Wednesday 27 February 2013

Lollipop Lane

You might have seen a hint of these flowers on this post, well I eventually got round to sewing them onto the baby pink cotton blanket I found in a charity shop some time ago.

It was meant to be for a work colleague's little 2 year old but Alice promptly claimed it for herself and hasn't slept a night without it tucked under her covers(hence the slightly squeezed and odd wibbly flower) !

I had grand plans for this blanket, I wanted to make a rainbow garden from Penny's cottons with crochet butterflies, bees, birds and magical swirls, but alas it was adopted far quicker than my fingers could flish flash my crochet hook. And, so a lollipop lane grew from the flowers I crocheted using Bunny Mummy's tutorial (I made some smaller ones and some the exact pattern as they were meant to originally make a flower garden with different size flowers)and made its way into my girlys heart.

It's simple and sweet with one crochet edge covered in red scallops.

We've called it the lollipop lane blanket and I know it will be loved. I hope you are have a good week so far?
I'm trying to ensure I have early nights so as to cope with the early mornings....sometimes easier said than done :o)

See you all soon

Sunday 24 February 2013

52 weeks of happy 8/52 (and a winner)

Having a week off from normal routine has been blissful, we have squeezed quite a few things in catching up with Andy's family in Brighton and going to London together with some cycling, reading, eating yummy food and some crochet.

I hope if you have had half term off this past week with your children its brought some small happies. I also wanted to set the record straight here, in that my life is by no means one happy-go-lucky ride, we have our daily strife believe me, but these posts are about little moments captured by myself that bring some joy.

Firstly, our trip to Tate Modern, London. It was a blissful blue sky day and Alice and I had time to talk and walk soaking in the South Bank. I didn't take any knitting or crochet on the train as I wanted it to be a real day of just us and we had a good giggle at various things and people we observed. It was fun and tiring but so worth it. I love that most of the gallery's and museum's in London are free and have become more and more popular as a consequence of this.
We stayed in Brighton at my mother in laws for a couple of nights and this made the 50 min train ride into Victoria so much easier than our usual 2 hour ride from our home along the coast. Thank you also for all your sweet comments on the tea cosy I made for her, she was over the moon with it and loved its kookiness. 

Next up were these yummy sweet peppers whose colour I was drawn immediately to and then when i roasted them they lived up to their sweet tasting expectations

I showed a sneak peek at what I am crocheting with my left over Planet Penny Cotton in my last post which I will show you once I have sent it off for my swap with Lisa of Bobo Bun but in the meantime I found myself crocheting up some of Jacquie of Bunny Mummy's crochet flowers from her picture tutorial for my up cycling idea for the pink cotton blanket I found in a charity shop some weeks ago.
I hope to finish this in the coming week and will show you what I have made. Penny's cotton yarn is such a pleasure to work with, she sells it in her etsy shop here if you are interested.

And, last but not least a well deserved cup of tea and an Anzac biscuit from The Little Larder in St.Leonards on sea after my freeeeezing cycle there on Thursday.

I had never tasted an Anzac biscuit before and was curious, the first thing that came to mind were "crunchies" that my sister and I made in our South African school hols. We made them with oats, coconut and syrup very similar to this Anzac recipe I found on the net. I think we might just bake some of these sometime soon for memories sake :o)

All in all its been a lovely week and I have had time to rest and recoup before its all engines blazing on Monday morning again.

I now need to announce the winner of my little give-away. Thank you for entering and for putting the post on your blogs(I entered you twice if you did this), much appreciated. I don't like this part where only one person gets to win but fortunately I don't have to choose....

True Random Number Generator  11Powered by RANDOM.ORG

And the winner is Sooz. Well done, please could you e mail me with your address so I can pop the prize into the post this week sometime. 

Thanks for visiting
See you all soon

Friday 22 February 2013

Chilly chills

Yesterday morning started out very colourful, my goodness I am having fun with my left over bits of Planet Penny cotton which I purchased over a year ago and have made various things with since. It's divine to wake up, make some tea and start my day with cotton and crochet hook, I really am wallowing in each day of my annual leave, savouring not having to dash here and there and remember this and that...oh and to forget all about making the packed lunches!

Unfortunately, my day then took another turn, a freezing bitterly cold one. I decided whilst Alice was busy with a friend over for the day, I'd cycle for a quick potter to St. Leonards on Sea just along the coast. What on earth possessed me? Who knows!

Bitterly cold shards of wind rushing through my face is an understatement! With an Easterly wind to cycle into, this was not a fun experience my friends, I had to keep stopping to blow my runny nose and re-adjust my multiple layers which kept creeping up to expose my lower back and my scarf, snood and woolly hat making me look like some kind of woolly ninja :o)

Just when I thought all hope was lost, the sun came out and I stopped to soak it up...

Beautiful hope

This gave me the momentum to persevere and stop to find the Banksy street art I have been meaning to see.

There were other street artists in St.Leonards who caught my eye too

And some more spotted as I had a potter around the town's charity  and retro/antique shops.

I stopped for a delicious sandwich and cup of tea before I embraced my cycle home which was brilliant given I had the easterly blowing me back home, I was back in about 20 minutes. All in all I think the painful cycle there was worth it and I'm pleased i proved to myself that I can cycle in this cold weather.

One of my favourite shops was visited, full of the most divine old buttons, fabrics, lace, beads and braiding. While I was admiring the buttons I couldn't help but eaves drop in on the conversation being had with the shop assistant and a customer who was looking for 1920's pin stripe fabric for making men's suites for a movie they were making. The shop assistant duly showed him what they had...the softest, purest wool, British woven pin stripe suite fabric ever...... after a quote of a few thousand pounds for all the meters needed, the customer took himself off for a stiff coffee to contemplate the offer. 

Unfortunately I didn't get to stay long enough to find out what deal went down but I am sure some serious negotiating was had!

As for me, well I came away with a few buttons and some samples of old pretty french wallpaper which I have little plans for.

Oh, and this delightful deer to add to my woodland collection, for 50p from a junk shop....bargain!

Thanks for all your wise and wonderful comments on my last post, I have loved reading them all and seeing the similarities and differences that make us all individual. I really appreciate the time and effort put into commenting. As a little thank you and just because I am having a small give away if you are interested here and the winners name will be randomly drawn on Sunday 24/2/13.

Have a fun fulled weekend wherever you are.
It's going be a chilly one in the UK judging by the odd snow flake I can see outside my window.
See you all soon 

Thursday 21 February 2013

It hit me

Yesterday at the Tate Modern,  it hit me when I was quietly looking and almost gently engaging in Gerhard Richter's Transformed Visions, that I have become more and more alone as I have got older. It made me think about what loneliness is and what being alone is. It scared but, also calmed me somewhat. I realised that I have a lot of people I call friends but no real friends (maybe by what the world defines friendship by). Does that make sense? 

What I think I mean is that I have slowly cocooned myself away from having meaningful girl friendships over the years. I've thrown myself body and soul into raising our girl (whose company by the way I adore...well mostly!), being the main bread winner and living in an almost virtual reality through social media and most of all being nostalgic and living on snap shots of my beautiful girl friends lives from University days and before I left South Africa to the day yesterday (19/2/1996)seventeen years ago. 

It was eery and weird thinking about who I really am and what path my life has taken since I came to these shores. And how I have grown, changed, who I have morphed into and become. I usually keep these thoughts locked away and rarely give them freedom to roam any of my grey matter. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not without friendly people in my daily life and I have wonderful work colleagues who have become friends, but whom I do not generally see outside of work and this is just fine by me. I have some wonderful women around my age who live in my street and we have "street conversations" and these are good but rarely go beyond these. I do meet up with Alice's art teacher J and some of her long term friends from time to time and it's good fun, but I don't really see them in-between these planned gatherings. And yet I am completely not lonely. In fact, I crave time on my own away from the hub bub and responsibilities of everyday life. I love to potter in my own company, reading, listening, making, doing, learning, observing and then returning back to the business of my daily life. 

I think I have become beautifully alone and it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. Whilst Alice continued onto the next gallery I allowed myself to come full circle with my thoughts and almost had to double check with myself that "Was I kidding/convincing myself that I'm not lonely?" just to make myself feel better? I feel like it's my life in reverse...when I was younger I got bored and really hated being alone and was the first to find and make friends wherever we lived or went on holiday to. I'm an extrovert at heart and love conversing with people, however as the years have rolled by my extrovert nature remains, I know I can just about have a conversation with anyone, yet I want to be more and more alone.

Strange realisation to come to in the middle of sipping on a bottle of water in an old London power station, but true.

Maybe, when life becomes less busy one day I'll have time and energy to invest into more meaningful girl-friendships. I wonder if this is selfish of me? Hmmmm something to think about. 

How about you? 
Do you like your own company?
Or do you prefer to be in company?
Do tell, I like these kinds of conversations.

See you all soon

ps. I like to think of blogging pals as company too, and have had the pleasure of meeting up with a couple of great bloggers over the last couple of years. Thanks to all those who visit this blog, I do so appreciate the time you take to chat to me and I do try and to pop into your blogging worlds too.

Monday 18 February 2013

Crazy cosy and a give away

So, here it is... a crazy cosy for my mother in laws teapot. Its taken me ages to make it and I'm still not sure about it yet. I don't think I particularly like it but I can't be bothered to make another one, does that make me sound awful? I just can't put my finger on what is irritating me about it. Oh well, we are off to Brighton for a few days this evening and I'll let you know what she thinks :o)

I used clever Alice's lovely simple pattern found here to make the cosy and then crocheted up some of Lucy's May Roses and knitted some swirly flowers that I also learnt from the clever Alice. I also felt compelled to make a pink pom pom which is one of my more favourite additions to this cosy. I enjoyed making this pom pom the way I did in the 70's as a kid with 2 cardboard discs and a hole in the centre for threading yarn through. Its not perfect but I do like it.

Thank you for all your get well wishes I am feeling so much better and more human today and have enjoyed a lie in and tea and toast in bed before going out into the sunshine and freezing breeze for a little charity shop hunting for my four happy things swap with Lisa from Bobo Bun. My Alice is doing a swap with Lisa's daughter Millie which she's excited about and also came thrifting with me through our local charity shops this morning. 

One of the things I found was a meter and half of pretty floral cotton fabric for the very sweet price of 30p. So, I've decided to include 1 meter of this into the give away (I have kept the other half meter for adding to my patchwork duvet cover I plan to make in the warmer months).

So, the give away will include 1 meter of this floral fabric, new pins, a knitted 'slightly hairy' apple pin cushion (see this post), two skeins of embroidery thread and some CHOCOLATE :o) 

Regarding the chocolate not being in the photo...well the moral of this little story is to not buy a bar of Green and Blacks choc and hide away in one's baking cupboard well out of sight when one lives with a chocoholic husband who has olfactory receptors (sense of smell cells in your nose) way beyond any other human I have ever met!! So, my dearest fellow bloggers a new bar will be purchased when the winner is picked on Sunday 24/2/13 and sent pronto before he sniffs it out again ;o)

Please just leave a comment, (follow if you fancy) and an email address if you don't have a blog for me to contact you on and I'll be random generating on Sunday. 

ps. Feel free to copy and paste the above pic to publicise this give away on your blog and I'll put your name in twice for the draw

Right that's me done and dusted, just got to pack a few things and get ourselves to Brighton to stay at my Mother in law for a few days over half term. Alice and I have planned a trip to Tate Modern this week where we look forward to going to the new Lichtenstein exhibition (her choice) while Daddy peruses cycling shops for his pleasure.

Have a marvelous week peeps
See you all soon

Friday 15 February 2013

52 weeks of happy 7/52

This past week has been rather hideous with a head cold, chest and blocked nose, so I really have not felt motivated to be crafty in any real way. I forced myself to have a day off to rest completely on Tuesday and did a little knitting and sorting out my left over yarny bits in bed. These yarns and their colours made me happy and cheered me up somewhat.
There is something quite therapeutic about lining up the colours of your left over yarn. I wanted to look at what colours I had to make some crochet flowers for my mother in law's tea crazy flower tea cosy I am making for her.

This cosy is taking me ages to complete and I try to keep working on it but, have not been inspired. I hope my crafty va va voom comes back as soon as I'm fully recovered.

If you read my previous post you would have read about this little guy and his hairy apple. They have made me happy this week.

I bought this hand printed V card for my gorgeous boy and he made me smile because he doesn't do Shakespeare and Poetry like I do, yet he took time to appreciate this in his own sweet way. That pleased me too.

So, cheerio my bloggy friends, I do hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We are all off for half term next week for a jolly good break from our routine!

See you all soon

Wednesday 13 February 2013

The hairy apple

Last night this little man climbed down from my printers tray to make his way towards the apple pin cushion I finished knitting in bed with the lurgy yesterday.

It was meant to be felted as per the pattern instructions in my copy of 30 minute knits but, alas the merino wool I knitted with refused to felt and instead turned hairy!

This however, didn't put the wee little garden gnome off, who cheerfully made his way to the apple. Here, he promptly settled himself on top of the apple for warmth from the chills of the mostly empty printers tray in the night.

Ahh, that's better, warm and squishy despite the arrival of pins.

My dearest fellow knitters, if you like quick instant gratification knits this book is for you. There are some truly delightful little knits for us beginners in the 30 minute knits book and I look forward to making many more fun (hopefully not hairy!) things. 

This is officially my 300th post and I did hint at a giveaway in my last post, but unfortunately I've been festering away with a cold over the weekend and most of this week so far and just am too darn tired to put a giveaway together right now. I also have an 8 am dentist appointment tomorrow which I'm dreading. 
I do promise to have one soon though, I have half term off with Alice next week so after we've been away on our little break I hope to post a little give away which will include this homemade, handmade hairy apple for one lucky recipient! 

See you all soon

Sunday 10 February 2013

Inner hippie

When I read the lovely Kristen of Cozy things post called "Charming" I felt a real warmth towards her clever idea of making a cotton crochet bracelet with some of my old orphaned earings, charms and beads that I had lying around. 

Ever since I can remember I have been a collector of beads, pendants, bits and bobs that could be threaded onto a thread to make myself ankle chains (in my teens!), beaded necklaces, bracelets and earings. Since my early 20's when I started earning my own money I was like a magpie when it came to Indian and Thai silver bits and bobs and there is a gorgeous shop in Brighton called Blackout that I adore and will always find myself being drawn back there for delicious jewels and beads to make my necklaces etc. I also like to buy beads when we go to different countries and over the years  have collected quite a few fun and memorable bits that I haven't found what to do with up until now.

So, yesterday afternoon when Andy and Alice went to football in Brighton, I got out an old broken necklace I had made ages ago and some of my other hippie pretties and got crocheting with embroidery thread to make my first cotton crochet charm bracelet.

Kristen made hers double this length and gives you very clear instructions on how to go about making this charming bracelet in this post

I'm rather pleased with how mine turned out and will definitely be making another one or two of these.

I think a long doubled over necklace would look pretty too.

I used a heart button at the end and instead of crocheting it on, I had to sew it on to the cotton as my tiniest crochet hook was till way too big to hook through the button holes. I had great fun making this and wearing it today. All I can think about now are all the possibilities....

Hope you all have a grand old week everyone and maybe, just maybe you might be able to bring out that inner hippie in some way too

ps. My next post will be my 300th one, so I think a little giveaway may be called for, watch this space.

Friday 8 February 2013

52 weeks of happy 6/52

This week has been a great learning curve for me at work and making further links with the Surgeons and Gastroenterologists that I work with. Amazing how my Career as a Dietitian which started over 20 years ago has almost come full circle to working with surgeons and gastroenterologists again. I'm loving getting back into the nitty gritty of how influential my role is in working side by side with these other specialists. Sorry...I get a bit passionate about my profession...ok on with my weekly happy little things.

I was a little excited when I found 2 vintage sheets for a pound each in a charity shop. I am determined to make us a patchwork duvet cover this Spring time and these two beauties will be most definitely be added to my stash and become part of the patchwork.

Nothing more comforting than homemade spicy carrot and lentil soup (quick no fuss recipe found here)and some yummy bread on a cold Sunday lunch time.

On Wednesday I came home to a big fat parcel waiting for me and was over the moon when I received this gorgeous Eames mid-century fabric cushion made by Ellie from Jelly Jam. She generously let me have a browse around her blog and Etsy shop and I could not have been more excited when I spotted her gorgeous taste in vintage fabrics...oh and be still my beating Ray Eames fabric heart! So here she is, this little beauty which no one was allowed to touch or cuddle till I had admired and soaked these beautiful patterns in :o)

 Is it not a beauty?

Oh I just LOVE it so very much thank you Ellie. Not only did I get this stunning cushion, but Ellie also included a lavender filled fabric heart which is scenting my home with beautiful romantic lavender. I felt rather overwhelmed and grateful for such a generous blogging community. I must also say a HUGE thank you to the gorgeous Ada of Vintage Sheet Addict fame who organised and match made Ellie and I for this blog swap. A really uplifting moment in my week! Thank you x

ps. look how pretty it looks with my chevron crochet blanket

In return, I crocheted some flower embellished fingerless gloves for Ellie in her favourite colour turquoise.

If you want to see her wearing them take a look at her post here

They were an absolute pleasure to make from Millamia Swedish yarn and I am so pleased she is happy with them. Yay, I like a win win situation!

Last but not least my weekly £1 bunch of daffodils split between upstairs and downstairs. My upstairs flowers were popped into this pale blue Meakin milk jug (20p in a junk yard sale) to provide first thing in the morning bathroom delight.

I bid you farewell fellow bloggers,thanks for visiting
Have a good one