Beak Up Crafts

I'll craft anything once


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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

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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


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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


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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


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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


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Feeling Fat (Quarters)

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well! It’s Friday again! Do you have any nice plans for the weekend? Wayne and I are going out for tea with a couple of friends tonight then tomorrow I’m having a makeup trial for the wedding. I’m a bit nervous as I’ve never had one before but fingers crossed it will go well and I won’t end up looking like I’ve had a run in with some Ronseal wood stain or like a painted doll…

Anyway, after last week’s post where I asked for some help with my new sewing machine – thanks again to everyone who took the time to read my post and offer brilliant advice, I really appreciate it – I have a quick update.

OK, so I haven’t been brave enough to actually try and sew anything yet but I have made a step in the right direction by buying some fabric to practice with.

Here it is, isn’t it pretty:

One thing I do like is that the material comes in a size known as a Fat Quarter. This is a new one on me but I think it’s a brilliant name. Quite why there isn’t a Slim 16th or a Fat Eighth is called a Fat Eighth (when really it’s not that fat) I don’t know, but I like it all the same and I’m looking forward to making a start.

That reminds me, I must buy some batteries for my mini sewing machine.

I have to admit, my crafting has kind of taken a back seat this week as wedding planning has taken over. I guess that’s what happens when you’re just over a month away from saying “I dos”. Things are all on track, but meeting with the venue and florist, writing notes and ticking things off lists means apart from the crochet bird cake toppers, I haven’t had time to try and get to grips with my new sewing machine. Hopefully I will get the chance next week!

Speak to you then!

Kate x


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How to Make… Lace-covered Jam Jars

A splash of colour - Lace-covered glass jars
I love the simplicity of glass-covered lace. It’s so elegant and classic with a nod to vintage. Glass jars look stunning with a flickering candle inside, and with Wayne and I having a winter wedding (next month!), I knew this would be something that could work well with our day.

After being inspired by seeing lace-covered jam jars all over Pinterest and my favourite wedding blogs last year, I really wanted to have a go at making them myself. I mean, they are beautiful, environmentally friendly (as it’s effectively upcycling!) and also cheap to make.

Here’s how I made mine…

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