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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

craft therapy

I'm feeling a bit blue today.  After an emotionally stressful evening a couple of nights ago and the inevitable, disturbed sleep which followed, today I feel tired, deflated and quietly contemplative.  So, what does one do to bring back the 'jolly' and retrieve the happy sense of self one has become accustomed to of late?  Craft therapy, of course :)  So I'm continuing in my effort to clean up the floss box and may spend a little time rolling yarn into neat little balls...
I'm one of those people who needs things to be 'in order' and there is something so very satisfying about tidying up the stash.  
A little something about me now, so skip this bit if you want to stick to craft :)
I am afflicted with a great variety of anxiety disorders - through no fault of my own, I have been assured by my doctors, but due to my upbringing and an unfortunate predisposition to mental illness. These anxiety disorders stop me from doing some things and going some places, cause me to make excuses rather than just explain my situation (then again, have you ever tried to explain crippling anxiety to those you hardly know? or even to those you do?), make me doubt my own intuition, cause me to yell at my kids when all I really want to do is hug them and generally just make things difficult.  Craft (helped along by a hefty dose of medical assistance) has helped me to find an outlet for my nervous energy and provides a great distraction when my mind starts to wander into a spiral of surreal torment.  It was through my search for distraction that Little Red's was born, so at least some good has come from this anguish as I now have a network of friends and crafters who inspire me everyday.
Unfortunately, those who do not suffer from similar afflictions have a very hard time understanding what it is like to endure anxiety in its great and varied forms.  They say things like 'What are you worried about?' or 'Stop stressing' or 'Why are you going home already?  Stay and have a drink' and some also say very ignorant things such as 'I think you're just being over sensitive' or 'Step out of your comfort zone.'  These types of people don't understand that growing up without a comfort zone is the very reason I require one now.  It's the very reason I love being at home with my family, doing homely, domestic things.  It brings to me a great sense of comfort and safety - something which I now know I lacked in my childhood.  I don't feel hard done by, uncultured or as though I or my family are missing out on things. We still go out to restaurants, parties, play dates and we've even been on one interstate holiday (maybe if we had more time & money, we would have been on more).  It's just that a lot more thought goes into these decisions.  I want to be assured of the safety of my children before I send them off to a friend's house - everyone has different ideas of what constitutes responsible parenting and some leave a lot to be desired.  In these cases, my child will not be left in those peoples' charge.  In the event of going on a holiday/day trip, I like to know where we are going, what sort of services are around (food, medical, toilets etc), which suburbs we go through and so on.  I like to be prepared but I don't imagine the worst case scenario or obsess over all the details.  I see this as being responsible as a parent and as a person and it just helps to ease my mind a little.  I will admit there have been times when the thought of a road trip has thrown me into panic mode and I have simply refused to go.  The feelings raised by anxiety can be confusing, intense and even physical including delirium and vomiting to name just a couple.  So it should be clear why I would avoid situations where these sorts of reactions would be triggered.  Again, a lot of people don't understand any of this and are extremely insensitive about it.  I have explained it to my close friends (and now to you) but I largely choose not to bother because so much of it is beyond explanation and quite frankly, some people just don't deserve to be privy to that intimate knowledge of my mind.  
I am so very glad that the topic of anxiety has been raised in the media of late and that through the efforts of organisations such as Beyond Blue, it will hopefully start to be recognised by the general public as a synthesis of true disorders, not just seen as a selfish attempt to  get one's own way, rudeness or a sign of a weak personality.  If you too suffer from anxiety, please don't feel alone and please don't feel that nothing can be done.  I have some very good contacts in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and will happily share them if you PM me :)

**Here endeth the background story**

Through my experience with psychological therapies I have learnt that calm, repetitive activities help encourage the mind to relax while keeping the body physically active, thus helping to reduce any nervous energy.  Or something like that.  It's surely more complex than I have explained but in my experience, it works.
So when I get stressed out which is often accompanied by an extreme physical lethargy, I like to get into some calming, repetitive, craft therapy...

Here's how the floss box is looking...

Here's a bunch of woolly balls... 

Here's some of the yarn stash which hasn't been attempted yet (lots of therapy there!)...

Here's a little tapestry I picked up at the op shop last week which I completed and now need to frame properly.  It's my first attempt at needlepoint and I found it really relaxing, not to mention enjoyable!

I'd be interested to know if you use craft as a form of therapy?
What kind of crafts do you find therapeutic?
Do you find some crafts more stressful than relaxing?!

Happy Wednesday and Happy Crafting peeps x

Monday, May 13, 2013

clamshell baby blankie part 2

Finally, after three failed attempts, my little clamshell baby blankie is complete!

The colour scheme changed a little from the original after I discovered that the pale green and dusky rose in my original blanket were out of production and unavailable anywhere.  That'll learn me for starting a project before checking the stash!
So this one is a little brighter than I had planned but as it's so small - the perfect size for a bassinet or stroller - I don't think there is too much brightness overall.
I must say that after my earlier rambling about this pattern where I expressed my doubts about it, I did eventually figure it out and can confirm that the problem with the pattern was, in fact, me.  So not a problem with the pattern at all :)  However I do have to say that the pics in the tutorial are a little squiffily placed and I do find myself going up and down the page to join the words with the correct pictures.  But that's a small price to pay for this super beautiful pattern and I do recommend you try it.  I'm already missing the sense of completion that comes with finishing three rows to form each sequence of clamshells and am looking forward to starting another clamshell project.  
Now I can't wait to snuggle our new little bubs in her first woolly blankie!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

the best FREE Mother's Day printables and crafts!

I've come across some lovely printables and craft ideas for Mother's Day and just have to share them with you!  Check out the links and be sure to let the artists/designers know if you love their designs :D

As always, Yesterday on Tuesday has a beautiful pack of freebies available for you to print here.  

FREE Mother's Day Printables

They also have this lovely range available here

The group of girls at We Love to Illustrate have a lovely range of cards for you to choose from here.  This kitty cat card by Jennifer A bell is my fave!

I love these little tokens from Staedtler in the UK via the Homemaker Magazine blog.  You could use any type of polymer clay (or even regular crafting clay) and a piece of lace or a doily to make these tags.  Or how about using the same concept to make some cookies?  You can download the pdf here.

Create your own Mother’s Day gift with Fimo

Although this isn't specifically for Mother's Day, I think Mum would love a sweet crochet face washer or dishcloth made using this adorable heart stitch.  She'd love it even more if it was accompanied by her favourite shower gel or your offer to do the washing up!  Check out the pattern from Char Ami, here.  It's in Dutch but the clever team at Google should offer to translate it for you when the page loads.  Char Ami also shows the link to the orignial pattern but comments that she found it hard to understand, hence her re-writing.  I think I am going to try this one out :)

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there and Happy Crafting too! x

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

and the winner is...

Gayle P!
Yay for Gayle!  You have won 2 sets of Sweet Thing Stamps of your choice!
Thanks to everyone who entered our Sweet Thing Stamp Competition via the blog or our Facebook page - you're all stars!
We'll be sure to run another comp soon so keep a lookout :D 

*The winner was drawn by the Random Number Generator available at www.random.org

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sweet Thing competition extended!

Hiya Crafters!  I've decided to extend the running time of the Sweet Thing Stamp Set competition until 7th May so if you've been meaning to enter but haven't quite got around to it, now's you chance!  You can also now enter either by joining the blog and commenting on this post or this post OR you can follow us on Facebook and write a post mentioning your favourite stamp set.  Of course you can do both if you'd like :D
Make sure you tell your friends to enter too - the more followers, the bigger the prize!
Happy Crafting x

Monday, April 22, 2013

clamshell baby blankie

In an uber productive state of searching through new patterns on Ravelry (wink, wink), I came across this beautiful pattern for a clamshell blanket from Cherry Heart.  I was instantly in love.  Although I already have a chevron blanket for Bubs on the go, now that I know we are having a little girl, I really want to crochet a blanket in soft, earthy, girly colours - you know, beige, rose, dusky blues etc.  This pattern is the one.  I'm starting out small, making this the right sort of size to pop over Bubs in the car seat or pram as opposed to making a blanket for the cot - small expectations are much easier for me to cope with!  I started on this pattern yesterday and might I say, I consider myself pretty nifty at crochet, rather apt at mathematics and have an unhealthy dose of OCD to boot so I thought I'd have this pattern by the proverbial.  But alas!  It had me!  There are a couple of parts in the pattern which I found a really tricky, bits that just didn't add up, but until I have a grasp on the problem (is it the pattern? is it the way it's written? or is it me?), I will keep those quandaries to myself.
Here's where I'm at for the moment - 

I'm using a range of wool from Heirloom (tags removed so I don't know exactly what they are!) and some other wool from the stash (there's still a row of pale blue to go).  But this is prone to change as I may rip it all out and start again with a fresh head!
Anyhow, I think the pattern itself is just beautiful and it is very lovely of Cherry Heart to offer it up for free.  I intend to soldier on with it and hope to post a completed version soon!

cute tute: baby chevron blankie

I've been a little quiet lately - sorry 'bout that!  But do you know why?  It's because I've actually been DOING THINGS!  Not just thinking, not just Googling, not just procrastinating but actually DOING.  Ah, how I love productivity!  And this cold, wet,stay-inside-and-make-things kinda weather is just productivity-perfect!  There may also be a little nesting going on  - as long as it results in a clean house and happy family, I'm content :)  
So WHAT have I been doing exactly?  Contrary to my productivity rant above, I'm kinda couch-bound due to third-pregnancy-everything-hurts-to-move-itis.  So I've taken full advantage and have been crocheting like a crazy lady (and doing everything physical in short bursts at intervals in between)!  Before we knew that we were expecting a girl, I started a chevron blanket in bright, gender non-specific colours.  Although I got the beginnings of this pattern from a newly published pattern book, it was so badly written - in that it stops at Row 2 and gives no indication where to go from there - that I had to figure the rest out for myself, completely re-writing the pattern!  So I am posting my version here.  I figure if you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on designing, printing and advertising, you should at least make sure your pattern works!!!  No worky, no credit.  That being said, please let me know if for some reason my pattern doesn't quite work out - eek! - and I'll get right onto it!

Here's how my chevron blankie is looking -

And here is how I did it - 

Chevron Baby Blankie
US terms are used for this pattern.  The width of the blanket is roughly a metre but you can change this by using any size hook you like or increasing the foundation chain.
dc3tog - here's a great explanation of this stitch from www.crochetparfait.blogspot.com 
Yarn over (YO) hook, insert hook in stitch (st), pull up a loop (lp), 3 lps on hook.  YO hook, pull through 2 lps.  YO hook insert in next st, pull up a lp, 4 lps on hook.  YO, pull through 2 lps, 3 lps on hook.  YO, insert hook in next st.  YO, pull up a lp, 5 lps on hook.  YO, draw through 2 lps, 4 lps left on hook. YO draw through all 4 lps left on hook.

Using a 4.5mm hook and 8 ply wool, ch136.

Row 1 - dc into 4th ch from hook, 1dc into next 9 sts, dc3tog, dc into next 9 sts, *3dc into next st, dc into next 9 sts, dc3tog, dc into next 9 sts*.  Repeat from * to * until end.  The last 2dc will both go into the very last st.
Row 2 - 3ch, 1dc into st at base of 3ch, dc into next 7 sts, dc3tog, dc into next 9sts, *3dc into next st, dc into next 9sts, dc3tog, dc into next 9sts*.  Repeat from * to *. 1dc into top of ch3.
Row 3 - 3ch, 1dc into st at base of ch, dc into next 8sts, dc3tog, dc into next 9sts, *3dc into next st, dc into next 9sts, dc3tog, dc into next 9sts*.  Repeat from * to * to end, making the last 2dc into top of ch3 from previous row.
Repeat rows 2 & 3 to maintain pattern.
Continue making rows until blanket reaches desired length.
- As a rule, your 3dc into next st will always go into the centre stitch of the 3dc into next st of the previous row.  It's a good idea to keep an eye on this so that if you miscalculate, you can pick it up quick instead of noticing 25 rows in that something's not quite right!
- To change colour, use the new colour to finish the very last part of any stitch.  For example, say you are currently on Row 2, using blue yarn and on the next row you want to start using red.  When you are doing your last stitch of Row 2 (1dc into top of ch3) in blue yarn, use the red yarn  for your final 'yarn over' and pull it through.  Drop the blue yarn and cut, leaving a tail for weaving in.  This will ensure a neat colour change.  If I come across a better way to explain this, I'll post it!
Happy Crafting x

Sunday, April 7, 2013

frosty mornings require Part II

Here's the promised slippers for Master Seven in blue and red stripes...

As I wanted horizontal stripes, I crocheted the foundation to the correct width of the foot then crocheted the stripes to the correct length rather than the other way around... does that make sense?

These were done on a 5mm hook using 8 ply wool with a foundation of ch41.

Next in line is a huge pair in alpaca and wool for the Big Bad Wolf!

Happy Sunday Everyone x

Friday, April 5, 2013

frosty mornings require...

slippers!  Like most kids, my kids rise in the early hours and after freezing themselves in front of the tv for a bit, they love to jump into my bed and warm their icy little feet against me!  It doesn't matter how many times I tell them to snuggle under a blanket or wear a dressing gown, the resilient little folk just don't listen *sigh*.  So I decided it was time to make some slippers to keep those cute little toes warm on the chilly Autumn mornings.  After scouring Ravelry, I came across this link for super simple slippers made from a rectangle.  After adjusting the sizing quite a bit, here is the result of Miss Five's new slippers:
I've included a few things I did differently here just in case you'd like to make a set yourself...
1. The pattern says for a foundation on a 5mm hook, you'll need to do 27ch for a ladies' US size 7.5 however I did 35ch for my little girl's feet!  Not sure what's going on there - I know I crochet tight but that seems a little odd.  So I learned that it definitely pays to make sound measurements!
2. I used a contrasting colour to hdc around the opening because I think it looks pretty.
3. As stated in the pattern, you can use any regular stitch but I stuck with the recommended hdc as I love a good half double crochet! It's quick and easy :)
4. Miss Five didn't like my initial pom pom decoration so I made up some little flowers instead.  Here's the super easy pattern: In Colour1, 2ch then 5hdc into first ch, tie off.  Attach Colour2 to any hdc, *3ch, 1dc, 1tr, 1dc, 2ch, sl st into same st, sl st into next st*, repeat 4 times then tie off.  

I'm really happy with the result and so is my wee one :D

Next on the list is a pair in navy & red stripes for Master Seven and I'll let you know the results!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

fave finds: woodland

A bit of autumnal shopping inspiration for your Thursday...

1. Hedgehog Bamboo Clock by decoylab from made590      2. Woodland Alphabet Blocks from pipodoll on Etsy
3. Woodland Animal Set from Imaginationkids on Etsy    4. Woodland Fairy Costume from fairynanaland on Etsy    5. Brown Owl Coin Purse by Crowded Teeth from made590    6. Woodland Animal Nail Stickers by
kate broughton on Folksy    7. Winking Owl Brooch from made590    8. Autumn Woods Felt Collection from Little Red's Craft Cupboard    9. Fox in the Field Print by Hummingbird's Song on madeit

Thursday, March 21, 2013

competition time!

To celebrate some of the sweet things happening in the Little Red's world at the moment, including being pregnant, the lovely autumn weather headed our way, working from home AND the arrival of lots of new stock from Tiger Tribe, we're going to run a competition giving you the chance to win a number of Sweet Things Stamps of your choice!  Sweet Things Stamps are an adorable range of rubber stamps designed by my fave illustrator, Belinda Strong for Tiger Tribe and we think they are just the sweetest!
And here's the sweet, sticky centre of the competition - 
YOU decide how big the prize will be!  
Here's how - 
The competition will run until Tuesday 23rd April.  
If in that time we reach 350 likes on the Facebook page, the winner will receive 2 sets of Sweet Things Stamps of their choice.
If we reach 400 likes, the winner will receive 4 sets of Sweet Things Stamps of their choice.
If we reach 450 likes or more, the winner will receive one of each of the 6 sets of Sweet Things Stamps we currently have in stock!

To enter the competition, simply:
1. 'Join' us on our blog - we love our followers and you'll love keeping up to date with all things crafty!
2. 'Like' us on Facebook - we update our page regularly and it's a great way to keep in touch.  Only personal accounts can enter the competition but you can still like us from your business page too!  Remember to select 'Show in News Feed' by hovering over the 'Liked' button on our page :D
3. Comment below with your favourite Sweet Things Stamps sets numbered 1 - 6.  You can see them all here.

That's it!  Follow these three easy steps and you could be a winner!  Share this competition with your friends - the more followers Little Red's gets, the bigger the prize will be!

The winner will be drawn randomly on Tuesday 23rd April and will be notified via email.

Happy Thursday Crafters and Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

fave finds - Easter blue

As a salute to the lovely autumn chill in the air, the first of our Fave Finds features a collection of Easter things in cool blue (and chocolate brown because, well, it's Easter!).

1. Robin Egg Door Wreath from tatteredcottage2 on Etsy   2. Birdy Blue Tit Mug from Lark 3. Chocolate Filled Eggs Tutorial from Martha Stewart   4. Barnaby Bunnies Pair from Domayne   5. White Rabbit Plate by Reutter from Peter's of Kensington   6. Crepe Paper Spring Birds Tutorial from Martha Stewart   7. Lace Eggs Tutorial from Martha Stewart   8. Woodland Bird Hair Clip Set from sweeteverythings on Etsy   9. Peter Rabbit 5pce Dinner Set from Peter's of Kensington

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heidi Boyd Whimsy Kits

Could there be anything more befitting for Little Red's than a bunch of woodland-whimsy critters for you to sew?  I think not!  These gorgeous little friends from Heidi Boyd will be in stock soon and I can't wait to stitch 'em up!  I think I'll start with Cinnamon and Nutmeg, being nearly Easter and all...