'Birds & Bees' cushions in Homespun magazine

I was still celebrating the publication of my first project with Homespun magazine when they asked me if I would be interested in designing and making a pair of cushions for their February issue, which has a 'Birds and Bees' special, a cute take on Valentine's Day. Would I?!

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I really enjoyed making these whimsical cushions. One in the shape of a bird in a cage, and the other in the shape of a bee hive. They have linen fronts and coordinating fabric backing (birds on one and a honey comb on the other), and the fronts of the cushions are hand-embroidered and appliqued.

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There is a full tutorial on both cushions with step by step instructions and images demonstrating each technique used in their construction, as well as a little profile piece on me and my Down Grapevine Lane and crafting journey.
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And there you have it. My 'birds and bees' special for this year. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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Happy, happy birthday

Down Grapevine Lane is one! My third baby is practically a toddler now... It has been such a busy year but when I look back at all the things I created since starting on this journey I can't help but feel proud. What started as a spare-time hobby has turned into a full time job now. Thanks to every one of you for following my blog and helping me live my dream - doing work I adore and enjoy so much that it doesn't feel like 'work'!

To mark the occasion, I set about making something I have been lusting over for a while - a cupcake pincushion.

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I found a free pattern on Ravelry, and sat down one evening with my hook and yarn, aiming to have my coveted pincushion ready in an hour. Not to be. I finished the base and it didn't look anything like in the photos. Nooo! There was a new stitch (back post double crochet) that I had never used before so I thought I must have got that wrong. Not a problem, easy to fix. Google 'bpdc', watch a few You Tube videos, start the base again. Aha! I have to turn the whole thing inside out after I 'turn' in round 3! Finish the base, compare against the pattern image - looks even worse than my first attempt. Getting seriously frustrated now (and it's already bed time). Start again. This time, when I came to round 3, I just ignored where it says 'turn', slip-stitched to join, and kept on following the pattern - and finally! It looks right! I have since discovered it's most likely a typo in the pattern, as others had the same problem as me. Ha!

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The dome on mine is a bit higher than in the pattern, I just kept going in the round a little more. And added a rose and a couple of leaves on top (I just made these up myself but there are many patterns on Ravelry for similar).

Such a gorgeous pattern and it really takes no time at all (as long as you remember to ignore that 'turn' in round 3!)

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I thought Down Grapevine Lane and its owner deserved a bit of a birthday treat too, so I ordered some Zakka supplies I have had on my wishlist for way too long. I keep a 'Wishlist' board on Pinterest, in the vain hope that, one day, my hubby will remember to check there when looking for a present for me. But he keeps forgetting, so I will just buy them myself then.

Here is my haul - three Zakka books with so many cute projects to choose from, and by some of my favourite bloggers too! I also got some cotton tape and some cute Japanese animal fabric that will make the cutest patches.

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Last but not least - a delightful scrap bundle from my new favourite Etsy shop Billycottonshop (which seems to have free shipping all the time!). I am so in love with some of these prints, such a shame the shop doesn't seem to have any yardage left! I haven't quite decided what I am going to make with these scraps yet - patchwork for sure, but what? Any suggestions?

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