Saturday, 28 July 2012

Ardardan Summer Craft Fair & Flowers for Friends

Silly Lily will be setting up shop at the Ardardan Summer Craft Fair . . .

on: Saturday 11 August 2012
@ Ardardan Estate, nr. Cardross
doors open 10:00 'til 16:00

I am extremely grateful to my 3 dedicated blog followers! and to everyone who has liked Silly Lily over the past month or so on Facebook, and to say THANKS I have made little flower pins for you all; Flowers for Friends. Simply bring along the voucher below, purchase something from the Silly Lily range and a flower is yours.

Every flower has been hand crocheted and finished with teeny tiny buttons and a butterfly clutch so you can fasten them to your lapel or wherever you fancy. They're available in a variety of colours but make sure you're an early bird for first picks! 

I hope that as many of you as possible will find the time to pop along (even if it's just to say cooee before you nip for tea and the delicious cakes!). Don't forget to bring your voucher! : D

Friday, 13 July 2012

Summer Food and Craft Fair

Silly Lily is delighted to have been given a last minute opportunity to take part in Helensburgh's Summer Food and Craft Fair . . .

@ The Victoria Hall, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh 
on: Saturday 28 July 2012
doors open @ 09:30 and close @ 16:00

As well as my regular collections, Marge, Mister Moo, Peppermint and Robert will be making their first public appearance; I hope they behave!

There will also be lots of lovely locally produced food and other locally made hand crafted items ready for you to buy. Refreshments also available. 

Look forward to seeing some familiar faces there D

Friday, 15 June 2012

Chamomile Collection Launch

It's been long overdue but I am thrilled to be launching the Chamomile Collection on ETSY today.

The range is inspired by the chamomile flower and includes a bookmark, buttons, a birdy doorstop, an egg cosy, flower fairies, napkin rings, a birdy paperweight (just what you always wanted!), a lavender filled scent bag and a wash bag/ drawstring bag.


As I say on ETSY, I hope you find something you have to have . . .

Thursday, 7 June 2012

silly animals: series 1

It's been a long time since I've designed anything new for Silly Lily but I know that anyone who looks in on this blog (and I know there's not many of you) will know I've been rather preoccupied with crochet for the past few months. More recently I've focused on amigurumi and after a month or two practising I've (rather presumptuously) decided I'm expert enough to design a whole range of amigurumi animals!!

Without further a do, I am pleased to be able to introduce Marge, Mister Moo, Peppermint and Robert who form series 1 (a bit like Lego mini figures, etc.) of what I hope will be an ongoing collection of silly hand crocheted animals.

silly animals: series 1
Peppermint Pig loves turnips for tea!
Mister Moo prefers daisies to buttercups!
Marge Mouse pinches pecorino when nobody's looking!
Robert Rabbit would do just about anything for a carrot!

I have, at long last, got my act together and I'm delighted to announce that you can purchase your very own silly animal from my Silly Lily shop which is now open for business on ETSY. If you prefer to have a go at making one, the patterns can be downloaded via Ravelry for a wee fee!

I hope that somebody, other than mum and Aimee, will love them enough to want to have one (or two, or three, or four)!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Stones and Roses

A few weeks back Aimee and I were at The Burrell with a couple of friends for a family workshop in the art of stone carving. We weren't quite sure what to expect and when we were handed a piece of soapstone 12mm x 115mm x 4mm we wondered what on earth we could possibly carve from it!!

With clipboards, paper and pencils in hand we headed down into the collection to look at some beautiful jade carvings and oriental ceramics for our inspiration. Knowing what we had to work with I chose a fish, Aimee and Sarah drew animals and shapes and Katie picked out patterns from some of the pieces. Drawings done we headed back upstairs for a quick masterclass from Louise before we began carving our own creations.

We sketched out a rough outline of our design on the stone before picking out carving tools files, sand papers and scouring pads to shape our stones. The soapstone is beautiful to work with and we all found the technique very relaxing and therapeutic. The trick is little by little and nothing too intricate, especially on the small pieces of stone we were using. I think Aimee and Sarah found it a little hard to create the shapes they really wanted so ended up playing with the tools, seeing what marks and cuts they would make. Katie etched some intricate patterns into her stone to make a keyring. Towards the end of the two hours, which just flew by, we finished our pieces by washing them and then oiling them. Louise suggested I wait till I got home and maybe rubbed boot polish into mine so that the scales I'd etched on my fish would stand out. As per usual we were last to leave and Louise let the girls collect any stone scraps to take home.

The day after Aimee and I did some carving in the garden with the soapstone leftovers, using emery boards, small drill bits and a craft knife. We made some very small fish and I finished off my fish from the day before with some brown boot polish.

Another lovely day and after looking at glittery stones in our new garden path Aimee created this fantastic picture of people dancing and a dog using stones.

As for the roses. It's been a while since I looked at the Attic 24 blog but Lucy had taken pictures of a walk she'd been on and I noticed a lovely crocheted corsage she was wearing. Mum and dad had invited us to tea later in the week and I thought the brooch would make a nice thank you for mum. The teeny tiny flower pattern is on the Attic 24 site and here are the corsages I made using small scraps of Debbie Bliss Andes, Ecobaby, Rowan Tweed and other bits and bobs.



and one for me

Quick, easy and fun to make.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Teddy Bear's Picnic

Aimee turned 8 on Sunday and to celebrate we had a few friends round for a Teddy Bear's Picnic.

I feel like I've had bears on the brain since we starting thinking about it a month or so ago but it's been great fun planning what we'd do and more importantly - what we'd eat!

It all started with the invitations. It's been a while since I've water coloured but I thought it would be the perfect medium and after several dreadful attempts I came up with the design above. Then I thought I'd make my own stamps to go on the envelopes. And once we'd decided we'd make teddy bears at the picnic I thought I'd do bags to put them in and adoption certificates. . . . oh, and I had a birthday badge made. . . and the card I made for Aimee had a bear on it! I nearly forgot - I drew some bears on the window too.

Given my recent penchant for amigurumi I just had to crochet a bear and surfed and surfed for a pattern that looked a little bit like the one I'd designed. With no joy I tweaked a pattern I had in my Ravelry Library - Angie's Art Studio Panda Bear. A few very minor alterations and Teddy Edward was ready for the picnic.

He looks a little annoyed. Maybe it's because his eyes are squint!

Last Saturday was baking day. Aimee was whisked away to Grandma's cottage to make crispie cakes while I made raspberry and white chocolate muffins and her birthday cake in secret. Shhh!

Ever since I was little my mum has made my brother, sister and I the same chocolate cake for just about every birthday we've celebrated. It's the most delicious chocolate sponge with a chocolate butter cream and a rich chocolate glace icing; the recipe never seems to fail and it's always enjoyed so why wouldn't we make it over, and over, and over again. I've made Aimee the very same cake for all 7 of her previous birthdays (whether she liked it or not) and this year I thought I'd try my hand at using some fondant to decorate it. Last year I used edible chocolate transfer paper and I was a bit disappointed with the results. This year I kept it simple and with some top fondant tips from my sister Nic I hoped I'd made the perfect Teddy Bear's Picnic cake.

Aimee and friends @ The Teddy Bear's Picnic

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Peter Puss

I'm not sure why I decided to design a cat for my first crochet pattern. I don't really like real cats but I have always found cats good inspiration for toys. Perhaps it was watching Aimee playing with the knitted cats I made her at Christmas. Who knows.

I have always worked with things finished in my head so I knew what Peter would look like before I'd even thought about how to make him. Things don't always work out exactly as I imagine them but Peter seem to come together really easily and with hardly any trial and error. I guess because I've worked on a few amigurumi patterns over the last couple of months I had a good idea how to create the shapes I needed.

In the end the trickiest part was getting his features just right; head at a jaunty angles, sad eyes and nose in the perfect spot.

I'm really pleased with the way he's turned out and so by way of thanking all the other talented people who have inspired me I have decided to share the Peter Puss pattern.

I hope somebody enjoys making him; maybe they'll be inspired too.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Hooty McToot

I had arranged for Aimee to have a friend to play on the last Friday of the Easter holidays and decided, in case it was a miserable day, that I'd find a simple project for them to sew if they ran out of things to do. I had a good look online for inspiration and there are lots of  sewing projects for kids but it seemed to be just bags or skirts or aprons. What's fun about making an apron when you're 8 years old? I wanted to give them a project they'd be excited about, something that could be finished within their limited attention span and something that involved an introduction to the sewing machine and a little hand stitching. So, I decided I'd just have to come up with something myself and what I came up with was Hooty McToot.  

There's usually a very long list of things they have to play, make and watch when Sarah comes round and they get ticked off as there done, but on Friday there wasn't anything in particular and even though it was a lovely (but cold) day they decided they would like to make owls. I must confess I did use the "here's one I made earlier" trick to lure them in.

I'd picked some pretty fabrics and cut out the pattern pieces in advance because I knew if I let them choose from my rather large stash we would have been there all day! I laid out the fabrics and let them decide which pieces they wanted to use; there were no arguments - always a good start!  

The pattern involves sewing a few straight lines on the machine, some running stitches by hand and sewing on some buttons. The girls did brilliantly with just a little help guiding the fabric and with me pre-sewing the wings for them (because I knew they'd be bit fiddly). The tah-dah moment when we turned the fabric out to reveal our finished owls was fun.

All in all it took around an hour, which included a five minute break to watch a bit of a DVD and do some trampolining, for us all to make an owl. Here they are . . . 

My owl (right), Aimee's owl (centre) & Sarah's owl (right)

If anyone would like this easy peasy pattern I'd be happy to share it.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Say cheese everyone . . .


Over the past few weeks I've hardly put the crochet hook down. Cupoftea times and lunchtimes at work, evenings, days off and weekends have been spent mastering that elusive magic circle and I've been working my way through the growing library of amigurumi patterns I've collected to try.

Wilf the wolf is my first ever amigurumi creation. I have to keep him for me because I think he's just the beginning.

Bun-Bun was a special request from Aimee.

Poppy puppy was for mum.

Bob frog is for Mary and Spike below was made for Fionn; my niece and nephew.

As for Henry? He's been much admired by Aimee and friends so who knows where he'll end up!

I owe big thanks to Cat Carlisle, Britainy Relland, Nancy Anderson, Erika Hughes, Willy-Nilly Waterlily and Jean Herman for sharing your patterns for free on Ravelry or blogs.  You have all been inspiring.

Working on all these different amigurumi I've spotted similarities in the way some of the pieces are worked and I'm feeling confident that I can maybe make up my own simple pattern. I seem to have lots of grey yarn (leftovers from a cardigan I finished last year) so have decided that Peter Puss is going to be my first amigurmi and I hope to share the pattern soon.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Practise makes perfect, or so they say. I think crochet is a bit like knitting; it's one of those techniques where it's essential to do things by the book or mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. I rather like adding my own fancy crowd pleasing steps to my sewing (and the odd mistake on purpose) but I'm determined to learn to do crochet properly.

This week I've been practising in front of the TV while Alan and Aimee watch The Simpsons, again! I've used some lovely silk yarn I sort of acquired from the yarn store when I was at Art School; it was along time ago!! Sshh . . .

Flower Crochet

Spiral Shell from The Handbook of Crochet Stitches by Betty Barnden

Flower Crochet

Crochet Apple Jacket by Sara Sinaguglia

Patterns are certainly getting easier to follow and I'm not having to refer to my Crochet Handbook so much to check I'm doing the stitches right. They're far from perfect but I'm getting better and having fun. I love detailed and intricate things so crochet holds a lot of appeal. 

I've decided to try and move on from flowers and apple cosies and in anticipation of attempting some amigurumi I've started practising magic circles. They seem to be essential to getting started but despite looking at several tutorials and video clips I'm finding them awfully tricky to master. It doesn't help that my left hand doesn't always work properly (a complete nuisance which I just have to live with) but I shall persevere (or possibly revert back to slip stitching a few chains and crocheting over them!). I've spent several hours over the last week trawling through the freebies on Ravelry and I've built up a library of amigurumi patterns I want  to try. Aimee wants a rabbit!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Aaaarrgghh, Spider!

a well ready copy of Aaarrgghh, Spider!
When Aimee was little one of her favourite stories was Aaarrgghh, Spider by Lydia Monks. I'm a complete cowardy custard when it comes to real spiders but I loved when she chose this book for bedtime. It's so beautifully illustrated and when we read it we would have great fun seeing who could do the loudest, shrillest Aaaarrgghh!! I was pretty good I have to say!

We read it again quite recently and it provided the inspiration for my brother Steven's 40th birthday present. After making a felt flower bouquet for my sister Nic I decided I could maybe get away with some felt flowers for a boy if the colours were right, so I've chosen charcoals, greys, browns and a wee pop of lime green. The flowers were layered to create a 3-D picture and I added some beadwork and simple hand stitching for extra detail.

Aaarrgghh, Spider!

It looked great recess framed and the reaction was a pleasant surprise. Happy Birthday Steven (and Nic).

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Felt Flowers

My brother and sister turn 40 next month and I took a notion to make Nic a bouquet of felt flowers. I'd already bought her a dainty necklace with a tiny blue opal drop and I've used this beautiful colour as my inspiration.

The flowers are all hand cut from templates I made myself. The colour palette is quite muted but I think the bursts of fuchsia and turquoise brings the bouquet to life. I hope Nic doesn't sneak a peek!

I just love working with felt and this is a great way to use up the bags (and bags) of scraps I've collected, thinking they'll come in useful one of these days! I also love that I can sit in front of the TV and cut out flowery shapes 'til my heart's content.

. . . well I wasn't content with one bouquet, so I made another, and I'm in the process of making another.

I haven't forgotten Steven. I don't think he'd appreciate a bunch of flowers, but I'm working on some felt spiders for him.