Mom’s Rose 🌹 *Coin purse

As you may have noticed on my Bits ‘n bobs page, my mom loves roses. So it didn’t take much to know what sort of design details would need to be included in a purse for her when my sister contacted me to request a custom purse which she and Lae would give to my mom as a gift.

I made the purse whilst recovering from my foot op. The first of the rose purses made, using 100% cotton Sirdar yarn using soft pinks for the roses and an off white/beige for the purse base. Made and given with l❤️ve 💕


See you later alligator…

In a while crocodile… Eeeek 😊 We are off on a holiday to South Africa and super excited to see family and spend some time in the sun. It’s been a long 4 years since our last visit and I cannot wait.

My bags have been (mostly) packed for over a week already and most likely overweight on the baggage allowance but yet I’m still adding things to the case in the hopes my case weight judgements are better than my body weight judgements (go figure). I’m also struggling to find the “safe” hiding places of things I mentioned months ago I’d be bringing with (and to ensure I didn’t leave it behind, stored in the  said “safe” place). The more frustrated I get at the glaring un-ticked packing list items the deeper the crevices of the elusive safe places become. I’m destined to be consumed by massive black holes the night before I fly. 😋

My case is filled mostly with gifts for the family and of course crochet & craft supplies. I plan to catch up on some crafts with my Mom (of course). I’ll be putting my Etsy Shop on holiday for the time I’m out and am looking forward to updating you with some African crafty adventures, if not during the stay definitely on my return. If you do need to get in touch, please do message me on the Contact page and I will reply to you as soon as I can (or as soon as I’m able to drag myself out of the pool) 🏖.

If only I can work out how to travel with ALL my craft supplies and ALL my yarn, because leaving someone behind is always so hard. (Especially when you’re a me and imagine discovering thousands of miles away – “No, I need that ‘thingy-ma-bob’ so decide it’s gotta go too, despite the weight)

I’ve included a photo of my case as this just has to go down as a form of art (which I’ve made all by myself by the way) considering all the arguments I’ve had with it and it’s contents to conform with its rigid shape and weight restrictions.

The other photo is of a purse idea I’ve started making and will most likely be working on in the plane. The Pattern I used is for a doily (flat) I’m not too sure I can work this into a purse shape but I’ll have plenty of time to try figure it out whilst flying over UK’s miserable weather.

See you soon and thanks for stopping by!

Pink Rose *Coin Purse

Ever have an idea and just have to let it roll even if you’re not entirely sure it’ll work out as it starts to take on its own design? Well I can categorically say this is one of those times. The outcome, not entirely as I saw it in my mind at the first planning stages has, thankfully, turned out not too shabby and I’m pretty pleased with it.

Considering the time spent on it I’m sure this one has tested me the most (and I’ve not yet shared with you all the purses I’ve made). Especially when self doubt creeps in. Usually this happens after spending hours on making that ‘one green leaf’ that just doesn’t seem to want to be a green leaf and the endless frogging and unpicking, restitching and re-crocheting. That’s the point when you start to wonder… are the colours what you’d planned?  Not quite. Do the roses need more colour? Maybe. Start over? Erm…

I’ve found that once you start on something it’s difficult to stop though. Your plan adjusts (sometimes derails completely)  but that’s when the ‘I’ve come this far, let’s see what happens if I did this instead of throwing away the hours spent on it already?’ starts. And so, the design drifts into its own and before you know it, the purse is complete. As it turned out, not quite as planned (hugely disappointing to the OCD side of me) but pretty awesome nonetheless.

Sometimes, I suppose, you just have to let plans slide and go with the flow.

Pink Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse

The first Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse was such a success and such a pretty little thing, I couldn’t resist – I had to make another. I’ve made a second and with it have also learnt a photography trick  😉

See if you can spot the difference 😋

Finished purses measure approx 4 inches tall by 5 inches wide.

Nina-fairy nostalgia

Many have  asked “Where does the ‘Nina-fairy’ nickname come from?”. I was given the nickname when I was working in a fairy house named ‘The Continent of Sulina’ in a little town in the Cape, South Africa. Not many people know this about me, but yes, I worked in a fairy sanctuary owned and run by friends Ian and Minky Sulin. I’m very sad to have learnt that Minky has passed away. But have heard that Ian still continues the good work and is keeping the sanctuary going. If you are ever traveling in South Africa along the Garden Route, I strongly advise a stop over to the Continent of Sulina. It’s a magical place, where time and technology do not exist. Somewhere if you closed your eyes too long, you’d never leave.

I moved down to the Cape at a young 19 years old with my family. The fairy house was not far from where we lived and I fell in love with the fairies. Entranced by the magic, Minky’s work and the hand made treasures, I ended up helping out in the shop, but which by no means was a shop you’d ever imagined… filled with beautiful and magical creations (fairies made by Minky and bespoke pottery designs by Ian) I was ‘working’ (or as Minky used to say ‘playing’) in heaven, everyday and of course got involved in making things myself. While Minky and Ian had their specialities I was trying to find mine. I designed posters of fairy pictures and sold them with coloured pens, I did a LOT of fabric painting: fairies peeping out from behind leaves on fabrics which were dyed with leaf patterns using sun dyes, I learnt about herbal teas (fresh herbs from the garden not tea bag varieties) and served tea to our visitors under giant mushrooms. I painted hundreds of porcelain fairies which were fired in Ian’s kiln. There was so much to do.

When I said ‘I helped out’… this is perhaps not entirely true… I believe, in hind sight, Minky and Ian actually helped me. A lot. I lacked the confidence and experience to understand the world and at that time of my life I was hurt by some bad life experiences. I was angry and confused, lost and I suppose I just wanted to hide away from the harsh realities. The fairies allowed me to do this and Minky and Ian helped unlock something in me – a tiny spark was lit… I was welcomed into their lives and made part of the family. Minky, Ian, the children Fern, Sarah, Jevon and the sweet little dog, Cloud were now my family too. Minky and Ian tried hard to teach me a new way of thinking. But I was still lost and struggled to let the hurt go and unfortunately life became a whole lot more confusing as I tried to find my place and so landed up stomping the spark out and saying farewell, leaving the fairies in their garden and sadly headed off the creative trail altogether. I will always remember my time with the fairies and be ever grateful for the lessons learnt. I have no doubt had I stayed, I’d have found my Happy a lot sooner. I try not having any regrets, but looking back at young me then, I’m sad for her that she left. I miss my friends and think of them often, forever in my heart.

I don’t have photos of everything I made back then. Those days, it would’ve been a very strange sight to see a me taking photos of my works and ‘put it on a blog’ (what’s a blog? 😂) especially from a fairy house! I’ve moved often and travelled far so I’m not entirely sure how I managed to keep these few reminders with me all this time!

Pink ‘n Black *Coin Purse with Bow

A custom order for a young lady who loves pink ‘n black. I don’t always have a clear image of what a purse will look like when it’s done. Especially when I’ve been commisssioned to do something I’ve not done before. I usually have about 4/5 ideas in mind at the same time and people often ask for something the same as I’ve made before,  so I love receiving a project which makes me think outside the box… a challenge! My brief was a ‘A pink purse with black accents please‘.

I had a think about it, kept having images of black beads over the pink crocheted fabric, went to local craft shops to source the beads – make sure they looked pretty against the yarn. Tried black crystal beads, tiny seed beads, shaped angular beads, but eventually settled on these. I played about with a couple of versions, one pink with a black butterfly (as seen in the previous Pink ‘n Black *Coin Purse post) and this one with a bow, but my client preferred the bow. Originally I used a pink floral with a white background fabric on each but it was just not working for me. So I got some black florals in a few days later and was so pleased the fabrics matched! It all came together in the end and made me realize that sometimes it pays off to fret over the smaller details. 😌 I think these purses have turned out to be pretty classy purses for pretty classy ladies and I hope Saskia enjoyed her Christmas gift!


Navy with red floral *coin purse

One of my biggest fans and a big supporter of my work, a family member and a good friend, someone who visited me often following my foot operation, a lady who is full of life and has a wonderful sense of humor and whom I get on so well with… Thank you for all the great chats Belle, I really do appreciate your company! I hope your Purse will come in handy for small keep sakes and that it will always remind you of the wonderful times together. I couldn’t resist giving you a purse for Christmas after all our chats about them!  Wishing you all the best for 2017. Much Love! ❤️