Saturday 28 September 2013

52 weeks of Happy 39/52

So this past week has found me tidying up a lot! I had a sort out of all our hats scarves, cowls, coats and such like and decided to send some to charity shops and the rest to be neatly folded so we can see what we have got when the real chilly weather arrives. It's actually a lot less than what I thought, we do seem to have a few berets between Alice and I and all have about 3 pairs of gloves each. I wonder if this is still too much?

Our beautiful dreamer turned 13 on Thursday. I looked for a 13 birthday card and none of them spoke to me, but when I found this sweet card I couldn't resist. Keep day dreaming Alice!

Talking of birthdays I bought this little treasure which is from the 1800's Victorian era. How gorgeous is it that it has a flower for each day of the year and someone has written their family/friends birthdays in in ink with 1800's birth dates. I don't know if I will write my dates in or not, do you think it would spoil it or not? I haven't decided yet.

Oooh look I finished my little 18 month old niece's wee socks for her to wear with her wellies. I am going to send them to her this week as she is recovering from nasty tonsillitis and hopefully this will bring a little cheer in the post. I used this free pattern on Ravelry. I was rather pleased that I had just enough left over sock yarn from when I knitted Alice a pair of socks. There always seems to be so much yarn left over when knitting socks.

Well, that's all folks
I realy wish I could be going to Yarndale  this year, maybe next time. It would be a great opportunity to meet fellow blogging friends and all that yarn...gosh I'm sure it will be a fabulous event. Happy weekending everyone!


Wednesday 25 September 2013

Dear Alice

Oh darling girl, you'll be 13 tomorrow
Our beautiful girl is growing up and carving a way for herself into her teenage years.
There will be challenges and the road will feel rocky at times, but we know that you have your feet solid on the ground and will figure things out for yourself.

You are beginning to metamorphosise into who you are, carving out your identity. Being true and authentic while still struggling with the peer pressure that comes at this time in our lives.

We love watching you grow and talking and debating and rationalising things out with you.
We love seeing how you are moving into expressing yourself more and more in the arts,ballet,drama and musical theatre and how brave you are to take up new ventures.

Keep your sensitive and kind natured self,
question things and continue to want to learn and strengthen your knowledge of the world.
Keep giggling and being girly and free spirited.

May this next year of your tender life be blessed with grace and beauty. 

Thank you for keeping our days with you amazing and adventurous.

Many happy returns Alice
We love you so, we do.

Saturday 21 September 2013

52 Weeks of Happy 38/52

Hello there
I feel like I have been in a timeless bubble of hurly burly this last week. If I didn't have the weekends to really slow down I would surely crash :o) How has your past week been? Sometimes I find myself having to really stop and focus on what has brought me a little joy over the week, these posts keep me mindful of that and I don't really capture half of the things that really matter, like kind words, a hug, a feeling, thoughts etc.
Always included in my joyfulness is a yarny moment (or two) and this week I found the most perfect round pebble whilst going for a walk on the beach after work one day and knew exactly what I was going to do with it. And so voila, here we have a red covered pebble. I love the feel of these pebbles once I have crocheted over them. They feel so wholesome, so good and therapeutic in one's hand (ok I'm going a little barmy here about these little things but it's true, I promise).

My little collection of these is growing, Andy thinks I might be able to open a museum one day (he he)

End of Season Alliums are a work of art in their own right. I simply adore them and like to pop them in old bottles around the house.

Hey, guess what? I finished the sleeves on my scrappy cardigan! Hooray, now I need to get on with the collar and button bands and hopefully it will be ready to go for October chills. I'm quite liking how all my scraps have been married up here. Alice has asked me to promise never to wear it out the house though :o) I remember those early teen days being embarrassed about what my mum wore, weird to think that I'm the mum now!

I made some mushroom pate for a friend who was having a surprise party for her husband's 50th birthday last night. It was delicious(although doesn't look particularly appetising!) with rustic French bread. My mum used to make it and its so easy if you want to give it a go?
Grate a punnet of mushrooms, chop up half a medium sized onion and 1 clove of garlic. Fry the onions and garlic till soft, add the grated mushrooms and a good glug of red wine and cook well until all moisture has evaporated. Take off the hot plate, season with loads of freshly ground pepper a wee bit of salt and add a tub of creamy Philadelphia type cheese and let it cool, pop in fridge and serve when chilled...Yum

Oh and I cast on some toddler socks for my niece who is 18 months old, I simply had to take a small portable project on the train to London on Thursday (it takes me 2 hours each way). So I decided on using up some left over sock yarn that I used to knit Alice some socks with last year. Its so quick to knit little people socks, I'm loving this project.  They will be added to her Christmas parcel this year.

Last, but not least, I bought a little Mid-Winter jug, just couldn't resist the colours and pattern. Oh dear, I will never be able to live in a minimalist home!

Happy Weekending to you all

Monday 16 September 2013

A little sewing fun

Thank you for all your lovely kind words on my last post. I really appreciated each and everyone of them, I feel so touched that I can show a little of my ups and downs here and can enjoy our "virtual friendships".

I had time for rest and relaxation this past weekend and found myself up in my sewing space in our partially converted attic on Saturday afternoon. I love it up there, it's where I have an old antique pine chest with all my fabrics and yarn in as well as my old sewing box full of cottons, buttons, ribbons and pins and needles. I can put my lamp on, radio 4 and have plenty of floor space to chop away at fabrics. I don't know why I always have had to cut patterns out on the floor, it just feels like the most natural place to cut fabric for me. My mum taught me to sew in my early teens and I am not sure if she meant to teach me to use the floor for cutting out, it's just the way it happened :O)

So, I pulled out a book I had borrowed from the library and followed the easy instructions on how to make a lined tote bag.

It was so therapeutic and great fun to see the end result. I'm pretty chuffed with this as I have never sewn a lined bag before.

The outside fabric was some old Sanderson British furniture fabric I found ages ago in a charity shop and the inside is part of an old vintage sheet. My old Elna sewing machine did well sewing through this thick fabric, it needs a service I think. I got it for my 20th birthday from my mum and dad and am ashamed to say that in 23 years it has never had a service...ooops, better correct that I think.

I feel like this first attempt at making a lined tote bag has now opened up opportunities to play around with fabrics, add pockets, add doilies or old embroidered tray cloths etc. to my bag making possibilities. Look out Christmas, a few bags might be being made!

I have decided to give this to Yvonne as a little thank you gift for kindly giving us her old hutch for our bunny, Dilly.
Andy did a sterling repair job and it looks and functions as if it was as good as new for our little bun bun.

Just before I wrapped it up I gave it a test run by popping down to the library to return some other books and came back home with this sweet little new to me knitting book. I know I am not meant to be starting any new projects, but a girl can window shop can't she?

Thanks for visiting, I do hope this week has some very cheery moments in it for you
See you soon

Friday 13 September 2013

52 Weeks of Happy 37/52

My dearest blogging friends,
To say that this week was a rollercoaster of emotions is an understatement! I've gone full pelt along the spectrum of extreme happiness to extreme it down to being tired and very busy in my fabulous job? or the fact that the Summer is slipping through our fingers here in the Northern half of the world? or just not really coping with being at work full time, being wife and mum and cleaner and cook? I'm not complaining, I have just struggled a little these past 7 days.

Somehow, having these weekly free, sweet moments posts makes me notice in amongst feeling blue that my life is rich and very colourful and I am truly blessed. Thank you for visiting and sharing with me.

First up, I crawled into bed after a hot bath on Tuesday at 6.30pm! I was super tired from a long 14 hour Monday and needed to be warm and cosy under the covers with cups of tea, Alice reading to me and my crochet hook. I managed to make a few more colourful covered pebbles for her friends who have asked for one as a "pet rock" and especially favoured the yellow one thinking of the sunshine and warmth I was craving. Here it's pictured on a piece of Lucien Day wrapping paper I bought a while back. I adore her designs and this mustardy one gives me the thrills especially.

I made some of our favourite spicy carrot and lentil soup from this easy recipe and it was delicious with hot crusty bread and butter, just what the chills doctor ordered. I love that Alice loves this simple meal too, we have got her into eating more and more spicy foods because we love them so.

I scrambled up into my attic last Saturday afternoon and sewed Alice a vintage sheet and recycled fabric patchwork cushion for her up and coming 13th birthday. A lot of the vintage sheet pieces came from the lovely Ada at Vintage Sheet Addict (thank you so much Ada, they are so pretty). I always like to give Alice a little something homemade from her mama for her birthdays. She likes cushions on her bed so hopefully this will be a cherished one too.

Once again, just some simple delicious food for lunches, add some mozzarella and a wee bit of pesto and yum, I could eat sandwiches like this forever. Simple, but scrummy.

A little visit to the Vintage/Antique warehouse around the corner from us called Eras of Style for coffee and cake on Saturday afternoon with Andy whilst Alice was at ballet was lovely. These mostly German vases made me smile.

I've also been working on some more granny crochet squares for a friend of mine's blanket which I think will take the whole Winter to do! and of course the second arm of my scrappy cardigan which I'm plugging away at. Alice is watching me like a hawk to make sure I don't rush out and purchase some more yarn to start yet another project :o)

I do hope you are all well and that you haven't felt too blue this week with the cooler temperatures? I hope this weekend will give me the rest I need and look forward to chilling out and visiting your blogs.

Happy days to you all wherever you are

Saturday 7 September 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - 36/52

I have missed out a few week of my 52 week blog posts with having been away and just trying to catch up with myself. I was a little on the fence as to whether I wanted to carry on, it almost feels a little self indulgent...but then blogging is a wee bit like that for me. It's a fun record of my happenings and the fact that you might come and say hello, is a bonus. I do love the "virtual friendships" through blogging.

So here goes for week 36...

Tea and cake and chatter in my friend Janie's English country garden last weekend. She has the greenest fingers and the most beautiful garden space which I have the fortune of enjoying.

A little collage of some of the glorious parts of Janie's garden. I could do a whole post of all the beauty that it gives.

I've been trying to be committed to finishing knitting my rather OTT scrappy cardigan which seems to be taking an absolute age. It feels like mindless knitting round and round and round we go, but I'm getting there almost finished one arm. I am knitting it longer than the pattern which is a 3/4 sleeve cardigan as I have scraps of yarn to use up and I want this to keep me warm in the Winter when I come home, have a hot bath and mill about in my pj's in the dark Winter evenings. I feel so tempted to start another project BUT my clever girl Alice is keeping me in check and on track. She helped me sort our all my yarn and fabric in the attic last weekend and has cleverly bagged and labelled all my WIP's and promptly told me that I have various crochet and knitting projects I can chop and change to when I am bored without starting a new one! Now who is the child and who is the adult in this scenario....:o)

Making malteser milkshakes from our homemade ice-cream. The recipe is so easy peasy, a colleague gave it to me and doesn't involve an ice-cream maker or mixing/whisking it up every 2 hours while it starts to freeze as some recipes suggest. All you need is:

  • 3 mixing bowls
  • 4 eggs separated
  • Beat the 4 yolks with 100g caster sugar in bowl 1
  • Beat the 4 egg whites to stiff peak stage in bowl 2
  • Beat 300ml double cream to incorporate some air bubbles in bowl 3
  • Add all these ingredients together with a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Put in the freezer for 24 hours and voila you have made vanilla ice-cream!
  • You can add fruit or bits of choc or other flavourings etc. to make a fun ice-cream, we added crushed maltesers chocolate this time and it was delish

Last, but not least, Andy bought me some of my favourite flowers on Tuesday, just because. The best excuse ever!

I hope you have all had some sweet moments in your past week and thank you for all your lovely compliments on my last post about my finished crochet blankets, for the first time ever I actually enjoyed the rhythmic sewing in of all the ends, we'll see how long that lasts ha!

See you all soon

Tuesday 3 September 2013

All those ends

Hello there, happy first week of sweet September! I'm loving the gloriously beautiful sunny days and evenings we are still having despite that wee chill in the air in the early mornings. My September is a full one and a very busy post Summer holiday one at work, but all is good. All is good especially when "All those ends" have been sewn in and cut off in neat little piles. 

Which ends am I talking about? My yarn ends of course!

Ta-dah! Here is my long awaited Rico Aran cotton large granny blanket, full of bright and happy Summer colours. Much to my shame it has been sitting in the attic with some of my other yarny projects waiting for me to sew in the ends and snip off the very end ends. Hooray, it's done and has already graced Alice's bed last night.

Here it is in all it's colourful glory!

Dilly, our pet bunny also had to inspect and thankfully approves this cotton granny when I was trying to take photos yesterday evening. She is an inquisitive little thing and loves anything cotton, especially clothes when I am trying to hang them on the line!

Next up were these ends...

The ends from my chevron zig zag baby blanket which I finished on Sunday night. It's soft and warm merino yarn and I just love all these colours for babies, soft, earthy and mellow, I hope Lynette does too.

Thanks for letting me indulge in my crochet love and for your sweet comments. I hope the rest of your week goes well and you find some crafty moments as the evenings start to draw in .

See you soon