There wasn’t much demand for my crochet and handsewn homewares at the recent CCMA Craft fair which was very disappointing for me after all the work I put in since January, especially with everything else that has been going on. (We moved! Same area, much more house to keep!) However my motivation for taking a stall wasn’t purely profit: the centre is just down the road and I thought it was a good way to get involved in the community. I was really impressed with the number and variety of craftspeople based in the area. It was also a challenge for me to push my creations out into the world. I even created a pattern which I will post anon – it’s kind of an Ikea hack too! I’m also considering setting up an Etsy shop or taking a stall at another market. So onwards and upwards.
The only thing that sold like hot cakes were my vintage knitting patterns. I have a large collection thanks to my godmother and great aunt (below, on her wedding day 🙂 but as I don’t knit myself I’m willling to part with them.
Some of the pieces I crocheted for have been repurposed as gifts and I’ve been delighted to see them in use! My mum (one of the three people who bought something) has been using the coin purse she bought: the bright yellow zip makes it easy to find in the dark recesses of her handbag. We all know that feeling!
I think the bunting above will likely make an appearance at the school family fun day too!
So it’s official: I can no longer use our recent house move as an excuse. With the housewarming well and truly over we are settled in and then some into our fabulous new home.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram/ Facebook may have seen me posting that I was feeling all Maria Von Trapp after taking down all the curtains in our house. (This was after the installation of our new blinds from Square Blinds on the Long Mile who I am very happy to recommend.)
So even though those curtains were no longer needed to dress my window I did feel a mega pang of guilt about the concept of chucking all that polycotton in a bin, even a recycling one. One curtain was immediately put to use as floor protection as I painted the kitchen. Like a complete amateur I forgot to do a before and after so I won’t be regaling you with carefully styled interior shots.
Then I remembered this tutorial on UCreate for making fabric baskets and I thought, “It’s not curtains for these curtains after all.” I had visions of converting all that curtain into basket, forgetting it was neither today nor yesterday that I sat at my machine. Bits of three days later (I had to do a LOT of practising, particularly the curvy bits) I am quite proud of the finished article (as long as I don’t look at the cut-out handles. At all. So I learnt something too, right?
Part of my motivation for making this was that I needed some way to display my wares at the upcoming St. Agnes CCMA Craft Fair on May 15th at which I will have a stall. My first craft fair! It popped up in my Facebook feed back in January while we were waiting to get our keys for the house and I figured I might have time. The centre is just down the road from the new gaff so I thought it might be a way to meet some folk too. It is being run by a very interesting local organisation. They are most famous for their initiative for creating a community orchestra where both children and parents learn instruments from scratch at the same time. So if you are anywhere in the neighbourhood between 12 and 5 on Thursday 15th May pop in and have a gander. In the box above you can see a sample of my Granny square coaster and my Granny Bunting but I (will!!) have lots more bits and bobs on the day.
Granby Park, is an urban, ‘pop-up’ park in a currently vacant site in Dublin’s inner city. It is made from up-cycled, recycled, donated and found material and features some of the city’s most talented artists, architects, performers, planners etc. It will have an outdoor cinema, a theatre made by kids from palettes, an education zone, exhibitions, a play area, a café, art installations, and lots, lots more!
Situated just off busy, commercial Parnell St. it is in a prime city centre location surrounded by some of some of Dublin’s iconic Georgian houses, social housing from the 50sish and swish new apartments which should make it a very attractive place to live, full of diversity. But with this enormous hole right in the middle of the community I imagine it’s a little difficult. So somehow or other the local community has commandeered this wasteland and turned it into a wonderland.
I was really happy to be able to donate some of the motif’s I found in my godmother’s house when we were clearing it out last year and I think she would be pleased they found an amusing end. I’m only sorry I didn’t donate more. Maybe I’ll pop over and bomb some more onto the railings! I would highly recommend a visit: it’s open from 8am til 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 7pm weekends until September 22nd 2013. Word to the wise: the coffee shop hadn’t opened by the time I left at 10am last Monday. Below are some shots I grabbed of the Nippers enjoying the various installations and areas in the park. There is also a library – maybe bring a book to donate!
While we were on our fabulous holiday in Casteldeffels near Barcelona I was very impressed with the bougainvillea that flourished with abandon everywhere. There were bushes of this magenta beauty growing magnificently all around the pool at our apartment block (yes it was a FABULOUS! holiday 🙂 I was a little green with envy as we had bought a bougainvillea in Johnstown Garden Centre during our spring into our very late Spring. We planted it in a planter in the sunniest spot in our garden (I can currently see it’s reflection in the screen) at the corner of the office. And it promptly withered, wilted and generally looked sickly and sad. This was the second plant we had put in this spot and it had never taken off either so we chalked it up to even more experience and went off on our aforementioned holiday.
While we were away Ireland experience a heatwave, the like of which had not been experienced since 2006. I remember the Big Heat of ’06 as I was also big with child and it was most uncomfortable. We were expecting disaster on our return but thanks to my brother the plants nearest the house were very well watered. I forgot to mention our vegetable patch to him but everything was in great nick. And the bougainvillea was MAJESTIC! It hadn’t been watered for 2 weeks and it was fabulous. So much of gardening is a fluke for us. I do the odd bit of research but become flummoxed easily when I come across a term or practice that I am unfamiliar with. I go with the logic that if the weeds can grow that well most other things with a little care can do it. If Stone Age Man became agrarian surely I can too? (And thus she demonstrates her ignorance of history too – BAM!)
The other day as I attempted to encourage the bougainvillea up the trellis I accidentally snapped a piece off. As I don’t own any bud vases (I know – unbelievable) I decided this was a perfect opportunity to try out this project I had found on Pinterest. (In a side note check out Pintrosity who inspired this post and many of my Pinterest projects.) I had also been dying to try out the Mod Podge that I had picked up while in New York at Easter. However as I had bought it in a paper shop I accidentally bought Paper ModPodge. From my reading though I got the impression that this ModPodge was formulated to work better with paper to avoid yellowing as it aged but works exactly the same way in all other manners. Nipper 1.0 decided to give it a go too. We found the glue often dried before we managed to wrap the yarn over it. This was particularly frustrating for him and so he didn’t complete his cool looking bottle. You can see my finished jar in situ below.
It’s practically impossible to blog and crochet at the same time. Crochet one, blog two. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Thanks to Ravelry though I do have an online repository for my uber crochet geekery.
Ravelry is a superb resource and a fascinating database. It must be one of the most successful niche community fora in the world. Consumers, suppliers, hobbyists and professionals discuss all manner of yarnie issues and news in a very well developed and developing site. Personally I don’t have a huge amount of time for the discussions but a huge number of my recent creations have begun as (nearly all free!) patterns found on Ravelry.
Apart from finding challenging and beautiful patterns on Ravelry I have also managed to sell some of my recently inherited stash to a fellow yarnie in the US!
Another amazing resource for burgeoning hookers is YouTube where you will find a gazillion videos to explain any stitch.
I’ve been planning a post for ages about the yarns I was introduced to at a recent “yarn tasting” at This is Knit. It will come… One of these days 🙂