Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow Joke!

I have to tell you, I really hate snow!

I used to live by the seaside and we didn't get much. Now I live in the middle of the Cambs Fens and we get too much.

And to top it all, I slipped on some ice on the way to work last night and I think I have sprained my wrist. Of course, never having sprained anything before, I am not entirely sure about that!

And you know what that means, no crocheting! I think I might have to borrow some of my sons books to read.

However, the good news is that I have finished my 2010 printable calendar.

Just click on the calendar to download and, if you would like to add it to your site or blog, you can get the code by clicking on the link at the bottom.

This year I have done the link a little differently so that you will never need to change it, I can just update the page automatically.

And having splashed out on that Mr Site package for my site this year, I know it will have a permanent home.

Also, the calendar is a little different to my usual style as well.

So here is wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I finally finished it!

And it is rather large which was why we had problems finding somewhere to hang it straight!!!!

I do need to double check some of the letters but, even if I get the pattern finished before Christmas, I doubt I will sell any as people will not have enough time to make it.

Still, it was never intended as a Christmas pattern. I just made the "Merry Christmas" to design some of the letters for the main pattern.

This was part of my display at the weekend.

I didn't really expect to sell much but I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't a fortune but it does mean a little less to bring home and stash back in the wardrobe.

I am leaving the display up until Christmas and may get a few more sales. Also, we have invited other people from FenVAC to add theirs.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Its December!

And I am on time for once with the desktop calender.

This is one of the photos I took on the weekend. There were loads of people there. The switching on of the lights is a very popular even in Chatteris.

I was lucky enough to have permission to go up into the top floor of a building opposite to get these photos.

All I need to do now is to find some time to go out in the dark and take more photos of the lights and my X will be finished for my A-Z.

Again, I have been ever so nice and made a wide screen version as well.

I use a wide screen in work and have to admith that I hate the way it distorts everything.

And while we are on the subject of December, the Advent Calendar is now active.

Go and see what treat is in store for you today!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chatteris Lights

If you are in Chatteris there is lots going on this weekend.

The lights are being turned on so I plan to get the "X" for my A-Z. Ofcourse, Chatteris lights are always a big event and all the usual stuff like the funfair, FenVAC Open Studios and the Gables Christmas Bazaar are also planned.

FenVAC Open Studios December 2009

And if you are not in Chatteris this weekend........

Why not??????????

Sunday, November 15, 2009

About that new project......

I have been working hard at it, although some of the letters are proving not to be quite so simple as I thought.

This is the first name I have done, for my bosses grand-daughter.

I figured it was just as easy to work on a name as it was to start at A and work through to Z.

It is also a bit more fun.

The "P" is about 20cm tall, while the "a" and "e" are about 13 cm.

I think my next words are "Merry Christmas" in yarn for work then possibly, "Nadolig Llawen" in thread for home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Parlez-vous français ?

I have had somebody contact me and ask if they can translate my Christmas Tree pattern in to French and publish it on their blog.

Now, while I am delighted that he would like to do this, I am not so happy about my patterns being published elsewhere that I have no control over.

So I have replied with the compromise that if he would like to translate it, I would be happy to add it to the pdf download.

Then I remembered seeing a translation button on "BARBANCHÊ™", did a little bit of research and got one of my own.

I have added this to all of my free pattern pages so, hopefully, a lot more people will be able to use my patterns.

I have also made myself a signature and found out how to add it. Its quite simple really.

First of all, you need to sort out the code.

Then go into - Customise - Settings tab - Formatting

There is a box near the bottom called 'Post Template'. You add your code to that and it will come up each time you create a new post. You do have to remember to type above the code though.

Friday, November 06, 2009

New project!

Usually, when I have finished a pattern, I am at a loss for what to get on with next.

Not this time though, I have already started it!

I used to make a whole load of quilted items which I sold. Included in these wre names.

You can see "Benjamin" on the wall - along with the "Pooh and Friends" set on his bed.

Now I am designing all of these letters in crochet. The uppercase ones will be about 20cm tall with the lowercase a corresponding size.

Of course, a REALLY long project.

I suppose I had better get off here and get on with it!

Monday, November 02, 2009

November Calendar

And it is only one day late!

But I have been busy.

This month there are two versions in the zip file, one for wide screen.

I have been using a wide screen monitor in work and I hate the way it stretches everything. You would think there would be a setting for a widescreen monitor - but there isn't.

So I created the calendar in a widescreen shape, then squished it to a normal screen size.

When it is installed on your desktop, it will all be the right shape.

It does look rather wierd here though.

The Poppies are from my Scrapping Flowers and Friends pattern and are available as a free digi download.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Don't you just love it ..............

............ when a plan comes together?

Hmm, maybe I have been watching too many re-runs of the "A-Team"

But still, I have finished my new Christmas Lanterns Pattern, complete with better pictures!

And to celebrate, I am giving some of the prototypes away.

On offer I have one each of the Angel, Candle, Stocking and Christmas tree lanterns.

They do not include the tea lights, you will have to supply them yourself.

I also have a copy of the pattern to give away.

However, you are going to have to work for them by entering a a prize draw.

All you have to do is add a button or link to my Christmas page on my site, then leave me a comment on this post to tell me you have.

You also need to let me know which one you would prefer to win.

You can download instructions on how to add the button to you blog and use the "Ask Me" button on the left if you have any questions.

The more I see of Ravelry, the more I love it. I have sold 12 patterns in the last week - which is really good going for me.

I have also had about 130 downloads on my Christmas tree pattern. And I set up my very own group on there.

Do you remember the wonderful Advent Calendar we had last year? Well SC is going to make another one this year.

Of course, that will mean loads of free Christmas projects are need to fill the numbers.

If you have anything you would like to donate, please use the "Ask Me" to email me your contact details and I will pass them on.

It doesn't matter whether the site is commercial or not, as long as the project is a free one and available online to the public.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Do you Ravelry?

I didn't but I do now!

I actually joined in August 2008 but got so confused with the place that I gave up. And, just afterwards, I started the new job which took up lots of my time.

However, I have recently been re-investgating and found it a wonderful place!

Ravelry is a site for Knitters and Crocheters. It has an ENORMOUS data base of patterns which is continually added to by its members.

There are groups and forums you can join and lots of help pages.

If you are a designer, it is even better. You can add your designs to the database all for free. You can get linked to your patterns as the designer which allows you to do all sorts of things with them. Quite what, I haven't found out yet because this takes a little while to do.

However, with 1000's of users all over the world, its a resource worth using.

So, as if you can't gues, the reason I haven't been about as much recently is that I have been busy adding all my patterns to Ravelery. I started with the Christmas ones and have been doing bits and pieces of the other - both free and for sale.

Before you get linked as a Designer, it is a bit long winded as you first have to add them as project, then add them as a pattern to be able to use the photos from the project.

However, it is worth it. I have sold 4 patterns in the last 3 days and all of them have been recently listed on Ravelry.

I would like to think this is no coincidence!

The other thing I have been doing is working on some new patterns.

One, a free pattern for these Christmas trees is finished. Click here for the Christmas Tree Free Pattern.

The small one (about 11cm tall) is made with Dmc Petra size 5 and a 2.00mm hook. I added brads for the decorations when it was finished.

The large one (about 16cm tall) is made from DK and a 4.00mm hook. I threaded the beads on the yarn first and worked them in as I went along.

I am about to add the pattern to the Ravelery database and, if you do make them and are a member of Ravely, add them as a project.

Of course, the other thing I have bee working on is those lanterns.

I "borrowed" this lovely tree to take the photos. It looks so much better than my cupboard under the stairs!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

As promised........

Photos of the new lanterns

First of all, here is the Candle.

I wanted something relatively simple as some of the more complicated things I was working on just weren't going right.

I was pleased with the way this turned out, simple but effective.

Again, please excuse the bad photos, take with the IXUS on ISO3200. But you should be used to them by now!

As soon as I am able to get a decent evening, I will go out and do the decent ones on a long exposure. I just have to wait tuntil its not too windy.

And here is "SnowStorm", although I am not quite sure if that is the right name of it.

Any suggestions?

It is the same as "Starburst", made with 11 motifs in the smaller size bangles.

This weekend I bought some new candles, just under £5 for a pack of 6 in Wilkinsons. This is roughly the same price as you can get them on eBay and you don't have to worry about the postal strikes.

Something else I have been doing recently is re-investigating Ravelery. I joined over a year ago and got so confused with the place I gave up. Now, whether it is me or them I don't know, I am finding it a bit easier to negotiate.

I have been adding some of my free patterns to their database and, when I work out what I can and can't do, may add some of the ones for sale.

In the meantime, if anybody wants to add me as a friend I am Enfys on there as well.

Just one more thing I couldn't resist showing you, I bought this cute little phone sock in Peacocks, only £1

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have felt like that a lot over the last couple of weeks.

It always seems to happen when I have an idea for a pattern that needs to be done pretty quickly, something comes along and throws a spanner in the works.

This time, it was my Dearest.

He very kindly offered to reformat the computer for the Care Home as it was playing up. So, on the Thursday evening the boss dropped it off at our home and he got to work. He did most of it on the Thursday evening and I went into work on the Friday telling her that she would have it back on Monday.

My Dearest likes to be very thorough and she probably would have been safe to have it back on Friday but he likes to play with them first. We had it on all day Saturday putting it through its paces. Benjamin even went on Facebook with it. Any minor glitches were ironed out and the puter was working like a dream.

The only problem with all of this was that my Dearest realised how slow and out of date ours are. He decided to go to PC World "for a look".

Yes, you guessed it, we came home with a brand spanking new puter.

He set it all up on the Sunday and expected me to move my 550,000 photos and files over in 5 mins flat and then complained that he couldn't do what else he wanted to do because mine was taking so long to do it. He didn't listen to my suggestion that he do his first and I could do mine during the week while he was in work.

And did I mention that we now have Vista? With Windows Mail that doesn't support Gmail? And that isn't compatible with the drivers of half our hardware?


I am not going into the details but pretty much everything is sorted out now. There have been one of two minor casualties but nothing major. Although is did mean that I spent most of my time I should have been working on the pattern installing various software and hunting online for updated drivers or new free programs to replace the ones that don't work with Vista.

I have taken pics of the new lanterns but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow because I have run out of time!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Angels and Stockings

This can conjure up the most peculiar images but I assure you it is all perfectly innocent!

The thing is, I finished the prototype of the Angel lantern last night and am so pleased with this one I couldn't wait to share.

Again, really rubbish photos but the Ixus on ISO3200 is so much easier and quicker than getting out the tripod etc for times exposures.

She does need a little tweaking here and there but, on the whole, I am really pleased with her.



And here is the stocking.

I just need to write the patterns for this lot now then get on with the next one.

I forgot the hanging loop and there are some ends need sewing in but the photos show the main bit.

Any suggestions for what you would like to see?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I have been good!

Not only have I done the calendar for October, I have even done it 4 days early!

The photo is part of one I took yesterday at Emmanuel church of their Harvest display.

I love the rich colours of the fruit and flowers.

Originally for my "H is for Harvest" I was planning on taking some photo of various vegetables being harvested around Chatteris. I already have some wheat being harvested on a friends farm for the first page.

However, due to lack of transport and the slim possibility of actually catching them at the right time, I decided to take up the suggestion of somebody else and use the Harvest Festival displays at the Churches.

As you can see, this has worked very well.

Also, with both churches celebrating Harvest on the same weekend, I was able to get all the photos done in one go - and finish up my pages today.

I have made a stocking lantern. No pics yet as it needs blocking. I am going to have to find something the right size the put inside to dry it as I cannot pin it to a board.

And to answer some questions............

The lights I use are LED tea lights.

They are wonderful!

You can get them quite easily on eBay but mine were actually bought in Wilkinsons. If you don't have one near you (I had never heard of them until I moved to the Fens) try your local £1 shop. They are battery powered and the batteries are replaceable.

They don't get hot, drip wax, smell, cause soot or any of the other things real candles do. This means you can use them in a whole load more situations.

I discovered them last year and used them for the residents "Candlelight Carols" in paper lanterns. No risk assessments to do and no telling residents that they were not allowed to touch them.

I haven't even thought about prices yet but they will be for sale on my site when ready.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Let there be light!

Here is my latest lantern. This one took a little working out, especial for how to get the light inside, but has come out well.

Again, both photos are quite bad as the wiere taken with the Ixus under the stairs. Some stuff it does really well and I love the ISO 3200 setting but it is so noisy.

When I take them for the pattern I will be using the DSLR and timed exposure. They should should come out much better.


The third photo is to show you the difference in size. I am planning a few more the smaller size and one more the larger size.







We spent Saturday in Ely. It was a bit stressful because I discovered that I only had one earring in part way through the morning. If it had been any but the pair I was wearing (Marks lovely anniversary pressie to me) I wouldn't have cared. We spent the rest of the morning retracing our steps but didn't find it. However, when I got home, there is was safe and sound on the sofa. My dear son had interrupted me in the middle of putting them on!!!!!

I was actually looking for phone. I want to get Benjamin one now that he has started at Cromwell. Originally I was going to get him the cheapest one on Tesco tarriff that I could find but saw this one while looking online and decided to treat myself using the clubcard vouchers instead.

The trouble is that they are £10 more in store than online unless you spend £30 on other stuff then you get £20 off which makes them £10 cheaper than online. And then I saw this one! I will only have to add £7.50 to the vouchers if I spend the other£30. And lets face it, topping up on veg, bread and milk for the week comes to almost that. So, I came home without one because I didn't want to lug £30 worth of shopping around with me all day and talked nice to Mark who will take me to Huntingdon one day next week.

Of course, in the meantime I have a very impatient Benjamin because I made the mistake of telling him what I was going to do with the old one.

I will let you know when I have it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

New shoes!

I have been looking at this pair of Sketchers trainers for what seems like forever!

We go in the local shoe shop regularly. Benjamin goes through his shoes so fast. Every time we go in I look at them but never seem to have quite enough enough money for them.

However, last time we went in to get school shoes, the Lady in the shop offered to put them away for me.

So I tried them on and paid her a deposit.

I did regret it afterwards as my hours had just been cut and nearly £50 is a lot of money.

My lovely red ones are wearing out. They are looking old and tatty and getting a bit thin on the soles, so I need new ones.

I went and got them when I got paid this month.

They are soooooo comfy. And I love that flowery lace.

Now this is a really rubbish photo. I took it under the stairs using the ISO3200 setting on the Ixus.

On a lovely sunny day it is the only way to get a photo to show you.

This is the first of the lanterns I have made, "Starburst". I have crocheted stars in to childrens wire bangles and them crocheted them together to make a ball. There are 11 motifs in all.

This lantern is going to be one of the bigger ones, the others I have in mind will be totally different unless I do a "Snow Storm" one with snowflakes instead of stars.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Not to everybodys taste..

..and a few days late but here is the September desktop calendar.

This is one of the turbines from the local windfarm. I managed to get right up close and shot some photos with the zoom lens.

Not everybody likes them but I love them!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

First Day at School

It doesn't seem all that long ago I was dressing him in a school uniform for the first time to go to Ysgol Sant Baruc in Barry.

It was actually 7 years ago.

This week he was all dressed up ready for his first day at Senior School.

He didn't like the feel of the collar but, after telling him it had to be done up, we finally got him sorted.

Apart from the silly face, I quite like this picture.

Now all I have to do is try to get into some sort of a routine!

I know I wasn't going to mention the "C" word again but, when you design and make things for that particular season, you have to start early.

I had an order for a set of Christmas Tree decorations which I have been working on.

Unfortunately, I have run out of one colour I need and my supplier is also out of it. I ordered 3 different coloured balls from her about 10 days ago. Two arrived two days later but the one I REALLY need was out of stock. If it doesn't arrive at the beginning of the week I am going to have to phone and find out how long.

Hopefully, if it still isn't in, she will have some in smaller balls. It ends up costing more but will mean I get it quicker and can get the order done.

Of course, while I was making up the ones I do have the thread for, I kept thinking "There is an easier way of doing this" and have ended up re-vamping some of the pattern.

Silly really, as there wasn't anything wrong with the original way its just that the pattern was written over 3 years ago and my designing and pattern writing has evolved a bit since then.

I really ought to be working on new patterns, not revamping old ones, but I am having difficulty coming up with something different for this year.

I was thinking of lanterns. Now that you can get those LED battery powered tea lights, it would be perfectly safe to use lanterns made from cotton. They don't get hot and I used them last year in paper lanterns at the home with no problems what so ever.

Now to come up with some original and quirky designs. Maybe a Santa head? And a Christmas pudding? I am open to suggestions!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My 100th ATC

Yes, I received my 100th ATC in the post yesterday and it was from 10 year old Charlotte.

And, whats more, its the first rainbow anybody has sent me!

Thank you Charlotte for my lovely Rainbow ATC.

Here are some of the others I have had recently.

They are not all from the ATC trail, some are from the monthly swap on UKS.

I know I wasn't going to mention the "C word"+ again but while I was listing all those seasonal patterns on Etsy, I suddenly realised that I hadn't listed the Halloween ones.

This is one of my earlier patterns but it is one of my favourites. I remember taking the photos for it in a local park and getting funny looks as I was weeding around the rocks and re-arranging the leaves to look nice. I did try to go at a time when not so many people would be there.

Now, I just don't care. If I get any comments I just tell them I am an artist at work and either they go away with a weird look on their face or stay and find out a bit more about what I am up to.