Sunday, 8 April 2012

Crochet Easter Basket Tutorial

I do love Easter, I guess I always associate this time of year with my April birthday and my mum's birthday too and general happy times.  And of course now that I am married to a March man and have a March daughter there is even more reason to celebrate!

Crochet Easter Basket

We always have an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday, usually in my mum's garden (which is about ten times the size of our own!)  This year I wanted to make some cute little baskets for the girls to use to store their eggs in (the little ones that is, there's no way these baskets are going to hold the abundance of packaging that comes with the bigger eggs!)  At the same time I have been trying to think of projects to use up my leftover yarn - the result is a pattern which uses only a small amount of yarn and is very quick and easy to make! Enjoy!

Crochet mini egg baskets

Crochet Easter Egg Basket

You need:

Round 1 - Make a magic ring...

Crochet Easter Basket

...Ch3 (counts as 1 dc) and make 11 more dcs into the ring (12 dc)

Crochet Easter Basket

Crochet Easter Basket

Round 2 - Ch3 (counts as 1 dc) – 1 dc in same dc, then 2 dcs in each dc around (24dc). Join with sl st in top of 3ch.

Round 3 - Ch3 (counts as dc), *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, repeat from * around (36dc).  Join with sl st in top of 3ch.

Crochet Easter Basket

You should now have a nice flat circle.

Round 4 - Ch3 (counts as dc), 1 dc in next dc and in each dc around (36), join with sl st in top of ch3. 

Round 5 - Repeat Rnd4 (If you want to change colour for this round, as I have done, just tie in your new colour as close to your work as possible before making the Ch3 at the beginning of the round)

Crochet Easter Basket

Round 6 - Ch1 (does not count as sc), sc in same st, 1 sc in next 4, sc2tog,* 1sc in next 5, sc2tog, repeat from *around, sc in last st.

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Crochet Easter Basket
Join with sl st in first sc. (31)

Round 7 - Ch1 and turn, sl st in each sc around finishing with sl st in beginning ch1, fasten off (this row helps the top edge sit nicely I find)

Crochet Easter Basket

One cute little basket! You can leave it like this, or add a handle like I have for the grey one...

Crochet Easter Basket


(Leave a long tail for sewing)

Ch3, turn, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch.

Ch1 and turn, sc in each sc across (2sc).  Repeat until you have the desired length of handle, fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.

Sew onto side of basket by sewing ends of handle into the tops of the sc row.

Crochet Easter BasketCrochet Easter Basket

Voila!  Cute little chunky baskets ready for your easter egg hunt!  You could of course just display them prettily somewhere to hold jewellery or your keys or loose change. 

Have fun with this and do be sure to let me know how you get on, I would love to hear how you get on with my patterns and tutorials, feedback is incredibly useful!

Crochet mini egg baskets

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Meadow Party

Flower bunting

On Saturday Lillia turned 6 and had a "meadow" themed party at home to celebrate.  There were far too many sweet treats of course, with a few carrot sticks and cucumber slices thrown in to balance it out a bit. But most of all there were plenty of games and fun. I had a lot of fun making crochet bunting and other little decorations. The flower bunting above was inspired by this tutorial and it was perfect for a meadow theme.

I made up the pattern for mini bunting and used yarn left over from other projects to make it...

Mini bunting

I was very pleased with this, I really love the colours. In fact all the bunting is still up! I don't think I will take it down until well after Easter is done :) As well as bunting there were many bunches of cheery daffs dotted about the place looking festive...

Bunting and daffodils

I love daffodils. Yellow is my favourite colour and they are only 99p a bunch, so at this time of year I can afford to have fresh flowers in the house!

Bunting and Daffodils

I made a meadow cake of course...

Meadow cake

And I also made plenty of butterfly biscuits...

Butterfly biscuits

...and toadstool muffins...

Toadstool muffins

...and faced with leftover green buttercream icing I decided to create some "meadow muffins" too...!

Meadow muffins

Honestly I think I had eaten a ton of buttercream before 10am just from the odd lick of a spoon or finger! Myum myum! Good job Lillia was too busy making fairy rings using pink helium balloons to notice.

Every guest had their own butterfly biscuit

Every guest had their own butterfly cookie with their name piped on in icing, and we had little colourful windmills scatted about as well as in the party bags. They looked so pretty poking out, I totally forgot to take a photograph of them all lined up, it was just all so manic getting everything ready!

Bunting and daffodils :)

The vase holding the yellow windmill is one of mine by the way, do you like it?

Then of course we had our paper pom poms adding the finishing touch...

Pink paper pom pom

White paper pom pom

We played Pin the Tail on the Cow, musical statues, musical bumps, Pass the Parcel, we had an Easter egg hunt and then there was Wally the Wicked Wasp - our homemade pinata! Sadly I completely forgot to take a proper photo before he was smashed to a pulp by 6 sugar-fuelled 6-year-olds with a rolling pin. But here he is in action...

Wally the Wicked Wasp - our homemade pinata!  Wally the Wicked Wasp - our homemade pinata!

Lillia didn't want the pinata to be anything she liked, like a bumble bee or a toadstool, as she didn't like the idea of whacking it otherwise! Bless her. So a wicked wasp was the solution! He was stuffed full of chocolates and party blowers, they had a great time!

Cocktail umbrellas

It was a tiring but lovely day.  Lillia had a wonderful birthday, I just can't believe she is 6-years-old.  Where did that time go?

Animal candles

The meadow cake went down well!

There is still a bit of cake left so I best get on and help with the eating of it, might be some wine left somewhere in the fridge too :0)

Happy Birthday Lillipops

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Paper Pom Poms

This weekend Lillia turns 6.  I can barely believe it has been almost six years since we were hurtled into the path of parenthood and our lives changed forever!

This year we decided to step away from the frightening practice of inviting the entire class (30 kids!!) to birthday parties and to allow her to choose just 6 friends to invite to a small party at our home.  As a result we are all rather looking forward to the big day on Saturday!  The theme for the party is to be "meadow"- think all things ladybird, toadstool, bunting and flowers! I have had much fun whipping up various little decorations (more on these later this week) but none so much fun as making these wonderul paper pom poms...

Martha Stewart paper pom-pom

The instructions are on the Martha Stewart website, all you need is some tissue paper and some floristry wire, they are incredibly simple to make, yet SO effective don't you think?

Martha Stewart paper pom-pom

I made a white one and a pink one before I completely ran out of tissue paper, so it'll be off to Hobbycraft for me tomorrow!  I think a few of these hung around the house and garden will be just beautiful.

Martha Stewart paper pom-pom

Perfect for a spring-time birthday! And what good timing as this week Spring has really arrived, it is warm and sunny, I have washing drying in the garden. We've been able to start pottering around outside clearing up dead leaves and planting seeds, and generally enjoying some vitimin D from the sun! Phoebe is particularly enjoying being outdoors, she is enjoying playing on the slide and see-saw and picking up twigs and leaves...

Spring-time walk

My own handmade garden pot has been placed in its new home on the patio.  The green glaze on the main body of the pot is patchy as this is how it goes during firing, I love it as it makes it look mossy, like it has always been in the garden.  I just need to decide what to plant in it...

My handmade garden pot

Strawberries perhaps?  Or sweet-peas? Hmmm.  A nice decision to need to make!

Hope you are enjoying the Springy weather wherever you are!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Making time to make it - Elbee the Crochet Bear

One of the other mums on the school run lent me her copy of "Woman's Weekly Best of Knitted Toys" magazine so I could peruse the crochet patterns.  I do love swapping recipes and patterns...I'd make such a good WI member wouldn't I?  Jam and Jerusalem and all that.

The "Cute as a Button" bear really appealed to me as it looked relatively simple to do whilst at the same time being a bit silly looking with its balloon-like head.

Lightbulb bear

I love the funny shape - the bulbous head and tiny arms and legs.  So I decided to cast aside all other works in progress (oh so many...) and hook this one up at the weekend. Hubby thinks he looks like a lightbulb and gave him the name Elbee ("L", "B", for LightBulb...groan...) How darn cute is this bear?  I mean seriously, what's not to adore?  I loved him so much in fact I made another one to keep him company....

Lightbulb bears!

The yarn is a beige acrylic DK left over from Luna the Unicorn earlier in the week.  And some of the yarn I had left from my Christmas ravelry swap, the same stuff I used for Phoebe's leg-warmers. I am very much taken with the colours of this yarn - not pastel, but not garish - all the colours have a kind of dirty feel to them which makes them feel earthy and warm.  Love it.

Lightbulb bears!

Elbee is tucked up next to hubby's pillow, and the other has been named Princess and is snuggled in the arms of Lillia as I type.  She's running out of room in her bed with all the bears and soft animals she keeps adopting.  In fact, this is leading me to another crochet project, more on that another day though...


Sunday, 18 March 2012

A day for the mummies

Happy Mother's Day everyone...I trust you were all spoiled? I certainly was with a good lie in (needed after a few glasses of muscadet in the local last night), then a cup of tea and pancakes in bed, lovely cards, cuddles and a couple of lovely little thoughtful gifts.

I've also had time this weekend to experiment making some toadstool muffins for Lillia's upcoming 6th birthday "meadow" party.

Toadstool muffin

I found some professional food colour that colours butter icing really well (didn't want a repeat of the dead salmon cake) and I used white chocolate buttons for the toadstool spots.  What do you think?

Toadstool muffins

These are actually orange muffins with orange buttercream icing.  You only need to eat one of these, my goodness they are delicious but filling! I am rather pleased with how they came out and I think they will make a very whimsical addition to the meadow-themed food :)

For mother's day lunch we went to my mum's and prepared her a buffet style array of goodies.  We tried Gentleman's Relish for the first time, not sure I'll be in a hurry to try it again! fishy, very fishy. Blergh.  Nice pot though...

Gentleman's Relish

Amidst the mother's day lunching, fish paste sampling and muffin making, I have also had a chance to attempt something I've been wanting to do for some time - my own version of decopatching...

My own take on "decopatch"

Papier mache letters from Hobbycraft decorated with ripped up pages of the Cath Kidston catalogue stuck on with PVA glue.  This is just a sneak peak, more on this in another post soon! 

Well, it's been a long weekend so I am going to enjoy my orchid and my chocolate-scented candle, perhaps partake in a little Ben & Jerry's cookie dough and have a very early night.

Sunday evening

Happy Mother's Day everyone x

Thursday, 15 March 2012

London in the Spring

There is no denying it now - the air is noticably less nippy the mornings are lighter, the evenings slightly longer, there have been sunshiney skies and a few rain showers.  Spring has definitely arrived. 

I do love this time of year.  Birthdays galore, daffodils, freshness and the smell of wet mud. Luv-er-lee.

On Sunday we decided to take advantage of the Springy weather and took a trip up to Greenwich to walk around the park amidst the neat old buildings and shiny new cafes and museums.  The skies were blue, the air was fresh, we even walked about without our coats on!

Greenwich March 2012

Greenwich March 2012

Lillia loved being able to run about in the wide open spaces and play hide and seek amongst the trees...

Greenwich March 2012

Greenwich March 2012

Although suggesting we play hide and seek here was probably not one of our finest suggestions...

Greenwich March 2012


We huffed and puffed our way up the steep hill to the observatory (you have to pay to get in these days!) and looked back down towards London...

Greenwich March 2012

Greenwich March 2012

It struck me as strange standing there so content with my little family, enjoying a relatively lazy day together, taking in the rather impressive view - when in fact I was looking towards the route of my car journey to work that causes me so much anguish.  The route that runs from the right by the Dome, past Canary Wharf and into the distance to the Gherkin.  I drive this three times a week before 7:30am, and back again in the afternoons.  It takes me away from my girls, my home and my sanity.  It was strange to look down on it from a distance and think about that.

After a pizza lunch we headed home, picking up some bridesmaid dresses along the way.  Lillia is to be a flower girl this year and I promised my friend I would take pictures of the various dresses she wanted her to try.  I took photos outside the front of the house, and they came out beautifully in the afternoon sun...

Trying on dresses

Trying on dresses

I can almost smell the roses and hear the clink of champagne glasses can't you?