Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mid-week Meanderings

Hello, greetings to all of you, welcome to all those who have just found my ramblings, pleased to meet you all xox

I love it when I can pick flowers from my own garden, well, court-yard garden to be precise. I can only grow flowers and vegetables in pots but that's fine, I manage to grow a decent amount of veg / salad and flowers to make little posies and pop into my old bottles I collect and place them all around the house. The above picture is of some of my garden pot grown beauties that Alice picked on Sunday and she knows what pleasure they give me and I hope her and Andy too.

So, how is your mid-week so far? I've had one mad month of all my insurances coming to an end at the end of March, my car MOT and tax and 101 other "grown up" things to do. I've always said I wasn't very good at being a grown up and just hate anything to do with pensions, tax, insurance, cars etc and my lovely husband Andy is most tolerant with my stubbornness and generally does all the investigating, calculating and negotiating which I am eternally grateful for. He does make me smile at how thrifty he is and refuses to pay anyone more money than is necessary. I definitely agree with him but must say that I am a little naughty and tend to bury my head and not look into cheaper insurances etc. but this makes us a good partnership I think :0)

This Weeks lesson for a certain 10 year old started on Saturday when I found myself nagging on Saturday morning about the lack of discipline in picking her clothes up from the floor! I wasn't an angel growing up but I don't recall developing this bad habit... so Alice and I came to a handshaking agreement that if I sewed her a washing bag for her to hang on her door handle she would promise to pick her clothes up and put those for washing in the bag and any others would be neatly folded and placed back in her drawers / wardrobe. 

This is what was created up in our attic (which we call the snug, where I sew and she paints and we're generally creative / chill out together.... No boys allowed thank you very much daddy!)

Really easy peasy sewing of a rectangle, I hand stitched the seam to thread the pretty ribbon through and hey presto a washing bag for all those dirties and once it's full she gives to me to pop in the washing machine. A lovely case of "How to train your 10 year old" !!! her enthusiasm for picking up clothes off her floor has never been greater, lets hope the habit lasts :0) ...teenage years here we come!

"All good bags have a badge on mummy" Oh OK then I replied xox 

Thank you for all your comments on my lovely vintage knitting needle find in my last post. I had to put those 4mm pink ones to the test ASAP and found them so comfortable to knit with, smooth, silky and easy with some Debbie Bliss DK yarn. I planned to make a 'mug hug'  from a pattern I saw in one of my knitting magazines I indulged in last month and I wanted to teach myself a couple new knitting stitches too which I was pleased to master but when it came to hugging any of my mugs this baby was not complying ( conclusion = we only have fat mugs in this house, hee hee) and then I saw the perfect jar that needed a hug...  one of my jam jars that I store needles, scissors, tape measures etc etc in.

Here it is... ta da!

No chilly hooking / knitting implements in this house thank you very much! They are as snug as a mug hug.

Well that brings me to the end of this post and I will say cheerio and wish you all a peaceful rest of the week.

I will end, showing you a little peek at some granny square fingerless gloves that I hooked up for my friend Janice's sister who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Unfortunately her and her 4 teenage children lost everything in the earth quake and devastation that hit Christchurch last month. Janice asked me if I could make her sister, Anne a pair of fingerless gloves( basic pattern found here) as she is the kind of person who always looks after others more than herself and with Autumn approaching she thought it would be lovely for Anne to have something for herself. It's been a privilege and real pleasure to make these and it's the tiniest thing I could do. Sending love across the world to all those people trying to re-build their lives xxx

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Sweet charity

Good Morning Sweet People.
Please don't be put off by my toes! I was uuumming and aaaahing as to whether this photo might make you all run away but I decided that hopefully my very first attempt at ripple crochet over a year ago might make you stay a while. It's a cotton bath mat that I rippled away and I must say it's a little treasure of mine as it was in the early days when I was following on-line tutorials to help me go beyond the granny square so I am quite fond of this little bath mat.
It was also a time when I thought you could get away with being lazy and just snip snip snip the ends off without sewing them in to your crochet. Needless to say I have long learnt my lesson in being a lazy hooking girl!

Did you spot something else (other than my poorly out of practice painted toes) in the above photo?

 Hello vintage needles

Thank you Macmillan Charity shop for providing these for me to purchase at 20p a pair, they have gone to a good home I promise and oh to think of who used these needles, what they have knitted over the years. I am a romantic and nostalgia makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Knitting needles I LOVE you xox

Hello, what's this?


Isn't it the sweetest little bowl (50p)?
Andy sure don't think so and advised me that it needs to promptly leave the house! Alice thinks "it's gross mummy, I'm on Dad's side" 
So what do you lovelies say ?
I will admit that I was charmed by the floral pattern and also wasn't sure about the whole pyrex joy but I have been coming round to the idea after following the lovely Flora and Purl blog which you can find here
She is a great collector of nostalgic Pyrex xox

And out of the corner of my eye I spotted this

Oh, hello Emu snowball, nice to meet you, I know a little girl who would love to knit you xox
At £1.00 I wasn't complaining and in fact felt a little guilty. My way of dealing with this is to donate my next spring clean charity bag to the Macmillan shop.
I'm not sure about you but I tend to try and give my charity shop bags to certain charities and I forget about how many more need our goods.

Long live sweet charity (shops) xox
I'll leave you with a little photo of 1 picked Auricula flower from Alice's art teacher's garden, they are so beautiful. Alice plans to do a little watercolour of this flower this weekend.

Blessings and sweet memories to you all xox

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Is there an Angel in the house?

What a week of sunshine and blue skies we are having... I even pulled out a pair of my Birkenstock sandals yesterday to let my anaemic toes see the sunshine (sorry not a pretty image!). I just feel my soul lifting in this Spring weather and am overwhelmed at how nature unfolds into a canvas of colour and beauty. Thank you God for my eyesight xox

Don't these pink blossoms just make you squeal with delight?

I feel speechless in Spring, something for those who know me is a rather unusual characteristic for me ( me a chatterbox ? No !) I sometimes think the English language cannot quite describe what extreme joy fills my heart in this season xox I am aware that this only applies to the Northern hemisphere and for all those lovelies down South I am sure you are starting to notice how nature is curling up her colours and bringing out her other beauty as Autumn approaches xox

So...lets talk about Angels in my house. When  I picked my favourite Angel up from school yesterday, she came running up to me and gave me a big hug and said "Mummy I am soooooo excited, I've got some really exciting news for you, you'll never guess what, I've joined the knitting club at school! ". It was the sweetest thing and she couldn't wait to tell me all about it. Now secretly I am feeling Oh frabjulous day! but play it cool, remain calm and collected so as not to put her off the idea!! Isn't her school divine to have a knitting club for year 5 an 6.

Here my angel is when she was 4 years old...

She was a little fairy / angel flower girl for a dear friend of mine's wedding in South Africa and in true South African style she walked down the isle barefoot x

Alice went on to tell me it's a group of grannies that teach us mum... well I stood there and had a quick imaginary scene of me doing such a club when I retire one day..... roll on retirement in 20+ years or so still to go :0)

This morning I packed her knitting into a bag for her to take to do at break time! Am I seeing things.... has she caught the bug?

She asked if she could use this yarn as the yarn provided by the grannies was too squeaky (hee hee, her words not mine).

Long may her relationship with yarn live xox

I also wanted to say thank you to the most fabulous Alice of Crochet with Raymond for mentioning me in her last post. Alice is a true inspiration in all her hooky and needle goodness and has patterns galore to satisfy the soul, do go and visit her if you haven't already. I also seem to have so many more visitors since her post and my followers have crept up too.

So W*E*L*C*O*M*E* to all the new people who are visiting my blog, all your comments are so very much appreciated and I love meeting new crafty people this way and visiting your blogs too.

Back to the angel's..... A few weeks ago I gave into my deep curiosity about mohair, I very rarely knit / hook with anything "skinnier" than 4ply but the softness of mohair has been luring me for some time now and I thought I'd bye 1 ball of Debbie Bliss Angel from here and give it a go

It's very "hairy" but oh so extremely soft, just like a baby's bottom! I found it a bit weired to knit with at first but decided to make myself a very simple garter stitch cowl for next winter (or if we have a silly cold spell before then!). It takes a while to get used to but feels gorgeous and will no doubt be very warm for such a flimsy knit. I'm not sure if I have been convinced by mohair yet but am pleased my curiosity has been satisfied.

I'll pop it on the blog you when it's finished, I thought it might even be nice to sew a sparkly sequin or 2 on this whispy cowl, we'll see. Have you ever tried to knit / hook with mohair?
My crochet granny squares from my last post are coming on a treat and I think I will be making yet another blanket for our front room, then there will be no squabbles about who gets to share one of the two blankets we already have  as we'll each have one for next winter.
I'll leave you with a photo of my African Angel whom I purchased about 6 years ago, I loved her at first sight in the Durban African Arts Centre as she looked fierce and determined and equipped for what lay ahead of her in life xox Bye for now and see you soon xox Enjoy all the Angels in your life.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

I crochet therefore I am

Good saturday sunny morning! Oooooh it's sunny, I have had a fabulous restful night's sleep and I am filled with the joy's of spring today.

I also started something new, something simple, something that any granny would approve of...

Ode to the granny square and all her simple therapeutic goodness!

All made from this yarn and a 4mm hook

The brown is 50% wool found in Lidl yesterday (6 x 50g for £3.99) and the Freedom Spirit bought in C & H fabrics last Saturday, 100% wool (1 x 50g at £4.55 per ball)
I love it!

Thank you God for simple things xox

Wishing you all a free spirited weekend xox

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Dear Diary

Hello all you lovelies out there in the blogosphere. How has the week been treating you so far? Firstly, do you mind if I have a little "dear diary rant" ? I do like to keep my blog a positive, happy place but I feel I need to get this off my chest, so please forgive me for the first bit of this post xox

I have been brooding over some of the negative/nasty comments that some gorgeous / inspiring bloggers  in the land of blog have been getting lately which has brought me round to thinking once again.... Why am I doing a blog, what inspired me to start this in 2009? Do I want to make myself vulnerable to people on the internet sending me negative comments and nasty vibes?

I looked up the definition on Wikipedia here where they define a blog as a blend of the term "web log" and hence it being a log of events/photos/video's etc that are personal to the individual doing the blog and is also defined as a personal online diary which I really loved the idea that it would be something I could have as a chronical / archive of some of the creative aspects of my life which I could keep forever and access from any computer at any time.

Of course having this blog has brought so much more than what was anticipated back in August 2009 and I have discovered all of you and your inspiration that has been such a positive force in my life. As I have already mentioned before in a previous post blogging has become a "hobby" for me and as a result it has brought many smiles, joy, incredible inspiration, knowledge, a break from other responsibilities (being mum/wife/working), a meeting of like minds and a community of strong, beautiful and caring people who find hope and beauty in amongst all the despair and difficulties life / the world can bring. So..... I would like to say a big Thank You for all of the above and I hope that my blog continues to be a little fun time out for you to visit from your busy lives.

Here's to New Life and New Joy !

Oh thank you Mother Nature for all your perfection xox

Do you remember these photographs from my last couple of posts?

Well, today I am bringing you my attempt at a Cath Kidston inspired crochet tea cosy. I do so love pink  and green together so I pulled out my Debbie Bliss bubblegum pink and minty green DK cashmerino yarn and got hooking to produce this sweet cosy.

It was my very first attempt at creating a pattern as such and it was good fun! I know it's by no means perfect and seems a little "holey" in places but I feel quite pleased with the result (perfection is not something I personally aspire to!). As you can see I left a little hole at the top to pop the teapot lid through. I started by chaining 60 and +3 chains for the first treble (Tr) and just carried on in pink and green stripes until I needed to divide in half to crochet one side and then come back to the other, hence creating a space for the spout in my "all in one" tea cosy (is this making sense?)

The teapot handle side was then stitiched from the topof the cosy down to the top of the teapot handle and then I added a button a the bottom of the cosy to close it into a snug hugging teapot cosy. This picture might make more sense than my words!

Then it was time for a little decorating...

Nothing like a bit of ric rac sewn onto the bottom edge of the cosy warm the cockles of my heart xox II am a rather massve fan of ric rac, such childhood memories of my mum sewing all my dresses and adding ric rac for fun x

And there she is, a tribute to CK and the much needed inspiration to kick start me into hooking again! I also had a very strong desire to play with felt and embroidery cotton and so a heart and flower was born. Who know's what will be next? The world is my oyster so they say xox

Anyone fancy a cuppa? xox

Well, that's all folks for the time being.
Wishing you all oodles of inspiration
Little flowers
Butterflies and

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Little pleasures

Guess what? I've hung my washing on the line for the first time this year and it feels goooooood! I love sunshine  on our washed clothes and linens and having a soft breeze blow all the winter cobwebs away :0)

I've also had my little garden gnome helping me pot up some new rose bushes I bought and sew some wild flower seeds for our little courtyard garden. Alice has joined eco-club at school and is really into encouraging insect life and recycling which I am so chuffed about! (shhh...don't tell, I am a little sad she hasn't chosen knitting club yet.... oh well, there is still time and an excuse for me to carry on hooking and knitting so as to set a good example for her... hee hee that's my excuse anyway)

So should we get on with me sharing some of my little pleasures with you this sunny Saturday? Ok then, 

Little pleasure #1: a lovely little parcel was waiting for me on Thursday when I got back from work and it was my blog give-away win I received from the lovely Julie over at Swedish House, I was very happy to receive such a dotty prize, it makes me want to have a polka dot party....hmmm now that's a idea!

Little pleasure #2:

Beautiful, very fragrant daffs picked from a dear friend's allotment this week. This was my lovely friend who was given my last tea cosy and Japanese crochet flower scarf, a perfect exchange of happiness I think.

Little pleasure #3:

A heart cut out for mama by Alice from a galaxy choc wrap x

Little pleasure #4:

New magazines... pure curl up on the couch decadence

I like the look of these upcycling ladies who have called themselves The Skip Sisters (very clever indeed) and their website can be found here with a bit about them, their gallery and links. 

Little pleasure #5:

It's true what they say ~ there's 'nuffin like a puffin ~ I bought these on Amazon at half price and just adore them. I have always been a secret stasher of postcards and this little box of 100 have given me and I'm sure will continue to give me immense pleasure. My inspiration for buying these came from Sue at The Quince Tree who loves puffin publications.

Last but not least a little hint of things to come to this blog...

Little pleasure #6:

Have a pleasurable weekend where ever you are xox

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Needing some inspiration

Did you all have a lovely, blissful weekend? I hope so xox  

It was a busy but lovely one for us, we wallowed in Friday night, went to give almost 1 year old Annabelle her present of home knitted bunting (her birthday is tomorrow so it won't be opened until then) and then after Alice's ballet jetted to Brighton to pick up Papa and spend the night at Granny's house. Sunday was gorgeous with sunnyshine and blue skies and heavenly warmth from the earth. These last 2 days have been so heavenly too, I feel a real spring in my step when it FEELs like spring.

Not sure about your but all my senses need to be stimulated to evoke a feeling / memory. So not only am I greedy for seeing buds appearing, flowers awakening and scents wafting. I need to feel the sun, smell the warmth, hear the birds chirping and taste the joy of spring :0)

A little tiny bit of retail therapy was done for a quick 1hour trek into Brighton town on late Sunday morning and a little visit to here was called for...

Have you got a Cath Kidston shop near you ? I have one 45 minutes drive north of me in Tunbridge Wells and 1 hour drive away to the West of me in Brighton and it's not that often I get a chance to potter in one of her lovely shops. I tend to buy things that are super reduced in the sales or small bits and bobs for adding to presents and sometimes I come away a little inspired (sorry CK but especially after seeing some of the prices and being a wee happy hooker myself)

So firstly I spotted these crocheted tea cosies for a cool £20 !
Love love love pink and green together, not sure if I could replicate the parrot but some flowers might do.

And then there were these for £18 ! Such pretties for the spring time me thinks.

I think it's time to get my hook out again and see what I can come up with ?

And then there were these gorgeous soft cotton waistcoats in delicious colours, so very beautiful but so very much too money for my purse at a cool £68, it did however remind me of the very creative and clever Julia Crossland who has been inspired by a picture of this waistcoat in last month's Country Living magazine and is creating her very own version! She hope's to make a pattern too so I am watching this space with bated breathe xox

One more

If your purse can afford it, you can of course purchase it here

We did make a little purchase for a little someone called Alice who has been pleading for a CK umbrella for sometime now and she is best pleased with her new acquisition and is hoping for rain.....charming :0)

In the meantime, I'm knitting my very first lacey beanie hat which is knitted lace for beginners really as it's something I've wanted to try for ages but just could not find a simple easy pattern to understand until I found this one. It's not very
complicated, just easy for building confidence in all those psso's !!!

I'm using a teal colour of alpaca 4ply yarn which is super soft and will surely keep those last winter chills away before we can go out without layers on (can't wait...layers drive me crazy).

Hopefully this will be finished soon before I attempt a crochet tea cosy and I'll let you see my efforts at lacey knitting.

Hope you all have an inspiring mad march hare week xox