Just a quick note today! Here is the finished work in progress from yesterday -a daffodil calico bag. Super pretty and ready for Spring, it’s a sneak peek of some more products arriving in my Etsy shop this Weekend.
I’ve been busy busy in the craft studio today, getting some lovely new Spring products ready. I was inspired by the daffodils in the garden today, so that’s what my new product is themed around. Below are some sneak peaks of the first stages, including some hand stitching. Check in later in the week to see the finished product and to check out the Etsy listing!
Spring is my favourite time of year. I love seeing all the beautiful flowers popping up everywhere, unannounced and adding colour where there had been none just a day or so before. We were really lucky to have moved into our house when we did, as every day over the past few weeks, the garden has looked different every time we’ve looked at it, and each time a flower or plant has appeared that we didn’t know about, it’s been like opening a Christmas present.
I love the view out of my craft studio. My favourite patterns are floral, so being able to see a selection of flowers and birds from my sewing table is perfect for inspiration. The Beryl Cushion was designed and created with this very view, which is just ideal as far as I am concerned.
Everything in the garden so far was put there by previous owners, but I’m more than happy to keep it like that for now. I’m not very green fingered, so having plants that mostly look after themselves works well for me! We have put some new soil into the vegetable patch though, and my husband did all the hard work of turning the soil over, so pretty soon we should be getting some veggies planted. I can’t wait to cook a meal with things we’ve grown! In the meantime, I am quite happy to just keep watching nature work its magic and see the garden develop without any meddling from us.
The Violet Blanket has been a labour of love, that I have been working at on and off for the past two years, and I finally finished it last week. I started it the first summer that I lived in the USA and whenever I found myself looking for something to do, I would crochet a square. 240 squares and several months later, I had crocheted as many squares as I needed. However, soon after, I started a new job and then moved back to the UK, so the poor squares sat waiting to be sewn together for months. Once my craft things from the UK got delivered to Lincolnshire, I picked up my crochet hook and finally the blanket was completed.
I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome. The blanket is made up of granny squares, in a mix of pink, blue, teal, purple and cream, and has a grey and cream scalloped border. It measures 60″ by 55″ and has a nice heavy feel to it, perfect for snuggling under on the sofa. Each of the granny squares I hand-crocheted myself, then crocheted together and finally, added the border.
It was my mother-in-law who suggested the name ‘The Violet Blanket’ because of the purple. I loved the suggestion and think it suits the blanket perfectly, so that’s what it’s called. I look forward to making the next one!
It’s for sale and available here.
Ladies and gents, please form an orderly queue. Rose Petal Cottage is now open for business! And to celebrate we’re offering 10% off of our entire range for the next month. Just enter the coupon code RELAUNCH2017 at the checkout!
Here is a selection of the lovely new products that are now available:
I’ll admit it, I have a bit of an obsession with wool. At any one time, I will have 100’s of balls of wool in my craft studio (ok, one or two may also have found their way into the living room, bedroom and probably my handbag), but that doesn’t stop me from buying more. I recently came across a new brand of wool that I have fallen head over heels in love with. The range is called Paint Box Yarns (available here) and they have every single pastel shade I could ever ask for. What I also loved was that they sell individual 10g balls of wool for 75p each. Granted, it’s not the most economical way of shopping for wool, when the 100g balls are only £2.25, but it’s ideal if like me you tend to buy in bulk and want to test out the colour first. I did in fact order a couple of these mini balls for this very reason. However this got me thinking about setting myself a challenge. Could I come up with projects that could each be completed with just one of these 10g balls? Yes! I love all of these projects not just because they’re all so freaking cute, but also because they are lovely quick craft projects that can be completed in just an hour or so. Try them out and let me know in the comments below which one is your favourite.
You will need:
To start with, wrap the wool around the first half of the pompom maker. When the first side is done, repeat on the second side. As soon as you are happy that your pompom is the thickness you want, make sure both sides of the pompom are closed and cut around the middle. It should be starting to look nice and pompom-y (brb…off to get that word added to the Oxford English Dictionary), just like in the third image (above).
Next cut off a few inches of wool and tie this around the middle of the pompom maker, tying nice and tightly. Once your pompom is secure, open out and remove the pompom maker. At this point, I like to give it a bit of trim, to even things out a bit. Lastly, cut off another few inches of wool and thread it through your yarn needle. Put the needle underneath the wool tied around the middle of the pompom and thread the wool through, leaving an inch or so tail. Make a stitch going through the keyring and looping around the wool in the middle. Repeat this 6 or 7 times until the keyring feels secure. Cut the wool so that you have an inch or so at that end as well. Tie both loose ends together and then trim so that they are the same length as the rest of the pompom. Et viola!
You will need:
Not only will this keep your breakfast nice and warm but I think they look super cute too. They are an ideal project with Easter coming up and are a really good project for beginners (fyi… I will be adding a beginners crochet tutorial soon, so if you are looking to learn crochet, keep an eye out for that.)
Please note, I write all my patterns using UK terminology. If you need any clarification, please let me know.
To start, make a magic ring with your wool, as in the first picture (above).
Rnd 1: DC 6 into the ring.
Rnd 2: 2DC in each stitch. Repeat to end of round. You’ll now have 12 stitches.
Rnd 3: 1DC into the first stitch. 2DC into the next stitch. Repeat to end of round. You’ll now have 18 stitches.
Rnd 4: 1 DC into first two stitches. 2DC into 3rd stitch. Repeat to end of round. You’ll now have 24 stitches.
Rnd 5-10: 1DC in each stitch. Repeat to end of round.
Round 11: In first stitch, chain 4. Skip two stitches, slip stitch into next stitch. Repeat to end of round.
Round 12: 5TR in chain space. Slip stitch into next chain space. Repeat to end. Tie off wool.
3.Knitted Mug Cosy
What you will need:
This is a fantastically easy project, perfect for beginners.
First cast on 35 stitches (the cup I was making this for was quite large. You may want to cast on slightly fewer stitches for your own cup.) Knit 20 rows in plain knit then cast off. Take your ribbon, and at one end of your knitted rectangle, make a loop. Sew the ribbon in place and then on the opposite side, sew on a button. Done. See, super easy!
4. Decorative Tassels
This is probably the easiest one but is super versatile. I tied mine straight to my handbag, but they make great keychains or decorations for the home.
Measure out a piece of wool that’s a little more than twice the length you want your tassel to be. Mine was 7 inches, meaning the finished tassel will be about 3 inches. Keep folding the wool back on itself until the tassel is the thickness that you want. Cut another piece of wool a few inches long and tie it around the centre of the tassel. Cut away the ends, making sure to get all of the loops. Lastly, cut another piece of wool, slightly longer this time. Wrap it around the tassel about 1cm from the top. Secure and cut.
5. Knitted Bow Hair Clip
What you will need:
This is another lovely easy project for beginner knitters and the finished product is super cute!
First cast on 5 stitches. Knit 1 row, pearl 1 row until your work is roughly 4 inches long. Fold the two ends so that they meet in the middle with a very slight overlap. Sew into place.
Next, get a length of wool, roughly 8″ long. Wrap it around the middle of the bow several times. Tie to secure and thread the loose ends back underneath. Now it’s time to get the glue gun out! Put a small amount of glue on the hair clip. Firmly press it on the back of the bow, moving the wool you just wrapped out of the way slightly. Watch your fingers! Once the glue has set, move the wrapped wool back so that it covers up the top of the hair clip. All done!
(Elegantly modelled by me!)
6. Rose Brooch
What you will need:
Roses like this are one of my favourite things to make. I just think they are totally adorable.
Chain 31. Slip stitch into the second chain. *Chain 3, skip 1, slip stitch* to the end of the row. Turn. Slip stitch into first chain space, *4 treble crochet, slip stitch into same space, slip stitch into next chain space* to end of row. Secure and cut wool.
You’ll notice that your work will be curling up slightly. Following this natural curl, wind the work into a spiral shape. You’ll see that it starts to look like a flower (you may need to adjust the petals slightly, by gently stretching them out). When you’re happy with the shape of your rose, sew it into place with a length of wool. Lastly, sew the brooch back on. Ta-da!
Here is a behind the scenes tour of my lovely little craft studio, all ready for launch day. I’m not going to lie…it’s not normally this tidy! I’m completely in love with this space and plan to spend a lot of time in here getting things made!
So I’m now at just under 24 hours until my official relaunch of Rose Petal Cottage. Am I stressed? Yep! Does my house look like a fabric and wool hurricane has flown through it? Double yep! Am I excited? You bet! I love making things and can’t wait to get started with online sales again. I’ve had some success in the past with Etsy but this time I’m really ready to go at it all guns blazing. I’m really excited about my new products that I’ve been getting ready this week and am looking forward to getting them all up online tomorrow.
Here are some behind the scenes pictures of what I’ve been up to this week and some sneak peaks at our new products.
See you tomorrow for the big relaunch!
Over the past week, whenever I’ve had a spare hour or so at the new house, I’ve been getting my lovely new craft studio up to scratch. As you can see in the pictures above, it was pretty much your typical garage before I got started. I found about a billion dead spiders (not an exaggeration. Ok, maybe a little bit of an exaggeration…) and spent a good 3 hours scrubbing the walls and the floor before I could start any kind of decorating. Then the fun started!
I decided to go with just a bright white paint on both the floors and the walls as I felt it would be the best way of brightening the room up. I love colour, especially pastels, so my plan is to add colour through soft furnishings and accessories. We got started on painting and so far all of the walls have been painted white and so has most of the floor. I probably won’t get the floor finished this week, but at least I have got enough of it done that I can move my furniture in when it arrives on Friday (along with all my craft supplies. Yay!!!)
Two exciting things happened today. Firstly, I set up my little hallogen heater in my studio so that I’m no longer sat in there shivering. Crocheting when your fingers are numb is neither easy nor recommended. Secondly, I started painting my new shelf. I came across it in a vintage furniture store in Cleethorpes and I fell in love with it (The shop is called Vintage Lincs and if you’re ever in the area I would recommend it). I love the overall shape and style of it, as it has a beautiful country cottage look to it, and the wooden rail along the bottom will be perfect for storing wrapping paper or ribbons. It was a cream colour, but had a few marks on it, so I decided to paint it sage green. It will be my first big splash of colour in the studio. I’ll post a picture of the final result once it’s all finished.
Anyway, this was just a short update on the makings of the craft studio for now. I better go and do more painting!
As previously mentioned, I am somewhat of a craft hoarder. I don’t really shop for clothes or make up and I’m really not one for wandering around the shops aimlessly, but boy do I love to shop for craft materials. Sometimes I have a set idea in mind when I buy something, but often it’s an impulse buy (“ooooh… a pack of 60 wooden bows. When won’t I need these?!”). However, if you’re just dipping your toes in crafty waters or just like something to keep you busy once in a while, I believe that really there is only a handful of stock supplies that you need. Obviously some things will be product specific, but these things should provide a good starting point.
1. A mini glue gun.
These are fabulous for quick fixes. I use mine most days. They do get super hot though and, I say this with personal experience, really hurt when you catch yourself with them, so I would definitely not recommend these for any crafts you’re doing with little ones. Hobbycraft sell a good one here.
Not only do these look pretty on display in a jar, but they can be just the perfect finshing touch on a whole range of projects.
3. A needle and thread.
You can often get little sewing kits in pound shops and these give you a choice of needles and colours of thread. Well worth having.
I like to save any ribbon I acquire through gifts sets and other packaging and keep them in a lovely little tin. I also like to stock up on a reel or two in colours that I regularly use (green, pink and cream, in case you’re wondering). Ribbon makes everything look a billion times prettier and is great to have in stock for making last minute gifts look…well, less last minute.
5. Safety Pins.
Just handy generally.
You’ll want a set of general use ones that are a decent size and some little ones for your more fiddly projects.
Again, just generally useful.
I love, love, love felt. It’s a great medium for all sorts of projects and is nice and easy to work with. I also like that it’s fairly cheap and available in a range of colours.
9. Nice Paper.
I have a little collection of nice papers that I’ve got free with craft magazines, as well as rescued wrapping paper that I’ve felt is too pretty to throw away. I also like the big pads of scrap paper you can buy in most craft stores. They can be quite expensive, but they last for ages. I use the Back to Basics range by Dovecraft (available here).
10. Mason Jars.
When we moved house recently, one of the chaps helping us pack commented ‘you guys have a lot of jars…’. Yes, yes we do. My husband doesn’t like clutter and prefers to have as much as possible tidied away out of sight, but I have somehow managed to get away with having decorative mason jars all over the house. Need somewhere to keep pens? Mason jar. Toothbrushes? Mason jar. Cotton buds? Mason jar. Dog treats? Mason jar. I could go on. They are however, also super useful for arts and crafts. I make pin cushion sewing kits out of them (I will publish a link once my Etsy shop is no longer on holiday), but they are useful for a whole range of crafty loveliness.
As well as jazzing up plain wrapping paper, washi tape can be used for a whole range of crafts. I’ve used it to recover picture frames, decorate and label draws and for various papercrafts.
12. Double Sided Tape.
Always useful and much less messy than glue.
13. Alphabet Stamps.
Hobbycraft have an adorable Dovecraft lucky dip available here. I have some like this and I love them to bits.
14. Paper Tags.
I think handmade gift tags are so much nicer than generic shop bought ones. These tags are also handy for card making, labelling and all sorts.
15. A Cup of Tea
This is arguably the most important thing on the list. So get the kettle on, find your slippers and get crafting!