Tuesday, 15 April 2014

This and That

Not a lot of crafting going on here at Doggy Towers over the last few weeks, I did frame my Airedale Terrier (above) and here he is next to this cute lamp I bought at Cath Kidston.
I have a few projects on the go:
 Cross stitch
but nothing finished to show. 
I am always on the lookout for anything Airedale related and found this Airedale Terrier motif when shopping in Hobbycraft recently.

 Wilberforce is now fully recovered from his eye infection and here is Higgins enjoying one of his favourite pastimes, tearing up boxes so they fit neatly in the recycling bin.  He is a very eco-friendly dog.
Happy Easter to everyone in blogland and I hope we have good weather to enjoy it.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Airedale Terrier in Stitches

 I finally finished my Airedale Terrier cross stitch I started last year.  There were so many colour changes that it took me ages.  I found the perfect frame in my craft room so it just has to be washed, pressed and framed now.  I love his cute expression.  We both think he looks a lot like our darling Archie.
 Wilberforce has been in the wars yet again with an eye infection and has to wear the "cone of shame" yet again.  With the help of eye drops and antibiotics it has healed quite a lot since I took this photo.  He still has to wear the buster collar except when he is eating or we are with him as he keeps trying to scratch the skin off!
 Higgins is in fine fettle, he never seems to get ill (touch wood) I guess the Welsh Border Collie is a pretty hardy breed.  Here he is enjoying a Jumbone type treat.
 I have finally finished my patchwork squares and have started putting them together.  I am not sure if patchwork is my forte though.  When sewing clothes or home furnishings if a seam is 1/4" bigger in some places it doesn't really matter but with patchwork it means the squares don't line up so you have to be super accurate which I find a bit tedious.  I have got to learn how to quilt it next, with the help of another class so it will be quite a while before I finish it.
My cross stitch sampler is coming along faster than I expected probably because it is in one colour so there is no stopping to rethread and join different colours.
The weather has been so warm and sunny this week, hotter than Spain and Greece so we have been in the mood for spring cleaning.  I started with my craft room and have filled three bags of craft stuff (it is amazing how the trends change) for the Wet Nose animal rescue shop and have been going through my hundreds of craft magazines to see if I can reduce them.

The issues I did not want to keep have gone to my local hospital shop and any with ideas I like I have stuck in this hardback book and then recycled those magazines.  I have a lot more shelf space now.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Scrap 365: March Challenge - Sherlock Bones

When I saw the March Scrapbook challenge I new exactly what I wanted to scrap.  In this photo of Archie he is wearing an outfit I made for him to enter the fancy dress competition at a doggy fun day we attended.

The little magnifying glass is real and I placed a tiny photo of Archie wearing his deerstalker hat in it.  I used old watch parts as my "confetti" to complement the docrafts Chronology papers I used.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Long Term Projects and Sweet Treats

The long winter nights have made me feel like hunkering down with a couple of big projects to see me through till spring.  I started this crochet throw at the beginning of January, it uses 4ply yarn which is quite thin (D.K. is my preferred weight) but I used to do a lot of machine knitting so I am able to use up some of the boxes of coned 4 ply yarns I have had stashed away for years.
 Then I decided to start a big cross stitch projects which will probably keep me busy for the rest of the year.  The design is on the front cover of the book below and here is my progress so far.
 I practically ate my own body weight in chocolate over Christmas so have been on the wagon for a while but I got cravings the other night and began to search around for any I might have forgotten.  Was just about to give up when lo and behold I found these guys lurking on a shelf in my utility room.  They were a present from John's brother and I had put them in here away from the boys.  Needless to say they did not last long.
 I had a lot of sweet making ingredients left over from Christmas too so yesterday I made this easy cheat's chocolate fudge.  Well, you should not waste food should you?  I only made then last night and today they are all gone.  I think I have a seious addiction.

 Hotter Shoes are giving away the knitting pattern for this London bus, I have already downloaded my copy.  I thought it would make a cute doorstop as well as a children's toy.  They also have a free Alan Dart pattern there too which you can find here.
Happy crafting and keep warm.
Shirley x

Monday, 3 February 2014

Stay Cozy and Craft

I am resisting the urge to hibernate, I do not like this time of year, the best thing I can do is stay close to the fire and indulge in some crafting till Spring comes.
I have not been crafting as much as usual recently instead catching up on the huge pile of books and magazines I have beside my armchair and bed.  Over Christmas I knitted these owl fingerless gloves, they are quite a sociable project, ok for knitting and talking at the same time.
Then I decided to knit this cable beret, the pattern was free from the Love Knitting Website and also a crochet collar for Wilberforce which only took about an hour to make. 

Christmas seems ages ago now but I only just downloaded my photos, here are two of the boys enjoying a couple of their presents. 

 During my post Christmas clear up, I came across this fabric I bought last Autumn from a department store in the city.  It is called Terriers and is from Makower.  There are a few different designs but this one has Airedale Terriers on it so I had to buy some.
Have a few projects on the go at the moment but am waiting for the better weather, at these times of year I wish I lived in a hot country - roll on spring.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Not sure where the time has gone over the past few weeks.  I have been so busy shopping and wrapping presents, buying all the food and preparing the house for Christmas there has been little time for crafting.

In between fixing a leak in the roof!! and installing a new wall light in my hallway, I just managed to make a felt reindeer and crochet a snowflake for my tree.

I managed to grab a photo of the boys sharing a sofa which I turned into Christmas cards using readymade photo cards.  This was quite a rare occurance as they each have their own sofas and never the twain shall meet usually.  It hasn't happened since.

Before returning to trim my tree I would like to wish everyone in blogland a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.
Shirley and the gang

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sweet Swingers

This is my latest finish, Sweet Swingers from a knitting pattern by Debi Birkin.  I fell in love with her patterns after seeing them on Ravelry. It only took a few nights and I changed the colours of the right hand budgie so it looks like Dudley.
I have just finished a course on Craftsy on joining and finishing crochet and learnt so much.  This is the class project below. Each segment in the throw was attached using a different stitch and then the whole lot joined together with one ball of yarn so there was only one end to sew in.  Brilliant.  When I think of all the hours I used to spend sewing projects together.  Never again 

When deciding how to join the segments I laid them out first so I achieved the right balance of colour.  Then as I laid it out to photograph, Higgins decided he wanted to Christen it.  I think he approves.

I finished putting my Christmas cuties ornaments together.  This is my least favourite part.  I really struggle to get them looking neat no matter how I try.  These are a bit better than some of my previous efforts but they could still be better.
 With the time for Christmas visitors coming up I will be definitely by making these cheese straws.  The recipe was in the Co-operative Supermarket magazine and they are delicious.
I don't really know why I put them in a tin as they never lasted very long.  We all love cheese in this house, including the boys so they were soon polished off!


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mr Fox Stole My Heart

That is the name of my latest knitty finish - an animal friendly fox stole.  The pattern is from Stephanie Dosen's book, Woodland Knits.  I used Aran weight yarn doubled so it was very quick and only took me a few days.  I love him and look forward to wearing him now the weather is turning colder.
I always have numerous bags throughout my house with either part-finished projects, ones that are finished and need putting together and sometimes just the materials for a new project.

The amount of bags has been getting out of control recently so I have been trying to finish some projects off.  This crochet wrap scarf jacket was started about 18 months ago but my tension was not even on the pieces I'd finished so I ripped it back and restarted.  It didn't take long to crochet and I even made the buttons to match.
One of my longest UFOs has to be this Rupert the Bear, it took me 12 years+ to sew the pieces together and finally finish him.
 The Airedale Terrier Amigurumi also took about 18 months, it is the sewing together that does my head in although I am pleased with him now he is finished.  The crochet pattern is available as a download from Planet June.
As if I don't have enough crafty projects already, I recently enrolled on a scrapbooking course.  Although I have been scrapbooking for years I thought it would give me the impetus to finish some more pages and maybe learn some new techniques at the same time.  The course included nine pages but I have only managed three so far.
 This one reminds me of when we had the four boys all together and the fun and happy times we shared and the other is my first page featuring Dudley.
Talking of pets, there was an article in the paper the other day that said one in four women love their pets more that their partners.  Now, I am not saying that is true in my case but the cartoon next to it made me chuckle:

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

As most crafters know, you can never start your Christmas projects too early.  In fact many, including me, make them all year round.

I have made a few new decorations this year including these three, I just have to decide how to finish them off .
 I like to try any new craft magazine that comes out and no. 1 of Love Patchwork and Quilting is a good one.  It came with a kit to make a patchwork Christmas bauble but with careful cutting and stitching I was able to make two from it.
I don't make so many cards these days but was determined to make a few for special people this year.

Of course, no Christmas is complete without some sweets and this recipe is one of my favourites.
 Unlike many recipes this one uses milk instead of cream or condensed milk so as long as you have a bag of dessicated coconut in the cupboard you can make it when the mood strikes.
I even spotted the ideal Christmas jumper in a magazine, no not one of the corny reindeers or robins type and when I went to Wallis to buy it there was 10 pound off  too.  I didn't go for the matching trousers though, head to toe leopardskin may be a bit too Bet Lynch from Coronation Steet or Kat from Eastenders! I will wear it with my skinny jeans instead.
The boys love all their presents at Christmas although it is pretty much Christmas every day in our house with all the treats they get.  John got them a bag of giant sausages (about 18" long) although by the time I went upstairs to get my camera this was all that Higgins had left.