Saturday, 30 April 2016

Saturday Art Day

Working on a 'sunshine and showers' layout - keep having to stop and wait for the paint to dry.

Roll on summer is all I can say


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

My new look craft room ( pictures!)

I am dead chuffed with my new summer house makeover.  Inspired by Clare Curd who built a craft room shed at the bottom of the garden last year - and it looks so cool - and mine looked such a mess.  

I struggled with the old depression last summer - all the rain and the shop leaking were not the best ways to rest and relax!  So I did not get down to the end of the garden - and the 'I will just pop it in the summer house for a bit' fairies began to creep in.

Down the bottom of the garden (where the fairies live) - - - is my summer house

We built it from a flat pack about 8 years ago (wow) - and the storms of last year made a mess of the veranda - one end is sort of still there - the other end has gone - and the uprights that I used to hang baskets on have all gone.  The doors need to come out and be reset - but we need warmer weather so we can take them off and reseat them.  There are no pots or flowers - it's all flopped out for the moment - needs thinking about for next year!
This still very much a work in progress - and there is still loads to do - so - be kind

Inside - I have turfed out all the unwanted crap and gone for a really simple, clean look.  This is my knitting space - right in front of the window so I get the natural light - and I can look out over the garden to the old goat's outside art house and up to the fells.  
Soft white on the walls with a contrast black on the window (and door soon) - with the odd flash of zingy lime left over from the last decorating (this is the 3rd makeover of the house - I have had it a long time).  The corner storage is something that the goat built from kitchen units years ago.  It is serious storage space- but needs clearing out!  There is a spare knitting machine set up that will either go to it's new home - or be stored - so the clutter will reduce soon.  The yarn winders are all set up - ready to be used - sooooo useful. There is electric - so I can have heat - I am using a quick instant heater - but the black box there is a really pretty 'fire' that I need to sort out!
The fabric that I am using as a pretty, floral curtain covering one end wall was a gift - the vague idea is that I can add knitted panels at the side and middle to create a textured wall that will be snug and cosy.  I do a lot of  sketching - planning - sewing - and general 'chilling' in this space so I want it to be more lounge than office.  The seating is my darling old mum's - so she is still with me here.  The big hampers came from woolworths - yes - really - and store pillows - blankets.
 Also from my darling old mums - the cabinet.  There is an extra shelf for it somewhere when I can find it - this will be my main 'cone' yarn storage.  The big, dark lump on top is actually an old hand cranked sewing machine that I am going to strip and rewax the wood.  A gift from an ex-mother-in-law who has been (and still is) so supportive of me and mine over the past 20 years+.  I want to Zing it for a more 'now' look - but still keep it as a working machine (if I can find the how to do for a machine that predates everything I know - shuttles anyone!!!!)

I am toying with the idea of painting the roof white and the cross beams black - but I haven't decided yet, there is no rush once I get everything straight I can decide then.  The hanging candelabrum was something that I bought THE VERY FIRST TIME I came to visit the lakes and took home and altered.  It has has several makeovers over the years - and I just love it.
 This is my knitting station - so still so much to do - so much to learn
Really looking forward to this summer - new stuff to do


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sketch of the month

This is the sketch I used

I thought I would make a card for a change - you don't always have to do the same thing!

Mine turned out a bit different - I probably should have cut the verse sections down a bit to show more of the background - but I likes the panels to much!!!


Monday, 25 April 2016

Day Off

Monday is kitten's day off

An oldie - but one of my faves


Sunday, 24 April 2016

SOoooooo - you want to be self-employed?

Do you like your job? - - I love my job!

Do you get a reasonable wage? - - how much would you pay to do your job?

Yep - you read that right - if you really love your job - how much would you pay to do it?

In the interests of the 'openness and clarity' policy that all our big earning officials and politicians are promoting at the moment - I offer this view of a small business.  I am not asking for anything or pleading my case - just stating the facts as they stand now.

I have just finalised my last year's accounts.  The 'official' business year runs April to April so that after the huge build up to Christmas - and the big influx of cash after the January sales - you tie up your accounts for the year - with enough spare cash to carry you through until the build up of the summer holidays.

Well - that's the traditional business theory.

This year - I was jogging along nicely - building up to the Crimbo fest (and - I admit - feeling quite comfortable and pleased with the way things were shaping up) - and then the storms hit - mid december - wiped out most of Kendal.  Life stopped.  Overnight - everything stopped.  Thousands lost everything.  Who wants to go buying Christmas gifts when you have a house full of wet, soggy debris - waaaaay bigger things to think about!!!!

And - the thing people don't realise unless they have been there - is that it takes months to recover.  That wiped out January and February - and to be honest - we are still struggling to find the time and money to do anything other than get through the week.

So - bottom line - I have lost £3000 income since December - and overall it actually cost me £700 this year to do a 7 day a week - 12 hours a day job.  There is no insurance to cover this - nor can I get any of the government grant help.  I know several business that have been wiped out by the problems we are having here - it's tragic, my heart breaks for them.  I will be able to weather it as I have no staff - my shop is really tiny so my costs are manageable - I do everything myself and work my guts out to survive - and my darling old goat props me up because he believes so much in me. 

Rather than sitting on my bottom and claiming sickness benefit as I could do - I have chosen to create a workspace that I can control and manage - this year I should have turned in enough money to pay my way and justify my existence - but circumstances have beaten me -  God bless Working Tax Credits is all I can say.  

Here is looking forward to the coming year and a glorious summer.


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Saturday Art Day

I have had quite a good week  - feeling quite bright in my self and got quite a few little chores done, so I am pretty much uptogether and tidy.

This week's project is all Gelatos and a bit of bling.  I love how it turned out - I got realy involved with messing about with it!


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Personal Impressions - flowers and bottle canvas

I loved every minute of this one - but you do have to like fiddling about  ;-)

How to make is over on the Personal Impressions blog


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Video of the Month - Knitting Cables

Yeah - OK - guess who messed up last month's video - - - - -yeah - that would be me then.  The second half of the filming just froze halfway through!!! - No idea why - and of course I had left it to the very last second to edit.  Tell you what - if I could 'knit' a video it would be no problem (ROFL!!!!)

The glory of being 'only' me - I get to tell myself off - and give me the permission to go home early (but only if I have done all my chores) - oh dear - I guess you just have to be there!!!!

So - for those of you that are scared to take the 'cable' step - let me hold your hand through it!!!!


Monday, 18 April 2016

Day Off

Monday is kitten's day off


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Saturday Art Day

Fffing around with backgrounds - then decided on a 'sunshine and showers' theme - but I have to keep stopping to wait for the paint to dry - roll on summer!!!!


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Knitting machines

I have been quite bright this past couple of weeks - so I am getting stuck into some of the clearing and organizing that I need to do.  I have given my knitting machine a bit of a service.

Good old YouTube!  How on earth did we cope without it.  I have found a lady in Australia of all places - you would really thing of Australia and knitting wouldn't you? - and a lady in New Zealand - who are real whizzes and they have videos of how to do maintenance and repairs.

This is the icky mess the the sponge bar was - it is supposed to be a thick foam pad strip - I cleaned it and used insulating foam tape to replace it - much better.


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Personal Impressions - Cardio Tree Panel

I love this technique - check it out  on the Personal Impressions blog


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Square of the month - Double Moss Stitch

This month's knitted square is a good, solid, chunk of texture.  It is a variation of knit 1, purl 1 - so if you can work those - it's dead easy to bring a bit of variety to your work.

You will need;
Double knitting or chunky weight yarn – 20g
6mm knitting needles

·         If you are using the double knitting weight of yarn, then use 2 strands together throughout.
·         If you are using the chunky weight of yarn, then use 1 strand throughout.
·         Don’t forget to count the rows as you work up the square.

Cast on 29 stitches.
Row 1: *(knit 1, purl 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 2: *(purl 1, knit 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1.
Row 3: *(knit 1, purl 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 4: *(purl 1, knit 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1.

Row 5: knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, *purl 1, knit 1, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, purl 2, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1.
Row 6: *(purl 1, knit 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1.
Row 7: *(knit 1, purl 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 8: purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, *knit 1, purl 1, repeat from * to last 5 stitches knit 2, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1.

Rows 5: to 8: form the central pattern – repeat these rows 4 times more, until you get to

Row 29: *(knit 1, purl 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 30: *(purl 1, knit 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1.
Row 31: *(knit 1, purl 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 32: *(purl 1, knit 1) – repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1.
Cast off.

I use Robin double knitting 100% acrylic yarn for all my knitting work.  If you are using pure wool, or a wool mix you will need more as the yarn is heavier.

Disclaimer: This is my own original work.  Use it for your own use or for charity selling.  Use it to inspire you, and to lead you on to other projects.  But, please do not resell the pattern as your own workings.  It takes me years of learning, and months of work to produce a final pattern.

The Kitten and The Goat, 9, New Shambles, Kendal, LA9 4TS

This month's square is HERE  

and catch up with the others HERE


Monday, 11 April 2016

Day off

Monday is kitten's day off


Saturday, 9 April 2016

Saturday Art Day

I am in a very simple frame of mind toda - just playing with stencils and Memento inks laying up backgrounds


Friday, 8 April 2016

New Knitting Table

The Paint process - 
2 light - 1 heavy coat of white emulsions to condition and prime the wood.

Serious thick scruffy coat of bright yellow gloss.  I know - I know - hang on a bit!

2 thin scruffy coats of vintage cream chalk paint.

1 thin scruffy coat of gold metallic.  Being a bit of a 'bling' bunny I liberally coat it all over - but you could just do the edges and be more subtle ;-) 

 Good old polish up with a plain wax polish to buff up the metallic shine and blend everything together - chalk paint loves a coat of wax.

Finishedand in my 'sewing' room - clever old goat!


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Cute kitten fix

Monday got taken by Personal Impressions
so here is your cute kitten fix of the week


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Kit of the month - Coffee Pot Cosy

You have no idea of the work that went into this!!!  - Based on a photo I saw - this kit is the most advanced sewing project I have produced so far and will gently introduce you to several new techniques.

Just to give you an examples - adding bias binding - image transfer - elastic loops - applying applique motifs - - but still all in my very simple to follow beginner's steps.

As always - you get everything you need in the kit (apart from an Iron - and that won't fit in the box ;-) - if you want to use your machine to stitch: you can - but the project is perfectly simple to finish by hand stitch.

Wanna see????

There is so much in this package - the full kit is available in the 'proper' shop and the online shop - or you can just download the instructions

Monday, 4 April 2016

Personal Impressions - little key fobs

This is such a favourite of mine - my son always seems to want more of them

Check out the Personal Impressions blog to make your own