Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas is here!!

Other my knitting up a storm through my bag of odds and sods I have been hitting the christmas craft fair trail which keeps me extremely busy throughout November and December. But the light at the end of the tunnel is nigh and I finally had time to bleach, dust and purge our flat in time for our skinny christmas tree! Doesnt he look marvellous and cosy?? 

My christmas knitting has almost finished culminating in the creation of these crocheted/knitted reindeers, rather cute huh?

Finally I can move onto the granny square tea cosys amongst other things ...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Knitting Challenge - a continuation

well tis been a month since i began my knitting challenge and i am only a third of the way out the bag but i been busy making these ... 

pastel shades knitted stockings

The pattern for these super cute knitted stockings can be found  here

Also been making these ...

knitted christmas puds

The christmas puds have been a combinations of 2 different patterns but am working on a crochet version which is far faster to work up! If and when I have time i think i may write up the pattern for sale on etsy but definately a next year project for now.

Next up, i think i'll make a granny square tea cosy from these autumny colours but mind you i have been requested to knit a toddler yoda hat for crimbo (would it be cheating to add on those missed days to the other side of christmas??)

Pattern for the granny square cosy can be found in this vintage Patons knitting/crochet booklet with loads of kitschy vintage patterns. I have 3 of this booklets which i may put up onto my vintage shop whenever i get back into the filing cabinet which is now wedged in a cupboard with no room for the drawers to swing out!

This is the granny square cosy, I quite fancy those bobble egg cosys too! so cute!! but i may wait until december to make those with the remaining yarn as i can do lots of bright spring colours in time for next years easter - haha so organised!! (NOT)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

knitting challenge

As an avid car booter I have amassed quite the collection of crafty type materials to the point where wool is now coming out of my ears (dont even talk to me about fabric!). However on my last car boot expedition I came across a nice lady with just as much wool as me for the princely sum of £1 a bag. I was torn ... but I have so much wool ... but it's so cheap!! my dithering lasted 3 nanoseconds before i said "yes sir yes sir three bags full" so off home I scuttled smug as anything with my bag bursting with newness (to me).

Now ive decided to set myself the challenge of finishing this bag before xmas, Ive had it for a few weeks now and knitted tons of mini-stockings but what else to do? Ive only 2 months left (ps im including the xmas break so technically ive gave myself till hogmanay - cheating slightly)

Will be updating my progress ...

scrappy wool bundle that I must knit through!!!!

Monday, 22 October 2012

A new hidden treasure

The constant packing and unpacking and loading and unloading is beginning to take its toll - I have taken to burying my head under the duvet with my knitting to escape from the cardboard city that has become my Living Room and Kitchen. 

However this weekend there was a small window of opportunity in which to escape and have a nice sunday drive as it was a super gorgeous day, the kind of autumn sunshiny day with crispy fresh air and snappy twigs under your feet. lush.

who can resist sunday retro tunes and sunshiny road conditions - perfect

Our drive took us to a new vintage treasure nestled in the scottish countryside just outside of Inverurie in Lethenty Mill. Here lies Nina's Apartment , a fresh and modern take on vintage and upcycling, the kind of shop we are seriously deprived of up here in the sticks. I just love Nina's mix of mid-century homewares and scandinavian influenced fabrics. Piles of patchwork and doily cushions are stacked with retro granny square throws. My favorite part was the outdoor cosy corner she had set up for her opening day. A mismash of recovered G-plan chairs, cosy throws and antique trunks which just works in the rural setting.

Nina's apartment is open by appointment and you can get in touch by email

vintage tins - extremely bargainous at £4 each!!

Look out for the Nina's Apartment sign

a fabric stack that makes me drool a little

cosy crochet and patchwork homewares

mismash retro outdoor seating that just works

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

shiny new shop!!

welcome welcome - today I am super chuffed to show you photos of the new shop which opened with a shebang on Saturday past (13th October 2012) but more about that laters. Am rather pleased with how its all came together, I was worried initially about the space and whether I would fit my piles and piles of fabrics, threads, buttons but with some clever storage solutions I think ive nailed it! what do you think?

our lovely new bright and airy new shoppy

Gift Shop Area 
Ceramics for painting

Ive also decided to make an effort to give the studio a more vintage twist so gone are the takeaway tubs for all the bits and bobs. Instead everything is in sweetie jars with brown paper typewritten labels tied on with some vintage lace - tres jolie me thinks.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

We are moving!!

I cannot beleive that its almost been 2 years that I have embarked on this rollercoster journey of self-employment. But it has and that means I can finally take that enticing break on my suffocating 5 year lease on the unit. I feel there are greener pastures ahead when I move to my new home with Bead Pop (formerly bead crazy) on 19-21 St Andrew Street. Firstly its much better financially as I don't have profit crushing rent and rates to pay. Secondly its a street location with my own door and window with many a people tootling past by foot, car and bus. Well that's the theory anyway, I suppose I wont know until I am firmly in place.

Our current location was taken on with rose-tinted goggles I feel, I was so desperate to get into somewhere before christmas I rushed this transaction slightly and justified it to myself. I knew the footfall in the Galleria was pitiful but i goaded myself into thinking "oh passers-by wont paint plates on a whim" if I ramp up the external marketing people will come to me as its a "destination" but oh ho how wrong was I. I underestimated how much I needed people walking past just to see me and become curious. Even if they didn't paint that very day at least they would know my existence and that has been my major downfall.

But onwards and upwards and I am very excited about my new move so if i do become a hermit in the next month or so you shall know why!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Knitting Adventures

 People always ask me what's my favourite craft and for a couple of years now it appears that knitting continues to be an obsession. I do love toting my basket full of scrappy yarn aboot the toon so where has said basket been in recent days?? Well on one glorious sun shiny day me and basket parked up in Union Terrace Gardens and finished up some kitschy dinosaurs. Such bliss ...

a lovely rare day of sunshine in Aberdeen = outdoor knitting

I've also had an order and been manically knitting these mini-hearts for wedding favours - all 60 of them!! so glad to be done and now I can think about christmas knits!!

knitted mini-hearts in a cute mini basket was what inspired the wedding favours

60 ivory hearts for wedding favours

Monday, 3 September 2012

Candy Belle Pops up and goes away again

So things have been a tad quiet due to the crazy amount of events we had in august, we had the Aberdeen Art Fair firstly. Then last week I had my vintage hat on as alter ego Candy Belle Vintiques had her first Pop-up shop.  Things were hectic as usual and headless chicken doesn't even begin to describe me and my emotions. Screaming matches were a daily occurence with my long-suffering but cherished partner. I love you really!! despite wanting to gouge your eyes out when you didn't do as you were told.

For the month of august it was an endless parade of ironing, hand-washing delicate vintage dresses, cleaning tea-sets, and typing up labels. Not to mention all the crafty stuff I wanted to use as display, sewing vintage fabrics onto embroidery hoops, mustaches for the photo booth plus much much more I didn't get round to. Thank the lord my trusty friends were there for me. and thank god they put up with me and I am eternally grateful to everyone that put in their tuppence worth. Finally its done and dusted so I can relax again or so I believe but an entrepreneurs work is never done! I am on to the next Candy Belle Event which will be on the 3rd of November in the Caledonian Thistle Hotel on Union Terrace so save the date!!

Some photos of the pop-up shop including retro hedgehog and groovy living room, plus my embroidery hoop display with vintage fabrics.

Our vintage photobooth also made its debut on our launch night, they look pretty darn good if I don't say so myself!!

the lovely camilla who very generously helped make the mustaches amongst many other things!

the kind and thoughtful Laura who came to support on Friday and spent a small fortune!! (err no tony she only  bought a £5 scarf that's all)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Treasure Hunting takes over

With another CandyBelle event on the horizon my treasure hunting has once again been met with some gusto to the point where I was getting an eensy teensy bit annoyed with the ten tonnes of rubbish treasure in the vintage room, so I had a good gut out. Things I didn't need were packed away into the trunks, purses back with purses, scarves with scarves and so on. Being an ex Visual Merchandiser I totally get that things need to be shoppable, clean and tidy but alas with the best of intentions I am back to square one after a bumper weekend of finds. I am tentatively showing y'all the vintage room, its a tad messy (to say the least) but those after my own heart should find it irresistible. Some might even call it an Aladdins cave or a hidden treasure with its drawers to rifle through and boxes on top of boxes of goodies, oh i'm drooling at the thought!

mess or aladdins cave?
sewing stuff - check out the mum and its baby singer!!

handbags and purses

one of my favourite chairs

love old sewing patterns purely for the illustrations

So you may be thinking it don't look so bad, ive edited out the worst bits! the mountain of boxes, tins and baskets on the table and the many many carrier bags on the floor, some are asda some are iceland - i didnt say i was classy! But it's what's inside that counts as you can see this one is full of lush leather purses.

I was also very lucky this weekend to have received some lovely things from my friend's granny, very very much appreciate this and I got rather excited delving into the bag of treasures and I was not dissappointed, some luvverly tins and lots of crochet threads and the like. Now I have to think of some crafty projects so they don't go to waste.

Lot's of lovely tins with crafty stuff inside

What's inside this one?

lots of crochet threads in fabby condition - what to make with these?

This is my favourite - embroidery threads, i don't think i can have enough .

it's an illness having so much stuff?? och well, its for my "business" and I do manage to list things on my etsy shop, which is doing ok at the moment. I say ok, ive had a few sales in July compared with 1 every 3 months so that's an improvement. It must be my new rejuvenised photography and I have been quite strict with myself and listing items at least every week so it all pays off in the end.

One day I will have a mahoosive house with a big airy garage with shelves!! and rails!! so everything can be organised and put away with easy access - oh how does one dream! in the meantime I shall have to do with my plastic bags and rickety rail for the now :(

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

time to experiment

Life at I Heart Art is as always varied, sometimes new and exciting, sometimes dull and boring. One day I could be battling with my book-keeping and the next creating nice and shiny new things. Lately I have been researching and experimenting with some new ideas for classes after the summer. This usually involves spying on the opposition, googling, scanning etsy, going out and about to see what's on trend and pinning.

Pinning?? what's that?? You may have heard of Pinterest, and you may have thought "what's the point, it's just photos" but I found it to be an extremely useful tool for keeping ideas and tutorials I find online in one place. Often I see something online and thought "ooooh I could do that" then forget about it with the next click of ze mouse so nowadays I just "pin it" and those photos and tutorials are saved on one online noticeboard. Handy if you have a memory like a sieve like moi, my board crafty board can be found here.

So what's been getting my creative juices flowing?? I have noticed a big trend for embroidery hoop art, the hoop makes a nice frame for hanging and lots of people have been doing ones with embroidery, crochet and applique. Then I had a lightbulb "aha" moment and thought about a scrapbook version for hanging. This is what I've done thus far ...

Still to be completed, I'm thinking about embroidering the cherry blossom branches, some appliqued flowers and perhaps some text. But I can't think of any nice words or phrases that sum up the photo. I don't want love (too cheesy), dream (not dreaming), hope (what am i hoping for?). Anyone have any ideas??

Moving on .... I have also spent an afternoon making some cute snap frame purses. Quite disastrous, but I did say crafting isn't about getting it perfect and there are plenty that wont be making it to the pinterest board. My first purse was too big for the frame, appears my usual sewing motto of "you can always take away" didnt work this time with my overestimation of my seams. The second came out beautifully but when it came to glueing on the frame my fingers got burned and glued my hair resulting in a late night haircut. But I think it looks not bad if you ignore the glue, no? Hopefully like goldilocks it't be just right on my third attempt!

Finally I have also been toying around with free-machine embroidery, again disastrous on my first attempt, the machine was going too fast and fabric was sticking resulting in unsightly lines. But like a trooper I plodded on and the end result is nae too shabby. 

Applique and free-machine embroidered birthday card

All of these crafts will be featuring on my next class list, join our mailing list for updates!!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Crochet Cherry Baked very well

crochet cherry bakewell and knitted battenburg

The summer window is almost complete, this week came the addition of these crocheted cherry bakewells and knitted battenburgs. I could not find a pattern for these anywhere so ended up making up my own which I have decided to share with you luvverly peeps. So one crochet cherry bakewell tutorial, fresh out the oven ...

Cherry Bakewell Pattern

This pattern is written using UK terminology and the cakes made with Double Knit Yarn and a 4mm hook.


DC = Double Crochet
CH = chain
sl st = slip stitch
CO = cast on
st st = stocking stitch


using light beige DK yarn and 4mm hook

Rnd 1: 6 dc in magic circle (6)
Rnd 2: 2 dc in each dc around (12)
Rnd 3: *2 dc, dc in next dc*, repeat around (18)
Rnd 4: *2sc, dc in next 2 dc*, repeat around (24)
Rnd 5: *2 dc, dc in next 3 dc*, repeat around(30)
Rnd 6: *2 dc, dc in next 4 dc*, repeat 6 around (36)
Rnd 7: in back loops only dc in each dc around
round 8: dc in each dc around
rnd 9: *dc ch1 dc in same stitch, sl st in next dc* repeat around
fasten off
using white DK yarn and 4mm hook
Rnd 1: 6 dc in magic circle (6)
Rnd 2: 2 dc in each dc around (12)
Rnd 3: *2 dc, dc in next dc*, around (18)
Rnd 4: *2sc, dc in next 2 dc*, around (24)
Rnd 5: *2 dc, dc in next 3 dc*, around(30)
Rnd 6: *2 dc, dc in next 4 dc*, around(36)
fasten off
This was done using knitting, however you can crochet a bobble by doing ch2, then loads of DCs into the 2 chains and back into itself. Then use a needle to pull into a ball shape.
Using red DK yarn CO 4
work st st for 16 rows
roll into a tight coil and sew into a bobble shape.
Sew berry onto the white topping, then sew white topping to the base stuffing with polyfil before you close. et voila a cakestand of wooly tasty treats, looks rather cute on a vintage cakestand, no?