Category Archives: Crafting Tutorials

#CraftBlogClub – Spring Clean Gift Swap REVEAL!

craftblogclub badgeSo….this one is a little late, I fell out with Linkytools – but we got there in the end!  May I proudly present our latest #CraftBlogClub challenge!  Read on to find out more!

Back in March – a staggering 22 people signed up to be involved with the next #CraftBlogClub challenge – a Spring Clean Gift Swap!

The aim?  Create and send a gift to a fellow #CraftBlogClub-ee, using only what you have lying around at home.  I don’t know about you, I’ve had a real urge to have a good clear out recently, so I thought we could all channel our creativity and send a big load of ‘Happy Mail’ too!fiona card finished

 

fiona stampI’m so excited to see everyone’s gifts….I received this INCREDIBLE crocheted gift from the wonderful Fiona, from Fizzi-Jayne Makes, in the post today! crochet daisy Fiona recently decided to teach herself crochet – one on my crafty wishlist also!  So, armed with a fabulous flower crochet book, she created this gorgeous Daisy card AND made a retro Daisy brooch for me!  What a gorgeous idea and a great chance to show off a new crafty skill – Fiona I LOVE it, I can’t wait to wear it with pride, providing the real Daisy doesn’t grab it first!  I hope Fiona loved her handknitted teapot I made for her – who wouldn’t love a cosy teapot made from bits and pieces from my yarn mountain stash?!

fiona teacosySo, what are you guys waiting for?  The linky below is LIVE for your Spring Clean Gift Swap posts and I will keep it open for 2 weeks – I know how the post can be!  I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!  Our next challenge will start in June – if you have any ideas I would LOVE to hear from you!

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved with – why not join our Twitter community on Tuesdays 7-8.30pm GMT – lots of crafty chat, blogging inspiration and more challenges to come – 2014 is shaping up to be exciting for us!

Come Join Us


 

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

 

 

Frugally Ever After: Anatomical Heart Card

Heart Card 2So far, this year, I have prided myself on NOT buying any greetings cards; instead, choosing to make little cards from card, scraps and stickers I have lying around the house.  As much as I love a good fuelling of my stationery addiction in Paperchase, it’s an expense I can do without on my Frugally Fabulous Year.

If you read my last blog, you might be aware that I started messing about with a little bit of papercrafting – though I admit to being pretty mediocre at it.  I love paper crafting and I’ve seen some incredible illustrations recently, I just wish I was better at it!  Still….February means all sorts of cards in store for friends and family, and what better way to start than with an Anatomical Heart Valentine’s Card!  Using some basic card, fabric scraps and a craft knife; I came up with this pretty sweet idea – frugal, fabulous AND A great way to use up those bothersome fabric scraps!  I kept the outline fairly simple, but clear – give me another year and I’ll be able to cut in all the arteries and pumps!  I finished off with the classic ‘You Are Here’ sign, with an arrow pointing to the heart – a sweet and slightly different way to say ‘I Love You’!  Fancy doing your own??  Here’s a simple tutorial

YOU WILL NEED:

1 Piece of A4 Black Card

1 Piece of A4 Coloured Paper

1 Scrap Fabric – approximately A5 sized

A Craft Knife and Craft Mat

Superglue or Bonding Glue

1 Silver Pen

White Chalk (for drawing template – I find Tailor’s chalk really useful for getting clearer lines)

Patterned Washi Tape (optional)

METHOD:

Firstly, fold your blank black card in half, width ways and flatten out again.  With your chalk, draw out a rough template of your anatomical heart shape – I took to Pinterest for a bit of inspiration and found tonnes of pictures to help me!

Once you are happy with your template, Heart Card 3it’s time to get cutting on the craft mat – be careful to make small, sharp strokes and take your time as much as you can.  I used a medium blade on my craft knife, which is great for bold outlining.  Work your way around the template and, once you have finished, discard your inner template…or, indeed, keep it for more hearty crafts at a later date!  Using  your craft knife, tidy up any scrappy bits or paper frays that you didn’t quite get first time round.

At this point, if you are using washi tape (I had this lovely musical washi tape from an old project I did a couple of Christmasses ago), now is the time to stick it, in no particular order to your scrap of fabric – applying it afterwards might leave short joins when it is attached to the card.

Using your superglue or bonding glue (I use a great lightweight, heavy duty glue from Wilkos – just £1.50 and great for crafting), glue the edges of your chosen fabric to the inside of your black card, so that the heart shape is covered by your fabric.

To finish, glue your coloured paper over the top of the fabric, inside the card, and allow to dry for a couple of hours.  Once completed, all that’s left to do is write a decidedly soppy/unsoppy message and leave somewhere for your loved one to find next Friday!!

Hey…if you do decide to give this, or any of my other tutorials a go – I would LOVE for you to upload a picture on my Facebook page or to twitter – tagging @LivePeachy #FrugallyEverAfter – I love seeing my work in action!!

Stay Peachy x

Heart Card 1

 

 

 

 

#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

De-Fusing The Yarn Bomb!

bootees 2At the start of the year, Mr J and I decided to have a huge clearout of our house, top to bottom.  New Year certainly has that effect on you – we are both so busy with work and projects, not to mention lovely Little D thrown into the mix; our home can sometimes become a whirlwind of clutter, paper and all sorts.

It was the most therapeutic thing I had done in a long time, I felt cleansed and ready to hit 2014 with a bang.  But, mostly, I was shocked at how much of a fabric and yarn hoarder I had secretly become.  My craft space – which doubles up as the front dining room, was overrun with colours and patterns, some of which I couldn’t even remember buying.

So I made it one of my ‘Frugal Resolutions’, to try use up the remnants of my yarn and fabric stash, where possible, before purchasing new bits and pieces to work with.  And what better way to welcome in a new year, than with welcoming in a new little person?

I have used knitting patterns from Val Pierce before, they are great for quick knitting projects and her book of Baby Knits, which a good friend sent me when I was pregnant, is full of gorgeous projects for little ones.  Knitting is my absolute favourite craft; my Nan taught me the basics when I was very young and, in the past few years, I’ve tried new stitches and patterns and actually managed to create some lovely little pieces.  So when the aforementioned friend gave birth herself in December, I couldn’t resist making these little keepsake bootees to celebrate the arrival of her son.

bootees 3bootees 1Having not knitted a bootee shape before – I was surprised at how easy the pattern was, working mostly with garter stitch and needle turns, to create a really sweet keepsake for my friend’s baby.  When I was expecting D, I didn’t have a lot of time to knit everything I wanted to for her, but I was so grateful for all the lovely handknitted cardigans and bootees we were given and I’ve kept them all!  These make great memories as anyone who has had a child will know, they really do grow up so fast!  And best of all……I used materials that I ALREADY HAD!  The Cream yarn was a lovely baby-soft knit I used to knit a blanket for Daisy, when she was born.  The ribbon was from a reel I found lurking at the bottom of one of my many bags and the little cat buttons were an impulse eBay purchase from several months ago. 

I packaged these up in a lovely box we were given, when I gave birth to D, made a little card for the recipients and sent them on their way to their new home.  Living in Nottingham now, and hailing from the South West – migrating through a little bit of mad London for a time – I have a whole heap of far-away friends who mean the world to me.  I just wish I could see them more.  Hopefully my little gift will be one that my friend will treasure and will remind her that she’s not far from my mind, but I can’t wait to meet the little man himself soon!

Stay Peachy x