Saturday 30 November 2013

52 weeks of Happy 48/52

Oh my, there are so many things for me to be thankful for this week I don't know where to begin and of course I haven't been able to capture nearly half as many of them. However, I did take the odd snap shot and just had to show you these sweet reindeers I found in a charity shop last weekend. They are tiny and apparently are supposed to be used for putting on Christmas cakes. I couldn't resist whipping them up for 50p and taking them home to pop in one of my garden pots. Alice has already adopted 3 of them for a Christmas printers-type tray house she is making in her crafty arts classes.

Talking of Alice, I have been secretly making her a crocheted pressie for this Christmas and will reveal all once it is finished. It's hard not to get happy with some hooky fun.

I went into Hastings old town last weekend and loved this simple idea of small clay pot plants being used for tea light candles. I love a candle light room I do. 

I bought another little green glass decoration to add to my chandelier crystal and glass decoration from last year to hand in the window.

Loving a bit of street art.

Loving this knitting woolly window display in a shop in the Old town again. Such a simple but clever idea and it's not even a yarn shop!

I had a really exhausting, but insipring time at my conference on Thursday and Friday at the Royal Marsden Hospital. The overnight stay really helped and my colleague Karen and I shared a lovely twin room after a nice dinner out in South Kensington, followed by a hot cup of tea and magazines in bed. It was good fun being with her, she has a wicked sense of humour.

I bought myself a copy of Homes and Antiques as a treat and the pages inside did not disappoint. Loving this candy coloured home.

I think that's about it. It's always good to be back home again. I feel overwhelmed with the mountain of stuff I need to do this weekend, but will get through it all I am sure.
Wishing you all a wonderful Winter/Summer weekend.
See you soon

Wednesday 27 November 2013

I can't draw...

Hello again, I haven't quite gone to London yet, I'll be on a super early fast train tomorrow morning with my knitting of course :o)

The title of this post "I can't draw..." is so true, I am absolutely useless as drawing anything, Picasso might have even been impressed at my child-like drawings I've attempted as an adult! I can't draw, BUT I can sort of doodle, so I wanted to pop my Christmas card making joy on here before I forget.

On Saturday afternoon I sat down to a couple of hours mucking about with my little water paints set and a pencil whilst Alice was at her ballet class. It was so nice to play with colour and paints again. I thought about keeping my cards simple again like last year and got doodling.

Initially I thought I would try and draw some kind of garland around a Christmas related word, but that just turned out too wonky for these non-drawing hands of mine. So I found an old rubber and got a lino cutting tool out and made a star which also turned out a bit wonky, but good enough I thought and I got doodling with a simple tree pattern to make these...

A ridiculously simple child like tree, but an opportunity for me to paint with my watercolour paints which I loved. So relaxing and soothing painting these little tree branches in colours I love.

I then got stamping with my cut out version of the Star of Bethlehem

To eventually end up making these...

Last, but not least I add the word "joy to the world" on the bottom of the cards as seen below.

I managed to make 10 so far and will make some more this coming weekend no doubt. I don't send half as many cards as I used to. They may look a little child-like in appearance, but I'm not worried as it's the message inside that counts as far as I am concerned. Oh and the fact that making them helped me to relax really well on Saturday afternoon :o)

So, how about you? Do you make cards or get your kids making them?
I'd love to know


Sunday 24 November 2013

Two shawls

I finally got round to blocking my two recently crocheted shawl scarves this weekend and I am pleased with the results.

They are made from two very different yarns, the first one being a skein of sock yarn from Greta and the Fibers which I bought in a yarn shop called "All you knit is love" when we went to Barcelona in the Summer. I didn't spend long in the shop as it was so very hot (about 40 degrees C) and quickly chose a skein of yarn which appealed to me.

This sock yarn has beautiful shades of green running through it and unfortunately I have not been able to capture this too well in the poor Winter light. I loved crocheting with it, very smooth and soothing and rhythmic.

I took these photos this morning and I must say I rather like this shawl/scarf and will be wearing it tomorrow. I used the pattern in this Erica Knight crochet book I have.

My second shawl scarf was made with Noro silk sock yarn using the South Bay Shawlette pattern which is free on Ravelry. It was also easy and quick to make and I like how the colours of this yarn are easily displayed in this pattern. These are not my colours as such, but I think they may grow on me.

The only thing about using this Noro sock yarn is that it's a little bit on the scratchy side so it will only be worn when outdoors on a freezing day to reduce the risk of getting an itchy neck!

All in all these shawls have given me great pleasure to make and I think I'll make good use of them this Winter.

I now need to go and get things ready for the week ahead. I am going to an overnight 2 day work related conference at the Marsden Hospital on Thursday and Friday this coming week which I have been looking forward to for months now. I must think about what knitting/crochet I can easily carry in my bag for the train journeys. I love to click away as the train tracks go clickety clack.

Hope you have a good week and see you at the end of it

Saturday 23 November 2013

52 weeks of Happy 47/52

It really is that time of the year when you start to see Christmas decorations and fairy lights appearing. I try to shut my eyes to all the commercial malarkey of Christmas (difficult I know) and go to places which gently remind me and nudge me to getting into the spirit of things. One such place is my absolute favourite book shop in East Sussex Much Ado About. It's just glorious and celebrates all things Bloomsbury and Ravilious and so much more. Upstairs they had a little Christmas craft fair which I loved and may have bought a thing or two :o) These felted stockings in the window made me happy.

Just another image from the village of Alfriston, I have always wanted to live in a house with these window levers. They really capture my imagination. We have the original sash windows on our Victorian terraced house and they are beautiful too.

Celebrating where you live and trying not to take it for granted is really important to me. We have lived here for 11 years now and love it. Last Saturday we went for a long stroll along the coast and stopped for a cuppa in the Colonnade and it was bliss just relaxing with a magazine and soaking up the sunshine.

We were extra lucky to have Keane visit our seaside town music's not dead shop to promote their new album last Friday at 4pm. Poor old Alice, she was so disappointed not to get in to see them as you were supposed to have got 1 of the 150 wrist bands leading up to the event to ensure you got to meet the band and a signature on your album. Unfortunately, we only found out too late, so instead we just gathered outside and listened to Tom Chaplin's beautiful voice and on tippy toes caught glimpses of him and the rest of the band. They sang a song about and called their album after the Sovereign Light CafĂ© on our seafront which always makes me smile.

I am an old bottle collector, always have been always will be. I found this little beauty to add to my collection and have already popped some Winter branches into it to hand up my little crochet Santa stocking I made just for the fun of it. It was my first one and looks a bit wobbly as I used different weighted yarn. I soon learned and started making them a bit more uniform with the same weighed yarn. I still like this one though, and it's wonkiness reminds me that it was not machine/factory made.

Last, but never least we were proud parents on Monday night watching our Alice receive the Year7 Art award and a Golden award for diligence, good behaviour and excellent marks. She was allowed to choose a book from Amazon up to £10 and chose a Great British Baking book as she is becoming quite the baker (not good for mummy's waist line!). She is not very keen to have her photograph taken these days, but I managed to sneak this one in the tea rooms of the Colonade.
I am always rather surprised at how much more diligent Alice is than I was at her age, school work and studying only dawned on me the importance of it about 6 months before my final exams when I decided I was going to do a B.Sc. degree at University and that I needed certain grades to get in. She seems much more mature and focussed than I ever was. It really delights me, but at the same time I want her to remember she mustn't grow up too quickly. She will be choosing her GCSE subjects at the end of Year 8 which is a scary thought, but I know she will make the right decisions for her.

Have a marvellous weekend everyone
Thanks for your comments on my little bear, so kind
See you all soon

Tuesday 19 November 2013

This little bear

This little bear brooch will find himself all wrapped up and ready to be put in Alice's stocking this Christmas. I found the free pattern here on Ravelry and although I thought he didn't look very bear like at first he is growing on me. Maybe he is baby bear and the original one is Papa bear?

I am hoping that he might be pinned onto one of Alice's cotton bags that she uses and be a furry friend this winter. I think this pattern is very sweet and has endless possibilities. Maybe a big bear cushion?

I have enjoyed crocheting him up with the lovely fine Rowan Nordic Tweed that I bought when we went to Liberty last year. It has a real woodland look to it when hooked up.

How is your week going? Are you managing to squeeze in little Christmas makes here and there?

Take care and have a good week
See you all soon

Friday 15 November 2013

52 Weeks of happy 46/52

This week I have had quite a few happy little moments, one of them was starting to make some Christmas baubles for the tree from some old white cotton I found in a charity shop ages ago. These are such fun and really easy to make (pattern from here) I started with white , but am sure I will move onto something more colourful.

Just being aware of how beautiful the world around us is, especially in this season. I can't wait for the first frost here in the south, it makes me feel like God has sprinkled the world with icing sugar.

Our seaside meanderings and collecting always makes me happy.

Look at the perfection in this pebble!

Last Weekend I went to a local craft fair and bought a couple of divine smelling homemade soaps to go with my face cloths I have been knitting as simple Adult Christmas presents. They are full of geranium, orange, frankincense and other spicy oils and smell amazing.

I like the way this unbleached cotton wash cloth has turned out, all bumpy for texture on one side and all smooth on the other. This is very easily achieved by:
  • Cast on a ODD number of stitches (I chose 41)
  • Row 1: Knit 3st then purl 1, knit 1 until the last 3 stitches which you then knit
  • Row 2: Knit the whole row
  • Repeat rows 1 and 2 until desired length
  • Simple!

Last, but not least I have started hooking the very easy and addictive South Bay Shawlette just for fun. I found a ball of Noro silk sock wool in my stash and thought the colours looked pretty.

I plan to plonk myself on the sofa tonight with a nice glass of wine and carry on making this and planning some other Christmas treats.

Hope you have a lovely weeks ending and find some time to do some unwinding and relaxing. Thanks as always for visiting.

See you all soon


Wednesday 13 November 2013

Nature in the Home

On Sunday we simply had to get out into the glorious sunshine. I felt like a woman on the edge of time desperately seeking those rays of sheer warmth and delight after all the wet and grey and dismal days we have been having of late. We went walking along the coast and lay on the warm pebbles at the seaside with eyes closed secure in the knowledge that we were being renewed by the suns energy.

As we walked along the coast I felt inspired to pick a few of these dried out flower heads(I don't know what plant this is)to do something for Lou's Nature in the home series. I scrambled around the bottom of my bag and found odd bits of cotton and a little wool and together with some of the fishing wire I found on the beach I got myself busy winding.

The fishing wire was a tangled mess and I tried to retrieve as much as possible. The winding was very relaxing and didn't involve much concentrating as I enjoyed the view.

I bumped into a friend of mine and she thought I had lost the plot with my makings :o) We had a giggle about these funny cotton and wool bound flowers and even though she didn't understand I was determined to bring them home to admire this week.

And so I did! Not the prettiest thing I have ever made, but definitely one of the more gentle lazy sunshine soaked forgetting about all your troubles things I've made. Nature definitely restores what life seems to strip away from me.

I hope you were able to get out in the sun this last Sunday.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Baby blanket Ta-dah

Here it is, my latest creation for my Sister-in-Law, Fiona who is expecting her second baby in March next year. I have loved making this from Drops Paris 100% cotton. I used 3 balls of each colour plus one more of the beige for the finishing border and edge.

This blanket weighs 750g and feels lush and creamy and yummy. I must say that the cotton was a bit on the "splitty" side, but I didn't let that stop me.

I used a 4mm instead of the recommended 5mm crochet hook to make each treble stitch a little tighter and more snug.

I only added this edge at the top of the blanket and made it up as I went along. I quite like how it's turned out. A little crown like edging fit for a little prince or princess.

As you can see this little blanket had to come out on location with me for it to be shown in its entirety. I like the colours I chose, simple and solid.

I especially adore the combination of mustard and turquoise.

So there it is, just needing to be wrapped up and put under the Christmas Tree for baby bump.

I loved making this and miss not having it to work on already, I think I might just have to make a grown up version of this sometime.
Thanks so much for visiting
See you all soon