LLHM Raffle 1 – Crochet Purse

I’ve recently signed up to do the London Landmarks Half Marathon in March 2020.

I’m going to be doing the scenic London Landmarks Half Marathon (LLHM).

I will probably be posting a lot over the coming months on social media, asking for donations (apologies in advance) but I have a charity place, which means I am committed to raising funds for Cancer Research UK. As you may know, my sister has had Cancer MULTIPLE times. I really don’t want her to get it again and would do anything to help Cancer Research find a cure for all Cancers..

I will be doing special events such as raffling my handmade crochet items, which could be useful when it comes to Christmas gifts, so be on the lookout on my Facebook Page.

All the raffles will be run over Facebook and payment for your raffle tickets will go directly to my Giving page. The draws will not be done until all tickets are sold. I plan to do a few especially coming up to Christmas so don’t miss out and make sure you are following my page!

My Giving page for donations if you wish to donate is here:-

Nina’s LLHM Giving page

1st Raffle is for this purse! The idea is you pick a number 1-40. I confirm (on Facebook) that the number is available and yours, and you pay in £5 per number chosen. I will pay for international delivery! So far with this the first campaign, I’ve sold 10 numbers! Not much further to go, so get in there – you have to be in it to win it 😀

Thank you all for your support! Fingers crossed your number is picked!

Nina

Where has the time gone? Market update

Since my last post in May and the aftermath of the Seafront Sunday, I’ve been extremely busy! It’s not a bad thing being busy, but I’ve not been very good at keeping regular blog posts. I’ll try be gentle with the unrolling of posts to show you what I’ve been up to since 🙂

Firstly, here are some snaps I took at the Seafront Sunday. It was a rather tiring, but all in all a fairly successful day in the end! I had a lot of enquiries about crochet lessons, gave out tons of business cards, sold 8 items and got quite a few orders!

The stall holders around me were wonderful! So supportive and I really was welcomed to the community with open arms!

Following the Seafront Sunday, I had a lot of orders and requests for crochet items. I was even asked to crochet a pair of shorts for a man, which initially sounded a bit bizarre (I’m sure we’ve all seen ‘that’ image on social media of the couple in full crochet granny square outfits in the middle of some festival where the granny square centers are strategically placed to make maximum impact 😂) but I was assured this was a genuine request. I was given the color choice by my client and so I sets about crocheting some shorts. In the end, I really think these could’ve done with some Liquorice Allsorts embellishments, but nevertheless the client was rather pleased with the result:

'THAT' Picture :)

(this is ‘That’ picture if you didn’t know of it)

Whilst at the market I sat next to the ladies who had a stall for their traditional Guernsey jumpers (known as ‘Guernsey’s’). You can find their webpage here. These are knitted but they also happened to have crochet kits on sale and I of course had to have a nosey! With my Kitten due home any day, I bought the crochet tin kit (TOFT UK – Mackerel). These kits are AWESOME! Enough yarn to make 3 fish, I only made one and set it aside for the wee furbaby (I’ll replace them as they need to be). If you follow my Instagram you’ll know that the kitten bed I made was a HIT from day 1 and the Mackerel equally loved!

This got me onto making a toy fish for a friends’ cat. She wanted to be able to stuff it with catnip and re-stuff it when the catnip disappeared. I havent used a pattern for this one and dying to find out if this was a hit so that I can try make another!

That’s all I can say about the market (for now). I’ll be doing another post VERY soon as there is a LOT to catch up on. Hopefully be able to update you soon!

Nina

Preparations for Guernsey Arts Sunday

Brace yourself…. this is gonna be a long one!

I recently signed up for a stall at the Guernsey Arts Sunday taking place on the 9th of June 2019 along the Seafront in St Peter Port. I’ve never been a market stall holder and am full of mixed emotions including being extremely excited and on the opposite scale very nervous.

I’ve not written a blog post in quite a while as I have been SUPER busy trying to do as many of the ideas on my list of “things to make for the market”. Unless you’ve been following the Facebook or Instagram feeds, you’ll have no idea about the things I’ve been up to. Equally, I didn’t want to give too much away on the net so that I can create an air of mystery, so that you’d have no option but to come down to the seafront and see for yourself what I’ve been up to.

As mentioned above however, as I have shared some items on the social media platforms and to avoid having a longer post after the event to catch up, I thought I’d share with you what’s on my agenda so far…

*Heart Cushion

I’ve made about a dozen of these sweethearts. 3-D, crocheted in Amigurumi style using Extra-chunky yarn and a BIG crochet hook, I just LOVE how these turned out. The heart fills your arms as you pick it up and it makes for the most amazing hug buddy when you’re in need. 🙂

Heart pillow

*Tealight candle holders

I came across a stash of jars with handles on at a local craft store. 18 to be exact. I was suddenly struck by an idea of turning these into lacey tealight holders. Each jar cover has been made in different colours and I’ve also created different patterns for each one. With the soft colours and lacey crochet designs, they make for really pretty little lights to dot about your home, creating lace-like pattern reflections on the walls. I plan to make more covered jars, using recycled jars from home as you can see from the one picture, makes even a simple bouquet of garden flowers look like a piece of art.

Sweetpea crochet blanket

I follow Sweetpea family crochet on Instagram and around Easter time, saw one of her posts about a beautiful blanket she designed. I immediately went onto Knitting Network’s web page and ordered the pack which includes pattern and all the yarn needed to make the blanket. It arrived on time for me to make over Easter Weekend.

*Crochet Lampshade

Another item which I could not find a pattern for and I really wanted one for myself, is a crochet lampshade. I struggled with this one I must say. No pattern, I had to crochet this “freestyle”, making up the next row as I went along. It took AGES. I probably frogged it about 100 times, but with perseverance, I eventually managed to make my very own crochet lampshade. I haven’t made any others, but I will be taking it with on show at the market and with some luck, someone might want to order one and even more luck I’d be able to reproduce it in a lot less time!

 *Nox’s cat bed

Again, a one off that I’ll be taking with is this handmade cat bed as a “for order” item. As well as preparing for the market, I’ve also been very excitedly making preparations for a kitten. Currently, just over 3 weeks old (the picture was taken at 2 weeks old) I have a little while to wait yet before I can bring him/her home as its best kittens stay as long as possible with their mum. I’m pretty sure I’m going through some sort of nesting phase 🙂 as I’ve been distracted somewhat by making sure I have everything I need for a fur baby. I’ve crocheted a bed for the kitten in shades of grey using a tough cotton yarn for the exterior basket and a soft fluffy yarn for the interior. I’ve also added a layer of soft cotton cushion filling to make an extra squishy soft seat for Nox. (We’ve named the black kitten Nox because it is Latin for “night” and is also a Harry Potter term for “lights out”) Both yarns have their own difficulties when it comes to crocheting and both quite expensive. I’m not too sure if people will pay out much for a cat bed,  but when its homemade and made with love, I’m hoping someone will also appreciate the cat bed and place an order too.

Suzzie the Unicorn

As you will know, I have designed my own soft toys before. Over the last few months I’ve been thinking about making a unicorn. I didn’t have much time though, so I searched the world wide web and found a pattern of a unicorn which I immediately fell in love with. I’m fairly confident that every girl in Guernsey will love to own a unicorn just like her. I purchased the pattern from Tatsiana on her Etsy shop if you’d like to make one yourself. The pattern is easy to follow and I’m quite pleased with the end result. I found making the hair the longest part of the journey, but it really is worthwhile pushing on to complete this sweet little toy. The yarn I used is different to that on the pattern, but I could not find it stocked in the UK and so I used Paintbox yarn for the unicorn, and ordered the required hair yarn all the way from Europe. As it took me a while to make, I’ll also be taking orders for her at the market so that I can have more time over the next couple of weeks concentrating on works showcasing my own designs.

Hopefully I’ve mentioned most of the items already featured on the social media accounts. I’m hoping to take lots of photos at the market and will share with you a full list of items made and let you know how my first market experience goes. If you’re a follower, living in Guernsey, please do come along to the Seafront Sunday market on 9th June 2019. It’ll be lovely to meet my followers!

See you there!

Nina

 

Lavender Tea-for-one

I’ve recently discovered that my doctor has been booked off ill long term. Of course, I can see other doctors, but my doctor has become an important woman in my life and no-one knows me as well as she does. Not only is she my doctor, but my friend and confidant. She knows me inside out (literally, if you think about it). She’s probably the best doctor in the world and even a better friend. She’s helped me through some really tough times and has always offered the very best care and treatment, whether that’s a much needed hug, a cup of tea or through her tenacity and determination in doing the best for me whilst dealing with other medical professionals.

I decided to attempt to lift her spirits and hopefully get her back on her feet. She needs to know that I care for her and that I wish I could help her as she did me. Some may say that I’m trying to entice her back to work for my own selfish reasons mind you, but honestly, yes, it would be nice to see her again back at the helm of Nina’s health, but not if she’s unwell herself.

I decided to make her a pot of tea. A hug in a cup so to say… I went to Iris and Dora and selected a pottery tea-for-one set to paint. Inspired by some beaded lavender flowers I got on my recent trip to South Africa, I wanted to do a lavender theme. Pottery painting is SO much fun and incredibly relaxing! Listening to the tunes from the record player whilst painting sure makes time go by incredibly fast and before you know it, you’ve done your 3 coats of paint…

Once completed, the lovely people at Iris and Dora whisk the pottery away to be fired in their kiln. A few days later, the glazed and baked finished set appeared….

Being a crocheter by heart, I could not resist making a little tea pot cosy which gives the whole design a completely different feel…

Tea-for-one with *tea cosy on

I cannot wait to give this to her and sure hope she recovers real soon!

Nina

*Toe Cosy

What is a Toe Cosy I hear you say? Well, instead of a tea pot, these nifty little gems are meant to keep toes sticking out at the end of a foot cast warm and toasty – especially in the winter ❄️

Initially, I made myself one following my first foot operation back in 2015 (I had the other foot operated on the year after… but that is for another story). I found it difficult to find anything to cover my cold toes. When your foot is in pain, the cold really doesn’t help! Blankets press down on the toes and ‘big socks’ were difficult to put on.

Toe cosy

The finished project:

On one of my visits to the hospital for follow up appointments, the nurses and hospital staff loved my *Toe cosy so much and thought it’d be idea to make a few more for others in a similar dilemma.

I’ve since made and sold quite a few of these and even now get asked for more, sometimes for the individual themselves or as a ‘get well’ gift for a friend or family member.

I was recently asked for a Rainbow *Toe cosy, just like the one I made for myself all that time ago. So I’ve sat down and made two more of them, a plainer Green one (for the boy folk) and two of the new design I call Watermelon 🍉 *Toe cosy.

I’m so excited about the Watermelon design. I wish I’d have thought of that when I had my cast on – not that I’d want to go through another foot operation to wear one, but I think these might be a hit – who wouldn’t want a Watermelon *Toe cosy to brighten up their day! 😊

Here are some of the designs I’ve made so far:-

 

Very sad to hear anyone requiring a *Toe cosy, but always happy to help keep those piggy’s warm and toasty with a little cheerful colour to brighten the day.

Take Care,

Nina

My Christmas 2018 makes

Now that Christmas is over, I can reveal the crafty gifts and things I’ve been up to over December.  I never feel comfortable writing a blog post about presents due to be received, in case surprises are ruined. That’s the nice part of Christmas for me. I love the giving of gifts, but even more so when they are homemade…❤️

Not all of my crafts this year has been gifts. I have been making decorations and gift tags too.

First of all, using a video tutorial on Instagram (see my Instagram post here: MadeByNina_ post ) I was inspired to make some all important gift tags. I was blown away to have been mentioned on Love Crochet ‘s Instagram page.

So quick and easy to make, I landed up making dozens and may have to keep the left overs for next year!

Continue reading

Mandy’s early Christmas present

I don’t usually post about gifts made for others prior to them receiving it, but as Mandy already knows what’s coming her way and most likely already received it, here it is.

Mandy is my cousin. She’d contacted me wanting to order a purse. She wanted a *Blue Cherry Blossom purse, but if it could be made in a slightly darker blue than usual please as she was intending to use it day to day and was concerned the paler color would dirty fast.

When it comes to family, I find it difficult to accept payment for my hand work and agreed to make the purse on condition it could be her Christmas present from me (early or not).

I actually made *Mandy’s Purse in October whilst everyone else was making orange pumpkins, goblins and ghosts. But I enjoyed seeing it develop and quite like the new purse in this new blue!

I may have mentioned in the past, it’s an old custom I’ve heard of which I have taken on board as it is such a sweet sentiment. It apparently brings good luck or good fortune if, when giving a purse as a gift, to include a coin. It doesn’t matter which coin, but I have found some very special “lucky coins” which, on the back reads “Because you deserve all the happiness in the world”.

Mandy, I very much want to give you a big hug and say that everything will be ok. You truly do deserve all the happiness in the world and I really wish you well in everything you do. Have a VERY Merry Christmas and make only happy plans for the year to come. I hope you enjoy your purse and see it as a big ‘ol hug from me to you.

Much Love,

Nina

Haruna’s Teddy

This teddy is most likely the MOST travelled teddy alive. I think she deserves a passport of her own.

I recently travelled to meet my sisters for our first (and hopefully not last) visit to Japan. Japan by the way, was AMAZING! Queue intro to a future post… well, I will tell you all about  the amazing country, its beautiful people and the wonderful experiences, tastes and smells – but that will need to wait for another post…

Haruna is my sisters friend, both living in South Africa. Haruna apparently is a fan of my work (*blush*) and so, with plans to meet up in Japan, Lisa asked if I would make a teddy for Haruna.

Haruna’s teddy travelled with me from Guernsey to London Gatwick. Then on to Heathrow where we spent the night at a hotel nearby terminal 5. The next morning, we flew from Heathrow to Tokyo and in Japan, she toured all over with us before flying back home with my sister to South Africa (Tokyo to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to South Africa). All the sights and sounds she has seen – I really should’ve got the little bear a suitcase of her own to fill with memories and souvenir’s.

Haruna, I really hope you like your teddy bear and that her stories of travel inspire you for many adventures and excitement of your own.

Take care,

Nina

 

 

 

Button *Card Purse

A Surprise Gift

Don’t you just love pink? There are so many shades of pink, (even in yarn) sometimes its just hard to decide on one single colour. I wanted to make a pink striped purse and use a big ‘ol button – just for something a little different and fun. I was thinking about candy floss and pockets full of the sweet pink fluffy stuff.

Making the purse, I had a little admirer watching me at home. She fell in love with the stripes. (She loves Strawberries and ice cream she said and this reminded her of her favourite desert). Every other day I would show her my progress and she would look close to see the stitches and was fascinated to see how it was being built up into a finished purse. She was so delighted once the button had gone on. She said that it was “just perfect” and “so her”. She loved it so much and was nearly in tears with “aw’s” and “beautiful’s”. I immediately felt this purse was meant for her, she couldn’t stop staring at it and so, I gave to her as a gift. She was a very grateful recipient and I’ve not had such a big hug and kiss in a very long time 🙂

It’s nice to know you’ve had a positive impact on someone’s day (you never know what they’re going through) and that what you’ve made is appreciated and loved. It’s such a warm fuzzy feeling to watch as someone’s face lights up with surprise and gratitude. Giving sure is a rewarding experience, which we should all try do a little more often!

 

Oh yes, I nearly forgot to show you – I’ve also made a little *Card pouch in shades of pink. I’m using one of these at the moment and they sure do come in handy!

Peach Rose *Card Purse

Summer has decided to exit early it seems. The glorious hot days have slowly dwindled into wet grey skies and sadly, I’m not entirely sure it will recover in time for Autumn to wave it’s hello’s.

Running has taken up a lot of my time. No doubt those who follow me on Instagram, Facebook and the running apps such as Garmin Connect or Strava have seen the streams of photos. The beautiful views that I have found all over this island (accompanied by glorious weather) has distracted me from crochet quite a lot keeping me outside and in the fresh air.

I’ve been training to do a 10km run which I am hugely excited about, especially given that a little over a year ago I wasn’t sure I could do a single mile having both feet in ‘recovery’ from the pretty drastic surgeries I’d had. In January I managed to run my first ever 5km park run! I’ve been doing regular runs since. A little while ago, I signed up to do the Guernsey Mind 10Km race in September. Guernsey Mind is a mental health charity that works to raise awareness of mental health issues on the island and I really wanted to take part to help raise funds, highlight the importance of exercise in combatting things like depression/anxiety (both of which I suffer) and prove to myself that nothing is impossible when you do something you love and are passionate about. Never let anyone tell you ‘no’ or ‘you can’t’… With some hard work, a dash of perseverance and of course the much needed support from my coach, Louise, you can accomplish impossible things.

Not that I mind running in the rain (it’s actually quite fun) (I just don’t like strong winds that stop you in your tracks) but, I was injured a couple of weeks ago and so have been forced to stay indoors. And so, getting back to the other passion in my life to keep my misery of not being able to run at bay, I’ve had the opportunity to finish the Peach Rose *Card purse. (I’ve also made a few other things – but that is for another blog post).

For this purse, I used a rose which I’ve recycled from an old hair pin. It’s more of a pink colour than a peach, but tones in beautifully with the soft pinks and peach stripes. I’m not sure where I’d source any more roses of this quality or size, so if you have any ideas, please, I’d love to hear from you as I just love how this rose looks on the crochet purse and am inspired to do more! Peach Rose *Card purse will be in my Etsy shop from tonight.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Nina