Friday, December 30, 2011


Poor me. I'm unable to do ANYTHING as I've had an operation on my right hand. I've been suffering with carpel tunnel syndrome for about two years now and it's been getting worse for the last few months. My hands go numb all the time and night time is worse, it wakes me up and when the feeling comes back I get an ache all the way up my arms. Not pleasant. So yesterday was op-day and it went well. It's only a 15 min operation so it was done under local anaesthetic and now I can't do anything for at least two weeks and no heavy lifting for about 6 weeks, and when it's recovered I start all over again with an op on my left hand. Whoopee!
               I've been crocheting like mad to make up for this enforced abstinence and when I persuade someone to take some photos for me I will share them. On the plus side my letter to santa was answered, I got a camera for xmas so my photos should be better. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Just popped in to wish everyone a merry christmas. Hope you are all having a good day.

Monday, December 5, 2011

xmas decorations

Just wanted to show you my xmas decorations on my fireplace. I made the little knitted stockings garland last year, the pattern came from Little cotton rabbits blog and this year I added the crochet snowflakes, courtesy of Attic 24's blog. I'm really grateful to all these crafty people who share their patterns with the rest of us.


The following photos show my gorgeous tea light holders that I bought from Marks and Spencer about six years ago. They are ceramic and incredibly detailed and just look beautiful when the candle is burning inside. This house is actually square so it can be viewed from all angles but I just love the front view, that front door looks so inviting.

The fireplace looks so warming and the little cat is enjoying it.

How beautiful do they look? M&S haven't had these in store for years and their latest ones are not nearly as well made or as detailed as these. I'm so glad I bought them all those years ago, it really starts to feels like christmas when I get them out. Even Hubby admitted last night that it felt christmassy with all my homemade crafts around! But he was slightly annoyed that I hadn't got round to making the mince pies yet.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas wreath

Just wanted to share a photo of my Xmas wreath with you all. I'm quite proud of it, I spent yesterday afternoon in the kitchen snowed under with various foliage from the garden and listening to Classic FM on the radio. All very festive all it needed was some mince pies but unfortunately I haven't got round to making any yet. That's next on my to do list.
Anyway off to put up the tree and decorations now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A busy- ish week

My Mum has been to stay with us this week and it has been lovely. I have just been to the train station to drop her off, she's always a bit torn about going home. She's happy to get home to see my Dad, but always a bit sad to be leaving us. Hopefully she had a good time while she was here.
We started off her visit with a trip to London to the Country Living Christmas Fair. Mum hasn't been to that fair before and she really enjoyed herself. We managed to look at all the stalls in relative ease before it got too crowded. I made a bee-line to see the lovely Julia from Red hen originals who makes fantastic bird and animal pictures by using potatoes! - yes you read correctly. This owl is my recent purchase, how fantastic is he? ( ignore the dates on the photos it's my sons camera and I don't know how to turn the date off  And it's three years out, I don't know what he does to it)

You would never guess her painting medium would you? I bought my first two paintings from her in March at the spring fair and I have just fallen in love with her work. These are my original pictures.

I must apologise for my terrible photos they really don't do the paintings justice, but I'm hoping Santa is going to bring me a better camera for christmas, if they are still terrible then it will be the fault of the operator. I need to get my owl framed and then I think I will hang him in the bedroom.
I also had my eye on this bag from Susie Watson, it's supposed to be a toybag but I'm going to use it as a bag to carry my laundry out to the washing line, I've been meaning to get a new one for ages and I think this will do perfectly, it will certainly brighten up the washing chore, what do you think? It's very jaunty isn't it? 

So we had a great time in London and even managed to squeeze in a visit to Loop where I bought another skein of Madeline Tosh sock wool, but I haven't got a photo to show you, maybe next time.
The rest of the weekend was spent chilling, I carried on with my ripple blanket , Mum played with Little T and on her DS and Hubby painted his teeny tiny soldiers. I will take a photo one day of our Sunday afternoon crafting sessions. 
Yesterday we went for a jaunt to beautiful Southwell in Nottinghamshire, mainly to visit the wool shop as I had run out of a colour I needed for my ripple blanket, only to find that it was closed. Never mind we had a nice time anyway even though it seemed to be monday closing for most of the other shops as well ! So today I decided after dropping Mum off at Newark I would whizz back to the wool shop for a second attempt, guess what ? it was shut today as well . Hmmph. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New project

I have been trying to do this post for a while but the computer wouldn't let me upload my photos for some inexplicable reason. Anyway, I want to show you my latest crochet project, I'm joining in with Attic 24's ripple along. These are the colours that I've chosen, they are a mix of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and Millamia merino. 

The colours are beautiful and the wool is a dream to work with, I am loving this blanket so much. It took me a few goes to get it right. I spent many hours doing the foundation row only to end up with more stitches at the end of the row. The next attempt saw the foundation row going well but then I realised at the end of the second row I had made a pattern error right at the beginning of the first row! That was a very frustrating weekend. Once I'd cracked it though the pattern was really straightforward and the blanket is now steadily growing. 

Hope you like it, I'm already planning what to do with the leftover wool, maybe another cushion. I haven't given up on the knitting completely, I've also been making another pair of socks as it's that time of year when I want to pad around the house in cosy socks.

The yarn I have used is Regia and it forms a nice stripey pattern as you go along. I've got two more balls of sock wool to use up so I'm going to be pretty busy. 
I have got some other finished things to show you but I will do that next time as my hubby is out and I need him to show me how to rotate my photos. I knew he would be useful for something.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Knitted blanket finished.

Last night I finished my knitted blanket that I started last November. I can't believe I've actually finished it in under a year, as I left it alone for ages whilst I learnt to crochet. I'm incredibly proud of it, it is beautiful.

The pattern is from Debbie Abrahams book Blankets and throws to knit. It is full of gorgeous blankets that you just want to own. 

I've actually made my blanket two rows less than the original as I felt it was big enough for me. I also changed one of the patterns as I wasn't keen on the original, but that's the beauty of it you can adapt it to your tastes. In the end I decided to crochet the edging instead of picking up hundreds of stitches and also left out the beads from the edging. I think it still looks ok though.

I haven't decided yet where to put it, but I feel it needs to be out on display for all to see, admire and stroke.

The yarn is funny to work with it's Rowan Denim and it acts like denim as well, all the colour comes out on your hands and stains the wooden knitting needles. It also fades and shrinks when washed. Debbie suggests making up the blanket and then washing it but I as usual decided to do it differently. I washed the individual squares in separate coloured batches and then sewed them together, I couldn't face the risk of the blue running into the cream it would have been heartbreaking after all that work.
It has been a complete labour of love but I am quite pleased that I have finished it, I have so many other projects I want to get on with including the ripple- along with Lucy from Attic 24.
Hope you like it as well, let me know if you have made this blanket I would love to see your pictures.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crochet chickens

I've been meaning to show you these for a while. I'm quite pleased with them, they worked out ok, what do you think? Do they look like chickens? They are not as greedy as my other two.
The blanket edging is going ok so far. I finally finished stitching it together yesterday and it looks good, hopefully I will be able to show you it very soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple cake

As promised yesterday here is the apple cake recipe. A friend gave me a boxful of Bramley apples so I need to find lots of different ways to use them.

1 large Bramley apple approx 225g
225g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice
125g butter
125g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten

Heat the oven to 190c and grease a 20cm cake tin. Peel and core apple and dice, keeping a few slices to decorate the top.
Sift flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a bowl. Rub in butter to make breadcrumbs.
Stir in sugar, apple and zest, then stir in beaten eggs to form a stiff mixture. Spoon into cake tin and level the surface. Decorate the top with the apple slices. I sprinkled the top at this point with demerara sugar to give it some crunch.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until springy to touch. Leave to cool then tuck in.
A slice makes all the sewing together of my blanket so much more enjoyable.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nearly finished

It's true I've nearly finished my Debbie Abrahams picnic blanket! I finished knitting my last square last night and now I've got the daunting task of sewing them all together and then edging it. I think I'm going to change the pattern slightly and try and crochet the edge, hopefully it will look good. I'm looking on other people's blogs for edging inspiration. If you have any ideas to offer I'd love to hear them.
The picture of the pile of knitted squares is just some of them, there are a lot more! Looks like I'm in for a busy weekend. Luckily there is a delicious smell coming from the kitchen to keep my spirits up. I made an apple cake this morning and I will share the recipe with you next time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Look what arrived today.

The lovely plate that I won in a giveaway on the fantastic meme rose's blog. I'm so excited to have won, and the plate is so beautiful. I need decide where it will look best now. Thankyou so much to Meme Rose for a great giveaway. Take a look at her blog I'd you haven't already.
Ps. I hope this works as I'm doing it from my phone for the first time so the picture may or may not be here! Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cushion reveal

Here at last is my cushion that was inspired by our holiday to Italy, and was actually started in the blazing sun, seems such a distant memory now. The colours represent different aspects of our Italian holiday. The red is obviously the gorgeous red tomatoes, of which we had many. The green represents the olive trees and basil and the beige is the colour of the parched earth ( they hadn't had any rain for two months and it was incredibly dusty).

On the otherside of the cushion are the bright colours, the yellow is the sun, and the bright blue is indicative of the beautiful, cloudless sky and the cool water of the swimming pool. I don't know which side I like best. 

I do like the sunflower though on the front.

It started off life as an idea for a blanket but I started to run out of wool quite quickly and I didn't want to buy more as I already have a stash that's getting larger by the day, plus I have loads more ideas I want to get on with, so it was changed to a cushion.

The buttons I bought from Duttons in Harrogate at the weekend. I spend ages deliberating over the enormous selection in every colour you could imagine,and I change my mind so many times until the right one jumps out at me. I could happily while away a whole morning in there.

Even though I am supposed to be cracking on with my knitted denim blanket and the mohair scarf, I can't resist starting something else that I spotted on one of my many internet browsing sessions. (I really should stop looking). I convinced myself that it's worth doing as it's going to use up my stash, so I got started straight away. Here is the beginning of my odd bits of wool blanket. 

It's a project that I have copied from MeMe Rose quite unashamedly. It's such a simple idea, and I can use all my old bits of sock and other wool that is too small to make something else with. I'm also going to use up my acrylic to add colour. It's going to look fab when it's finished.  

Some of these hexagons are made using scraps of Sirdar Crofter and they create a fantastic effect. I hope all the different wool weights work together, well there's only one way to find out. Watch this space.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Yesterday was my birthday so I thought I would share my day with you. I got some wonderful pressies from my family and friends. My two good friends bought me these, the wool is a super kid mohair and silk mix and is soooo soft. 

It begs to be made into something special, so I trawled the internet looking for inspiration to do it justice. I have decided to make a crocheted scarf out of what is actually small snowflakes from the Attic 24 blog, i'm hoping they will fit together to form a lovely lacy scarf. This is the first one I have made and will look a lot lacier when it has been blocked. I will keep you up to date on it's progress, but I expect it will be slow as the yarn is very fluffy and takes a lot of concentration. 

From my family I got money to spend on what my husband would describe as "tat" but what I would call gorgeous must haves such as this body scrub from Molten Brown which I have had my eye on for ages and couldn't justify the price tag, but that's what birthday money is for.

From my lovely hubby I got an i-phone, how fantastic. I don't class myself as a gadget freak but I am hooked it is the best phone I have ever had. I love it. From Little T I got a bouquet of flowers and these three swarovski crystal penguins. Aren't they adorable?

They are to go with the crystal ducks that he got me for my very first mother's day 11 years ago. They sit on my bedroom windowsill which gets the full sun so they really sparkle.

After opening my pressies and feeling really spoilt we set off for a day out in Harrogate. We spent the morning wandering round the shops (separately, as I don't fancy the wargaming shops and they don't fancy the "tat" shops). I spent quite a long time in the button shop choosing something to go on my new cushion. There are so many to choose from in Duttons and I keep changing my mind but I get there in the end. I will show them next time when I reveal the cushion.
 We met for lunch in the Tapas restaurant and then went to Harlow Carr RHS gardens for the afternoon. I made a bee-line for the veg patch as it's always my favourite.

It's still looking good even though it's nearing the end of the growing season. I left Little T in charge of taking some photos for my blog and I wandered off to look at the rest of the gardens. He hasn't done a bad job has he?

I love this plant it would make a great design for a cushion.

I rounded off the day with a quick visit to the shop to purchase my Sarah Raven diary for next year. I have had this diary for the last few years now and use it to keep garden and weather notes.

I also bought some tulip bulbs for a vibrant splash of colour next spring. I will have lots of fun deciding where to plant them.

So we had a great day out and it was finished off with fish and chips and Champagne, how decadent. As I type Hubby and Little T are busy in the kitchen making chicken pie for the very first time! It sounds very calm in there. They both request it for their birthdays so I did the same. I am looking forward to it immensely and it is going to be accompanied by my homegrown parsnips and carrots roasted in maple syrup. Yum.