Wednesday 31 October 2012

Behind the scenes of a blog

I've been reflecting on this last month this morning and after reading a few posts from some of my favourite blogs, it got me thinking about the scenes behind my blog. That, together with a not so pleasant e-mail about my "wonderful life" a few days ago have been playing on my mind. So, this will be a little post about the scenes behind this blog, the truth if you like.

  • Fact: My husband was unfairly dismissed from work in late May 2012 and suffered a relapse in his schitzo-affective-psychotic disorder and was re-admitted to a mental health unit to rehabilitate his unquiet mind.
  • Fact: We have his tribunal next week and he became acutely unwell again over this past week, fortunately he has been able to be treated at home with medication. I live on a daily knife edge with the potential of him becoming unwell again.
  • Fact: We live by the grace of God. Yes, we are Christians and get asked why we don't celebrate Halloween at this time of the year and go to Church. I'm used to it and my faith far over rides any poking or jabbing I might have from different people about believing in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I have family and friends of all different beliefs and faiths and I do not judge them for this. Quite the opposite really, I embrace all people I know and meet and love them for who they are.
  • Fact: I work 40 plus hours a week in a vocation that I absolutely love and feel very privileged to work in but it also takes it's toll supporting people who are coming to terms on an emotional roller coaster with their prognosis and treatment options with a new Cancer diagnosis. I am humbled to be in a position to support and care for them. I value each day at work and am very grateful to have a job.
  • Fact: I am a Dietitian and I appreciate the daily struggle with keeping healthy and watching what I eat and keeping myself active and balanced. Hey, we are human too :o)
  • Fact: I love my family and am fiercely faithful to them and loyal to all my friends
  • Fact: We always have holidays and day trips anywhere on a shoe string and love the challenge of finding alternative ways to keep the costs down, it's part of the fun.
  • Fact: Just about everything in our house is second hand, old or vintage if you like, we believe in recycling and being thrifty whilst still enjoying good quality design if we can get our hands on it.
  • Fact: I have this blog to be my happy self on and love that I've 'met' so many gorgeous creative people. Thank you so much for all your inspiration, comments and conversation. I hope we can carry on enjoying each other's company.
  • Fact: I love making, doing, creating things whether it's baking, planting a few seeds to grow some tomatoes, knitting socks, sewing patches on worn out jeans, drawing and playing with paints and crayons, cooking a new recipe, picking flowers, writing letters...etc etc. I have a busy, creative and scientific mind and my blog is a place to record these fun things.
  • Fact: I am an optimist at heart and a sheer romantic. I love poetry and good literature.
  • Fact: There are times when I just want to run away for a while and escape where I am at.
  • Fact: I don't have a perfect, happy-go-lucky life but yes I do think it's wonderful. 
  • Fact: I'm starting November with a bang, going to see The Unthanks at the De La Warr Pavilion tomorrow night. Pop, bang and whizzzz.....
Thanks so much for stopping by,
Forgive me please, but
I just needed to clarify a few things.
Here's to another day behind the scenes of this blog!
How about you? What's going on in the scenes behind your blog?

ps. If you want a chance at winning some skinny yarn in my little give-away check out this post here

Tuesday 30 October 2012

The big smoke and a little give-away

Alice and I went on a little half term trip to London yesterday. We made a pact that we would do this on one of my 3 days off this week and our number one priority was to go to Liberty for the very first time. I've wanted to peruse their halls of fabric, stationary and yarn for a very long time now and it did not disappoint. I do recommend a visit if you find yourself in central London.

The fabric, alas was rather pricey so I didn't indulge for we went on our day trip on a wee budget but we did come away with a little bag filled with affordable goodies. A treat for Alice and a treat for me.

Ok, so I treated myself to the obvious. Well,you know what they say about an addiction :o)

We truly had a beautiful mummy - daughter day out and saw fabulous city sites on the double decker buses (I try and avoid the tubes if possible) and had a lovely dinner in Pizza Express with some of our Tesco clubcard vouchers (£10 in vouchers = £40 in Pizza Express vouchers...hoooray). Alice also got to meet a singer called Rebecca Ferguson in the Vivienne Westwood section of Selfridges which made her smile a whole lot.

She was a little star struck, bless her heart.

I also bought a copy of this book too, it's a little gem that I've had my eye on and oops it just happened to slip into my basket. 

My little crafty book collection appears to be enlarging somewhat and there are still so many that I would like. Pass me my wish list for Santa please. 

We do love a little trip to London and look forward to our next visit when we plan to go back for a visit to the Tate Modern.

Now after me blurbing on about the big smoke, let me show you my little give-away. I bought 3 balls of this yarn a few weeks ago and after desperately trying to knit with it, I gave up. Skinny yarn and I do not mix it seems :0( So, without further ado would you like your name to be entered into a hat for a little give-away?

It's 50% acrylic, 30% mohair and 20% wool. It looks bluey-green-grey in colour. You'll receive 2 complete balls and 1 almost complete one(minus about 5 meter's I frogged and threw away because it all knotted up) plus some 5mm vintage needles as the recommended size knitting needles for this yarn and a little something else, not sure what yet, a little surprise from me.

All you have to do is pop a comment onto this post and let me know if you fancy being in the draw for this yarn. If you don't have a blog, leave your email in a comment so I can contact you if your name is pulled out the hat. Fancy this yarn? Go on, give it a go.
Thanks for visiting and
See you all soon

Saturday 27 October 2012

Clever Penny

Hello little blog and visiting friendly peeps, sometimes I don't know how to start a blog post as I get confused about whether I am writing this for my own delight ie. a diary entry for my future reference or if I'm writing to say hi,hello, hey look what I've been up to...been making, it's fun, you can do it too, please leave a comment so I can engage with you my virtual and real friends, I enjoy your company, I do.

There are so many of you that I would love to meet up with, I feel like having copious cups of tea and a slice or two of cake with so many of you. I do indeed. 

Now, on with celebrating a friend I met via the blogosphere, her name is Penny and she is clever and creative and hey, she's even got her own planet! Oh, and we happen to share the same name and her clever son lives in my seaside town, so I get to meet up with her every now and then. Have you all guessed whom I'm talking about? Yes, it's Penny of Planet Penny fame!

The last time we met up Penny very generously gave me some of her white cotton, a hook, red buttons and some Christmas crochet patterns, which can actually be found in her etsy shop here

I very quickly hooked up and blocked a few of these snowflakes, such a quick and easy pattern.

I will be making some of these into a garland for Christmas celebrations and maybe a present or two for family and friends. I love the stark whiteness of this cotton it makes the snowflakes looks so authentic.

I wanted to put a couple of these blocked snowflakes to good use in the mean time and so I casted on 40 stitches to my knitting needles to follow Penny's easy wrist warmer pattern found here

I wanted something jolly and happy to cheer me up this past week because it's been a foggy, grey, dull week here in East Sussex with very rare glimpses of sunshine.

And so, these fingerless wrist warmers were made with a pretty contrasting snowflake for embellishing them.

Good fun don't you think?

Thank you so much Penny for your wonderful inspiration, you are one clever lady!

Have a great brrrr chilly northern hemisphere weekend and for those of you in the southern hemisphere...well with green envy can I wish you a wonderful warm sun basking weekend.
See you soon

Monday 22 October 2012

Chunky snuggly

Thank you for your get well wishes, we are all on the mend and it's good to feel a little more human again.

I wanted a quick and easy project to start and complete over the weekend whilst languishing on the couch with tissues and lemsip. I scratched around in my stash (which feels like it needs some serious re-stocking!) and found the above three balls of Rico melange chunky yarn that I must of purchased last year. I had the perfect pre-winter quick crochet project in mind inspired by the lovely Victoria of Yarn around hook found here.

The original pattern as Victoria says comes from Annaboo's House and is deliciously chunky and super easy to crochet for any beginner.

I used two balls of yarn together with an 8mm hook (it was the biggest one I had without having to go out and buy a 15mm hook which the pattern suggests). I love the way the green and grey have entwined in this cowl/snood.

The perfect chunky snuggly gift to give this Christmas me thinks.
It's super warm and comfortable too. I think I have found myself a new love in the chunky side of hooky :o)

I can't believe I am thinking of Christmas presents already, my goodness, it really is getting closer.
Are you making any handmade presents this year?
Let me know, I'd love to come and see.

Sunday 21 October 2012


We have been discussing and thinking about what home is this
 grey, rainy weekend with sniffle noses and paracetamol to keep temperatures at bay.

This poem summarises a lot of what it means to us, our little close knit family of three.


Home is the place your heart resides
Home is the place that you decide
Home is the womb that holds the soul
Home is the place where one is whole

Home is the glow you hold in your eye
Home is the emotion that makes you cry
Home is safe and a place of peace
Home is where all strivings cease

Home is protective against the others
Home is full of sisters and brothers
Home is where you find your rest
Home is where you feel your best

Home is a memory that follows your being
Home is a dream for those agreeing
Home is the place where reserves fall
Home is the place you yearn to call

Home is where the family meets
Home is a place of restful retreats
Home is the place you know you’ll be heard
Home is the pace where nothing blurs

Home is all these wonderful things
Home is the place you develop wings
Home is the place that you’ll find one day
Home is the place where your heart will stay 
                                                  Aisha Patterson

Out of sheer boredom and feeling under the weather, hence making us relatively housebound, I suggested Alice take a few photo's to capture what she "saw" in our home on my camera and it was interesting what she came up with.

So without further ado, here are more of her shots.

Alice is fortunate enough to have once of those digital photo frames where you can have photos changing every few seconds, so she made a little "still life type movie" of her images of home for us to watch last night. 

It was a bit of fun to beat the coughs and colds blues. If you have children this might be an interesting exercise to do with them on a wet and rainy day. I love to see what children "see".
Mind you we had to cull the ge-zillion photos she took to post on my blog in fear of boring you to tears if you visit here!

As for me? Well, I've been carving, stitching and a hookin' and a 
No doubt these will make an appearance someday soon
Till then, hope you are all well and not suffering from seasonal sniffles

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Middle name

Have you got a middle name? I do, my full name is Penelope Angela and ever since I could remember I've always disliked my middle name. Not sure why exactly, but I think if my memory serves me correctly I remember starting to dislike it after I saw a telly program in the late 1970's with a not so bright, but rather beautiful character called "Angie". I think it was an American detective sort of program. Thereafter I was teased about my middle name for a while with people calling me "Angie" and so the dislike started.

{I'm really sorry if I have offended anyone called Angela or Angie, I mean no disrespect or offence, this is just my thoughts about MY middle name and what I have felt about it over the years}.

I never really use my middle name so it hasn't been much of a bother during my adult years, but the slightly negative memory stayed with me until.... I discovered Angie Lewin.

She is one of my all time favourite contemporary printmakers working in linocut, wood engraving, lithography and screen printing. I bought the above book here and have paged through it and read it cover to cover these past couple of weeks.

Here are some of my favourite pictures of her prints in the book, there are just so many...

Angie, is just so very inspiring and is able to capture the beauty of the coast and country through her beautiful seed pods, grasses, flints, flower buds, seedheads and feathers. She also captures coastal plants and seaweeds as well as pebbles of interest amongst many other things. Do have a browse through her website linked above if you want to see more of her work and know more about her art.

Angie inspired me to ask to borrow this from a lovely kind artist friend...

To play with lino for the very first time ever and carve out this...

Which I then rolled some black ink onto to make this...

So exciting to place some of Alice's water colour art paper onto the lino-cut and then rub my wooden spoon over the paper waiting for the ink to print onto the print this...

What a whole load of fun and frivolous fancy. This is just what I needed to do over the last few days and now I hope to be able to continue playing with lino and ink to hopefully carve out a little Christmas design to make a card or two.

As for my middle name?
You can call me Angie anytime!
Have you got a middle name? 
How do you feel about it?
See you all soon.

Saturday 13 October 2012


October awakening 
I saw october awakening right infront of me
And it was amazing
Because I Knew that I was going to be a part of october

Aldo Kraas 

Yesterday, I woke up feeling melancholic, not sure why, but I put it down to that "Autumn feel" in the air. The sun was shining, blue skies above but the wind was whistling which unnerved me somewhat. There were memories whirling about me, memories from my university days and early 20's in South Africa. Something felt different and then the obvious became apparent, I too am having seasons in my life and am changing, my mortality so real and the importance of embracing these changes, moulding into something different yet the same  as I am living in the second half of my life.

There was a point where I felt I could let it get to me and allow that black dog in the recesses of my mind lurk into some form of significance but then I chose to renounce it and instead I chose to gather what I could, gather the right here and now of October. Make it a celebratory thing instead of a negative thing.

And so, I went walking in the woods, just me and the wind, we went walking and gathering what October has become.

I started to be restored, all my fears and anxieties lifted and my sadness was absorbed into those October leaves.

Nature had restored what life had stripped away.
Restored and renewed to embrace another day.
All better now, ready to gather November