Category Archives: #CraftBlogClub

Frugally Mummy: Knitted Hanging Heart Tutorial & GIVEAWAY!

 

Hanging heart 3Mother’s Day has always been a wonderful excuse to do something special for my Mum.  We have never been a family who are all about the big spending and days like this are nice to mark with little gestures, to show my Mum how special she is!

This year is also my first Mother’s days as a Mum (D arrived 2 weeks late and Mother’s Day fell right bang inbetween her due date and birth date) – so it’s a very poignant one and I’m kinda sad I won’t be able to spend it with my own Mum!  So I thought I’d get to work knitting up something special to send her.  Check out this wonderful knitted hanging heart, a simple design made from basic stocking stitch and decorated with one of the many many daisy buttons I have lying around the house!  I popped mine in the post with a little box of cheeky chocolates for my Mum…but if you’ve yet to get a present or want to try something homemade for your Mum, why not give my tutorial a go?  You will need about 2-2/12 hours to complete and you can use ANY YARN AND ANY DECORATION!

However, if you’re sorted for presents, keep on scrolling, because I’ve decided to do another HANDMADE GIVEAWAY for you all – see below for details on how to win your own heart!

You Will Need:

1 Ball of DK yarn (I used some Supersoft DK in Cream that I had lying around)

4mm Knitting Needles

Toy Stuffing

1 piece red felt (you will need a small circle)

1 decorative button

Method:

Using 4mm needles, cast on 2 stitches

First Row: K one, P one

Row 2: Increase into each stitch (4 sts)

Row 3: Purl to end

Row 4: Increase first stitch, k to last stitch, increase last stitch (6 sts)

Row 5: Purl to end

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until you have 18 sts

Next Row: k 9 stitches, turn and purl to end.

Next Row: k2together, knit to last 2 stitches and k2together.

Next Row: Purl

Repeat these two rows until you have three stitches remaining.  Without following a purl row, cast off the three stitches.

Rejoin your yarn and repeat the second section on the other side to create your heart shape.

Once completed, repeat this process to make your second side.

Hanging heart 2To Join Together

Place the right sides of your heart together, on top of each other and stitch around.  When you reach the ‘v’ shape of your heart, Take a long piece of matching yarn and stitch into place in a loop – this will be the loop from which your heart hangs!

Be sure to leave a big enough hole and pull the heart shape through to face the ‘right way’.  Then stuff the heart shape with toy stuffing.  Stitch up hole.

Using a small circular template – such as a coin, cut out a small red piece of felt and place your decorative button on the top.  Using a small needle and thread, secure onto the heart through the button holes and stitch into place.

Package up as a lovely Mother’s Day gift!

Do you want to win your very own heart??  Well it couldn’t be more simple!  To be in with a chance of winning, simply follow these steps to have your name entered into the hat.  Each step counts as ONE ENTRY – so you have THREE opportunities to win!  I have decided to make up another 2 HEARTS to giveaway to 2 LUCKY readers!

1. Share this post on Twitter, be sure to tag me (@LivePeachy) and use the hashtag #peachyhangingheart.

2. Nip over to my Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’ – make sure you leave a comment on the picture of the heart, to make sure you are entered.

3. Comment at the bottom of this blog post to be entered!

The giveaway will run until Sunday 6th April and I shall announce the winners on Wednesday 9th April!  Well what are you waiting for?? There’s a heart waiting to hang in your house, courtesy of Frugally Peachy!!

Good Luck!  Love to the Mothers and BIG LOVE to mine! x

hanging heart 1

 

 

#CraftBlogClub – I Re-Love You Challenge REVEAL!

craftblogclub badgeTuesday evenings are, undoubtedly one of my favourite times of the week!  Even if I’m not hosting, I love watching lots of crafty types getting together from across the globe to discuss all things craft and blogging!

One of things I love most about setting up #CraftBlogClub, are the challenges we do.  I always try and come up with interesting ideas that members can really challenge themselves on, or can ultimately show what they are capable of.  So, for our first challenge of 2014 and, of course, in keeping with my self-imposed frugality; I set an upcycling challenge on something you have around the house (or something you have purchased – if easier).  Wanna see mine???!!!

toy box 2

BEHOLD!  This is one of my first attempts at furniture upcycling!  As Daisy turns One this month, I had the brainwave a while ago that I wanted to do something memorable for her.  I love traditional wooden toy boxes and, after a bit of Pinteresting, decided that I wanted to paint a toybox for her Birthday.

After searching the length and breadth of eBay and Gumtree – I FINALLY managed to find a blanket box, going locally, for £20.  It was a little smaller than I originally hoped for but, upon arrival, it looked ideal for Daisy’s bedroom.

toy box 1

 

 

Being a little rusty with furniture painting, I took myself to Homebase to find the sort of paint I felt would work easily on the box. Paint brushes I found some gorgeous Dulux Satin Wood ‘Willow Tree’ green furniture paint, priced £14.99 and supplemented with a primer – priced £6.95.  My paint choice apparently needed no undercoat and, while the box wasn’t antique, I wanted to make sure the ‘mocha’ colour would cover easily.

I painted one coat of primer and two of the green to get an even, covered result and I am pretty happy with the colour!  I toyed around with different ideas and colour ways – D’s nursery is a pale pink Beatrix Potter theme; but I felt I wanted to paint something timeless, that she would continue to use as she gets older.  So, along with the decision to ‘go green’, came the decision to scrap my original idea of scripting her name on the box, replaced with tiny dotted vintage-inspired daisies instead.

Now, I don’t claim to be an artist or painter of ANY description, so this was the part I was most worried about!  To aid in my questionable cack-handedness, I decided to use the other end of two paint brushes to make my yellow and white daisy dots to make firmer, striking dots. toy box close up The result was pretty good, they aren’t perfect, but I think that’s part of the charm.  I decided to create the daisies in the corners of the lid, rather than cover it completely.  Once this last pain-staking part was done, all that was left was to give it a quick clear varnish.  The box came with the lovely horse paper inside, which I decided to keep, in keeping with the ‘vintage’ feel.

What started off as one idea, has become something simple, sweet and hopefully a lasting memory for D as she gets older!  I’m pleased with my handy work AND from a frugal point of view – I used less than a third of both the paint and primer, meaning this Birthday make totals in at £27.31 for the box and paints plus a little extra for brushes.  Compared to a personalised toy box price of around £70 minimum, I’d say we’ve done pretty well!

I’ve definitely got the bug and I’m eyeing up my next piece of work that I really think will suit the colour of my paint.  But you’ll have to stay tuned to see how that turns out!

For now, let me say a huge thank you to all the lovely #CraftBlogClub tweeples who tirelessly take part in my challenges and produce such gorgeous work!  I’m always truly inspired and I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with.  I’ve popped the Linky below and I’ll be sharing these great posts in the coming weeks!  Fear not, if you haven’t quite finished – the link will stay open for two weeks!

toy box 3

The question is…..are you ready for another challenge??

THE BIG SPRING CLEAN!

In true Spring style, I’ve suddenly had the urge to have a huge clear out and get to grips with some of those left over crafty projects that have been building up!  So…due to the success of our Secret Santa, I thought we could do a ‘Spring Clean Gift Swap’ – make a gift using only products and materials you already have or by finishing off an old project you’ve left.  Fancy it??  Here are the rules..

1. To sign up – please drop me an email at missemmaberry@gmail.com to be added to the swap list.  All entries must be in by Wednesday 12th March.  I will then pair up gift swaps and email everyone with their swappees name, address and Twitter handle.

2. As this is a little more complicated, we will run the challenge over a two-ish month period.  All gifts should have been received by their recipients and posts ready to go by Tuesday 22nd April.

3. Unlike the Secret Santa, you only have to write a post about the gift you RECEIVE and it would be wonderful to link back to your gift maker’s blog!  You CAN tell you recipient who you are or even pop a little letter in there for them – it’s up to you!

I thought this would be a great way to see in Spring and, perhaps, all get to know each other a little better too!

I really hope you all want to take part – be sure to email me your full name, address and Twitter handle so I can pair everyone up efficiently!

And, in the mean time, don’t forget to link up your ‘I Re-Love You’ post below!

Stay Crafty x

 Come join us!


#CraftBlogClub – Q&A Session with Rascal and Roses

craftblogclub badgeWell, with our current #CraftBlogClub upcycling challenge well under way – I Re-Love You – I felt we needed a little Q&A session about furniture restoration. I, for one, would LOVE to get more clued up on upholstery and furniture upcycling; I have about a million pieces of furniture that I want to re-love and I feel a little clueless about where to start!

Let’s face it – upcycling perfectly good pieces of furniture is a little scary for the novice. So I was so pleased when Verity from Rascal and Roses, offered to do a Q&A session on furniture restoration.

If you have a spare few moments, I would strongly suggest heading over to Verity’s blog and looking at some of her wonderful creations. I first came across Verity quite a few months back, when we were both contributing to the same online magazine. She’s one of the original #CraftBlogClub babes and I was delighted for her to share some of her expert advice, especially as I’m attempting a furniture upcycle for this month’s challenge. And it HAS to be amazing!

It seems as if the whole world is going crazy for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. And why the heck not? Annie’s genius invention requires little to no prep on wood and can even produce lasting, great looking results on even modern, plastic trimmed furniture. It’s worth checking out a couple of tutorials on finishing with soft wax, but this paint looks pretty fail-safe for novice furniture ruiner restorer.  Annie Sloan paint comes in some absolutely gorgeous colours, and make perfect base colours for vintage-inspired creations! What are you waiting for?  Go marvel at Annie’s website right now!

#CraftBlogClub chat was full of fabulous ideas and Verity gave us some brilliant advice – a glue and staple gun are now on my crafty wishlist! We talked stencilling, upholstery and I would strongly recommend keeping up to date with Verity’s posts, as her work is spot-on and she knows her stuff!

I hope our Q&A session was helpful – each week we try to rotate areas of crafty interest and I thought this chat was particularly useful for our ‘I Re-Love You’ Challenge.  I guess all that remains is to see how I get on with transforming this…….

blanket box WIPStay Crafty! x

Frugally Ever After: Knitted Intarsia Heart Square

knitting bag

Having always been an avid knitter, I wanted my Frugally Fabulous Year challenge to push my creativity and learn new skills in the knitting department as well as sewing!

I’ve become fairly accomplished at knitting, through teaching myself how to read patterns and frequenting a knitting club, many years ago, in Bath.  Last Christmas, I had great success selling these handknitted gnomes (I’m taking orders all year round for them this year too – please drop me an email if you’re interested) and this year, I wanted to try some new knitting styles and really challenge my abilities, to create new and interesting bits and pieces for the home.

One knitting method I have never tried is Intarsia, a simple form of working with blocks of colours in knitting.  I love the idea of creating motifs and wanted to give it a try.  I came up with the idea of trying a simple knit square with a heart motif – another possible idea for a Frugally Ever After gift, this Valentine.  I think the idea of making a patchwork ‘memory throw’, starting with this heart as a central point, that charts special occasions and moments in our family life is a really special idea and a perfect crafty way to say ‘I Love You and I Love Us’.

So…..here is my first square!  I cast on 44 stitches and knitted 44 rows on 4mm needles.  I roughly sketched a heart design on graph paper and basically increased my row of red stitches by one on each side, to get the shape of the heart. intarsia heart finished I had this lovely blue yarn, stashed away at the bottom of the pile and a tiny red double knitting ball that I’d never used.  The colours go so vividly together.  The heart is far from perfect – indicative of my own, I’m sure; but I was really proud of my first attempt, that I decided to leave it as it was, ready to be stitched up to whatever else I may make in the coming year!  I plan to work with new textures and pattern ideas using simply Fairisle and Cable Knit methods, alongside other quirky Intarsia designs and mood colours.  I’m lucky that Mr J really appreciates handmade gifts and loves adding to our handmade home with some of my Frugally Fabulous ideas!  This Valentine’s Day…why not get your needles out give a loved one a little piece of you!

I’ve learnt the hard way that preparation is everything when it comes to Intarsia and making mini yarn balls is probably the way forward.  You know me – renegade crafter by name AND nature.  I was more concerned with remembering to twist the yarn in place and work from the right end of the yarn – not to mention engrossed in catching up with some of my TV faves; so I made sure to cut out a few yarn guiders from an old cereal box, ready for my next square.

intarsia heart closeI’m working on another knitted WIP at the moment, ready for a very special unveiling in March!  Trying out Intarsia has given me so many ideas for this one, I can’t wait to share it with you all.  I also can’t wait to update you on the Memory Throw as I make progress with it throughout the year.  Fingers crossed, by Christmas, we will have a colourful throw of haphazard designs and quirky memories, to snuggle under!

Stay Peachy x

 

 

#CraftBlogClub Challenge: I Re-Love You

craftblogclub badgeOooooh look – a cheeky #CraftBlogClub post!  It has been a while since I launched a #CraftBlogClub challenge and a while since we have done one!  So, for February, may I introduce our crafty challenge….

‘I Re-Love You’!

Since the heady days of our Secret Santa challenge, #CraftBlogClub has gone from strength to strength and we have welcomed aboard some lovely new members!  I wanted to set a challenge to ease us all in to the New Year – I toyed with a Valentine’s theme and wanted to do something a little different. 

Before Christmas, we talked about what we would like to incorporate into future #CraftBlogClub challenges and the word ‘Upcycling’ came up A LOT.  So, with frugal in mind, February’s challenge is to upcycle and bring new life to an old piece of furniture or homeware!

Them’s The Rules.

I’ve kept the rules pretty basic – you can either purchase something or use something you have lying around the house.  I haven’t placed restrictions on this – but keeping to a budget would be advisable, for your own sake!

By furniture or homeware, I mean exactly that, furniture or homeware.  You can use a craft method you are already familiar with, or try something new.

As usual, when you have finished your piece, it would be great to write a post on your challenge and I will upload a post and provide a Linky for you to link your posts to. 

The deadline for ‘I Re-Love You’ is March 4th – so we have a month to upcycle and write a post on it!  

If you fancy joining in, to test your upcycling skills and get involved with some truly crafty talent, then we would love to have you!  Our challenges have been a great success so far and I am already looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!  Challenge posts and WIPs are also welcomed – just use the #CraftBlogClub hashtag and also #IReLoveYou to show everyone how you’re doing!! 

P.S The amazing new logo at the top of the page was designed by the lovely Icy Sedgwick and JUST as soon as I’ve worked it out, it will be the official badge of #CraftBlogClub for you all to display, proudly, on your blogs!  Once the teccy bit is all done – I shall pop it up for you all to grab!!

Stay Crafty x

Hello Frugal February….

100_0608Well, the cold really seems to have settled in and everyone is talking pastel palettes and Springtime already….what a weird and wonderful world we live in!  Hello February indeed!

Being on the opposite end of the Seasonal Affected Disorder spectrum, I like the cold and gloom a little more than most.  I love the dark winter nights, the warm casseroles and the general lack of going out – though it does get hard with a babe, who loves nothing more than trips to our local park to watch the rustling trees.  I brave the cold and rain and get on with it, then I relish with the home comforts of dry clothes, warm radiators and cosy socks. 

 Daisy windowJanuary went by in a flash, the easiest month of frugality indeed; everyone wants to save money after a Christmas blow-out, so it didn’t feel so different or difficult for me.  February, however, is a month of Birthdays, trips and meet-ups.  We are all awakening from our wintry slumber and are ready to face a bit of socialising. 

At the start of February, yesterday in fact, we celebrated Mr J’s Birthday!  This year was a quiet affair, but we did have babysitters and we did manage to head out to a local gig and had a delicious Sunday Roast with his family.  The most important gift you can give new parents, is the gift of time, people.  I also have my Step-Dad’s Birthday coming up towards the end of the month and, whilst I’m super-envious that he is embarking on a trip to Sweden – the holy land – in March, I want to put together something lovely for him!  Watch this space!

casserole pan

Not only that, but saving our bargain-hunting energy through January is really starting to pay off; look at this gorgeous *Brand New* casserole dish I found for £3 in a local charity shop!  And Mr J came home with this little bargain surprise for me tooelvis frame – a lovely retro print of Mr Presley – I’m still debating if I’m going to ask house guests to bless it as they enter the kitchen!!

So what else is coming in February???  Well, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been putting together a couple of little, frugal ideas for the big day.  It probably won’t surprise you to know that me and Mr J aren’t so keen on the Big V.  Our first V Day was spent watching The Woman in Black, followed by a Hot White Choc at the wonderful Malt Cross – mostly to calm my nerves.  Last year, I dragged my bestie to Derby to a book signing with James Bowen and Bob the Street Cat.  Can you say Rock and Roll??!!

Amanda Cass - How to Mend a Broken Heart

Source: Amanda Cass – How to Mend a Broken Heart

Even so, I think it’s important to appreciate the little things in life and in your relationships and, this month, I’ll be posting a few little frugally fabulous ideas if you’re planning to acknowledge the Big V on a budget…look out for my ‘Frugally Ever After’ Posts coming in the following days….Hell, you don’t even need an occasion!

February also sees the first #CraftBlogClub challenge launched! This week, the lovely Katie from Katie Gets Crafty will be hosting AND launching the new challenge.  I’m excited and I hope you’ll join in the fun….I’ll be posting details tomorrow!

As if that isn’t enough fun for one month; one February 22nd I will be co-hosting our #MidsBlogMeet in Nottingham, a meet up for Lifestyle and Mummy Bloggers from the Midlands area.  I’m really excited to have organised this event with Kelly from To Become Mum and I’ll be sure to post some pics and updates of the event when it happens!!! Want to come along??? Read all about the event HERE and be sure to email while we still have a few places!

Aside from this, I’ll be getting my craft on ready for some big dates in March and I’m determined to make friends with my sewing machine…and I think I have the perfect tool to help me.  More on that later guys….I’m off to wrap up warm and hit the park.  

Before I go….. Did you enter my little handmade giveaway last week??? Well the winner of my little Oscar Mug Warmer is……….

MARGO PRICE

Congratulations – Please send an email to missemmaberry@gmail.com with your address and I’ll get the little man on his way to you!

oscar 3

Stay Peachy x

Everyone’s Talking About #CraftBlogClub

Knitting1If you’ve had a little snoop around my blog, you’ll be aware that I run a Twitter networking chat on Tuesday evenings called #CraftBlogClub.  I launched the chat back in September 2013.  I wanted to start branching out and learning new creative skills and I felt a lot of other craft bloggers wanted to be part of the same support network.  Craft Bloggers are a particularly special bunch of bloggers – we never stop dreaming up new ideas and we want to be continually challenged.  We already havethe delights of Lifestyle Blogging chats, that we can join in and the wonderful #HandmadeHour, for promoting your handmade businesses; but I was struggling to find a networking hour for us crafty blogger types.  So, with a little cajoling from the lovely Amanda over at Gift Frippery, I decided to launch #CraftBlogClub on a Tuesday evening, with no idea who, if anyone, would join in.  To my surprise, we had about twenty bloggers join in our initial chat and most of them are still going strong with us today!

Fast forward to January 2014, #CraftBlogClub has come such a long way – I’ve set up its own Twitter page, to help with the busy-ness of each week’s chat (I often suffer from RSI with the amount of Favouriting and RT-ing) and we seem to be a lovely, growing community, with new members joining each week.  We had some great successes with the challenges we set last year – over 20 people took part in our Secret Santa challenge.  We are launching our next challenge at the beginning of February and I have a great ‘Spring-Clean’ themed challenge in mind as we head to warmer weather – I love people joining in the challenge and it’s a great way of trying new craft methods too – if you fancy it!

A while back I set up a Pinterest page for #CraftBlogClub also, if you want to join in and start pinning some inspiration, I would love to invite you – just give me a follow!  As if that’s not enough social media platforms for you, we now have a Facebook group!  I primarily use this to keep in contact when we aren’t running the hour, it’s great for swapshops, asking questions and promoting your blog posts and crafty WIPs…why not come and join us?

I still run between 1 and 2 chats a month, but have enlisted the help of three lovely co-hosts will be helping each month too!  We aim to make each week’s chat different and interesting – last night the lovely Hayley from Showered With Love hosted a really interesting chat about the pros and cons of WordPress vs Blogger, whilst we kicked off the year TRENDING on Twitter, chatting about craft catch ups and resolutions and last week we talked tips for crafting on a budget – what with the January blues and all that!  I no longer do a weekly write up, but I am still aiming to do a monthly post detailing our challenge and some of the highlights of the month’s chat!

If you have a craft blog, enjoy reading craft blogs or are just plain crafty, why not come and join in our chats on Twitter every Tuesday?  We run the chats between 7-8.30pm, just give @CraftBlogClub a follow on Twitter and use the #CraftBlogClub hashtag to join in.  If you’re really keen – Pinterest and Facebook are also waiting for you!! We’re a very friendly, inspiring bunch and we love nothing more than talking all things CRAFT!  I look forward to meeting you soon…..

Stay Peachy x