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Jacko's Crafty Corner

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Erm is this live?

Well hello there!  I just want to start by saying how thrilled I am that this website is up, thanks to my hubby for working tirelessly on this for weeks and putting up with my moans "just". 

So I figured as this is the first blog of many, I'd start by just introducing myself a little more, coupled with some of the Works In Progress (WIPS)  I have on the go.

This is a monthly blog where I’ll discuss everything and anything about crafts that I enjoy, but I am open to suggestions about what you’d like featured, or if you’d like it to be more regular; after all this is for you guys/gals/guys and gals.. Oh you know what I mean.

So why Jacko’s Crafty Corner when I should be rocking my "Michelle (I'm all married) Marshall" surname?  To most of my friends I am known as “Jacko”  My maiden name is Jackson you see, but you know how it goes when you get married and you call up IT services from your honeymoon saying ‘ You know I’m married now, so please could my emails display the surname: Marshall?’ but its only when I started looking at all the people I’d need to notify to get everything changed that I said – let it be for now… 7 years later, erm let it be for now….

I am also known as Yarnsta Chick out there in the social media world just to confuse you some more, but you can find  links in the way of icons located at the bottom of the webpage to all my hangout places , so no drama!

Monday -Friday I work full time for an organisation based in Euston- London. My main role is PA to two super busy people; I provide support in various ways for the team. I'm also a web content editor, First Aider, Fire Marshal and a committee member for our organisations Craft Club. Most importantly I am also mum to a son who recently turned 5 (big man now)   I’m a crafter that almost has no limits. 

I’m a die-hard knitter - Small fact for now, I have over 1,000 balls of yarn, that’s unused and that’s not including the left-overs that I can’t throw away – it must be used!  And of course the yarns I have for my current projects.

I love cross stitch it’s a therapy different to knitting – Its “drawing with string”  If you need some inspiration check out the Cross stitch section under “Useful Links”  for some inspirational, enabling, addictive  podcasts  – people will blow your mind.

I was given a lovely sewing machine from one of my crafty friends and I appreciate it so much – my aim is to make 90% of my own clothes- why not,  My ultimate goal in sewing is to learn how to make a coat – I’d have one in every colour – I’m obsessed like that.

WIPS

It’s been a busy few weeks, lots of knitting and crafty business going on. Every year my organisation supports a different charity and at the end of the year our craft club members get together and craft our hearts out: we then go on to sell our handmade crafts with all proceeds going to charity, our organisation will then match the amount we make so that it’s doubled. Last year we raised over £2,000.00!!

For my contribution this year I’m making a knitted toy, she’ll be a big girl,  on her feet and standing, she’ll measure about 15 inches or there about, she comes complete with clothes and all… I also plan to make some sewn hats and some hand-made cards.

Aside from charity knitting/stitching/ sewing I’ve been getting my knit on for friends and family.  There are some things you should know about me and my “stash” but not on the first date!

I’ve recently discovered fleece – That’s all I’m saying… this stuff is awesome awesome!!! No I haven’t made an error with the double awesome – I’ll drop a link here to the seller I buy from in the UK Tia Knight – in my opinion –good quality fleece and she cuts nicely.

I started investigating how I could line my knitted hats when I made a gorgeous hat, in fact it was my “Gucci Inspired” hat  affectionately known to me and my pals as “goo-key”  LOL – My husband came in one day and burst my bubble, get this;  he told me "the wind went straight through to his “skull” so I brought up my old friend Google and “Voila” How to line a knitted hat search returned results that made me” do a little dance”.  My latest fleece lined hat project is a funky hat for a lovely friends 2 boys, these are so cushy and cosy I must make my boy one – in fact I want to knit all the hats and line them for my friends kids. Plus I topped it off with some matching mittens that are still in progress.

What’s out of those project bags

So there are 3 little babies in line for some knitted gear,  one is a boy that was born at the beginning of November, the other sex is unknown and the 3rd I should hopefully find out what the sex is and have enough time to make something lovely. I’ve recently finished a little outfit for a little Bambina – and I was allowed to knit with pink -yay (I’ve been ban from knitting with pink for girls) I was pleased. Awaiting pictures of her rocking her little ladies outfit…  but you can see a shot of it without bubs.

 I don’t about you but it makes me happy to see an item I  have made being worn, it’s like the cherry on top, the Jerk on the chicken the… ok you get where I am going, its just the end result of that ball of string or that square piece of fabric or blank Linen or Aida cloth. So my star pic of the month has to be the onesie and hat I knitted for this adorable little bundle.  I’m proud first and foremost  to have this pattern under my knitting belt I tried twice before and “frogged it”  (ripped it, ripped it out) it’s a lot of knitting – I know ..of course I have to knit but its tons and tons of knitting with teeny tiny needles and fine yarn, I used Drops -Baby Alpaca Silk Yarn- the yarn choice was good and as it was my best knitting achievement this year and then of course seeing bubs in it, made my day I actually got all emotional on my bus home –the hat was a good find too for those of you who have a Ravelry account you can view details on my project page.

Cross Stitch

I’m pretty much a one project gal when it comes to cross stitch there is usually so much more bits that I  just couldn’t keep track, I’m also a naughty stitcher, I don’t grid my cloth before I start hence the tantrums I throw when I have to rip back – I of course love the process of cross stitching but I think I am more of  a product crafter than a process one – I want to see it finished and will try and fudge rather than unpick, but I do like my work to look as good as it can, so I will do what’s needed if it needs to be done.

I’m currently working on a “Betty Boop goes shopping” cross stitch for my shopaholic sister – I saw this and knew I had to do this. So far coming along nicely, I can’t wait to get to her famous funky hair style.

Prick and Stitch

Yes, that’s right; your eyes are not deceiving you - that's the name or one of them, its also known as Pinbroidery, Card Embroidery, Punch-hole stitch just tons of different names.  I was at one of our Craft Club sessions and I had invited Grace from De haviland Embroidery  who brought along these cards and they were just so different we all grabbed a card and was wondering, how on earth they were made, they were all nicely packaged up so we could only see the front of the design, of course we wanted a tutorial of how this was done.

Sadly due to work commitments our friend was unable to show how this was done so yep – you guessed it, my old friend Google was called upon and didn’t fail me. I found a tutorial then I found this great website Stitchingcards.com where I found some really cute patterns, I don’t mind spending as you’ll find out eventually so I bought a few patterns and got to work…  my first tackle was to do this little pram - when you see how far I've progressed in January's blog...you might just laugh at this, but it's all good, we've all got to start somewhere.

I really love this, a sort of instant gratification, it’s not quite a cross stitch, but a lovely picture emerges in next to no time. Not only can I make my own gifts I can make my own cards, something extra special and (for me) unique. I’m eager to show you my anniversary card.

Lastly, I found love with felt, I know, great stuff, right?  Not the hard ones that are stiff but the drape type wool mix ones, I’m still learning about them so I will get my description of these right at some point.  But I spent hours watching all the fab tutorials on how to use this fabric and make cute things with it. I find that with life being so busy – you want to make a nice gift for a baby for example but there can be a bit of pressure to make a set –, I don’t just like to do one thing, I will usually make 2 pieces at the minimum because  I think it looks bare…. Anyhow, I think it’ll be lovely to make say a baby cardi and then a little “Plushie” /Toy that takes no time at all. I’ve just finished a project using this good stuff but I'll spill that in my next blog- a-roo - its very cute.

So that's all for now folks!  I’d love to hear your feedback, feel free to reach out and tell me what you'd  like to see or would like to know? I’m a pretty open book so ask away. There is much more links planned for the "Useful Links" section, this is a section that will be huge, if I had to wait till all links were up, we'd never have launched... so if you have a website that you've found invaluable or should just have its name in "lights" let me know! Lastly thank you to my wonderful friends who have encouraged me thus far, and special thanks to my awesome mates Jo & Sarah for proof-reading this blog- Love ya's.

Till next time….

Jacko x

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