Friday, 31 August 2012

Perfect!

We have just returned from a perfect week catching up with family and friends! Have you ever tried Center Parcs. We love it!




So did William!



Normal blogging will resume very soon. I did manage some woolly hooking on the journey! Thank you for all the encouraging comments lately. It means so much to me!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

What no flowers!!!

The house always likes a bit brighter when there are flowers around!

 This week a lovely friend bought me some Gladioli. And they have looked so beautiful,brightening a corner.


But sometimes there are no flowers in the garden. And no trip to town to the market stall I love. But I still love to have a little something brightening the corners. I popped these little windmills in a glass with a crochet band. I can't stop looking at them and an added bonus---- no wilting!



I popped them by the door. And they even spun around in the breeze. They looked so pretty.


I have used these little crochet bands to decorate so many things and I love them. The perfect finishing touch.


In another little corner I keep a photo of my Mum and Grandma and close by I tucked a twig of twisted beech and hung some pretty little hearts made with little scraps of yarn using this pattern. I love them.


I love weddings. I always cry and just enjoy seeing everyone having such a lovely time. Over the years we have been lucky enough to go to lots of weddings and in late September my niece is getting married and I am in charge of lots of Arty, Crafty bits and pieces. I am really calm about it all so far but I am sure I will soon be blogging about panic setting in! Perhaps not, we shall see.I am following the little heart theme for the wedding and am knitting lots of white hearts to add to the table centrepieces.




 Well, whilst I was not watching a little bit of cream jumped onto my needles by mistake, so a lovely cream heart has joined my lovey set. I popped it in a vase,first on it's own. It looks so lovely against the dark purple wall.


But even if there are no flowers in the garden there are is always some pretty leaves. These from the geranium look so structurally pretty. I don't think we have had enough sunshine to make many blooms. What a shame because they are so pretty. Perhaps next year!


So if you have any sad little corners and no flowers please have a go at my ideas or share some of yours. I would love to see them.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Thank You!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
What a kind thought! Vixen at Shabbily Ever After has kindly nominated my little bit of Blogland at "Chalky's World" for an award. The lovely Blog Award.
I have spoken often about my ego!!!! I have been going to Yoga for quite a while no w and I really do listen carefully to the snippets about life and dealing with one's ego, as well as trying my upmost to become more flexible than a brick when attempting the postures.
Anyway, all this aside I love my blog, I love having followers and am really looking forward to reaching 150!
And I love Blog awards. The thought that someone likes my blog enough to pass on an award makes me really happy. So, thank you Vixen! All my followers and to those who take the time to leave such encouraging comments. I really do appreciate it! My ego is not very big I promise!



The Rules are:-
The Rules for accepting this Award is as follows:
1. Add the award to your blog.
2. Thank the blogger(s) who gave it to you.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Award up to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.  


I have to list 7random things about myself...hmmm

 One of my best friends would laugh at this because she thinks I can be so totally random. I can't judge myself objectively but love it that she thinks I am quirky! She is so not!!! And I love quirky.

1. I can read really quickly upside down ( Pretty random I guess!)
2. I have no sense of direction at all. I can get lost within 5 miles of my home on roads I have travelled on all my life!
3.I was christened in hospital without my parents and a nurse chose my name.
4.I love swimming in the sea at night.
5.I am only ticklish on my feet and they is so excruciatingly ticklish that I can't bear to touch them myself!
6. I was really naughty at school!
7.I turn into a megalomaniac when I play Monopoloy! Now no-one will play with me at all!

Wow I had to think about those. I know some people are far too busy to deal with awards and if I nominate you please don't worry and as Vixen said to me " Just accept the thought as a lovely complement about your blog because I love it!"

Thanks again Vixen!




Friday, 24 August 2012

Fish and Chip Babies!!

The smell of a freshly bathed baby is like no other!
But I also love the smell of a sleepy,milky,soft baby.
In fact I just love the smell of babies!
Of course part of the fun of welcoming a new baby is getting the Nursery ready.
Buying all the things big and small.
There is no excitement like it!
The Guardian recently calculated that the average family spend £3.500 on a baby in it's first year alone!
Lucky little babies all warm and cosy.


Whilst looking for a pattern these words " Fish and Chip Babies" leapt out at me.
I was firstly intrigued but that soon turned to sadness.
These little souls are called this because they have no clothes to wear so are wrapped in newspaper.
You can read more about them here and here.
I know life is all about opposites,ebb and flow and highs and lows but surely a baby being wrapped in newspaper because it has no clothes must just about be as low as you can get.
So of course I read some more and found out about this pattern.
It gives all the instructions you need to make a little jumper which will make a big difference.
Here is what it will look like


I will be making one next and thinking whether I can find or make up a crochet equivalent.
That would make my production quicker and easier as I love hooking so much more than knitting.
If you would like to join in with the idea please leave a comment and we could keep each other company.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Guests arriving for a meal in 2 minutes!

You know the scenario.

People are arriving for a meal and you are rushing around like a headless chicken.
Too much time spent blogging methinks!
Anyway, the answer to this dilemma is to always lay the table early.
Even the day before if you have time.
Oh what a Domestic Goddess!

Yes, well, let's get back to the real world!
Guests arriving and no flowers to make the table look pretty.

2 Minutes of time.


Slice a lemon and pile in a glass!
Of course you could easily slice a lime or orange.
It really is as easy as pie and looks refreshing and colourful.


To ring the changes use a vase within a vase to give a layered effect!


So the next time you are pretending to be a chicken without a head give it a try.


If you have an extra few minutes pop some flowers in the top!




Or add some ribbons.



Simple,quick,refreshing,fragrant and just so simple and pretty.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Upcycling! And loving it!



Upcycling
Definition for upcycling:
Web definitions:
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upcycling


I love materials,textiles and remnants and I love thinking outside the nine dots. Now we all know that the summer has been non existent. The sun has not been shining  here in Devon. In fact I have been fairly much wearing jeans and jumpers. Well of course the upside of that is that the shops are dying to get rid of their sunshiney stock. Added to this the demise of the Peacocks chain has been in the news. So when out wandering,as you do, this dress caught my eye and the price certainly hit the high notes --- £5. Now the clever move when faced with this situation is to buy the biggest size available. You are not going to wear it and every centimetre of material is a bonus. So a size 22 was just perfect!
And look what I Upcycled with this little bargain!

First some pretty shoes bags. In a large size for popping special shoes in when travelling.



And a smaller size for make-up,medicines or just those bit and pieces.



Such pretty material with little sequins for added sparkle.


Of course the challenge with this upcycling challenge is to use every scrap and I love little bits of material and set to with my favourite shape. Hearts.



Lots and lots. Finished with some lavender flowers from the garden. a pretty piece of ribbon and a heart shaped button. Just perfect.



I have popped some on some nice wooden coathangers and the wardrobe is smelling lovely.




I really enjoyed this little bit of upcycling. And "The Sporty One" saw an even better challenge yesterday. I will bog about upcycling Take 2 soon.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Passmore Edwards gets an Update!

Newton Abbot is home. My home town for nearly 60 years so I am used to it. I love some of the architecture. It is special. It has always been there and it hold my roots,my memories and a sense of permanence that is me.
One of the places that makes me feel this way is the library.The Passmore Edwards Building.




 My goodness it has changed so much over the years but it still looks exactly the same from the outside.



Lately it has undergone a complete refurbishment and I decided to pop in to have a look.
WOW!



Gone are the fuddy duddy rows of shelves full of books!


The children's section is behind glass doors so no shouts of silence echo these halls!



A place to browse and check you have the right books to inspire!


Well I was happy to have a good look at the shelf devoted to Craft Books and I am loving my choices so far!
The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jnae Brocket-- Well anyone who talks of knitting and a glass of wine has got to be a serious read!


Simple Knits for Easy Living by Erica K.night


First Crochet by Lesley Stanfield.


And because the summer is slipping away and Autumn days will soon be here.
100  Jams,jellies,preserves and pickles by Gloria Nicol.



I had forgotten how good it is to sit and just gently browse through a book realising fully that you may only embark on one project. You may only try one recipe, but this feeling is not accompanied by the frustration that you know you will never try many more. The huge blanket all made from single crochet and knowing full well the book has cost as much as the wool.
And of course these days you can serve yourself with the latest wizardry and renew your books-- up to 12 at a time online! So no more sweating about overdue fines!

So I do not know what Passmore Edwards would think to the new library.


But I am seriously impressed.
If you would like to read a bit more about him and his gift to the town of Newton Abbot have a look here.
I think he understood what was needed in a good town like Newton Abbot and I am glad his legacy continues to grow and develop in these modern times!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A day of the Doorbell ringing!

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved the postman arriving.The excitement of a parcel arriving has never left me.


And everybody fell in love with Postman Pat and Jess!



Yesterday the doorbell rang and there was the postman with a parcel. It had been on a convoluted journey from Buffalo in the USA to Scotland and then down to Devon. Last year we went to a beautiful wedding in America and I saw some wonderful fabric there and my wish came true yesterday when 6 metres arrived.


I had seen a little stall in Boston where a young girl had made beautiful bibs and she kindly told me where she had sourced the material. I could have looked on the site http://fabric.com/ for hours. Choosing which patterns to buy was the hardest part! Sadly the shipping costs to the UK were high so I waited until my sister-in-law went back to the US so that she could bring them back. And they were so worth the wait.
Dinosaurs


Funky Giraffes


Sailboats


Cute cars.


Smaller versions


And gorgeous owls


I know lots of us Bloggers do a lot of yarn stroking and fabric smoothing and I certainly have been doing that with these gorgeous pieces. Not only are the designs lovely but the fabric is really smooth and soft. I have some ideas in mind. Bibs are an all time favourite.


But I also want to try and make some of these gorgeous fabric balls!



 There is a lovely pattern here at the Purl Bee. My aspirations with the sewing machine always outstrip my abilities but I will enjoy some good natured swearing and cursing as my ball turns out more like a melon. Never mind!

After lunch the doorbell rang again and I was so pleased to see Anne from the Charity knitting thread on the doorstep -- It has been two years since we last met so we had a lot to catch up on.
Now you can't come to Devon without a cream tea and I am always happy to bake so scones it was. And you really can't have scones without the cream and jam. In Devon it is cream first which represents the butter. In Cornwall jam goes first!


I decided to try some mini sponges. I drool over this blog http://www.glorioustreats.com/ about baking -- It is amazing! And like my sewing machine efforts I always think I can do it. Well optimism is a really good trait but mine makes me laugh it is so misplaced. However I was pleased with the final result. The frosting covers a multitude of sins and I took pictures of the best ones. It was lovely to cut them like mini sponges though!



Anne did not come empty handed there was a big squishy bag containing 100 squares from Mrs Twins. I am going to enjoy some relaxing hours making blankets for her wonderful cause.


Then like Mary Poppins she produced 4 lovely squares for the latest Charity Blanket on our Martins Money Saving crafting thread. Anne has made some for me before and they are always lovely.


Anne also knew about my hedgehogs and their life at the Wildlife Centre so she had kindly made me a little prickle!


And finally I had a little present from Anne a little notebook from a company I have never come across before http://www.thequalitybureau.com/ but I love it. The paper is made with real used Sterling Bank notes that have been shredded and mixed with post consumer waste -- How neat is that!


No wonder I loved the doorbell ringing yesterday. Now today I was not expecting the doorbell to ring once. But it did and our lovely postman was on the doorstep again with another parcel!


Now the "Sporty One "is cooking tea so I have to go but I will be blogging about that parcel soon!
I hope the postman knocks on your door with something nice really soon!