Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New Items!

Hey Guys!

I know I said I'd be back with something Christmassy, but I've still to take photos of them! In the meantime however, go check out my etsy, I've listed some new jewellery, and reduced some of the other stock. Get in now to get some one of a kind pieces for Christmas! It's never to early to start your Christmas shopping!
Silver Metal Penny Farthing Necklace, £11.00

Black enameled mustache necklace, £10.00

Red Glass Hearts beaded earrings, £7.00

There is lots more on sale, so please, guys, go look!!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Goodness, September already!

Wow, time flies! I cannot believe we are into September, and all I have to show for the last couple of months is, well, NOTHING! I started my new job pretty much straight after I came back from Download Festival, and haven't yet stopped. Luckily I have a few days off coming up, as my Sister is getting married. That will be a great day, seeing all the family, getting dolled up, and trying to spend the whole day in 5" heels!

I promise I'll be back soon, with something to show for it, but in the mean time, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Etsy and now IdeasTap.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Let The Festivities Begin!

Well, at least some of them. Four day weekend this weekend, all because our lovely Queen is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee - 60 Years on the throne! She just has to reign for another 3 years, 2 months, to beat her great-great-grandmama.

To celebrate, I'm giving 10% off EVERYTHING in my etsy shop. That's from NOW, this very moment! Until midnight, Tuesday 4th of June. So, what are you waiting for? Go, Look, SHOP!

Happy Jubilee everyone, whether you will be celebrating or not.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Huh, How 'bout that!

I did it guys. I opened my etsy shop - Lizs Knits. I've had three sales so far, which I am so pleased about! In ways, I wasn't expecting to have had three sales in two months, in other ways I think I was expecting more than that. Eh well. 

There has been loads of interest, and plenty of people have favourited items of mine. If they'd just purchase them, I'd be even happier! I've even had something pinned to Pinterest. That is, something OTHER than what I've pinned myself! 

This weekend, for the Queen's Jubilee, there will be a discount code available. Use "JUBILEE60" for 10% off EVERYTHING, from 2nd - 6th June.

Red Leather Bow Necklace - £15.00

Black and Silver Sparkly Flower Ear Hooks - £8.00

Green and White Lady Cameo - £10.00

Robot Ear Hooks - £8.00

Turquoise and Silver Charm Ear Hooks £9.00 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Ready For Business!

I'm not all about the cake. Even though I have another three posts ready about cake. And the last goodness knows how many posts were about cake. I do do other things as well! Honest!

I decided in February, that I would give Etsy a go. I love looking on there, and it's a great place to get inspiration. I felt that it was about time I tried to sell my own items. So far no luck, but I currently only have two items up for sale. (Need to wait until Wednesday when I get paid to list the rest.)

It'll be mainly jewellery and accessories that will be for sale on there, towards the autumn I'll start posting knitted items too.

This is the sort of thing that will be up for sale from Wednesday;

Hair Barrette

Ear Studs


Ear rings

Hair Barrette

Remember, come by from Wednesday to see what there is!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mmm, Foxy Craig.

First up, please excuse the makeshift hat display thingies. I don't have an actual one, so this was the best I could do to get some quick photos to email, showing what the hats looked like.

The girl that I made Mr. Otter for emailed me and asked if I would be able to knit another two hats for her, one for her flatmate, the other for a friend of hers. She attatched to pictures to the email;

Craig from South Park
Red Fox, sewn from fleece
She wanted the fox ideally knitting. So, armed with these two pictures, I set off to my LYS, armed myself with wool, and a fortnight later the hats were ready to post.

'Scuse Momma photobombing. Although, I did encourage her...
Foxy is up there with Mr. Otter in my 'Jeebus, that's so awesome that I made that' stakes. The ears were devised by myself, the insides were two strands of DK, and one of fun furry stuff held together. I wasn't sure about whether they would stand up on their own, so considered using thin gauge wire to support them, but luckily they didn't need it.
Back of Foxy
The other hat was pretty straight forward. In fact, it was incredibly straight forward. The hardest bit about it was having to explain to people that I wasn't making it for Craig The Butcher, (someone I fancied at the time), but that it was called Craig's hat because it was the hat the character Craig wore in South Park.

Craig's Hat
The hats aren't that long in real life, it's because it's on one of those mahoosive balls of aran.

Craig and Foxy, chillin'
I have it on good authority that the hats were well received, which I'm very pleased about. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Book Bag

I'm pretty sure I'm behind on the whole bags from books thing, but I finally got round to making one. I've been looking at them on the internets for a couple of years now, thinking, "I could make one of those. I'm crafty enough. I haz teh skillz". Turns out, I do!

I couldn't find a tutorial anywhere, so I looked at as many photos from as many different angles as I could, so that I could try to work it out in my head. I almost went so far as to write myself a little step by step, but in the end I though "Bah, lets just wing it"

I kinda wish I'd got photos of the book before hand, it was a nice copy of Little Women, by Lousie May Alcott. It didn't have a date in it, but I Googled the publishing house and managed to decided it was pre 1960's, but I don't feel to bad about cutting it up. It was complete, and had some really nice plates in it which might get reused, but honestly, it was bought specifically for the purpose, was nice and cheap, so I don't feel bad.
I did reinforce the spine with some scrap mount board from the Sister, as it was quite weak, but other than that, the cover was in lovely nick.

The sides I made from calico, in an attempt to make them look like book pages, but it's not really worked. You can also see on the bottom left corner where it hasn't stuck properly.

The closure was made from a large button, and some elastic. I'm REALLY not happy with it. Originally I wanted to use a zip, then realised that it wouldn't really be practical, so this was the best I could come up with. I'll defiantly be rethinking this next time.

The lining has Mr Men and Little Misses on it, because where you get Little Women Misses, you get Mr Men, right?
I knew that fabric would come in handy at some point!
The handles were some that I got free with a magazine months back that never got used, but came in handy for this. I have to say, while it's not come out perfectly, it does the job, and I am really impressed with it.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Never change a drink order when you're a regular.

I have been warned multiple times to never change my drink order at through Costa Coffee I frequent on a regular basis. We are known there now, and more often than not by the time we have ordered and paid, our drinks are waiting for us at the end. Yesterday I wanted to add an extra coffee shot to my drink, I asked for on when we ordered our drinks, but the cashier didn't charge me for it. Luckily. Our drinks were ready for us, with no extra shot for me. Oh well.

In other news, they have FINALLY opened a Costa in Town. They have been working on it for a couple of months, but on Friday when I went into town this was waiting -

So if course I had to get one. Not as good as one from my usual, but it will suffice!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Rose Cake!

First up, I should apologise for the photos. It didn't occur to me until we we're about to cut the cake that it might be a good idea to get photos of it. Which is why there really is only one good photo. The other one was a top down photo that I took for the sister to show her what I had been up too.

I love how this cake looks. Sort of. As long as you don't look too closely at one part of the upper layer. Where it caught slightly. The damn thing raised unevenly. I don't understand why. Also, ignore that the roses seem to have silver on top. It was supposed to be shimmer spray, but it was 11pm at night, the night before, and I wasn't overly sure how to use it. No-one complained though. In fact just about everyone loved it.

It was made for a dinner party a friend was having. I love to make cake, but when I make it generally, I don't really have much scope to play, as the cake tends to be the same, (chocolate, with the same topping as Momma used to put on), and buns are usually one or the other of two standard flavours. So the reason I offered to make cake was kinda selfish, so that I could PLAY! (Also, I totes love to bake cake)

It's a plain Victoria sponge, and the roses are plain sponge with red food colouring. I really wanted to do something kinda classy, and this idea was an amalgamation of an idea of mine, (the coloured roses), and one of Mommas, (putting the roses on to a cake) I have a silicon mould for the roses, but it seems to be hard to get them out intact. More practise is needed there methinks

The roses are held on the cocktail sticks, the leaves are placed on, or in some cases wedged under the roses. For some reason I also had to use cocktail sticks to hold the top layer onto the bottom, as it kept wanting to slide of. No more will that be a problem, as I have a cake leveller now! YEY! Ok, I might be more excited over that than I should be.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mr. Otter Moves House

A while ago, okay, maybe 6 months back, when I knitted my Cunning Hat, I asked on Twitter if anyone else wanted something knitting, totally not expecting a response. Two of my friends on there responded along the lines of, "Oooh go on then". One asked for a Cunning Linguist hat, (go on, say that one fast), the other didn't know what she wanted, but knowing that she loved otters, I offered to knit an Otter hat. 

I had an idea of what Mr. Otter would look like, but no idea of how to go about making him. I knitted a basic hat with ear flaps, using the same pattern as for my Cunning hat, then knitted ears doing a really simple decrease to make semi circle. The muzzle was what was concerning me the most. I didn't want to knit it directly in the hat as I went along, as I've never done intarsia before, and didn't want to risk screwing it up.

I tried lots of ways, knitting it as a shape from the top, from the bottom, as two halves, each time it was lopsided, or just wrong. In the end I knitted a rectangle in stocking stitch, then drew the shape I wanted onto a piece of paper, pinned that onto the rectangle, then sewed over it with my sewing machine, using a tight zigzag. I then Swiss darned that onto the front of the hat. The nose and mouth were Swiss darned on top of that, and the eyes are buttons.

Mr. Otter, pre-journey

Everything was sewn together, the ends darned in, then Mr. Otter was ready for his Trans-Atlantic flight to his new home, in NY State, USA.

I waited with bated breath for the day that he'd arrive, and for the reaction of his new owner. She had seen pictures already, but I was still nervous. He arrived safely (phew), and his new owner was positively ecstatic. 

Mr. Otter in use
 He is by far one of my favouritest things that I have knitted so far, and I'm so glad that he is loved.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Manatee? More like ManaTWO!!

Remember I told you about the Secret Cupid Exchange run by JRose over at the Cheeseblarg? Well, I know now that my Valentine received her package, so I thought I'd share with you what I sent her.

The person I got matched with was Eke, over at Candy For Breakfast, another incredibly talent artist, who makes me snort and splurt juice all over the computer screen. I was at a bit of a loss on what to send her, as her blog doesn't really give much away. But I noticed on her "about me" that she wanted to own a miniature manatee in a fish bowl, and call it Earl.

Now, sadly, my shrink ray is on the blink, and my manatee supplier is on holiday, so I decided that the only way forward was to make her one. In felt. I found a pattern. Well, pattern pieces, got some felt and set about it.

Earl and Randy
The one on the right was my first attempt. There were no instructions on how to put it together, so I had to figure it out as I went along. (That sewing degree finally came in handy). As I was stuffing it, I suddenly realised an easier way to put it together, so for the second attempt I changed the construction. Once I'd figured it out it was actually really easy. 

I made him a little tag, so that Eke wouldn't be like, huh what?

I also made a card to go in it, and included other Valentines day themed items.

Batteries not included
Sorry, but Love Hearts RULE!
Everything ready to go
 I didn't get a single photo of the bottom left item, but it's a large bottle of bubbles. 'Cos who doesn't love bubbles?

Everything packed and ready to go
So, there you are. Happy Valentines Day Eke, from your Secret Cupid, Mel. <3

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!!

Bah Valentines Day. The one day of the year that makes us that are single feel like poop, while those that are in a relationship are all lovey dovey with a *legitamate* reason. I say PAH to that.

There is a blog I follow. Well, no, I follow a lot. But this one is funny. And informative. No really, check out the guide to negative numbers. Anyway. It's written by JRose, who is incredibly talented and funny. 

About three weeks ago, she proposed the idea of a "Secret Cupid Exchange". Being UK based, I ummed and ahhed for about 3 minutes, before signing up to it. Luckily, there were enough people in the UK who wanted to take part, so I wasn't having to post abroad, and risk it not getting there in time. A week later I got an email confirming that I was taking part, and with details of who my match was. Excited is not the word for how I felt. The person I was sending to wouldn't be the person I would be receiving from, that would be someone else entirely.

Today, I got my package. Rather apt really, receiving my Cupid Package on Valentines Day!!

It was from Mollie, over at Mollie Is Ok In UK. You should go read her blog, it's BRILLIANT!

Ok, onto the goodies!!

The package on the right is chocolate toffee popcorn. I've managed to restrain myself so far, and only had a handful. This diet malarky sucks at times!

Pretty earrings. Sorry this photo isn't the best, my camera was being funny about wanting to let me use the actual macro setting.

Magnet. How did you know Mollie, that I have a shoe buying problem. No really, I do. From where I am sat, I can see 28 different pairs of shoes. That is only JUST scratching the surface!

I LOVE it Mollie, have no fear! Thank you!!

Monday, 30 January 2012

RicRac Rose Rings

Try saying that three times fast!

A while back, I saw a mini tute online for roses made from ricrac. I thought 'oooh, pretty', but it wasn't full enough for me. The 'petals' were a bit sparse. I decided to have a play at plaiting/twisting two strands of ricrac together, to get a fuller looking flower.

It took a couple of attempts to get the twisting of the ricrac right, but once I'd got the hang of it, it was pretty simple. I don't know how much I used for the first one, as I just kept twisting until I thought I had enough. I then rolled it up, secured it with a few stitches and felt proud.

It sat around in my little box of tricks for a few days, until I decided that I really ought to do some thing with it. So I decided to make it a ring. I crocheted a basic leaf, then hit on the task of how to attach it to the ring base. The glue I use you have to clamp the items together while it dries, for it to hold properly, but I didn't have anything that would open wide enough to go over the ricrac. In the end, I glued a circle of felt onto the ring base, then sewed the flower and leaf onto the felt.

I bent back the outer few rows of 'petals' to give it a bit more personality, but in all honesty they look just as nice closed up.

I'd shown my Mum the ring, and she promptly asked me to make one for a friend of hers, but in blue. I did the same thing, but this time split a 1m length of ricrac into 3 lengths, using two lengths of dark blue for one flower, two lengths of light blue for another flower, and the remaining lengths of each blue for a third flower, and did the exact same thing

Yeah, these photos aren't the best. This blue is actually darker.

I was hoping that the petals on the mixed flower would be more random, rather than falling in lines, but I have a feeling that is because the two ricracs I used were actually different sizes, and the darker blue pulled the lighter blue in. I want to try it again, this time using the same size ricrac.

The light blue flower I made into a brooch, attaching it the the brooch back in the same was as I attached them to the ring bases. I'm not so keen on the leaves on this one, the seem a bit big and floppy for the flower.

I love how these look, and how quick and cheap they are to make, and can see them becoming a staple gift for my friends.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, Death by Chocolate Cake...

Apparently yesterday was National Chocolate Cake. At least, it was in the US. Not sure if it was over here. Sadly, I didn't know until late on, when it was too late to make one, which didn't impress Dad. I've said I'll make it up next week though.

Instead, here is a Chocolate Cake made for The Sisters friend last year. It WAS supposed to be her birthday cake, as I had promised that I would make her one, but when we saw each other it wasn't with enough time for me to be able to make her cake. She had asked for a chocolate one, so I immediately started making plans. I'd seen something similar to this on the internet, and just KNEW it would be perfect! The fact that it took me 6 months to get round to it is a bit of a moot point really...

Apologies for the slightly dark photo. It was taken in the pub after I had presented the cake to her :)

It's a chocolate sponge, with a chocolate butter cream filling, with Betty Crocker's Chocolate Toffee Topping on it, topped with Malteasers, Smarties and edged with KitKats.

It didn't stay looking like this for long. We kept picking bits of the top of it.

Luckily, the recipient managed to get some photos of when it was cut, from a section that hadn't been slightly demolished by us.

I think I might have to recreate it for us at home. Nom!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

2012? ALREADY?

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I never stick to them. They're always gone outta the window by dinner time at least. I used to make them, but the only one I ever stuck to was to stop biting my nails. That was, urm, 11 years ago. The last time I managed to stick to one.

In my defence, January is the WORST time to make resolutions! Christmas is over, (ah Christmas, only another 11 months to go. Yes I'm counting down. Shush), the weather is still wet and cold and windy, the days are still short, and there is a total lack of anything to do. Making the resolution to get fit/go jogging/running every day, is just daft. Who really wants to go out in 90mph winds, (yep, we've had them that bad just here in the last couple of days), contend with the rain and sleet, just to get to the end of the road and think sod it? Not me. I'll stay in with my books and old films and antique shows thank you very much!

At least towards the end of January things start to look up. Days get longer, weather usually settles down a bit, AND IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Ahem.

Rather than resolutions, I prefer to look back on the year, and be grateful for what I have. Meeting new friends via twitter, keeping in touch with old ones, getting commissions for handmade goods from people, spending time in one of the most beautiful places I've seen - Kilchoan, and spending quality time with my family.

Last year had it's ups and downs, but every year does. This year is shaping up to be good, seeing Black Sabbath at Download, (complete with Ozzy) and my sister 's wedding so far, and we're only 4 days into the year!