31.1.11

good homes



Last November I was approached by GoodHomes magazine asking me to send them one of my purses for possible use in a future issue. They sent it back to me a couple of weeks later and because I heard nothing more, I thought perhaps they weren't going to use it after all.

Imagine my surprise and delight then, to see it featured in the new March issue. It's been included in an article about decorating and accessorising your room, using craft materials such as crochet, knitting, lace and felt. The purse is this cashmere one and I don't mind saying I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning when I saw it sitting there, on the top of a lovely pile of cushions.

It's only a small picture but it certainly made my weekend!

Hoping you had a lovely weekend too?

And one more thing, thank you so much for your good health messages, you bloggy girls are so lovely! x

27.1.11

bouncing


A horrible lurgy has just claimed the last four days which so infuriates me. I hate the feeling of utter lethargy and the inability to do something when only bed calls. But although it did truly knock me for six I am without doubt the right side of it now, with fingers crossed and hoping to goodness that no one else in the family comes down with it.


However, despite the fact I couldn't summon up the energy to do anything, I did lie in bed, having lovely thoughts about what craftiness I should get up to first. I haven't done any dressmaking for an age and I'm feeling its call big time. It's way too soon to think about summer but certainly a little something for the spring, surely it must be coming soon?


So once I chose a piece of fabric from the groaning shelf, and popped it into the washing machine for a spot of pre-shrinkage, I set to work on something different. You see, I may not be feeling bouncy at the moment, but there's no reason why I shouldn't be thinking about it ..

Hey presto, one sweet little bouncing bunny egg cosy. From this great book, it is definitely helping to put a little spring in my step!


Oh, by the way, I didn't say thank you so much for the lovely comments about my lace scarf. You'll be pleased to know it is actually warming my mother now and it arrived at a very timely moment, hasn't it gone so cold?

Keep warm x

21.1.11

greens



I saw these sweet things the other day, that had been bought to grace the table over Christmas 2009 and subsequently forgotten. I only noticed them because the kittens were trying to tuck in and once I'd managed to get close enough, realised the already fragrant hyacinths had survived all this time without any water or attention whatsoever. I think they deserve some now, don't you?


It occurs to me there are other greens happening in our house right now and I'm wondering whether it must be due to the onset of spring. Perhaps I'm coming out of my grey phase?


But then again, looking at the 5-day weather forecast, I doubt that very much!

Happy weekend x

17.1.11

a lace scarf


I don't know about where you are today but it hasn't stopped raining since the moment I got up. Definitely a day to stay in and get in some crafting, me thinks ..

Here's another courtesy of Jenny and her indispensable, and now very well thumbed, book. I don't necessarily agree with India Knight's review comment that this is "the only book about knitting you'll ever need", however it's a jolly good place to start. Naturally I shall be buying others, but I LOVE this book and can easily see myself doing many more of the projects inside.

For this I used about a skein and a third of Rowan's Cocoon in lavender ice, a pretty grey-purple shade. Once I'd finished, I blocked it on a towel overnight which really opened out the lace pattern, flattening the scarf in the process which is good, since it was curling in on itself beforehand.


It's knitted in little arrowhead lace stitch (see below), a repeat of four rows of stitches, and I was grateful for my row counter until I got to grips with the pattern, because I had to keep putting it down. Those nasty chores will get in the way. This project has been a few weeks in the making, it hasn't been easy to sit and get much done in one sitting and I blame those naughty kittens for that. I should have known what was coming when the rescue home sent us photos of them as babes, both mischievously playing with balls of wool. And then there was the ripped blanket - please don't let that be the next thing!!!

Wishing you a lovely week, whatever you may be doing x

little arrowhead lace stitch
Row 1 : P
Row 2 : sl 1, k1, *yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k1; repeat from * to last st, k1
Row 3 : P
Row 4 : sl 1, k2, *yo, s2kp, yo, k3; repeat from * to end of row

13.1.11

two good things



I received Diana's giveaway prize today, which was a visual feast from the moment I opened the outer envelope. I love her pared down, simplistic style; the fact she used all recyclable materials to present and pack her lovely handmade cards and notebook that lay therein. The cardboard the goodies were attached to will doubtless be taken by the children for their crafting, as will the thread that was used for wrapping. And the contents, of course, will be treasured by me! Her work is so beautiful, she really should get some up for sale so everyone can experience this. Thank you so much Diana - and Walter of course, for taking the trouble to go to the Post Office too!


And more goodness came recently from Jo, in the form of her liebster blog award, which celebrates blogs with fewer than 300 followers. Do you remember when you first started your blog? How you got really excited when someone came to comment and then even more so when they came back a second time? Jo's just starting out with her lovely flowering cherries blog, so do go and say hello. Thank you Jo.


I've been tagged already quite recently, so wasn't particularly keen to do another this soon but the liebster involves no work, other than to introduce who it came from and then to pass it on to a further 3-5 bloggers. I'm going to send all my nominations across the various seas, to -


I really enjoy popping over to see what craftiness and dressmaking they've been up to and really, what strikes me is that no matter where in the globe we belong, we all like pretty much the same things.


Happy Thursday x

11.1.11

shhh ..


aaaaah .. all is quiet. And now, I'm heading craftwards ...

9.1.11

splash of colour : january


I've been searching for a splash of colour for quite some time now but it's been so gloomy outside, and inside too come to think of it. But I bought some lovely bright orange clementines from my local farm shop yesterday and it must be the professional foodie in me because I always get excited when I see the stalks and leaves still attached. So when the most wonderful ray of light shone into the sitting room this morning, I snapped away at those jewelled fruits, much to the horror of the children, who thought they were going for good.

Today we drove up to Hampstead to have lunch with relatives which was so much fun. The journey up there was filled with colour too, so I took some shots on the way. I'm amazed these photos weren't completely blurry, my husband doesn't quite understand the meaning of 'slow down'!


Driving along York Road, we passed the London Eye, which I think is so beautiful. I'm glad they let it stay after the Millennium celebrations. When we were going over Waterloo Bridge the sun was in the wrong direction but the Eye looks just as lovely in silhouette. Waterloo Bridge is one of my favourite London bridges, the views from either side are mesmerising.


Here you can see the Houses of Parliament, with the flag on top.


On the left of the picture you can see St Paul's Cathedral and in the middle, the 'Gherkin' (named due to its shape) which houses mostly insurance companies and investment banks.


On the right, in the distance, there is Canary Wharf with its triangular shaped roof. Yet more bankers there I'm afraid!


Tomorrow my boy is still not at school but I have managed to rustle up a playdate. Perhaps there's a small hope I may get some crafting done!

What did you do today?

8.1.11

wetland



We went here today. It's named quite aptly, given the wet weather we've been having lately, and the rain held off just long enough for us to enjoy a stroll around the grounds and visit the many hides in search of a better view.


It never ceases to amaze me that an oasis of peace and tranquility, not to mention the abundance of birdlife, can be found in the big city. In fact there is just the roar of air traffic every five minutes and the blocks of flats on the edges that give the game away.


This WWF is one of nine around the country but the only one in London and although I'm not the keenest of bird watchers, I've been inspired to return in warmer weather when there will be a different variety of species to be seen and more activities for the children to do.


What did you do today?

3.1.11

fresh start

{warmed just pressed apple juice - does the job!}

That's it then. The decorations are down, the tree's at the recycling dump, house cleaned (ish) and there's just the hoovering to be done before heading back to the usual routine. I'm ready for it now.

And this new year brings a new style blog (although still a change or two to come, I think). Not by choice but by default as it happens; for some reason I went into that template designer section, pressed a button or two and hey presto, ended up with irreversible blog overhaul. That's what comes from having time on your hands, so let that be a lesson to you. But, on reflection, if ever there is time for a change, it has to be a new year ..


This, the final project of 2010, was a last minute one and ready just in time for the big day. I bought only one skein of this yarn, which MLF had recently spied in the local shop, homing in on the glitteriness of it of course.


The lady in the shop advised one skein would suffice for a narrow scarf. Did I listen? Nope, I did not. I cast on my 30 stitches but quickly realised there would be nothing like at that rate so I decreased gradually after about 28 rows, knitted a further 70-odd rows of a dozen stitches before increasing for the final 28 which worked really well since there was only a small amount of yarn left at the end. It was super quick knitting it in garter stitch, thankfully, and unbelievably it looks quite nice. It slightly resembles a bow tie and has gone down very nicely thank you with madam.


There's another work in progress which I'm hoping will be done in the next day or two and during the holidays I also discovered the joys of Ravelry, one more addiction to add to the list! Knitting is definitely becoming the new bedtime reading!

What craftiness have you got on the go?
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