Handmade Birthday goodness!

Birthday cake

Image Details: ‘Birthday cake’ by 3liz4, via Flickr

So, there was a birthday at Shinybees HQ last week. Birthdays are always good news, because they generally involve cake and presents (and we’ll ignore the whole getting older bit in a blur of gin induced happiness) and I had plenty of both, minus the gin, unfortunately. I will make no apology for the slightly self-indulgent blog post: it’s my party and I will cry if I want to, quite frankly. Plus there is some crafty goodness to share by way of a Gingerbread Bunny tutorial.
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Count me in!

counter on a zipper

Image Details: ‘counter on a zipper’ by pinprick, via Flickr

The knitting row counter is a device for keeping tally of how many rows have been completed when hand knitting. It can also be used to track the number of increases and decreases made during a pattern. The first on-needle knitting row counters were seen in the UK the 1920s, when complex patterns for recreational knitting became widely available. Originally manufactured from bakelite and later plastic, this type of counter is still in widespread popular use today (see picture above).
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On the naughty chair…

Ducking Stool

Image Details: ‘Ducking Stool’ by kamsininjapan, via Flickr

The Medieval period of the Middle Ages was a violent and blood thirsty time, but they sure knew how to do torture! Far from just being sent to ‘sit on the naughty chair’, the ducking stool was punishment taken to a whole new level. A punishment specifically used on women, it involved strapping the accused to a stool by the side of a river, then dunking her in the freezing cold water for as long as the operator felt was necessary, dependant upon the crime and the woman’s social status.
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Save the youth, knit a hoodie…


Image Details: ‘Hoodie’ by Davharuk, via Flickr

Nowadays, the humble hoodie, rather than being a utilitarian item of clothing, is often villified as the uniform of choice for the feral ‘yoof’ of Britain. This reputation is perhaps a little unfair: yes, a lot of young people choose to wear one, but then so does my Mum on occasion, for reasons of comfort and warmth rather than to hide her face as she holds up the nearest off-license at knifepoint. Which is clearly what all the ‘yoof’ will be planning on doing with their hoodies on. I think not, somehow. More likely, they will just fancy a sherbet fountain and a gallon of your finest Pepsi Max, please, shopkeeper.
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Your house was very small…

…with woodchip on the wall

Woodchip & Pencil

Image details: ‘Woodchip & Pencil’ by monikahoinkis, via Flickr

I like Common People. Just not woodchip. It’s the most evil stuff known to man. I have no idea why anyone would ever think it stylish or even useful. I consider it to be a crime against humanity. It’s certainly an instrument of torture that has been liberally used (along with other hideous textured, often clashing, wallpapers) in the rented hovel that is Shinybees HQ. Coated with about a century’s worth of magnolia paint, several hundred layers of which are probably lead-based and which has now adopted a certain and not at all attractive yellowish hue, I regularly wake up in the night in a cold sweat, having just had a nightmare about how badly the porridge-effect walls are affecting my creative mojo. I am quite convinced that, whilst it probably holds together this asbestos ridden palace that Jack wouldn’t even claim to have built, there has to be another way to disguise the fact that there is a foot-wide crevasse in the walls where there should be plaster.
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