The title of this post says it all. This year I will mostly be finishing my list of W.I.P.s! I’ve created a schedule and I aim to keep my creative ideas well organised in the future to stop this madness of starting multiple projects when it feels just as good to get stuff done as it does to start something new! So to begin . . .



I finally finished my kitty cushion that I’d started probably a couple of years ago. Its all cross-stitched and once I’d gotten into the swing of it, I really enjoyed it and think its turned out just marvellous. I can see myself doing another one in the future once the W.I.P. list is complete.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’ve got myself organised using a planner and am very pleased to say it is still in use! I’m usually a little flaky when it comes to things like this, it could be the use of stickers and brightly coloured felt tips or perhaps the decorative washi tape but I am enjoying the use of the life planner and all its vibrant delight . .


My planner is a Mid-year one so it will be running out this July. I’ve already begun to wonder what to do when it runs out as the one I’m using at the moment doesn’t have the capacity to refill with blank pages. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting an Erin Condren life planner but using my simple one from Paperchase I’m just wondering if I can’t customise one all by myself! It would be nice to really use my own ideas for the covers and inserts .Hmm.

The next project I have on the go is a woven friendship bracelet/bookmark which I was supposed to finish last July for my friends graduation, alas, I got side-tracked, probably with all my other W.I.Ps so this is the one I’ve been concentrating on next. . .


It’s quite a complex pattern (found on Pinterest) so there’s no wonder its taken me this long! but this is one of those little hobbies I’ve picked up and could be quite addictive. I’ve also recently started using Instagram you can find me at anji85 where I’ll be posting regular doings from my little corner of the world. I’ve also invested in a new computer and hopefully will find blogging more accessible.

Since joining the world of Instagram I came across a hashtag which immediately caught my attention #1yearofstitches. This is where you take a blank canvas and sew something on each day of the year. What a brilliant idea! and what a brilliant way to catalogue and exhibit ones day to day life! so naturally I had to start one! I was dubious at first because I’ve been strict with myself about starting new projects, but as it was the end of the year I decided to go for it so here’s a little snap shot of my year so far . . .




As I’m sure all the other stitchers out there know it is almost impossible to sit down every single day to get one done, so I’m a couple of days behind but I have done a picture for every day. I must say its jolly good fun thinking up things to put on. My life isn’t what you would call exciting! but I’ve got a lot of interest in different things. The elephant represents the new babys at Chester Zoo, which me and the bf were fortunate enough to visit last year which I desperately need to post about but it will be a monster of a post so it will have to wait just a little longer. Tilikum the Orca from SeaWorld is also featured after he passed away this year (If you haven’t watched the documentary Blackfish I urge you to do so, though it isn’t for the faint hearted).

I suppose I’ve made a mistake putting my year of stitches on this post as it quite obviously wont be finished until the end of the year but I kind of like knowing its just one day at a time. I feel more driven, more motivated than ever to get myself moving, and if I stick to the plan I know I can achieve, perhaps not great things, but damn good things. 🙂


Blankety goodness.

Hi guys and gals! I’ve been deep in the blankety goodness just recently, the air is starting to turn chill and I’ve been hooking away at the old popcorn stitch in the top left corner, and its been nice to see the other two put to good use again as the nights turn chilly. With summer fading away and another glorious season just beginning the garden was perked up a bit by my washing line wonders…


They look so pretty hanging there and wash remarkably well and I can’t wait to add to the collection. Summer was great for me and though I didn’t take my camera with me to Whitby this year we did take the niblings (nieces and nephews) to the seaside at Bridlington, which in the heat was almost like being abroad. The sky was cloudless and the sea was caribbean  blue and it was such a wonderful day.


The little ones played on the beach and in the surf and little toes felt the North Sea for the first time.


As anyone who reads this blog will know I love the sea and I was having the time of my life with the little ones taking buckets of water to our little moat and sand castles, jumping the waves with them, playing football and picnicking on fish and chips. What a memorable day it was.


One of my friends kindly loaned me her camera as I am in between devices at the moment but as you can see the zoom on hers is quite something, this pirate ship was quite far out to sea, we had quite a bit of fun waving at the passengers! I’m hoping to get to the coast again before winter so watch this space!

Back home I’ve been busy trying to complete my list of jobs to do and have managed to finally complete another baby blanket I was working on, the nautical coloured stripes remind me of the seaside so much I’m thinking of making a single bed sized one for our spare room.


As I said, I’ve been deep in the blankety goodness and hope to continue whilst Autumn sets in.


I absolutely loved these bright colours and the wool was beautiful to work with, it was Milla Mia for you yarn lovers and I just did the stripes randomly. I can’t believe I’m about to say it but I actually didn’t mind sewing in the ends for this one, whether because I was just determined to get it finished or I loved the colours that much I can’t say. It was a joy to hook up.

In between the happy hooky I did a little baking and made for the first time ever, my own homemade Quiche!


The one on the left is bacon and mushroom and the one on the right is cheese and broccoli and I didn’t think they were too bad for my first attempt. Also culinary herbs have been a focus in my house recently as I’m sad to report all my little bonsai saplings failed 😦 Feeling like a total green fingered failure I planted some herbs, knowing that I’ve grown them before and being more determined than ever. The result is pleasing.


It took two attempts for me to get the coriander and parsley to grow, I probably tried planting them too late in the year but they are coming along, and the beauteous basil already needs re-potting, something high on my to-do list. I think once they’re in bigger pots I can start to use them for cooking. I am quite pleased with the way they’ve taken off. I may attempt not to kill another houseplant soon.

Other goings on in my house have been craft related. I had been trawling the internet and once you see something that catches your eye you can’t seem to get it out of your head. I had spotted the soap making community! and oh those gorgeous pictures of stacks and stacks of chunky pretty soap that looked good enough to eat! Here’s just a taste of the things that got me inspired.




I defy anyone to look up homemade soap and not want to give it a try. For my attempt I started with a simple glycerine soap base and followed the instructions.


Chopping up the soap was quite satisfying, and your left with lovely icecube-like blocks of meltable soap. As it was my first attempt I wanted to start with something simple and natural to mix it with so I chose oatmeal and honey.


I didn’t add any perfumes or colourants as I just wanted to make something wholesome and natural. I melted the soap base at first on a bain-marie which seemed to be taking ages so I resorted to the microwave which worked a lot like melting chocolate, short bursts with stirring  and the residual heat melts the last few lumps.


I did find there was a little bit of vapour whilst it was heating which was probably the alcohol in the soap mix to help it melt. I tried not to breath it in and carried on. I mixed my oatmeal with honey and a bit of water and blended it, strained a couple of times and it was ready to mix with the melted soap base. If you are thinking of trying this yourself be warned the oatmeal mixture didn’t mix in easily, but after a few minutes stirring I put the mixture into a silicone loaf mould and left it to set. It’s probably best to leave it overnight but mine seemed set before I went to bed and I couldn’t resist chopping it up into soap-sized pieces.


To be sure the colour is 70’s beige and all my oatmeal sunk to the bottom and it didn’t really smell of anything, but for a first attempt I was quite pleased. As it was just for home use and not for gifts or anything I wrapped the soaps up in clingfilm with fears of mould in the back of my mind.


but I’m glad to say the soap, despite its natural ingredients has lasted really well and is quite lovely to use. I have a second tub of melt and pour soap and hope to make a scented soap next, again trying to keep it as natural as possible I’m thinking lavender!

Though my soap was a success the 70’s beige counteracted my blanket pics at the beginning so for another pop of colour I can proudly announce that I finally completed my Morrocan cushion, complete with pom pom border.


It didn’t turn out as big as I expected but I do love the colours, not sure how long my pom poms will stay on for. I backed it with a bright colour to try to keep it vibrant and added the pom poms last.



It felt good to get it finished and hopefully the completed projects will start coming thick and fast so I can share them with you next time. Cheerio.









Well, well, well. That wasn’t much of a return was it? Six months have passed since my last post! Firstly I should mention that this was partly due to my lack of organisation, I am a massively cluttered person! mentally, environmentally and craftily. I have too many thoughts, ideas and plans that I can’t keep track of, and like most people this stresses me out to no end. I used to write lists, but then there was lists everywhere some with the same tasks some with impossible taks.So this year I decided to do something about it. I imagine most people get their inspiration these days reading other people’s blogs and I am no exception. I was merrily reading one of Lucy’s posts from attic24 and she happened to mention the Erin Condren Life Planner, what is this Life Planner? I asked myself, and why does it sound like the answer to all my organisational problems? simply because it is!! it mashes together the boredom of scheduling ones mental clutter with crafty goodness thereby making the structuring of your daily tasks and household drudgery a pleasure to do knowing you can tick off the objectives with a brightly coloured pen! Checking out the beautiful Erin Condren Life Planners was wonderful but I soon realised they were a little too costly for the likes of a thrifty Yorkshire lass like myself and my eyes wondered slowly over to my dressing table where a £10 voucher for House of Fraser had sat since Christmas. I then made it my mission to find a mid year planner in order to start my own version of the Erin Condren Planner. In fact, I spent more money on the stickers and washi tape than I did the actual planner. which is just a simple mid year 12 month diary. I had a couple of weeks left in june which I used as experimental weeks, and then started my full structured week at the beginning of this week. This is my current lay out . . .

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Life Planner

As you can see from the fuzzy picture my schedule as such doesn’t look too full, but I do work full-time and so most of my week is simply being at work. What I wanted to achieve with my planner is to make time and schedule those out of office things that I wanted to complete around my work life. So far it’s not going too bad. I’ve seen a significant increase in my motivation and in my productivity. My decorative skills are still in their early stages but just the simply joy of colour coordinating the page and using my pretty stickers is enough to keep my determination up. I was so overjoyed to have found a use for washi tape! I’m sure there are hundreds of uses for the stuff, but for me, this seemed right. So here’s a few pictures of my little stash I’ve managed to build, purely for planner purposes.

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I particularly like the carrots!

I also got some stickers . . .

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Plates with faces, for meal planning!

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Cute date night stickers.

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These are from the Esty store theickleblogger.

The lady at the ickle blogger sent me such a lovely note with the pizza stickers, saying how she’d love to see how I’m using them, so here’s a shout out to Zoe and her wonderful stickers. I haven’t had my takeaway night just yet but I can’t wait to use these sticker slices.

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Yoga (more about that later)

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There are many more but I figure I’ll run out of space before I get to the end. Suffice to say I’m big on the stickers! As for the Yoga, I may or may not have mentioned that I got a fitbit for Christmas. In 6 months I’ve lost about 10lbs, it’s not a great amount but I’m only 2lbs off my current target which isn’t bad. Feeling a lot better about my physical self, I wanted to improve on it. As a child I had severe scoliosis and had two major surgeries as an 11-year-old to correct it. Despite undergoing these surgeries I was still left with deformed ribs and this I feel has limited my movement causing stiffness and aches. So to try to improve upon this I thought about Yoga classes. With time preciously limited outside of work I’ve postponed the idea of classes and started a home routine, within two weeks I felt a difference. My back didn’t click every morning and the persistent ache in my lower back dissipated, my posture has improved and confidence. I encourage anyone who’s been thinking about yoga to go ahead and try it. I only wish I’d have known about its benefits as a child. Side by side with my basic yoga routine I’ve added a little meditation to my day. I tried it at the suggestion of one of my Buddhist friends and couldn’t quite concentrate, so I read up on it, (the internet really is a marvel!) and found something called Mala beads, prayer beads used in lots of different religions but all do the same thing, to help repeat and count mantras or prayers or anything one wants to concentrate on. So being a bit crafty I made my own . .

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Mala Beads

They were quite simple to make, there are 108 beads and a guru bead to time the meditation. I’ve found a reduction in anxiety and noticed a positivity in my moods. Altogether I take about 20 minutes to do a quick stretching bit of Yoga and a few minutes meditation in a morning and on an evening and it works wonders! My body and mind are now on track to be as healthy as ever and I was determined to get every other aspect of my life together too. Readers of the past may remember that in no way can I get green things to live, year after year of dried up flowers and crispy plants on the windowsill have been my shame. However the bf recently bought me a miniature bonsai kit, and knowing how many plants he’d bought me that I’d killed I was determined to raise a bonsai tree! and was happy to see out of 5 seeds I had not one shoot but two!

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Jack Pines

The second shoot is only just visible in this shot and I know they’re delicately small but you can’t imagine how pleased I am. They’re still indoors at the moment and I’m going to be very nervous about putting them outside when they’re ready but they’re doing so well I was recently considering growing a few herbs, so watch this space.

It’s all thanks to the planner though that I’ve kept these little ones alive. Coming full circle here’s a couple of the pages I’ve done in order to keep organised, hopefully if your thinking about doing your own life planner you might find them interesting.

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Keeping track of tasks.

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Monthly Budget, incoming and outgoing.

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Project lists (all in one place)

I even made myself some pom-pom paperclips, supercute don’t you think?

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Pom pom paperclips

The planner has allowed me and driven me to complete some tasks that I’ve had on the go for a while, I’ve nearly finished this Moroccan x-stitch cushion which I started many moons ago.

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Pattern from cross stitcher magazine.

It’s a bit further along than the picture now and not far off finished so hopefully in my next post I’ll have a completed project to show you. Til next time.x





Hi folks, it’s the first of January 2016 and I’d just like to start by wishing everyone a happy new year! If you read my blog you will know that the last time I posted we were going through a family crisis, well, the crisis is far from over but at the minute everything is as well as can be expected, suffice to say were hoping for the best.

As it is I’ve been quite busy in the last 6 months and unsure of where to start, so I suppose . . .


A beautiful picture of the Yorkshire Wolds, me and the bf did a sponsored walk back in September raising money for the Sick Children’s Trust and Ward 52 at Leeds General Infirmary. The walk was 13.65 miles long and it took us just under 7 hours. I’ve never been so exhausted in my life but we walked every metre of it and it was rather beautiful. So much so we intend to do a lot more walking in future.


We walked through an area called the deer park which was I think the relic of an old manor or stately home, there was even a deer shelter, almost like a stable without doors and these we learned were built in the 1600’s.

The walk got higher and higher as we ascended the wolds and became all the more lovely, the views really are spectacular. We ended our walk at the highest village on the wolds and are sure to walk in the area again.


In July I had a birthday and turned 30 years old, normally I would let the event pass as quickly as possible however I received some delightful gifts. Off my wonderful friends . . .

Some beautiful Cath Kidston teacups and teapot. Still unused I’m afraid as I’m saving them for special occasions. Also the bf’s mum booked me and the bf and two others a cream tea at a lovely little teashop in a village not far from town.

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The homemade quiche was particularly good. Though my birthday was in July we actually went for the cream tea at the beginning of our week off in October which was the start of a brilliant week. We did our usual jaunt to York which, as creatures of habit, commenced with a trip to Betty’s at Halloween. Their window display was particularly good and we treat ourselves to the chocolate taster plate which speaks for itself.

I must apologise for some of the picture quality, a lot of these I took on my phone and others are simply the result of our computer dying and having to use a laptop kindly loaned to us. York was gorgeous as ever in its Autumnal apparel, and I couldn’t help but snap this pic of the city walls blanketed in autumnal foliage.


We walked through the York gardens and the light was perfect for photography. There was even a Birds of Prey demonstration.

While at York we also visited the National Railway Museum, and I simply can’t understand why we’ve never been before. I was in heaven . . .



This burgundy coloured train was called the Duchess of Hamilton and was by far my favourite locomotive in the museum, so perfectly art deco it was a relic of the sleek and sophisticated era of 1930’s glamour. The bf also bought me some art deco earrings from the giftshop which I’ll endeavour to share a pic of in a future post.

I highly recommend the museum if your ever are looking for something to do, the museum is free and asks only for a voluntary donation.

Also on our week off we took a journey to Leeds which is around an hour by train from where we live. We went with the purpose of visiting the Royal Armouries, again a place we have never been and yet is readily accessible, free of charge and incredibly interesting.

Again the images are a little blurry, the first is of the stairwell at the armouries and the second is of a Vampire Hunting Kit. All the components of the kit are authentic Victorian artifacts, apparently Vampirism was a real worry back then.

As it was the week of Halloween we could not go without decorating the house and carving some pumpkins, I was rather pleased with how they turned out this year.


I did the castle and the bf did the creeper from minecraft at my request. The green glow stick was perfect don’t you think? I also tried for the first time, the candy corn we bought back in February and was pleased to find a sweet and marshmellowy flavour. Yummy!


With Halloween out of the way Christmas soon crept upon us and with it came a new skill . . .

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Friendship bracelets, though I’ve found their just as useful as bookmarks. They are also incredibly addictive and therapeutic to make, hence why I made several this year for presents. I’m quite excited to see what else I can achieve with this new hobby.

As usual I’ve made a ton of new years resolutions and I’m determined to keep them this year. With recent events in my life I’ve come to realise just how important it is to enjoy every minute you have and its my aim to do just that. See you folks soon.


Hello everyone, I always seem to be starting my blogs with an apology on how I haven’t written anything in a while and this time it’s no different. My last blog was in March which seems like such a long time ago. The reason for my absence is quite straight forward, my family needed me. We are currently battling a monstrous crisis which will hopefully resolve itself in a happy ending, it’s going to be a long tough road though. As I have finally found the time to write here are some of the things I’ve been up to. Firstly . . .

Me and the bf had a short break in Whitby back in June as we usually do, this year we took it the week after our normal week and lo and behold, we finally got glorious sunshine. So this year my photos are particularly good.

The view from our window never fails to impress me. I could stare at it for hours, and our first night in particular was simply breathtaking.

With the sun shining Whitby was a little busier than were used to but enjoyed it all the same, there were old cars out and the old bus, and when we climbed the 199 steps the view was crystal clear. Here are just a few pics from our few days there.


It was on my to do list to fly a kite on the beach, something I’ve never done before, so me and the bf bought this one for £1.99. It flew brilliantly but it did feel a little bit of a cheat as it said on the packet (guaranteed to fly) I couldn’t have got it wrong but I enjoyed it all the same, maybe next year I’ll get a more challenging one.



Anyone who has read my blog before knows I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to steam trains (or anything else for that matter) so when this huge engine came into whitby station I had to get a few snaps, I also took this sneaky one of the inside of the cabin because I just love all the brass dials and wheels, very steampunk don’t you think?

As we strolled along the beach we also came upon wildlife my first and only time I’ve seen a crab on the sand, we had to wash a bit off to get a photo then covered him back up when we were done.



I just love this last pic, the sunlight on the waves is just so beautiful, if only I could pause the sun at this time of day. On the way home from whitby we stopped at Goathland. The bf’s parents kindly drove us to and from whitby this year and this gave us an opportunity to meet the steam train at the little station that was the setting for Harry Potter’s Hogsmede station.


I’m a huge Harry potter fan so as I stood on the railway bridge and watched this steam train come in I was super excited and I managed to get a video for my nephew.

Goathland is also the setting for Heartbeat (a popular show once aired in the uk) and they still have many of the old cars and things on display, but I thought this picture of the garage was what I remembered most about Heartbeat. We then met up with the bf’s brother and gf, and we had afternoon tea at the Middleton post office and tea room. I’ve written about this before back in January and I couldn’t express to you enough how wonderful it is. It was just as good as I remember.

So the bf’s brother and girlfriend took us the rest of the way home but on route we stopped at some roman ruins where we caught a glimpse of this lizard which stood still long enough for me to get a photo.

My camera picked up his patterning quite well I thought. What type of lizard he is I’m not sure, a bit of googling might be in order. We drove the rest of the way through Dalby forest, a beautiful place which I hope to visit again soon. We returned home tired but content. It was a happy time.
Now onto crafty things. I’ve been very productive recently, trying to finish projects before I start new ones. So naturally I made lists! Lists of projects to complete, lists of projects ready to start, and lists of projects I’d like to do one day. I’m a bit of a list fanatic.
Many moons ago I began a blanket, a ripple blanket to be exact, from Lucy’s pattern at Attic24. It was when me and the bf lived in our teeny tiny flat. Well it’s been almost three years or something like that but finally . . .

. . .i have my own Ta-Dah!!!!!! This was quite a big project for me, I have a full time job and finding the time to finish any project is quite impressive for me. So I was glad that I finally managed to complete a full sized blanket.

I also completed a smallish baby blanket for my new nephew, who was born early and weighed just 4lb 3oz, so it didn’t really matter that the blanket was on the small side. I completed a couple of other projects that were sort of prototypes and didn’t really warrant a photo shoot, a small baby girl headband (he turned out to be a boy) a little pixie type hat (which my 2 year old niece didn’t like) and a very plain striped phone/glasses case which was just to use up a bit of spare wool. I’ve also been continuing my cross stitch which came along quite nice during the hours of Wimbledon I watched this year. All these projects complete made me feel quite justified when I purchased some drops cotton which was on sale at Wool Warehouse, (a tip off from the bf’s mum).

My first thought was to buy some summery colours as I need some new cushion covers, which made me put the above selection in my basket, but then . . .

I saw these and thought they were very prettily autumnal and it is my favourite season, in the basket they went. My first thought had been to do some cushion covers in summer colours, then autumnal cushion covers. As this was limited edition cotton I was then beginning to panic a little because I put these together . . .

And I quite fancied a Lego coloured shawl for chilly summer evenings. My mind was running away with me and even moreso when finding that, when I put them back in the bag randomly . . .

All the colours went together so nicely! I’m still undecided what to create from this lovely limited cotton, but I’m really holding off until all my other WIP’s are complete.
So that’s it for now folks, I don’t know when my next blog will be, family is so important to me and things are so unpredictable right now its hard to say how things will turn out. Hopefully I’ll be back here soon enough with happy tidings.

Hi guys, welcome back to Minnie’s. I just want to do a quick post about a couple of things I’ve been up to recently. Last week me and the bf went to Leeds, about an hours train ride from where we live, I had booked tickets to see Ryan Adams, an alternative country singer who has been touring Britain the last few weeks. I adore his music and when I found out he was doing a gig in Leeds I knew I had to go. If your not familiar with his music I urge you to check it out. I did take my camera with me but unfortunately I had neglected to change my settings before the actual gig and I had not the room nor inclination to be fidgeting with my camera whilst the gig was in full swing, but there is plenty of coverage on social media, twitter and the like so please check it out, I highly recommend it. Nevertheless I did take some photos and bare with me I know they’re awful but I feel I must share them anyway. :/



Okay I promise that’s the last of the crappy photos I’ll share and I’ll be sure to change my camera settings before I go next time. So the next day we spent in Leeds City centre, our hotel was directly opposite the 02 arena and being a rather smart looking building I had to take a pic . . .

I also took a pic of the Hedley Verity pub, purely because Hedley Verity was my friends great great grandad or something of the sort, also he was a famous cricketer, hence a pub being named after him.

A rather smart looking pub, if I have to say, though we didn’t have time to stop for a drink. I had been given Cath Kidston vouchers for Christmas and knowing there was a store in Leeds we set off in search of it. After some deliberation I purchased some new pack lunch boxes, a matching water bottle and a pair of fish earrings,



The fish earrings I particularly liked, as regular readers will know I’m a bit of a nerd, what with my amateur twitching and other minor interests, and I have to admit, I like a bit of fishing. Well, not myself, I’ve never actually tried it, but I quite enjoy watching it on t.v. I may add it to my list of hobbies one day. Carrying our bags round Leeds had taken its toll by around 11 o’clock and we stopped for a drink at Costa Coffee, and I was delighted, not only had they white hot chocolate left over from the Christmas period but they sprinkled little gold stars on top too, which were super cute . . .

It was a perfect end to our trip and I hope to repeat our experience many times in the future.
On the run up to our Leeds trip I had been playing around with colour, I got my balls of spare wool out and just had a play around with them to see what pretty colour combinations I could make . . .

I think I knew subconsciously I could never resist temptation and despite what I thought was all my effort, (clearly not!) I started a new project. It was very very very naughty of me, I have so many other things on the go, but those of you who share my interests will know the utter joy of starting something new. I threw a few colours together under the excuse that I was just practising a pattern and using up some left overs and began yet another blanket. This time I chose a pattern by the Cherry Heart blog, it’s called the clamshell, I’ve wanted to do this pattern for a while as I think it looks very Art Deco. There are many clamshell type patterns on the web but I liked this one the most as it was a bit more solid and didn’t have any big holes.

Now I have three blankets on the go, at least I hope it’s just three, who knows what might be lurking in the craft corner! On returning home from our trip I promptly got another dose of germs and am fighting off yet another cold, so I thought now I’d got a little further with this blanket I would indulge myself in a little blanket wip photoshoot . . .

All three of my unfinished blankets, I actually got a lot of pleasure just laying them out and looking at the pretty stripes, (I may have to do a granny square for my next project, I feel I may be obsessed with the stripes) my ripple blanket from attic24 is the biggest and as I laid it over the bed the thought crossed my mind that it might be within days of being finished if I put my mind to it. Imagine me finishing something!!! The bobble blanket is slow going, there’s a lot of work that goes into them little popcorns, but I think it still is my favourite, the texture is just too good. And then the clamshells, all girly and lovely, they crochet up quite fast and I hope to make speedy progress with it.


That should do it for now I think, I’ll keep you posted on the trio of blankets and anything else I can’t resist to start. I love starting new things, I’d love to hear about new projects you’ve started or things you need to finish, and maybe with a bit of moral support we can complete things together. 🙂

I kept the title simple I suppose because this winter has been full of highs and lows, I’ve been on a little holiday and I’ve been quite poorly and that’s just not me, so whilst we had a great holiday at the end of January the beginning of February has just been horrible for me. I haven’t left the house in 5 days and I am desperate to get outside. But hey I’m finally on the mend and finally can catch you up on our time at Cropton Forrest in the North Yorkshire Moors. We went with the BF’s Parents, brother and his partner, and travelled in his parents car. We left early on the Monday morning and crossed the very snowy North York Moors, our intention to get to whitby for fish and chips. We stopped briefly at a place on the moors called Horcam Hole and I despite the freezing cold temperature I took a picture on the bm’s (boyfriends mum’s) phone that does panoramic shots. The view was spectacular

Being on the moors in the freezing snow was quite atmospheric if not a little scary but I love to see places in the different seasons and it was so beautiful. And when we arrived in whitby I was overjoyed, regular readers will know how much me and the bf love this little harbour town and its fish and chips. Magpies the restraunt wasn’t open so we stood and had our fish and chips from the takeaway, still just as delicious. Then we walked down the to seaside to find very tempestuous waters.

The camera, I found, didn’t really capture the intensity of the waves. We took a moment to take some pictures on the harbour wall but the sea wind was absolutley freezing so we didn’t stay too long. I still very much enjoyed whitby and we hope to be there again in June, as is our usual custom.
From whitby we travelled back across the moors and past Pickering to Cropton village, and from there Cropton Forrest holidays.

It was quite hard not to compare Cropton with Sherwood and in some ways there was a lot of similarities, the log cabins were extremely comfortable and catered for our every need, and there were a multitude of pretty birds to watch from the windows, lots of chaffinches, blue tits, robins, even bull finches.



But it wasn’t until the second day, when me and the bf went for a walk that I realised, Cropton forest was different. The forest itself felt a little more untouched, a little more isolated and quiet, spooky almost, but perhaps older?!? it just felt a little wilder than Sherwood. This quality I liked and I think it shows in some of the photos I took . . .





One of the things I love most about winter holidays is going for a long cold walk and coming in to get cosy, with a warm drink and perhaps a little snooze, it feels great, especially when there’s under floor heating. 🙂 Midweek we had a very special treat, it was the bm’s birthday and we all went to a place just outside of Pickering called Middleton, wherein you will find a teeny tiny post office, and the most wonderful 1940’s tearoom. Middleton Tea Parlour was simply the best place I’ve ever been for afternoon tea, as you walk in there is a little booth with working post office and just further in a beautifully decorated 1940’s parlour, with fine china silver service teapots, embroidered tablecloths, cakes everywhere and fresh flowers on the tables. As we sat down and perused the menu I could barely contain myself.

I mean just look at these teacups!!!!

When we’d placed our order despite being six of us and only seemingly two ladies running the parlour we were served very quickly, first the tea came,

Silver service and everything, and then the food!!!! Oh my the food!!!

This was the ploughmans lunch the bf’s dad ordered, just look at the size of it. The bf’s brother got a savoury platter which I didn’t get chance to photograph as he was at the other side of the table but the rest of us had afternoon tea, and boy was it good.

The sandwiches came in three varieties, egg, ham and mustard, and cucumber, and then came the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen . . .

Everything was amazingly beautiful, the scones were still warm and the fruit was fresh and sweet. Despite being amazingly full already from the sandwiches I had to try at least a mouthful of each of the cakes, and they tasted as good as they look. The service, the food and the setting were all exceptional and I hope to visit many times in the future. As someone who likes to throw my own afternoon tea, I was in heaven and absolutely recommend this gem of a tea parlour.
However if your not into that kind of thing and would much prefer a simple but tasty pub lunch, the New Inn at Cropton village just a few minutes down the road serves excellent food, we stopped there for lunch one day and the food was soooo yummy, and they do all their own brewing much to the delight of the menfolk.
We stopped for a look in Pickering one day and me and the bf popped to the station to see if there were any steam engines in, (I’m a bit of a geek for a steam engine) but alas, we were out of season but one day I’ll get that ride on one, through the moors to whitby. The station itself though was lovely very potter-esque, though I looked it up and a station further down the line was used in the Harry Potter films, very similar to this one though.

And the old carriages were very pretty, reminds me of a cross stitch pattern I’ve got that I’m now itching to start. On the way back to the cabin me and he bf were dropped off in Cropton village as there was a good view from behind a small church not far from the New Inn. The church itself was a very out of the way sort of place, perched nimbly on a sloping hill, it was very picturesque.

Just beyond the church is another hill and atop of that was the most fabulous views, albeit a little hazy from the freezing fog, you could still see for miles around.


The way down was a bit hairy and the bf slipped and I had to run down the hill or fall myself, it was a bit comical to say the least but we got there in the end and had a quick look round the church yard where there was a lovely grove of trees, and just outside the church yarn a vibrant mossy wall.


Our holiday came to and end and on the return journey we stopped at a little place called Flamborough, famous for its white cliffs, (although nothing like Dover) here I felt a cold like nothing before, the little bay channelled the sea wind and it was unrelenting and icy cold, but it was bathed it glorious sunlight and made for good photos.


We reached home and the winter skies were as pretty as ever . . .


And then I got I’ll . . . 😦 but today is Valentines day and I’m feeling better despite a lingering chesty cough and residual tonsilitis. I’m sure I’ve felt a slight change in the weather (before my incarceration at the sickebed) and am looking forward to spring, and all the joys it holds.


Happy New Year!! 2014 has been and gone and here at Minnie’s me and the bf eased our way into the new year with Ferrero Rocher and Harry Potter. So as I did last year I’d just like to do a quick review of events and perhaps share some of 2014’s pictures that didn’t make it onto the posts of last year.

We enjoyed beautiful skies.

Beautiful flowers.





As much craftyness as possible with the occasional short break . . .



And the odd spot of baking . . .



Sitting down to sift through the years photos really does lift my spirits. When I look around and see all my unfinished projects and my extensive list of things to do it really makes me realise that I did actually achieve something, that some things however small, got done. It reminds me of the happy times on holiday, even if it did rain a lot. It reminds me that I’m thankful that I’m able to do these things. This is also why I need this blog, to access my thoughts and feelings and hopefully share a little of what makes me happy.
I hope to take this sentiment with me into the new year. I aim to be a little more organised and a little more productive, I have many ideas, hopes and dreams for 2015, and I’ll try my best to realise them.

Hello again and I hope all is well in your own little crafty worlds. I’m happy to say despite the recent lapse in posts here on Minnie’s today is the 2nd birthday of this blog and I’m more determined than ever to keep on top of things.
Yesterday I informed you of a little project which has been keeping me busy on the run up to Christmas. In fact it was far from a little project it seemed to have taken over my life for a considerable chunk of the year. So without further ado I give you . . .

Minnie’s Dollys! I had been asked to make some by friends and then it sort of spiralled out of control . . .

Then came round two, this time a boy dolly (slightly boy bandish), and then . . .


Finally round three of Dollys. I must admit, despite enjoying the majority of the doll making, I was glad when I had finally finished them, albeit feeling a little lost with myself when there were no more to do. The pattern for my dolls is not currently on my etsy shop, it needs some serious editing and re-writing before its fit for sale at Minnie’s Markets. However its on my list of to dos and my plan is to be as organised as I can this coming year. I’m actually looking forward to the new year, I feel like after the challenge of the doll making I can really achieve things if I put my mind to it, and possibly a better schedule, I feel ready for bigger things. So as it’s still December I’m taking the opportunity to relax and get some more of my bobble blanket done.

See you in the new year!! 😀

Hello and a very big welcome back to Minnie’s memoirs. I must firstly apologise, my last post was such a long time ago!! 22nd of June I believe and since then much has happened in my world of crochet and crafting. So much has happened I don’t know quite where to begin so I’ll start with some good news! I finally opened my Etsy shop you can find it under the name Minnie’s Markets. I opened my shop in September and I’m a little saddened to say I haven’t made any sales yet. However this may be because I currently only have four patterns available to purchase, but if you would like a look I would be ever so grateful for some feedback, I’m still new to this crafty online world.
Anyhow here’s some of the things that have been distracting me from putting more patterns online.

Halloween!!!! Those of you who have read older posts will know how much I love this autumnal time of year, these were this years batch of pumpkins. I also decorated and made some homemade jar lantern type thingies.


I thought they turned out ok even if painting them was a little tiresome.

Apologies for my photos they were particularly shocking on this overcast day. The bf even had a go at the jar lanterns.


And of course my halloween wouldn’t be complete without baking!

The halloween cookie cutters came out and I transformed gingerbread men and women into vampires! I also made buns.


With halloween sprinkles of course. 🙂
As halloween approached however I did have a hankering to make a bed quilt just for the ghoulish celebrations and though there is a multitude of halloween fabrics out there I was of course short of funds, we had made our annual trip to York for Halloween and I was without crafty pennies so maybe next year, I have lots of ideas!
So with Christmas coming up I was asked to make some special gifts and seeing as its Minnie’s birthday tomorrow I’ll reveal just what I’ve been up to and what’s taken over my life for the last few weeks, probably even months. 🙂 stay tuned!

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