Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Candybelle's Christmas Cracker

2 weeks ago the annual Candybelle Vintiques christmas fair, which i help to organise rolled round again... Yet again it was muchos stress and sleepless nights running up to the big day with many a late night crafting the vintage santa's grotto out of vintage materials. Thankfully it looked amazing on the day and i even surpassed my own expectations since i was still pom pom making until the 9th hour!


Vintage santas grotto was covered with hessian and lace for a rustic christmas touch and glammed up with these red metallic foil pinwheels. These were an absolute nightmare to make given that the metallic foil is not very forgiving and shows up every little blemish. I won't be making those in a hurry again. Then garlands of poms poms were draped in an artful manner, topped up with fairy lights and piles of vintage inspired wrapped gifts. I made my own holly leaves from vintage fabrics and sewed pages of old books together. I even typed up a wee letter to santa - i sure hope he gets it!

Not only was i stressing majorly about the grotto i had my own stall to sort and organise. This time i vowed i would be super organised and get everything sorted into bags beforehand as i did worry a little about getting all to the hotel on time! i did create extra work much to mitchells annoyance but it was worth it! I bought a million massive re-usuable bags from nickle and dime and put all bags together, all sewing boxes together etc etc. it did make transporting everything so much easier this time round. So halloween night was spent ironing and labelling  from dawn till dusk in between running down to open the door for trick or treaters!

On the day my extra organisation paid off, my stall was set up after an hour and half with time to spare to get changed and even put on make-up and style my hair!! that almost never happens. After 3 christmas fairs maybe im learning?


My stall was a treasure trove of vintage tins, am sad the 70s bold orange and yellow floral print was gone but gone to a good home nevertheless. Singers and baby sewing machines... I usually am sold out of these but was left with both of them at the end of the day, despite me offering a very good deal on a 20s singer with Tutankhamen pattern. And my usual collection of handbags, as you can see i do have a weakness for a good tan leather bag!

more bags!! ladylike kelly bags and retro sporty styled shoulder bags and manly briefcases! 

As you can probably see, i have loads and loads of bags! one day i hope i can get them all listed in my vintage etsy shop. Perhaps a job for next year!!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

a potty potter birthday bash - harry potter party

This is the year that i turned 30 :( big hooomassive sad face :( :*( and while i really wouldve loved to crawl into a deep dark hole and mourn the passing of my 20s i had a big birthday bash to organise! and organise i did to take my mind of turning into an old hag..

For the past 2 years ive desperately wanted to host a harry potter themed halloween party and this year was the year. Every year i say "oh no got too much on, next year.... " And this year with turning 30 Mitchell kindly started the ball rolling for a birthday bash at the new house... well one thing led to another and i thought YOLO (oh dont forget the hash tag #YOLO!!!!) and the potter birthday bash planning was in full swing.

I carved about a million pumpkins, i carved 7 of them to spell out WELCOME to greet the guests as they came through the door and then carved 2 fancy ones. This year i was a bit short on time so they werent my best handiwork, so i recycled last years cat pumpkin and then did an owl design on the other.

welcoming pumpkins

The weather was horrendous that day and the tealights were just not lighting up so i filled the pumpkins with glo-sticks instead which was pretty effective, especially for the skull as it was glowing red. (the skulls were ceramic skulls taken from my shop)

hedwig i think

For Snapes potions cupboard, i dug out my antique bottles which i found in the woods, reckon it mustve been a rubbish pit at some point coz i found loads! never again will i stumble upon such gems again! and the great thing is one of them already has poisonous imprinted on the glass. Perfect! and then i printed out some labels using these free printables and stuck them on with blu-tack as i didnt want them on there permanently. then filled them with glo sticks as well. Then covered the whole thing with spiders web you can pick up from the pound shop.

Snape's potion cupboard

Next it was onto the spooky hallway which was plastered with spiders and moving holographic piccies as the pictures in hogwarts move you know.

Then i stretched my old VM muscles again and created a wee display on the stairs with one of my vintage trunks, I printed out the hogwarts crest and motto and blu-tacked it onto the trunk, strewn some of my handmade fabric pumpkins (this blog has a brilliant tutorial on how to make them! fabric pumpkin tutorial)
Not forgetting the quidditch broomsticks, a skull or two and of course Hedwig!!

And then there was a few little touches here and there for the die hard fans like myself, the fat lady was of course guarding the door and guests had to know the password to get in, there were signs to the ministry of magic next to the toilet and poor Mrs Norris had been petrified and hanging from the kitchen cupboard.

Poor old Mrs NorrisPetrife

I absolutely loved this party theme even if not alot of people were big potter geeks like me and this could most definately be an annual event now due to time and money spend on crafting those decorations!!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Campervan Love

Everyone always asks me "where do you get all your ideas from?" and I have to say its not always my own work, i use the internet alot  sites like pinterest, instagram, facebook are always a good source of inspiration. Magazines are always great but i do spend a fortune on them! But the best source of ideas are always my customers so when one customer asked if i could make a campervan doorstop it spiralled into a whole new obssession...

At first I did have a look around to see if there was a pattern existing and while there was a knitting version, there was no crochet. So I started on my own version, do you likey??

Vroom Vroom

Camper van road trip up to the Cairngorms

this one wee camper has spawned a whole load of campervan babies. my crochet students were loving it so much they stayed for a further 4 weeks to learn how to make their very own and im loving all the colour combinations!!

Racing Green by Fiona

Bright pink by Kayleigh, 

Natasha looking pleased as punch with her camper!

The camper van pattern is also available to buy in my new etsy shop at boboskitsandbobs. Show me your campers if you make one!!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

a little summer distraction

oops it appears I have neglected blogland for a wee bitty, but the sun has been shining all day everyday and I got a tad distracted by my new garden and *gasp* greenhouse!! Just look at my bumper crop!!

this is my pew all summer long, my vintage 70's deckchair is so comfy and the sun shines all day long in the new garden. so here is where is perch after skiving off early on days when the sun didnt have his hat on. (or is the saying the other way around??). Here i would crochet crochet crochet till the sun came down. 


Just look at the row upon row of Pak Choi, a favourite of mines that i like to use in stir frys and currys. Although this year they were huge and i got tons so I managed to share the love until the caterpillars came and obliterated a good row or two. 

Please now... no rude jokes about the size of my cucumbers. I know they are rather large and I am very proud of showing them off. This was such an easy crop this year, bung it into a pot, water every day and wowzers they just grow and grow. Though the leaves did get a bit mouldy and im not sure why, but it didnt seem to affect the growing!

Tomatoes are an old favourite and I think this year i have about 4 plants, cherry, medium sized ones and beefsteaks. Though im a little sad coz my huge giant beefsteak was ripening all nice one day and the next had grown giant mouldyness on its bottom. it was a sad day for grow you own. But the ones i did get were the juiciest tastiest ones EVER. I love the taste of a freshly plucked tangy tom!!

These bad boys may look small but were spicy indeed! I popped these into a stirfry with my courgettes and pak choi and phewff they added a nice kick! Still loads more to pick so looks like im having spicy suppers for the foreseeable future.

and my final crop which is my baby...

Some people have puppies and kittens as substitutes for being childless I have this pumpkin, yes its not conventional but I do care for it on a daily basis making sure it has enough food to eat and water to drink. and no beasties come to bully it. It was a bit of a late bloomer and I had almost resigned myself to being pumpkinless this year but all of a sudden 2 fruits appeared! and the watering can came back out, but to my dismay one of the babies shriveled up and fell off. to say i was devasted was understatment, almost on par with my dismay at tomatoe's mouldy bottom. But 2nd pumpkin is flourishing and is size of my head for now. I will be checking each day for mould and making sure no caterpillars, rabbits or foxes eat my damn pumpkin!!

hold on, must dash, there's a man with a white coat knocking at the door....

Monday, 22 July 2013

Granny Squares - A freebie pattern

Having taught a million and one peeps over the last couple of years on the art of granny squaring I have found that finding a good pattern for the basic granny square suitable for my class has not been easy. Of course there are fabby tutorials out there but many are in either US terminology (not good as we live in ol blighty) or have a million pictures which is great if you are learning online but not great to print out and this poor ol earth is feeling the pain from printing out so much bits of paper. So I gave up and wrote me own version of the pattern, taking parts i liked of one and adding in bits of another plus my own titbits I found useful during class.

Hope you like and understand it, tis the result of the many manyt feedbacks of at least 2 years worth of granny square students!

Enjoy. x


Sl st – Slip Stitch

Ch – chain

DC – double crochet

Tr - treble

This pattern uses UK terminology.

Ch 4, sl st to first ch to make a ring

Round 1: ch3, 2tr into the centre of ring, (ch2, 3 tr into the centre of ring) x 3, ch 2, join with a sl st to to top of first ch3. Sl st in next 2 tr, sl st in corner space.  *square base is now completed, ch2 spaces form the corners of the square*.

Round 2: ch3, 2 tr in corner space, ch 2, 3 tr in same corner space. Ch 1, ( 3 tr in next corner space, ch2, 3 tr in same corner space, ch1) x 3. Join with a sl st to the top of the ch3 from the start of the round. Sl st in next 2 tr, sl st in corner space.

Round 3: ch 3, 2 tr in corner space, ch 2, 3tr in same corner space. Ch1, 3 tr in side space, (ch1, 3 tr in next corner space, ch 2, 3 tr in same corner space, ch1, 3 tr in side space) x 3. Ch 1, join with a sl st to the top of the ch3 from the start of the round. Sl st in next 2 tr, sl st in corner space

Round 4: ch3, 2 tr in corner space, ch 2, 3 tr in same space. Ch 1, 3 tr in next side space, ch 1, 3 tr in next side space. (ch 1, 3 tr in next corner space, ch 2, 3 tr in same corner space. Ch 1, 3 tr in next side space, ch 1, 3 tr in next side space ) x 3. Ch 1, join with a sl st to top of ch 3 at the start of the round. Sl st in next 2 tr, sl st in corner space. Fasten off.

You can continue in this pattern for larger squares or continuous blanket. Remember that there is a ch 2 for corner spaces, ch 1 for side spaces. There is 3 tr in each cluster.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Vintage Bus Open Day

Vroom vroom, last week we had a fun day out at the First Bus open day, the sun was shining and First Bus put on a good show with vintage buses, planes trains and automobiles and we had the privilege of being asked to showcase our vintage.

Despite supposedly "working" I did take advantage of being there to have a wee lookie about. There was a bright shiny vintage fire engine, complete with men dressed up in shiny gold hats and axes - all props of course. They also had a nimrod plane specially transported in, now im not a plane geek but Mitchell got a bit excited so must be special. The vintage buses were the best l, I loved all the different varieties and the differences between them for different towns. My favourite was the vintage mini double decker, it was the same size as me!! either that or ive grown alot! For £2 you could have a wee zoom around the track and the driver told me how he had customised it from an old mini!! amazing. A tiny bit gutted I didn't get a chance to have a go on the bus wash or the tiny steam train - ah well, next time. here's hoping they do this event again next year although this was the first one in like a gadzillion years. They haven't done one since they refurbished the King street depot a few years ago.



Me eating my greens and growing to the same height as a double decker!

Although not strictly my target market for vintage with alot of families and children in attendance, I did alright in the end and First had done well drawing in the crowds - some 7000 folks were there so that was great exposure for the business. lets hope they all pay me a visit afterwards!!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

no.9 you're mine!!

i just went out and got myself a brand new house!! well not a completely new house but new to me. a lovely 60s build complete with retro panelled doors, retro kitchen with a PANTRY!!! 80s fireplace and of course lovely lovely furry carpets, bad wallpaper and gaudy curtains. A 70s time capsule but  i love it! even the 90s pine panelled feature wall. see what you think ...


It was not an easy journey, getting on the property ladder is haaaaard, not least we live in Aberdeen, with its oil rich inhabitants bumping up the prices and banks making it more and more difficult. Tactically we started looking in the winter months in the hope that there are less buyers about, which means less competition, what with christmas looming and everyone being a bit skint. So we found our first property in Dyce, an ex-council 2 and half bedroom (i say half as it fitted little more than a sofa bed) with a garage. not bad, ticks all the boxes and probably wont find better with our budget. Put in an offer and it was accepted straightaway, yus. Will be moved by easter we think, but complications with entry dates meant that the seller pulled out :( annoying but we felt confident that something else would come up and come easter time loads more would be out on the market. But hardly any came up in the following months, by april time we were more than getting a little desparate, time on the mortgage in principle was running out and i was getting rather impatient. a few other good contenders came up but no sooner had we viewed, registered our notes of interest than somebody pulled the rug under our feet and we lost out again. One was on and off the market within 4 days, before we even had a chance to look! Another had woodworm in the home report and being thorough we had decided to get a timber report done, on the day the report was due we were told it was gone!! the other buyers didnt even bother to get a timber report, well lets hope its infested with worms!! oh dear but thats not very good sportsmanship, shhh i didnt say it.

When we lost the last one, i was losing hope, the competition was too much, it was looking pretty bleak and I was seriously considering some of our 5th, 6ths and 7th choices. But that weekend it was by chance I found THE ONE. Straightway i knew there was potential so this time i knew we had to be quick off the mark. Viewed it on Sunday and i knew i wanted it and i wanted it bad. The garden was amazing with a greenhouse and garage and sun all day, the kitchen was met with squeals of "OMG a PANTRY!!" and then the crowning glory - the floored loft. Perfect office space tucked away from the living space. No way was I able to keep the advised poker face for this viewing, my excitement was bubbling over. Lucky for me that I expressed such an interest as this was what got us the house in the end, we weren't the best offer on the table by far but our enthusiasm for the property certainly helped. The sellers had been the in house for the past 40 years and they really wanted it to be loved like it was loved by their family and not stripped back and sold on for a profit by a developer so we were so so so lucky. And im so happy to be here and so grateful to the sellers for choosing us. Im sure this will be a much loved home and me and mitchell are going to be so happy here. BBQs and hotpot parties all round!!

work in progess

whoo hoo done!! (except for the cables but thats another day)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sheldon's Day Out

My sheldon dolly inspired by A[mi]dorable Crochet has been out and about spending a whole day of crafting and teaching with me AND he gets a ride on the train. I think he had a nice day out?

Sheldon Cooper dolly is so excited!! he bursting out of his knitted holdall and grabs a window seat so he gets the best view!

Next stop Pret for a hot choc followed by 2 hours of knitting and cross stitch class. I think he had fun on his day out with me but he now been gifted away for more fun times.