Wednesday 31 August 2011

Afore I go

Pretty buttons I bought in Clothkits, Chichester
Two days count down before I go to my Nutrition and Dietetics Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden and I'm feeling excited about going to my first international conference, a bit like when I was little and knew we were doing something exciting the next day!

But, afore I go I wanted to share with all you lovelies out there in the land of blog my completed cardigan and another finished project. 

Unfortunately, it's too humid and sunny here today to show you photo's of me wearing it. I did try but after one shot I had to pull it off as it is rather chunky and warm....perfect for those autumnal days to come.

Oh this was so gorgeous to knit, the pattern suited a beginner like me and I've got the 'knit factor' of satisfaction in learning new skills out of this pattern for sale on Ravelry. In fact I just love all of Veera Valimaki's knitted designs found here. Her instructions are lovely and clear and made perfect sense to my grey matter!

I like the fact that it's an inside-out stocking stitch effect cardigan and that the right front side is bigger than the left front side. I knitted in with Paton wool, aran weight and it is super snug too. Another little touch I liked was the feminine coming in a little at the waist which is more complimentary than straight up and down sides {you should be able to spot this in the above picture}. This cardy will be in my suitcase on Friday :0)

 And now for my great excitement I MUST show you my two needled socks I completed on Monday night. I started these back in April this year {blogged about them here} and got 3/4 of the way through and for some reason or other {probably boredom ?} I discarded them in my WIP pile. Last Sunday eve I did some tidying up and sorting out and re-discovered these pretties and with a new found enthusiasm finished them. So please indulge me at I reveal my finished socks {it would sound rather odd to someone who doesn't knit or crochet that I took some photos of my feet this afternoon and showed them to the world!}

Drum roll please.... Ta dah!

I think the right one is a little (actually a lot, but still feels comfy to wear) smaller than the left...a testament to my knitting skills improving over the months as the left sock had no mistakes when I finished it on Monday.

I am rather pleased with these delicate pretties and yes the will be in my suitcase on Friday too.

I feel a little like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz in these socks and shoes, just need to skip down the yellow brick road now xox

Hope you've enjoyed my little makes and I'll see you somewhere over the rainbow very soon xox

ps. The free pattern for these socks can be found here

Saturday 27 August 2011

Frida and the cardigan

Oh boy am I pleased it's the weekend, it's been a very busy week for me and my little family but we've survived to tell the tale. It's such a pleasure to relax again and with a so far sunny bank holiday ahead I'm not complaining. Hope you have all had a good week and are able to take some time out for yourself?

I wanted to share a little about the amazing Frida Khalo and 
Diego Riviera exhibition we went to last week in Chichester as a day trip while we were camping. It was a wet grey day so I wasn't complaining about leaving the damp tent behind.

It was held at the Pallant House Gallery found here and will be on until 9th October if you'd like to go and see for yourself. I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of hers for the first time in Paris 1999 and was so looking forward to seeing some of her work again. The exhibition did not disappoint and I was beside myself to see more photography than ever before, like this one

It was a very privileged treat to see this woman's amazing paintings and those of her husband Diego's. Her's is a beautifully sad story which is often portrayed in her paintngs, if you are interested you can read more about her life story here.

Frida's work was influenced by Mexican cluture which is apparent in her use of bright colours and dramatic symbolism. I can see why she embraced her beautiful culture and love of her land.

Andy and Alice and I had a good look around the shop in the gallery and unfortunately all the goodies and books I wanted were far too pricey, but I came away with some lovely postcards which is something I love.

I also got to spend a teeny tiny amount of time just before they closed in Clothkits found here. They have recently opened their first shop (they normally only trade via the Internet and catalogue I think) and it just happened to be in Chichester! 

They seriously have some scrummy stuff if you are into sewing and textiles {plently can be seen on their web page}

Ric rac joy xox

They use a fair amount of Jane Foster's design's on their fabric kits, her lovely blog can be found here.

This leads me perfectly onto the buttons I chose in a flash before they closed for my cardigan I'm almost finished knitting.

Four Liberty fabric covered buttons for my cardy which should be finished this weekend just in time for me to take to Sweden next friday. Yes, I did say SWEDEN... a few month's ago I was chosen {lucky o'l me} to go to ESPEN (European Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) from 2- 6th Septemeber. To say I was over the moon was an understatement and so I am jet setting to Gothenburg on friday and from what I can gather the temperature is between 9 -16 degrees C, so I need to finish my cardigan quick.

Of course I need to take some knitting or crochet with me! I've bought some delicious Louisa Harding cotton and cashmere mix in my LYS Wa Wa wools, bank holiday sale today. It is super soft and cosy , I'm just hoping I'll have time to knit in between lectures (hee hee).

Hopefully I will have time to blog my completed cardy before I go, happy sweet days ahead  xox

Wednesday 24 August 2011


Hello, it's me again, not day-dreaming for a change! It was/is so lovely to read all your comments. Thank you so much for them, I do so enjoy hearing from you and sharing our little worlds with each other.

I've been meaning to post about the Fun and Funky designs of Tatty Devine. Have you seen their cool perspex handmade jewellery yet? I first spotted some of their makes in a rather lovely off the cuff jewellery shop in Hastings Old town called the charming name of Pearl and Queenie

They stock such unique pieces of jewellery, including their vintage previously loved and adorned collection of sparkly jewels. The lovely lady who owns this shop told me she had a vision of posh Victorian ladies who used to come down to the Seaside who may well have had the names of Pearl and Queenie and hence the name of her shop was born. I like stories like that.

Anyway... back to Tatty Devine, here are some of their creations for you to savour {just click on the images for a close up look}

I could go on and on and on but I won't, I'll let you go and check out their website for yourself. 

Oh, just one more, I couldn't resist...

I will own one of your perspex handmade creations, I will, ha!

Tuesday 23 August 2011

I can day-dream a little

I've become a wee bit excited about Pinterest {here} ever since I enabled the pin "button" onto my laptop (it only seems to work in google chrome for me) and have whiled away many an hour looking at all the eye candy out there. Wow, so much to pin, too much to absorb and heady inspiration to make you dizzy with excitement.

It surely cannot be healthy for me to become obsessed with so much inspiration!?

Please can I have a cup of tea in these great utility china cups with their pretty doily and tea bag decorations?

Do go and be prepared to be inspired and feel a little dizzy with the delights of Pinterest if you have some time  a good few hours/days on your hands and have nothing better to do ;0)

I'm having a BUSY week to-ing and fro-ing with Alice and all her theatrical, dance and musical antics. She is doing a week of theatre, dance, art and singing and thoroughly enjoying it... I know this as a sign of having had a good day, when she sings herself to sleep. It makes my heart swell when I hear her little voice buzzing away into dream land. 

I'm feeling a little frustrated at not having been able to knit or crochet much these past few days for dog tiredness in amongst other daily stuff, oh yes and working too! Sometimes I feel like Jekyll and Hyde, I have my analytical scientific medical hat on for work and as soon as I come home I'm transformed into mum and homely stuff and then when I get to put my feet up I can think, reflect and create. Do you sometimes feel like this? I do dream a little too, in amongst the stresses and throbbing beat of my day I dream a little ...

It helps me remain true to myself as life screeches down the highway.

Sometimes I just need to reminisce 

And day-dream of our future pursuits when we've paid the mortgage off...

It keeps my days interesting and free spirited in amongst the debris. 

Do you day-dream a little? Escape into your thoughts perhaps? Please say you do or I shall feel a little lonely out there.

Wishing you dreamy days and nebula nights till next time xox


Friday 19 August 2011

Seeing the beauty

Aaahh it's good to be home again, sat in comfy couches, sipping tea and catching up with all your blogs. We've been happy campers this week and despite the odd shower of rain we have been relatively well blessed with sunshine and cosy nights in playing cards and various other board games. Camping is often a "love/hate" thing, I know it's not everyone's choice of a holiday but we like all the plus things about it and tolerate all the weird and wonderful things about it like having to accept that you have a piece of canvas between you and the elements and other people's lives which can either prove to be fascinating or darn right irritating!

It's all about seeing the beauty

Someone once asked me if we camp or glamp (ie.glamarous camping)?

I suppose we do a bit of both if you look at our luxurious bed clothes versus the good old faithful sleeping bag. I NEED candy strip sheets wherever I go. I had them in my childhood and believe they are essential in Alice's {call me crazy mama but that's just me}

Of course we all need a granny blanket or two to keep the midnight chills at bay

Pick some flowers on a countryside walk

Carry on knitting this beautiful pattern here before the sun sets

Not to forget the English hedgerows and the potential for blackberry and apple crumble making when we get home

Tin cups of tea

And visits to pretty places

All in all I think it's about seeing the beauty in all of the small things that make life worth living xox

Happy week-ending and see you soon xox

Friday 12 August 2011

Bunnies and Blankies

Oh hello, it's me squeezing in a post on my blog before we go camping next week. Looking forward to the joy of breaking routine again, feeling free spirited, getting fresh country air and good quality family time. Yay! I manically finished off letters, phone calls and faxes this afternoon and despite having been out on home visits to patients the whole morning I managed to leave work reasonably well on time. Hooray I can now take a deep breath, STOP and chill for a while.

Now, I must say that while Andy has been away on business the past 3 days Alice and I have been doing some girly plotting. Two against one, that's fair isn't it? We or should I say more Alice than me desperately wants a bunny. She wants a baby bunny from our friend Beth who has about 9 to give to lovely homes. She wants a bunny so she can call it Pencil and love it dearly. I'm convinced, but I'm not sure about Daddy! We will work on him next week and sew seeds gently and hopefully win him over :0)

Speaking of bunny rabbits do you like bunnikins, did you have a bowl or cup or plate or statue when you were little? I was fortunate to have a plate and a set of children'r cutlery. Unfortunately these got lost/broken along the way and I don't have them any more but that hasn't stopped me from loving them. Some are very collectable indeed but I just like them from a childhood nostalgia point of view.

The other day I discovered another junk / antique type shop in my town and was most pleased to have a rummage and had to smile when I came across this sweet mug for 50p. I had to buy it despite not having a baby/toddler anymore simply because of the sweet bunnykins scene.

How sweet is that? I'll probably use it to pop my vintage knitting needle collection in, so it will be functional and sweet.

It was a Royal Doulton mug to celebrate the marriage of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in 1986 as is in scripted on the inside of the mug. Not worth much but I don't care, I'm just delighted to have knitting bunnies xox

I am planning to take larger pebbles camping with me next week (weird eh?) so I can master my crochet pebble covers. I think they would look nice in a mossy part of the garden and also to allow them to go green and get weathered. Thanks for all your comments on my sleep-less-ness, I am feeling well rested now and hope to regain my natural rhythm next week.

I am also taking my new hooky joyful blanket that I am making with me, here is a sneak peek

I started this a few days ago and have ummmed and ahhhed over my colour choices of lime, plum, pink and grey and have decided they do kind of work. I have never gone for lime before but it just seemed right and I was itching to get stuck into making a blanket again and did my usual irrational, don't think about it too much thing and bought these colours.

Trust me to buy my first knitting book,  The gentle art of knitting and chose to do one of the two Jane Brocket crochet patterns! This book is stunning by the way and being sold el-cheapo on Amazon at the moment!

Jane Brocket's colour choices are beautiful but somehow I wanted a uniform blanket his time. Who know's why...

I am being very disciplined and weaving in my ends as I go and sewing the squares together too. Not sure what's got into me, maybe it's a little bit of influence from the lovely Alice at Crochet with Raymond's blog where she did just this whilst making her labour of love Gypsy Caravan Blanket here

Before I go I must share my great excitement about a day trip we have planned next week. We are going to the lovely town of Chichester which is hosting an exhibition of Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera's masterpieces in the Pallant House Gallery. Ooohhh I can hardly contain my excitement. I was first introduced to Frida Khalo's work by my beautiful friend Bronwen who is a fine artist living in Durban, South Africa {do go and have a look at her incredible art here and her fab blog, Hey Cherry she shares with Sam here}. For this I am eternally grateful and was very fortunate to see Frida Khalo's work when I was on holiday in Paris in 1998 for the first time. It's going to be a huge privilege to see her paintings again. I'll be blogging about it no doubt. 

Hope you all have a marvellous and frivolous weekend and see you all soon xox