Sunday, 30 September 2012

Suitcase containing...

Hello there,
It's nice to be on my blog again, this past week has been chokka-blok with allsorts starting with a trip to London to see Wicked last weekend as a surprise 12th Birthday present for Alice. It was AMAZING and the look on Alice's face when we surprised her with the tickets was priceless. We always do holidays and special outings on a shoe string and got tickets for £22.00 each for this fabulous musical from this website which a colleague told me about. It was our very first Westend theatre experience and I think this may very well be the beginning of a long relationship :o)

We also have been baking lots of yummy gooey chocolate brownies from the recipe in the new magazine The Simple things. Totally scrummy with cream or ice-cream. Naughty but nice to share with Penny of Planet Penny blog fame and her family last Sunday, on Alice's birthday on Wednesday and once again for my Macmillan Coffee morning I held with another of my Macmillan colleagues on 28th September. We raised £374.00 pounds and still counting (a few more pounds are still to come in), it was a true success.

To say I had a tiring week is an understatement, after a good rest yesterday I spent some 'me time' doing some fabric choosing cutting, sticking and of course some crocheting.

I've wanted to cover this little suitcase I bought about 8 years ago for Alice's dolly's clothes ever since we did a sort out for charity shops and a car boot sale this year. Andy wanted to get rid of it but somehow I convinced him of it's virtues!

I have always wanted to do this ever since I discovered this tutorial on a Beautiful Mess blog.

I quickly mixed up some of my own home made mod-podge, chose some pretty autumnal-coloured furniture fabric I found ages ago (my new favourite mustard) and got some scissors and a pen to mark my measurements.

I'm rather pleased with the results of this rather fun and quick project. Perfect colours for this season I think. I will need to dab and touch up with a little more glue in the corners and frayed edges to completely secure it, but overall I am quite pleased despite Alice thinking it's rather granny-like!

And inside, what's inside?

My crochet of course :o)

My new retro circle in a square blanket pattern found here on Three beans in a pod blog.

I'm loving handling this Alpaca yarn as the air gets cooler and am even more excited about this baby blanket coming together for one of my colleagues expecting her first bambino in February next year.

That's a little bit from my past week
I am looking forward to having a peek into your worlds this evening before Downton Abbey and a small glass of wine
Cheerio till next time

ps. A warm welcome to my new followers, I am rather taken aback at seeing that I now have's lovely to have you all visit.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dear Alice

Oh darling, you're 12 tomorrow.
Where on earth has all this time gone?
This year is a new chapter in your beautiful life.
One that will no doubt bring it's joys and challenges
as you try to carve out your identity in high school
and at home.
Your sensitive and caring nature and 
subtle sense of humour are never overlooked by your mama.
Your desire to create and express yourself
runs deep and I hope I can continue to encourage this as you look for truth and authenticity in your 12 year old self.

This coming year I think we will see more singing from your lips, tippity toe Grade 5 Ballet point work, painted canvases and mosaic making.
We'll see more sewing and baking and food experimenting and playing with colours. 
We'll see you carving a niche in your new school world and growing in knowledge, independence and grace as you change physically, spiritually and emotionally.
We'll create more travelling memories and step up a peg or two into a different world of literature and self expression.

I'm sure you will keep our days amazing and unpredictable.

Many, many happy returns Alice
It's inconceivable how much we love you.
Mama xox

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I have been hanging out in St. Leonards-on-Sea and Hastings Old Town looking at the architecture, soaking up the atmosphere of the Coastal Currents visual arts festival artists open houses and marvelling at the creative coast we live on.

Artists are happy to chat while tea flows and purchases are made.

It's a lovely event that I look forward to each year. This year I got to pootle around on my own which gave me even more delight, sad, but I like my own company when it comes to events like this. I like to take my time, be absorbed into the moment and enjoy the sensory delights an art festival can bring.

One of my favourite things is to snoop look around the Artists studio's. I feel content in these curious spaces and could stare forever. The smell of turpentine and oil paints brings back such memories of my special friend Bronwen and her fine art studio's over the years. It's a happy memory for me.

Lately, I have found some beautiful charity shop finds for next to nothing. This hand sewn patchwork cushion cover and cushion had to be bought to make it's way to comforting my girly's bottom when she sits at her desk to do her rather large amount of high school homework :o) Alice likes it a lot and that pleases me no end. Plan B would have been a new cushion for my sewing space chair.

Lately, I've found myself snuggling up on the couch as the evenings get cooler and darker earlier and working on my long suffering granny stripe leftover yarn blanket. I worked out that if I try and do at least 4 rows a night it should be ready for when the real winter chills set in. Lets hope so anyway.

I was truly delighted when I found these mid-winter plates, 6 side plates and one serving plate in a charity shop for £2.50! Bargain I thought and also a perfect gift for a fellow South African blogger and thrifty vintage lover living right here in my English sea side town...have you ever visited the fabulous Wendy at her blog 15 Coast Road ? You simply must, she is a marvel at sewing handmade textile accessories and has an etsy shop here, oh and her sense of humour is fabulous.

We eventually met up for a coffee/cup of tea last Saturday and spent a good couple of hours nattering away (maybe me more than Wendy? I tend to talk at a rate of knots, so my husband tells me!). It was great to eventually meet after much conversation on each other's blogs over the past year or so. I was very excited to give Wendy the mid-winter plates because after seeing all her pretty crockery loving and purchases on her blog I knew these would be loved by her. Indeed she was pleased and it was a perfect reason to meet up.

Wendy was very naughty and out of her bag popped three of her stunning makes, two for me and one for Alice. How divine was that? Want to see?

Oh me oh my, I love love the vintage tea towel zippy pouch with those fabulously happy orange flowers. Alice was very pleased with her common blue butterfly pouch and promptly attached it to her school bag to house her coins she takes to school. The sweetest robin pouch for a digital camera is so beautiful Wendy, thank you so much for your immense generosity. We love your makes and celebrate your creative talent indeed.

So, you can see that lately, my life has been a spoilt one for which I am eternally grateful. 

What have you been up to lately?
Found any great charity shop bargains?
Met any fellow like minded bloggers?
Smelt some turpentine Been to any open artists studio's?
Spent an afternoon all to yourself?
Started any winter crochet?

Do tell xox 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Socks: almost, but not quite the same

Hello there, hope you have all had a lovely week? I've managed to snuffle a few moments to myself in amongst the busy-ness of everyday life to finish knitting a pair of Noro sock yarn socks. I'm embarrassed to admit that I started to knit these in way back in April this year. I obviously must of got bored and so they started on the journey of being picked up, put down and picked up again. It's not that I haven't enjoyed making these I think it's the skinny yarn that gets me impatient as it seems to take so much longer but I know it's ultimately worth it.

So, here they are, almost but not quite the same in their colour ways. I tried to co-ordinate the same colour way but alas, it was not meant to be. These turned out a little bit wonky but wonky is always good as far as I am concerned, a perfectionist I am not!

Speaking of imperfections, I've even taken the courtesy of pointing out with a black arrow where I dropped and fortunately managed to pick up a stitch or two. I don't think it's too noticeable, it was on one of my late night,dim lighting knitting ventures.

Here they are in their true glory...

Fun, beautiful mossy and autumnal colours don't you think?

I'm still learning to make perfect socks with no holes or dropped stitches and think I will go for a slightly thicker yarn using 3mm DPN's next time.

I will be wrapping this pair up to give to a special colleague of mine who is soon to be leaving her job and the office we share, she will be sorely missed and I want to make sure she takes some of my woolly goodness away with her x

I'll leave you with a couple of stunning sunset photo's from Thursday last week, it was too beautiful not to try and capture on my camera.

Thanks for visiting, I do love your comments and conversation.
Cheerio for now
See you all soon

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Thanks so much for all your comments about my yarn bombing fun, it has made me smile somewhat and I am amazed that it's still intact on the arm of the bench. I think I might just have to bomb some yarn before the end of this year, maybe something bigger and more noticeable... we'll see.

Have you seen this new magazine, The Simple Things from the makers of Mollie Makes? It includes all the simple things that I love in life, my home, eating, growing, making, escaping and just living a simpler life. My new year's resolution was just about this, unwinding and Living Simply. It's not always easy to keep things simple but I do try and lean that way. I look forward to reading this magazine and love what I've already seen so far. Five pounds is a little bit pricey but they do offer a special deal of £5 for the next 3 issues which is a good deal I think and by then I can decide if it's worth the price or not.

So...this post will be to celebrate the simple things that have been giving me joy lately in my life.

Country cycling with Andy and Alice with backpacks and a simple cheese, fruit and bread lunch under a tree.

Buying cheap free range eggs from a local farm to make simple omelettes for tea.

Relaxing with my girly doing some mosaic colouring in and celebrating her brilliant result in her Grade 4 ballet exam with a sweet mouse and tutu bought from a local shop.

Going for a countryside pub sundowner with my Andy. 

Soaking up the last of the Summer rays on the beach and having a little more hooky fun with my covered pebbles.

Loving swallows on a wire

Baking fairy cakes with a chocolate twist(lump of choc in the centre before popping in the oven)
Recipe: Cream 175g butter with 175g brown caster sugar, 3 beaten eggs,add one egg at a time. Fold in 175g self raising powder and bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Oh and pop a piece of chocolate in the centre for extra scrumminess - Simple!

And last but not least, stopping to smell the flowers.

Simply perfect.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead lovelies.
See you all soon.

Monday, 3 September 2012


Take one crocheter with her new twine and one pestering thought

Wait for the sun to start setting

A little fox (or cat? as Andy thinks it looks more like)I freestyle knitted a while ago, a needle and some sun glasses for going incognito...well sort of :o)

A bicycle to make a quick escape on

Waiting for cars to leave and people to go home

Find a bench near an iconic building

And yarn bomb it!

It took courage but I did it!

I have been planning a yarn bomb for months now. I am a graffiti knitter hee hee, it's tickled me pink, such that I needed to share this with you.

I wonder if it will be noticed?
I wonder how long it will last there for?
I wonder if this is the beginning of me becoming a guerilla of the yarny kind ;o)

Have you ever yarn bombed? Do you think you might?
I'd love to know.
See you all soon


We escaped to the Cotswolds for a few days last week and it was sheer BLISS to let the wind blow us westwards to Gloucestershire to re-unite with old friends and the beautiful lush green country side. 

Not only is it about creating beautiful memories and the reminiscing about our South African days when we were in our early twenties, it's about celebrating and embracing the beauty of our lives here in this place we call home and those of our children.

It all ended in a few salty tears.
Until it happens again...