Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Ivy's First Birthday Party

Last week marked Ivy's first birthday and we held a little birthday party for our family. Obviously there was no need to go overboard with the party, as Ivy had no clue what was going on, but I had seen a couple of things on Pinterest that I wanted to try and make, teamed with some baking! So please enjoy my roundup of Ivy's birthday party!

First up we have the baking side of things. I obviously wanted to make a cake, but I've never had much luck with full size cakes before. My mum gave me the recipe for Mary Berry's all-in-one Victoria sponge, which was super easy and turned out lovely. I put jam and butter icing in the middle, with butter icing, pink sugar and mini jazzies on the top.

Ivy's first birthday party

I also made a batch of brown sugar spiced shortbread, which I made into ovals, and then put mini number 1s on top, topped with pink sparkle icing.

Ivy's first birthday party

From a crafty point of view, I made three party decorations to brighten up the place. First up was a poster all about Ivy, which we hung on the wall. There are loads of examples of how to make these on Pinterest, as well as pre-made personalised versions you can buy from Etsy. I just bought a huge sheet of light pink paper from Hobbycraft and picked my favourite elements from all the posters I had seen.

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

I also made some cupcake pom-pom bunting. Again, I had seen a few different versions of these on Pinterest, including this one for sale from Cupcakes Wishes & Birthday Dreams. I used my second biggest pom-pom make to make 10 pom-poms and then hot glued them into cupcake cases. I think topped with a mini pre-made felt pom-pom (again with hot glue) and threaded them all onto some bright pink wool. I got a lot of compliments for this on the day, and it was super easy and fast to make!

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

Finally, I read a post on Life as Mama about high chair decorations for first birthday parties, and thought it would look super cute for photos on the day.

I made 4 tassles using these instructions from Honestly WTF. I also made two white pom-poms and cut the letters for "one" out of different shades of pink card. I then threaded it all onto some cute "Happy Birthday" ribbon from Hobbycraft and tied it onto the tray of Ivy's highchair. I was worried she would pull it off instantly, but she actually left it alone all day.

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

Ivy's first birthday party

Phew! It was a lot of work for something that Ivy won't even remember, but hopefully everyone who came had a lovely time, and all my crafty stuff got captured in the photos!

This project is a step towards completing my New Year's List. You can check out my progress here.
  • Craft for Ivy

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Ivy's Christmas Stocking

Last year, just before Ivy was due, I decided I wanted to make a set of stockings for me, Donald and the baby, that we would be able to use every Christmas, and that I would be able to add to if our family got any bigger.

While they turned out quite well (anytime I get together with a sewing machine there is a chance it'll go really wrong!), I just wasn't super happy with them. They are super cute for general Christmas decorations, but I wasn't sure if they were exactly what I wanted for Ivy to use for hopefully years to come.

So I decided to have another bash and crochet a stocking for Ivy this time. After a lot of research, I settled on this Fur Top Holiday Stocking by Jessie Rayot because I liked the cable effect.

For some reason even though I laid out the correct size crochet hook for this project (5.5mm), I ended up using a 5mm for it and didn't realise till about half way through. So it's possibly a wee bit smaller than it should be, but it's still more than big enough for the amount of sweets Ivy will ever be getting, so it's all good.

Ivy crochet stocking

Ivy crochet stocking

To do the fur edging I was supposed to use a 9mm hook, but I literally could not fit it through the stitches I had done, so I had to down-size to a 7mm hook instead. I also used 4 strands of the furry yarn I had for the edging as it wasn't quite as thick as the yarn listed in the pattern (and it still isn't, even with four strands, but it looks a lot better).

Ivy crochet stocking

I also decided to add her name to it, which I did using The Moogly Crochet Alphabet and The Moogly Lowercase Alphabet.

Ivy crochet stocking

I bought me and Donald some geeky stockings from the pound shop, a Spiderman one for me and a Star Wars one for Donald. And at least I know that if I do ever need to make anymore in the future, I can actually manage the pattern!

Yarn Used:
  • Caron Simply Soft:
    • Autumn Red.
  • Red Heart Soft:
    • Kiwi Green.
  • Ice Yarns Sale Eyelash:
    • White.
Raverly project page.

This project is a step towards completing my New Year's List. You can check out my progress here.
  • Craft for Ivy

Friday, 2 December 2016

Snowman Christmas Wreath

Every year I make my mum a Christmas ornament to go on her tree, though her tree may be a little lopsided with the size of the last couple I've made.

When I asked her if she still wanted one this year, she decided she might quite like a crochet wreath instead. Never one to say no to a challange, I obviously said yes.

Thanks to a Hobbycraft email, we decided to go this super cute snowman Christmas wreath. I bought a big polystyrene wreath base from Hobbycraft, but the yarn my mum went for was double knitting, instead of the worsted weight yarn suggested in the pattern, which meant my stitches are a little tigther than the pictures in the pattern show. It also meant I had to chain 40 in the first place to get my piece to stretch around the wreath base.

Crochet snowman wreath

Crochet snowman wreath


I ended up making 25 snowballs, 4 little, 13 medium and 8 large, as that was what it looked like the pattern had used. Though the pattern suggests you might want to glue the snowballs on instead of taking ages to sew them all on, I went for the sewing option so I could get them all sitting exactly how I wanted. It also meant I could sew ones next to each other together in places to make it look neater.

Crochet snowman wreath


The little snowman is so cute, and while I didn't have a flower button like the pattern shows, I did find these quite Christmassy looking star-shaped buttons in my stash, and went for one of those instead.

Crochet snowman wreath

To make the bunting I used to the same directions in the pattern, but I did it all in one single piece, as it just looked super messy when I made the four flags on their own and then tried to crochet them all together. So I chained 10, then chained 6 for the flag, followed the directions for making a flag, chained 3 for the gap, did another flag, and so on until it was done, and it looks much neater.

Crochet snowman wreath

As my handwriting isn't amazing, I traced this font for the letters for snow, before gluing them on to the bunting.

I decided to single crochet the wreath base together instead of sewing it, as it was much quicker and meant I wasn't messing about with this huge length of yarn all the time. I also embroidered a little "2016" tag to go on the back, as I've marked the dates on all the other ornaments I've made my mum.

Crochet snowman wreath

Crochet snowman wreath

To hang it up I just made a little strip that my mum can loop through the wreath and attach to her door (inside door, don't worry!) with a drawing pin. To make it I just made a big chain, and then did two rows of half treble crochets. I didn't want to sew anything through the wreath to hang it up as I was worried it would stretch the crochet and make it look rubbish.

Crochet snowman wreath

I have to say, I am extremly jealous of this wreath, and sort of wish I was keeping it for myself. I would say I might have to make myself one next year, but we do already have two wreaths on the go already, so perhaps we don't need another one!

Yarn Used:
  • Hayfield Baby Sparkle DK:
    • Little Mermaid.
  • Caron Simply Soft:
    • Autumn Red. 
    • Black.
  • Stylecraft Special Aran:
    • Spice.
  • Robin Bonny Babe Aran:
    • White.
Raverly project page.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Autumn Ripple Blanket

About two years ago I made this lovely rainbow ripple blanket for a guy at my work who was having a baby (which you can get the pattern for on Raverly!).

It was so lush, I always wanted to make one for myself, and it's such an easy and quick pattern to make up as well. While Ivy's Mario blanket was made up in a similar way, it doesn't have as nice a shape as the ripple one, so I was really keen to give this pattern another shot.

I decided I was going to make one in an autumnal colour scheme (as those are pretty much the colours I live in myself), like mustard, teal and orange. After a huge amount of time searching for colours, and more time than I would care to admit looking for the perfect shade of mustard, I finally got a combo I was happy with. I got my wool from Love Knitting, which was a site I had never used before, but they just had such a lovely selection of brands and colours, they were perfect for this project. It can be so hard to find different Aran weight yarn, and other sites don't always have a huge selection (that I can afford anyway), but Love Knitting had so many to choose from, which is probably why it took me ages to find the pefect colours. Too much choice! The mustard yarn actually got posted from American, but only turned up a couple of days later! I would highly recommend them if you're looking for a larger than average selection.

Rainbow ripple blanket

Rainbow ripple blanket

Rainbow ripple blanket

Can we just appreciate this beautiful teal yarn! I love the flecks through it, it's so gorgeous. Also, I think I did manage to pick the perfect mustard, which also has little flecks running through it, but isn't too bright.

Rainbow ripple blanket

Rainbow ripple blanket

Rainbow ripple blanket

As I did with the last blanket, here's my feet for scale, because these blankets are huge!

Rainbow ripple blanket

I tried to be good and use some brown, red and orange that I already had in my stash, but as is the way, I ran out of red about half a round from the end, so had to buy another ball anyway! This cost me even more because I had obviously already placed my big yarn order and it was a ball of Caron Simply Soft, which are about 170g, and therefore more expensive. I just snagged this one of eBay to save me paying even more postage from some of the wool sites.

My original plan when I was made this was to use it for Ivy in her pram, but it was so cozy to snuggle under when I was making it, I think it might end up living on our couch. I am just in love with the colour combos!

Also I didn't need to block this blanket, as it just crochets itself into the best shape, with perfect points, which make it even more of a winner. This is just one of the best blanket patterns I have come across, and I highly recommend everyone make one!

Yarn Used:

  • Caron Simply Soft:
    • Autumn Red.
  • Stylecraft Special Aran:
    • Spice.
    • Emperor.
  • Hayfield Bonus Aran:
    • Barley.
  • Plymouth Yarn Encore Tweed:
    • 100.
  • Red Heart Soft:
    • Kiwi Green.
  • King Cole Fashion Aran:
    • Lewis.
Raverly project page.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Paper Pumpkin

So this year I could not be bothered carving out a real pumpkin, especially when Ivy is too wee to even care if we have one or not, so I decided to take a shortcut.

I bought a paper pumpkin out of Hobbycraft, one of the ones that you're supposed to decoupage or paint, and decided to just paint it and that way at least we always have a pumpkin when Halloween rolls around.

I just painted him plain orange and added some orange glitter around his features and all over the stalk (and all over the sofa and the rug...whoops!).

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

These guys take the little LED tealights you can buy so they are nice and fire safe, but you still get the nice spooky glow with them.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Even with two coats of orange paint, you can still see the brown shining through in some places, but he does the job and makes the place look a bit spookier. He maybe could have done with a priming coat first to try and cover up the brown.

Though I have no doubt when Ivy is a bit older we'll be back to carving the real pumpkins to get into the Halloween spirit!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Decoupage Bat

Yay, Halloween is almost here! I love Halloween so much, and now we actually have a house and the space to do it, it's nice to be able to actually decorate the house a little bit for Halloween.

This year I picked up a couple of wee bits to add to my Halloween collection, and this is the first one, a wee decoupage bat.

I got this from Hobbycraft, along with some cute Halloween print decoupage papers to cover him in, which are super cute. As well as these ghost print ones, I got another pack of bat print and stripey ones, which I'll have to find something else for.

Decoupage bat

Decoupage bat

Decoupage bat

And here he is hanging in the hall with a couple of other bits and pieces in our hall. Please excuse the poor lighting in my super dark hall! Even daylight doesn't really help with photos out here!

Decoupage bat

Decoupage bat

I actually forgot how quick decoupage is, though you do have to wait for all the glue to dry to see if you've missed any bits, so it sometimes means a second attempt to get it completely covered.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Crochet Baskets

A little while ago I crocheted Donald a little bowl thing to keep his keys/change/wallet in on a unit in our living room. It was really a way to try and keep all his junk in one place so it wasn't all over the place. It turned out a little smaller than I wanted, but it worked to start with.

However, recently we changed the unit for a smaller set of wicker drawers, with a smaller surface for junk, so I decided to remake the basket so all of Donald's stuff would actually fit inside it and not clutter the top of the drawers.

I also wanted to make one for myself to keep my receipts in, and then put it in one of the drawers to keep them hidden. I used to keep them in my lovely fox basket (which also sits on top of the unit) but they were sort of overspilling and making it hard to get the stuff out the fox that I actually wanted!

I found this lovely basket tutorial on Raverly by Sandra at Cherry Heart, which I really liked because I love her stuff and she made it really easy to make a basket exactly the size you needed, instead of just a standard size. I used a 10mm hook for this, as I used a 12mm hook for my rug, and I wanted this to be a bit tighter.

For the base of both baskets I used to tiny bits of leftover t-shirt yarn I had from my rug, as I thought it would make them quite stiff. I did three rounds for the base and then ran out of both colours of yarn, so swapped to a nice chunky, light brown yarn, which I thought went well with the colour of our set of drawers. I worked this double to try and make the baskets more sturdy.

I made my basket a bit taller so I could stuff all my receipts in it. I also decided to finish off Donald's basket with a row of double crochets, as I didn't have enough yarn to do a full round of half treble crochets, and I thought I might as well just use up as much of the yarn as I could.


Crochet baskets

Crochet baskets

Crochet baskets

Crochet baskets

Crochet baskets

Crochet baskets

So now we have two lovely baskets that are making us a bit more organised, and I finished off three balls of yarn from my stash. Double win!

Yarn Used:
  • Boodles Tshirt Yarn:
    • Green.
    • Grey.
  • Stylecraft Special Chunky:
    • Camel.
Raverly project page.