Suze H

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Cute little hedgehog

A couple of years ago, we had a hedgehog who constantly visited our back garden, but then we didn't see it last year :-(  But now we have another little hedgehog visiting us every night - yay!!!  We know it's not the original one, but I like to think that Hedgehog number 1 said to her baby, "if you're ever in need of food, go to see these nice people at this address, because they buy in dog food especially for you, have a very snug little hogitat all set up should you want to hibernate there (made all cat proof, I should add) and if you make friends with them, they'll even feed you dog food straight from a spoon!"  Okay, I know that's an unlikely scenario, but hey, it's my fantasy.  I know I'm in my own's okay, they know me here.

Anyway, here are some gorgeous pics of our lovely little hedgehog:

Eating from a spoon HP is holding out!!

Isn't he/she totally adorable!!!!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

How to make a beaded flower bracelet

How to make a beaded flower bracelet

You will need:
46 x 6mm fire polished beads
size 8/0 seed beads
size 11/0 seed beads
KO thread
2 x size 12 needles (I prefer the longer needles)
1 toggle clasp
2 x jump rings
2 x round-nose pliers

You can buy supplies and tools online from The Beaderie.

You will need a few more beads if your wrist is larger than 7.5".
If  your thread starts getting shorter on one end than the other, simply use the longer thread to reinforce your beads until the ends are of a similar length again.

1.  Take one end of the KO thread in your left hand, unwind thread holding the spool in your right hand and hold your arms as far apart as is comfortable.  Switch the end in your right hand to your left hand and repeat, so that you end up 2 x arm width of thread.  Cut the thread.  This should give you a comfortable amount to work with, but also ensure that you don't run out of thread before you finish your bracelet!

2.  Thread one needle onto one end of your thread and pull your needle down to the middle of the thread.  Thread your other needle onto the two other ends of thread, leaving an approx. 4" tail.

3.  Now thread on 1 x 8/0 seed bead, 1 x 6mm, 1 x 11/0, 1 x 6mm, 1 x 8/0, 1 x 6mm, 1 x 11/0, 1 x 6mm (see Pic 1)

Pic 1

4.  Create a loop of beads by threading back into the first 8/0 bead added (that's your very first bead).  See Pic 2.
Pic 2

5.  Then pull these beads down to the middle of the thread, so you have roughly the same amount of thread on each side.

6.  Reinforce the loop by threading back through all the beads.  Try to keep your tension quite tight throughout this project.  (Pic 3)
Pic 3

7.  Continue by adding 1 x 8/0, 1 x 6mm and 1 x 11/0 to one needle.  Pass the needle back through the 6mm bead you added, missing out the 8/0 and 11/0 beads.  (Pic 4).  Then add 2 x 8/0 beads.
Pic 4
8.  Repeat step 7 on the opposite needle, but add just 1 x 8/0 bead, instead of 2.  Close  up the loop of beads by passing the needle through the last 8/0 bead added to the other side (i.e. pass through the last 8/0 bead with the extra 8/0 bead - hope that makes sense!)  See Pic 5.
Pic 5
 9.  Reinforce the centre loop of 8/0 seed beads by threading back around them with one needle.  Make sure the two threads come out of the same bead when you reinforce (Pic 6).

Pic 6
10. Now add 1 x 6mm, 1 x 11/0, 1 x 6mm and 1 x 8/0 to one needle.  Add 1 x 6mm, 1 x 11/0 and 1 x 6mm to the other (Pic 7)

Pic 7
11.  Pass the needle through the last 8/0 bead added on the opposite side to close the loop of beads.  See Pic 8.

Pic 8
 12.  Again, reinforce the loop by threading 1 needle back through all the beads (through 1 x 6mm, 1 x 11/0,1 x 6mm 1 x 8/0, 1 x 6mm and 1 x 8/0), making sure that both threads come out of the top seed bead (Pic 9.

Pic 9

 13.  Continue steps 7-12 until the bracelet is the desired length.  If your wrist is 6.5" to 7.5", this will be when you have made 7 full flowers.  I have included some more pics below to show your progress will look.

14.  Once you have reached your desired length, secure the needle threads by threading back into your beadwork, adding a few half-hitch knots to further secure.  Depending on how much thread you have left, I would do this 3-4 times.
To make a half hitch knot, bring your needle up between 2 beads, make a loop and pull that knot tight, making sure that the knot goes into between the 2 beads and not over them.  See picture below.

15.  Using 2 pairs of round nose pliers, open up a jumpring and thread through the last 8/0 bead in the pattern and attach one end of the toggle clasp.  (See Pic 10).  Using your pliers, 'walk' the jump ring together to close the gap.

Pic 10
16.  Do this on the other end too and you're done!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Beaded flower bracelet

My jewellery class yesterday was brilliant.  The classes are always so popular and there are only ever 4 people to a class, so Sally, the teacher, can help everyone.  I think I've mentioned where I do my classes in previous posts, but they are at The Beaderie.  They now have an online store so you can buy beads and other stuff from them even if you don't live in Cambridgeshire.

This class was how to make a woven beaded flower bracelet.  I loved the class.  It was fun and we had a lovely group of people.  The pattern was quite simple when you got the hang of it and I found it much easier to make than the woven chevron bracelet as it was easier to get a good tight tension on this one and easier to finish off the ends.  I will definitely make more of these.

The other bracelet I'm wearing is a leather beaded wrap bracelet.  There are loads of tutorials for making these on Pinterest and YouTube.

I will try to do a tutorial for this flower bracelet soon.  Yes, I know I said that about my cord necklace and believe me, I am working on that, but I'm just rubbish at doing tutorials.  I will try to finish that one and get it posted soon!

Roll on the weekend!!!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

I ain't a cat person, Tom. When people look at me, they don't fink cat, they fink dog!

Wonderful quote from Kathy Burke as Linda in "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme".  Love that programme!  Anyway.....

Saw such a cute cat sitting in a top window of a house opposite my office this morning, that I just had to snap him.  I love the disdainful look as he was watching people go by in the street.  He reminded me a bit of my cat when I was 17, who had similar markings but in black, white and grey.  I still miss Smokey soooo much.  I really want a dog - my heart is set on a Westie, but it's not practical right now.  Maybe one day.....

Hey, mere mortals - look how cute and superior I am!  LOVE ME!!!!!

Maxi skirts and stupid poses

Morning all!  Rather a grim start to the day, so just as well I got my blog photos done last night when it was still warm and bright.

Before we kick off, I would like to say in my defence of these pics that I REALLY hate having my photo taken.  I always look a bit goofy or I think "flippin' 'eck, do I really look like that - eewww!"  So, please focus on the skirts!

I made a few maxi skirts when the weather started to really hot up.  I ended up making 5 cos I got a bit carried away.  One is certainly a bit more dressy, 3 are casual and one is a bit inbetween.

The dressy skirt

The inbetweeny.  The hem looks really naff in this photo though!


I love the colour and pattern of this fabric

Purple patchwork

Green fingers + green skirt

No idea what I was looking at!

I love this fabric sooooo much!

I teamed all these skirts (except for the red one) with my fabulous Sseko sandals, which I'm still totally obsessed with.  I'm hoping the weather will hot up a bit again soon so I can get as much wear out of them as possible before I have to put them away until next summer :-(

And I should point out (in case you haven't already guessed) that sewing is not my best crafting skill (that's probably jewellery making).  I have little patience so I tend to follow very simple patterns and if there are a few errors at the end.......well, hey-ho!  All the sewing bloggers I follow put me to shame!  These are just very simple elasticated skirts which you can knock up in about an hour.  But they're good enough for me and that's all that matters.  Friends are always amazed that I love knitting because they know how impatient I can be, but I love knitting because I can do it in front of the telly or out in the garden and I can put it down and pick it up again whenever I feel like it.  However, what many of them don't know is that I always have a few WIPs in my knitting basket and every time I look at them I feel really guilty.  I think I'm down to about 5 unfinished projects now though so I should get most, if not all, done by the end of the year.  Or am I being too ambitious again!

Have a good Thursday and don't get too wet!  Oooh, I have a jewellery making class tonight - I'll post details of what I make soon.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Spicy Plum Chutney

I spent a few hours slaving away over a hot stove yesterday evening, making some spicy plum chutney.  One of our neighbours very kindly gave us about 3lb of plums from his tree.

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - I don't always get the setting quite right.

Ignore all the weird writing and markings on the wall behind this photo - we're redecorating the kitchen, so there are markings all over the walls where tiles used to be!

Now, we've just got to be patient and wait for this chutney to mature.  I did have a sneaky taste and I think it's going to be a good 'un.  You get a really nice fruity flavour before the chilli bursts on your tongue - yum!

I got this recipe out of 'Traditional Jams and Preserves' by Eve Parker.  I could only find a Kindle version on Amazon, but I found this book in a garden centre.

On a different note, I'm feeling much more positive about stuff after my 'What to do....?' blog last week.  I've sorted things out at work and now me and the other woman understand each other better, I think that will help.  I had some great friends and family to give me some good advice and thanks to Pearly Queen for her words of wisdom too.

I will get HP to take some photos of my maxi skirts this evening, so hopefully I can post some pics soon.  Happy Wednesday everyone.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Friday cake

On a more upbeat note after my unhappy blog post, it's my boss' birthday today and she brought in cake.  You HAVE to check this out.  This.  Cake.  Oh.  My.  Goodness!

I lurve dat cake!!!! (Little Britain, in case you're wondering)