Saturday 30 October 2010

Me, myself and I

It's sooooooo good to be back in the land of blog, half term holidays have been busy with a big B. Alice and I visited a special friend of mine and her kids in the beautiful Cotswolds area of England

It was like going into a time warp... such 'picture postcard' perfect England. We had a wonderful time catching up, drinking copious cups of tea and watching our children climbing trees and having countryside adventures. Such bliss xox

In the back of my mind I knew I had a day of sheer indulgence ahead of me, a day when I could wallow in the joy of no mummy / family responsibilities and all  had to do was please ME. Don't you just love days like that, they are like gold dust and I get myself into a frenzy of excitement thinking I'll do this and that and more... but today I decided to keep it simple and just potter.

Yes, just potter around town in charity shops, florists, yarn shops, book shops, sewing shops and more. It dawned on me how fortunate I am to walk into town and have all of this on my door step.

Most of my pottering revolved around books starting in our divine local library (my plan was to find a knitting pattern to knit Alice a winter beanie hat)

Next came some of these beautiful ornamantal cabbages which had to be bought for our dining room table. Such irresistable colourful beauties.

Then some more drool over cooking and art books in the De La Warr Pavillion shop.

and then a spot of home made carrot and lime soup in a fab fair trade cafe in town, mmmmm just delicious on an autumnal sunshine day ;0)

after which a leisurely look around the latest exhibition at the Pavillion and a wonderful book on the exhibition purchased and popped into my bag

then a ticket to see the all incredible Laurie Anderson on November the 6th purchased and safely folded into my bag. I have always loved her music and performance art and used to listen to her when I was at university and nearly fell over when I discovered she was performing down the road from me! What a treat and priveledge it will be to see her.

then into the charity shops to come away with two funny 1980's knitting and crochet books... they make me smile and remind me of my teenage years and my mum's hand knits x

check out the granny square cardy :o)

and last but not least a quick visit to the Owl and sewing cat a gorgeous little sewing shop around the corner from me.

How delicious are those fat quarters ...

A sweet cotton teacup fat quarter needed to be bought and some buttons for my stash and then I pootled to my last visit of the day one of my local yarn stores (I am spoilt there are 3 within a few minutes of my home)

Bought to make our darling daughter a winter hat, I was under strict instructions to buy various shades of plum and purple!

That's my day so far, now I'm off to curl cup on the couch get on with knitting Alice's hat and listen to woman's hour catch up on Radio 4. x Bliss x
Hope you have found some time for yourself this weekend xox

Saturday 23 October 2010

Candy grannies

Hello everyone, how is your weekend treating you so far? I feel so relaxed and happy knowing that I have a few days off next week to have fun and special times with Alice in her half term holidays. 

I just wanted to share a quick post with you today, some candy goodness really. I have a deadline to make and finish a granny square blanket for my lovely friend Jenny who is having a birthday on 26 November. I love her so as she has always encouraged me to make my handmade goodies and has always been a willing recipient over the years at Christmas and birthdays.

She is a huge Cath Kidston fan an so in honour of that I decided to make a big granny square blanket for her in candy colours that remind me of Cath Kidston's range of colours she uses. SO this is what I started last night...

These colours are cheering me up on these autumnal rainy days ;o) So watch this space for progress with this beauty.

Do you see my candy striped plastic bag in the above photo? Well, Alice likes going to our local pound shop (a bit like a dollar shop in the US) where they sell everything for a pound and I haven't popped in for a while and woe behold there is a candy striped bag begging to be bought this morning. I thought it would be perfect for moving my yarn around the house (hee hee) Mr. A sometimes says I am taking over all our spaces and so this should solve the problem x

Now the pound shop adventure continues as I spotted in the corner of my eye a rainbow of DK YARN !!!! Oh my goodness I felt a bit weak at the knees and came away with 8 balls of these happy colours. I know you can't expect amazing quality for £1 a shot and there were a couple of brands but I liked the feel of this the most...{King Cole Pricewise}

Gorgeous isn't it xox

I will say goodbye with a lovely painting (Roy Lichtenstein) done by our darling Alice for her daddy on father's day this year x

Have a restful and wonderful weekend and see you all soon xox

Thursday 21 October 2010

Angels and friendships

Hello lovely people out there in the world.

It warms the cockles of my heart to read your comments and to visit your blogs, thank you for stopping by. It is amazing what blogging does for one's inspiration and what new friendships of like minded people it creates.

This week I had the pleasure of having a cup of tea with the lovely Penny from Planet Penny in my home town whilst she was visiting her family who live locally. It was so good to and almost surreal to meet someone whom I have met through my blog, it made this cyberspace world REAL. Unfortunately we only had an hour or so to chat (most of which I think I monopolised !!! sorry Penny I have a problem with being garrulous!!!) and sit in the autumnal sunshine at my favourite art deco beauty of a building the De La Warr Pavilion which is a 10 minute walk away from my home.

Here is a photo of it's stunning stair case. Do visit the web site for more info about the De La Warr if you fancy.

I was very spoilt by Penny and was given these lovelies...

How beautiful they are in the early morning sunshine of my lounge. Thank you Penny xox Do go and visit her lovely blog for inspiration and joy (see link above).

I am also pleased to say that I have finished my scarf (as seen here) just in time for the super speeded into winter chills over the past couple of days and am pleased with all the warmth it's wrapping me up in ;0)

I love the way the yarn has manifested into an array of warm colours. I think I will be using more of this cheap and cheerful yarn.

Thank you for your comments about my tea cozy, one of my colleagues at work has asked me for one, so I am busy contemplating colours for her white with pink dots tea pot. I found this lovely yarn in my LYS on sale a while back and am itching to use it. It feels gorgeous and is 60% cotton and 40% merino wool.

Maybe I need to get Alice doing some crochet... I got so excited when I found and bought this lovely ladybird book for her in a charity shop a couple of weeks ago.

 I was going to put it in her "christmas collection" something I start at about this time of the year as I like to put thought into my pressies and I don't know about you but I need time for that!

Somehow, I think it might be given to her next week in half term holidays and maybe we can do some hooky together (hee hee).

Well it's time for me say cheerio and see you all soon. I will share a photo of my beautiful angel who resides in my lounge made by my even more beautiful friend in South Africa.
Have a great rest of the week xox

Friday 15 October 2010

It's tea time

What a relief it's the end of the week, a big happy hello to all of you kind people who pop by and leave sweet comments. I am just brimming with relief as today I had to present a 2 hour workshop on 'goal negotiating' to my colleagues at our clinical away day! Phew,I can feel the stress leaving as we speak, changing human behaviour is one difficult task.

Now, enough of that lets talk tea, tea pots, tea cups, cakes, cake stands, teaspoons, cake forks, doilies, Victoria sponge .... oh the list could go on and on. I am partial to a cuppa or two {or ahem 3,4,..7} and I get rather irrational if I have not had my tea fix! I am not a huge coffee drinker but I think I can parallel my cravings and desire for tea with that of coffee lovers. What do you think ? Any other tea maniacs out there ?

And then there is the subject of keeping one's tea warm... which leads nicely into my latest make {I hope you have picked up the hints over my last two posts?} for my sister-in-law's handmade wedding pressie tomorrow. I'm so excited about it, it's thrilled me to the core making this. So here goes...

First a  pretty card and paper

One naked looking chilly teapot

Ta dah... one cozy dressed, tarted up delicious tea pot xox

Oooh I love you raspberry tea cozy I do

Do you like my crochet flower and leaves?
and there is my little blue bird of happiness peeking over the side

The pattern for this tea cozy is on and if you type in tea cozy in the free patterns section you will find about 24 if I can remember correctly, one of which is this incredibly easy peasy pattern which looks impressive but I am convinced all beginners could easily do. I feel another one coming on, maybe of the blue persuasion.

Oh happy day, that's all folks, have a lovely weekend everyone, I've got me a wedding to get to xox

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Hand therapy

Hello lovely blog visitors, thanks for popping by today. I am feeling soooo much better, more alert and in control of my deadlines both at work and home! So, how have I coped these past 10 days or so? I think it might not come as a surprise to you that my fingers did the talking... or is that hooking?

So to begin with, I found myself in a Waterstone's Book shop on Saturday afternoon (For those of you not living in the UK, it's a divine, heavenly, all consuming UK book store chain) with the intention of Alice choosing a book with one of her birthday book voucher presents she kindly received. 

Well... now that she is 10 and oh so very BIG and wanting a little more independence I left her in the children's section and scuttled up the escalator to the knitting and crochet section. Oh boy oh boy, this is not good for my purse control. After at least 1 hour of perusing the beautiful books in this section I gave into temptation and bought this beauty.

And what a beauty this baby is ! I thought long and hard over the dilemma of choosing a US book since as you know the terminology for 'crochetology' is different from the UK terminology but after a while I realised that it wouldn't be an obstacle to stop me from spending £16.99 xox 

It's FULL of patterned crochet techniques written in a lovely, simple way (I need idiot's guides I do) and have fabulous pictures to help you along. I decided to promote myself from an easy to intermediate pattern and started making this scarf for a Christmas pressie.

It's really easy peasy and dare I say addictive and a wool chomper deluxe but oh so worth seeing it appear row after row. This is the cheap yarn I used ( it reminds me of pricey Noro which I love but is a 1/4 of the price) which is all autumnal and cosy with 30% wool and easy to wash. You may remember I used a more orange/pink variety of  this yarn here to make my fingerless granny gloves.

Would you like to see a closer pic of my scarf ? here we go...

This is what the picture in the book looked like, mine is tighter and more compact as I chose to use a 3mm hook, but you can do as you please really.

and here is a pic of the pattern, I am more than happy to post this pattern if anyone fancies giving it a go ? {all you experienced crochet gals probably would be able to interpret the pattern from this picture}

So, I have got through this busy patch in my life with some fabulous hooky and knitting hand therapy and as I am sure you guessed from my "What's that mummy?" post I have knitted a tea cosy for my sister-in-law's handmade wedding pressie to go with the teapot,milk jug and sugar bowl we have purchased for her. So, I will give you a sneak pic at what I have been making to decorate it with and then promise to post some completed pictures (and the pattern link)  as I have a deadline to meet before the wedding on Saturday xox

Have a great week and I'll wish you luck as I wave you goodbye xox

Sunday 10 October 2010


On the way back from church this morning Alice and I realised it was 10/10/10 as I am sure most of you would have by now, so I thought it would be fun to tell you 10 things about me:-

  • I was born in South Africa and grew up in Durban where I lived till I was 26 and came over to London for some adventure and the adventure has continued over the past 14 years!
  • I did a 4 year honours degree in Dietetics and now work in the specialised field of neurosciences and love working with people suffering from neurological disorders
  • My closest friend in South Africa is a fine artist and had a incredibly big influence in my life during university and my early 20's, hence my love for art
  • My lovely mum and dad still live in Durban and my sister lives in New York, my mum is amazing she taught me how to sew, crochet and knit and she is one of the most humble people I have the joy of knowing xox
  • I am a bit of a socialist at heart and despise social injustice, I went to Israel for a year in the early 1990's and worked in various kibbutz's
  • I love vegetarian food and although I am not the worlds best cook I love to bake
  • I love forests ad deserts very much, is it possible to live in a forest in the middle of a desert?
  • I would not be able to live without poetry and English literature in my life
  • I would love to go in a hot air balloon one day
  • I never thought I would get married and be a mum, I never dreamt about wearing a white dress and having a home of my own, but boy oh boy am I glad this happened to me. I am extremely blessed xox
Here is a little pic of Andy and I on our wedding day ...

Are you having a good 10:10:10 day ? Do you want to tell me 10 more things about yourself ? I'll look forward to hearing from you xox

Thursday 7 October 2010

What's that mummy?

Hello lovely people out there in the blogsphere. Thanks soooo much for stopping by it's ever so nice to chat to old and new "blog" friends and see what you have been up to. I really appreciate your comments and try to visit all of your blogs if you have one.

Now,  I haven't quite finished my current WIP and need to get a move on before my sister-in-law's wedding on 16th October. We have decided on a gift for her and her man to be that is practical but will be a beautiful addition to their little household, something I couldn't live without and something they will hopefully be able to use the whole of their married life. I'm trying not to give too many hints as I thought we could have a little fun with you guessing what it is... {Lovely Alice you already know what this is I think}

Alice, our daughter asked me "What's that mummy?" It looks like a knitted creature from under the sea.... So why don't you have a go and guess what this is

And another...

Have you guessed yet? Here is the last but not least rather obvious (tee hee) photo  

A completed WIP post will be revealed soon xox

I went to my sister-in-law's hen doooo last weekend and had such fun, lots of laughter, cake, then bubbly and delicious Vietnamese food. I gave her some pretty flowers very similar to those that I had in my posie when I got married and a little love heart sweetie badge that a special friend of mine made from a form of clay. It's just a bit of fun so here they are...

Have a wonderful rest of this week xox

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Autumnal bake off

Good morning , good evening , good greetings to you all where ever you are in this world. Thanks so much for reading and commenting on my posts, I truly get a smile on my face each time I see a new comment and make a new friend in the 'blogosphere' (this is what Mr.A calls it when he sees me smiling and giggling to myself whilst entranced by the lap top!)

Currently, I am rather B.U.S.Y to say the least and work and mummy commitments are full on at the moment, which doesn't make me unhappy just a little impatient to have ME time to hook and knit and bake and grow and sew and read and write letters and and and .... the list could be endless I kid you not. So, I am about and am getting a buzz from the your lovely journals in the blogosphere when a spare moment arrives.

I thought I would make this post short and sweet and tell you about my Autumnal Bake Off here in our little home over the weekend. I made my very first pie ever! I cheated though and bought the puff pastry but I found a lovely scrummy recipe in my favourite vegetarian cookbook by Rose Elliot (my vegetarian goddess) who uses everyday ingredients to help you make super scrummy munchy stuff like this baby...

Now, I am not the world's best cook, but I do try and for a first attempt in my 40 years I think I did OK (I need a pie dish, this was baked in a cake tin... is that sacrilege in the cooking world ?)

My family enjoyed it with some crunchy steamed broccoli and inside this meagre little pie were a few of these ...

Leeks, oh the joy of leeks such a winter veg in the UK, as a South African living here for the past 15 years I have come to pay homage to this vegetable which was never part of my diet in tropical Durban where I grew up and simply love them. Rose Elliot's recipes are dead simple and always taste sooo good. I often look at what I have in the way of veg and 99% of the time I can guarantee I will find an easy and delicious recipe to follow.

Our meal was followed by another heavy yummy autumnal sensory delight made from these...

My raspberries were frozen from a month ago when we picked our own (I love just eating frozen raspberries with a little plain yoghurt, simple but oh so nice)

and the end product was... you guessed it Apple and Raspberry crumble

 Topped with soya dream (cream) mmmmm....

Ahhh that's better, thanks for stopping by , watch this space for my funky ? tea cosy coming soon , have a beautiful week lovely people xox