Category Archives: Tutorials

Advent Calendar – Day Eleven

The Advent Calendar make today has  me revealing my secret hoard of wrapping paper, well, a tiny bit.  It’s too embarrassing to reveal all!  I do love wrapping paper, but when it comes to using it I can’t bear the thought of the eager recipient tearing it off and discarding it, too eager to get at the gift to appreciate it’s beauty and preciousness! (I know, it’s me that’s getting precious!)

But this make means that not only is there no necessity for any reckless ripping, but both sides of the paper can be on show (another cause of head scratching, if it’s gorgeous on both sides which do I use?  No wonder I end up with the  brown paper!)

I bought this paper the November before last at the Pick’n’Mix Market and it’s been wrapped in tissue ever since..

wrapping paper

the robins…

Robin Wrapping Paper for Advent Calendar - Day Eleven

and the winter flowers and berries, which is by Emma Bridgewater…

Emma Bridgewater Paper for Advent Calendar - Day Eleven

I found a great little tutorial here on a Japanese blog called Mairuru which explains beautifully how to make gift bags.  Apart from a slightly tricky bit of paper folding when you construct the bottom (which is fine if you concentrate hard and keep your cool!!! (I’m saying nothing!) )  I just used a hole punch so I could thread through the ribbon handles.  It’s a very simple and satifying little skill which will come in handy for more than just Christmas.

Gift Bags for Advent Calendar -  Day Eleven

Gift Bags for Advent Calendar - Day Eleven

All ready to be filled with all sorts of goodies…

Gift Bags and Mice for Advent Calendar Day Eleven

Gift Bags with mice for Advent Calendar  - Day Eleven

Crochet Mouse in Gift Bag for Advent Calendar  - Day Eleven

Remember, that little grey mouse could be yours!  Have you entered the Prize Draw yet?  All the details are on Day Two of the Advent Calendar which is here. All you have to do is to leave a comment to say which way you follow Planet Penny, whether it’s on the blog, or Facebook or even Pinterest.  And if you follow via multiple sources tell me that too, because then you’ll go in the Draw twice!

The little brown Mouse?  Well he’s appearing later on in the Advent Calendar, wait and see!

See you tomorrow….x

Advent Calendar – Day Three

For the Planet Penny Advent Calendar today I’ve gone to a Christmas favourite of mine, Origami Stars.  I first tried Origami when I was about 11.  My mother found a book in the library, and thought it was a great idea as it didn’t require any cutting up of bits of paper.   (She says I spent my entire childhood creating scraps of paper which were too small to pick up, and too big to be vacuumed.  Nothing’s changed there then!)

The stars didn’t make an appearance then, but my lovely daughter-in-law, Celia, discovered them a few Christmases ago, and decorated the mantelpiece in their old house in Rouen, and they now remind me of the last Christmas we spent there together before she, my son and grandsons move back to the UK.  Happy memories, and I’ve been making them every Christmas since…

What I love about them is that they are so simple to make, and yet can be made to fit in any colour scheme, from the wild and colourful to sophisticated and plain.  You will be very surprised by my particular choice, given my love of colour but I really like them plain and white and simple…

Origami Stars -  Day three Planet Penny Advent Calendar

The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating ideas.  They look good just in a glass jar, dish or vase…

Origami stars in a jar Origami Stars -  Day three Planet Penny Advent Calendar

…so pretty scattered over a red Christmas tablecloth…

white origami stars on red Origami Stars -  Day three Planet Penny Advent Calendar

In the past I’ve strung them together  to make garlands, added individual strings to each little star to hang them in the Christmas tree branches and attached them to mirrors and windows with double sided tape.  Made in gold and silver and glued on to a simple wreath they would look stunning and in  bright colours stuck to the ceiling to a child’s bedroom they would look pretty any time of the year…

Tempted?  Well, there’s a great tutorial here which will get you started, and before too long you’ll be churning them out in every spare moment!

origami stars on red mat Origami Stars -  Day three Planet Penny Advent Calendar

And if you’d like a little colour fix, I found these on Pinterest.  Aren’t they gorgeous? (no source I’m afraid)

6af43369ea01d7b8fcbecc472248f4dd

If you missed yesterdays’s post don’t forget to join in with the Prize Draw, see this post for all the details of the prize.  Just follow Planet Penny in some way, whether it’s by email sign up, or on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.  Don’t think I expect you to do everything, and if you are already following, well thank you very much! All I need is for you to tell me somewhere in a comment during the Advent Calendar posts because that where I will be compiling my list of entrants from.  Hope that make sense…

In the meantime, Have fun, and I’ll be back tomorrow!

 

A Pinboard for a New Term…

I don’t think it matters how long ago it is since you left school, the approach of September always feels much more like the beginning of a new year than the actual one in dreary old January!  And it’s so much more full of hope and possibility, we could have an ‘Indian Summer’ to make up for the lack of a British one, the evenings are still light, and it just feels like an optimistic new start.  So this has been a good time to get my little office up and running efficiently with pinboards, graphs and flow charts (pause to snort with derisive laughter!)  and slowly, slowly get on top of the teetering piles of paperwork.   It also means I can reclaim the studio space from being a dumping ground/spare room (thank goodness it was only Tim and I trying to shoehorn ourselves into the sofa bed!)   It now looks too tidy to use, even Higgins is surprised…

Miniature dachshund on a crochet cusion

…and here it is, I had to record it because it won’t last!

crochet throw on sofa

and in this one you can see the office at the end, it’s not ready for close inspection yet!

You might have noticed the old pinboard in the first photo, so full of stuff which had been there forever.

Very uninspiring, and in need of a makeover to celebrate the new look.  It was even more uninspiring once I’d taken off all the tatty bits and pieces…

You can see just how long some things had languished there by the interesting shadow effects!

So this is how the transformation took place, a quick and easy project as it only took a couple of hours.  All it took was some grey emulsion paint, I used a sample pot, and some white, I had plenty around as we’d been painting the studio.  Fabric and Bondaweb the size of the board, ribbon and glue and a few buttons.

After giving the board a wipe I painted the frame with the grey emulsion…

Once it dried I gave it a coat of white.  It doesn’t have to cover completely, just make sure that the brush strokes follow the shape of the frame.  Once it was dry I sanded it lightly to reveal some of the grey undercoat and polished it with beeswax.

I then cut a piece of Bondaweb to the size of the cork area of the pinboard and ironed to the back of my chosen fabric, in this case some jolly red and pink spotty Ikea fabric, peeled off the back of the Bondaweb and ironed the fabric directly on to the cork area…

To cover the raw edges I used a woven ribbon…

..and found just the right buttons to trim the corners.

Did you notice the Dove Christmas decoration on the old pinboard? That got a new lease of life…

…and the pinboard was ready to use…

Trouble is, it’s far too pretty to fill with Post-It notes, receipts and appointments, isn’t it?  So for now it looks like this…

 pinboard full of prettiness

…and I’ll probably have to buy another pinboard to use in the office!  Ho hum…

 

Yarn Projects Galore!

I hate to complain, but if we have all the worry and inconvenience of a drought and a hose pipe ban to look forward to, can’t we do it with a bit of sunshine?  It’s been sooo gloomy over the past few days, real ‘Tupperware box‘ weather.

Spring is trying hard though.  Driving over the weekend the sight of the Blackthorn blossom frothing in the sunnier roadside spots lifted my heart but it hasn’t quite got going in this part of Norfolk yet.  I took the camera out dog walking yesterday to capture the first opening buds…

…of course, it also brought the crop sprayer out, rather a worrying fluorescent green that spray!

I’m trying to keep it cheerful on Planet Penny though.  This week  the latest Mollie Makes landed on the door step with several useful projects for Cotton Club crocheters!

The free gift on the front was a crochet flower brooch, very pretty, but if you buy a copy be warned that the pattern has a mistake which Mollie Makes give a correction for here.  I spent a little while convinced I was losing the plot until I finished off on my own and was relieved the next day to find it was the pattern after all!  It was interesting to do a quality comparison between the cotton yarn supplied which seemed to be a standard quality and the Cotton Club yarn, can you tell the  difference?

I was amazed at how splitty and rough the ordinary cotton was by comparison.

The other bits of inspiration could be found here on page 35…

and also on page 61…

The new batch of Planet Penny Cotton Club yarn has arrived, with an extra shade not available last time, so it’s better than ever!

Planet Penny Cotton Yarn rainbow colours

it’s bridges a gap as you can see…

So there are now 14 balls in the pack, still priced at £2.50 a ball and at 125m a ball I think is longer than both Debbie Bliss and Rowan (but do correct me if I’m wrong)

I’ve been busy sorting and packing the yarn, but it’s not too much of a hardship because I’m getting a colour hit every time I open the box…

I’ve sent the first few packs off across the ‘pond’ , I hope they don’t take too long to arrive.  It was lovely to receive two emails one after the other yesterday from people on the waiting list whom I had contacted to say the yarn was ready.  One was from the U.S. and the other from about 10 miles away from Planet Penny, but they both started, ‘I’m SO excited!’  I’ve also had a link to Peas in a Pod the blog of another extremely happy person, you can pay her a visit here.  Isn’t it amazing, and wonderful that we can all join in the fun however far apart we are?  Do get in touch if you would like your own Rainbow Pack.

And I nearly forgot, I was asked if I could write up my version of the Rainbow Mouse pattern…

…from this post and I have!  You’ll find it here

And, as if there wasn’t enough going on, the time is fast approaching for Norfolk Open Studios.  The deadline for applications for the Taster Exhibition is this coming Monday, and although I know what I propose to make, and in my head it’s finished (and in my head it looks rather wonderful) I haven’t actually done anything at all!

So with that in mind, and knowing how little time I will have for dyeing my own fleece I sent off to Wingham Wool for their shade card so could get the supplies I need for the needlefelt project I have in mind.   They have an amazing colour chart,  which if you undertake to return within two weeks is free…

…and I have selected these colours to augment what I already have in my stash…

I’ll share my idea as it develops but in the meantime, if someone could arrange for an extra 12 hours a day, I’d be really grateful!

See you soon! x

 

New Crochet Bunting for Handmade Monday

There’s been a lot of weather about this week!  Anyway, moments like this when you’re out for a walk make it worthwhile, even when it’s below freezing point.  And no apologies for sharing another snowdrop picture, I’m getting a little obsessed by seeing things from a miniature dachshund’s viewpoint!

I’ve been happy and relieved that this week at our monthly Knit and Stitch meeting  the little heart pattern was tested out by a relatively new crochet-er, and it worked !  (Bearing in mind I might have been crocheting for a while, but I’m a novice pattern writer!) Not only that, but having cracked the pattern, Carol went on to reinterpret the heart with crochet wire and beads, which is so pretty…

They look huge here, but they’re not much bigger than a 10p piece, delicate crochet jewellery.

My latest rainbow creation from my gorgeous cotton yarn basket is a new version of  crochet bunting.  I know the white Christmas Bunting is very popular but there’s been a lot of white around just lately, and I needed an antidote!

I’ll be posting the pattern in Tutorials very soon.

Which brings me to the fireplace.  And the hearth rug.  the scene of many a power struggle amongst the four legged members of the family.  On the one side is Henry, who has been here for getting on for 17 years, who isn’t in the best of health, but who know exactly what is due to a senior citizen  and is quite prepared to use all his ‘Grumpy Old Man ‘ tactics to make sure he gets his way.  And on the other side is Higgins, who is absolutely sure that everything is all about him…

Today my sister arrived with a special present just for Henry, and I rather knew it was going to cause trouble…

A beautiful rag rug, exactly what a old and bony pussy cat needs…

um…hang on…

…that’s better…

But when a little chat about ‘sharing’ fell on deaf ears…

Higgins retired to the sofa…

Hang on, can’t you see him?

It’s a dog’s life…

But enough of all that.  It’s Handmade Monday again, and it’s time to visit the lovely Wendy over on 1st Unique Gifts and find out what everyone else has been creating this week.

Next week I’m hoping to share a new idea with you, one you might just want to join in with…

In the meantime, see you soon! xx

 

A Snowy Handmade Monday

If my Silent Sunday photo was the day before, this was what those clouds were heralding…

(and if you look closely you can see someone has made a little bow wave!)

Funnily enough, after the early morning excitement, Higgins was NOT very enthusiastic about a walk later on in the day…

But he soon got into the swing of things…

…and definitely appreciated the coat in the end!

So there’s been a good excuse to linger indoors and do a bit more crochet.  I had a lovely book for Christmas which is full of inspiring things to make…

…and had some fun with these…

and in the spirit of re-using containers, and as excuse to use this fab ribbon…

I gave a tin of Heinz Tomato Soup a whole new lease of life!

I started on a little something for Valentines Day…

…and if you’d like a pattern I’ll be putting one on soon.

 I’d also like to share some other little handmade lovelies which although are designed for Easter, are much to pretty to hide away. One of the wonderful things about the blogging/making world is the new friends you make.  People you would never otherwise have met.   I had lunch with one of these friends last week, a couple of hours of frantic chatter, comparing notes and trying to fit everything in!  Gabriella and I both had stalls at the Pick’n’Mix Market last year, run by another blogging/maker friend Lisa of Bobobun, you might remember this photo of the Moobaacluck Stall.   So I was so thrilled by this present from Gabs…

I don’t think I have enough handles in the house!

So now it’s time to join in with Wendy’s Handmade Monday over on 1st Unique gifts, where you’ll find all sorts of yummy things going on!  It’s well worth a visit!

See you soon xx

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