Monday 31 October 2011

Hello Monday

My chevron is growing beautifully, I'm about half way there
Helloooo, thanks for your lovely comments as always, it's nice to catch up with what you have all been doing. Have you all had a fine and dandy weekend / end of half term holiday's? We did LOTS this weekend and today is a recovery, sort out day as the last day of Alice's half term. 

Simon and Manju's flying ducks (the 3rd currently having it's head stuck back on!)

This afternoon we are heading off to help at a Superhero's party and have been allocated the face painting bit (eek I hope those kids know that I can't paint for toffee ;0). We don't do Halloween here in this ol'house ... I didn't grow up with it and so I can't say it's something I enjoy, it's not something I feel very comfy with (you might say I'm a bit of a party pooper but that's just me).

Super cool vintage shop in Brimingham
We loved our trip up to Rugby, such a pretty Midlands town with beautiful red bricked buildings everywhere. I love the red bricks of England. Manju, Simon's wife is from Nepal and she is a heavenly creature full of laughter, good fun and a brilliant cook to say the least. We ate very well and listened to lots of Nepalese music and felt beautifully incense soaked by the end of the weekend.

One of Manju's many Buddha's

We also made a little trip into Birmingham, it was my second visit to this city and the main purpose was to go and see Andy's Brighton and Hove Albion football club playing against the Birmingham Blues. I'm not much of a football fan but when I do go to a game (about 2x per year) I do enjoy the atmosphere and excitement at scoring a goal. I'll let the pictures do the talking for our trip to a small part of the city ...

I love the wastelands of  discarded industrial factories  

I promise never to post another football pic on this here very blog!

I want that satchel please

We found this groovy boho part of the city

Birmingham's Bullring and neon sign

Vintage clothing and some shopping in the Bullring at Forever21

All in all it was good fun and we hope to go up with some other friends around new year. Wishing you a grand week ahead, I'll be back to post about my reasons to be cheerful no doubt on Thursday (especially now that the clocks have changed), I hope one of these will be having got some more crochet done xox

Thursday 27 October 2011

Happy days

Ooooh look what I got in the post yesterday. My give away win from the lovely Jules's blog Little Woollie, I was wracking my brain when I collected the parcel from the post office yesterday, thinking who on earth do I know in Australia other then one of my cousins who lives in Melbourne. It was a fabulous surprise when I put two and two together and realised it was my gorgeous cushion cover and the ever generous Jules popped in one of her famous pin cushions for good measure, how generous! I love it Jules and thank you so much, I've never won very much in my 41 years but this is now the second win since blogging over a year ago, all down to the fabulous generosity and good will of crafty bloggers... yes that's YOU xox Thank you xox

Today is my link up with Penny from Planet Penny's blog on reasons to be cheerful as the winter approaches... So here are my reasons for today (I always have millions of reasons to be grateful and humble about but these are 3 little things today :0)

Having the day a few days off work and spending time just stopping to day dream and revel in the joy of my geraniums still blooming at this time of year.

Alice's 3 day mid-term Andy Warhol experience at the De La Warr

And last but not least...

The joy of Alice receiving ad writing to her two penpals, Elise in Belgium and Mathilda in Holland. We love a good old fashioned letter through the door in this house (they like to send each other stickers, pencils and badges etc.).

Pop over to Penny's blog to join in this Cheerful venture here.

Other than that, I'm still loving making my chevron crochet blanket, it's got long enough to keep me warm while I crochet away and I've not got too bored of making it yet! We are off and away to Rugby this weekend to visit some old friends of ours who have just bought a new family home. I've never been to Warwickshire before, only driven through it, so I'm looking forward to catching up with friends and seeing more of the countryside.

Happy and cheery weekend to all you lovelies out there xox


Monday 24 October 2011

Shabby Chevron

Is it really the last week of October? Wow what a super duper busy month October has been so far. We are all exhausted with visiting the local high schools in the evenings, 6 in 3 weeks and eventually had the joy of Alice clicking the SUBMIT button last Thursday after I had electronically entered all our choices. Big relief that that is over now we can forget about it till 1/3/2012 when I will be waiting for a PING in my in-box of my e mail to see if she has got into our first choice. In the mean time all work and no play makes us very dull indeed, so we have been playing too.

More of the shabby chevron has been crocheted and boy am i loving making this blanket, I think it's the joy of seeing the stripes of colour evolve and the thought of not having to sew up hundreds of granny squares together. 

I am using the Rooster yarn I bought (as mentioned in my previous post) and am using up all bits and bobs of DK yarn I have in my left over from other projects stash at the moment. The aim is to make it a retro coloured autumnal blanket and avoid pinks and purples of any kind. I have allowed myself a shade of red which I think adds to the colour fest so far. 

'Scuse the bare feet but I go bare feet as much as I can being a girl from the Southern Hemisphere where I avoided wearing shoes for most of my childhood. A habit that dies hard with me and because we have been having such sunshine and warm days this October so far I am milking it for a bit longer.

So far I am one very happy bunny curling up on the couch making this pleasurable shabby chevron. I hope to share with you where I am in a week's time, hopefully more than half way through my envisaged length.

In the meantime, I wanted to share my lovely friend Penny's great idea with you. She is Penny from Planet Penny and she has come up with a grand idea of blogging about Reasons to be Cheerful which can be found here. The idea is to look at what 3 things in your life give you reasons to be cheerful as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere and as life's toils and troubles grind away. Her next post will be this Thursday where you can link your Reasons to be Cheerful to her blog for all to share and see. 

I decided to do one today just because and then another on Thursday as I hope that this week will bring on more reasons for me to be cheerful. So, as of today these are my 3 reasons to be cheerful;

Alice's room is almost finished being fixed and decorated. It's a blank canvas waiting for us to add her framed pictures and bits of art we've bought for her along the way. 

Our boiler is fixed after conking out a couple of weeks ago and now we can bath and shower knowing we can expect hot water. I'm also very cheerful about the fact that we haven't had to put our heating on yet :0)

I am very cheerful about the fact that Alice is loving reading Little Women xox

So go on and let us all know what your reasons to be cheerful are by visiting Penny's blog and popping your link on to her post.

On a last note, I wanted to share my joy at our local listed Colonnade, opening up a pop up handmade shop run by the 5 Artists who run Made in Hastings until Christmas Eve. Oooh it's lovely to have a bit of handmade local on our doorsteps.

The beautifully restored Colonnade

Local loving with badges and key rings

Claire Fletcher and Josephine Doolan knitwear

Sophie Azimont

Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling Project

These are just a few photo's of all that's on offer, so if you are in the area (The South East Coast Of England) pop in and have a coffee and cake after perusing the lovely goodies on offer.

Ok, that's all folks. Happy week ahead to all you lovelies and thanks for popping in and saying Hi xox

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Yarn gobbling

I've been a busy bee lately, desperate for a bored moment to be honest, but hey ho, time doesn't stand still for anyone. I do however, always have time to stop and crochet or knit and lately it's not uncommon for me to relax with my yarn whilst Alice is doing her homework in the same room. Year 6 has cranked up with the ol' homework so most evenings are spent around her desk whist I chill and quitely hook/knit away (not doing her homework for her by the way!). She seems to be much more effective with me in the room, kind of like an "on tap" dictionary, mathematician (?!), bod for bouncing inspiration off... you get what I mean. It's so hard sometimes when I see her making an obvious mistake but I don't interfere with this as I realise how important it is for her teacher's to see what areas she needs to work on. I will however admit to helping her glue and stick in the more imaginary tasks because the creative side of me cannot resist.

Anyway, I've started gobbling yarn away in my new chevron autumn blanket. I have'nt done a big project for a while now and I am LOVING it to say the least, so exciting seeing the chevron's developing. I'm most definitely happy hooking again!

The pattern is from Jane Brocket's beautiful book, The gentle art of knitting found here. yes I know it's knitting book but there are two patterns of the hooky kind too. Thank you Jane xox

It's definitely a yarn gobbling pattern but oh so worth it.

It's time to add some more colour's I think. Thanks for popping in and welcome to all new followers too, I do try and visit all your beautiful blogs.

What yarn are you gobbling up at the moment?

Saturday 15 October 2011

Project 1, 2 and 3

Hello, so nice of you to stop and see what I've been up to. I have a question: Do you take your camera to work with you? I don't know about you but I am fortunate to work in the Community and so I travel around my patch of the East Sussex a bit, this is a huge bonus to my NHS job as I love that I can experience the elements in my job rather than being closed up in a hospital as I once did many moons ago. Since blogging I've started carrying my camera to I woman possessed? I just get mad if I see something beautiful and cannot capture it in my lens. On Wednesday i had to go up to our local Hospital to a team meeting and parked near these beautiful trees and couldn't resist a 30 second stop to capture these pretty berries whilst crunching on acorns underfoot and smelling burning wood from a nearby house. Lucky me being able to have a sensory delight before focusing on work ;0)

Ok, on with today's story, it's a WIP and ta-dah story. Do you remember I mentioned I had a little crochet idea floating in my grey matter a week or so ago, well it's come to fruition and even more exciting I found this beautiful etsy shop here which added to my inspiration. Do have a look around Rachel's shop it's stunning! 

So here is what materialised...

Two very sweet rosette's one for E and one for P who are getting married next Saturday! I'm so excited about giving these to E, I hope she will like them. I'm not much of an embroiderer and these are not shop worthy as such but I am not a perfectionist and each and every stitch is made with love and joy. Oh happy day for E and P next Saturday, many blessings for your beautiful union and life together!

I sewed a pin on the back of both of them so they can either wear them or pop them on a pin board or wherever they want to.

E is a Speech and Language Therapy colleague of mine and she has been planning her wedding for a while now and will be wearing a vintage inspired dress. Oh, I do love a wedding! here's one more photo just because I'm so excited for her...

These really are sooooo easy to hook up if you are familiar with very basic crochet stitches. I'll give you a little pattern I made up if you'd like?

We have been having glorious Autumnal days, blazing sunshine, blue skies and fresh chilled air. Loving it I am.

Yes, the evenings are drawing in earlier, darkness is not always fun but I am enjoying the beautiful sunsets we have been having.

The chills in the air have pleasantly coincided with me finishing my cowl/snood as mentioned in this post. So here she is, all 100% malabrigo which is super warm, snug and soft (no scratches on my skin please)

It's long enough to pull up over my head to make it into a snood to cover my ears when the wind howls through my bones in deepest darkest winter.

I love it, all electric and blue.

We have been having some work done on Alice's room this week (thanks Alan) and there is stuff everywhere, surprisingly I am remaining calm about this. It's been a good excuse to have a sort out and recycle, charity shop donate and skip dump, very cathartic indeed. In amongst this I found this WIP which I had completely forgotten about. How spoilt am I to be able to make more than one thing at a time, so it's got a little more attention this week and I plan to give this to J for her birthday at the end of November.

It's one of the two crochet patterns in Jane Brocket's beautiful book The gentle art of knitting {which is now selling for half price on Amazon}. I love everything about this book and pattern.

It's a real pleasure to make this blanket, it's not going to be huge but something small and cosy for couch snuggling.

I've also been a naughty girl and have bought some more yarn for my chevron blanket I plan to crochet in Jane Brocket's book.

I've never seen rooster yarn before, I found it hard to choose colours but wanted a retro / art deco look to my chevron blanket. I think I might throw a dark grey in too, we'll see.

Rightee-ho I must a-go as Alice is chomping at the bit to make some vintage cup candles as was promised last night. 

Happy, sweet times to you and yours this weekend.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Ode to the Autumn

A Child's Calendar


by John Updike

The stripped and shapely Maple grieves
The ghosts of her d
eparted leaves.

The ground is hard,as hard as stone.
The year is old,t
he birds are flown.

And yet the world,In its distress,
Displays a certain l

Hello, I am so loving and embracing the seasonal change to Autumn and the slightly cooler air and cosy nights in, under snuggly crochet blankets and sipping on hot chocolate. I do ever so love Spring and Autumn and think they are my favourite seasons. I do hope you are enjoying Autumn or Spring wherever you are in the world? 

I thought I'd just capture some of the things we've been doing these past few days in picture form...

It did make me smile when my only magazine subscription for Country Living came through the post the other day as the front cover basically summarised how I was feeling and the mood of Autumn in my mind. Also, the fact that on Friday, Alice and I  baked our very first loaf of bread (a Paul Hollywood recipe) which was delicious with homemade chickpea and spinach soup.

Here's Alice having her very first lesson in kneading bread, I like the tip about using a little olive oil instead of flour on the kitchen surface to stop the dough from sticking, a lot less messy! 

We've also been indulging in apple and quince stewing, all picked locally at friend's houses. I love the fragrance of quinces...wish I could capture it in a bottle.

Making little shortcrust pastry pies with little hands adding the floral decoration 

Indulging in some of Rose Elliot's delicious vegetarian recipes. This was quick and easy to make, a broccoli, stilton cheese and pecan flan... very rich but delicious with steamed kale and a carrot, potato and lime mash!

Oh dear, it all seems to be about food..there goes my waistline....

We've also enjoyed woodland walks and collecting Autumnal leaves and natures offerings for our nature table.

Beautiful warmth from those colour's.

Crunching acorns it! Catching glimpses of foxes and squirrels also excite us, in fact I'm starting to get a little foxy obsessional (together with my birdy obsession!). I think this gorgeous new tortoise shell Fox brooch from Tatty Devine has tipped the balance into my love of foxi-ness embroidery, prints, jewellery etc. Don't you just love it? Check out their website for their new Autumn range here.

 We also managed to find some rather lovely 1920's pine doors on ebay to replace the yucky plain 1970's door someone put into our Victorian terraced house when they owned it. It all feels like our little home is finally coming together and we are looking forward to redecorating Alice's room after it's repaired, plastered, painted etc in the alcove where we ripped the airing cupboard and old boiler out. I thought I'd show you a pretty pic of the art nouveau style decoration on our new doors. We like a bit of character we do.They need a little sanding and polish for sealing but we're really excited about having these hung sometime soon.   

Last but not least I'm loving this month's Country living magazine and had to show you this page (sorry I hope I haven't spoilt it for anyone who might still want to indulge in this month's magazine). It totally summarise's my mood this October and had to tactfully be pointed out to Mr. that it's very hip and trendy to knit and not at all granny-ish ;0) in case he thought so.

Don't you just want to dive right in there! 
Happy Autumn y'all and see you soon xox