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21  Christmas Cards 2013 in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Antidigger on: December 05, 2013 01:54:46 AM
Each year I make my own Christmas cards, usually more than 50 of them, often to a very similar design: take last years cards, cut out the interesting bits, layer them on several backgrounds to make an interesting frame, stick on a plain card.

This year I was the lucky recipient of a box of goodies from Bekibutton-thank you soooo much. It contained all sorts of bits and pieces that she wanted to destash. It proved quite an inspiration and so I offer to you a new bunch of Christmas cards. In case it's a little hard to see, the tiny cards inside the envelopes are actually Christmas stamps that I've collected from the post I was sent this time last year. It appealed to my sense of humour to put the stamps inside the envelopes.
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22  Craft room incentives in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Antidigger on: December 05, 2013 01:41:58 AM
I do all sorts of work in my craft room/workshop/spare bedroom. I can often be found paper-crafting or knitting or painting there, but I am rarely found sewing. That's even though there are plenty of projects just waiting for me to pick up a needle or launch the sewing machine. Undecided

In an attempt to liven up my sewing box, I made myself a needle book. It looked very pretty, even though I mostly made it by glueing instead of stitching. Soon I found myself delving into that sewing box a bit more often, so I stitched up a wee hedgehog pin-cushion, adding to the original pattern a base (made out of a bit of milk carton), so that would stop me from stabbing my fingers each time I picked it up - unlike my previous pin cushion!

Do you know, I started doing even more sewing Smiley Bucked up by this, I decided to try and tackle my reluctance to get out my sewing machine. I have a foam mat that my sewing machine must rest on when on the table, so I covered it, now it's much cheerier and I am far more likely to actually set up the machine.
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23  Knitted Lavender and Rosemary sachets. in Knitting: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: December 04, 2013 12:49:31 PM
You know how, when you're a beginning knitter, people seem to delight in giving you their odd balls of wool, half a skein here, a ball & a half left over from a jumper there and pretty soon you end up with a drawer full of ball ends that there is very little you can do with.

Well, I started knitting a few of the smallest of them into random rectangles, to see if I could get enough out of them to make a purse (UK Purse= something you can carry a couple of credit cards and some loose change in). Well, some of my ball ends weren't big enough even to do that with! But they came closeish. They languished in my cupboard for a few months until I pulled them out the other day whilst tidying up.

Well, I decided that they were nice enough wool that I could make some scented bags with them for Christmas. Here are the first couple I've made. The delight about these 2 is that they are quite masculine colours, so I can give them to blokes if I want to.
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24  Crocheted flower brooch for Christmas in Crochet: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: December 04, 2013 12:33:50 PM
My mother in law is coming for Christmas, so not only do we need to buy her a Christmas pressie she can use (her request), but also as we have stockings full of little bits & pieces, she must have something too: which is kind of hard when she says I don't want lots of pointless bits and pieces I'll only throw away.

Anyway, amongst other things, more or less practical, I've crocheted her a brooch. It's pretty much the only pattern I can crochet yet. It is supposed to have 3 layers of petals, but I gave up after 2.

I used a highly textured blue wool which I'd previously knitted a square for a blanket from, I'd decided that I was never going to knit with it again, but I thought I might try crochet and see if it was better. No. It wasn't. However I did use that ball up, so now I know, I won't buy it again, nor anything like it either. Also it was the perfect colour for my mother in law.

So. at the point of no more wool, I'd done 1 round of petals and it looked pretty pathetic. So I had a rummage through my stash and found the perfect colour to go with the blue: a very pale cream, but I only had a tiny amount in super chunky or a weird flat woven ribbon, which I liked, but I didn't think my mother in law would. Thinking outside the box, I split the super chunky, so I now had twice as much and of a more suitable weight to continue with. I crocheted one petal of the next layer, decided I really really liked the combination, but sadly I didn't have enough to finish all 6 petals. I relucantly took the flat yarn and started on the next petal, I wasn't very keen on that, but I persevered and made that round of petals out of alternating yarns. I hated it right up until the point where I'd finished all 6 petals. But once I'd looked at it, it began to grow on me considerably. I tried some green to represent leaves, because I was once again out of yarn, but that really looked dreadful and so I unpicked that pretty promptly.

Anyway, here is my mother in law's brooch. I hope you like and I hope she will as well.

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25  Re: Prayer Flag Swap Rd 3--GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by Antidigger on: April 10, 2013 11:32:21 AM
Your fretting is perfectly timed, and I guess it's me holding stuff up: I got home yesterday (my few days away turned into a few more) and guess what was in the post waiting for me Smiley

It is most wonderful and very very welcome. I've placed it in my new garden already and it looks perfect.
It has an amazing hand-painted hand-dyed recycled top-sheet with the raindrops on. It has a beautiful scrabble tile word and the stitching is gorgeous. I can feel the calm that comes with the rain already and those big fat summer raindrops that feel so gorgeous.

It may be working already, I distinctly felt a couple of raindrops when I was putting it out....

A close up of the wonderful letters and raindrops

And here it is in it's new home.

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26  Knitted necklace in Knitting: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: March 17, 2013 08:28:55 AM
I had this tiny bit of baby wool left over, I didn't like it, but then I didn't choose it for me. I didn't want to waste it however, and I had a pattern for a beaded necklace I wanted to try that only needed a wee bit of wool. I have more beads than I can shake a medium sized stick at, so that was a no-brainer.

Do you know, I still don't like this necklace and I'm debating frogging it Undecided, but I did learn a lot about beaded knitting.

A It works best with the same sized beads.
B Don't use big heavy beads unless you have big heavy wool.
C Metal beads rough up the wool something chronic.
D Beads that have a right and a wrong way up need some thoughtful handling
E Using a little PVA on the end of the yarn really works well as an impromptu needle for beading.

oh, and F don't try to photograph anything on a glass table. Wink
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27  A vase? or a Votive holder? in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Antidigger on: March 14, 2013 02:49:02 AM
I really can't decide. It will be beautiful as a vase, especially when my garden starts producing flowers for it!
But I tested it as a candle holder and the light is so pretty coming through the sticks.

Anyway, it's made from a jam jar, a bunch of prunings from my garden, and the ribbon off a pair of garden gloves I was given.

I first of all decided on a length of stick, cut the straightest pieces I could find and kept them all the same way up. I then stuck some double sided sticky tape around the top of the flat bit of the jar and placed 2 or 3 sticks to work out the spacing. Then I started with the hot glue around the bottom of the flat bit, half way through I took off the first sticks (that weren't hot glued) and carried on round until the whole way round was done. Then I hot glued the ribbon over the place where the double sided tape was, but that wasn't really necessary.

It was a really off the cuff, unplanned project, but I love it. Smiley
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28  My local shops stopped stocking my washing powder. in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Antidigger on: March 13, 2013 04:14:12 AM
So, what else do I do? I make my own Cheesy

I used this tutorial http://snottydog.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/eco-friendly-washing-tabs/

Now-of course- it never runs smoothly does it? Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

The size of the soap bars isn't given in the recipe, so, having only small bars on hand, I used 3 x 100g bars. Either the soap in the USA isn't the same as the soap in the UK or I picked a particularly dense sort of soap. The dissolving took an age.  Roll Eyes

Eventually, I gave up using a spoon and just whisked the mixture, to at least get an even distribution of lumps. By the time (about an hour & a half  Angry) I'd got all the soap in, it didn't look like soap soup at all, but was a sort of paste running around the bottom of my pan.  Shocked
Yikes! I gave in Lips sealed and added another 3/4 of a pint of water to make it fluid again, even if it was very viscous. Undecided

I didn't dare take it off the heat at that stage- it would set if I didn't give it my best Paddington Bear stare all the time.

I very quickly made up the washing soda solution (generous name to give that- at the bottom it was a bit like a cup of coffee where someone has put sugar in- when you don't take sugar Sad- but decided not to stir it, so you don't notice until you've drunk too much to complain  Embarrassed) and poured that in too. Another good whisk round- not too fast, so I didn't make bubbles- but getting into every corner and it was finally thin enough to risk taking the heat off. Undecided

Of course, then I discovered that I didn't have the ice cube trays I'd intended to use: they'd been put to a more normal use!
Bah Humbug! Wink
So I covered the base of 2 roasting dishes with cling film and poured the stuff into those and set them outside for half an hour whilst I calmed down with a cup of tea. Smiley
The cling film didn't melt, the roasting trays remained clean and the stuff set beautifully. Cool Cool Cool Even with the extra 3/4 of a pint of water the stuff has set soft enough to cut and hard enough to keep it's shape and not stick excessively together. Grin

Of course I rushed the pouring, so I didn't get even layers in the dishes and my cutting isn't perfect so my tabs are all different sizes. Undecided So now I'm discovering just how many I need in a load. 5 little ones for a big load is good Grin, 2 big ones for a half load is good Grin. 2 little ones for a half load is rubbish Sad.

But I now (after 2 weeks of washing) have still got 2 1/2 tubs left, I don't think that's bad really for 2 1/2 hours work and 1 of ingredients.
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29  Re: 2012 DeStash-Along in Craftalongs by Antidigger on: December 15, 2012 01:35:18 AM
I know I've been sort of absent on this thread for a long time , but I have been watching it, quietly. I have been destashing quite strongly this Christmas crafting time.

Here are a few of my pressie projects:
All from stashed scraps of paper & card and a bit of embroidery thread.

I didn't have enough of either yarn to make a full scarf for my mother in law, but they combined nicely.


I don't think I posted this here before, but if I have, please forgive me.

I also knitted up these wrist warmers from some scrap wool

And raided my stash of scrapped library books and plain(ish) paper for some literary gifts for my mum.
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30  Re: 2012 Winter Holiday Crafting Lists! in Winter Holidays by Antidigger on: December 14, 2012 09:56:07 AM
I know we got asked for pictures and links at the beginning of this topic, so here are some of my finished projects
This book is going to my sister in law who really appreciates the crafts I make for her and asks for them early enough that I have plenty of making time.
More scarves for in-laws.
This shawl is going to my beloved friend who taught me to knit

Her husband has a pair of wrist warmers as he has taken up archery and has been told to relax his wrists more. Their children each have belts, but foolishly I forgot to take photos of them before they got wrapped.
These baskets are going to my brother who has just got a new house to furnish.
Also he's got some of these scrubbies

and these fridge mats

and these cable cosies

all inside one of these

This is my mum's stash of things, can you tell she's a literary kind of person?

Although we had them professionally printed, the calendars are populated with photos we've taken at kite festivals this year. They will go to our kite friends and for some of the kiting girls there are crocheted flower brooches made from broken bits of kite line, but once again I forgot to photograph those too.
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