The Christmas lights have been switched on in our city centre. Dark evenings now have a distinctly festive touch. For once in my life I’m ahead in Christmas shopping. (That is, I haven’t left it until the last possible minute.)
If you’re a fellow fan of Kirstie Allsopp, you might know of The Handmade Fair. For the second time this year, the Fair is throwing a craft bash with Kirstie Allsopp herself attending. And it gets better.
I have an exclusive ticket offer just for my readers. Here’s a code you can use to get £5 off your ticket.
Organising stationery is a guilty pleasure of mine.
I use a lot of A6 notepads and notebooks. It’s the perfect size for a day’s to-do list or a project sketch. I even like lugging one around in my handbag, which isn’t very notepad friendly. A DIY cover was overdue. This felt sleeve was my solution to bring stationery on the go.
And, to be honest, it just looks nice on my desk too! This tutorial can be used to make a felt sleeve of any size. If you’re not as obsessed with notebooks as I am you can make a gadget cover.
Designing can be like trying to walk north without a compass or sunlight to guide you.
As a crafter, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than when a design starts turning out right. There’s magic in the process. An idea goes from a theoretical, intangible thought into something physical and real. And, if all goes well, it’ll be pretty and practical to boot.
Design is a messy process. Yes, experienced designers have a better idea of what materials to use and how different techniques will turn out. It’s still just an educated guess. And if you’re a bit crazy overambitious like I am, you might even decide to learn new techniques while designing. All at the same time. Cue tears.
My latest design challenge was to make nine reindeer. I needed something smallish, characterful, and easy to repeat for all nine of them.
In all my uneducated enthusiasm I was quick to wrap up nine bodies from wool yarn. Wham, bam, done. I knew from previous needle felting adventures that a yarn base was a cheaper filler than roving wool. Then, after sleeping on it, I realised I had no easy way to add sturdy legs. Or a neck. Bummer.
I might as well have worn a big paper bag saying "YOU SUCK AT MAKING" over my head, because that’s what it felt like. It took a lot of Oreos and coffee to get over myself and get on with it.
Autumn is always over too quickly in my experience, so I love to make the most of it. Cold nights and warm days have turned the trees in our neighbourhood a fiery range of colours. There’s still time to enjoy the season indoors, too.
These 15 DIY projects mimic the earthy tones, harvest bounty, and cosy comfort of autumn.
Trust me, I speak from experience. When I started crafting in earnest, I knew I needed a good way to store my pins. A little tomato with a flimsy thread loop wasn’t going to cut it. This pincushion was my first crochet design—not that I invented granny circles or anything. Instead of anything as ambitious as a blanket, my first crochet project became this pincushion. Circle, circle, insert, and done.
Ultimately less effort, and just as practical. Have no need for a pincushion? Fill it up with lavender for scent or rice to make a weight.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll recognise this project. Two-and-a-half years after writing the original pincushion tutorial, I thought it deserved an update. I would hope I’ve gotten a bit better at explaining crochet through experience.
There’s a free PDF version to keep on the go, too. Let’s get making!
I'm Anna. I love to craft and use sewing, crochet, knitting, macrame, and other techniques to make home decor and practical accessories.
I'm Anna. Handmade is a big part of my life. I'm sharing tutorials, techniques, and other useful crafty things. (Read more about Crafting Fingers here.)
If you want to chat, work together, or have anything else to get off your chest get in touch. I'd love to hear from you!