Sunday, 7 August 2011


Firstly, please forgive this shameless self promotion. I have recently been trying to make something more of my crafting, and trying to make a few much needed pennies. I created a new Facebook group to showcase my creations to hopefully attract some attention and, if I'm lucky enough, some orders. The group is Pegstar Designs - Hand Made Originals. If you're on Facebook, please pop along and have a look-see and if you like, please join. End of promotion.

Now, on to the updates!!

I'll start with the crochet updates.

I've been making more slippers! As well as these, I have made 4 pairs for various members of Hairy Face's family (including a green and purple 'Incredible Hulk' pair)! I've made a few variations on the pattern linked in a previous post, and I'm getting quite swift at them. I enjoy doing them, and I'm building up quite a stock of them!

Some of my slippers

After the slippers, I decided to make a blanket for my lovely friend Gail. Gail is expecting her first baby and she's incredibly supportive of the stuff I do (she's my biggest customer and has genuine faith that I will make it big one day), so I wanted to make something special for her. She doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl, so I couldn't make a pink or blue blanket. Here's what I came up with...
Also in my last post I included a picture of the start of my 2nd commissioned shoulder bag... Well, here it is in its completed glory. I was really pleased with the finished result, and I think the new owner was too! What do you think?

On to the plant updates.

Do you remember in my last post, I uploaded a picture of the tiny beginnings of my very first pepper? Well that one grew, and I ate it! Then another 2 started, and they grew a bit...

Do you see the nub where I cut off the first pepper!?

And a bit more...!
(You can see how much bigger my carrots have got on the right of the peppers)

I haven't harvested them yet, I'm going to leave them to go red, I do so love red peppers! I'm really pleased though, considering the poor plant only has a pot on my windowsil to grow in, I think it's pretty cool!! Also managed to grow a chilli, which I left to go red and then added to a home made pizza. It was some good stuff!

Now some fimo updates!

I have been making door signs and matching trinket boxes...
...and various other bits and pieces. Would you believe I'm already gearing up for Christmas!? I've been working on little baubles, Santas, Christmas puds, ready for cards. I've made a whole batch of Angels too. And, I've been asked to make a bride and groom for a wedding cake. That's my current project, and I'm really excited about it. I'll post a picture when it's done!

That's all for now really! I'm off for a while, to work on some more.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, it's always greatly appreciated!

Take care all,

Peg xxxx

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bags and Peppers and Stately Homes

Evening all.

Remember in my last post I showed the bag that I'd made? Well, in all honesty it wasn't that great (I purposely didn't show any close-ups of my questionable stitching), but I went to a friend's house and 2 other friends asked for bags of their own, and were willing to pay for the privilege. So the second and third bags needed to be a fair bit better than my own. Having made the first, I knew what I did wrong and was able to remedy some of these errors, and managed to produce this!

Genuinely quite impressed with my efforts. I put in a functional zip and everything! It was purchased by my lovely friend, and if that wasn't enough, she asked me if I would make a hat and slippers to match!
And this is the start of bag number 2. Really nice colours I think! Eventually the whole thing will have a brown border. The lining fabric is green with green and brown leaves, and when finished will look pretty similar in size and shape to the one above.
I also made myself a pair of the slippers that Hairy Face loves so much. These are mine, and after a couple of hours being worn in I can see why he doesn't take his off, they are seriously comfy!

On an un-crafty note, but relating back to earlier posts.... I have been trying to grow veg again. Well, touch wood, I have had slightly more success this time! Below is a picture of my pepper plant, with something growing that looks suspiciously like a real (if really small) pepper! VERY exciting!! It gets noticeably bigger every day. 2 days ago it was the size of a pea, and its now already almost an inch long. I'm hoping the other flowers (3 and counting) will also turn in to delicious home-grown goodness!

Yesterday, my Dad and I went to Dunham Massey. Absolutely beautiful. I'm in love with it. I love all National Trust properties, I love to wander round them and imagine huge flowing dresses sweeping through the rooms and servants scurrying unheard down uncarpeted and unpolished hallways, removing themselves to their cramped, basic quarters until they're required at the break of the next dawn. Grand carriages rolling down long, private driveways and unloading magnificently dressed cargo on the steps of the main entrance. I can get lost in my own imagination, especially in a house that lets you see so many of the rooms, unchanged for 100 years. Just beautiful. Definitely worth a trip if you're in the area. If I had the chance again, I would do a very different degree. Architectural History. I'd happily do my homework then!!

I think the kitchen was my favourite room. I say room, suite of rooms. Scullery, Chef's room, wet larder, meat larder, game larder, kitchen proper, butler's pantry, serving room. The kitchen has one of the biggest Agas ever built, commissioned specially for Dunham. There was also a wall to wall cast iron range, topped with copper pans and urns, with what look like individual bread ovens beneath. And on the table on the back wall, a HUGE Mason & Cash mixing bowl. Now I have to say, I have been wanting one of these for some while, I got quite excited (and jealous in equal measure) when I saw it. And I told my Dad so!

This morning I had a call at 9.15 from my Dad, asking if I would be at home in an hour... Little ominous. I said I would be, and sure enough, at 10.15, my Pa arrived, and handed me a (rather large and heavy) bag. In this bag, to my surprise and joy, was...
...a MASSIVE (15 inch diameter) Mason & Cash mixing bowl. He had seen one when shopping in town, and bought it for me! I know I'm a geek, but I was properly excited about it! I'm going to christen it with a double batch of banana bread. Yum!

Over the past few weeks, I have got into a very bad habit. Whenever I go into town, I seem to come back with a couple (or 5) balls of wool. Like I said, its a very bad habit and I need to get out of it. Not least because I have a LOT of wool, and it doesn't have a home. Well it does, but carrier bags down the side of my settee look so unsightly! I tried to remedy this today, and bought myself a hanging storage thing. I put it up, and filled it with my wool...
Not too bad. However, shortly after this photo was taken, the loop that it hangs from started to rip, so I had to take it down. My wool stash is too heavy! I need another solution... Any ideas?!

Take care, and good night!



Wednesday, 6 April 2011

In my absence...

...I've been busy!!

I have been baking, planting and crocheting like a good 'un!

I have planted various herbs in pots on my kitchen windowsill. Chives, basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, coriander, plus lavender and various salad leaves. I also have chili peppers and bell peppers growing, and starting to flower, woohoo!!

On the baking side, I have made some more banana bread, some more normal bread, some soups, some pies and the odd quiche.

On the crocheting side is where I have been busiest though!

First, I finished my blanket...

I won tickets to 'Sewing for Pleasure', (in a competition run on a website I am a big fan of - a fantastic fair with hundreds of stalls full of fabric, wool, paper crafts, sewing machines, craft books, more fabric, beads, jewellery findings, sewing bags, more paper crafts... Very much fun. Well, while there, I bought some blank cards (for later projects) 10 balls of yarn for £10 (bargain!) and some other bits and pieces. After I finished my blanket, I wanted to use my new wool for something, but couldn't really face starting another 48 hours of blanket making! So I decided on...

A new bag!
Lined and everything!

Obviously there are no close-ups of my stitching, because I'm still not very good, but I'm quite pleased with the bag all the same. The bag was finished within a week, so, seeing as I was on a roll I wanted another project quick! And I found this on ravelry - And from that, I managed to make these...

I didn't make them for anyone in particular, just to see if I could. But after I'd made one, Hairy Face asked to have them. He wore the one I had made until I finished its pair, at which point he popped that one on too! Excellent!

So that's all from me for now, hope you like!

Peggy xx

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

When technology conspires against you....

....Do some crochet!

I haven't spoken to my lovely sister properly for a few days now, and that's very unusual! We may be on opposite sides of the Irish sea, but it's not uncommon for us to talk for 2 or 3 hours a day, thanks to the wonders of technology. Well, technology has been letting us down recently. If it's not her internet connection, it's my Skype account. It looks like it loads. It tells me it has loaded. And yet, it refuses to work. Sometimes it even opens, but then freezes my computer. Then, as if to kick me in the teeth, it refuses to close. It taunts me, saying "you can look at me, but you can't use me". Ooh it's annoying.

And, to make matters worse, an office rearrangement means that it's now more difficult to have a bit of sneaky google chat with my lovely big sis.

All in all, not cool.

So, to compensate for my lack of cyber company, I have been working on this...

It's getting quite big! Still a work in progress and the intention is to make it at least twice the size, so still a way to go, but it's looking good I think! I wish I had any kind of photographic skill...

I hope you like!

Peg xxx

ps. Come back soon hedgehog!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

It's all about the love...

Tonight I have been mostly making Valentine's cards...

I have a friend (well really she's a friend of my sister who I have come to know quite well) who owns and runs a gift shop with her sister - Mootiful Gifts. Well, Lovely Anna and Lovely Emma have agreed to pimp my wares through their lovely shop, so at important points in the calendar I make stuff! At Christmas I make cards and decorations - angels, Christmas trees, puds, stars etc. Valentine's day is all about the cards. Mother's Day, some more cards! I also have some door signs and bits and pieces of jewellery in the shop all year round! They're ever so kind to me!

As it's getting ever closer to the Saint's day, I thought I should get a wriggle on and get some cards made. Tonight was my mission!

The finished articles, all packaged and ready to sell! 5 hours work on my living room floor!

Let me know what you think, hope you all like!

Big love

Peg xxx

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Productive Sunday

As the title suggests, I've got some stuff done today!

My intention was to get in some sewing machine practice, crocheting, cooking and rearranging my bedroom... Well 3 out of 4 isn't bad!

Yesterday I did all the boring food shopping. But on my travels I may have accidentally popped in to the wool shop and bought 7 balls of various colours. Oops. However, it did mean I could get a bit further along with my blanket.

Today I went out with my Dad, went to Congleton, then Leek then home via Buxton. Lovely scenery on the drive.

When I came home, I was in the mood for doing, so I rearranged my bedroom. I used to do this quite a lot when I was younger - every year or so I would move all the furniture round. Well, I did the same in my lounge a couple of months ago, and had been plotting what to do in the boudoir, and finally got round to doing it. I must say, its rather lovely. I don't have a photo because I have started (but not finished) the decorating, so it doesn't look as good as it could... One day I'll get it done!

Then, I went on a bit of a cooking mission. I had a wee bit of spare pastry from hairy-face's pie, so thought I'd make a quiche, a proper one this time! So I did that. Then, seeing as I was on a roll, I also made lasagne, cranberry and chocolate chip cereal bars, apple and banana bread (it's good Hedgehog!) and shepherd's pie. I have taken a photo, but unfortunately some of the bread and quiche have already gone... Things don't last too long in our house! Still, it's all tasty-gorgeous, which is the main thing! And, it means for at least the next 2 nights when get in from work I don't have to do cooking! I can just eat eat eat! One of my favourite things to do!

All in all, rather pleased. Now it's time to get ready for work and ready for bed!


Peg xxx

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Stitching and cooking, not in equal measure

I've had a sewing machine for about 5 years. Saturday was the first time it has been turned on in those years. Admittedly for a good portion of that time, I had misplaced the foot pedal... I have moved house 3 times since acquiring the machine, and seemingly only took parts of it with me. I searched ALL the boxes I hadn't unpacked and it wasn't there. So I checked the ONE box I knew it wasn't in, and lo, it was there. So, I asked my aunty (who my sister will attest is an amazing woman, an incredible role model who could build a log cabin from scratch and then furnish it for you) to give me a sewing lesson. And she obliged. So, Sunday, and my Aunty came, ready for my lesson. I set up the machine (after 10 minutes trying to find the illusive foot pedal - I'd put it somewhere safe after I found it, and subsequently lost it again), read through the instructions and settled at the table, ready to thread the machine. But no! No bobbin. I had EVERYTHING needed except that. My bobbins were in fact in storage - one of the few things I hadn't removed from my Dad's house during my various moves, and he had put it into storage while having his house renovated. Curses. So, we went on a bobbin hunt. Tesco, no joy. Rymans, no joy. TJ Huges, no joy. Aldi - full sewing machine - possibly a little OTT just for a 20p bobbin. So, trek back up to my aunty's house (a good 15 minute drive from me). But finally, bobbin joy.From then on, the lesson was productive, informative and enjoyable. And now, I just need to practice getting a straight line, then I can feather my cap some more! And with perfect timing, my lovely hairy-faced man bought me this....

Happy days! Lots of lovely projects to get stuck in to!

I think it might have been a thank you for the meat and veg pie I made for him the other day. My first attempt at pie... I'm hoping to be more home-focused... Making my home nice, cooking more, crafting more, that sort of thing!

I know the heart is a bit twee, but I had spare pastry... Incidentally, I hate making pastry. I'm pleased that I can, and because I know I can, I think its reasonable for me to buy ready-made stuff from now on. Is this acceptable?!

I haven't done any more crafting since my last post, but I have been cooking a lot. In addition to my pie I have made 2 lots of banana bread (a hairy-face favourite), cannelloni, and what I like to call 'pasta-quiche' (something I keep insisting my sister make, because it is yum-scrum).

Cook pasta and leave to one side
Chop onion, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, chicken (or whatever you would normally put in a quiche), and cook until soft
Beat 3 eggs together with a dash of milk and some salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a greased quiche dish
Cover with some grated cheese
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes

Serve hot or cold, it sits well in old tummy tumkins. Mmm-mm!

This week I have been working the late shift, so my evenings are painfully cut short. It makes me grumpy. I'd much rather finish work at 4 and have hours and hours to while away on crafts and cooking and lovely things. Stupid work getting in my way. Ah well, back on 8-4s in a week and a half... Roll on February 7th! I'll be much more productive then!

Anyway, that's all for now.