Buttons!

I really love buttons, do you?  Buttons are so gorgeous, and as you can see, I’ve got quite a big collection! These are just some of them, but I am always buying more!

 

A few years ago I couldn’t find any earrings that I liked and that were hypoallergenic, so I started making my own.  It’s very easy to buy earring backs online that are hypoallergenic and it’s so easy to make button jewellery!  I love doing it, thought you’d like to see a few of the things I’ve made

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The first ones I made were from my mother of pearl buttons, I made three pairs, purple, pink and blue, but I can only find these two now, it was quite a long time ago!  I might have to make more so that I can have matching pairs again!

Since then I’ve made more, and started making hair clips and brooches

And I’ve started to paint wooden buttons lately so I can have them the colours I want.  Using nail varnish seems to work well, it comes in nice colours and of course when they are dry they are also varnished.  I’ve not had any problems with it, and am hoping that I can keep doing it and make lots of nice buttons to add to my work and to make jewellery with!

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I’ve also put some buttons on my knitted items, the first hat has buttons that were painted with nail varnish.

 

The neckwarmers have handmade buttons on, the blue one is a ceramic button with a lovely pattern on it from Cariad Clay on Etsy and the purple neckwarmer has a fused button from Cyndra Arts, they are really beautiful.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve made!  If you want any jewellery, just send me a message, and if you want any of the knitted items, you can see them in my online shop, or you can ask me any questions you have, or to create something gorgeous just for you!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thesequinnedsheep?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Please feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

 

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Tutorial: How to Upcyle T-Shirts by Chrissie

Today I’m privileged to share this great tutorial by my friend Chrissie.  She is really creative and loves to try out different things as a hobby, and she has come up with this great way to use t-shirts.  She generally gets childrens t-shirts with great pictures on the front, but this would work with adult ones too.  She makes these great zip up pouches with them!

They would be a great way to use your kids t-shirts once they have grown out of them, a fab way to upcycle and keep happy memories!  They are useful to use as large pencil cases, tablet cases, or all sorts of things!

Here are some of the ones Chrissie has made in the past, they look fab don’t they!

How To Turn T-Shirts into Zipped Lined Bags

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You will need the following to make a zipped lined bag
Childs t shirt
Zip
Thin wadding
Lining material of your choice
Matching colours of thread
Tape measure or ruler
A4 paper or clear glass/plastic from a frame.
General sewing items
Instructions
First stage
Using a flat surface
Cut out two pieces from the front and back of the t shirt by drawing round either the paper or frame, moving it if you want to make it longer or wider.
I’ve done it so many times I cut through the front and back at the same time.
Be careful to make sure it measures out as accurately as you can.
Cut out two pieces of wadding the same size.
Measure and cut out the lining in two pieces and save for later.
Mine measures about 12 inches by 9 inches
Pin the wadding to the back of both sides and tack around the edges.
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Place pins through the front, about 5 will do just so the fabric and wadding doesn't move. 
Or a few tacking stitches that can be removed afterwards.
Quilt though the front making small running stitches around the outline of the pattern.
It creates interest, gives a 3D effect and helps hold the fabric together. 
You can do as little or as much as you like. 
Avoid stitching through any pattern that has vinyl, rubber or plastic on it as it makes an unsightly hole.

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Next, process the back in the same way.
On this one I decided to use a bright pink for the back instead of the white that I had originally cut out.
Instead of usually quilting a straight line I cut out a circle on grease proof paper and randomly quilted multiple circles.
Next sew the zip into the longest length of the bag.

Sew the remaining seams together and it’s finished!

1j I totally love this pouch, and I’m lucky enough to own it as Chrissie very kindly sent it to me as a gift!  She is a great friend!

 

Do let me know what you think of these pouches, Chrissie and I would love to hear your thoughts and if you decide to make one, do send me some photos!

My next blog post will be about making jewellery from buttons, so do take a look next week!  I have plenty of new pictures for you to see on IG, FB and Twitter as well, so take a look at those if you want to keep in touch in between blog posts!

https://www.instagram.com/thesequinnedsheep/

https://www.facebook.com/TheSequinnedSheep/

https://www.facebook.com/TheSequinnedSheep/

Jumpers

First of all, I need to apologise for not blogging for a couple of months, things have been so busy here!  I’ve just not had a moment to sit down and write anything.  But you can keep up with what I’m up to on Instagram,  where I post every day and I also post regularly on FB and Twitter, so there are lots of ways to keep in touch!  I’ll put links at the end of this post.

Having said all that, the best way to show you all the photos of the finished jumpers is to blog about it, so here goes!

As you may have seen from previous posts, a lovely lady called Lydia got in touch last year and asked me to make her some jumpers (sweaters in American speak!) for her and her husband, in the colours of the family tartan.  I was delighted to oblige!

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The Lindsay family tartan

You can see my previous posts about it here:

https://thesequinnedsheep.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/jumper-commission/

https://thesequinnedsheep.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/311/

https://thesequinnedsheep.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/disaster/

I never did tell you about the solution to the problem I mentioned in “Disaster” where I told you how I’d run out of wool with one sleeve of the burgundy jumper to go!  I had a great comment on that post, left by Linda, who suggested doing one row of the original burgundy and one row of the new burgundy (as they were different dye lots) and that doing this would mean the eye wouldn’t be able to discern any slight variations in colour between the two.  That is exactly what I did and as you can tell from the photos, it is impossible to tell which parts were made with the new wool added in and which were made with just the original wool.

This commission took me longer than I expected, as I had a lot going on last year with health problems and so on, thankfully Lydia, my customer, was so patient with me, and I was able to get the jumpers to her in time for her wedding anniversary on 1 January.  What a lovely thoughtful gift!  She was also very sweet and sent me some great photos of them, as I ran out of time to take pics before the courier picked them up and took them on their journey across the Atlantic!

What do you think?  Lydia has told me that she really likes the jumpers, although a few adjustments are required, and I hope that they will bring happy memories for years to come whenever they are worn!

The doggies didn’t miss out, they got flowers to tie to their collars in matching colours!

Do let me know what you think!

My next blog post will be about a creative idea from my friend Chrissie, she has come up with a fab way to use children’s t shirts and I think you will love it!

 

Here are the promised links so you can keep in touch with me between blog posts! Do let me know what you think of my photos and posts, and if you want me to make anything for you, I’m always happy to do so!

https://www.instagram.com/thesequinnedsheep/

https://www.facebook.com/TheSequinnedSheep/

https://twitter.com/sequinnedsheep

Interview with Michelle Okai from Mishkai

This week’s blog is an interview with lovely Michelle Okai from Mishkai.   I’ve known Michelle for several years now, as she used to live in the same town as me, and we became friends.   Now she lives in Ghana and makes lovely jewellery, so I thought it would be nice to feature her on my blog!

Michelle sent me these gorgeous earrings as a present, which gave me the idea of featuring her here to say thank you!  Aren’t they pretty?

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Why did you move to Ghana?

Well let me give you a bit of my history, I was born on the island of Trinidad and I moved to the UK.  When I was 17, I worked at Sainsbury’s and there I met a very handsome, soft spoken gentleman from Ghana who, so to speak swept me off my feet, eventually we decided to get married. He had to go back to Ghana and I decided to join him there.

1m  How romantic! Can you tell us a little about life in Ghana?

Life in Ghana is obviously very different to life in the UK, there are many challenges, including energy problems, the lights can go off at any time and you have to put up with a lot of corruption etc. when doing business. Also because of fraud a lot of people don’t like buying online from West African Countries. But on the plus side the weather is great lol

Can you introduce yourself briefly? Tell us about you ?  (how old are you, where do you live, do you have kids, whats your job, your hobbies ?)

I am 32 years old and have been living in Ghana for the past 6 years, I have worked in Customer Service, Data Entry and Statistics while in the UK, after moving to Ghana I worked in Administration. I have decided though to leave the hectic environment of the secular world of work for the more controlled world of self employment making jewellery, I don’t have any children yet.

I have always enjoyed working with my hands I like sewing, making my own clothes, it has been only recently that I have started jewellery making and it seems to be intrinsic, it comes so naturally and my passion for it grows as I develop my skills.

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Friends wearing jewellery and clothes made by Michelle

Do you have a blog or a website, or an Etsy store?                                                 

 I have an Etsy Store, https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Michkai

I would like to have a website which showcases my work. i would probably work on having one in the future

 Where else can we find you online?

I have  recently opened an Instagram account and posted pictures of my work there, my user name is mich_okai

What do you make and since when ?  

An elf earring. Michelle enjoys making earrings
An elf earring. Michelle enjoys making earrings

I have been making earrings, necklaces and bracelets. I would like to make other accessories like belts, ties and cufflinks

Who taught you?

I am more or less self taught, I am constantly doing research and also trying new ideas that come into my head. I am always thinking about how I can improve my skills.

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What is your favorite colour?

I am really not sure I used to be green, then I had a thing for reds and pinks, I like wearing brown as well, but I can fall in love with a piece of fashion once it works in the color it was made in whether it is my favorite color or no

Do you have a favourite type of jewellery to make?

I like making earrings its easy and versatile and fun a lot of things can be made into earrings too

Do you listen to the radio, watch TV, or do something else while you’re making jewellery?

When the lights are on in Ghana lol I like watching tv while working, I also listen to music while working

Can you show us a photo of your jewellery making equipment and supplies?

 1aa  These are some of my tools I use in my craft 

What’s the project you’re the most proud of?

I recently made a necklace with chain and beads and I was really proud of that, cause when it was finished I was like I made that, it was really cool, felt difficult to sell that one lol cause Ioved it so much

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If you could get anything (money no object) to help you make your jewellery or to make into jewellery, what would be it be?

I would like to work with real, gold or silver along with other precious stones with my current designs

If you could learn another craft, what would it be and why?

Hmm let me see, I would like to work with precious metals such as gold silver and  I would also like to work with precious stones and pearls

Thanks so much, Michelle, for sharing your beautiful creations and telling us about your life in Ghana too.  It’s been a pleasure, and we wish you every success with your jewellery business!

Everyone, do check out Michelle’s Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Michkai and see the beautiful things she creates! 

If you are a crafter, or know someone you think I should feature here, let me know, I’m looking for more people who create beautiful things to feature here!

How to Make A Stunning Tea Light Holder

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I love tea light holders and I love making things, so what better than to make a tea light holder!

For this project, you will need:

One Glass Jar (I used a jar of a well known chocolate spread brand, as the jars don’t have a screw top)

Super Glue

Yarn, Twine, Hessian – really whatever you think will look nice.  I used Ice Yarns Metalllic Yarn

Scissors

Damp cloth – to wipe your fingers, the nozzle of the glue, and clean off any glue that gets on the part of the jar that you don’t want to cover up.  I always forget this and end up with very gluey fingers and have to go and get a cloth halfway through!

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A simple project with only three essential ingredients!

Safety: Always read the instructions on the glue you are using – some glues give off a lot of fumes and may need to be used in a well ventilated area or have other safety instructions.  Some glues may not be suitable for use on this project due to the fumes and candle.  Make sure the glue is dry before you light any candles near it.  If in doubt, do research online to make sure the glue you are using is suitable or if there are any other safety instructions you need to be aware of.

Method

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Turn the jar upside down and put glue round the bottom.

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Wrap the yarn round the base of the jar on the glued section.  Try to do this bit as neatly as possible so that the jar won’t be wonky when you stand it up.

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Carry on doing this and gradually cover the jar.  Don’t worry if you have small gaps between the layers of yarn, as it will allow glimmers of the candle to shine through and looks very pretty when the candle is lit.  Don’t panic about small beads of glue coming through either, with this sparkly yarn it doesn’t show.  I don’t know if it will show if you use other materials, you’ll have to experiment.  Your damp cloth will come in handy wiping them off if you need to.

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Keep going until you have covered as much of the jar as you wish to.  Neatly cut the yarn and make sure the end is glued down firmly.

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Clean off any glue that is on the glass above your final level of yarn.

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Tadaa!  It’s finished!  I didn’t cover as much of the silver one as I did with the gold one I made a few months ago, not sure why really, but just did it by eye and decided it looked good at the level I finished at.

This is quite a simple project, but it looks nice as I’m sure you agree!  They look lovely when they are lit too!

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Let me know if you make these tea light holders, I’d love to see what you use.  You can also use jars with a screw lid, and cover up the top if you wanted, that would also look nice.

Feel free to leave comments here and let me know what you think!

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

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1. The illness I live with is: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2013
3. But I had symptoms since: 2003
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Everything!  Coping with frustration at not being able to do the things I want to do
5. Most people assume: Fatigue is the only symptom but there are lots actually.  I once read a quote: Calling it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is like calling Pneumonia, Chronic Cough Syndrome.  The name doesn’t really fit the illness but it’s more descriptive than the other name, M.E.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Making breakfast is exhausting.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: ER
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my picky up stick, it helps me pick things up from the floor without bending down or over stretching to get things
9. The hardest part about nights are:  Nightmares
10. Each day I take _18_ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: am skeptical but willing to try some things
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Visible!  It would be so much easier if people could see that I am actually ill!
13. Regarding working and career: I had to give up working outside the home and now work for myself at home which means I can take a nap when I want but also is stressful trying to actually make any money
14. People would be surprised to know: Doctors still don’t know what causes CFS
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: not seeing people, I’m home alone and only see Tim for days on end sometimes.  I get very lonely.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Can’t think of anything for this question!
17. The commercials about my illness: There aren’t any!
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Riding my bike and going for walks
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Going to work
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Playing Sudoku
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go out for the day – first I would go on the ministry to talk to people about the Bible then I would have lunch and go out for the afternoon to a National Trust property and then I’d go out for dinner with friends.
22. My illness has taught me: Patience and to take life more slowly
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: I know someone who has CFS and they can do xyz… I’m glad for them that they can do so much more than me, but I can’t do those things!  It just makes me feel guilty, like people think I am pretending to be more ill than I am.
24. But I love it when people: send me a text or pop in to see me
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Isaiah 41:10, 13 I love the thought that God is holding my right hand and says: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It feels like a life sentence but it isn’t and if you learn to pace yourself, you will be able to do more than you can.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How lonely life can be.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: being sympathetic and kind and helping me to get water and sit down.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: people who don’t have an illness find it hard to imagine what it is like, which is totally understandable, but we need to help them understand it a bit better
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: really grateful and pleased that you spent time to read this

It was Invisible Illness week last week and it made me want to fill out this questionnaire.  I’m a little late, but glad to take part none the less.  If you want to do your own version, you can find it here: http://invisibleillnessweek.com/submit-article/30-things-meme/

Dying to Dye!

Good news!  The first jumper of my jumper commission is finished!  Wahoo!  You can see pictures here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153231638376117.1073741840.238182521116&type=3 and I’m delighted to tell you my customer loves the photos!  I’ve cast on the second jumper and am making really good progress, so feeling good about that.

So, you may have seen me talking on my Facebook page about dyeing clothes.  I love colour and I love to wear colourful clothes, but having been finding it hard lately to find clothes in the colours I like.  So I decided to dye some!  I’ve had success before with dyeing things, such as this purple outfit that I dyed a couple of years ago.

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The top used to be bright yellow, and I bleached it and then dyed it purple (I used Dylon Intense Violet for this outfit.)  I can’t remember what colour the skirt was, as it was so long ago but I was so happy with this outfit and I still love it.  Am really happy this year as I’ve lost a little weight and I can fit into the top again and wear the whole outfit, last year I could only fit into the skirt as it’s a bit looser than the top.

When dyeing clothes, one thing to be aware of is that the thread may not change colour.  Thread is usually made from a manmade fibre and won’t take the dye as well as a natural fabric like cotton.  Because of this, it’s important to consider if the thread will look good with whatever colour you are changing your item to.  Perhaps you are changing it to a toning colour and it may not show the thread very much, or if you are going for a contrasting or wildly different colour, then make sure the thread will look good with the new colour and not jar.

I was hoping that with the purple top, the broderie anglais round the hem would still have the yellow thread picking out the pattern, but for some reason it did what it wasn’t meant to do and turned purple!  The inside is still yellow and looks good!  And you can see yellow thread around the neckline.

I was hoping the outside of the strip of broderie anglais fabric would look like this, with the yellow thread picking out the pattern
I was hoping the outside of the strip of broderie anglais fabric would look like this, with the yellow thread picking out the pattern
This is what it actually looks like, and as you can see it needs ironing, sorry about that!
This is what it actually looks like, and as you can see it needs ironing, sorry about that!

So I was very happy with that and have dyed other things too in the past.  I’ve been saving up a few things to dye and then recently as I said I was struggling to find some tops to wear in colours I like, so got some white ones and decided to get some nice dyes!  I’ve used Dylon quite a lot before, and love that you can just put it in the washing machine, and when you come back, you have stunning clothes!  So I was thinking I’d like something as easy as that to use, but wanted to try other brands this time.  I’ve done some hand dyeing in the past, but find that too tiring so something nice and easy for the washing machine was ideal.

I found a brand called iDye, which had exactly what I was looking for.  They come in a cardboard sachet, and the dye is in a dissolvable plastic sachet, so you take it out of the cardboard and put the whole thing in the washing machine and the plastic melts when the water hits it and the dye comes out.  Nifty idea, and saves a lot of mess!

First of all, I did some dyeing but didn’t use enough salt.  I knew I was taking a risk in not measuring the salt and just guessing how much I needed and it didn’t come out well at all.  The clothes looked fab but when they were washed the dye came out again 😦  I’d been lazy and not washed them on their own straight after dyeing them – which you are meant to do, to wash out any excess dye – so I wore it once and then washed it in my normal washing and ended dyeing lots of my undies and socks lol! For some reason they have stayed blue too, so at least they revived me undies haha!

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Having learned from this, I made sure I measured out the salt when I did the last two lots of dyeing.  And washed them straight after dyeing to wash out the excess dye!  I was so excited to see how it turned out, and some turned out great!  I’m rubbish at taking “before” photos, so I’ll just have to describe to you what they looked like before!

So the first dye I used was Brilliant Blue by iDye.

This was a pack of two tops I got that were white, and I bought them purposely planning to dye them.  I’m actually wearing this top right now, I love it, such a gorgeous shade of blue!

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I also put this top in the same load, it was quite a green shade of teal and I wanted to make it bluer, as I like the top and needed a new long sleeve top for this winter. I think it’s turned out quite well, and if I decide later that I’m not happy with the colour I can always strip out the colour and dye it a different colour.

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This skirt also went in, it was a really horrible bottle green colour, and no matter how much I tried to bleach it (I used a proper colour stripper from Dylon first of all, and then resorted to diluting household bleach – see my comments below on this – in a lot of water) I could not get it to lighten!  So I just chucked it in to see what happened.

green skirt

It’s hard to tell from this photo, as the room suddenly went really dark as I was photographing it, but it is now a much nicer shade of green, kind of sea green.  I’m going to keep it like that for now, and have a think about it.  I might just dye it navy blue at some point, as I don’t really wear green, but for now I’m going to leave it alone and think about what I want to do.

Then I put in the top I’d tried to dye before when I didn’t add enough salt.  This did not go well!  I’m not sure why, but it came out so patchy!  I guess the poor thing had just had enough!  It started life bright pink, but I’ve gone off really bright pink at the moment so I stripped the colour out of it as much as possible and then it was dyed twice so I guess it just said: “Enough!”

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It has patches of teal, pink, and a dull blue.  I think I will leave it alone and perhaps just wear it at home.  My husband likes it, he said he thinks it’s quite effective and looks like one of things with iridescent paint that changes colour as you move around.  I’m not so convinced, I think it looks a mess!  But I guess it might grow on me!  Whatever happens, I’m not going to do anything else to it, it’s had enough chemicals on it.  I wouldn’t have worn it again anyway, if I’d just left it bright pink, so I don’t regret it, I’m still learning how to dye things and so it was a useful experience to experiment with it and see what happened.

I also did some clothes in Purple by iDye.

The first thing was the second top in the two pack.  This one was white with blue spots and it came out looking fab!  I wore this out the very next day and was really happy with it!  It’s so comfy and really suits my style and goes with a lot of things I already own.  I’d love to find some long sleeve ones in a similar style and perhaps dye them to suit my colour scheme too.

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I’ve had a top for ages that I didn’t really know what to do with – it was a nice shape but it was a really insipid dusky pink, but quite a light shade of it.  It came out looking good, it’s not exactly the same shade as the other purple top, which is good as I was hoping they’d come out a bit different to each other.  This one is a dusky purple and I really like it!  By the way, the top isn’t quite as indecent as it looks on the hanger, it’s not as low cut as that!  To make it stay on the hanger,  I had to hang it in a funny way!

One thing I've discovered is that putting it over a door to dry seems to have left a mark on the sleeve!  So will take care not to do that again!
One thing I’ve discovered is that putting it over a door to dry seems to have left a mark on the sleeve! So will take care not to do that again!

The last thing was this skirt.  It was black originally, and I wore it a lot in the winter, it’s quite old and needed freshening up.  It’s the same style as the green one, in fact, I think I bought them at the same time intending to dye the green one but didn’t get round to it until now.

So I stripped out the colour and it turned pale brown.  Then I dyed it blue and it just turned black again!  So then I stripped out the colour again, and dyed it purple.  Now it’s a kind of maroon brown.  I hate it.  There is no other word for it.  It’s a horrible colour.  Definitely going to have to do something with it, but not sure what yet.  Maybe dye it navy blue?  Or will that just turn it black again?

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I mentioned that I’d stripped colour out of things and bleached some things. If you want to lighten an item of clothing before you dye it, the best thing to use is a proper colour stripper from a brand like Dylon.  They use chemicals that won’t damage the fabric.  Household bleach is very strong and may ruin your fabric – I once bleached a top and the bleach ate holes in the fabric!  I sometimes do it still but only if I’m prepared to take the risk that the item may be ruined.  I always make sure the bleach is highly diluted in water first too, and it is effective I have to say, but as I said, if you do it, take care!

So there you have it!  Some things didn’t turn out as I’d expected, some things turned out horrible, and some things are fantastic!  Here you can see my new tops, I love them!

dyed tops

I’m definitely still learning and will keep experimenting!  I may even show you some of the things I’ve dyed at some point in the future! I have another skirt that I’d like to dye raspberry pink if I can find a dye for that, but am finding it hard to find one.  I’ll keep looking though!

Have you ever dyed anything?  How did it turn out?

#elevenseshour

elevenseshour

Early last year, I was talking to several people on Twitter and we realised that there aren’t many really good networking hours on Twitter during the day.  That has changed now, but at the time, there wasn’t really anything for those of us who wanted to spent time networking in the day time.  So… #elevenseshour was born!  At the time, it was only on Tuesdays and immediately became a hit with those who joined in.  Since then, it’s grown both in terms of people who take part and in the number of days – you can now join in on a

Monday – hosted by @Degrafik 

Tuesday – hosted by me and guest hosts

Thursday which is hosted every other week by @KimberleyHotel and guest hosts in between.

#elevenseshour is meant to feel like a virtual coffee break for those who run small businesses.  We can get together, have a good chat (and a moan about our gripes if we want!) and talk about what is going on in our life and business.  We also share our products and services, and everyone RTs as much as possible.  From week one of starting #elevenseshour I noticed an increase in RTs, new followers and soon after that, sales too!  I really love it, it’s such a fun hour, everyone is really warm and friendly and I love that people like my things and want to buy them too.

But don’t just take my word for it! I thought I’d ask a few people who take part in #elevenseshour what they think!

Your Name/Twitter Name: Damion Elson @degrafik

Photo courtesy of Damion Elson @degrafik
Photo courtesy of Damion Elson
Your Business Name: degrafik & Damion Elson
 
What kind of business you run: I am a Online Presence Strategist
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour: Not sure about 15 months?
 
What do you like about #elevenseshour: I like the people that interact with #elevenseshour and they all know the Twitter etiquette 🙂
 
What do you dislike about it? Nothing I dislike 🙂 
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour? I have had quite a few RTs and new followers from it. However I don’t think I have had any sales from it, just yet! I feel what I do people on the #elevenseshour are just not at the stage to invest in my services just yet. I guess the more we promote the more people will follow and join us 🙂
 
Do you have any other comments to make? Perhaps we could interact more with video replies, more graphics of the actual hours, maybe have a theme to them?

 

Courtesy of Damion Elson
Courtesy of Damion Elson

Your Name/Twitter name: Julia Emelogu @Joolzery

Courtesy of Julia Emelogu
Courtesy of Julia Emelogu
 
Your Business Name: Joolzery
 
What kind of business you run: Handmade sterling silver wire, semiprecious gemstones and freshwater pearl jewellery, which can be found at www.joolzery.co.uk
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour: Approx. 4 months
 
What do you like about #elevenseshour: It’s seems to be a fun friendly group of tweeters, with random chats.
 
What do you dislike about it? The time, I mostly miss it and the random days, so sometimes I forget (Tip from The Sequinned Sheep: I always set an alarm on my phone so that I don’t forget #elevenseshour and it’s set for Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Originally it was both days of the week starting with T to make it easier to remember too, but now we have added Monday that doesn’t work anymore lol)
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour? I have had a few RTs and new followers, but no sales
Courtesy of Julia Emelogu
Courtesy of Julia Emelogu
Your Name/Twitter Name:
Jilly Clark  @Jilly_Pepper

 

Courtesy of Jilly Clark
Courtesy of Jilly Clark
 
Your Business Name: 
jilly design & branding
twitter @Jilly_Pepper
 
What kind of business you run:
Design & branding consultancy; including logos, business cards, flyers, websites
and other marketing materials
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour:
A few months
 
What do you like about #elevenseshour:
A sense of belonging to a special club. Working as a sole trader/divapreneur can be lonely.
Talking to my target market of startups and SMEs.
 
What do you dislike about it?
Over too quickly – the hour rushes past.
Sometimes has to be missed if working to a deadline or out at a client meeting.
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour?
Yes. Plenty of RT’s and new followers.
No direct sales I can attribute, but I’m selling a service not a product.
But feel #elevenseshour is my target market of SMEs and start-ups, so hope for future business.
Great for building my brand exposure on twitter.
 
Do you have any other comments to make?
Would be great to have a ‘meet up’ sometime, perhaps even a charity ‘elevenses’ event.
 
Courtesy of Jilly Clark
Courtesy of Jilly Clark
Your Name: Gail and Gavin Jones
Courtesy of Jones and Jones
Courtesy of Jones and Jones
 
Your Business Name: Jones and Jones of Berwick-upon-Tweed
 
What kind of business you run: We specialise in creating stylish and exclusive gift hampers to celebrate special occasions
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour: A couple of months
 
What do you like about #elevenseshour: – friendliness of all who tweet
 
What do you dislike about it? nothing
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour? We have indeed gained new followers  but have not specifically tracked
 
Do you have any other comments to make? We love clocking in when we can to #elevenseshour. Suggestions may be to have a specific question (mix of fun and business) for some hours or a theme for the week? – what’s in your cup, new products, top tips for tweeting, events The number of days has grown which is great.It really depends on what people would like to do. It is friendly #hour so hope people continue to support.
Courtesy of Jones and Jones
Courtesy of Jones and Jones

Your Name/Twitter name: Victoria Sol  @victoriaxsol

Courtesy of Victoria Sol
Courtesy of Victoria Sol
 
Your Business Name: Victoria Sol Jewellery
 
What kind of business you run: Chainmaille jewellery and accessories
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour: Since the beginning, on and off.
 
What do you like about #elevenseshour: It has a great atmosphere, a lot of chatting and sharing. Everyone is really friendly and it’s just a fun hour to take part in.
 
What do you dislike about it? I don’t know if there is anything I dislike! Hehe, perhaps the difficulty in spelling “elevenseshour” really quickly when trying to keep up, but I got used to that eventually. 🙂
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour? Every time I take part I get retweets and new followers. It’s great! I’ve also had sales from it a couple of times. I love that people are so willing to buy from people they’ve been chatting to, instead of going to a high street shop. As an artisan dealing in handmade products, this is what it’s all about.
 
Do you have any other comments to make? I hope this #hour goes on for a long, long time! It’s one of my favourites on Twitter.
Courtesy of Victoria Sol
Courtesy of Victoria Sol
Your Name/Twitter Name: Rachel Saka @moon6sixpence
Courtesy of Rachel Saka
Courtesy of Rachel Saka
 
Your Business Name: Moon & Sixpence
 
What kind of business you run: Home wares and decor through craft
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour: Roughly four months
What do you like about #elevenseshour:  The time! Cliche I know, but it fits in well with my work.

 

What do you dislike about it? Currently nothing- it’s a fun hour with lighthearted chat!
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour?
Yes! Many followers and RTs

 

Do you have any other comments to make?

I wish you every success with #elevenseshour and hope it continues to grow as well as it has been doing! 

Courtesy of Rachel Saka
Courtesy of Rachel Saka
Your Name/Twitter Name: Diana Lewis @Kimberley_Hotel
Courtesy of The Kimberley Hotel
Courtesy of The Kimberley Hotel
 
Your Business Name: The Kimberley Hotel
 
What kind of business you run: 72 bedroom 4 star Hotel in Harrogate
 
How long you have been taking part in #elevenseshour: Approximately a year?
 
What do you like about #elevenseshour: The friendliness and warm welcome received from other users!
 
What do you dislike about it? The fact it’s not more well known!
 
Have you ever had any RT’s, new followers, sales from #elevenseshour? Yes to all I believe 🙂
 
Do you have any other comments to make? Really love #elevenseshour it’s been such a fantastic platform for us to network and get our name out there and thank Alice for the opportunity to host a session every other week also! We look forward to chatting to what we’d like to call our online friends every #elevenseshour 🙂
Courtesy of The Kimberley Hotel
Courtesy of The Kimberley Hotel

I love all the suggestions people have made here for how to make #elevenseshour even more special!  I’ve taken note of your ideas and will definitely look into seeing how we can put those into practice!

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a few of the people you might bump into at #elevenseshour!  Do pop along if you’ve not been before and if you are a regular keep coming along as we love having you!  #elevenseshour will no doubt grow again in the future as more people volunteer to host it on other days too!

If you’ve been following my blog, you might be wondering how the jumper commission is going.  I’m halfway through the second sleeve now, so hoping that next week I might have the finished article to show you!  I’m not sure how long it will take to sew up once the sleeves are done, so am allowing a week for that. Check back next week to see that!  And then of course, I’ll be starting the second jumper that I’ve been commissioned to make!

A Beautiful Day Off

It’s been a stressful week here, I did so well working really hard on the jumper sleeves, and then after three days really hard work I discovered that I was using the wrong size needles.  Totally gutting!  I was meant to change size after the cuff of the sleeve and I totally forgot!  So I had to undo all the work I’d done.  I have to confess I nearly cried and went to bed in a very bad mood!

1s

Anyway, I was feeling exhausted and was thinking about having a day off to recover some energy and get out of my bad mood, and then when I woke up my friend (ETA: I do have more than one, although I realise I’ve made it look like I only have one here) texted me and said: “would you like to come out with me this afternoon?”  Would I!!  Yes please!  I’d not left the house all week so was dying to get out and the sun was shining too after a week of really heavy rain.

We live in the Surrey Hills, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (http://www.surreyhills.org/), so we decided to go and explore a bit!  We both love the A25 so drove down it to Abinger Hammer and then turned right and and explored all round Peaslake and Holmbury St. Mary, and then ended up in Shere, as my friend wanted to go to The Shere Shop, which is full of lovely things, I could have spent about a million pounds in there!  There are so many pretty things and great little gifts in there.

We had a lovely time looking round the village, it is so pretty!  And then we went for a cake and a drink in a nice little cafe that I’ve forgotten the name of, but the cakes are made by the lady who runs it and were delicious!  I had a lovely chocolate and orange cake, and my friend had something full of chocolate and cherries and things.

Hope you enjoy looking at the pictures I look!

Got to have nice nails for a day out!  I got some new nail varnish in the post this week so had to try it out!
Got to have nice nails for a day out! I got some new nail varnish in the post this week so had to try it out!

11351803_174720896193307_854357071_n

We parked by this church in Shere, very intrigued by the steps.  Why are they there?  Where do they go?  Is there a secret room in the church that you can't get to from inside?
We parked by this church in Shere, very intrigued by the steps. Why are they there? Where do they go? Is there a secret room in the church that you can’t get to from inside?
Pretty house in Shere
Pretty house in Shere
What amazing flowers!
What amazing flowers!
This road in Shere really reminds me of Mermaid Street in Rye, such lovely buildings!
This road in Shere really reminds me of Mermaid Street in Rye, such lovely buildings!

So all in all, we had a fab time!  My day off did me so much good and although I was very tired when I got home, I had a bit of a rest and then did masses of knitting all evening.  So I should be caught up with the sleeve by the end of today and back to where I was before I had to undo it all on Thursday.  Hurrah!  I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes, hoping to have both sleeves done by the end of next week or early the week after, that would be fab if I can do that!

Have a good week everyone!  Enjoy your weekend!  Hope you have sunshine in your life!