Sunday 28 November 2010

Winter wonderland

Hello everyone, we are so excited here on the south east coast of England, yesterday snow arrived and a little someone and her friend were very enchanted by it...

This morning we have woken up to a real winter wonderland and the snowflakes are coming down thick and fast, time to get the sleigh out me thinks. Or I could send Alice and Daddy out and I could stay at home tucked up, with a cuppa and indulge in some hooky or knitting busy-ness!

Hope it's a wonderland wherever you are this Sunday xox

Thursday 25 November 2010

Cushy cushion

Today I am excited, yes very excited to show you my completed cushion!
What a labour of love this has been together with my "candy granny square" blanket.

Here it is yesterday

And here it is today... {drum roll} ta dah!

I am loving the posy in the centre

This was a very easy pattern to follow and I was fortunate enough to find a round feathered pillow in Dunelm Mill for £2.50 which I snapped up.

The pattern goes as follows:
  • I used DK organic cotton with a 4mm hook
  • dc (USA) = tr (UK)
  • Chain 4 and slip stitch to form a ring
  • Round 1: chain 3(counts as 1 dc) followed by 10 dc into the ring, join with slip stitch to 3rd chain of initial chain
  • Round 2: chain 3, 1 dc into same stitch and then 2 dc into each dc from the 1st round, totaling 22 stitches in your circle
  • Round 3: chain 3, 1 dc into same stitch, *1 dc into next stitch, followed by 2 dc into next stitch* repeat between ** to complete the circle round and always end with a slip stitch into 3rd chain of initial chain
  • Round 4: chain 3, 1 dc into same stitch * 1 dc into next 2 stitches, followed by 2 dc into next stitch* repeat between ** to complete the circle round, end with a slip stitch into 3rd chain of initial chain
  • Round 5: as above but * 1 dc into next 3 stitches, followed by 2 dc into next stitch*
  • Round 6: as above but * 1 dc into next 4 stitches, followed by 2 dc into next stitch*
  • Round 7: as above but *1 dc into next 5 stitches, followed by 2 dc into next stitch*
  • Continue going round to make the size cushion you want always increasing by 1 stitch in each round. You can make this as stripy as you like by changing colours in the rows as you go along
I hope this pattern makes sense, it's a very typical "round" pattern which can be found on ravelry too.

As for the flowers I learnt how to make them from the absolutely fabulous Alice . The link to Alice's blog will take you straight to her tutorial on making these roses, easy peasy but oh so effective. Thank you Alice for all your inspiration xox

So that's all folks....Have a cushy day everyone xox

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Nearly there...and a ta dah moment

Hello everyone, I have had a busy work week so far and with Mr. A away on business in Switzerland I somehow THOUGHT I may have more time to finish my WIP's... ha ha little did I know that little Miss Alice had her own plans. Plans that would involve baking biscuits, making Christmas cards, watching the odd DVD, doing homework, playing libraries, looking for ladybirds in the frozen mornings, building a(nother !!) den and writing a play for opening night when daddy comes home on Saturday!

She is a heavenly girl and my very bestest friend and so she thought it might be fun if we did "what mummy wants"  last night...oh boy I ran for my needles, hooks, yarn anything I could get my hands on and we resorted to her continuing to knit her scarf (from last winter!) and me edging towards finishing off 2 priority projects before a friend's birthday on Friday. Oh yes, I also managed to squeeeze in some fingerless mitts for Alice, perfect for playground playing whilst at school.

The purple stripes match her beanie hat I made for her in early November

She is most pleased with all that purple power.

Now for a little ta-dah today, I can't believe what a crazy woman I've become rushing home by 3.30pm to get a reasonably decent photo if it's been a sunny day and before it sets! My neighbours are starting to worry about me and my outdoor snap shots!!!
So here is that candy granny blanket for Jennifer's birthday, it seemed to take for eeeeeeevvvvver and I did get extremely bored after I had sewn the candy coloured squares together and then had to go round and round and round to make it bigger. I got so lazy at the end that I didn't even do a picot or shell edging... but I must say I am pleased with the colours, happy and candy.

The purple made me happy at the end, I think it has given the blanket a slightly funky edge.

Now for the "nearly there" reveal...

Alice will have to be patient with me tonight as I aim to try and have this finished by tomorrow ( I thought we could play wool shop later, do you think she'll buy that?), it's all the boring bits that need to be done, adding buttons, sewing up etc and I need to crochet a few leaves too, watch this space for the FO xox

On the way home yesterday I popped into one of my LYS's to buy some red buttons and had a close encounter of the crochet book kind...

Ooooooooooooooo Christmas has come early ! A friend of mine has this delicious book which I have drooled over in the past and since it was there begging me to purchase it and give it a good home I simply could not resist, so the hooky library grows ;0)

Oh and these cyclamen's needed a good home too !

Another little surprise that came my way over the last couple of weeks were two lovely blog awards firstly from Planet Penny

and secondly from Stitch of love

Thank you so much I feel rather special! and I shall pass these on to other bloggers soon, when I have a mo. 

Well, it's time for me to get busy, so I shall say goodbye with a picture of today's sunset thinking of all those families and friends of the very tragic miners who died at Pike River mine in New Zealand today xox

Monday 22 November 2010

Weekend happiness

A big hello and warm welcome to all who dip into my little world. It's ever so good to meet all you like minded people out there.

Well, this past weekend was gloriously busy and full of family and friends and art and design and a wee bit of needle clicking and hookin' too. We went along the coast to Brighton, where Mr. A was born and bred, we are so fortunate to have his mum living there so we can go away for weekends at a time.

I had the joy of going to Made 10 the annual pre-christmas Brighton design and craft fair on Saturday afternoon which was fabulous, so good to meet some of the artists and designers in person.

I only bought a couple of brooches as most things were fairly pricey but I got huge inspiration which is for FREE and this for me often is the best part of these fairs!

Brighton is a vibrant exciting city with an eclectic mixture of people. I love the north lanes which is more on the creative, bohemian side and when we used to live here we always hung out in the cafes and pubs and markets around these lanes.

I thought these were fun in a window display of a "paint your own" ceramics shop.

My favourite was finding these knitted seagulls in the window

How brilliant are these gulls! If you have ever been to Brighton you will know all about the seagulls that frequent the town from the beach and I couldn't help but take a real liking to these gulls of the knitted variety {scarf and all!!}.

They are made by the brilliant Cardigan of Brighton who also had a great display at the design and craft fair which I attended. Have a look at Kate's website, it's full of amazing crochet art and design.

As for me and my hooky adventures, I managed to sqeeeeeze some in, between all the activities of the weekend and unfortunately can only give you a little peek as the weather and light is foul this afternoon. So, hopefully in the next couple of days I might be able to give you all ta da moment.

Such a bad photo, I'm sorry but as I said it's virtually impossible to get a picture on these grey days.

I'll leave you with a pretty pic I took on Saturday morning... on my walk into town and look forward to reading your blogs and cross fingers bring you more of my creative completes!

Have a beautiful week where ever you are xox

Friday 19 November 2010

Pudsey Bear needs you

Hello everyone, I'm popping in for a quick visit to have my say on Children in Need day here in the UK (for those who don't live in the UK you can take a look on their web site) This is a quote from their mission statement:

'Our mission is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK. Our vision is a society where each and every child and young person is supported to realise their potential'.

Pudsey Bear is the mascot for children in need


Like many schools here in the UK, Alice's school has encouraged all the kids to come to school in anyting spotty to raise funds for this very worth cause. So over here down by the sea side we obliged of course...

Alice had her felt tips out last night and had great fun drawing on these shorts!

And then there was mummy's touch...

Later on today we will have the joy of watching one of her teachers having a baked bean bath to raise money :0) 

We are off to Brighton for the weekend to spend time with granny and to spend tomorrow afternoon at the annual Design and Craft fair which is simply superb and has mouth drooling goodies to admire and buy.

In between all the activities my fingers will do the talking! I plan to complete my crochet cushion, candy granny blanket and fingerless hand warmers for watch this space, some real ta da moments to be revealed next week.

So I wish you all things bright and beautiful this weekend xox

Tuesday 16 November 2010

A royal weekend break

Hello all of you lovelies our there, it's been great to read your blogs, to meet some new people too and of course to stay in contact with my "daily reads". I must also say a huge thank you for your comments about my bunting and bay windows, I just took great delight in reading them all.

Now, back to this past weekend. Mr. A and I had a night in London on Sunday night and we left our Alice in the capable hands of her twin friends Katie and William's parents. A little bit of "What Katie did" and "Just William" went on in 24 hours and I know Alice thrived on all the fun. Guilt trip over.... we then got ourselves on a train up to Covent Garden, a favourite place for us to stay in the city.

We decided to walk from Victoria Station via Westminster as I have to see Big Ben when I go to London (I think it's because I am not British born and bred and still feel like a tourist when I go to London) 

It was a bit grey and grim but never mind I was still excited to be there. These photo's were taken on my mobile phone camera and I must say the quality seems OK.

Now, the reason we went to London was to go here

have you guessed where it is yet....maybe this will help

Yes, it's the Royal Albert Hall which was the most magnificent experience words cannot describe, I feel so privileged to have seen this orchestra there

The Cinematic Orchestra are my gorgeous hubby's favourite at the moment and he has seen them twice before, I have heard their music um teen times as the CD's are often on the go but WOW they are even more incredible in the flesh. Have a look at the you tube video below this post to experience some of their genius. I have deep love for their spectacular spectacular right now. Hope you enjoy xox

It was great to wake up on Monday morning, potter around Covent garden shops

Mr. A walking past my favourite make of shoes' FLY London shop, ....hmmm that told me something. No shoe purchasing for Penelope! The shoes are a little pricey so I'll wait for the sales as I am sure to get a bargain (or 2!)

These were great fun, I tried them on and felt avant garde and eccentric, sadly not purchased but momentarily enjoyed.

Coffee in Covent garden whilst listening to a string quartet, admiring the christmas baubles and market stalls opening up

and then back home on a 2 hour train journey to the sea side and in time to fetch Alice from school. And, to keep me cosy on the streets of London, a super chunky new scarf knit up happened 48 hours before we went away xox

I hope you have had a lovely weekend and that the beginning of your week is going just fine and dandy xox

The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build a Home

Friday 12 November 2010

The big C word i.e. Christmas

Hello gorgeous people, today I will not be complaining about our weather for fear of boring you to tears. Instead I bring greetings of peace, love and joy for tis the season to be jolly (well almost the the window displays in shops are telling me). So I have decided to go FESTIVE and to mark this occasion some bunting / garland needed to be hooked to help me cope with that darn candy granny blanket!

My inspiration came from the very clever Penny over at Planet Penny who devised this gorgeous cotton snow white pattern herself and one which I hooked up in no time and took great delight in making. Do look at her blog for inspiration and colour fixes xox

So now for a little ta dah moment, first the blocking which I really take displeasure in doing until I realise what a difference it makes. I also sprayed some of my Dylon starch spray over these beauties to make them as stiff and crisp as possible.

Just pretty and lacey and 'christmassy' and as white as the pure snow, I love them. You can find the tutorial for these on her blog if you fancy giving them a try.

Mr. A and Alice and I decided we needed 7 for our front bay window 2 by 3 by 2 to fit these blank looking sash windows

{I have just noticed my shadow in the window whilst taking this photo, my lovely 90+ year old neighbour Nellie popped her head out the door and thought it most curious that I was taking a photo of the house. I didn't tell her it was for my blog as she would have thought that as even more bizarre!} 

I usually hang pretty homemade colourful bunting up in the spring and summer and didn't realise how much I miss it, and how boring our front room window looks in the winter.

So from boring looking to slightly more seasonal, festive looking....ta dah

Alice and I love them so far but will Mr. A notice them when he comes home in the dark tonight? Sssshhh we like tricking him and take a bet on how long it will take before he notices them (it's a girly conspiracy thing, hee hee).
As the festivities start an exponential rise here from about December the 1st, I am sure a few more tasteful beauties will be placed in our bay window which I will reveal in the next few weeks.

Until them, have a great weekend, I will look forward to perusing your blogs later tonight, but for now I'm late, I'm late for an important date i.e. tea and cake with a new friend xox

Thursday 11 November 2010


Dearest lovely fellow bloggers, where oh where is this?

I NEED some sunshine to take photographs of my latest crochet finished project and my camera is saying no way to photography in weather like this

To say I feel a little frustrated would be under estimating my emotional radar this late afternoon. How do you cope trying to take photos indoors and stop creating a shadow every time you lean over ? I think I need to take a leaf out of Alice and Raymond's book and take my pretties on a location tour to get the right light ;0)

Once my daughter Alice and I made a papier mache sunflower after 3 weeks of solid grey and pretended it was the real deal ... anything to keep the blues away. Right now it's lots of colour and cake in our house, and maybe just maybe I might be able to squeeze a photo or 2 in tomorrow!

Hope your days are filled with sunshine, rainbows, butterflies and little flowers , see you all soon xox

Monday 8 November 2010

Aint no sunshine

Well, if that was Monday we have had it ... today for those of you not in the UK was exceptionally windy, wet and grey but somehow I didn't mind, gosh I must be feeling better. Today I filled my day with more colours and being cosy with my WIP's (I only have 3 on at the moment !!)

So this post is about colours and two of my WIP's, I hope the beginning of your week has been colourful too and thanks for popping by and sharing my world for a little while xox

Haribo sweeties, I can't help being a big kid sometimes.

Red red roses from my love, popped into an old vintage tin coffee pot and decorated with Alice's blue tit and robin drawings.

Quinces from a friend's tree and apples made into a steaming hot crumble for pudding this evening.

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down .... look at those green gate colours !!!

One beautiful girl threading a bobbin on her wee little singer sewing machine (notice the sticker decorations!! I didn't mind as we bought this in the summer from a car boot sale for £5 and we have a more advanced one 'waiting in the wings' when she is old enough for it bought from a colleague of mine)

One Debbie Bliss cashmerino man beanie coming up. Hopefully this will be finished before the end of the winter!

(has anyone noticed it's the DB yarn I purchased for this cardy .... oops, I can see myself writing out a 100 times 'I must not buy yarn, start a project and not finish it, I must not....' etc etc. tee hee)

And last but not least my candy grannies are still plodding along, I am getting tres bored of this project but HAVE to finish it by 26th Nov for my friends birthday, all I want to do is hook up flowers to sew onto the blanket. I am getting no pleasure at the moment from going round and round and round in trebles... it seems my desire for slightly more challenging crochet is trying to prove a point here. Oh well, I'll be sure to share the FO with you before the 26th. The colours are pleasing me, so that's all that matters x

And finally my suggestion to the weather man tomorrow is... rain rain go away, come back another day, for we all want to play

Have a superb week wherever you are xox