Saturday, February 25, 2012

An exciting delivery

We have been away for a few days and something exciting arrived in the post whilst we were away. Hubby was left to unload the car whilst I opened the package. Do you want to see what it was?

It's beautifully wrapped.

Ta- dah

Isn't it gorgeous? It's very colourful.

I ordered it from Julia Crossland a very talented artist who has done some fantastic work. I couldn't decide which print to go for as they all caught my eye. I thought this one was just right for Spring, I may indulge in another one or two in the coming months, luckily Hubby liked them all as well that there probably wont be much argument. Next job is to take it to the framers, while I'm there I will get my potato print owl done as well as it is sat patiently in the bedroom waiting to be properly displayed.

Did you spot the nice chicken jug?

I had a lovely day out in beautiful Southwell last week and treated myself to it. It's handmade by Racheal White in a little pottery shop in the town and decorated by her exclusively for an independent shop called The Henhouse. I thought it would come in useful to store my crochet hooks in. It lives on the mantelpiece in an arty way but Hubby is very aggrieved because he thinks his paintbrushes should be allowed up there and I completely disagree after all it's me that does the dusting and home making so the dirty, untidy brushes are banished to his untidy study.

A quick update from the coop, both Matilda and Hazel are now best of friends. Matilda has really picked up although she still isn't laying but her feathers are growing back and she's more interested in what is going on around her. Hazel hasn't started to lay yet but she is getting bossier and a bit harder to catch when she escapes from her run. Here they are sharing some melon, a little treat as we have been away and abandoned them ( they actually get spoilt rotten by the neighbours when we are away.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Frosty morning

We woke up this morning to this white wintry scene. There had been an incredibly heavy hoar frost overnight. Absolutely everything was covered in beautiful ice crystals, so wrapped up warm ( it was -10) I dashed out to take loads of photos before it all melted. So take a look at Mother Nature at her most beautiful and delicate.

Stunning isn't it? Needless to say the chickens are not chuffed, it's far too cold and they won't come out.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Matilda's new friend

Meet Hazel, she is a speckledy hybrid. She's not old enough yet to lay eggs, I reckon we have about another month to wait to see what colour she produces. I think it might be a dark brown. You can tell by looking at her comb how near to laying age she is. Hers isn't very obvious at the moment, it needs to grow larger and become redder.     

She is incredibly cute and cuddly and just wants to sit on my knee and have a stroke, something Amber and Matilda never did. When I let her out of her run she jumps up onto my shoulder and sits there for a little while until her balance goes and she struggles to hold on. Matilda isn't very keen on the newbie, but she has perked up. She is eating and drinking again, if only to stop Hazel from having anything. She is still missing Amber and spends a lot of the day standing quietly in a corner, but hopefully the youngster's antics will keep her occupied.
At the minute Matilda is trying to express her position in the pecking order and Hazel is most definitely at the bottom! It seems quite brutal at times but Hazel has learnt quickly to stay out of her way. She runs to me for protection and hides behind my legs. But Matilda better watch out because when Hazel matures she will be bigger than Matilda and then we will see who rules the roost! I'm hoping that in a few days time they will both have settled down and become the best of friends.

Bye for now, I will be back soon with more Tales from the coop. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

New project

Before I reveal my new venture, I must show you my latest finished items. I made this scarf a couple of weeks ago and I'm very pleased with it. It's lovely and snuggly to wear and I finished it just in time for the cold weather that we are all experiencing. Another winter warmer I made last week were these mittens. I was surprised at how easy they were to make. They are knitted on four needles so no sewing up involved - always a bonus. There are plenty of free patterns on the web for mittens it's  just a matter of finding a pattern that suits you.   

I made them with the Rowan creative focus that I bought a few weeks ago, it was meant to be used to crochet a pair of mary jane slippers but I changed my mind at the last minute. The wool is nice and warm just right for mittens. I'm ridiculously proud of them and show them to anyone who shows the slightest interest, even shopkeepers. I fancy making another pair now but with a fair isle type pattern. Watch this space. 

Anyway onto my new project. Look at this lovely yarn. It's Rowan handknit cotton, It comes in a fantastic range of colours and is nice to work with. I get so excited when my wool order arrives. I'm like a kid with new toys. I pace backwards and forwards to the window watching for the postie and can't settle to anything in case I miss him. It arrived on Thursday and I have been busy with it ever since. Do you want to see what I have made?...

these African flower hexagons. Aren't they beautiful?

I'm going to make a throw for the spare bed, it'll be a big project as I've calculated that 270 hexagons will be needed. I've made 23 so far.

The pattern can be found on  Heidi bears blog. She does a very good tutorial, it's incredibly easy to follow even for a beginner like me. It's going to look fabulous when it's finished ( fingers crossed).
A quick update on Matilda, she is much the same as she was, still eating and drinking only minute amounts. She definitely doesn't want to come out now in the snow, I lifted her out onto the grass this morning and she dashed back inside, don't blame her really. Must go now as I've got a friend coming this afternoon and I'm teaching her to crochet, it's catching isn't it?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ripple Blanket - Hurrah!

What do you think of it? Isn't it gorgeous? I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago but have been unable to load the photos AGAIN.( Hubby and I are really getting frustrated with Blogger now and are thinking of changing to a new one, maybe Wordpress.) Anyway back to the blanket, I used a mix of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and Millamia merino. It is wonderfully soft , scrummie and drapey.

I used Geo's bed to photograph it flat as it fits his bed, but he was told that under no circumstances was it his, it's all mine. I love, love, love it.    


What do think of these crazy characters? I made them for Geo's xmas stocking. I got the pattern from this website and it was really easy to follow, I'm quite proud of them. The only problem  is that I couldn't get hold of any 6mm safety eyes so I stitched on tiny black beads instead but they are coming loose now so I will have to sort that out. It actually makes them look more boggle eyed than they were supposed to.

Last weekend we were going to stay with friends and I wanted to take them a jar of my homemade chilli jelly. My mind whirring as usual I wanted to crochet a cover to make it a bit more special. So I adapted a couple of patterns. The circular top came from the cute and easy crochet book by Nikki Trench and the trim was from Attic 24's candle holder trim.

I think it looks quite good for a first attempt.( I'm really getting the hang of this crochet lark now.) My friend seemed pleased with it anyway.

Changing the tone now, we have had quite a sad week this week. Amber our beautiful hen died last Friday. I was away from the house for an hour and they were in the garden when they were attacked by an escaped dog! We have had them 3 years and dogs go past the garden all the time without any hassle, but new people had moved into the village and obviously hadn't secured their dog properly. At first I thought a fox had had Matilda as she was missing and her feathers were everywhere, but she turned up later from behind the playhouse absolutely terrified. Poor Amber didn't have any injuries but was in a state of shock and was gasping for breath. She didn't make it and died a few hours later. 

Poor Matilda is completely heartbroken and missing Amber. She is barely eating and drinking and didn't come out of her nestbox for the first three days. She now ventures into the garden for supervised wanderings but she doesn't do a lot, she just stands and looks wistful. It's very sad to see her like this, they both used to be so full of energy and run to greet you as soon as you opened the door (usually just begging for food). I might try and get a friend for her next week but for now I'll just try and nurse her back to health.

Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon with details of my new project.