Tag Archives: Craft

An office in the sun!

Well, this is a rare occurrence,  Higgins and I have moved outside.  We’re on the veranda outside the studio, there’s blue sky, sunshine, flowers, birdsong…What could be better?office_in_the_sun

Only last week we were huddled under a blanket (in Higgins case, three blankets) watching the rain lash down so I’m making the most of every minute now.

There is just one weekend left of Open Studios here in Norfolk and it’s been good, as usual.  Really nice to meet the people who come to visit who are really interested in what we do, and in who, in turn, have interesting stories to tell.  Higgins has been working well with the meeting and greeting, he even had an assistant!Higgins&CocoIt did get very tiring in the end though…tired Higgins

I have been been diligent in my decluttering efforts.  So many things which I have made in order to create patterns, but eventually I have to reluctantly part with them in order to make room in the studio, and in my head, for new ideas.

It’s not easy! The knitting mobile has been sold…Knitters Mobile from Planet Penny

it’s off to Germany as a present.

And the Hearts and Flowers Mobile is off to grace a little ones bedroom which is lovely.  It’s nice to know it will have a good home.

Hearts and Flowerts Mobile from Planet PennyQuite a few little needlefelted pieces have been sold too, although I’m not going to part with Clover the sheep!

Flock of needlefelt sheep - Planet Penny

Clover is the one in the middle!

So if you are in the area next weekend do call in.  There’s bunting and baubles and fairy lights and books too!  I’m never going to rival decluttering queen Marie Kondo, but I’m trying!

Back soon…x

The Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile – Ta-DAH!

At last I can share with you the project I have been beavering away to finish, the crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile,  made using the new pastel selection of Planet Penny yarn.Planet Penny Cotton Yarn - New Pastel Shades for Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile

I’m really happy with this pastel version of the rainbow shades and hope you like it too.  I’ve got lots of ideas for pretty pastel blankets and cushions, but for now I’ve been having fun surrounding myself with loads of butterflies and flowers.  We may not have had much sunshine this year, but it’s definitely been summer on Planet Penny!

Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyI made lots of butterflies in different colour combinations, used the Lemon Sherbet to make the flower centres and saved the Peppermint Cream for the leaves (and then had a happy half hour arranging them for the photos!) Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & yarn from Planet PennyBut the ultimate goal was to make a mobile.  I used a wooden hoop as the base and crocheted round to cover it (but actually it would be fine left ‘au naturel’ or painted)…covered hoop for Crochet Butterfly & Flower mobile…and added three crochet chains for hanging.

After arranging and pinning the flowers to cover the hoop…crochet flowers for mobile PDF pattern - Planet Penny…I used my trusty hot glue gun to fix them securely.Crochet Butterfly and Flower Mobile - PDF pattern - Planet Penny(and then got very excited about the idea of a coronet bed head with filmy drapes over a little girls bed, or a bridesmaid headdress, or framing a mirror…or…or… shhh…calm down dear!) 

Anyway, for now it’s butterfly time and I added these with nylon thread which is nearly invisible, hanging each butterfly at different lengths and… da-DAA…! The finished Crochet Butterfly & Flower MobileCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - PDF pattern - Planet PennyAnd then the sun came out so I was able to let those butterflies loose to flutter in the breeze…Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile made in Planet Penny Cotton Pastels _PDF pattern & yarn - Planet Penny You can find a downloadable PDF of the instructions here:  Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile and the yarn is available in the Etsy shop.

I’ll be back soon…x

The Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive

Well I’m home, bright eyed and bushy tailed from a simply stunning weekend at the very first Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

I hopped on a train to York on Friday afternoon and after the taxi driver had negotiated the rush hour traffic I arrived in the peaceful Yorkshire countryside at Deighton Lodge, a converted farmhouse.  Here I was welcomed by Ruby and Kim, of Frank & Olive Crochet.Ruby & Kim - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveRuby is a fabulous crochet designer as seen in Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet, Inside Crochet and Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.

As the other ‘Happy Hookers’ arrived we were given a very welcome glass of Prosecco to sip while we gazed with wide eyed wonder at the heaps, piles….mountains of gorgeous yarn which surrounded us.  Just yarn heaven!

Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveI really wanted to bring this sheep home! DMC sheep - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThere were pattern books galore to inspire us and it wasn’t long before we had all dived in and started new projects and we were a little reluctant to stop to eat.  That is until we saw the gorgeous Greek themed feast which had been prepared, just scrumptious!

And that is how the weekend continued, with fabulous food and drink, more yarn than we could ever use, inspiration, lots of laughter and new friends.  It was exactly what I needed and I’ve come home thoroughly inspired.Marna Lunt - Crochet retreat with Frank & OliveRuby had arranged a workshop with  Marna Lunt the textile artist who is lovely and had us all crocheting, cutting and stitching to make our own creations, I’ve nearly finished mine…Marna Lunt workshop - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThe final luxurious touch was a massage with Nassira, who was fantastic – it just added that extra relaxing element…

So I’ve come home full of enthusiasm and have only been slightly daunted by discovering that our internet is on the blink! So. I might get this published, who knows but hey…I am sooo chilled…

If the Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive sounds like it might be right up your street you can find out more about it here… and I’ll be back soon to share a few more of my makes…x

The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon Magazine and Miranda Mouse


 The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon magazineHave you bought your copy of the Big Comic Relief Crafternoon Magazine yet? It’s a brilliant idea for raising money for Comic Relief and it’s been soo incredibly popular that there’s going to be a reprint, so keep a look out at your local branch of Sainbury’s for a copy soon.

The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon Magazine back cover

You can find out which branches are stocking the magazines here and you can even download a copy! The Mollie Makes Blog tells you all you need to know.

I spent a lovely morning yesterday with fellow crafter, blogger and chum Emma Mitchell, who dreamed up the magazine.  When she’s not having brilliant flashes of inspiration, Emma makes wonderful silver jewellery and I was so lucky to spend time on a workshop with her.  (and that’s a whole other post!)

I bet you are wondering where a mouse called Miranda fits in to all this by now, aren’t you? Well, I fell in love with one of the projects in the magazine, Jenny Dixon‘s adorable little mice…

Jenny Dixon Mice

…and you know I like mice, crafty ones anyway!

So I decide to make my own version of Jenny’s little lovelies to sell to raise money for Comic Relief.  And here she is, Miranda Mouse…

Miranda Mouse - raising funds for Comic Relief 2015

Miranda is just 9.5cm tall and wears a pretty flowered cotton dress trimmed with vintage lace.  Her cardie is knitted from embroidery thread using 2mm needles (which was quite a challenge!) and fastened with a mother-of-pearl button. She’s been out in the garden picking roses…

Bag of Ribbon roses…to fill her little cross-stitch bag.

Cross-stitch Mouse Bag

And has even made her face Funny for Money with her own needlefelt Red Nose!

Miranda Mouse raising funds for Comic Relief

Please note that Miranda Mouse is an ornament and is not intended as a toy as she contains small parts.

I would really like to find Miranda Mouse a happy home.  Comic Relief does incredible work in this country and Africa so this is my proposal, a virtual auction…

The highest bid to arrive in the comments before Red Nose Day on the 13th March will win and every penny will be sent to Comic Relief. I will cover the postage and Miranda will be yours.

If you want to do some fund raising of your own, the Big Comic Relief Crafternoon Magazine has everything you need, and if you would like to donate to this wonderful charity, please bid for Miranda, she’s waiting for you!



A Christmas Village – electric tea light holders

Over the last couple of years I have created an Advent Countdown here on Planet Penny. However this year, along with other bloggers and makers, I have been invited to take part in the Cotton Traders Advent Calendar with a Christmas crafty make – tea light holders.

Nordic Houses |electric tea light holders | PDF pattern | Christmas Craft

So, as I’ve always a soft spot for tiny houses, and as so much of the Christmas tradition is centred around home and family what better way to celebrate the festive season than with your own little hamlet of cosy cottages as tea light holders?


  • Card, suitable for printing, I used 160gsm.
  • PDF pattern
  • Scissors
  • Craft Knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • Glue stick
  • Battery operated tea lights


Print off the PDF of the house onto the card.  A whole village if you like!

Cut round the outline with scissors or craft knife.  Cutting out the windows is much more easily done with the craft knife.

Cut out a rectangle in card 15cm x 9cm for the roof. Mark the central point on the long edge on both sides and very lightly score across to mark the fold line for the ridge on the roof.  Fold.

Using the craft knife, very lightly score along the fold lines on the unprinted side of the card to help make the finished shape nice and crisp.

Fold along the score lines, glue the tabs and stick together and stick together into the house shape.

Then make some more!

I’ve only recently been converted to battery tea lights because I love the natural light of candles.  However there is no denying the dangers of having flames all round the room especially with small children, and these little houses are great for a family crafting afternoon.

I like simple white for a touch of Nordic style, but print off a few sheets and let the children loose with paints and crayons, glue and glitter before cutting out for a riot of festive colour!

Have fun! If you’d like to show off your own version, do send in your photos and I will share then here on the blog.

Happy crafting!

Everyone Needs a Crochet Skirt Guard!

Actually, I’ve only just realised that I personally need a crochet skirt guard even though I don’t know whether one would survive many journeys down our muddy lanes!

I spotted one in Mollie Makes a few weeks back in pale, subtle colours.  Did you see it?  Definitely not mud friendly!

Crochet Skirt guard

Crochet Skirt Guard – Mollie Makes – issue 41

But it was a conversation I had with one of my Planet Penny customers which set me thinking…

(When you live on your own little Planet in cyberspace it’s such a treat to actually meet up with one of you lovely people out there!)

Debbie bought a pack of Planet Penny yarn when she visited for Open Studios and mentioned making a skirt guard as she left. I pleaded with her to send pictures of the finished piece.I love to see what people do with the yarn after it leaves me as I never seem to have time to be as adventurous as I would like with my own yarn.

My day was made yesterday when an email popped into my inbox with the most gorgeous picture, worthy of Country Living magazine!  How fabulous is this…?

Crochet Skirt Guard made with Planet Penny Cotton Colours

The unusual colour combination is stunning and it looks a real labour of love.  Debbie used a pattern from JustDo who sells her patterns on Etsy…

Crochet Skirt Guard from Just Do

Crochet Skirt Guard Pattern from JustDo on Etsy

…and had to be a bit ingenious to make it fit her own bike but it worked beautifully.  Thanks Debbie, for allowing me to share, just too good to hide away!

I’ll be back soon…x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...