Wednesday 30 January 2013

Wishful Wednesday

I'm late with my W for Wednesday post, it's 11pm and I want to get something out before midnight. I am having a weird sleeping cycle week this week...I keep getting sleepy around 7pm whilst reading or just being cosy on the couch and find myself taking forty winks which is really interrupting my normal sleep cycle. Come on January be gone with you and your dark, cold days! I guess I shouldn't be too harsh, you did shine with blue skies after a rainy start today.

So here's to some serious wishful thinking. I have become a real admirer of Daniel Heath's work and thought you might like to see some it too?

His beautiful wall papers

Will they ever adorn my walls one day?

What can I possibly say about these antique wall mirrors?

Oh, and textiles too...

Yes please and thank you very much Mr. Heath

Ahhh, sometimes it's just nice to be a little wishful don't you think?

All images from here
Go have a look, it might just make you wishful too x

Monday 28 January 2013

Little things

In the early 1980's my Sister got a Printers tray for one of her birthdays. I think they became a popular thing to have then, maybe a little trend to collect teeny tiny things in the blocks of a wooden printers tray. Hers was new as far as I can remember, they were made specifically for this new trend and I have vague recollections of what she put into those wooden blocks back then.

Well, to say that I had some birthday gift envy is probably an understatement, although I would never have admitted it at the time, I was truly envious of this treasure trove of little things. A place to put them all and admire them from a distance on a wall somewhere. As time went by I don't know what happened to her printers tray and must ask her about it someday, I don't think she has it any more, which is sad given the fact that you go through phases in your life where you think you might not have any use for something from your early teen years but now, as we get older and dare I say it a little more sentimental, something like a printers tray might take on a different meaning.

Sometimes, life just boils down to the little things.

I guess you've guessed by now that I have just bought my first ever Printers tray. I bought it from a Vintage and Second hand shop in my town called Sweetpeas and Doris and I adore it to say the least. It's the smaller of the two seen in the first photo and the best bit for me is that it comes with a history from a Printers in the late 1800's in Eastbourne that printed Art Nouveau posters. The printer box seen above is also for sale and it houses the original art nouveau printing blocks. It's too beautiful for words and I do hope this goes to a special home one day. Unfortunately, at £120.00 its a luxury I have to do without.

I did spend a while touching and admiring it somewhat, dreaming of a bygone time and thinking how special it would be to have an original of one of their poster prints. 

My printers tray will slowly but surely grow as the years go by, filled with the little things and memories of my life. I hope I don't get tempted to fill it up too quickly, each block will have something significant added to it, something to reflect on in years to come.

Are you a collector oflittle things? or do you prefer more clean cut minimal detail living?

I hope to share some of my little things when my collection starts hopefully sometime soon

Thursday 24 January 2013


Have you had a good week despite some disruption of snow and the freeeeeezzzzzing air? (or for those of you down South, hot air?)

My week has been filled with these little critters, the papa, mama and baby bear crochet faces I made while playing with my Rowan fine tweed yarn. Alice did me the honour of drawing on their faces with felt tip and obviously decided they needed to be sleeping bears, something this little family of 3 know and love to do!

They are rather sweet don't you think? Simple dc crochet circles around pebbles found on our beech. As for the ears.... well these are just freestyle and turned out quite cute. I think they look like quite a contented bear family and not grizzly and growling this January of 2013. This pleases me somewhat!

Simply watching £1 daffodils opening as the snow melts away this week. Nothing can compare, especially with having no real sunshine this week.

Next up was being asked to embellish my friend Helen's hat with a crochet flower or two to go with her felted fingerless gloves I made for her (here) this Christmas

Rubbish photo taken in gloomy light before Christmas!
I always feel very humbled at people asking me to make a little something for them and I was only too pleased to hook up some quick roses and leaves for her hat which she happened to have lurking in a cupboard and which just happened to be very similar to my felted charity shop Accesorize scarf I up-cycled into gloves for her!

And last,but of course not least, treating myself to some coconut shell heart shaped buttons and teeny tiny 2mm dpns for teeny tiny things to come. I photographed these on some vibrant turquoise crochet that will need to remain a little secret till I swap with my lovely swap partner for Ada from Vintage Sheet Addict blog's swap.

I love this Swedish yarn called Millamia it's so beautiful to work with and I'm excited about this swap which I will no doubt be blogging about in the near future. Oh and if you like the idea of a swapsie why not pop over to Lisa's lovely blog BoBo Bun here and add your name to her list before 27/1/13.

Right, that's me for this 4th week of January. I need to make my tartan embellishment for the Burns night haggis dooo we have been invited to tomorrow (my first time I'll be trying vegetarian haggis, hope its yummy). Its rather funny that I have never been to a Burns night before, despite my maiden name being Burns. Funny that!

Have a marvellous weekend wherever you are and whatever you're doing and see you soon.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Woman's Hour Wednesday

Last week I absolutely loved having the chance to hear all about Miss Moti (whilst driving in my job) on Woman's Hour (here).  

Fripa Joshi, the Nepalese illustrator and comic Artist and creator of Miss Moti was interviewed about this realistic and delightful character she has created in a world full of slim and super hero female comics.

I found this quote from Fripa on her website:

The protagonist of my comics, Miss Moti, was born out my own issue with negative body image. In a world that places so much important on appearance, Miss Moti is an unlikely ‘hero’. She is plump and big and, on the outside, her life might seem very ordinary. However, as her fertile imagination blurs the line between fantasy and reality, we realize that her life, like her personality, is indeed extraordinary.

I absolutely adore her and hope you do too.

I love the way her polka dots drop off her dress as she feel lighter and more free from the world's constraints about body image.
Have a look at this complete comic strip here, it's great!

Hope you've enjoyed Miss Moti as much as I have

See you soon

Sunday 20 January 2013

Our Winter's day

How beautiful and silent it was after church this morning. A fresh and invigorating walk at Pevensey Castle to remind us that we are alive whilst Winter is at war, her subterfuge, a silent white wash of flakes upon the earth. Bleak and empty in a solitude way, resting or sleeping, hibernating and regenerating for the bud of Spring bringing colour and birth back into light.

How I love the snow, its immeasurable beauty and vastness. The first time I really touched snow was when I came to England in 1996. I had seen it on the Drakensberg Mountains when I was growing up in South Africa but had never touched it before. I get dizzy with excitement when we have snow. Today, I could be a child again and that felt good. I hope if you have had any snow, you've had some fun with it too? 

We drove home to have soup and crusty bread followed by some reading and knitting... do you read and knit at the same time? I can only do this if it's straight forward up and down stocking stitch (Andy's beanie hat that I frogged is re-growing), anything more complicated I need to keep my eyes on the stitches! I've read the first couple of chapters of this book lent to me by a colleague friend and it's rather intriguing, I hope its not going to spook me out. If so, I think I'll wait till the Summer when the earth feels less heavy to continue reading it.

Keep safe and snug this week and see you all soon

Friday 18 January 2013


Hey hey it's Friday, time to remember some of the little bits of my week...

  • First up, is some crochet. Oh my I felt this serious NEED to crochet, that happens when I've been knitting too much and it's vice versa when I've been crocheting too long. I feel really blessed that I have both these skills. Definitely worth celebrating and being grateful for. I've been playing with some Rowan yard tweedy yarn I bought on our last trip to London. This little bit of fun crochet with beach pebbles will be revealed soon! 

  • I must celebrate the sprinkle of snow we woke up to on Monday morning.It was only a thin layer but beautiful none the less and to top it all a little surprise message from our girly on my car front windscreen which she must have written on her way to the bus stop. (Why don't 12 year old's wear gloves...can someone please tell me? My guess is that's its far too uncool but her answer is that her hands don't get cold! comment) 

  • Finding some of my lavender that I gathered from my pots in the summer in our little outside bicycle shed by sheer accident. I genuinely forgot it was there until I was greeted with the most divinely smelling shed known to (wo)man when I opened the door :o) I will be removing the flowers from the stalks this weekend and no doubt thinking of where I can sneak some into drawers. Isn't it just gorgeous?

  • Look at what the desire to crochet makes me do! I don't know what it is but it's a crochet something of the botanical kind in my mind. Alice thinks its an acorn, I almost agree but actually think it's an new species undiscovered to mankind...... the acornlatis hookilaris

  • And last but not least, a GIANT custard cream bought at a rather well known coffee take out. I can put my hand on heart and say that this was bought as a "family" biscuit at £1.45  for it's ginormous* size. However, it may, just may have come home with a bite or two in it.I like fun things like this as long as they are taken in their context and not literally as a biscuit for one. Gosh, that would be scary taking portion distortion to another level!

That's me done for the week, I hope everyone stays safe and warm if it snows in your patch. It's 7.15am here and the sky looks pregnant with snow. We're excited and prepared with wellies and bottom sleighs (those plastic thingy's don't know what they are called). Forget the fact that the roads will come to a grinding halt and all the bread will be sold out at the supermarkets!(this phenomenon has always baffled me?)

Off to work I go...
Sending love and sprinkles of pretties to you all

* portions for giants

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Woolly Wednesdays

Hi, hello, how are you?

This is meant to be my Wednesday post, but I won't have any time tomorrow, so it's appearing early.
How do you like my honeycomb hat? I'm calling it the honeycomb hat because of the colour of the Madelinetosh skein that I chose when I went to Loop in London last December. This has got to be the most beautiful yarn to knit with, it's so soft and lush and just slips off my knitting needles. I adore it (but not the price, hence only 1 skein was purchased). The colour is called nutmeg, perfectly warm and nutmeg like for this snowy/frosty week!
So here it is, my woolly Wednesday!

The pattern is from Jane Brocket's book The gentle art of knitting and it is so easy and was such a pleasure to knit with this divine yarn. It reminds me of a honeycomb beehive and is definitely keeping my head and ears cosy in this freezing spell.
So, here's to a woolly warm Wednesday for those of us in the Northern hemisphere and for those of you in the Southern hemisphere, hope its a cool cotton one xox Penelope

Saturday 12 January 2013

The smell of books

After seeing this very funny little post on my beautiful friend Bronwen's blog Once, I felt inspired to dig a bit deeper and found Jen Campbell's blog, the author of this book...

From what I've read, it's a real giggle and a half, but also a little tragic with some peoples comments. It's going to be a must on my payday treat yourself list! 

I never used to be an avid reader and only started really appreciating and really loving literature in my early 20's when I finished University when all of a sudden for the first time in my life I could really choose what I wanted to read. What I mean is, I didn't have to read certain books for my English and Afrikaans literature at school. My lifelong friends (especially Bronwen) that I had made at University at the time were also a big influence on my choices as well as some of the people I met travelling in my early 20's.

When I was a kid, my older sister always had her nose in a book, she was clever, but not me, I was out climbing trees and making mischief of one kind or another.I read annuals and comics because they were quick and had pictures. I read lots of Enid Blyton, once again because of the illustrations and read my Secret Sevens and Famous Fives over and over again each school holiday until it became embarrassing when I was about 13/14 alongside reading Shakespeare at school(ok so I can't believe I have just admitted that!).


For many, many days and nights I escaped into the wonderful world of literature. I started thinking, questioning life, the universe and everything. Books became my best friend, I judged people by the books they read (not a good trait to have, thank goodness for ageing I've changed I promise)and to this day need to see my faithful friends on the shelf when I come home. 

I actively seeked out aesthetically pleasing books, old ones, dusty ones, leather bound ones, pre-read ones knowing that someone else would have absorbed all those delicious words before me. Libraries became one of my all time favourite places and I hope I have established this love of the written word found in libraries and bookshops in Alice.

I do believe, and am grateful for my own experience, that there is hope for all parents who might despair at their children not loving literature at an early age. Even if Alice doesn't read as much as we would like her to at the age of 12, I don't believe in nagging her as this may become a negative thing, rather I gently encourage her to see the wonder I know is in them.

Duck and rabbit go for a picknick - original linocut art print - nursery gift - handcarved and handprinted

As for book shops the old, the new, the ugly all satisfy my senses over and over again, the more quirky with nooks and crannies, the better. All those books with their paper, ink, glue and fibres excite me, and then there is that smell, the smell of grassy woody fibres with a hint of something sweet, almost vanilla-like. What more can I say? I'm a book smelling kind of gal and you will often find me sniffing a book to absorb it even more completely before I buy it and as I read it :0) 

I bet you Jen Campbell could also write a book on the "Weird behaviour of customers inside bookshops", I think I might just feature in it with my book smelling ways!

How about you? 
Any weird bookshop behaviour you want to confess?

If you also love books, make yourself a cup of tea and plug some headphones into your computer and for some of you, gather a little handkerchief or tissue and watch this 15 minutes of sweet magic. 
It's too beautiful.

As for me, I'm off to one of my favourite book shops in East Sussex - Much Ado 
If you are ever in the area, make a bee line to this book smelling heaven.

oh no, I've just checked their opening hours and they are on sabbatical at the moment. Oh dear, I guess its a trip to the library for me then...

Thursday 10 January 2013



This week has been a good 'un, my lovelies. Oh yes it's one I need to celebrate and appreciate. We have added one jolly good thing into our jolly jar and that feels satisfying with it only being the second week of January.

So here goes with some of the little things that have added to my week;

1. Simple chickpea, tomato and spinach soup with my experiment of mini bhaji and potato pasties which made a yummy accompaniment.

2. 50p Small Burton china swan which will take a little posy of flowers this Spring.

3. Sewing a new duvet cover from old Horrocks sheets on Saturday morning. It was freezing sewing in the unheated attic, but I loved getting my overlocker my mum gave me for my 40th birthday out. 

4. Planning which of my old crochet doilies to sew onto the cover

5. Charity shop sales in January (I can't remember this normally happening?)and snapping up this embroidery thread for 25p per colour on Saturday afternoon.

6. A one quid cotton baby pink baby blanket which I plan to up-cycle to something pretty for a friend's little 2 year old girl.

So that's a few snippets of my past week. How about you? Hope your  second January week has given some joy?

Have a delightful weekend 

I am on the brink of finishing knitting a hat for myself and have  painstakingly pulled out the one I knitted for Andy a couple of years ago since it has stretched beyond belief after realising that I used DK instead of 4 ply! Two years down the line I can say that I have learnt a little something about actually following the yarn weight recommendations for the pattern :o)