crafty projects

bits and bobs

Exam season is approaching which means I am doing more marking than ever before. I did not think this was possible. But I have discovered how very wrong I was.

Unfortunately this has meant that I have developed RSI from marking. Yes really. This is a thing. So when I went to finish the mermaid tail I am crocheting, it was very painful as I hold my hook as I hold a pen. Currently it is more of a mermaid belt. Possibly a short skirt on a very very small person:

I am quite pleased with how it is turning out; I am using two yarns, one of which is metallic, and I think this is creating very effective scales. However, I will have to put that on one side for a while (until June) when my marking load scales (no pun intended) down to ‘almost manageable’ and I can once again feel the ends of my fingers/not have shooting pains all down my arm.

In the meantime I am trying to fit in small craft projects that aren’t so demanding on my whole arm. Today that is cross stitch.

Cross stitch is the first craft my mum taught me when I was very small and irritating (to keep me occupied and quiet for five minutes) and I really enjoy it. My mum is the expert, but I have become quite adept at making things up; it is family tradition to do personalised wedding samplers for people and I have carried this on. However, there is something therapeutic about just following a pattern and how every little stitch has its own little place. At the moment I am working on a Bothy Threads kit which is supposed to look like this:

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I have done quite a few of their patterns for myself and other people; I really love their Cut Thru’ designs and how bright the thread colours are. They often include something a bit exciting like sequins or rainbow thread, which fills me with child-like glee every time. They are also extremely detailed and have lots of cute little touches, like frilly pants on a washing line, which make me happy.

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This is a detail from their Narrow Boat design which I intended to do for a friend but then couldn’t give away. I find this happens a lot with cross stitch; it takes so long and you build up the picture so carefully that unless you are giving it to another stitcher, you know the work probably won’t be appreciated….so you keep it. Also, PRETTY.

I am doing the ‘Walled Garden’ for my Grandpa (actually it was for his birthday last year. Last July. Yes, I know. I am a busy person, ok?!) and once I got started, I realised that I was going to have to fiddle with it because not all of the things are actually in his garden. I decided to keep the greenhouse white even though his isn’t, because the colours worked really well and I thought a brown, wooden green house would make the whole picture too dark, but I have changed the bird table:

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because Grandpa would never have such an ostentatious bird table as is detailed in the pattern. He makes his own. I have also decided to get rid of the pond and put a circle of grass instead:

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I am going to put a bucket in the middle of this with worms in; when I was very small I used to go around after him pulling the worms out of the soil and putting them in a bucket to make it easier for the birds. Of course, he then had to go around and put all the worms back once I had gone to bed because worms are good. At least I was TRYING to be helpful. I thought a little worm-bucket would be a nice way to personalise the design, which is always the best thing about being a crafty person!

I left the archway blank because I was trying to decide whether I wanted to add some people in, but I think I will stick with the bench, perhaps making it brown instead of blue because Grandpa would never want a blue bench. Last year I wanted to paint my garden fence blue and this caused UPROAR in the family. Fences are only allowed to be brown apparently. Occasionally, green. Never blue.

I am hoping to finish this and get it framed in time for this year’s birthday. And perhaps in future I will try to concentrate on one project at a time until it is finished…

HA! Just joking.


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