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.ย 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 aboutย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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’… Withย 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

Forever Spring Garden *Card Purse VI

I was sure this was no.5, but thankfully I had written aย Forever Spring Garden overview post which means this is no.6! I spent SO much time on this one! I doubt very much I’d be able to part with it… unless I made another that was even more work ๐Ÿ˜‹.

My friends encouraged me to enter into the Guernsey 2018 Eisteddfod. At first a bit shy to do so, after some mulling over the idea it didn’t seem so bad after all and I thought, why not? I’d worked hard on this purse and it is all my own design. I contacted the Eisteddfod organiser to see if I still had chance to enter. Sadly, I had missed the entry deadline ๐Ÿ˜ข. Oh well… there’s always next year, this one may still be around for it…. or will it ๐Ÿ˜.

Forever Spring Garden – my kind of heaven – Spring all year long! If only!

Nina

Evie’s *Bunny

I was so happy to receive a custom order for a *bunny. I haven’t made one in a while and it was the perfect time to try follow the pattern I wrote for myself again. I’m not sure if you have tried writing your own patterns in the hopes that you’ll know exactly what you did the first time you made something new, but I have found that it is not such a simple process and I take my hat off to those pattern writers out there! Each time I follow the scribblings in my notepad, I find myself changing something here or there, rubbing out the pencil scratchings and overwriting with new stitch commands whilst whispering to myself “What do you mean 2dc there?, its not gonna work that way”. I’m pretty positive I’ve written down exactly what I’ve done the time before but, obviously crocheting and writing down the stitches made is one too many tasks for my brain to cope with :).ย  Mind you, I must admit that some of my scribbles have been vague to say the least. Obviously bored of stopping to write down the stitches made, I simply wrote “continue as before”. Not very helpful, Nina! Hopefully it’ll get easier and eventually I’ll be able to settle, knowing that the pattern is “perfect”.

Do you write your own patterns down? How have you found it?

So this is Evie’s *Bunny. She is going to America and should be with her new Mommy just in time for Easter!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Nina

Spring Honey Pot

I’m hooked… I just love going toย Iris and Dora for a little afternoon “me time”. Painting pottery is quite therapeutic! This time I had gone with my step-daughter to a ladies evening social painting session. She painted a bowl and I chose this little honey pot. Of course, I love rainbows, this honeypot had to be full of colour๐ŸŒˆ

3 hours goes by in a flash once you lift your head from the relaxing zone you seem to find yourself in. Leaving behind the painted WIP’s the excitement builds to see the finished product – you have absolutely no idea what the glaze and burning process will reveal…

A week or so later, your number shows up on their Facebook page and its ready for collection. And voila, here it is ready to be used – they even gave me a honey spoon – how sweet! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy Saturday everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

Nina

Winter Ellie

It hardly ever snows in Guernsey. I think we’re usually protected from the snow ’cause our island is so small and right in the middle of the English Channel. Mind you, we’re also closer to France which is usually warmer than the UK. I just like to think the combination of position and the large salty expanse around us has ‘protected’ us from snowy falls. In the many years I’ve lived here, I think it has snowed a few times… and strangely, always when the daffodils have just come up with the hope of Spring around the corner.

It doesn’t help that we aren’t prepared for snowy climates having so little snow compared to the UK. From the practical things like grit/salt on our roads: we don’t have that, to the non-practical frenzy that seems to take hold of the people.ย  Our islands people become obsessed worry pots when the weatherman dares mention the words “snow”, “ice”, “Beast-from-the-East” and shops are emptied from all and any edible and any “we-might-need-this-in-a-few-days-if-we-are-snowed-in”. It’s great fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Growing up in the ‘deep dark Africa’, I have very rarely seen snow and when I do come in contact with the fluffy cold stuff – I feel it’s fair to say that I become the largest kid out there, bursting with excitement and wonder. While everyone else is wondering and wishing for the snow to stop, I’m wishing for it to last longer, frustrated sitting at work wasting the opportunity, aching to go outside to catch the snow on my tongue… I’ve never made a snow angel and dying to! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a few snaps taken on my walks to work and back:

I had an order for an elephant. A new baby boy was due. He happened to arrive in the “Beast from the East” storm which hit us and the UK last week. With no post or planes coming on or off the island, I had some extra hours with this new baby Ellie before I could post him off to meet the new boy. Cold and wrapped up with scarves and gloves myself, I thought it might be a good idea to keep the Ellie warm too and made him a little scarf. I think he appreciated it ๐Ÿ™‚ his face seemed to light up! I also think in years to come, the Winter Ellie will remind little Killian of his snowy welcoming. Welcome little one!

Have fun if you’ve still got snow with you, there are some jealous souls (like me) wishing I was you! Stay safe.

Nina

 

Matching *Phone and *Card pouch

I’ve completed 3 custom orders this weekend. Very pleased to be able to share with you at least one of them (the other orders are top secret so you’ll have to wait to read about those later on ๐Ÿ˜Š)

This order was from my very good friend, Jo. She’s been one of my biggest supporters and has already purchased several crochet things from me. She loves her card pouches and wanted a third ‘summery one’, also a matching *Phone pouch, please.

Jo didn’t have any special requests – she said she trusted my judgement and thought whatever I made would be good enough. (High praise in deed!) Thinking about it – I know Jo loves blue. It’s her favourite colour. I thought about doing a *Blue Cherry Blossom design but also wanted to do something a little different.

After settling on the stripes of blue I went about making them. I then had the “hard job” of settling on buttons. I had several (in fact a WHOLE jar full) of quirky buttons left over from the making of theย *Earphone cable tidies. I quite liked the blue shells, the blue flowers and even the blue stars, but when I put the silver flower against the blue striped fabric – I just knew it had to be this or no other. Elegant and fun. Everyday use or special occasions.

I added a cotton floral lining and that was it – “a ta-dah” moment ๐Ÿ™‚ I quite like this myself – but what do you think – will she like it?

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Matching *Phone and *Card pouch

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Matching *Phone and *Card pouch (inside)

Blue stripe duo - *phone and *card holders

Matching *Phone and *Card pouch

Pottery Painting for Christmas

Not so long ago I was invited to an evening pottery at a local pottery business called Iris and Dora. Iris and Dora host parties for kids (or adults) where you get to choose from over 100 bisque pieces ranging from mugs to egg cups, tea candles to Christmas ornaments and get to decorate with paint to your hearts content. The parties are great fun, especially for creative souls like me – you can bring your own wine and snacks, or have a coffee or tea and the shop is always filled with like-minded friendly creative people. I’ve met a few new people and glad to say a few new friends and always feel welcome.

I wanted to make Jeremy a Christmas present.ย  I had in mind a bowl for him to store his ever growing amount of chillies – he loves them but usually has them scattered about all over the place and cant find them.

I started out painting one ‘abstract’ chilli on the side and although it looked ok, I had this creative spark and felt I just had to fillย  the whole bowl with chillies ๐Ÿ™‚

I had to return a few times after the initial 3 hour party and landed up spending 13hours in total painting (and that’s not a complaint) I landed up having a great time with my new friends at the same time. Once sat down to paint, amazingly the hours would fly by and I was reluctant to go home!

Once finished with the painting, the bowl was taken away to be dipped in glaze and fired in the kiln. While waiting for the potters to fire the bowl ready to collect, I was trying to source a collection of fresh chillies to put in the bowl to wrap up for Christmas. One hot Christmas present I’d say ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m really pleased with the outcome (have you noticed its even in Christmas colours!) and think I may have discovered another creative avenue which I could really get into!

J's chilli bowl glazed and fired ready for Christmas

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and are preparing for celebrating the close of 2017 and welcoming in of a fantastic New Year with style!

Nina