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Spring has Sprung at Rose Petal Cottage

20170404_172215Spring 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.

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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.

xx

Tutorials

What can you make with a 10g ball of wool?

 

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.

1.Pom-pom Keyring

You will need:

  • Wool
  • Something for making a pompom with. I used the 4.5cm Clover pompom maker (available here), but if you prefer to make yours using cardboard that certainly works too. I will be using the pompom maker method though, as it’s just so nice and easy! I’m just giving very basic instructions for using the pompom maker, but if you want one that goes into more detail, as well as other methods for making pompoms, I would recommend this excellent tutorial at Red Ted Arts.
  • Some fairly pointy scissors
  • A yarn needle
  • An empty keyring (available here)

 

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!

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2.Egg Cosy

You will need:

  • Wool
  • 3.5mm Crochet Hook

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.

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3.Knitted Mug Cosy

What you will need:

  • Wool
  • 4mm Knitting Needles
  • Ribbon
  • Button
  • Needle and Thread

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!

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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.

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5. Knitted Bow Hair Clip

What you will need:

  • Wool
  • 4mm Knitting Needles
  • Pin
  • Hair Clip
  • Glue Gun

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!

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(Elegantly modelled by me!)

6. Rose Brooch

What you will need:

  • Wool
  • 3.5mm Crochet Hook
  • Yarn Needle
  • Brooch Back (available here)
  • Needle and Thread

 

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!

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Rose Petal Cottage Craft Studio

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!

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My chalkboard, always full of to do lists!
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My craft supplies
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My desk
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My sewing table and view of my garden.
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New House!

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Crafter priorities… always pack and unpack the wool first.

So, six weeks after I ran down the stairs with rightmove open on my phone, shouting ‘Matt, Matt I’ve found our house!’ we’ve had confirmation that the contracts have been exchanged and we will be getting the keys to our first house on Monday. To say we’re excited would be a bit of an understatement. The house couldn’t be more perfect. It’s a three bedroom semi-detached cottage in a small village not far from Louth. The house itself ticks all the boxes. You walk in through the porch into a little kitchen-diner, where we’ll have just enough room for a sofa and a dining table with four chairs. The kitchen is small, but the space has been used beautifully, so we’ll have no problem cooking up a storm in there. Even with my tendency to turn into a hurricane in the kitchen. There’s a double oven, so I will be able to bake to my heart’s content. The living room is off to the side and has a wood burning stove! We have plans to make it look like a country manor in there, with tartan blankets, tweed cushions and a wooden stag’s head for the wall (don’t worry, no stags will be harmed in the making of our living room decor. I’m insistent on fake taxidermy.) Upstairs, we’ll have three decent sized bedrooms. The smallest will become an office for my husband, for now, and the second bedroom will be the guest room. It will be lovely to friends and family to stay without having to put guests on the sofa-bed in the living room! None of the rooms are overlooked and we’ll have a lovely view of the Lincolnshire countryside from all of the bedrooms.

However, the joy of all of this pales in comparison to how excited we are about the outside of the house. As mentioned in my last post, both my husband and I wanted a workshop and thought we’d end up with a house with one workshop that we would have to fight over. THIS HOUSE HAS TWO WORKSHOPS!!! Both come with power and lighting and I’m happy to say, I’m getting the particularly nice brick one. I could not have asked for a more perfect studio for my crafty ventures. Finally my craft stuff will all have a home and no more will I be squirreling away balls of wool all over the house. It’s going to be a couple of weeks until the things we shipped from America will be delivered, but in the mean time, I will be giving the craft workshop a lick of paint and getting it looking all beautiful. I should probably put a kettle in there as I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave!

The house also comes with a lovely garden, complete with a vegetable patch, fish pond and a couple of fruit trees. I’m determined I’m going to become a green-fingered wizard and will grow all kinds of fruits and veggies for us to eat, freeze, pickle and make into jams. We’re planning on getting some chickens soon too. I’m claiming it’s for the eggs, but really I’ve always wanted some as pets. Not sure what the dog will make of the chickens, but we’ll see how that goes.

This is all for now. I need to get packing!

xx

 

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Back in the UK!

 

 

After an exciting two years away in the USA, Rose Petal Cottage is now back in the UK. It was fantastic having the opportunity to sell my products at US craft fairs and to meet American crafters. I’m certainly going to miss the great big craft super stores that I had down the road from me! Packing up my craft workshop, I realised just how many more craft supplies I had acquired while being over there, and I can’t wait until it makes its way across the Atlantic so that I can start crafting again. There’s only so much wool you can fit in a suitcase when you also have to bring clothes! We also brought our little dog, Otto, back from the USA with us and he is looking forward to starting his role as craft assistant in the UK.

Now that we’re back, it’s super exciting to be getting settled. We’re currently looking at buying our first house, and naturally, I’ve got my eye out for the perfect craft room. As my husband is also looking for a house with a workshop for his woodwork, I can see us getting into a craft-related turf war. Sawdust vs buttons. Lathe vs sewing machine. Lumber vs wool. I can see it getting messy. I can’t wait until we’ve found the right house for us and all of my crafty stuff can finally get a permanent home.

I’ve now got my first couple of craft fairs booked in Lincolnshire, starting at the end of March, and I am very much hoping that we get settled by then. It’s going to be great to be able to start attending craft fairs regularly, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to start attending them on a weekly basis. I like selling online, but nothing beats being able to talk to customers in the flesh as they buy my lovingly made creations.

2017 is going to be a very exciting year for Rose Petal Cottage!