Saturday 30 July 2011

Back in the groove

Hello, how does this sunny Saturday morning find you?

We have had a free spirited much needed week camping in the wilds of the English countryside. So good for my (our) souls, all that fresh air, early nights and mornings. Time to think. Time to talk. Time to read. Time to just be.

Time to be a kid again.

The weather was kind to us, not 1 drop of heavenly rain, still sunsets, only the sounds of children having fun.

Loving the simple life

And a few luxuries from home {little miss Alice knows a thing or two about sleeping well when you have a piece of canvas between you and the elements!}

Considering my own manifesto being inspired by Aardvark-on-sea's latest edition

Dreaming of finishing this cardigan {I'm almost there...}

Having a ge-zillion things swirling round in my head: ideas, words, poetry, emotions,free-spirited desires.

Playing with vintage beads to relax again

Just spending time being me

Re-establishing what modern life strips away

Back in the groove now for the next 2 weeks and then another week of all of the above, can't wait!

See you over the rainbow xox

ps. So sorry if you are having difficulty making comments on my blog, I too am having such difficulty commenting on your blogs... so frustrating, OUT DAMN BLOGSPOT, OUT!

Sunday 24 July 2011

Before I go

I couldn't resist one quick post before we go camping tomorrow. Naughty hey! I think I just like having fun with our camera and want to capture and log moments and pretty images in my life.

So, a couple of posts ago I mentioned my wedding ring and some of you said you'd like to have a look see, so here goes...

It's a very 'me' ring, silver, flowers and no diamonds, only tiny opals.

It wasn't very expensive but it's my most treasured possession.I would be happy to lose all my worldly possessions bar this ring (and all our photo albums of Alice as she has grown up - impossible to replace).

We were at one point talking about wooden rings but instead went for this beauty. I found Andy's ring in an antique shop in Hastings old town, a simple band of white gold.

I wear it with a very thin band of gold which was my maternal grandmother's ring which my mum gave to me when I came to the UK in 1996. It seems to enhance the little gold daisies which I like and the symbolism is enhanced too.

Yesterday, on a breezy Saturday evening some beach combing was needed, some fresh salty air and pebble throwing was needed.

Alice wearing her Shalom Cardy

And last but not least some red dye ( of the hair and not wool kind) to kick start my holidays off

It's very red, I normally just go for auburn but this time I thought, hey I'm in my forty's no need to be graceful and err on the conservative side of life. Excuse the sunglasses but I am VERY photosensitive and have been known to go to be with my sunglasses on (by mistake of course!)

See you all in a week or so xox Happy, blessed and sweet times ahead to you all xox

Friday 22 July 2011

A time for...

Hello and thanks for popping in. It's been an emotional and tiring week but we made it! School is now finished for the summer and our beautiful child will soon be entering into her last year of junior school. My heart melted this morning when I drove her to school, she has grown up so much this year and is just so inspirational and wise in her little ways. It is such such such a privledge to be Alice's mum and although like in life nothing goes right all the time and we have our moments, all in all it's the best journey I've been on in my 41 years, growing her up. 

It's now a time for some rest and relaxation, time to put our feet up (once we've put our tent up) and stop, savour our time together as a family, reflect and daydream.

The result of my "Geurilla Gardening" poppy flower efforts in the front of our house

A time for making daisy chains and playing hide-and-seek.

A time to say goodbye to a very special teacher

and don't forget the apple on the top (hooked up last night)

A time to make memories and be free spirited

Some of Alice's Secret Garden and Vikings school work

A time to feel human again, break free from the moulds and boundries which define our day to day working lives

Boredom can be a great thing
And of course time for woolliness

Progress with the Tappan Zee cardy... can you spot where it's all gone horribly wrong ? I have decided to persevere in finishing it as I think it's good to compare where you have come from as you progress in the joys of knitting !?!

Look forward to seeing you all when we come back from Camping next weekend xox

Monday 18 July 2011

Diamond's are a girl's best friend or are they?

Hello from a wet and windy South East coast, this weekend has been rather wet and un-summer like and I am not going to be best pleased if the weatherman doesn't bring us good news before our camping trip next week :0(

Pretties from some rose plants I bought for £1.99 each in Aldi in April 2011

Did you have a great weekend? I had a busy but happy one with one thing and another occuring in this neck of the woods. I did have the sheer indulgence of watching Gandhi on DVD start to finish on friday night (3 hour epic movie)as Alice was having a sleepover at a friend's house and I loved it just as much as I did when I saw it for the first time about 15 years ago. I have a heart for any social injustice and felt so very inspired by this very beautiful man. If you like long and true story movies this is one to watch. I have Doctor Zhivago next on my 3 hour epic DVD list (I like to watch this movie every 5 years or so). Are you are movie lover? Before we had Alice I used to go to our local arts cinema weekly and get my dose of the weird, wonderful, dark and sometime comical arts cinema projections, these days it's more like snuggle up on the sofa and hire a DVD in the comfort of my ow home.

How on earth did I get on the movie tangent... right, back to the topic at hand!

So, it's all about the subject of diamonds, not of the sparkly kind mind you, rather of the woollen kind {sorry to dissapoint if you were hoping for the former kind}. I don't own a diamond, in fact I have only the tiniest amount of gold on my wedding ring which is mostly a hammered silver band with tiny gold and silver daisies on it with the odd opal stone centre, I'll show you one day if you like? It was designed by an Israeli jeweller and we found it in the Bohemian lanes in Brighton. I didn't want an engagement ring and hence no diamond {I also worry about blood diamonds}.

What I can show you is my latest woollen diamond conquest though, 

Did you spot them? Did I tell you that I had to frogg rows and rows and then re-frogg rows upon further rows of 210 stitches to create such sparkly wonders of my woolly universe! I was like a dog with a bone and was determined to perfect these babies and by the time I did I most defnitely was wondering who suggested diamonds are a girl's best friend!! (I know Marilyn certainly suggested this in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953)

So the blood

sweat and tears

have hopefully paid off and now I can relax before the next row of diamonds are due!

I am in the process of knitting the Tappan Zee pattern found on the oh most fabulous knitty website which is chokka blokka with beautiful designs and patterns to choose from and guess what they are FREE like all the best things in life. This web site was mentioned in Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Knitting book which I purchased back in June and knew I was on to a winner when I first visited it. Have a browse and see what you think, my next dream cardigan I would love to knit is the King of Confidence .... oh scrummy autumnal colours.

I was in my LYS the other day and someone was saying that you should knit for winter in summer despite the heat and of course that makes perfect logical sense but sometimes I just prefer to knit / crochet with cool cottons in the heat.

While I was cursing cherishing conquering my diamond knit yesterday, little miss Alice and her a friend were baking peanutbutter biscuits and shaping them into buttons by making button holes with straw ends from a recipe which I'll share with you. I discovered this recipe when I was about Alice's age (10ish) and have baked them ever since.

Note the 1980's 'olden day' fonts on my mum's type writer

ps. Please note that if you fancy giving these a go there are a few big typo's ie. the millilitres (ml) are meant to be grams (g)and if you take these out the oven after 8-10 minutes they will probably end up nice and chewy if you prefer them that way, trust me I've made these more times than I care to remember. They are delicious and perfect 'dunkers' for cups of tea. 

Of course we had to put a modern twist on them...

A bit of Galaxy chocolate never goes a miss in this household xox

Thanks for popping in and see you all soon xox

Thursday 14 July 2011

How cool is this?

as a huge lover of poetry i couldn't resist sharing this clip that i found via hula seventy 

i hope you found it as inspiring as i have xox augustina woodgate rocks! 

Wednesday 13 July 2011

When Madeline met Debbie

Hello lovelies, it's supposed to be the middle of summer here in the UK and I am sitting here in Levi's, jumper, shawl and socks feeling pleased at being cosy whilst there is a serious nip in the air?! I hope you are cosy wherever you might be, we are going camping in a couple of weeks time when the schools break up and I am praying for some sunshine and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Never mind I guess I'll have my new boneyard shawl to keep me snug.

Does anyone remember this post from September 2010 when I ambitiously bought enough Debbie Bliss yarn to knit a woman's cardigan (see above picture)? Well, it was rather over ambitious for me as an amateur and I frogged it as I got bored and wasn't ready in my "maturity" of being a knitter to take on such a mammoth task. So, slowly but surely I have been knitting smaller, quicker projects as you may have noticed {baby cardigans, shawls, scarves, bags etc}and learning new skills and building my confidence in the world of knitting. Anyway, to cut a long story short I simply had to wanted to knit myself another boneyard shawl (seen here)as soon as I finished my last one. And you must of guessed it by now as per the title of this post I used this scrummy Madeline Tosh yarn bought at Loop in early June (I could only afford 1 skein) to knit another shawl up.

The only problem with this was that I ran out of yarn 3/4 way to the size shawl I had planned to knit, so a marriage of Madeline and Debbie had to happen as I couldn't afford another £20(!!) skein of MT yarn.It's not ideal but for a non-perfectionist like myself it works just fine and with the DB yarn being cashmerino it's extra cosy and snug.

Simply loved knitting this on 6mm needles - super duper fast

I played around with this shawl and did some lace rows instead of following the pattern of a garter stitch every 12rows.

So soft

And snug

And blue

And versatile, I heart this shawl a rather lot xox So much so that it got me happy to be sewing poppy seeds of love x

I love poppy pods and seeds I do I do , they stop me from feeling blue they do xox

Cheerio for now, thank you for all your great comments in my Joy for Life post, I've tried my best to comment on a number of your blogs this week and have found myself rather frustrated with blogger badness and messing me around after typing a lovely long message and then not letting me comment! So forgive me if I haven't commented, it doesn't mean that I haven't popped in.

Sending you seeds of love from the South East of England xox 

Sunday 10 July 2011

Joy for life

Hello, it's me again, it's me feeling a real JOY FOR LIFE this sunny sunday afternoon. Sometimes I want to burst with joy, a joy for my very privledged and blessed life, a life full of grace and gifts bestowed on me. Do you sometimes get like that? Feel as though your heart were going to burst into colour to express a feeling that no human could describe?

Rico cotton blankie hooked up last summer, now covering Alice's sewing chair in the attic.
I am no stranger to feeling low low low down but it's these experiences which have made me enjoy the small, little things that life brings and so I can fortunately see the other sunnier side and appreciate and embrace each moment in my life. Tis a beautiful thing indeed.

I've been a-sewing girl this past week, getting real pleasure out of playing with my over locker and my Elna my mum and dad bought for me for my 20th birthday (I hauled this all the way over from South Africa many years ago and am really getting good use of it of late). I store it in our attic space and only tend to sew in the summer months in view of it not being sealed and heated up there during the winter. It's a kind of creative space for me and Alice where she can also chill out with her friends when they visit. {Note the dual function of "dumping ground"/storage space too]

I've been sewing a couple more Barcelona skirts (found here) and have been experimeting with free embroidery on my Elna.

Cutting up vintage tray cloths ad sewing with some gorgeous embroidery thread...

Such fun to swirl around these pretties

Once I had washed the finished skirt (as in above pic) Alice was concerned that the vintage fabric had frayed but I explained that this was supposed to happen so as to create extra texture to the flowers. I'm please with my first effort at free embroidery on my sewing machine and no doubt will be experimenting more as time goes by.

My JOY for life this weekend extends into my gift of having a child and husband whom I adore and love more and more. Love is a many splendid thing.

And then there is also the joy of doing nothing but drinking cups of tea

Sorting out bookshelves and giving excessive purchases to charity

Reading mags in the sunshine

Considering what to knit next

Despite a number of WIP's (both on the hook and needles)on the go

Ho hum ... let me start another one!

Deep Joy xox

Wishing You All a JOY for your life xox