Sunday, 29 September 2013


Yesterday I attended a one day course in resin jewellery run by resin8.
I had seen them demonstrate at a craft show in Cardiff I had attended a couple of years ago. I bought a few things off them, including a button mould! However, I wasn't overly confident about using the stuff. So my yummy hubby bought me the course for my birthday as they're workshop is only an hour away from where we live in Winchcombe, North Gloucestershire, a really beautiful and unspoilt, quaint little town.
The course was run by Resin8's Clare John, what she doesn't know about resin isn't worth knowing. You can watch her do her magic on YouTube....
I really enjoyed the day and learnt so much. I had a lot of fun experimenting and made SIX different items. We were shown a number of different techniques to try, all were great learning experiences.
Due to the time constraints it was not possible to completely finish each piece with a doming layer on top. I think this really finishes a piece off so I bought some "doming resin" and, with the confidence I gained yesterday, I completed them at home today! You can buy everything you need from their website.
One item wasn't set enough to transport home so I have the excitement of it arrivng at some point in the post.
The course also included lunch, we had a truly delicious homemade soup and chunky wholemeal bread, it really fuelled our creativity and kept us going. I would highly recommend attending if you want to learn about resin
I'm really looking forward to making more and experimenting with the techniques and making buttons inset with buttons! There's so many different things to try....

Until next time, craft in earnest. Craftin' Ernest x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Birthday Presents

Another reason I love September is that my birthday is in September and who doesn't love a birthday?
This year I was totally spoilt thanks to great family and friends! I received some gorgeous and thoughtful gifts and some lovely handmade items. Good old "Not On The High Street" came up trumps, I just love that site and the fact you're supporting talented people.
I got lots of chocolates as my friends know me so well and lots of my cards had owls or tortoises on- perfect.
As we are thrill-seekers my sister brought us to Thorpe Park with an overnight stay in a nearby hotel but she said she couldn't resist a couple of beautifully made items she thought I'd like, for me to unwrap in the morning. Well I didn't like them, I loved them! A stunning pair of wooden owl earrings from Ginger Pickles, how could I not adore them?? And the best tea towel ever by Dear Colleen....

My friends and family gave me lots of wonderful goodies including a tin for buttons, you can never have too much storage for buttons (if you have as many buttons as me), a fab notebook to sketch the items I plan to make next.
I received some wonderful homemade gifts, one of my friends got all creative with her Hama Beads and made my some magnets including this cutie.
Another friend made me the sweetest little Victoria Sponge as a token to go with a voucher for Afternoon Tea at the Celtic Manor Resort (home of the 2011 Ryder Cup, if you don't mind), I can't wait for us to put on our finery and have a wonderful afternoon together!
I was also delighted with a beautiful brooch a friend bought at a local craft fair- so pretty. She knows me so well as I certainly have a thing for brooches as you will see in a future post.
My wonderful hubby bought me something he knew I would love and I have wanted to do for ages... a one day course in making resin jewellery. I'm so excited and happily it's this Saturday coming!
I will of course let you know how I get on.

I'm so blessed to have such amazing family and friends!

Until next time, craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Love September!

Yay, it's September! I love September and Autumn in general really. It's when the crochet and knitting for Winter starts full swing. Don't get me wrong, I partake in both wonderful crafts all year round but come September the chunky yarns come out and I start on the really wooly wear- lovely, snugly, wooly wear.
I think the beautiful colours of nature are really inspiring too, as the weather cools and the trees and shrubs transform to rich hues of orange, reds, purples and browns- sumptuous, how can you not be inspired?
As the evenings grow darker is there anything better than cosying up with with a big ball of your favourite wool and making a pair of mittens, a cabled beanie or some leg warmers?
So far I've been concentrating on items to keep the cold off the neck- snoods, scarves, and neck warmers.
I bought some James C. Brett Marble Chunky in colour 36 a very autumnal blend of colours and using the "Tulip Stitch", crocheted a neck warmer completed with a lovely, big button. It's asymmetrical in style, inspired by the 1920s/30s and won't let any chill near the back of your neck, that's for sure!
At the same time I bought a scrummy ball of Marble DK colour 33, a vibrant mix of pinks, purples and oranges with a hint of turquoise, how could I resist?! I used the "Close Shell Stitch" and a couple of obligatory buttons to complete a different style of neck warmer/scarf.
Using a purple/grey, mixed fibre, Hobbyknit yarn I crocheted a snood using only good old trebles (UK). I worked in continuous rounds with a beautiful, handmade, wooden hook which is approx 11mm. This one is extremely cosy.
The colour looks different in the two pictures but it's the same yarn- honest!
Last but not least is a versatile, knitted number which can be worn three different ways- so practical. Its pure wool and bright orange with two pewter coloured, metal buttons. I used the "Little Crown Stitch" as I really adore the texture it gives. By fastening the buttons in different ways the look when worn round the neck completely changes and it can also be worn as a headband to keep the wind off your ears.
As the nights get chillier what better way to spend the evening curled up on the sofa, film on the TV and project in hand?
Ooh what to make next? Until next time craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest x