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Watercolour Gift Tags & Card

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I made these to accompany my Mum’s birthday gift. Perhaps you’ll find them handy? Especially if you’ve forgotten that it’s Mothering Sunday this weekend, which I’m sure you haven’t! There are two gift tags and a card which you can print out and customise.

watercolour gift tags

You can use an image-editing program to add text to the front of the card, although I think some ink calligraphy would make the whole thing look more hand-painted and less inkjet-printed. Print them on cardstock if you can, and if you’re like me and diligently save tiny lengths of leftovers, use them for the tie.

watercolour doodle & flower

Doodling with watercolours is almost as relaxing as knitting, as long as you don’t try too hard. I’ve particularly been enjoying this ebook: Fearless Watercolours.

DSC_3567

Here’s another way to use your gift tags. These little roses are shockingly simple to create for last-minute gifts, party favours or just for yourself. I have prepared a post about them for tomorrow so don’t miss it! :)

14th March, 2012  // Downloads // tags: , , , , .

Why Knitters Are Nicer

live

I was so so so cheered by all the lovely messages, newsletter replies, tweets, and of course blog comments I received yesterday. And a mention on the Electric Sheep Podcast was just the icing on the birthday cake. Thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely knitters! Replies are on their way.

I’m usually a pretty upbeat, positive person, and I adore doing this here, with you. I still find this a little hard to define, because as you know I do a lot of random, silly things, and knitwear design sometimes seems like a small part of it. I love ideas more than anything, and design more than most, and knitting as much as, well… you, and all together they make me very happy indeed. But every day I meet people who scoff at my work, who ask me snidely how much I make, and inevitably wonder when I will get a proper job (& my own place). Luckily for me, none of these people are in my family. I don’t get hurt by these comments (that would be ridiculous), but I certainly get cross. There was a time when they made me doubt myself, and I sat in a dark office and did work that made no one on earth happy, least of all me. But now I brush them aside and try to use my crossness to fuel me in my work. Still, if it wasn’t for the positive feedback I get from you, I don’t know how long I’d be able to sustain this.

So THANK YOU! & if you’re just heading out on your own path and working for yourself, please don’t listen to the naysayers. Listen to your own true, brave voice and no other. Trust your own confident, capable hands. Don’t let anyone come between you and the joy of steering your craft.

You might be interested to note that my cynics all share one common factor (apart from cynicism, that is): they’re inevitably non-knitters. Which leads me to believe that there is a higher preponderance of nice people among knitters than in the general public. I have some theories about this:

  • Knitting is a calming occupation. Because knitters relieve stress through knitting, they’re less likely to lash out at others.
  • Knitting is a creative act, and it’s my belief that creating something makes people feel more fulfilled, so that they don’t have the urge to belittle the work of other people to make themselves feel better.
  • Knitting is contemplative, and anyone who takes the time to slow down and listen to their thoughts is better able to assess their relationships with others.
  • Knitting teaches you patience.
  • The devil makes work for idle hands. A knitter’s hands are always busy.

Of course we all have a long way to go, but I do believe that knitting can help us get there. Don’t you agree? :)

21st June, 2011  // Inspiration, Life // tags: , , .

Where Have You Been?

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Well may you ask! When I came back to Turkey for a few months, I hadn’t realised that a combination of heat, intermittent internet, and a general lassitude would keep me away from work for so long. Many events have passed unrecorded, including my birthday, and the Skein Queen contest I won, to name one of her gorgeous colourways. The name I entered was ‘Summerhouse Love’, and it’s fairly descriptive of my current state. Ironically, I must await my return to Wales to fondle the Plushness, but the cool colours will be a reminder of my indolent summer days. I had already treated myself to a hank of Skein Queen yarn for my birthday (look at Deb’s gorgeous packaging! I admired it for a long time before I let myself open it), along with a tiny hank of Artist’s Palette ‘Glisten’. Really, the difficulty of the larger questions of life (its meaning, what one should do with it, etc.) pale in comparison with the painful hours of deciding which colourway of handpainted yarn to purchase.

skein queen package

another early birthday present

Much of my time has been spent reading, listening to Cole Porter songs, taking photos of congruous colours, and of course, doing a lot of mindless knitting. These socks are now finished, though it’s too hot to wear them.

sock & colette
Olive pressing against my window
sock & colette
bits of houses
kilim

I mentioned in my entry to the Skein Queen competition, how much I love summerhouse novels. Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Proust’s Swann’s Way (the only one of the series I’ve managed to read so far), and Colette’s Ripening Seed are the chief ones that occur to me. To a lesser extent perhaps von Arnim’s The Enchanted April (which I suppose is not summer), Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Forster’s A Room with a View, and maybe even Bellow’s Herzog, though they’re all very different books. Admittedly A Room with a View doesn’t even involve a house, but it is still one of my favourites.

And if you’re looking for musical accompaniment, here is my Cole Porter mixtape:

  1. I Concentrate on You by Frances Wayne
  2. I Loved Him but He Didn’t Love Me by Kaye Ballard
  3. Get Out of Town by Chris Connor
  4. Night and Day by Ella Fitzgerald
  5. Just One of Those Things by Diana Krall
  6. I’m in Love Again by Bobby Short
  7. The Laziest Gal in Town by Marlene Dietrich
  8. Where Have You Been? by Judy Holliday

So close to your side I’ll stay,
You can never say,
“Baby, where have you been?”

13th July, 2009  // Inspiration, Life, Literature, Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , .

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