Handmade items

Happy Blogday: A Year in the Life of the Shinybees Blog

Birthday Cake

Image Details: ‘Birthday Cake’ by Omer Wazir, via Flickr

The Shinybees blog is 1 year old today. It was on 13th February 2011 that I wrote my first proper blog post – ‘The First Rule of Knit Club‘. So, I have decided to do a little round up of posts for the last year for those of you who may have missed out on a bit of comedy genius. Or not, as the case may be. Anyway…

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Damask of Doom: A knitter’s curse?

Lil' devil hat

Image Details: ‘Lil’ devil hat’ by thomasina, via Flickr.

Do you ever get that feeling, when you start a project, that you are a bit doomed to failure? Like there is some celestial force which just does not want you to finish it. Bad joo joo if you will? That the craft karma fairy is punishing you for all those unfulfilled skeins in your stash, those hibernating projects, those Christmas mitts that aren’t getting done? No? Just me then…

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Nothing like Ghost: A first go at painting pottery

all i could think about was 'ghost' and demi and patrick swayze and the clay scene...

Image Details: ‘all i could think about was ‘ghost’ and demi and patrick swayze and the clay scene…’ by feeb, via Flickr.

A couple of weeks ago, between Christmas and New Year, we went on a mission to test an overlocker, as I had been promised one for Christmas. Having driven into Hove and found the shop we wanted to go into was closed, we decided to take a turn into Brighton, to go into another sewing shop, which was also closed. I’m all for craft emporiums having a day or two off now and again, just not when I am in the market for an overlocker. Anyway, in order to lift my dampened spirits (it was pouring down with rain too), we decided to conduct a little impromptu crafting in the Painting Pottery Cafe in The Laines.

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Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget - RBL poppy appeal

Image Details: ‘Lest We Forget’ by macspite, via Flickr

Today is Remembrance Sunday, which isn’t anywhere near as big an occasion in SA as it is in the UK.

I have some great memories of selling poppies as a teenager. Getting to the Legion as soon as the doors were open so we could get our box of poppies, blagging the taxi drivers at the taxi rank to buy car poppies and chatting to older people as they stopped to donate and pass comment on how smart we looked in our uniforms. Going back to the Legion at lunchtime, absolutely freezing, to get some sweet tea and a pastie from the ladies who would be helping out there and to thaw out a bit, because the heating was always on full bat. I also remember further back, watching the Festival of Remembrance with my Grandad as a child. He was in the Merchant Navy during the war, and was torpedoed twice. Unfortunately this earned him a reputation as a bit of a Jonah!

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So far sew good!

Singer Vintage

Image Details: ‘Singer Vintage’ by Jeremy Brooks, via Flickr.

I’ve had my very own sewing machine for about 7 years now. It was a Christmas present, and grand ideas though I might have had about being able to do all my own alterations because I am that tricky height whereby I am too tall for Petite and too short to avoid soggy jean bottoms if I wear Regular, I have only ever really made fancy dress costumes and stuff for the house with it. Some pretty awesome fancy dress costumes, but fancy dress nonetheless. Since my Mum had a habit of shrinking/dying my clothes when I was younger, I developed a phobia about ruining items of clothing. This means I a) have an irrational fear of using the tumble dryer and b) pay a lady down the Royal Arcade in Wigan a fortune to alter my clothes. Wigan is a long, long, way from SA, and I have some lovely new jeans I bought from Fat Face (yeah, check me out, I am all surf-trendy!) which need shortening by about, oh, a foot or so. I’m guessing a Fat Face ‘Regular’ is some tall, willowy, beach type: a category I sadly fail to fall into, being a Northerner. It’s kind of Northern Darwinism. My parents are both pretty small. This must be because tall people were no good at working in mines and were hugely more likely to be decapitated by a bit of heavy mill machinery. Anyway…

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Knitting Perfectionists Anonymous

The t-shirt

Image Details: The T-shirt, by pladys, via Flickr

CAVEAT: Not my T-Shirt/assets!

Ok, so it doesn’t quite have the same ring as Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think there are other people out there (yes, you, I’m talking to you, don’t look at the floor feeling a bit uncomfortable, you know who you are) who are tormented by this most terrible affliction: Knitting Perfectionism. I have had my own battles with this crippling condition recently and, rather pleasingly, I made a breakthrough with it last night – more on that later.

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Who is the other follower?!!

I made a recent new discovery when it comes to keeping up with all things blog-related: Bloglovin. I was alerted to it’s existence by Penny from Planet Penny, who found the Shinybees blog on Bloglovin. Naturally, I had to have a nosey, as I had previously not come across it.

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The Sock Monster

Sock Monster.

Image Details: ‘Sock Monster.’ by laurenbeth93, via Flickr.

It would seem that I have fallen into a trap. A trap that favourite podcasters and bloggers have often declared that they would avoid. Knitting something that life is indeed too short for. An item of knitwear I too, would never bother with because, well, I just didn’t get it. Until now, that is.

Yes, I’m talking about knitting socks.

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Why everyone needs stash


Image Details: ‘Globe’ by pixagraphic, via Flickr

It’s been exactly 57 days since I was separated from my stash. 57 long, gruelling and inspiration-lacking days. 82,820 minutes since the movers came and packed up all my favourite toys for the move to SA. The Minstrel. The sewing machine. 3 crocodile boxes of yarn. 2 of fabric. My sewing box!

Whilst this pining for material belongings may seem a little over-dramatic to some, I have noticed a disturbing correlation between distance to stash and crafty mojo. I intend to call this Shinybees’ First Law of Stash. This law states that distance to stash is inversely proportional to crafty mojo: as distance to stash increases, crafty mojo decreases. This should explain why my crafty mojo has taken a bit of a hiatus over the past few weeks as my stash sailed south, and why I have had a renewed sense of inspiration since landing in SA, as our shipping container is in Durban, waiting to be transported by rail to Pretoria. Once they fix the railway line, that is.

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Magazine review: Mollie Makes

I guess it is time for the first magazine review on the blog: Mollie Makes. Unfortunately for me, the lovely Martine from iMake has somewhat beaten me to it, as I have been working on the seemingly endless search to find out whether I can, indeed, take my knitting on the plane. Check out the link above for Martine’s version and read on for mine.

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