How to do Creative Maths

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When I was at primary school, I used to love graph and squared paper. After finishing our maths problems the teacher would give us any spare paper and some colouring pens and tell us to colour in the squares however we wanted. I used to love creating intricate patterns on my paper and also recreating what I now know as pixel art.

Moving forward fifteen years (give or take) and I now use those skills when designing my own crochet patterns. So far I’ve only designed blankets but using square paper helps me to think out my design process.

So here I come to my latest design that I’m planning to turn into a Crochet Along (CAL for short). So far it is currently known as the Eight Flower Garden Blanket though this is a working title only. Hopefully, once I’ve designed and tested it, I’ll be able to post it for everyone to enjoy. For now though, it is just a few squares drawn on a piece of paper.

Blowing Glass

So today we arrived in the Isle of Wight. My fiancé and I, accompanied by my brother and a close friend, are here to do a memorial walk in aid of our friend Charlie who passed away in 2013. Tomorrow we start our five day trek around the coastal path but today we decided to relax and make the most of the sun (especially as it was tipping it down this morning).

Were staying with my dad whilst over here and his house is only a few minutes drive from Alum Bay so we decided to go down and watch the glass making.

The glass making here is absolutely magical. They do demonstrations and today we watched them make two beautiful, iridescent vases and a load of incredibly delicate posed swans. The craftsmanship that goes into making these things is immense. I’ve been watching these guys make things since I was little and it still captivates me every time. Maybe one day I’ll learn how sculpt glass.

As you can expect, the gift shop is chock full of the most intricate and perfectly designed pieces (most have a lovely price tag too but that’s to be expected from such amazing work). If we get a chance over the next fortnight, I’ll go back and acquire myself another glittery little trinket.

And so tomorrow, the walk begins! We have blister plasters and energising snacks a plenty, not to mention a lot of suncream. If anyone would like to sponsor us, please  click here.

You can find Alum Bay Glass here if you want to find out more or go and see them.

http://www.alumbayglass.co.uk/

Let’s network- add your blog here.

talkingthisandthat

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Hello everyone!

Inspired by someone else (forgive me as I can’t remember who you are) I would like to leave this space for you to add a comment and tell everyone:

Your blog address

What kinds of things they’ll find there

Anything else you deem important

(Please keep your posting of links on this blog exclusively to this post unless the content is highly relevant to the original post.)

I’m new to blogging and when I first started using WordPress I had no idea how to find other blogs I might like. I started following everyone back who followed mine but now my email inbox is blowing up. A lot of the blogs I subscribed to are not at all relevant to me or what I like to read. Now that my follower count is up there, I can no longer follow every blog that has followed mine. But I’m…

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How to Make Polymer Hook Handles

As the amount of crochet I’m doing increases, the more I find my basic aluminium hooks uncomfortable. After long periods they rub on my hands and make my wrists and fingers ache. I have purchased a couple of hooks from Koru Tumi and love them. I then thought, why not try to make my own hook handles? And so I did!

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My first attempts

To make your own hook handles you will need:
   – an aluminium crochet hook
   – polymer clay that sets when baked (I bought some cheap clay off of eBay to experiment with but you can get different brands from most art and craft shops)

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Pick your colours. I like to make marble effect handles but you can make solid colours too or stripes if you want. I’ll be focusing on marble effect in this tutorial.

Once you’ve picked your colours you’ll need to soften then clay in your hands. When it is soft, roll each colour into sausages of equal length. Then place the sausages together and twist so they look like a flump:

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Then roll your flump out into another sausage, fold in half and twist again:

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Keep repeating until you have an effect you’re happy with but be careful not to over do it or you’ll end up with a horrible mess.

When you’re happy, roll your clay into a sausage of the desired length, for me just long enough to cover the indent on my hook:

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Then, carefully, start inserting the non-hook end of your hook into the clay. You will need to twist it a little and be careful not to let the hook poke out through the clay:

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Once the hook is in, roll the handle to smooth. If you want to add details like an indent or hook size, you can do it now. I also taper off the end nearest the hook:

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Then, place your hook on a tray lined with greaseproof or baking paper and place in the oven at 135 degrees Celsius for 15-20mins, the thicker the hook, the longer it will need:

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Once your hook is baked, take it out and leave to cool.

And there you have it, one polymer handled crochet hook!

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What to make for Father’s Day?

As yesterday was my first free day in a while, I decided that I should probably concentrate on what to give my dad for Fathers Day. Now, being the hands on person I am, I wanted to make him something and also try something new. After a few hours of searching Pinterest (I love Pinterest!) and another few with my brow furrowed and yarn twisted around my hands, this little guy came into being:

This is the first amigurumi I’ve attempted and I’m very pleased with him. Hopefully my dad will like him too!

To make him I used the Padma the elephant pattern, available here: Pattern

A Letter of Regret From Your Anxious and Depressed Friend

This succinctly expresses the same feeling I am having right now. One day, hopefully the world will understand.

talkingthisandthat

Dear Friend,

I was not always this way.

I did not always hide away from the general public for months or weeks at a time. Once I was quite confident. I occasionally felt happy. I had a full time job and I could face customers with no concern. I would chat to people over the phone, make an effort to see friends, be interested in daily life. I could cope with negativity. Overcome it, even. I wouldn’t let anything bring me down because I had something inside me that made me keep going out there, into the world, facing it all.

But sometimes, Friend, things happen. Sometimes just one thing. Sometimes many things. The courage to face these things is strong at first, at least stronger than now. But depending on luck, or coincidence, or fate, or opportunity, eventually the voice of that courage for some people is quieter. Weaker…

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