Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Back to basics

Eek I am terrible at keeping my blog up to date.  I have big dreams of doing a super interesting blog and putting up great photos, but jeez, something called "life" gets in the way, how awkward :).

No seriously it's just been manic, what with changing jobs, having a great busy job now, nothing worse than having nothing to do and ending up time watching which is something I have never done, I am happy to say I'm working for an old boss and i can now complain about how busy I am but I know that it's the best thing for me.

Scouts, well that took over for the last few weeks.  Being out and about is great, I love the out and about bit, but it takes its toll.  It is a great way to hang out with my family though as we are all involved in Scouts so no complaints. 

Crafts? Totally ignored and neglected. 

Therefore I am reassessing things (again).  I have removed the Facebook app from my phone.  I have started switching my phone off when I come home.  The end result is that I have been able to pick up my crafts again and get on with things instead of looking how other people are doing. 

I made two granny squares last night for son #1s crochet blanket, I think from memory I have about 15 more blocks to make so ensure that it is a worthwhile sized blanket.  

No Christmas fairs this year, I simply didn't have the time however I am still making Christmas themed items for...next year.  

So what now, well I will keep turning my phone off at night, i will keep FB off my phone and keep it simple and see how it goes. 

Without sounding like i am lecturing, it's actually quite refreshing not to be checking my phone every time it buzzes, most times it's nothing but an ad or something that I really don't need to know. 

So let's see how I get on shall we?


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

I like a lot of people have a few crochet WIPS on the go.  One of them is a blanket for my eldest boy.  He has been rightly complaining that I haven't made him a blanket yet.  I have in excess of 50 blocks made for him and as of yesterday evening I have now got 60 blocks.  My target is approx. 75 blocks as he is a young teenager so I want that it fits him.  So 75 blocks plus a border should be sizeable, but I will check this again once I have reached my target figure!

Crochet granny squares by Craftyfrogshop

The weather was beautiful yesterday so I crocheted outside.  The boys were busy in and out of the house, but I was kept company in the form of my two cavs!

Ok she is fixated on leaves or anything that might move when there's any breeze, so when we have a proper wind she's a bit of a nightmare only because she is distracted by it and wants to chase leaves (I blame her ears !)

Being in Ireland, when there's sun and a bit of a breeze it's good drying weather!!!

perfect granny squares

I am loving choosing colours for this blanket.  My orders are no pink or girly colours, well I am choosing to ignore it slightly because it'll make a very dreary blanket.  What I love about crochet is the colour!  For me it's all about the colour, wouldn't you agree?  When I grow up maybe I will go for more serious colours, but well I haven't reached that stage yet!

By the way I can't shout enough about it but this lady's tutorial on making the perfect square is just superb.  In a nutshell you start your first round, then flip over the yarn and attach your new colour (I tie a knot) and then start your second round, flip over your square, attach new colour and start your third round, flip over your square and now start round 4 and continue in this manner till you have reached the desired size of your granny.


Saturday, 13 August 2016

I had a whole post typed up about a piece I heard on the radio (Newstalk) this morning about women working outside of the home and then coming home to start their second job i.e housekeeping.  It was interesting to say the least but I've heard the conversation before.  Needless to say I hope that I am instilling in my two boys that housework is not for women/mothers alone.  They have to pull their weight!!!  I want that when they leave home they are independent and can look after themselves and keep their home clean!

After doing the chores with my eldest this morning I managed to work up a bit of a headache so hoping a couple of tablets and a hot cuppa will lift that bad boy!

Loving my tin mug I got last night in Tesco, 40 cent can you believe it!!!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Getting the crochet out for Autumn

Yesterday you could have been forgiven for thinking summer was over.  In fact this week as a whole has been horrible, rain, cold and yes more rain.  The news is saying we are in for a bit of a heat wave...I was doubtful but today...there's some sun so you never know.
Because of the weather I thought I would resurrect by moss stitch crochet scarf.  I'd say I started this some time winter last year but maybe it was earlier this year not sure without looking it up on IG.  But being that this is an accessory for the Autumn /Winter I thought I had better get a move on with it know so that it's ready for the season it's required in!

It's a simple stitch, the tutorial is on this Dutch lady's blog.  It took me a while to find a clear tutorial and this one I thought was the best.  Now a couple of tips that I have picked up.  Because this is a project that you might put up and down for prolonged periods it's worth either writing a little instruction in a note book on what stitch you use, whether there's a chain stitch in between and WHAT SIZE HOOK you were using.  Just saying...
This is a great fun project, no stress, just nice and steady, repeat stitches.  Also the colour is entirely up to you, I copied Mriek's approach by using up scraps of yarn, but if you want something more planned then chose your colours and work out a pattern/colour combo that pleases you.  This scarf is already very long, I can wrap it around my neck and have sides hanging down over my shoulders but I want to be able to wrap it twice, so I have a fair bit to go... that's what the bus commute is for eh!

I am not worried about this scarf as I want it to be as scrappy as possible, so much so that one of my colours ran out halfway through so I added another colour and continued on, can you get any more scrappy??
So hopefully you will give it a go, doesn't have to be a scarf, could be a little blanket???
Happy crocheting! 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Writer's block

Yep, it's kinda been quiet in terms of crafting.  I have spent time de-cluttering the house and there's still loads to get through. 
I have put my Etsy shop on vacation mode until the end of the month. 
We have been sitting weather permitting out in the garden and one evening we were lucky in that it was a warm evening, the air was warm and we just sat and chatted with a friend.

Oh and the laundry, here's Barney keeping me company while I fold it (not iron) fold it away...I know how you feel Barney, there's better things to do in life than laundry :)

I haven't taken a proper break from the shop in years, so it's high time to step totally away from it for a couple of weeks.  I also want to continue with the house i.e. declutter and pain the kitchen and so on.  So watch this space!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A creative packed weekend

Half way through summer, school holidays are coming to an end!  I am already thinking about next year's holidays and hopefully we will finally manage a trip back to Athens to see friends and family...
On a different note I have seen this #chalkpaint mentioned all over IG and FB and I decided to give it a go.  We just got the downstairs WC tiled.  It has been used as a dump for the past year, the WC itself was broken so we just blocked the whole room off and used it for throwing more rubbish into it.  Since we had the skip for the patio we bit the bullet and decided to declutter and boy did we declutter!
I decided to go back to basics and I painted the walls white, glossed the skirting boards with high white gloss so as to have a nice clean backdrop. We found a nice bathroom unit in Lidl, I know shock horror not a charity shop find but hey I can't wait that long.  Hubby assembled the unit for me. There were aching knees by the end of it!
We had this mirror in the bathroom for years, I believe we inherited when we bought the house.  I decided to experiment with the paint on the mirror as it's small and if it looks horrible then no big loss. 

I got the old masking tape out and got to work, wiped down the wood, got a paint brush and purchased tester size tin of paint.  It needed a load of stirring before the consistency felt right, but then I just applied it directly to the wood.  It came out lovely!  I am happy with the outcome, the WC is overall white in theme, but then you see the splash of "blue" on the wall, it really compliments the room. 

I tried to take a pic of the room but the light was against me.  I started late in the afternoon.  Managed to burn myself on the exposed bulb in there...but I am really chuffed with that room now.  Also the paint was grand. So much so I bought a larger tin of "Tea" green to start working on a larger piece in my kitchen!  The latter paint I bought in Aldi.
Hubby and I managed to grab a few minutes out on the patio much later that evening.  Minutes after taking the picture below it started raining which was a shame but sure it's Ireland soooo....

Some other makes and snapshots from the weekend
Flower clips

Old sewing basket with cute old buttons!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Wales anyone?

Guess what we did yesterday!
We headed off to Holyhead for the day, Holyhead you say? Yes Holyhead!
A friend of mine did it a couple of years ago and she mentioned it to a few of us, so we took her up on the offer and we booked the day trip a few weeks ago.
An early start was required but the kids were excited so what can you do!
We managed to get good seats, near the cinema etc.  We brought the kids out on deck, we saw Holyhead approaching, it was great.  We left a rainy Dublin and arrived in a nice warm overcast but pleasant Holyhead.
We hit Holyhead and headed straight for the chipper despite my eyes swivelling left and right to all of the charity shops.
Rush rush yes get the chips in, let's hit the charity shops.  We only had 60 mins before we had to get back on the boat to Dublin. 
I didn't do too badly.  The last shop had a sewing section and I found a gorgeous straw sewing basket, and a selection of old buttons, if only I had more time I would have sat down and gone through them but I grabbed what I could. 
Buttons - old buttons!
 We did get the chips, they were delish, and I am definitely heading back to Holyhead but catching the later boat! 
Chipper time

On the way back home!
Meanwhile in the crafty world I have been busy I promise!
Hairclips in the making

Outbound to a gift shop

Friday, 22 July 2016

Summer sun

Breaking news we actually got a great week of sun!  It's still quite warm now, but wow the week we just had was unbelievable.  Really stunning.
It was also good timing because I took last week off to get a patio done.  Mother if you are reading this here is a picture for you!

Hubby and I haven't stopped spending time on the patio, although now we are both back at work so it's in the evenings. 
It's thanks to my late Godfather that we got this stunning bit of work done in our garden.  I am currently sourcing two trees, one in memory of him.  I'm going with a Hawthorne at the moment and a crab apple tree - the latter I don't know which one to go for so any advices (mother too) is welcome!
Righto back to work!


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Eek first post

Deep breathe, my first blog post since renaming my shop to Craftyfrog a couple of months ago.
I am waiting on delivery of my new tags and business cards.  I should be receiving both any day now. 
What has changed, why did I do the name change you might wonder.  Well I thought it was purely a time for change.  I love patchwork/quilting but felt that my old name put me in a certain corner as in "patchwork" items are what you will find in my shop.  I have fallen in love with crochet and one day plan on having some crochet items in my Etsy shop so I felt it wouldn't tie in properly.  When I was a kid I loved frogs (still do), and what I do is a crafty thing so hence Craftyfrog. 
I am still very much making my baby balls and currently I am finishing off my first ever memory quilt for a brother and sister.  I don't know more about them whether they are twins or what.  The baby clothes that mum gave me where / are stunning.  So pretty and so colourful.
I also decided to make some blocks that were simply made from one of the fabrics from the baby clothes, for example the nautical scene above.  They actually broke the quilt up nicely.  I have chosen white to display each fabric, but just to make sure it wasn't too white I thought why not use the fabrics on their own.  The lion was on the back of a baby gro.  He had to take centre place of course!  I cut some of the necks of the baby gros.  That way mum can remember how teensy their little necks were!

As I said the balls are still going well, I have branched out into pastel coloured ones and some with a red panel.  Loving the red!

I just got a delivery of beautiful new fabrics from the States.  I am nearly afraid to cut into them, but I did buy them to keep the baby balls modern.  The ballerina on Cora's ball is one of my  new range oh and the Gutermann fabrics.  Have any of you tried them?  They are gorgeous quality, a bit pricey but still very nice!