Tuesday, March 18, 2014

missing pics and a new home...

Oh no - all the pics have disappeared from my blog!
It happened sometime after my brick-weight laptop lost it's mind and had to be replaced.
But never fear!  Little Red's Craft Cupboard is taking a holiday... possibly retiring... so all the 'good stuff' will be moving over to my new blog Fable of Five.  It's a whole new no-business site devoted to my family and all the stuff I love and I'm very excited about it!  It's still under construction so do check back soon!
Please come visit, say Hello and get your crafty, foodie fix from my new home :)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

diy 2014 calendar from my owl barn

Alisa Coburn

The folk over at myowlbarn.com have collated a whole bunch of fab owlish artworks from artists all around the world and put them together in one spot for you to create your own hoot-a-riffic calendar - isn't that lovely?

Kat Cameron

The great thing about this calendar is that you select the pics you like and the month you'd like each pic to accompany.  Then you download and print.  Easy-peasy!

Juliette Crane
Design your owl calendar here

Julissa Mora

Not into owls?  Check out this collection of printable calendars put together by MeinLilaPark.

I'm off to create my calendar now!

Happy Crafting x

new years aspirations

Ah, aspirations.  
It's such a lovely word, don't you think?  All light and fresh, airy and filled with optimism!(Minus the obligation of the word resolutions, too)
And so, I feel, writing out some aspirations is a positively inspiring way to welcome in the new year!
So here it is... in writing... my list of New Years Aspirations...

1. I aspire to be the bestest, loveliest, strongest mother that I can be.  
Being a mum can be tough but it is so worth every tear, tantrum, crazy day and sleepless night - and I owe my children every possible happiness.  
Read: less yelling and cursing/more patience and hugging.

2. I aspire to devote more time crafting.  
True!  Too much of my time is spent Pinterest-ing.  This time (although so much a fun and so inspiring) could be devoted to Grade A, productive crafting!  
But I do love Pinterest...  
Maybe I'll aspire to allocate half of Pinterest-time to genuine, indisputable crafting.  That sounds fair... right?

3.  I aspire to confront my chocolate addiction.  
Addiction acknowledged.
Enough said.

4.  I aspire to help my family to live more frugally.  Ethically.  Gratefully.
This quaint little sentence sums it up nicely:
'Use it up, 
wear it out, 
make it do 
or do without'.

5.  I aspire to start on Christmas earlier.  See here.

Five aspirations should be enough to keep me on my toes :)

I hope you all have a fantastically happy and safe 2014 and enjoy reflecting on all the good stuff that happened in 2013.  Take care, Crafters! x

Sunday, December 29, 2013

post Christmas wrap-up!

With the festive season over, I finally have a chance to do a little catching up!  So here's a wee post about Christmas 2013 @ Little Red's Craft Cupboard...

I have a confession to make...  our family is rather obsessed with Christmas.  
We're talking the giddy, throw-tinsel-at-everything-and-wanna-eat-plum-pud-all-December type of obsessed.  
Toward the end of August - once the children's birthdays are over for the year - the children and I start discussing all aspects of the impending Festive Season - which delectable foods we will cook; how many puddings we are making; whether said puddings will have nuts this year and if so, which nuts?;  what the children expect of Santa and what Santa expects of the children (this really only has an affect on behaviour through the last two weeks leading up to Christmas but it is well worth planting that seed early); our decorating 'theme', because Christmas is not something which one simply 'throws together' in a frenzy of festive vivacity (or maybe because I just like to theme things, k? Or maybe - just maybe - I'm a little bit of a control freak?); and of course, what types of crafts we will indulge in!
But this year I seem to have stumbled through August and September... and October... only to have awoken from my zombified-coz-there's-a-newborn-in-the-house narcosis in November to discover that the Season was well and truly upon us and we were oh so unprepared :S 

'Quick stix!' I told myself... 

*insert a few weeks of frenzied Christmas preparations here*

(in case you were wondering, we decided on a Woodland theme for this year because we just can't get enough of cute, fuzzy animals and forest-floor finds!)

So by mid-December things looked a little like this -
the basket is piled high with unfinished projects (this in itself is nothing new, only now they're Christmas-themed); the Christmas tree stands proud yet slightly bare of handmade decorations; the presents remain hidden in boxes and at the highest points of the house (out of the view of tiny, inquiring eyes) and I find myself in a frazzled state of so-much-to-yule-not-enough-time-itis.  Arghhhhh!

Fast forward to today however...
Christmas has been and gone, stockings were hung and filled, feasts were prepared and eaten and a merry time was had by all.  
That's right - I may not have been ready for it but Christmas happened.

*lifts weight of executing the perfect Christmas off of shoulders... exhales*

So did I actually achieved anything Christmassy?  Why, yes I did!  
Only there aren't many photos or tutorials... 
Because as well as crafting, there are three little people (plus one big person and three dogs) who demand my attention which leaves little time for crafting and even less time for taking pictures and counting stitches!  

One day I will bombard you all with tutes, recipes and patterns...
But for now, here is a rundown of our Christmas projects for 2013 - enjoy!

We made White Clay Ornaments.  They are so easy and inexpensive and fun to make and look so, so lovely.

We made a batch of boozy, fruity, chocolate puddings and here they are, cooled and waiting to be eaten.  I mean, gifted!   Waiting to be gifted...

As this was BabyRed's first Christmas, I whipped out the hooks and crocheted her a stocking in lovely Rowan Tweeds... then one for MasterRed... and one for MissRed (you know, because there's a theme to keep with).  I couldn't get a nice pic of a whole stocking so here's a close up of two...

Here is our White Chocolate & Coconut Ice Cream topped with mango, raspberries, passionfruit and toasted coconut... because my Mama didn't want pudding for dessert at our Christmas 'do' - the nerve!  Fortunately it was delicious, if not a little more appropriate for a warm Summer day...

MissRed made a Sharpie Mug for a dear friend.  At first it appeared to have worked but now the ink seems to be rubbing off.  More investigating (another word for Pinterest-ing) required.  Needless to say, the mug wasn't gifted but will be kept as our ongoing experiment.

On a pre-Christmas trip up the mountain we found some sticky little pinecones on the footpath.  We only managed to forage three which hadn't been snacked on by the local birds but they are still ever so sweet and woodland-y.  They sat upon a doily on the mantlepiece this year and with a little addition of hanging ribbons, may be promoted to tree-decorations next Christmas

And hiding at the bottom of the Christmas decoration box, we found this little fella who I made a couple of years ago.  I'm sure he was supposed to have some felt friends but they never made it past the design stage (there's always next Christmas!)

Well then.  It seems that we did achieve a substantial amount of Christmas crafting cheer!  And above all, we had a very Merry Christmas!  

I do hope you and your families had a lovely Christmas and enjoy a happy, 
safe and crafty 2014!
Thank you all for your encouraging comments, emails and your 
support throughout this last year - it is truly appreciated x

Next on the list is New Year Aspirations - that's my fancy, new, non-committal word for Resolutions ;)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

cute tute: crochet sparkly bow

Add some glitz to your garb this festive season with a crocheted sparkly bow! Worked with two types of yarn, it's quick and easy, and can be turned into a variety of accessories, making it an ideal gift!

you'll need:
yarn (any 8 ply will do)
metallic yarn (I used Twilley's Goldfingering but you can use any thin metallic yarn or embroidery floss)
4mm crochet hook

- this bow is worked with both yarns so make sure to work both with every stitch.
- the 'ch1' do not count as stitches

Let's go!

Foundation: ch 15

Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch to end (14sts)

Rows 2-5: *ch1, turn, sc in each st to end (14sts)*.  Repeat from * to * 3 more times, fasten off.  You should now have a sparkly rectangle which looks something like this

Border: using only the metallic yarn, insert hook beneath the last sc you made, right about here...

In the same space, make 3 sc then 1 sc in the end of each row.  As you have crocheted back and forth to create the rectangle, the 'end' of each row is a bit tricky to establish so I place the stitches in the spaces closest to the end, like this...

Now do 3sc in the first foundation ch, which is this stitch here

As you placed your first row of 14 sc into these foundation chain, you'll be stitching the border through the remaining loops.  As this sounds a great deal more complicated than it really is, here's a pic to give you the idea

... make sense? You're just stitching into the bottom loops of the foundation chain...

continue to do 1 sc in the bottom of each foundation ch, like this

... now sc in the end of each row (like you did for the other end)

... make 3sc in the corner space here

... sc in each st across like this

... sl st into the first sc of the border, fasten off and here is your completed rectangle!  

The metallic yarn doesn't allow quite the same stretch as the regular yarn so it's difficult to get it to sit flat for a photo (you may wish to block your rectangle prior to turning it into a bow).

Now take your metallic yarn and wrap it around the centre of your rectangle until it looks... bow-like.  Thread your metallic yarn through a needle and sew the end in the back of the bow to secure and conceal.  Weave in the rest of the yarn ends and...

ta-DAH!  You have a sparkly bow!

Now grab a hot glue gun and attach your bow to a hair clip or a brooch back or you can even turn it into a necklace by attaching a chain (crochet chain, of course!) to the top corners.  You could also enlarge the whole process (maybe 45 chain and 15 rows) to make a 'statement' bow for your hair or to top your wrapped gifts.  You may even convince your man-friends that it's a festive bow tie!

I hope you've enjoyed this festive cute tute :D  Happy Crafting! x

Friday, August 16, 2013

august already!

Hello Crafters!  It has been quite awhile since my last post and I feel truly negligent - this is because I have actually got lots of stuff to blog about but simply haven't had the time/energy.  Being mega-pregnant will do that to a girl!  That brings me to the first topic of this post :)

Next week we are expecting our little girl to arrive!  I cannot tell you how excited I am about this - I just want to SQUEEEEEEEE! out loud every time I think about it!  And I just love that MasterRed & MissRed too are so excited about welcoming a new little sister :)  Clearly, this is the biggest news in our little world at the moment and I can't wait to share the happy news when BabyRed arrives!

August is birthday month around here and as BabyRed is due a few days after MasterRed's birthday, we decided to have all the parties early - gees, am I thankful that we did!  MasterRed, who turns 8 this weekend, took a few friends ten pin bowing for his party and enjoyed hot dogs, fries, lemonade, chocolate & blueberry cupcakes and loads of lolly bananas (his fave!).  He still says to me 'I can't believe how much FUN my birthday was!'  That is so lovely to hear :)  It was a really good, old fashioned, fun morning!  I highly recommend a ten pin bowling party for a small group of kids as it's quite economical, active and there's no mess to clean up!
MissRed, who turned 6 yesterday, had a pink themed craft party with a few of her little friends.  I am glad this is what she wanted as it allowed me to sit for the most part!  The girls decorated jewellery boxes, made beaded jewellery, decorated crowns and enjoyed a whole lot of party food including a coconut, strawberry, marshmallow ice cream cake.  It was very delicious and I did sneak an extra serving ;)  
We still have the family gathering to go which will be a simple affair with a white chocolate & strawberry cake, at MasterRed's request (and I am totally cheating and buying the cake!).
All in all, it has been a very busy birthday month and it's not quite over yet!

New Monthly Musings
In an effort not to neglect my lovely crafters (because I cherish you , I really do!), I've started a new monthly newsletter called 'Monthly Musings from Little Red's Craft Cupboard' where I'll keep you up to date with all the latest trends, patterns and happenings in the world (or at least, my world) of craft.  Here's the first instalment: Monthly Musings for August 2013 If you'd like to receive Monthly Musings by email, please let me know at contact@littlereds.com.au and I'll pop you on the list!

That's about it for now as I still have so much to do in preparation for BabyRed but if I get some spare time in the next few days, I'll be back with some of my fave new finds and thoughts :D  In the meantime, you can keep in touch by liking Little Red's on Facebook and you can follow me on Pinterest (where I spend a little too much time!)
Take care Crafters and Happy Crafting xxxx

Friday, June 21, 2013

rebel rebel

I'm breaking all the rules today.  As adults, we don't tend to have many 'rules' per se, more so we tend to have values and responsibilities, so it feels a bit naughty to say that I'm breaking the rules!

Here's a list of the rules I've broken so far today...

- Don't use the door which joins the kinder to the school.  It is for STAFF 
  ONLY.  (It was too cold to go around the long way!)
- Eat a healthy breakfast (McDonald's was on the way)
- Don't eat chocolate until after dinner 
  (but it goes so well with a cup of earl grey)
- Don't spend any money on craft unless it has a definite, 
  unambiguous purpose (yeah, right!)
- Don't shop at Spotlight (guilty as charged)

By far, the most fun I had was breaking the last two rules :)  I haven't been to Spotlight for ages as it's so big and bright and impersonal and I much prefer to shop at my local craft shops however I have a yearning for a new needlepoint and it was the only place I could think of to try.  Alas, they had not what I wanted :(  So I made up for it with these little purchases...

Panda 8 ply Crepe, just in case I need some colours to compliment the Heirloom Easy Care I purchased recently

A sweet little ducky canvas at LittleMissRed's request for a new tapestry

I love the colours and vintage/feedsack-look of this fabric

These are sold as fat quarters and I'm not convinced any of them really work together but I loved the grey one so much (top left) that I bought 3...

A bunch of pretty DMC threads because... they're pretty :)

This print is very Michael Miller-esque and reminds me a little of the illustrations by Corinne Malvern

Now I'm off to decide what I can make with the new goodies!

Happy Friday Crafters x