Looking at things in a different light

The long Summer days have unfortunately distracted me from my crochet. My handmade projects have taken the backseat to sunny adventures. My sister is getting married in August, so I have been preparing a speech for the day; I've sourced an outfit (I'm very pleased with the second hand shoes purchased on Ebay); we've had family visiting which of course meant dinners out in town and about; we've been sipping Pimms and eating Summer dinners outside in the garden and of course I've been enjoying the half hour running activities in the park every other day.

One project I have been working on and am nearly finished with is this "Vintage" Rose *Coin purse. A lovely lady contacted me with photos of her bedroom and explained that she was very keen to own a Rose *Coin Purse to fit in with her bedroom's colour scheme and "vintage theme". She wants to home her pearls in the purse and wondered if I would be able to create a purse in "natural" or "vintage" tones.

I started out by applying a filter on the photo of the Rose *Card Purse I recently completed to try get an idea of what this purse should look like.  I was pleased with the result of this method:- looking at things in a different way.

After taking the photo I had to decide on the yarn colours best for this job, initially looking at grey tones, however I eventually decided on a softer "sepia" approach. I'm nearly finished with the purse, just needing to add a lining and the clasp. Here are a few snaps of the progress so far:

Hope your Summer days are going well and you've been lucky enough to be distracted from projects to spend some happy sunny days with your friends and family.



Custom order – Three *Card purses

The journey of creating big(ger) purses

(Please take part in my survey)

I’ve had a couple of people mention that I’d might want to think about purses which could hold credit cards. In these ‘modern times’ (I’m told), more plastic is held in purses than actual coins / cash. TBH, I had thought about conducting a bit of market research but I stashed it away in the back of my mind as an item for review, later on… little did I know… 😝

I was just getting into the making of my Mystical Blanket. I nearly completed one strip of lanterns when I had a message – a custom order for 3 purses. Although she loved the coin purses as they were, she wondered if I could alter them in some way to fit a credit card or two inside. Challenge Accepted….

I decided to hall out that idea in the back of my mind, shake it out and dust it off. My first thoughts were of trying to lengthen the current purse shape (to store credit cards in portrait orientation). I thought of making a *coin purse but with a little larger circumference (same “fishbowl” / cauldron shape). This way it can store credit cards in landscape orientation. Both would still have plenty of room for lipsticks, coins and the all important credit cards.

I showed her a few photos of the two shapes made – probably not very good to judge on a photo, but I wanted to keep her involved and updated her with my progress. My client was happy with the longer shape of the updated *Blue Cherry Blossom purse, but she preferred the larger “fishbowl” shape of the *Yellow Cherry Blossom and so decided she wanted the third in this same shape.

As I’ve been working I’ve been thinking of what I’d change for the next. Both yellow and blue purses have had several frogging sessions (those of you who do not know – frogging is simply the crochet worlds’ way of saying “pull out”). I concentrated on finishing the longer blue (first) and fishbowl yellow purse (second) before I’d embark on the third to make sure I’d ironed out any design elements which bugged me and for my client to approve on the shapes she preferred.

As they are ultimately being ‘designed as I work’, I suppose it still could be considered a bit of a WIP (Work In Progress). I’d love to have your thoughts on the new designs and please take a moment to complete my survey below.

UPDATE:-  Please see below completed works – I’m so excited and I’m very pleased that my client is as excited to receive them 😉

Please don’t forget to take part in my survey… thank you 😘

Blue Cherry Blossom *Card Purse (completed)

Yellow Cherry Blossom *Card Purse  (completed)

Forever Spring Garden *Card Purse (completed)

Mystical Lantern Blanket – WIP

Change of hook

I quite like making blankets and fell in love with the shapes and colors of this pattern the moment I saw it. I came across it by chance and bought the pattern and yarn in a kit (find it here) from Blacksheep Wools without hesitation.  I love making the purses but I must admit that I am actually enjoying the change of hook and the  feel of the yarn.

Mystical lanterns - WIP

The pattern is easy to follow and I really enjoy the idea suggested regarding color placement:- Basically, you’re told (if you so wish) to remove the yarn bands, place all the balls in a bag. Have another bag at hand, preferably the  bags will have draw strings or are able to close in a manner that you cannot see the colors. You’re asked then to select a ball of yarn (without peeking) to begin round one. Once the round is completed, placing the used color in the spare bag. Then to repeat the process of randomly selecting a color from the one bag for each round crocheted to make the lantern.

I love this idea and applaud the sentiment of the total random placement of the colors and have actually associated it in my own personal circumstances I find myself in. The lesson learnt from this idea is so refreshing and totally apt to my life right now:- I’ve learnt that you don’t always have to have a plan, because as long as you have a positive attitude (matching colors), all the various issues you are facing (colors) can and will fit together once the bigger picture is revealed. I’m not usually this philosophical, but I have been totally reassured by this pattern that my own situation I find myself in at the moment, has a great many positives to it which will and can equally turn out just fine by concentrating on the “finished product” and not getting too hung up on the finer details. (Thereby also helping me with my control /OCD issues 😀)

Whilst I’m providing you a review on the pattern (so far), I wanted to also show you this beautiful work basket I got from The Knitting Gift shop. Ian’s baskets are beautifully made and I have nothing but high praise for the excellent service I received. The basket is just perfect to hold my yarns and bits ‘n bobs whilst I work – Thank you!


And finally, I have received my business cards which I have proudly been giving out to friends, work colleagues and family. With my cards, I also received a branded “Made By Nina” T-shirt and a mug for my tea. I’m in love 😍


Spring has Sprung (?) WIP’s

Well, it’s the first day of Spring and I’ve been busy with even more *Coin Purses which I hope to add to my Etsy Shop on time for the weekend.

I cant say that it looks too Springy in Guernsey though, its been foggy, hailing and raining and generally glum weather so far (see the foggy morning photo at Victoria Tower in Guernsey). However, there are flowers about, for instance the Daffodils in Candie Garden (picture taken on my morning walk to work) and blossoms of other sorts appearing on the trees and shrubs around Guernsey.

(Both photos taken by me and on my Instagram)

The crochet WIP’s I have been concentrating on this week are:- Yellow Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse, Blue Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse III and the Doily *Coin Purse. I still have hopes to start on and complete another Pink Cherry Blossom *Coin Purse, but we will have to see how the week pans out.

The Cherry Blossom *Coin purses are my favourite. I’m loving experimenting in other pastel colours.

You may recall my previous post on the Doily *Coin Purse. I had in mind that I wanted to use a doily to make a coin purse, but all the patterns I could find for doilies are for flat traditional doilies. The doily pattern I liked the most, is the Clea Doily Pattern by Maria Bittner. Armed with yarn, hook and pattern in hand I took the project with me on the plane to visit SA, hoping to be able to adjust the pattern mid-air (literally) to create a purse design.

I must admit that because I was on holiday, trying to figure out a mathematical problem to adapt the pattern, was not on my top priority, so the doily sat (after several frogging and several rub out of my notes) in my work basket for quite some time.

I’m pleased to report though, that I have eventually managed to work it out and have made a little “doily cauldron shape”  which I will now use to complete a *coin purse. I’m tempted to leave this one unlined, but I also think a soft calico and possibly a coloured ribbon threaded through the center would help bring it to a better “MadeByNina” standard â˜ș

If you’ve adapted patterns, let me know how it worked out for you 😊.

Happy Spring Day đŸŒŒ

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 with White Rose *Coin Purse – WIP

Following all the Christmas creations I feel less pressured to complete works to a deadline and have started getting back to all those “ideas” I had. One of which is a light pink purse, with a spray of White Roses. I will be doing some bead work on this one and looking forward to see the finished product (so that I can get onto the next one)…

Pink with White Rose *Coin purse - WIP

Tis the Season to be Busy… đŸŽ„đŸŒŸđŸŽ…đŸ»

Did you sing that? I bet you did!! 😊

I do apologise for the late update readers and fellow craft bloggers… besides being quite busy with custom orders (and of course my day job), I was asked by my customers not to display the finished works I’ve been creating for obvious secret Christmas present reasons… so its been a bit of a slow burner trying to find a story to tell you without stepping into anyone’s plans… despite the excitement of finishing off something amazing.. (don’t you just love Christmas? -I cannot wait for all the recipients of the lovely gifts to see their handmade gifts!) SO exciting!!

Between it all I have managed to start on a couple of purses which I hope to finish on time for Christmas, to add to my listings on my Etsy Shop

Living in the northern hemisphere  is so different to the Christmas’s I had growing up. Christmas in those days meant cold meats and salads followed by my Mom’s famous trifle and always, ALWAYS a watermelon in the pool cooling off and bobbing about, inviting us in for a swim after presents were opened. Of course we had the traditional decorations (snowmen, Father Christmas, fake snow, trees lights etcetera.. et set era..) but dressed in the coolest cotton dress I could find and always over our bathing suits because even if we happened to be at my Gran’s house without a pool (watermelon in the fridge) a hosepipe and a sprinkler was obligatory. Christmas day was usually the hottest of the year! It’s unsurprising then that I have thought of watermelons of late… I’m missing ” old home” and although Christmas here is beautiful and so much MORE than I expected, I do miss Christmas with my family and especially the warm days… I’m from Africa people.. I do not cope well with British Winters :)…

In steps *Watermelon coin purse which I hope to have finished soon…

Can you see it yet?

Watermelon *coin purse

Another little purse I’ve been working on is this one inspired by elegant balls and Christmas time parties which happens this time of the year… Hot pink with butterfly *coin purse

Lastly a small reminder:- I will only be taking custom orders for Christmas delivery up until 1 December. There are a few items on my Etsy shop and I will update it with new stock as and when I can (after custom orders are filled).

Thanks for stopping by!


Full Steam ahead…

Sometimes life drops in a few surprises just at the right time… I love it when something falls in your lap especially when its a wonderful surprise present… Yesterday such a surprise dropped into my life and there was no way I could ignore it…. Coming out of the supermarket and back to the car, this poor fellow was lying on the ground wet, a little tatty and dusty, not far from the front wheel. Not sure how he got there – but he must’ve been dropped after we had gone into the shop. Lucky me! Lucky him! We found each other!  I just couldn’t leave him lying there! Besides a few scratches and bruises, he probably has no sign of ever been used!  So with a thank you for the surprise gift and a “put him in the car, J”… here he is on my dining room table..  ready for some love!


Christmas arrives in under 5 weeks (!) and for those who still want a custom order ‘Made by Nina’ gift, please contact me before 1 December.

This week I’ve completed two purse orders which I’m feeling quite proud about:-


And I’ve also been working hard on *Blue Giraffe order which I hope to have ready to post off to his new home on the other side of the world by next weekend!

How are your Christmas projects coming along?

Back to Work WIP’s

Shortly after my *Coin Purses galore
 post I was contacted and have several orders for purses (thank you). Only two ready made purses left on the Etsy Shop if you were interested.  Having been tied to the sofa for 7 weeks, I was so grateful for J taking me out to the craft shop, I got some fresh supplies beads, fabrics yarns bits n bobs and I’m really keen to get going – I loved walking through the craft supplies so many ideas popping, if it wasn’t for my foot throbbing I could’ve stayed  there the whole day!

So far I have completed a second *Forever Spring Garden Coin purse and started on a second *Green floral Coin purse

 I have also had a rather special request for a little something that is going to be travelling a VERY very far away… I think it’ll be better to not mention where or who it is for 🙂 This time of the year is always a little tricky I’d say!

Blue Giraffe - WIP

Inspired by a Vickithecraftaholic’s beautiful pillows post I also took out the extra squares I made from the Harmony blanket and have decided to make a pillow with them… I’m still undecided if I should keep the cushion or give it as a Christmas gift… after all – I’ve already got the Harmony blanket!

Harmony Pillow - WIP

Going back to work this week has meant I have had a few projects unfinished … erm… in progress… but my red moon boot hasn’t had a look at yet, I’m struggling with working out how to “pretty up” the boot… I’m quite sure I wont have that many stares in public if I could just work out how to integrate it into the normal world… maybe a bit of crochet would help… ?

Red Moon Boot

Birthday week WIP’s

Thanks once again to all those who sent well wishes, telephone calls, cards and gifts this week! A special thanks to my wonderful husband who organized a wonderful birthday party and to all those who came! I had a wonderful birthday and feel very blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life! 😘

This week I have been working mostly on purses (mostly between Birthday visitors and my favourite…opening presents 😉). I have so many purse ideas blowing around so was mortified when my only tapestry needle snapped yesterday which means I will have to wait to sew these beauties onto their frames – but glad to have the opportunity for you to see a couple WIP’s.

My cast is due to come off this week (hooray! 🎉) and sadly I’m also due to return to the grind stone aka WORK and leave my somewhat clostraphobic comfort zone. I’ll have a fancy new contraption I call the ‘moon boot’ to replace the cast and be forced to head off out the front door – Shock! I’ll actually have to leave home for a few hours and cringe do things non-creative for a few hours (how will I cope after all this time?) 😝
Ps – I’ll keep you updated on plans to spruce up the moon boot 😊

Other purses completed this week:-