Posted in craft, crochet

Friday Favourites and 2019 Crochet Goals

Crochet

This week I thought I would write about one of my favourite things to make.

For a long time one of my hobbies has been crochet. I was taught by my Mum when I was little, but I didn’t make anything much until recent years when I taught myself how to make traditional granny squares.

Granny squares are the basis for many projects, especially blankets. You can either make one big square or lots of little ones and join them together.

The pattern I follow is always the one where the stitches are in clusters of three with gaps between. The solid granny has always been a mystery to me.

However, yesterday I finally figured it out for myself! It was obvious once I knew how. I’m so pleased as this gives me a whole new scope in the blanket making game, and it’s an accomplishment. Well done me!

You can see my most recent make on my Craft Owl Blog, where I mixed stripes and squares. I had also just figured out how to make an offset square, which made my blanket look very random.

http://bit.ly/Owlcrochet

I am trying again to make a stash busting blanket. If you read the post above you will see that my last one went a bit awry.

My crochet goals for 2019

  1. Shop my stash > this means checking what I have before I buy more, and making sure I start projects which will use up my stash.
  2. Organise colours > I tend to mix everything up, which suits me but isn’t to everyone’s taste.
  3. Label my WIPs > WIP stands for Work In Progress. If I start something and then leave it a while I often forget what size hook I’m using etc, so my plan for 2019 is to label my projects with details of the hook, yarn weight, date started etc.
  4. Buy only neutral colours that I can use to join my stash busting squares with > this speaks for itself really, and goes along with me trying to organise my colours.
Offset granny square

As you can see from my photos I have lots of “tails” of yarn to weave in now, which I shall do before I make the next batch of squares – promise! 🙊

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Posted in Journal, lifestyle, papercraft

Journal along with me | Creating a future log

One very obvious reason for having a planner or [bullet] journal is to be able to see ahead.

Upcoming events and tasks are recorded in a future log. You can create one for any period of time you choose. You could make one for the whole of the coming year, or for the month ahead, or anything in-between!

I would recommend starting with the month ahead.

A future log is useful for remembering things like birthdays though, so jump right in to the year ahead if you want to be very organised.

Decide how much space you need for each day. You don’t need much detail at this stage because you can put more detail into your weekly spread as it comes round.

You could divide your month/year into columns for different things, depending on how busy you are. Mine is very basic.

Remember to update your index

My example above shows a full six weeks and has space for notes or a quote at the top. I’ve used my favourite calendar stamp in the top right. I can use this as a tracker or to highlight important dates …. Or just to cross off the days as they happen.


I do hope that you are finding this series helpful. Please share your planners and journals with me.

My Journal Pinterest Board


If you would like to collab with me in 2019, please fill out the form below, include your email and website and the subject you would like to write about, and I will reply as soon as I can.

Posted in craft, Journal, lifestyle, papercraft

Journal along with me | Creating a weekly spread

In the first post in this series, I wrote about buying a notebook.

Now you have your book you will probably want to start writing in it straight away, but that can be quite daunting.

My best advice is to skip a few pages

Leave yourself some space to come back to. I will make some suggestions for those blank pages later in this series. Number a few pages then start writing on page 3 or 4.

I suggest you make yourself a simple weekly spread first, because you can get your immediate time organised straight away.

Even if you’re starting your journal in the middle of the week, it doesn’t matter. Draw yourself a grid for seven days.

Beginning on the Monday, write the dates in and fill in your appointments for the week, including those you have already been to.

Add a to-do list with check boxes ☑️ so that you can keep track of your important tasks. At the end of the week, transfer any unfinished tasks to your new to-do list for that week.

I have created a space to write important reminders for the following week too.


The next step is to create an index. I start mine in the back of my notebook. On the left hand side of the page, write the title of your spread eg “weekly spreads” and next to it put the page number. When you add more weekly spreads, just write the page number next to the title, so it will look like this:

INDEX
Weekly spreads ….. 3, 10, 15

Update your index every time you create a new page.


If you would like to share your “before the pen” pages with me, I would love to see them.

Journal weekly spread

Either leave me a link below, or comment on my pinboard 

related content:

which notebook should I buy?

Posted in craft, papercraft, Snail Mail

Snail Mail ideas to help new penpals join in with the revival

The aim of this post is to provide some inspiration to anyone wanting to become a penpal.

You don’t have to start by writing to strangers – why not start by writing to someone you already know? I am sure they would be very pleased to hear from you!

There are some great reasons to send someone a letter:

  • Just to say hello
  • A nice surprise – better than a bill or junk mail
  • Send a smile – let someone know you’re thinking of them
  • It’s more personal – handwriting is so unique
  • Keep old traditions alive
  • Share good news

Like many hobbies, if you go and buy everything you think you need, it can become very expensive. I would recommend that you start with just a few basics, see how you get on, and then maybe think about what you really need to buy.

Here’s what I suggest as a good starter kit:

  • Plain A4 computer paper: you can use as writing paper and also for envelopes
  • A nice pen: one of those 4 in 1 biros are brilliant (like the one in the picture above)
  • Paper clips or staples: clip or staple things to your letter
  • Sellotape and glue: needed to secure handmade envelopes and for sticking pictures to your letter
  • Scissors: for making envelopes and for cutting up things to stick on
  • Magazine cuttings and paper scraps: make your own embellishments and envelopes
  • Envelopes of different sizes (I am going to be sharing how to make an envelope on my craft blog in a future blog post)
  • Plain white address labels: for the front of the envelope and the return address
  • Postage stamps!!!!

Once you have got your stash together, you may need some ideas of what to write. You don’t need to write anything too personal, especially if you’re writing to a stranger. You don’t have to write much to begin with either. Try these ideas:

  • Start with the date and time and what the weather is like
  • A favourite quote
  • Movies watched
  • Books read
  • Lists of anything
  • Use doodles and magazine cuttings to decorate the page and the envelope

You could draw a template and photocopy it at your local library if you are sending lots of letters.

Here’s an example from Pinterest:

Stay safe! Be sure that you can trust the person you are giving your personal details to!
When sharing photographs of mail you have received or are sending, remember to disguise any personal details (yours and those of the sender/recipient)!

When you have finished your letter, make sure your envelope is addressed correctly, properly sealed and include a return address. Check that you have paid the correct postage as your recipient will be charged the excess otherwise.

I will be sharing some examples of things I have made so please subscribe to my blog if you want to see more. There are always lots of pretty things on Pinterest and Instagram if you need inspiration. I would also suggest you subscribe to my friend Lavrax as she is a newbie penpal, and I just know her ideas are going to be fresh and exciting!

My snail mail pinboard

20181018_175409_00018710188072504004068.png

Posted in craft, papercraft

Save this for later on Pinterest!

What do you think? click to open in Pinterest

I was browsing Pinterest and saw this beautiful design. I thought it was such a simple but effective idea for an Autumnal card for someone.

Image from Pinterest

I have several ideas inspired by this, including doodling some hearts, and using sequins instead of 3D paint.

Let me know what you think, how you would do your own interpretation and who you might send it to.

I’m sharing this here as part of #Blogtober, and I will post my design on Craft Owl later.

Thank you so much for reading.

Marie-Céline

Posted in musings, papercraft, Snail Mail

Snail Mail Revival

If you’ve seen my posts on Craft Owl Blog then you will know I make my own envelopes and I like sending letters.

I wasn’t sure if Royal Mail had any guidelines regarding patterns on envelopes, so I sent them a tweet.

They responded quickly with this handy link:

How to address your mail

I was pleased to find out that it is perfectly acceptable to send my handmade envelopes in the post! I just have to make sure that the address is written in black ink on a white background (a sticky label would be fine) and in the correct format.

I had been putting my envelopes inside a white envelope before posting them. Seems a shame to hide them if I don’t need to though, right?

Let me know in the comments if you are a fan of old fashioned letters, and especially if you are pen pals with anyone.

Thank you for visiting!

Marie-Céline

Posted in craft, papercraft

Make it Monday

View this post on Instagram

#rubberstamping #handmade

A post shared by Marie-Céline 🎗️ (@craft_owl) on

Hello and welcome to the start of a new week.

The above link should be showing as an embedded Instagram post, but if not then please do click and have a look at the original.

I’m sharing another design from a while ago, but one I will repeat. The rubber stamp is unusual because it is like a negative; the flower is the white space, and the background is the colour (the inky bit). It works very well with my Distress Inks and I like cutting along the lines and layering it up.

Do you have a favourite design or a stamp that you can’t put down? Please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Marie-Céline

Posted in craft, crochet

Compact Basic Granny Square in 2 Colours – Craft Owl Blog

Using first colour, chain 4 and join with slip stitch to make a ring Chain 2, then 2 trebles into the ring and then chain 1 3 trebles into ring and 1 chain (repeat to make 2 more clusters, so first row is 4 clusters with 1 chain between each) Join with a slip stitch…
— Read on craftowlblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/compact-basic-granny-square-in-2-colours/

[shared from my other blog]

Thanks for reading!

Marie-Céline