money in exchange for his teeth. Not very likely, but he can hope!  For now they are very patiently waiting for some fairy's to take up residence I our garden, or indeed butterfly's, as according to BT fairy's disguise themselves as butterfly's so people can't see them.  Who knows it might be true, so the next time you see a butterfly in your garden, say hello, it may just be a fairy in disguise!!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Fun with the Fairy's

A few week's ago we had a lovely wee day out with my sister and her family at Slieve Gullion Forest Park.  Apparently the forest park has been there for ages, but had just recently been part of an art project which has completely refurbished the park.  It's in a beautiful area known as the Ring of Gullion, an area of 'outstanding natural beauty'  just over the boarder into the South of Ireland, near Newry.  We had heard a lot of good things about the park over the last while and decided to see what it was all about for ourselves!  I have to say I was very glad we did!  There is so much to do and see and the best part is it's all completely free!!  Thankfully we left home early and arrived before the crowd's so the massive play park was fairly empty and the kids had a good time running about and exploring.

Ben was the only one who stood still long enough to have his picture taken, which is a rarity because he usually hate's having the camera pointed anywhere near his direction.  It was pretty overcast in the morning, but that didn't bother the kids and it did brighten up as the day went on!

We found our way through the maze to the wishing chair, where each of the children, and a few of the adults as well, made a wish.  I did laugh when NJ's turn came, he squished his eye's up real tight and said 'I wish for Lightening McQueen'.  When he opened his eye's he couldn't understand why Lightening McQueen wasn't there.  The innocence of children is a truly wonderful thing. 
After a long play in the park we went for much needed refreshments, in the form of the biggest ice-cream cones the van had, and then it was off to find the fairy's.  Before starting on the walk through the forest, you can read the story of the giant, witch and fairy's who live there, then your off into The Giant's Lair, and you better hope you don't wake the giant on your way round.
Through the red door and the beautiful wicker tunnel into the fairy village!!

The little fairy house's were built so skilfully into the beautiful natural surroundings they looked like they had always been there!

They were so cleverly made and named.  There is only a few pictures of them here, but there were at least 60 little houses, all with different names.  The fairy tale book shop was BT's favourite.

These ones were my favourite, the stepping stones winding their way up the tree trunk, with little fairy houses every so often and a wee bridge between the tree's, you can just imagine the little fairy's flying about from house to house!

As we leave the fairy village behind we upon a few larger houses belonging to the trolls of the area!
My lovely family.

BT listening at the door to see if anyone is home, thankfully there wasn't!

Then we came to the part of the forest where the giant lives, we had to be extra quiet here so we didn't wake him up!  This is the kids sitting on the giant's dinner table.

The Witch!
HP was very comfy and enjoyed his first time in the baby sling, in fact he slept most of the way and missed the fairy's, the giant and the witch.  He woke just in time for the Giant's tea cups.

Absolutely magical place for adults and children.  Our visit here was well timed as BT and I were just finished the first book in Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree collection.  If you havn't read the books with your little ones, or even just for yourself, you definitely should, they are fantastic.  We are now half way through the second book in the series and we both love it.  I can't wait to enjoy it with my other two when they get a little older!

We will definitely have another trip to Slieve Gullion over the summer holidays, fantastic day out and loads of lovely memories.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Here we go again!!!

I'm embarrassed to say it's been well over a year since I last posted, and while I hate to make excuses, I'm going to anyway!  I haven't been doing much on the crafting scene, over the past year I have mostly been focusing on my family!  Adding to it, would probably be more accurate. 

I am now the very proud mother of not two but three beautiful boys! 

Most Of my pregnancy with my last little darling was dreadful and I was completely unable to do anything else, let alone crafting.  Even my love of crochet had to take a back seat, for the entire nine months I was completely incapable of picking up a crochet hook, and believe me I tried!  For most people, expecting a new baby is the perfect excuse to crochet and create beautiful baby clothes, blankets and all sorts of gorgeous things!  In fact I actually taught myself to crochet while I was expecting my first baby, such was my intense desire to create some of these wonderful baby things!  But, for some reason during this pregnancy the very feel of the wool and hook in my hand made me incredibly nauseous! When I did manage to start something, the act of crochet gave me motion sickness.  It was not very pleasant!  After nine long months without any form of crafting I was anxious to get going again, but then of course I have my beautiful new baby boy to look after, as well as the two little handfuls of trouble I already have.  As you can imagine it's a very busy household! Eventually, we did manage to get back to some form of normality, our new baby fitting in like he had always been here, and I finally managed to pick up my hook.

It has taken me a little while to get my crochet mojo back, but I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.

I have completed a few projects in the past few months, and while all I have time for at the minute is my family, with a little bit of crochet on the side, I hope that as time goes on I will get back to some of my other crafty notions as well!




Thursday, 13 March 2014


Anyone who know's me and my crafty ways will know that it is practically unheard of for me to have any less three projects on the go at any one time, and usually it's a lot more than three.  The projects can range from crochet to furniture restoration and back again to sewing.  Hence, the name of my blog 'crafty notions',  I follow whatever notion may take me and I run with it.  I also find it impossible to have idle hand's, you will virtually never see me doing 'nothing', even when sitting over a cup of tea or watching the television, my hand's have to be doing something.  This is usually crochet, because it is the thing which I am most practised at and can do without having to think about it too much.  I now even have a wee bag, just big enough to hold a ball of wool, my crochet hooks and a pair of scissors, this bag goes everywhere with me, just in case I have a few spare minutes to fill.  My other projects, such as sewing, furniture restoration and goodness knows what else, take a little more concentration on my part.  I usually try and fit these in between parenting and housekeeping duties.  Although in truth it's more like the parenting and housekeeping duties get 'fitted in' around the crafting most of the time.  Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who fill's the gap when necessary.  

Quite often my mind is swimming with crafty idea's, most of the time I can't even make sense of them.  Occasionally something come's to the forefront and actually make's some sort of sense and can materialise into a completed project.

This is one such project that has materialised.  It's an adaptation of the owl hat and bag in this post, The owl bag is much the same, but I have made a headband/earwarmer instead of the hat for spring time.  You can't really see from the picture, but the pink has a little glittery shimmer going through it, making it really nice and girlie.  

I thought it would be quite useful for me to do a little round up of the projects I have on at the minute.

1) The Mystery Blanket

This blanket was part of a four part feature in Inside Crochet Magazine over the past four months.  It is done in aran weight wool, which isn't something I generally use, but I had inherited a lot of it from my Grandmother who passed away last year.  I really wanted to do something with it, but wasn't too sure what, until I saw this feature and knew it was perfect.  It didn't take me too long to get this far, this is part one, two and three completed, just to add part four now.  It was, however, really heavy going as the blanket started to grow.  I really like how it's turning out though and can't wait to see it all finished.

2) Crochet Chair

This is one project that I am beyond excited about.  About a year ago my brother gave me this kitchen chair, he and his wife had just moved into her grandparent's old house and inherited a few pieces of old furniture.  This was one of them, and knowing me pretty well, my brother knew I would see something more than a dirty old chair.  He was so right!!  It may not look like much, but as soon as I saw it I loved it!  I thought hard about what to do with it, Maybe re-upholster it and paint with a nice bright colour.  But for some reason that just didn't seen right.  So it has sat 'lonely' in the shed throughout the winter, but thankfully in the new light of Spring it came to me - YARN BOMBING!!!!  Perfect!  So I striped it down, sanded it all, re-upholstered the seat with lining fabric and got started.

It's a pretty slow process, with all the colour changing.  I decided to do the legs with popcorn stitch, which can take a long time too, but I'm in no rush with this one, I'm enjoying doing it and I want to do it right, so I'm taking my time.

3) Fabric, hand-bound notebook's 

I have made these for the upcoming craft fair in April, I sewed the fabric cover's in a few hour's, now I just have to make the page's for the inside and bind them.

4) Long Term projects.

I started this blanket about a year ago.  It's a large blanket for my brother, in the local football team colour's.  It's a really simple, easy pattern to work, but I find it too tedious to do too much of it at the one time.  So I tend to do a square every now and again, in between other projects.  Slowly, but surely, it is getting bigger, I'm just over half way now.  Thankfully, my brother, although he did ask for it, doesn't know I have started it yet.  So at least he won't be expecting it any time soon.

This is another one that is taking a looooong time.  I'm ashamed to say I started this blanket two years ago in May coming.  It's just over half way done, and again it's one that I can only do a little at a time.  I haven't done any of it in a long time, but I think it's more of a summer blanket, so perhaps I'll get the motivation to start it again this summer and it will be ready to brighten up the dark nights of next winter.

5) My Bunny

My bunny is a recent project, I started it just this week and it's almost finished so, hopefully I'll get it done in the next few day's.  I have made softies before following pattern's from Helen Phillips and Tilda,  but this is the first time I have drawn out a pattern of my own.  I have to say I'm not overly thrilled with it, I do like the patchwork look, but I'm not to sure about the pattern.  Maybe from now on I'll stick to the pre-made pattern's and put my own spin on it with the patchwork look.

6) Crochet disaster's

When I sew the doorstop camper van in issue 50 of Inside Crochet,  I instantly wanted to do it, and started straight away.  It wasn't difficult to do and quickly started to take shape.  However, I also quickly began to realise that my effort's bore little resemblance to the one in the magazine and I very quickly fell out with it.
Image from Inside Crochet
So for now I have set it aside, until such time's as I find the heart to finish it or bin it.

So that's it, everything I have ongoing at the minute, and no doubt I will add to it before too long.  Having done a list my mind is now a lot clearer, for a little while anyway.  Thanks for stopping by today, hope to speak to you again soon.