handmade

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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Project paralysis

Tied to a Chair

Image Details: ‘Tied to a Chair’ by Hanna-, via Flickr.

Twitter keeps happily reminding me how many days/hours it is until Christmas. As I have mentioned countless times on here, I love Christmas. Nothing pleases me more than rebelliously putting the Christmas tree up in the last couple of days of November. Any excuse to adorn the house with tinsel and yet more fairy lights is a good one, in my book. Unfortunately, all this talk of festive cheer and my very exciting but imminent return to the UK for a Costa minty hot chocolate and a decent curry is getting a bit stressful. How so? I hear you cry. Well, because I am suffering from another craft-related phenomena. One I shall call ‘Project Paralysis’.

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Book Review: Cath Kidston’s ‘Sew’

Sewing machine not included!

‘Sew’ isn’t a newly released title, it has been around for almost two years now. It has taken me quite some time to actually get around to making the bag that came free with it, which I started a couple of weeks ago as a warm up for my new sewing class. This inspired me to review the book for the blog, as Christmas is coming and some of you may decide to ask Father Christmas for a bit of Cath Kidston goodness.

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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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A Knitty Gift

Airmail!

Whilst randomly perusing the Ravelry boards one day in early August, I came across a thread which listed all the blog giveaways, online discounts and competitions.  I have previously entered a few giveaways on my favourite blogs, and won a bit fat zero prizes – same as whenever I play bingo. Despite participating in what is seen by many who are not ‘in the know’ as yet another Granny pastime (like knitting) for the last ten years, obviously not counting any Easter egg bingo or the many years playing it on the games compendium before that, I have only ever won £10. That was in 2005, I was at university and we went mental and spent it on 3 kebabs. Not all for me, I hasten to add. There were 3 of us!

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Bloglovin

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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Why everyone needs stash

Globe

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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Have knitting, will travel: At the airport….

knit-plane

Image Details: ‘knit-plane’ by docpop, via Flickr

In view of our impending relocation to SA, I have been doing a little research into knitting on planes. There seems to be a plethora of beliefs when it comes to this pastime, and nobody can seem to agree on the answer, as a quick search on the Ravelry boards will attest. So I decided to do a little digging, as the last thing I want is some blunty security officer taking away my prized pins and current wip. As if I would stab someone with my new Knitpro DPNs. Have they any idea how much those things cost!!?

I will caveat at this point, that all information in this post is with reference to travel from the UK and I would strongly advise that you make your own enquiries if you are travelling elsewhere. I don’t think ‘but Shinybees said’ will cut it if you come up against some overly officious security type in Venezuela. That said, as you are about to find out, there really does not seem to be a definitive answer, and how that can possibly be, I have no idea. Surely, someone holds the trump card when it comes to the rules, right? Wrong! So, just in case, I have also added some top tips for avoiding attracting attention when going through security, courtesy of the Ravelry massive.

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