Beak Up Crafts

I'll craft anything once


2 Comments

The Wily Fox

Crochet fox

I started on a new crochet project the other day – making a fox for my pregnant friend Nicola, who is a bit obsessed with woodland creatures at the moment and asked me to make one for her new nursery.

I was excited to start and she gave me a pattern she liked from xmoonbloom on Etsy, so I got cracking! I didn’t have any orange wool/yarn so I’m making a test fox (no animals were hurt in this testing, though!) in a burnt red yarn which I had leftover from a red blanket I made my parents for their ruby wedding anniversary.

Big Plans

In other news, I have got my thinking cap firmly on at the moment about where I want to take this blog and what I want to do with it. I have to say I’m pretty excited about the future – I’ve just got to get all of my ideas down on paper and then make them a reality!

So what are you working on at the moment? Have you made any woodland-inspired amigurumi? I would love to see them!

Foxy updates to follow soon…

Kate x


9 Comments

The Completed Rainbow Granny Square Baby Blanket

It’s finally finished! After a year-long gap when I had made all of the granny squares but failed to do anything with them, my colourful granny square baby blanket is now finished!

I decided to leave a straight edge on the border (made up of rounds of half double crochet stitches in rainbow colours) as I think it looks nice and neat and as there’s already enough going on with the bright granny squares!

So what do you think? I know it’s not perfect but it’s my first attempt made with granny squares I made when I first picked up a crochet hook. I don’t think it’s that bad!

 

Onto the next project, but I will post a quick How To… for this blanket soon!

Kate x


4 Comments

Inspired by the past – A trip to Temple Newsam

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all well today. Spring seems to be very much on its way now – dare I say it but there are blue skies above our home in east Yorkshire today… Probably cursed it now, though!

Yesterday Wayne and I had the day off work and so did our friend Aimee so we decided to head out and go and have a bit of culture. We met in Leeds and as the weather was a bit naff (think fog, depressing grey clouds and omnipresent drizzle) we knew we needed a mostly indoor activity. After giving it a bit of thought, we decided on a visit to Temple Newsam  –  a Tudor-Jacobean house with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown which was mentioned in the Domesday Book as “Neuhusum” in 1086.

Temple Newsam HouseI’ll skip the history lesson, but let’s just say through the Knights Templar (which gives the house and estate its name), to Elizabeth I seizing the property after the owner’s son Lord Henry Darnley married Mary Queen of Scots, the house has a colourful past. It is now owned by Leeds City Council and it was one of the places Wayne and I looked at as a possible wedding venue, before we fell in love with Rudding Park in Harrogate.

We started off with a walk around the house, which was grand but had surprisingly small rooms, apart from the picture gallery which was huge.

The thing that struck me the most was the soft furnishings. Although the four poster beds were more often than not draped in hundreds of metres of crimson red damask, the wallpaper (most of which was from the 18th century) looked really modern and fresh. I have to say I found the patterns and colours really inspiring. I love the soft muted colours and patterns, although maybe not the carpet – I’m guessing this might be a more recent addition!

Here are a few examples – I included the dark red one as it was furry to the touch!

I’m now trying to work out how I can incorporate this in some kind of craft…

Jazzy carpet

After the house we had a wander round the farm next to the property. This was really good fun and would be especially good for children. Here’s a few pictures of what we saw!

Have you ever visited anywhere and been inspired by the past? I would love to hear about it, especially if it’s close enough for a day trip!

Kate x


5 Comments

End of the rainbow

A quick update on my blanket…

I’ve finished stitching it together and have started to add the border now. I’ve decided to work backwards in the colour of the rainbow in the different yarns I have used in the blanket. This means I will have blue, turquoise, yellow, fuchsia pink and I plan to finish with purple (as I thought the colours would look nicer this way!)

Here’s the beginning of the end of the rainbow! I am doing the stitch in half double crochet to give them a bit of height so the rows are visible:

Granny square blanket border Granny square blanket

What do you think?

In other news, our wedding presents arrived yesterday. It was like Christmas only better! All we need now is to get our photos back (hopefully next week) and we can get some thank you cards made.

Kate x


4 Comments

Granny Square Blanket: It’s coming together

Granny Squares

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great weekend so far.

I was off work yesterday and I decided it was finally time to put my granny square baby blanket together. I have to admit, I made all of the squares ages ago then got nervous about crocheting/stitching them together. Ridiculous, eh?

Anyway, after being pointed towards Attic24’s simple method of crocheting the squares together with a slip stitch (thanks to the lovely ladies who read my initial blog post!) I got stuck in yesterday.

I’ve now stitched all of the squares together and have crocheted a half double crochet border in the same colour as the yarn I used for the joins.

I’m thinking of adding a colourful border with the wool I used in the squares to give a mini rainbow effect. What do you think, or do you have any top tops for finishing off a granny square blanket? I would love to hear your ideas.

Kate x


12 Comments

How to make… a Teapot table plan

Hello again everyone, I hope you have had a lovely and productive week! So what have you been up to in the past few days?

With a slight fear of causing you to drift off into a snooze, I have to admit that yep, I’ve been doing a bit more wedding DIY. It’s nearly done, I promise!

Die-cut teapots

This week Wayne and I have been very productive on the wedding front (just over a month to go!). We wrote some personal poems to go in each of our favours (well, he wrote most of them), then wrapped them up. I’ve been confirming payments with suppliers while Wayne has been sorting out timings and music choices for the bands and DJ. I’m hoping we will have everything done by the end of the month so come February we can just relax!

Anyway, I have also been working on creating a table plan for the wedding. With our budget stretched to the max, I have made this using things we already had around the house, plus some cute die-cut teapot cut-outs I bought from eBay for £1!

Teapots (and tea) is a bit of a theme at the wedding, but without giving too much away, having them feature on the table plan fitted in really well.

How I made it:

To save money, I decided to use an old IKEA Ribba frame in white for the basis of the table plan, but ditched the glass. I think it’s a great idea to re-use things you already have if they fit the bill, especially if you aren’t currently using them.  The brown backing board of the frame meant I could write guests’ names on white luggage labels and these would show up great with the neutral background – I quite liked the brown as it looks a bit rustic and crafty.

I wrote the guests names on the luggage labels (pencil first, measuring the same gap between the lines) before going over them with a Sharpie.

I then attached the labels to the back of the die-cut cardboard teapot shapes. I thought they looked a bit like teabags dangling down, sort of! I did this using sticky tape.

The next stage was working out how to position them on the board – horizontally or vertically?

Wayne and I decided that vertical looked the best as it allowed the labels to hang better – but you will have to wait to see the finished article after the day. Don’t want to give anything away!

I then measured the board to work out where to place the teapots and stuck them in place using double-sided sticky pads.

And there you go!

I still need to add a bit of something to the top where I will somehow attach a message telling guests how to find their table. Any ideas how I can do this are very much appreciated! Maybe a strip of lace or mini bunting or a ribbon with the message somehow attached?

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. If you are doing any wedding DIY yourself I would especially love to hear from you!

Kate x


3 Comments

Product Review: PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel

Hello again, I hope you’re all having a lovely week and have some nice things planned.

For me, I’m still in full-on wedding mode (36 days to go and counting!), which means my craft projects are still very much wedding-based at the moment. This week it’s been like a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – with spray paint!

My latest bit of DIY has seen me use product I’ve never used before, and I thought I would share a quick review in case you might be thinking of trying out something like this yourself.

The product I used was PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel, or for want of a better term – fancy spray paint. The purpose? To paint some teapots a different colour.

I needed to find some teapots in different colours for some wedding decor, but after searching high and low on eBay, in charity shops and anywhere else I could think of, the only ones I could find that were perfect for what I wanted were very pricey.

Then Wayne had an idea – we had been given some teapots by the lovely people at Yorkshire Tea (this is another story!) – and why couldn’t I just spray them a different colour? Genius!

Yorkshire Tea tepot

So after a bit of research off I went to our local DIY store, where I bought a small tin of PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel in bright yellow and one in sky blue.

The teapots I was painting were a bold red, with a black logo on the front (above) so I guessed they might take a bit of disguising. However, I had a look on PlastiKote’s Facebook page and there were plenty of examples of the paint being used for different purposes, and thought it would fit the bill.

The instructions on the spray paint say:

  • Several thinner coats of paint are better than one thick coat
  • Make sure you spray in a well-ventilated area (essential as it stinks and I imagine would give you a massive headache and would be dangerous)
  • Spray from a distance of 20-30 centimetres
  • The paint is touch dry in about an hour (when you can do a second coat) and totally dry after three hours
  • Each small tin is enough to cover 1.2 metres square – plenty for one teapot

Round one

I started off with the yellow paint, and I’ve got to say, this did not cover the old colour of the teapot as well as the sky blue did. After the first coat (where I got a bit too close and put too much, causing it to run!) I could still see the old logo peeking through.

This did not seem to happen with the sky blue, which covered it a lot better.

Round two

I let the paint dry (went off and had my dinner) then came back to do a second coat, this time turning the teapots upside down as I had missed the bottom in the first coat. I’m not sure why, but the yellow paint still didn’t seem to cover as well, and despite me now knowing how much paint to apply after my earlier mistake, it still seemed to run a lot with the yellow – but weirdly not with the blue. Maybe the yellow paint is a bit thinner?

Sky blue round two

Anyway, I left them to dry, with little trickles running down the side of the yellow teapot. Very annoying, but wiping them just caused more mess.

Round three

The final coat of the blue paint and the new blue teapot looks pretty good. As for the yellow, it didn’t turn out too well in the end, as after yet another coat, you could still see the logo and there are some really annoying paint runs. I’m half thinking about doing it again on another teapot, but it would mean buying more of the stuff and it possibly not working again. Maybe I will just have to try and find a yellow teapot after all…

Blue and yellow teapot

Would I recommend it?

Yes and no. I would recommend the sky blue paint – it covered really well, even the black logo. The yellow paint, on the other hand, did not provide anywhere near as good coverage, seemed to be runny and was much more hard work.

Kate x