Another Never-ending card

I made my granddaughter an ‘Never-ending card’ for her birthday.

I tried a different way to arrange things than I had with my Easter card and an earlier birthday card.

The birthday card was the first one I made and I kept it simple with coloured edges a bit of writing and lots of stickers. The Easter card was designed and printed on my computer, so I could make several. Both of these cards had four different views to cycle through.

This time as I was only making one copy I decided to try colouring it by hand! Now I am not very good at drawing or colouring: my hand-eye co-ordination and muscle control is just not up to it. However I tried to do my very best and produced a card with eight different views as you can see below.

The outer part of the flames is actually yellow highlighter pen but there is no accounting for what cameras do to colours sometimes! You can see that I did add a few stickers that I had left from the earlier birthday card, more later!

when you open this out you get – Opening the card horizontally shows – Opening this sideways reveals the fourth and final view of this sequence. This is where I wrote the greeting in the four segments of the central button.

Opening this horizontally you get back to the original ‘Happy’ side.

However if you turn the card over and turn through 90 degrees, you see this  which opens onto this – Maybe you saw that coming?

Followed by – And another button – Again, another ‘opening’ brings you back to the ‘BIRTHDAY’ side.

Along the way I also found a version that uses eight pieces of card instead of four and gives four sides which are always square. I saved the template and may give it a try sometime.

 

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And yesterday was …………. Christmas

No post yesterday as it was time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas transferred from 25th December due to my being in hospital.

I am pleased to relate that I managed to cope with it all quite easily so I am now officially ‘better’! Of course I did spread preparation out over the weekend and had an enforced rest on Sunday afternoon to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, which was good as I get a bit hyper when planning a big occasion.

It started with a Carol at the door from some visitors! “We wish you a Merry Christmas” of course.

Later I managed to take some photographs of the table all dressed up for the big day while having a sneaky Campari and soda with my daughter and preparing vegetables. My daughter helped with peeling and mashing the parsnips to save my wrists!

table laid

I had finally bought a book on napkin folding a while ago when I found a cheap onenapkin folding bookand had busied myself making different designs for each place setting.

The napkins weren’t perfectly square and were so large that for four of the folds I reduced the napkin size by folding the corners to the centre before following the book. However I was still pleased with the results.

Going round the table, widdershins, here is a close up of each one.

My place-setting a pin wheel windmill. pin-wheelGold chocolate coin, extra.

Son: boot bootGranddaughter: rabbit rabbitSon-in law: shirt shirtDaughter: fleur-de-lis fleur-de-lis I can see from the photo that it got a bit squashed when it fell off the table and I haven’t straightened it properly 😦

Family friend: Clowns hat.clown's hatThe crackers were provided by my son who bought them after Christmas when they were being sold off at a much reduced price!

Goldgold crackerand a sort of brown. brown crackerNow I have to admit that once everyone came in and we had crackers, followed by food and wine, I was much too busy to think of more photographs. However I am having a second Christmas lunch today from the leftovers so I will give you a taster from that,

There was chestnut stuffing and bread stuffing and bread sauce. stuffings and bread sauce

Turkey and sprouts and parsnips together with sausage and bacon rolls (but they ate all the bacon!) and cranberry sauce.meal on plate

(I was fortunate to discover that you can get English parsnips even this late in the year: a bit woody in the middle but tasty. I also found frozen sprouts. So all traditional vegetables!)

[Also roast and boiled potatoes, not shown because I avoid them.] And, of course, gravy. gravyGood thick Welsh gravy! meal with gravy

Afters was cheesecake and or strawberries and, if desired, cream. aftersA bit hot for Christmas pud (and it was a very hot day!) and anyway my son ate it all when there was normal Christmas!

All followed by rest, presents (bought by my daughter), a walk and charades!

I think I can say “A good time was had by all”.

Knitting and Crochet journal

This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to this post on https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/scrap-happy-adventures-with-junk/which was about creating a ‘junk journal’.

I have a journal but mine is quite different.

The photographs you see are of pages in the order they occur in the book (obviously they are a very small selection). I took the photographs quickly on the floor of my study on a sunny day. (Taking more than one and making them perfect seemed too much of an effort!)

Now my son has a tendency to buy me quirky presents sometimes and they are often tech related. One birthday or Christmas he bought me this. Polaroid printerIt is a small printer that prints tiny prints straight from a camera. The prints are sticky under a backing. At the time I really wondered what I might use it for but I kept it. However it has proved invaluable for creating pictures for my journal.

Now my younger daughter one birthday or Christmas bought me a book with blank pages journal coverfrom Paperchase: a shop that sells mainly decorative paper products. I really love the way three of the butterflies have movable wings.

I shared my attempt to make a copy of this book for my daughter HERE.

Again I wasn’t sure what to use it for but then I had a brainwave and my Knitting and Crochet Projects journal was born.

Here is the first page. I start with a few basics for reference.first page

And then I move on to a few charts and instructions for making basic things. Like my own way of making Granny Squares. diagramsI have never made a Granny Rectangle but, if I do, I have a reference to the way I liked best here!

I also added diagrams of how to do the ‘Magic Loop’ a name shared by both knitting and crochet for quite different things.more diagrams

Now I planned to use black ink for crochet and blue for knitting but you can see I am already forgetting!

This is my first project: a hexagon blanket based on a pattern on the Attic24 blog

first projectYou can see I include charts where it seems to help or save space. They are not always in colour and sometimes I try and photograph them off the screen and include as photos but that is less successful.

Here is a knitting chart that I worked out to create a pattern of adjoining hexagons with three different textures. knitting chartI included a photograph of the hat and scarf where I used it.

Sometimes it is impossible to include details of all the patterns but it is still useful to have a record. Here are details of a doll I made for one of my grandsons.

photographs of doll

When I make socks I like to wait till I have a few pairs and record the basic details. Up to now I have always used a toe-up method with short-row toes and heels.
lots of socksSometimes I want the book to contain details of a complicated pattern I have created, so much, that I add in a printout.adding a printout

I include the details of things I have made from other people’s patterns as well as my own.other people's patternsI have a red A4 folder which is full of printouts of other peoples patterns and also some of my own ones as a supplement to this, so if I want to make more seahorses, the pattern is there, but here I have added details of how I made the finished hanging.

This is where I am about to add details of another make.starting a new entryI cannot write straight easily so I start by drawing pencil lines that I rub out later. Also the book is always behind where I am, so every so often I spend a morning catching up!

At the back of the book, working forwards, I make a list of projects I have in mind for the future. This is the first two pages of this: one for knitting and one for crochet. future projectsYou can see I have completed all the crochet ones but still have not done all the knitting ones. Of course not all projects get listed here only ones I may make in the future and don’t wish to forget.

I am now three quarters of the way through the book but recently my daughter bought me another book from Paperchase. new journal cover

So I have somewhere to continue when I finish this one!

 

Happy Easter

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all my followers!

Christ is Risen AlleluiaThe photograph is one I took while staying in Taizé many, many years ago. Then later I added the text to turn it into an Easter card.

I always feel that Festive Food adds to an occasion, so for Easter I made some ‘Simnel muffins’. 

Not perfect, I forgot to add spice! and I realised since I have cutters that have a smooth and a crinkly side that I should have cut the circles for the top crinkly, so at least I added a bit of crinkle with a smaller cutter. However otherwise I think they were a success and will probably make some more next year.

I found a recipe for something similar I made a couple of years ago from a Waitrose recipe that I had totally forgotten about. The ones this year are based on my normal idea of a Simnel cake recipe. The Waitrose recipe removed the cases, so the tops could be placed under the grill, but that makes them look a bit naked!

See my photo. previous cakesWhich do you think look better?

Where have I been

I am sure some of you will be wondering why I have not posted anything for a while as up to now I think I had manged at least one post every week.

Well, without going into too much detail, let us just say that I ended up in A&E 18th December having a fairly serious operation the next day. Not one that you can just bounce back from either, so I spent Christmas and New Year in hospital and am now back home mostly just trying to fit in some resting with essential household activities like feeding myself and washing clothes!

The feeding myself is the best bit as, although the hospital food was fairly healthy, it didn’t taste as good as home made: some things being better than others.

I got someone to bring in my most recent blanket: my sea and sand smooth ripple blanket and it was amazingly useful for wearing round my shoulders when sitting in a chair, to a little extra warmth in bed when I needed it. I actually took a photo on my phone to share. Blanket on hospital bedThe things that impressed me about the ward I was in and the NHS in general is that the hospital was very clean and shiny, the nurses were very kind and supportive, the bed was amazingly comfortable and medicine seems to have gone very high tech which is great except for when the machines decided to bleep from very little provocation.

I was also able to have my mobile phone with me which meant frequent contact with family was possible. All my children and grandchildren visited me so in fact I had visitor(s) most days.

Published Angel pattern

Pattern on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/three-small-angels

Even though the opinions given were that the angel didn’t need arms, I couldn’t resist trying out what arms would look like.

First I just made a more colourful one. Then I decided I would try adding arms. And rather liked it.

So I decided to create a pattern with both angels I showed you plus the coloured one with arms as an option.

I took the first two angels to Crafty Coffee on Friday – well at least I can still drink coffee! – and I wanted to see if they liked the pattern. They did – Yay! so I gave them a free two angel one to use as they wish for their project and have published the full set as “Three Small Angels” on Ravelry. 

I was making a version of the third one in different colours but with my arm out of action. I have decided I can always add that as a photograph at a later date.

A request directed to US followers

You may know that I have decided to start selling my favourite patterns on Ravelry.

The latest pattern that I have been revising and rewriting and testing prior to selling is for my Easy Real Snowflakes. Probably just to be called ‘Real Snowflakes’.  (They are based on photographs of real snowflakes). The photographs I was working from are here – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/a-new-real-snowflake-pattern/

I am trying to create a US version as well as a UK one.

There are eight patterns and although they don’t take very long to make (I estimate 20-30mins) I am not sure if I will be able to concentrate well enough to follow the patterns in US terms. (If I buy a pattern in US terms I always translate first before I try it!)

So I was hoping that I could find a couple of people who would be prepared to test my US version of the pattern in return for a free copy.

Here they are made in DK yarn (which I believe is the equivalent of light worsted in the US) with a 4mm hook – not sure what that is.

and here are some more made in #10 cotton with a 1.25mm hook.

It doesn’t matter what hook or yarn people want to use to test the pattern as I have used 3.5mm, 4mm and 4.5mm hooks for the snowflakes with UK DK yarn and the biggest difference is size. I have also used thread as you can see and an intermediate sized silver yarn.

Feedback on any places where it looks as if I have not converted a term from UK version and any general comments about how easy the pattern were to follow is what I was looking for.

I will have your email address if you offer to help in the comment section and will then send a draft copy of the pattern to a couple of you to test.

I will also send the testers a copy of the final version, if it is in anyway different when I am happy with it.

Announcement

Some time ago I noticed that some people had, without asking my permission, posted photographs from my blog on their Pinterest sites. I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or annoyed but it certainly made me feel uneasy as I had no control over what they were doing.

Later on I found that there were also ‘Free Pattern’ sites that had included some of my more popular patterns. These sites appeared to be supported by advertising and one even was soliciting donations in return for providing links to the patterns! This definitely moved me in the direction of annoyed!

The final straw came though when over the last few weeks I have had hundreds of people visiting my site from Facebook to look at my Celtic Coasters pattern. (I know this is where they are going by the numbers.) This time I don’t even have access to what has brought them here. So annoyed it definitely is.

[As an aside I must say that of course Google also takes photographs off my site and again I wish that I had control over this as Google not only takes all the photographs posted as ‘photographs’ that I see no need for but also photographs of mistakes and problems that make sense in context but I would not want put out there otherwise. Of course there is no way of controlling Google as far as I know.]

I have therefore decided that with my better patterns, the ones that have cost more in time, effort and emotional investment will in future be ‘paid for’ patterns. (Some of my more simple, ‘throw away patterns’ will still be free.)

These may include patterns such as:

 

 

 

African Violets, Angel bookmark, Celtic Coasters, Celtic Crosses, Cross bookmarks, Granny Ripple,

Snowflake cloth

Snowflake bookmark, Snowflake cloth

and probably my Rainbow Mittens even though no one is much interested in that one.

I may also add some more of my patterns to the list but those above are the only ones on Ravelry at present.

 

I have already listed my African Violets, Celtic Coasters and Cross bookmarks for sale on Ravelry and will think about whether to list any others.

Maybe it is sad in some ways that I have felt the need to do this but I cannot control what people do with my photographs but I can at least gain a handle on how many people are interested in my patterns and not just of the “It’s Free. I’ll have half a dozen!” brigade.

 

Happy Easter

This year I made never-ending cards to send to the couple of people I send a card to, so I thought I would share one with you.

Outside Second side Third side Last sideAnd to finish I will share with you the cake I made this Easter.

Not a simnel cake this year. My son saw a cake on a food programme on TV and really wanted to have one (and it also includes marzipan!) so I made one for him.Battenberg cakeAnd a closer look! Battenberg cake closerA plain and chocolate Battenberg with nine sections instead of the normal four!

2016 – Looking back

Crochet: During the last year I have completed two different sides to make a cushion cover and a snuggle blanket for cold winter evenings, or even cooler summer ones! some shower puffs and an alternative that dries more quickly; though I didn’t keep these: they were more exercises. I also, as an exercise, worked up a crochet circle that was actually fairly circular rather than octagonal. And then there were the sea-horses that were rather fun to make and a pair of crochet socks to see how they compared to knitted ones. I have kept these and wear them frequently!2016-knitting-and-crochetI never do as much knitting and this year the main projects were a jumper/bed jacket and my temperature scarf that is finally finished. But having been given some red 4ply alpaca I also made a scarf for my daughter and a small cowl for myself.

I did find time for other crafting. Sewing a bean bag book or tablet support and a pair of trousers. Also in the sewing category I tried my hand at cross stitch and finding I could do it, I moved on to using it for some Christmas cards.2016-other-craftingI also made a never-ending card for a friend and some stitch markers. I have plans to make more of these. The only thing that can be considered a recipe was my tutorial on making marzipan fruits but I did also share photographs of some seasonal baking for Easter and Christmas.

I also spent extra time taking and looking out photographs for a Photo Challenge but as there were fifty-two of these they are two many to include!

Looking forward. I have already started a knitted cowl with a fairisle type pattern hoping to finally master this type of knitting. Probably a post about this next week.

I am continuing my crochet blanket between other things, have yarn and pattern for a knitted cardigan and hope to go back to some crochet ideas I never finished, including my plans for the crochet sea horses.