Friday, 31 January 2014

Pattern Herd: Year of the Horse

So Chinese New Year has come around again and this year is the year of the horse! Coincidentally, I was born in the year of the horse too :)

If you'd like to know more about the year of the horse and what it all means, I have found a handy dandy link here. I don't know if I 100% agree with what it's saying as I can't apply some of the characteristics to myself, but I guess some of them are true!

Anyway, enough of that. You're here for a pattern herd (ironic as it's for horses) not for whether I always want to be in the limelight or if I'm great at communicating!

1) Amigurumi Horse by Tanya on Little Things Blogged


I love this horse! I love its bright blue colour. Guaranteed to stand out in a herd. He has an amazing oversized head and a lovely long, white mane. This pattern is available for free on Little Things Blogged.


2) Carousel Horse Pattern by BeadedBundles


I love carousels. My friend and I always go on one if there's one around when we're together! It's a tradition that started on Brighton seafront and has just continued. This carousel horse reminds me of these times and I love its simplicity. The pattern is available for download on Etsy.

3) Brown Pony Pattern by April Draven


This "brown pony" looks suspiciously like Bullseye from Toy Story 2 and 3! I suppose for copyright reason the name wasn't used... But if you know a Toy Story fan, or you are one, then this pattern is perfect for you! It is available for free on April Draven's blog :)

4) Hermione the Unicorn by Dawn Toussaint


I guess this pattern isn't strictly a horse, but it's a type of horse! And look at her gorgeous little face. It's difficult not to include her! A beautiful unicorn with a rainbow mane and lovely blue feet! The pattern is a free Ravelry download: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hermione-the-unicorn

5) Pony Pattern by All About Ami


Another pattern that was made to commemorate the year of the horse, All About Ami has designed this cute little pony that could easily be adapted into a unicorn, although she is gorgeous just as she is! The pattern is available for free on All About Ami.

6) Pony Hat by NyanPon


Ah! I want one in every colour! I love this hat, it looks so snuggly and warm. Perfect, especially as it snowed here (Nottingham, UK) yesterday! We are not used to that. I love the individuality of this hat. Definitely will stand out from the crowd in this. This pattern is available for free on NyanPon's blog.

That's it from this pattern herd! If there's anything you'd like to see "herded", leave a comment!

New Products to The C of C on Etsy!

So it's been a while since I updated my Etsy shop and I realise how annoying that can be! I'm so sorry if anyone has been waiting for an update!

I decided to try out a new product after seeing an idea in a magazine that we stock at work, called Bead & Jewellery. It was a bead woven bunting necklace. I'd never tried bead weaving before and thought it would be highly laborious and a bit of a pain, but I was proven wrong!

Bead & Jewellery Magazine. Image from mailorder-beads.co.uk

I love bunting. It's my dream to learn to sew and I would have bunting everywhere! One day I will learn, but in the meantime, I will just make bunting to wear around my neck! I grabbed a few Miyuki Delica beads, some bead weaving thread and a needle and got making! I picked it up surprisingly quickly and was soon able to make some adjustments so my bead weaving was straighter.

The first couple of necklaces I made, I emulated the style in the magazine, with more spaced-out "flags". I liked how it looks, but I also wanted to add my own spin on it and make it more "my own". The next one I made, I attached each flag with a jump ring between and I much preferred that!

First necklace I made with spaced flags.


Then I decided I liked them like this more!

After mastering the triangular flags, I thought I'd try something a little more seasonal. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so I found a tutorial for brick stitch hearts! The heart bunting necklace was then made! I love the solid colours of them. They remind me of LoveHeart sweets!

Available in 3 colours!

If you're interested in purchasing one of these necklaces, check out my Etsy shop!

Monday, 27 January 2014

1000 views!

I'd just like to write a (very!) short post, thanking you all! I've just hit 1000 views on my blog. Thank you so much if you check back here frequently, if this is your first visit or if you pop in and out when you remember. I appreciate your support so much :)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Exploring Etsy: Tea Party!

For those of you who know me, you will know about my obsession with tea! I love the whole idea of a tea party, from the tea cups, to the little cakes. It just makes me happy thinking about it!

I know it's still January so an outdoor tea party isn't likely to happen for a few months, but that doesn't mean I can't indulge in a little indoor tea party! This EE will be looking at all the tea-related items that can be found on Etsy!

I suppose there's no point having a tea party if the tea isn't going to taste nice! Letteredandlined have made an amazing print to stop that problem! The teabags explain what temperature the water should be and how long the tea should be steeped for! This print is £14.67 and can be found here.

Oh if only I knew how to embroider! It would be amazing to make these! If you're fortunate enough to have this skill, Bumpkin has uploaded the PDF of  these three embroidery patterns! I love the stack of teacups :) £7.62 for the patterns for these three prints and they can be found here.

Can't bear to be too far from your favourite teas? Well eljahb has got that problem sorted for you! She has designed these cute teabag holders so you can take up to 4 teabags with you wherever you go! They're made to order therefore you can choose your fabric :) These delights are only £4.99 and can be found here.

Teaspoonsf has put together this amazing kit to make delicious teabag-shaped biscuits! I love this idea :) It would be great to make Earl Grey flavoured biscuits with this biscuit cutter! Definitely something I'm going to have to invest in... This kit is £8.43 and can be purchased here.

You know that I like my hair accessories, and what better than a teabag hair clip! PopandMoo have truly thought of everything here. Look at its cute, smily face :) This hair clip is on a barrette clip, which will be very secure in your hair. This little guy costs only £5.12 and can be found here.
 
Every tea party needs decoration! To be honest, this would be right at home in my kitchen. NerdThatDraws has crafted this amazing garland using card and vintage fabrics to give it a lovely, homely feel. This garland is £10 and can be bought here.

Do you have little ones who want to join in the fun? Dearmykids has kindly put up a PDF pattern to make this adorable teaset from felt, which even includes little sugar cubes! Because you have the pattern, you could make the teaset in your child's favourite colours! The pattern is £3.75 and can be downloaded from here.

This teapot isn't as cutesy as the other things I have posted! Bycandlelight27 has handpainted this amazing skull design onto a teapot. Perfect for the skull-lovers who also love a cuppa! There are also teacups available in the skull design, so you can have a matching set. The teapot is £16.00 and can be found here.

What's the point in having a teapot if the tea in it is just going to get cold? SimplyWestCoast has knitted this amazing tea cosy with gorgeous felt sheep appliqu├ęd to the front! The tea cosy is made to order and will fit a one or two cup teapot. The tea cosy is £18.73 and can be found here.


FlyingSquirrelNest has created this gorgeous 3-tier cake (or biscuit!) stand using plates and saucers. A very creative way of recycling unused crockery! I love the colours and design of this stand, although there are plenty more to choose from in the shop! This cake stand is £31.85 and can be bought here.

So that's it for this EE! I hope that you enjoyed looking at all the tea-related goodies I found! No doubt I'll have another tea-themed Exploring Etsy in the future! There are so many amazing items on Etsy!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Friendship Bracelets for Beginners pt. 4: Backwards Knot

This knot is the one that some people get a little confused with, but I promise that it's not that hard, especially because you know the forwards knot so well now after making the candy stripe bracelet :)

The backwards knot is a very useful one to know as you'll be able to make all sorts of interesting shapes and patterns within the bracelet once you know this knot!

I'm starting with my threads in the same way as I did for the forwards knot, like so:




This means I will be tying the backwards knot with the green thread.



Holding the yellow thread taut, make a backwards "4" shape with the green thread.
Pull the tail through the loop you've just made and pull tightly.
Repeat the process...

... And that's the mystery behind the backwards knot solved!!

Now you know both forwards and backwards knots, you will be able to make chevron bracelets! I will explain how to make these bracelets in the next post of the "series" :D

Friday, 17 January 2014

Friendship Bracelets for Beginners pt.3: Candy Stripe Bracelet!

YAY! You have mastered the forwards knot! I'm so pleased because you're already equipped to make a basic bracelet!

I'm sure you have seen candy stripe bracelets before - they're the stripy friendship bracelets!




As you can see, you can use any colour combination, the coloured stripes can be varying thickness etc. As my dad says, the world is your lobster! You'll be shocked at how easy they are, and I'm a little embarrassed to dedicate a blog post to it!!

I will only be using two colours for this tutorial, although I am using 8 strings. To start a bracelet of this thickness, cut 4 lengths of approx. 1m of each colour. You will then want to knot them together and plait a length of them so you are able to tie it. Tie another knot at the end of the plaited section and lay them out, alternating like so:



Starting with your first colour, which for me is blue, tie a forwards knot (see here if your memory needs refreshing) onto the yellow thread. Be sure to tie each knot tightly to have even knotting! Continue tying forwards knots down the rest of the strings until the first thread is now the last. (My first row of knots always looks wobbly, so don't worry if yours do too! The next row will be better, I promise.)


Now you want to take your second thread (for me, yellow) and knot another row of forwards knots, like you've just done. (See? I said the second row would be neater :) )




Continue to tie rows of forwards knots until your bracelet reaches the desired length. I always go for a little bit shorter than once around my wrist.





Tie a knot and plait the threads together, so it's the same length as the plait at the beginning. Tie one final knot, trim the ends and wear your bracelet with pride!!






Go and try your threads in different orders to get different looks.


This bracelet I made, I used 3 strands of each colour, except for white, which I only used 2 of.. I spaced them out like GGG W RRR W. I knotted the them the same way as above.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Exploring Etsy: Inspired by Frozen!

So over Christmas, Disney released a new film called Frozen! It is apparently based on The Snow Queen and is set in Scandinavia! I love this film so much and the soundtrack is incredible; a definite recommendation from me!

Because I love this film so much, I have decided that this EE is going to be inspired by it!


This first find is a gorgeous necklace made by PreciousGirlsCrafts! The pendant with Elsa in the middle is made from a new, flattened bottle cap and has lovely smooth edges. The ball chain that it is on is 24 inches (about 60cm) long and can be easily adjusted, so one size fits all! This necklace is £11.28 and can be found here.


I love this hair bow by BrightStarCrafts! Made from a gorgeously sparkly blue ribbon, this bow is accented by a delightful snowflake button. The bow is attached to a pinch clip, so will definitely stay in your hair. The description says that it's perfect for any Elsa costume! This bow is £4.39 and can be found here.


Ah it's Olaf as earrings! These wonderful earrings are by the very-talented Velwoo. They are made from polymer clay so won't be too heavy. I love that his head and body are detatched. The earrings are made from nickel-free, anti-allergic materials, so even the most sensitive of ears can sport them. These are £12.54 and can be found here.


I love these gloves. The Scandanavian print, I thought, went along with the film perfectly! These gloves were knitted by WoolenDream on Etsy. They are made from merino wool so they will be so soft and are hand-knitted using the two colours so will be doubly warm! These gloves are £25.08 and can be found here.

 I love this next find! A sparkly snowflake hair clip by the colourful JanineBasil. I love JanineBasil's hair accessories as they're so imaginative and different! This felt hairclip is attached onto a barrette-style clip or an alligator clip, so it won't fall out your hair! The clip costs £19 and can be found here.


 Let's not just focus on Elsa here, although it's very easy to do! inknpaint has made silhouettes of several Disney characters, I have chosen Kristoff to feature here. These pendants come with a 17 inch chain (although you can ask for a different length) and cost only £12.54! The pendant can be found here.


Rather make something yourself? XStitchMyHeart has uploaded a PDF file of the crochet pattern so you can create really adorable, pixel versions of your favourite characters! There's even a chart with the recommended colours included in the instant download! It costs only £2.50 and can be found here.



So I know that snowmen are associated big time with Christmas, but from what I have seen on the news, the US is experiencing some serious snow at the moment! These snowmen earrings by AmandaLynnChainmail are something a little different to the usual earrings you see! I love the unique style! These earrings are £11.22 and you even have the option to choose your own scarf colour! You can find the earrings here.


Something a little different now! JinxNSparkyCrafts is selling this wonderful vintage-style Olaf apron! It's amazing and I love how unique it is. This apron will definitely make you a happy snowman in the summer months too. These aprons are made to order, cost £37.41 and can be found here.


These gorgeous earrings by WishUponACrystal reminded me so much of icicles! I love them :) I think they are something that Elsa would look very glamorous while wearing :) There's even a matching necklace available, should you want it. The earrings cost £18.71 and are available here.

I hope you liked this Frozen-inspired EE and if you would like you items featured, don't hesitate to get in contact with me!! See you again soon :)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Friendship Bracelets for Beginners Pt 2: The Forwards Knot

Now you've gathered all of the equipment you will need, I expect you're itching to get started! Some patterns will say the measurements for the threads you use, but many also don't. For basic bracelets, it's usually best to go for 1m per thread. When you are first starting to make bracelets, it's better to have too much thread than too little!

I usually knot my bracelets at the top and plait the threads together so they are easy to tie. I also make a loop at the top as an alternative joining method. You will have to do this before you start to knot the bracelet.

There are 4 knots that you will need to know to make friendship bracelets:

  • Forwards knot
  • Backwards knot
  • Forwards Backwards knot
  • Backwards Forwards knot
I know they may sound very confusing, but they're really not, don't worry!! Most patterns have symbols for these knots which are as follows (order the same as list above!):

(Image from Bracelet Book)

In this post, I will be showing you how to do the forwards knot.. For each of the tutorials, the threads will start with the same set up:


I will be using the yellow thread to tie to forwards knot.


1. Create a loop by laying the yellow thread over the green.
2. Pull the tail of the yellow thread through the loop.
3. Pull the knot tight.
4-6 repeat the first three steps and that's your first knot made!!

See? I said it wasn't too difficult :) If you prefer, I have found a video by the very-talented BeyondBracelets on YouTube, which you can go to if you click here.

Now you have that knot under your belt, you will be able to make a candy stripe bracelet, which I will show you how to make in my next Friendship Bracelets For Beginners post!