Popping in to say Hello..

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Good morning all…..thought I would just pop by to say ‘Hello’.   It may have seemed that things have been a little quiet in Shedquarters of late, but things are not quite as they may seem.

There has been a flurry of activity, but if I am to be absolutely honest, I haven’t much to show for it.  I am having one of my ‘wading through treacle’ phases!  I am busy, yet unproductive….keep starting things but not settling to finish.

I understand as a reader, this is quite frustrating, and that you pop along to visit for a little escapism and perhaps a bit of crafty inspiration. The part of me that reads other blogs thinks that perhaps in  ‘blog land’,  where things are perfect and perky,  and the sun always shines, I  shouldn’t make such a huge admission……but actually, in reality…..I’ve been a little ‘unsettled’ in a crafty sense and do occasionally suffer from ‘makers block’……the horror!

Sometimes, you just have to sit back, relax and have a cuppa with friends….

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I have been knitting, and have developed a lovely pile of little dresses….these really just need the finishing touches of buttons and blocking, and that little clothes rail will seem full once more.

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I am working on some hats, and while the beret is my absolute fave, I do hope to have a couple of straw bonnets for the summer happily decorated with flowers and ribbon.

I was really pleased that both Speckles the Baby Giraffe and Meadow the little redheaded suitcase doll, found a new home so quickly, but this has left little Whimsy in the playroom on her own, poor thing.  I am trying to work out what sort of companion to create for her, until she finds her new ‘peeps for keeps’.

The danger is….a little like me…..if left to her own devices, mischief sneaks in, takes her by the hand and leads her astray!

I will be writing up a little ‘Neckerchief’ pattern,  should anyone be interested, for next time.  You can see it modelled by Whimsy here…….

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It is a very versatile little accessory and can be made to fit any size doll, can be worn as a head scarf, neckerchief, or made bigger to create a little shawl…..so I will get my act together for next time…..I promise 🙂

Now you all know I have been dabbling with cross stitch…..and this has taken some of my creative intent.  I always do a spring clean at Shedquarters at about this time of year. A quick lick of paint and a good declutter does the soul good.  This year my little cross stitches will mean I can add a new picture to the wall.   I am absolutely loving it and can’t wait to see it hanging up.  I still have a fair way to go…..but I am already quite excited as the colours are so pretty……can’t wait to do the big “Ta-Dah”

Right then, my Lovelies…….

The dresses won’t hang themselves up….the neckerchief pattern won’t write itself, and Ted, though willing to help himself to rather too much some days……..simply can’t  take himself for a walk!IMG_4185

I must say TTFN…..and start pootling.  Those brightly coloured little crosses are beckoning for later on today…..best get cracking 🙂

 

Until next time Lovelies xx

 

Happy Easter !

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I thought I would pop by to wish you all a very Happy Easter and my best wishes for the coming Spring.

I absolutely love this time of year…well, to be honest this has a few caveats…..I love this time of year, when it is crisp, dry and sunny.  Although I know we need rain to keep nature in balance, that dull grey wet stuff gets right on my nerves….and while the snow was pretty…I am very much done with it for another year!

Okay, so that’s my weather grumble over.  Hope you have all been well.  I have been having a lovely time playing with wool, yarn and thread.  As you can see, I have been dabbling with cross stitch.  I love the rhythm of putting little crosses into Aida fabric…I would love to do it on linen, but my eyesight won’t really allow it these days.

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I love the colours, and I love the simplicity of it.  As a child and well into my teens I enjoyed cross stitch, and it has been almost like a holiday revisiting it once again….like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen for years.

I would like to incorporate the little cross stitched pieces into the Suitcases, and am currently working up a couple to make into little pillows.

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I do have a larger project planned….just for fun to brighten up the shed….and something to dip in and out of….but I am waiting on delivery of some DMC threads at the moment so can’t quite get going.

I am not sure where I got to on the introductions front, but Whimsy and Meadow are the little Fuzzpotlings, that currently reside in the playroom, whilst they wait for a new home.  Now these little girls are really full of fun.

First of all lets say hello to Whimsy…

Now this little girl has hair created using Teeswater Lambs Locks, and as they are just cleaned and un-dyed, she is a very natural blonde! Her hair is the softest of things, and I have to say, I love playing with it.

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As a result of having gorgeous curls, she is very trepidatious now that we are in April and there may be a shower in the air!  This of course means Whimsy will not travel anywhere without her umbrella.

She has made really great friends with Meadow…

Now Meadow is a rather gorgeous redhead.  and as you can see, understands the perils of the weather.

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She too likes to be prepared for those April showers, and just like her friend, won’t go anywhere without a brolly ( if only my daughters, would take a leaf out of her book!)

These girls love to have fun…

And are always up to mischief, with their two up bike rides and little chats!  I think they may be a little surprised who will be joining them soon….

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Speckles is almost ready and this little Giraffe, really loves to play.  It will be a nice surprise to have him join them for tea parties and games.

I haven’t made a giraffe for such a long time, it seems.  I love playing with colour and yellow just seems to pop at this time of year.  I will pop by with an update soon, and let you know if Speckles has made friends with the girls!!

I had better hop off, and will leave you with an Easter Bunny….(or two)IMG_3059

Hoppy Easter every Bunny xxxx

Keeping as a snug as a bug in a rug!

Hello all…..hope you are well and are keeping nice and warm.   It is chilly here as it seems to be across the UK, and we find ourselves, slap bang in the middle of a red weather warning, as issued by the Met office today…….. so I am using this as an excuse to grab a cuppa with you all and have that catch up we should have had on the weekend, until time got the better of me….soz!

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So here we are….between the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.  I am quite literally tethering myself to a warm kettle and a pair of snuggly socks ( hand knitted of course)…..and I really think I ought to keep the biscuit barrel fairly close to hand too….just in case!!

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Whilst this is going on ‘outside’….Twig, our elderly rescue greyhound is refusing to relinquish her grip on the sofa….

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….this would be her….” I don’t need a walk today ….are you completely bonkers! ”  face. Which is shortly followed by a sigh and then snoring.

Anywhoo…..while the ‘outside’ does its thing, I have been cracking on and catching up on some makes.  The first Fuzzpotling doll this year to wander out of Shedquarters was little  Ava…..

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There was so much about this little one that I loved when making her.  Matching pinks with deep reds, seemed wrong and yet so very right for this one.  The beautiful sock yarn used for her dress pulled all the colours together at the end.  So those funny red boots, didn’t really seem to clash with her deep pink tights, gingham bloomers and shocking fuchsia pink curly hair.

She is an all action girl, and loves to pack her little denim bag, with a good book and things she finds on her adventures.  I am so glad that she has found a new loving home where she is already making friends.

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I love working with Teeswater Locks.  This untamed hair, always reminds me of my youngest daughter, who has a mass of stunning curls.  We tried straightening it once….and although it looked lovely….simply wasn’t her!   So whenever, I create a doll with this wild wild hair, I just know that they will be kind and funny, just like her.

Once I start making wigs, I am possessed by the colours….

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So today, I have just finished Marin.  I have called this one Marin, because with its Irish Gaelic roots, the name Marin means “Star of the Sea”.  Her hair with its bright sea greens and pretty aquas reminded me of mermaids.

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While the play room is quiet she has been looking at all of the dresses.  I certainly think that this one is ‘hers’ though, reflecting those ocean colours and matching those bright turquoise sneakers.

It is definitely scarf weather, so of course….Marin is wearing a thick woolly hand knit scarf made from pure wool.

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I do seem to have been busy making frocks.  Each one is slightly different, but I am putting them down in a notebook, with a view to writing up a pattern at some point. When I see this picture, I fall in love with sock yarn all over again 🙂

It is a great excuse to use up little bits of yarn from your stash……even tiny bits can become a scarf, a hat or even leg warmers!!

I am working on some little coats at the moment, as well as finishing off a couple more dolls, so I will be able to share those with you soon.

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For now, I will say…..make sure you wrap up warm.  I have just dug out my stash busting scarf.  Knitted lengthwise on long circular needles, and using up lots of “posh” yarn, it is liking wearing a great big cuddle!

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Stay safe…stay warm and stay well all.

TTFN xxxx

I’m Back!

Hello my Lovelies, how have you all been keeping?

Firstly, let me apologise to you for letting my little blog get so dusty.  I have flung the doors wide open, blown off the cobwebs of this little corner of my world and started making notes and noise once more.

If you’ve got a minute now, why not grab a cuppa, pull up a chair and have a bit of a catch up.

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January is always a really busy month here at Fuzzpot Lane.  Shed quarters always has a little bit of a lie down after Christmas, and with both of my teenage girls celebrating birthdays 9 days apart (they are 2 years different in age), weekends seem to fly by in a bit of a flurry.  So there is…..how can I put it (?)…..an aftermath!!

The dull and damp weather makes dog walking that little bit longer….. there is the walk itself (slower in wind and rain)…then the drying off, which consists of a Rugby tackle that Chris Robshaw would be proud of for the Six Nations….the changing from wet weather gear into something snug and warm …the need for Hot Chocolate….the obvious need for ‘actual’ chocolate and then finally the sofa slump.  I think you can see what I am saying here!

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Yes !!  I’m talking about you…….Mr Ted….I am blaming you!!

I suppose I should also say that I suffer quite badly from LOMAC…..Lack of Mojo After Christmas.  There I’ve said it….I’ve made my excuses and said my apologies.

It’s February and I’m back…..

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It isn’t that I’ve not been ‘making’ things…..I just haven’t been ‘finishing’ them.  But all that is about to change.  All of the little bits and bobs that I have been doodling around with, are finally starting to come together.

The notebook is full of ideas, plans and dreams.  There is a little stack of knitted dresses…IMG_4719

that just require blocking,  buttons and a couple of ends sewing in.  The little pile of gingham cotton bloomers is starting to take shape, and I have found out some ribbon and edging which I am really keen to use.

The beauty of cold evenings by the fire, is that you can crochet those little body parts, but still be embroiled in family life.  I am working on several dolls at the moment, and have quite a gaggle forming….all waiting in a little line!

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Most of the heads have been needle felted, skin fabric attached and eyes embroidered, and this week, will be ‘Wig Week’.

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I have some beautiful, locally sourced Teeswater Locks, hand dyed in some truly fabulous vibrant colours, waiting to transform a little doll into a real character.  These are just 3 of the shades I have to play with at the moment……we will call this a sneak peak!  This type of Teeswater locks are what I have used in the past for these little cuties…

I will also be making a couple of fluffy heads, like these using wonderfully soft mohair yarn….

Whether it will be in this group of girls, or whether it will be in the next, I would also like to revisit the yarn curls that I created for this one….

There was just something about this little lass..that stuck in my heart.

I never make two dolls that are exactly the same, and I very rarely go down the custom order route…..I always feel that each one has to be an individual, with there very own character……and they always have to be made with love.  To enable me to create something truly unique …. I have to go with the flow!!  I hope this makes sense.

Anyway, back to the here and now!

Post arrived today….very happy post !  I treated myself a little while ago, and now it has landed, I am going to have to show the same levels of self discipline that it is taking to ignore the half eaten chocolate orange in the fridge!!

This lovely wool / mohair mix from Plymouth Yarn has a really lovely soft sheen.  It is a double knit so I have some wonderful plans for this.

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The next is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock….an old favourite of mine.  I cannot wait, to make some little outfits with this beautiful colour way called Childsplay.  The bright soft colours leave options wide open for accessorising.

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But you really can never tell what takes your fancy.  I threw this ball of sock yarn into the basket as a last minute thing, just to accommodate a discount code.  I’ve never used Lion Brand Sock Ease before, but a bit like that film quote….”You had me at Hello”…..I actually heard myself say “Hello!” to this ball of yarn when I opened the mail bag!   It’s just so pretty.

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This will look stunning as a little dress for a natural blonde ….don’t you think?

I can’t wait……the ideal, but very naughty end to my day (after parents evening with Thing 2 of course), could see me knitting with this and eating chocolate orange segments!!!

CAN SOMEBODY EAT THAT BLINKING CHOCOLATE…..PLEASE ???!!!!

 

Anyway, it is so good to be back…..I promise not to be gone for so long again.  Hopefully, next week will see some new little dolls, forming an orderly queue, to meet you all.

TTFN my friends xxx

 

 

 

 

Willow or won’t she ?!

Hello everyone…..Hope you are all well, and managing to keep warm.  Thank fully December is ‘Blanket’ month here at Fuzzpot Lane, so I have had the excuse to snuggle up on the sofa and finish off that Willow Square blanket I started absolutely months ago!

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It’s so far back, I won’t expect you to remember it straight away, but there was some doubt, on my part as to whether it would ever be finished.

Once all of the little Fuzzpotling dolls had made there way off to their new homes, I simply ran out of excuses.  I had decided that I would not start another blanket project until this one was complete…..tricky for someone of my ‘Mrs Many Projects’ mentality, and December was already here…..the horror!!

Now someone out there ( you know who you are Susan!), renamed this, the “Willow or Won’t she Blanket”, and from some people I may not have taken it quite so well, but she is a ‘Mrs Many Projects’ herself, and over the years we have had many ‘phases’ on our crafting journeys, many giggles and trodden a very similar path…….quite frankly….with this name, she pretty much nailed it!

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Willow or won’t she?   Well she did….and thanks to Priscilla Hewitt and her Continuous Flat Braid Join it all went together quite swimmingly.

The yarn used was a mix of both Stylecraft Special Dk and King Cole Pricewise DK, and basically I did 4 of Jan Eaton’s Willow squares in each of the following 16 shades…64 squares in all :

Styelcraft Special Dk :  Raspberry, Duck Egg, Violet, Buttermilk, Pistachio, Clematis, Cream, Vintage Peach, Sage, Strom Blue, Stone and Lavender.

King Cole Pricewise DK : Orchid, Grape, Fallow and Blossom

The continuous flat braid join was done in Stylecraft Special Dk shade Mushroom.

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So now what will I do ?  It’s only the 13th December and you’ve finished a blanket, I hear you cry!   I had a brief dalliance with thoughts of another blanket, but I am being drawn back to little things once more.

Just before I took Priscilla by the hand and let her lead me through the continuous joining technique, I had been putting together little outfits in suitcases….

….and I have to say, I am being drawn back.  The knitting needles are out and dresses, coats, hats and scarfs are starting to fly.  This coupled with mini blankets, a basket of beautiful sock yarn and the ease of taking it wherever I go…..had me at ‘Hello”.

So once the festivities are over….I’ve gone a chocolate too far….and am ready to create some new Fuzzpotlings, the choices will be endless.

I will be back to wish you all a ‘Merry’ one very soon, but for now my friends, the kettle is calling.

Stay warm xx

A bit of a round-up ….

Finally I have managed to claw my way back to the blog to say hello…..Hello Lovelies 🙂

As any of you ‘hand makers’ know the Christmas build up starts early, and despite my plans, my copious notes and my many lists entitled ‘To-do’…. I always seem to get to this point in the year, with a feeling of being chased!

The pressure is of course, of my own making. For years, I have enjoyed the Christmas Market atmosphere.  Crafting can be a relatively solitary pursuit, and craft markets, are a great opportunity to meet buyers, other makers and people simply intrigued by what you have made.  This year, I have taken a step back from that, and instead, concentrated on creating a limited number of Waldorf inspired Dolls…..and it has been these 5 Fuzzpotlings…. Poppy, Rose Hip, Tabitha Thimbleberry, Strawberry Skye and Queenie, that have been keeping me busy…well, that and ‘life’ really.

Each of these dolls, takes around 3 weeks to make.  The heads are made using traditional techniques, the bodies and limbs are hand crocheted, the wigs are hand crafted and the clothing all hand knitted.

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I love each step of the process, but to be honest, when I see them in their completed form…..oozing with individual personality, it makes my heart sing.  Even when they are packed into their little suitcases, with it’s window into the world, it makes me smile, because I can imagine the adventures that they are about to go on.

I had a very special little soft doll when I was very small, called Pinky, and my wish for each of the Fuzzpotling dolls, is quite simple……they mean as much to someone somewhere, as that little doll meant to me.

Tabitha Thimbleberry is one of my most recent dolls.  The colours simply sing to me, in there softness, and she strikes me as quite shy, yet incredibly cheeky.  I love her naturally white blonde hair, especially when her beret comes off on a windy day !

 

Her dress, like that of Rose Hip, her little friend, are knitted using a 4 ply extra fine merino yarn.  I love the softness of this yarn, but I always think that it creates a lovely stitch definition too.  Rose Hip, like Tabitha, has that super fuzzy hair, that if untethered, can whoosh into a little halo of fluff….

Each of the girls dresses have little cotton crochet flowers decorating them, and these are carried on to their matching hats.  Playing with colours is a huge part of the enjoyments for me and I always love the tiny little bits of extra detail. Rose Hip is wearing denim sneakers, and of course denim sneakers look best with blue gingham bloomers.

Poppy, who you met a little last time in my previous post, was again, drawn on similar lines…..her colours were bright and vibrant to match that gorgeous red hair…

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Queenie, is a little girl with curly brown hair and space buns. As my daughters both know, hats are a little tricky with buns, so her hair has been decorated with pretty pink crochet flowers…..

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This little one was a bit tricky to photograph.  The low morning sunlight, played havoc with her complexion, and I can honestly say, I am not sure that the pictures really did this pretty one justice.  She has just started her long journey to the U.S. where I hope she will enjoy making lots of happy memories.

Now Strawberry Skye, has a mass of of bright pink/red curls made from hand dyed Teeswater Locks sourced locally.  Her style is more Boho chic, deep bright colours, and of course flowers in her her…..there is no way a beret will sit on top of those curls!

Being a little different to the others, meant a little something individual and her boots really suited her……to be honest, I’d like a pair of those myself !!

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And so, that is my round up of what I’ve been up to.  I am really pleased to say, that all of the Fuzzpotlings, packed into their Unicorn suitcases,  have now found their new homes, and are ready to settle in and have some fun.

I am currently working on some outfits, which will become available in the next few weeks. These will fit all of my little dolls ( both cloth and waldorf inspired)  Their proportions don’t conform to standard doll sizings, so I thought it might be nice to create some add on outfits and package them up into smaller suitcases, making them available before Christmas.  I will of course post regular updates on Facebook, when these become available…… I am knitting up a storm as we speak….so keep your peepers peeled.

Next year I will be offering a few more free patterns….designs for which are underway.

Hope you are all enjoying a relaxing Festive build up…..I am off to do a little speedy housework, establish a base camp half way up my ironing mountain, and then disappear into the shed for a little bit of cosy knitting.

Have a great day xxx

 

 

Suitcases and Storms!

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Hello everybody, hope you are all well.  I thought I would pop by and see how you are all doing.  Storm Brian….a strange name for grumpy weather, if you ask me….seems to have run out of steam a little today.  He certainly had a bit of a strop on yesterday though!

It’s still a little windy here today, but the shed is warm and dry. Thankfully it did not mimic a scene from the Wizard of Oz yesterday, so we are all good here.

So since we last shared a cuppa together, I have been busy on the festive front, and have produced a new crochet pattern for this Christmas.  Reggie the Reindeer has always been a favourite, so this year, he has a little Tomte friend called Thomas.  Tomte, from Swedish folklore make great little ornaments, are really quick to whip up and have a world of possibility in the colours you can choose.

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Funny little chap isn’t he ?  I’ve used a mix of double knit yarns for this one.  Mainly Stylecraft Special Dk in Duck Egg & Soft Peach, but for the hat and beard I used King Cole Glitz……it sparkles, and I am an absolute sucker for anything that twinkles. Anywhoo…the pattern is now available over in my Etsy shop.

I have a little plan for the next few weeks, and have been able to tick off a couple of little items, that go by the name of Poppy and Petunia….

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Poppy with her ginger hair loves bright colours, especially red, and is sporting some wonderfully jazzy tights.  Her little emerald green sneakers will be great for kicking through leaves and playing.  She already seems to be sharing a secret or two with Petunia.

Petunia loves flowers, and is dressed in bright pinks and yellows.  Her baby pink sneakers match her equally jazzy tights.  Both of these little girls, will have their very own suitcase for travelling in, and as always will contain some surprise goodies….until Christmas I will be adding a few festive extras.

Petunia is demonstrating in these pictures the importance of the beret, in this windy weather.  Once tamed, this fuzzy headed honey blonde has the cutest of bunches.

Poppy has hair that will settle easily into bunches too, and part of the joy for me when I make these dolls, is to see their personalities shine with very small changes, either to their clothes or hair.  If they make you smile too, that makes me happy.

I don’t want to mention my ‘To-do List’ really…..its been such a nice day, so why ruin it!  But actually, I quite like a plan.  Now that these little Fuzzpotlings are ready to find their new home, I am already pulling colourways together for the next few.

The eagle eyed amongst you, may note that each little dress is very slightly different, not only in colour but in the lace pattern on the skirt. I am now working on some hat variations too.

I am currently, putting together the next little gaggle of girls.  These will all share a theme….and whilst I don’t want to give too much away at this point…..I will say only this…..if you or someone you know likes unicorns….watch this space.  I am very excited!!

Thank you so much for popping by….I hope you have a lovely day.

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TTFN xx