Sewing a bag

Simple sewing projects : a bag, an apron, a pillowcase and a washbag are examples of things you can make easily once you can sew by hand or with a sewing machine. You can use materials you like either new from a shop or favourite old clothes.

How to make these simple sewing projects by hand or with a machine



Knit a lamb

Use size 3-4 needles and approximately 35 metres ( hand to chest or hand to elbow – 1m).Wind it round in 1m lengths.

Cast on 34 stitches ..knit for 6 ribs (12 rows) plain knitting .
Cast off 7 stitches loosely and knit to the end of the row and then cast off 7 stitches on the other  side .
Keep knitting for 4 ribs.
Cast on 7 stitches on both sides ,
Knit for another 6 ribs .
Cast off 11 stitches on both sides.
Knit 8 rib
Another 4 ribs in black ( another colour ) if you want or just the same colour ( this will be the sheep’s head)

Sew together as in the photos and put filling ( sheep’s wool or fibre or cotton wool ) into it before sewing up the last bit of the body —maybe use an end of a pencil to spread it evenly into the corner.
Sew the head together as shown in the pictures.

How to crochet and put the tail on the lamb

Below you can order a kit to knit two lambs, one black and one white. Provided is wool ( approx 2 x 25m )I have spun myself as well as loose washed wool for the filling. Please send an email stating what you require. Having received confirmation from me then please pay below or go to and enter starfishcraftshop. Thank you .

Two lambs- knitting homespun wool kit

A simple knitting project. This kit provides black and white natural undyed home spun wool to make 2 lambs. Hand drawn instructions are also included as well as washed sheep’s wool for the filling.


Spinning and knitting projects

The long evenings are great for doing bigger projects like spinning or knitting jumpers. Perhaps listen to your favourite podcast or audiobook.

I have been spinning since I was a child. Our mother set up each of us (6 children ) with a spinning wheel! We also had our own sheep so we wore their coats!

I have spun and knitted my parent’s sheep’s wool all through my childhood and for my own children making them each a sheep’s wool and alpaca jumper in different shades. If you would like a bigger quantity of hand spun wool please contact me below.

Hand spinning with a spindle

All you need is a stick and a potato or apple stuck in.

Below are links to kits to make lambs and chickens.

Snowdrops – pressing flowers

You could take a few crocuses, primroses or other flowers from your garden to press throughout the year. You can use them for cards, or calendars or even a lampshade. You can also mount them on transparent sticky back paper and use them as a window display.

Artists 1-10


Dates can be learnt more easily if they are linked to a visual image such as major memory system outlined here. By assigning numbers a consonant you can create words and therefore images.

  • 0 = s or z
  • 1 = d or t
  • 2 = n
  • 3 = m
  • 4 = r
  • 5 = l
  • 6 = g,j, ch soft sounds
  • 7= g, k hard sounds
  • 8 = f or v
  • 9 = b or p

Vowels aren’t assigned a number they act as blanks.

So the word bat = 91, the word name = 23. It is a phonetic system so how things sound is how a number is assigned. The word cough for example is the number 78.

So how do you memorize dates? Example 1255.

The 1 can be assumed so the task is to memorize 255.

2 is and N , 5 is an L . So Duccio’s birth year 1255 can be memorized by a simple sentence using the first letter of each word.

Nearly Life Like.


Each of the 100 greatest painters is hung on a key word representing the numbers 1 -100. By learning 100 words based on this system you have effectively 100 hooks to hang information on. This makes learning the hundred most important artists in Western history possible

So number 1 is day, number 2 is noah, number 3 is ma, etc. Learn the first ten numbers first then work at the dates for each painter. You will soon get the hang of it.

  • day = 1
  • Noah = 2
  • Ma = 3
  • Ra = 4
  • Law = 5
  • Jaw = 6
  • Key = 7
  • Fee = 8
  • Bee = 9
  • Daze = 10



Nearly life like

Multi dimensional View





Now Giotto Gives

Mary Magdalene Grief



3 MA


Announcing Fab Result

Martinis are Ready



4 RA


Marriage of Oils

Arnolfini’s Real Touch





Mary Followed Gabriel’s

Rather Long Look





Magnificent Battle Clashing

Rival’s Colour Landscape




Roger van WEYDEN

My! Put Those

Rich Sheets away Roger





Really Sad Adam

Wretched Naughty Eve





Renaissance Dove Softly

Regards Piero’s Inspiration





Rigid Madonna Sits

Through Light Thundery Showers



Here are some links to great talks from the National gallery on some of the artists above.

Paper Snowflakes and New Year Displays

These paper snowflakes make a cheerful display in the winter when the world outside is quite bare and dormant. You can use white or coloured paper and can be made from circles or squares. You can also use thin felt or material as a fun alternative as a table decoration or mat.

Here is an illustrated guide to making these attractive patterns

Hanging Star- Christmas Decoration

You need :

6 squares of any sort of paper size to make this very nice decoration. You can also use magazines or photocopy paper with print on it! Practically anything works. Avoid hanging near a window which tends to get condensation.

It is simple to make but produces a great decoration. Children above 7 can manage it easily.

Video to follow on 18th Dec