Category Archives: Giveaway

Inspiration, and Going With The Flow

Inspiration tags

Anyone who has been visiting Planet Penny for a while will know I sometimes struggle with inspiration, as I’m sure we all do from time to time.  I thought I’d share some of the thought processes which have wombled through my head over the past weeks.  From my point of view it might just help to put it down in writing to come back to when I next get stuck.  Or it might just reveal to the world the scarily weird contents of my brain!  Who knows?

Anyway, I know it all began with the disaster zone which was my studio.  I was struggling to make anything because every time I needed something specific I wasted half a day looking for it and getting cross, with myself and everything else.  And while I was making excuses to myself about how I didn’t have the time to tidy the studio because there was so much else to do, I wasn’t doing any of the stuff – because the studio needed tidying!

Add starting the New Year with losing poor old Henry, and then the fun and games with the fire…need I go on?

So gradually I got to grips with the chaos.  And started looking at the sheer amount of things I have got squirrelled away which rarely if ever see the light of day.  And that’s where the idea of sharing some of this treasure via the Box of Delights came into being. Sliding off on a tangent from this we come to the stack of magazines.  I know I got bogged down by the feeling that you have to buy the magazine that everyone else is reading to keep up with what is going on but there is so much out there now and I realised that Mollie Makes just wasn’t pushing my buttons any longer.  It’s the magazine I would have loved when I was in my 20s and 30s,  but that was then. So, in the market for something completely different via a series of happy accidents (all my best things seem to arrive via a happy accident!) I discovered Flow Magazine. Now Flow is published in the Netherlands but produces an International version in English four times a year.  I loved the look of the Paper edition, such a pretty cover… Flow Magazine - Paper Edition …and was very excited when it arrived.(Ed to add: it may be out of stock but it’s worth contacting Flow via the website to see if it will be reprinted)   It’s full of postcards, envelopes, wrapping paper, gifttags, pop-up landscapes, paper bunting and lots more. It was this little project which took me off in another direction…Matchbox covers from Flow Magazine

Matchbox cover Flow MagazinePaper Edition

…covering and lining matchboxes.  The projects in the book started me off although I had to be a bit inventive as Dutch matchboxes are a slightly different size to UK ones.  Once I’d made my own template I was off.  (We have so many loose matches in our house now I think I’ve become a fire risk again but I’ve now bought a supply of blank boxes!)

I now have a tray filled with the wherewithal to create a little box whenever I have a pause in whatever else is going on, or a sticky patch in the creative flow.  And not only does it ease me through the stickiness but I have yet another little box…

covered matchmoxes

covered match boxes - Flow Magazine

…which is perfect for filling with a miniature selection of little treasures for the promised runners up prizes for the Box of Delights giveaway.

This is just a snapshot of what has been going on, very often the contents of my brain are as chaotic as the studio was, but like the studio, it pays to tidy up!

I’m very behind with my blog posts (I’m blaming our awful internet connection amongst other things) so I hope to be back very soon to catch up.  I have an important announcement about the Planet Penny Cotton Colours amongst other things, so…

See you soon…x

Box of Delights – The Results

Good Morning! I hope your morning is as beautiful as ours is today…
hyacinths in Spring ukVery frosty first thing, but gorgeously bright and sparkly.

So it’s a good day to be awarding prizes.  Firstly I have to say thank you again for the wonderful comments, it really has been heart lifting, and makes me feel another 500 posts may well be possible.  I wish I could write to each and every one of you but there were 100 entries!

And I always feel bad when I do a giveaway because I can’t give something to everyone so I decided to add in four extra runners up to spread the delight a little further.  In the past I have used my trusty helper to draw a winning name.  We used a basket once…

mini dachshund drawing winning ticket…and of course the hat…

Mini Dachsie & winning ticket…but it involved a lot chasing around to find out who’s name actually came out of the hat…

mini dachsie winning ticket…and it’s awfully damp and spitty.  Also, there were so many this time…

list for Box of Delights…that I used the Random Number Generator which involves no chasing, and no chewed paper. So without further ado, and a big drum roll I am very pleased to announce that the winning number was 96 and the Box of Delights goes to Pennie, in East Sussex.  The four runners up are number 14 – Sue Cambell in Alabama, number 15 – Cindy Wilson in Canada, Number 46 – Toffeeapple of Buckinghamshire and 48 – Linda Thorpe of Norfolk.

I shall share the runners-up prizes as I create them, it’s sparked another idea!  Thank you all again for taking part.

And thank you too for all the supportive and concerned comments regarding our adventure with the fire last week.  Everything is tidy and soot free in the room now and I’ve pinned a dust sheet over the fireplace as we await builders’ estimates.  It’s not going to be a quick job, alas, Higgins and I are both snuggled under blankies in the evening now!

dachsie in a blanketSee you soon…!

 

 

Filling the Box of Delights

It’s just a little bit scary how the time gallops away, isn’t it?  I’ve got a camera full of photos and so much to say, and yet every day this week I’ve failed to get the necessary time at the keyboard to write a post.

Never mind, I shall tackle one thing at a time and this is very overdue news about the Box of Delights that I have been putting together for the 500 posts giveaway which I wrote about here.  I have felt overwhelmed by the lovely comments which have been left, I do thank you so much.  And I have been particularly touched by people who say that they haven’t been following for long but have read their way all the way back to the beginning.  Whenever I have a blogging lack of confidence I shall go back and read those posts to motivate myself to keep going!

Because I have readers from all over the world I wanted to make the Box of Delights of a size which would make it possible to post it to anywhere with a reliable postal service so I have customised a box especially.  It’s been so long since I exercised these particular crafting muscles that I was a little unsure of myself, but I have painted and lined and glued and created a little repository for all manner of small things.

The inside looks like this.

lined boxI’ve lined it with may favourite of the Planet Penny Cotton fabrics.

And in it I’ve put a butterfly…

Crochet butterfly for Box of Delights…crocheted with the PP cotton yarn.  A mini needlefelt sheep…

needlefelt sheep -Box of Delights…because sheep are a bit special on Planet Penny!  There’s a reminder of the Dolly Peg Dolls with this length of vintage lace…

Dolly Peg and vintage lace…A fat quarter of the cotton fabric…

fat quarter Planet Penny Cotton Fabric… a string of the beads I love to use…

beads…and some vintage Mother of Pearl buttons…Mother of Pearl buttonsI’ve had a fascination over the last couple of weeks for covering match boxes (more of that in another post) so here’s one with some covered thumb tacks for your pin board…

thumb tacks…and this one which I had a lovely time painting.  If you are wondering what’s inside, I’m not saying!  It’s a secret…

Secret Garden Matchbox - Flow…and finally there’s a crochet heart, as a reminder of the Hearts and Flowers Mobile

crochet heart…and if you would like some flowers there’s a length of Planet Penny Cotton in every one of the rainbow shades so you can crochet your own!

Box of Delights Planet Penny CottonSo everything fits in perfectly…Box of Delights filled..and it just requires a lid…

Box of Delights with lidAll it needs is a home. Would you like it?  There is still time to enter the Giveaway by leaving a comment on this post, it’s running till next weekend.

I’m off now to do some cooking.  I have my chum Kit coming round for supper and I’ve been delving through my cook books to find something delicious and fuss free, Nigella has come up trumps with a roasting tin filled with chicken, chorizo and other yummy things.   I’ll let you know if I manage to channel my inner ‘domestic goddess’!

See you soon…x

And the Winner is…

Buttonbag Advent Calendar box

I’ve just picked the winner for the Buttonbag Advent Calendar Giveaway and it was SO hard!  So hard in fact I gave up trying to choose between all the wonderful Christmas traditions which so many people had told me about and went for the trusty Random Number Generator…

So the winner is Frances, who has a great family tradition which I would like to copy myself…

“Our Christmas tradition is that my husband and I buy each other a pair of pyjamas and a pair of slippers/or cosy bed socks, we give each other the gift on Christmas Eve so we go to bed and wake up Christmas morning in our new PJs. This is a tradition carried on from when my husband was a kid and his parents would give him and his brother new PJs on Christmas Eve, and has been carried down to our two children (our daughter nearly 3 years old and 7 month old son), as since my in-laws have had grandchildren they have sent a PJ parcel in the post to be opened on Xmas eve. There are so many things right about having new pyjamas at Christmas!!!”

Congratulations Frances, I hope you and your family have years of fun and Advent anticipation with your calendar…

Thank you all so much for taking part.  As always I wish I could give everyone a prize.  Do take the time to visit the post to read the other entries, they are lovely, really bringing home the family spirit of Christmas.  The shops may be full of ‘stuff’ and consumerism, but the heart of Christmas is really about being with the people you care about…

I will be back before long with news about the pattern testing from the last post, so see you soon…x

Crochet Christmas Baubles

Crochet Christmas BaublesOh the joys of pattern writing!  I seem to have spent most of the last week fiddling around with these Crochet Christmas Baubles.

crochet Christmas bauble - closeup

I know a lot of you out there do the most wonderful tutorials and patterns on your blogs, but for those  who have never tried  I’ll give you a little flavour of it.

First, as you sit playing around with yarn and hook you have an idea and you make a ‘thing’ that you quite like.  So, after a bit more fiddling it turns into a ‘thing’ that you really like….Hooray!

Then,  trying to remember what happened the first time round, you make it again, this time jotting down the process as you go.

And then you make it again, this time from the pattern, scribbled on  the back of an envelope, correcting the mistakes.

To the computer to type it out…

Print it…

Make it again, to pick up typos.

Back to the computer for corrections.  Then go through with a fine tooth comb trying to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never seen the pattern before.  Is it explained it simply enough?

Decide some bits need pictures.  Make it again, taking pictures.

Photoshop next, cropping and balancing to make the pics as good as possible.

Put the pattern together on screen.  How does it look?

Print it.

Panic… Have I  looked at it for so long that I’ve missed some howling error?

Have some down time on the Facebook Page and discover that someone has left a comment on a picture shared of a beautiful original piece of work with a link to the Ravelry pattern and find someone has said, and I quote,  

It is BEAUTIFUL! but $5 is too much for a pattern!”

Aaaaaah!

Crochet Christmas  Baubles

So, I’m asking for some help.

Calling Planet Penny Cotton customers, out there with your work baskets of rainbow cotton yarns…

Would you like a challenge?  I need a pattern tester!

Ideally someone who can wizz a bauble sample up with their Planet Penny cotton, testing the pattern on the way, and spotting any howlers.

You get to have a free pattern ahead of publication, is that a good deal?

Just leave a comment to register your interest and I’ll get back to you.  This is an experiment, so please bear with me, let’s see if we can make it work.  The pattern will be available as soon as the testing is complete.

And don’t forget, if you are in the mood for leaving comments the giveaway in the last post is still open, your chance to win a Buttonbag Advent Calendar Kit and £20.00 worth of John Lewis vouchers.

Looking forward to hearing from you…x

(Ed to add…Thank you so much for all the kind offers from potential testers, I really appreciate you getting in touch.  It was really hard to make a choice from so many skilled people!  I will hang on to the list and if you weren’t chosen this time I know there will be another occasion when I will be grateful for your help)

 

Advent Calendar Giveaway

Buttonbag Advent Calendar Kit - John Lewist

In the run up to the Christmas season upon us, I thought I’d share an early Christmas present.  I have been very kindly sent a wonderful Buttonbag Advent Calendar kit, perfectly timed for next month.  I love Buttonbag, do you remember I went to the book launch last year?  The bright cheeriness of their  ideas and kits are right up my street, very Planet Penny!

The kit has everything you need to make a personalised Advent Calendar for your children or grandchildren, and it’s simple enough for it to be a joint project, something exciting to do together in the run up to the main event.

It’s lovely to get something fun in the post…

Buttonbag Advent Calendar box

And I couldn’t resist a peek inside…

Advent Calendar box contents

And one lucky person will have this pleasure too, because I’m giving it away!  And not only the kit, but also £20.00 worth of John Lewis vouchers to buy some little goodies to fill the pockets of the Advent Calendar.

All you have to do is to leave a comment on this post, and share your favourite family Christmas tradition. ( I’m sorry, the prize is limited to the UK only)

I will make the draw next Sunday 10th November, so you won’t have long to wait and then I can get the kit posted out in plenty of time  for you to make the Calendar before the 1st December.

Buttonbag Advent Calendar

Looking forward to hearing from you very soon…x

Ed. to add: Thank you so much for so many of you sharing your Christmas traditions.  I’ve so enjoyed reading them, it’s really put me in the Christmas spirit!  The entries are now CLOSED, I shall announce the winner very soon so watch this space!