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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…

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter soon came and went and I’ve been a busy little bee all round. Firstly though I hope you all enjoyed your chocolate eggs and bunnys. Mine this year was a white chocolate Lindt bunny off the bf which was Devine.

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Seeing as Easter brings with it a long bank holiday weekend I filled my days with visiting friends and tried to slip in some crafty goodness along the way. In our old towns museums quarter they held an Edwardian Easter fete which me and my friend attended. It was the same place where the Victorian Christmas was held and though not quite as good as the Victorian Christmas it was nice to see some of the old painted attractions like the helter skelter.

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There was quite a lot of entertainment, a lady inside one of the museums was singing old Edwardian songs and doing a fine job of it, we’d walked quite far and decided to sit and listen to some of her renditions. There was also live music on the street as well.

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And many people in costume which was great. There was even a prize for the first fifty people to turn up in costume.

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I was delighted to notice that people had got their craft on and as we approched the museums quarter someone had put knitted bunting out at a nearby pub.

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I just had to stop and get a photo before we moved on. In fact I’d seen a lot of bunting that day. We had previously that day walked through the marina where I just love looking at the boats.

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I was delighted to see that some had flags on. The lighthouse you can see in this picture is the spurn lighthouse ship that is in the marina permanently now, people can go aboard and have a look round and even ring the bell. We walked around the marina looking at the lovely boats and yachts but one of my favourites has to be the old wooded barge type boats with wooden railings . . .

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Don’t you just love them portholes!. As we crossed the loch into the marina we came upon a superb example of a tug, something which you don’t always see in our marina, and I was glad to see it was decked out in fabulous bunting.

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I love the fact that the bright colours make it look like an oversized bath toy, it made me smile as we trundled along at a steady pace. Though perhaps not quite so pretty was this barge we saw on the river further into town, not as pretty a setting as the marina but there’s something to be said for barges, though most of the barges you see on the river haul goods I think this one was used for more recreational purposes. I just love the colours on it and the name.

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Overall it was quite a maritimy day.
The bank holiday weekend did have its summery spells and I decided to take some cross stitch into the garden, after seeing all the boats I was determined to make progress with my cut thru narrowboat by bothys threads and Amanda Loverseed.

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It was nice to be outside, even if I did have to use my new quick unpick that I’d purchased at the Edwardian fete.

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But despite noticing my mistakes and unpicking a significant line of cross stitch (we’ve all done it) it did get me in the garden and I couldn’t help but show you some of the early flowers we’ve been getting like this Lilly of the valley . . .

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And my rosemary which has flowered this year, blooming in multiple tiny purple flowers . . .

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I also took a snap of this little fella, who sat with me on the chair arm for the majority of my outdoor sewing sesh, my camera picked out lovely detail . . .

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Alas, the weather did not last, and I soon became chilly and had to go in and sure enough it began to rain later in the afternoon which called for a mad dash to get the washing off the line as always.
Whenever I do get a bank holiday or even just an extended weekend, I find I’m drawn to my kitchen and have to bake, and with it being the Easter bank holiday the time was perfect for some sweet treats.

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So firstly I made butterfly buns, I’d been wanting to make these for a while just because I used to make these with my mum and it brings back nice memories of licking the spoon and partly because I wanted to use my new cake stand that the bf got me, think he may have been trying to tell me something hmmm! They were sitting pretty but not for very long. And what is Easter without hot crossed buns!

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Both sweet treats were a success and I’ve been ordered to make more, though I’m holding out while I try and lose a little weight as I’m glad to announce me and the bf will be returning to whitby at the beginning of June for a short break, and I’m trying to get my fitness levels up for them cliffs.
So Easter was a resounding success this year, even if I didn’t get chance to crochet some Easter bunnies or chicks, but last weekend the bf did buy me some lovely yellow and cream roses, which reminded me that even though Easters gone spring hasn’t sprung yet!

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Hi guys!! I know its been an awfully long time since my last post, I hope you can forgive me. Things have been rather tempestuous here on the east coast. We’ve seen the worst storm surge in 60 years, and many areas of the city were flooded by the incredibly high tide. We had floods here back in 2007 and I declare I never thought I’d see the streets like rivers again. How I was wrong! Most thankfully we are far enough away from the river that we weren’t in any real danger, but my thoughts go out to the families who won’t have a proper Christmas this year.
As Autumn dies off Winter has burst in with all its stormy fury, but we have had the odd spell of nice weather. Last weekend me and the bf were planning to go to the Victorian Christmas market in the Old Town. However the bf had contracted a stomach bug and was unable to go so I went with my sister, brother in law and nephew. If I haven’t told you before I absolutely adore my town’s historical Old Town, many of the original cobbles are still there and there is the museums quarter housing all kinds of victoriana and relics from even earlier periods. Arriving at the street life museum was a joy!!!

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A steam powered organ playing wonderful music, the colours were just magical, I love anything like this, and the pipes and little cymbals made such a noise. But what I was really impressed by was the powerhouse of an engine running the organ . . .

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I know I’m quite a geeky person at heart so I’m not ashamed to admit, I love steam engines, I really should get myself down to the railway museum in York. The smell was thick in the air, coal, rubber smoke, the noise as it chugged was transfixing.

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There was a snow machine and victorian entertainment, there were some dancers outside and inside the most magically Christmassy music . . .

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Bell ringing! How Dickensian it felt stood in the mock historical street next to the apothecary . . .

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My favourite shop on the street. The museum has an array of old trams busses cars and carriages from all eras.

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I love the colours of the old vehicles, they’re so well presented. There were more distractions then I could record on my trusty camera but I will make an effort to go next year if its on. Walking around the rest of the town with all the decorations up got me in the Christmassy mood. I usually struggle getting into the Christmas spirit with all the planning of presents and organisation that goes on, I’m not very good at that. So I was quite surprised to find myself taking this next photo and looking forward to the next few weeks.

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By the first of December our Christmas tree was up and our decorations, we bought some new lights.

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And I set to work on a little Christmassy indulgence . . . Stockings!!!

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I’ve never made stockings before, but I’ve had a few ideas of how to decorate them. To sew them together I’m using blanket stitch, which always has a cosyness to it I think.

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Something I was also, probably too excited about, was using my Christmas mug!!! Time to dig it out of its little box and brew up in Christmassy style once more.

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I was also surprised by the bf this week. He brought me home some lovely festive blooms, which I promptly placed in a vase on my dressing table. I’d say it was because he wanted to but I have been complaining that I can’t keep houseplants alive and so he’d just have to buy me flowers.

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I have had a little Kilner type jar, sat around with no particular purpose and found that with the vase being too big for my bedside table I snipped one of the flowers off to have by my bed.

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I hope to refill the vase and my little jar regularly. ❀
So one last thing I must share with you is . . .

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. . . Yes that’s right!!! I’ve actually finished something! My Autumn cushion cover, slightly too late as is usually the case, but finished none the less. Now . . . what else can I complete!?!?!

This Autumn is shaping up to be one of the best ever, we’ve had fairly mild weather with some good patches of sunshine, perfect for brisk autumn walks. I know I’ve mentioned before how much I love autumn but it really is one of my favourite times of year, and this year I’ve savoured every minute. Theres so much that goes on at autumn in this part of the world, all the natural changes that occur in the trees and landscape but also in my hometown.
Hull plays host to one of the largest travelling fairs in Europe. It arrives every October and has been since 1278, making the fair over 700 years old. Of course things have changed since then, there bright lights, loud noise and rides that will make your stomach churn but the tradition is still strong. I’ve been going since I was a small child and still love to walk through the winding pathways between rides, taking in the sights, sounds and smells that are so very familiar to me, and no doubt to a lot of people in Hull.

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The fair is a sure indicator of autumns arrival and there’s one saying in my hometown which everyone repeats when it starts to turn that little bit cold “Oo its hull fair weather!” Guaranteed you will hear this around the end of September til the end of the fair. It makes me smile just to hear it, and to know a lot of Hullians have shared the same experiences and memories at our most ancient fair.

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Bob Carvers is possibly the best known fish and chip place in hull and it has a stall at the fair each year, even this name goes back a hundred years or more, and is another of hulls traditional places. The lights and rides are changing every year and they are really a spectacle to see.

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The Big Wheel seemed truly ginormous this year.

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And it’s always nice to see a ghost train or two, just to remind us that Halloween is on its way.
The bf even won me a minion . . . .

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The weekend before the arrival of Hull fair me and the bf visited the historic town of Beverley, just for a day out and about. There is a market every Wednesday and Saturday and it had been a while since we were last there. Unfortunately it was raining, but it didn’t stop us having a nice walk about.

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After a quick bite to eat we strolled over to the Minster, quite an imposing example of gothic architecture in the centre of Beverley, I’d never really had a close look before so had my camera to take some snaps.

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The market was there despite it being a rather dismal day and was stocked full with fresh fruit and veg, baked goods, and other little things usually found at markets, but much to my delight there was a fabric stall! Of course I couldn’t resist. I purchased the following . . .

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A lovely floral print in very autumny colours. My photos aren’t the greatest, light is limited these days. I also bought this cute little print, not exactly sure what to use it for but I couldn’t help it.

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Perhaps I’ll make a pet bed one day.
After our walk around Beverley we headed home, tired and soaked, it was nice to get home and cosy. . .

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And sooooo nice to get my feet dry . . .

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Even the bf was zonked after all the walking we’d done, I took this on the sly whilst he had a cheeky nap.

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After looking at the fabric id just bought, I decided to do a roll call on all the bits I already had, just to see what I’d actually accumulated and to see if any in particular matched.

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I just love the greens and reds in is selection and have had some ideas for it, but it would involve the sewing machine and I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for it yet. We’ll see.

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It was great to sit down with a nice cuppa in my fluffy cardie, my feet and hair finally dry and just toy around with a bit of fabric while the bf snoozed beside me, it was one of those days that stick with you, and I’m sure ill remember it for a long time.
Recently I’ve been trying to snatch as much time as I can outdoors, we’ve been walking home from work most nights past the fair and seen as the days are getting wetter I’ve really wanted to be out on those increasingly rare days where the sun is shining. So yesterday as the sky was relatively clear I went for a walk to our usual patch. The bf was at work so I was all by myself. Taking in the crisp air and autumn colours was great and I couldn’t believe how laden down some of the trees were with bright red berries.

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I think these are Rowan berries but really not sure (can anyone enlighten me?). I loved the contrast of the red of the berries and the yellowing leaves. Like a lot of trees and bushes I’ve seen, this year seems to have been a bumper year for wild fruit and berries.

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I think there’s still quite a few trees to she’d their leaves so I’m hoping to get out again next weekend to see if the oak tree down the grove has shed some colours and dropped some acorns. The silver birches on the other hand are in full colour.

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I just love that golden colour. As I strolled back home along the main road I wondered if I was the only one who appreciated the spectacle of trees we have in the area. I took a snap of the tall trees we have in the central reservation down the main road where I live.

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We have conifers and pines mixed in with the deciduous trees and it really is quite pretty when you take the time to look. More joy arrived when I got home and went into the garden, I haven’t ventured out the back for a while and wasn’t sure what I was going to see but lo and behold I was overjoyed to see . . .

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Marigolds! Self seeded in my teacup pot! After the weather had started to turn the first lot had died off but I was totally shocked and delighted to see that they’d made a come back!

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They look a bit rough and ready but I think its testament to the hardiness of this superb little plant, and if I can get a second growth spurt out of them then they must be easy to grow. I was also pleased to find a perfectly formed poppy poking its head out from one of the dying pots I’d sown this year.

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Though getting colder and light levels are falling this time of year, it was still lovely to see so many little flowers still making the most of it.
Speaking of light, autumn has brought some spectacular skies . . .

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One of THE best things I’ve seen for the first time this year is an autumn moonlit sky, it was a full moon last night and although difficult to capture I gave it a shot.

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And on that moonlit note i’ll sign off . . . .next stop Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The heat wave has passed folks, and given way to torrential rain and thunder storms. It’s really quite exciting to see mountainous storm clouds just over the garden fence, and there was the inevitable rush to get the washing off the line before it pours down.

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So today with it being rather grim outside the order of the day was hand decorated crochet hooks and crocheted socks.
The crochet hooks were pony crochet hooks, found in any craft store. We put milliput (a two part modelling clay/all purpose fixer) around the handles and smoothed down with water and left to dry.

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The milliput dries solid and is then ready to decorate. Me and the bf did a hook each, both with polka dots.

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Once painted we left them to dry and then added a coat of gloss varnish, left them to dry and they were finished. It was quite a nice project if I’m honest, even if they do look a bit hodge podge. They were fun to do at any rate and I’d encourage any crocheter to give it a go.

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They now sit proudly in my jar with my other hooks, I can’t help but think the collection is getting too big for the jar.

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I’ve had a inclination to make some crochet socks for a while and I scoured the Internet for patterns, of which there are many. But something in the back of my mind was niggling at me to have a go myself and so. . .

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Comfy cosy stormy socks. They’re not exactly everyday socks, more like bed socks but I’m still quite pleased with the result and they are so comfortable.

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Just perfect for when the weather starts to turn nippy. And as its my own pattern it will be available for free on the tutorials menu in the near future. Hopefully it will be the first of many. I will also be posting a crochet ‘how to’ on the basics for those of you who’ve never tried but might like to give it a go.
Despite the indecision when it came to hanging the washing out, the rain does seem to be doing wonders for the plants in the garden and I’m pleased to show you just a few of the marigolds which have finally started to bloom in all their orangey glory.

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Til next time folks. X

Here in good old blighty were having a rather scorching heat wave. It has finally had an impact on the flowers in our garden and its brought about a rather summery theme to this post. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

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Crocheted flowers for my meadow blanket. The blanket itself is made up of a granny square pattern which I did I when I was first starting out at crocheting. The blanket was a plain pale green colour and I had the idea to include a bit of colour.

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Spaced out evenly I think they look quite pretty and the blanket currently covers the back of my rocking chair, finally finished.

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To complete the flowers for my blanket I admit I had a little splurge and bought two new crochet hooks from an etsy shop called “dot dot smile” (www.etsy.com/shop/dotdotsmile) the lady who runs it is super talented and has loads of cute ideas for crochet hooks and knitting needles. The first hook I bought was this one . . .

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The creature on top is made from polymer clay. He is the character Totorro from a Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki called “My Neighbour Totorro”. The handle of the crochet hook was hand painted with themes from the film.

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I was so impressed with this hook I commissioned another, another character from a Miyazaki film called “Kiki’s Delivery Service”.

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Though Kelli at dot dot smile wasn’t familiar with the character she did a very good job and I was so pleased when my hooks arrived in the mail. She even painted the handle with little paw prints and glitter. The polymer clay is varnished and the overall result is so pretty.

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I highly recommend having a look at her etsy shop.
So after a fortnight or more of bright sunshine, the wild flowers I’d sown in April/May time were starting to bloom, here’s just a few snaps I took today.

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I love the electric blue of these cornflowers.

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We even had a little visitor to the flower pots, he didn’t seem to mind having his photo taken.

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With the help of my nephew’s little hands I managed to pot on my marigolds into my giant spotty teacup planter.

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I’m hoping now the marigolds have more space they’ll grow some more flowers on. I always tend to grow marigolds, they’re such an easy plant to grow and are so rewarding with their bright flowers.
So all there was left to do was sit back and enjoy the blue skies which seemed endless this past week.

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Lets hope summer lasts a little bit longer.:)

Project complete! It took me a bit longer than I originally expected but I’ve finally completed my banner. I appliquĂ©d the writing onto a felt background and added the extra relief details like the bee, bow and flower, then picked out the edges with a little embroidery. My favourite part has to be the light bulbs, I think they turned out really well.

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Once my banner was complete I felt I deserved to start another little project. A little friend for my felt robin and so . . .

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. . .a little blue tit was born, he looks a little funny with his spectacle type stripes and his nanny-from-count-duckula eyes but I was very pleased with the result. It was hard to know how much detail to put in, I wanted to keep the cartoony fun-ness whilst making him recognisable as a blue tit, I hope I got the balance just right. Either way he looks oh so cute sat next to robin.

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For the moment they are sat watching over my bobbins but I have other plans for them so watch this space.

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This week my hyacinths bloomed and what a delight! A lovely pale lilac colour and a scent so much better than any air freshner.

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The light hasn’t been good all week so I’ve struggled to get a decent photo, even so they are still so pretty.

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The lovely flowers have cheered me up some this weekend, I haven’t been feeling well and so there was only really one thing for it. A nest. A cosy nest in which I’ve been snoozing, made from a family heirloom.

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My mother and auntie made this crochet blanket when they were young, how young I’m not sure but I’d say its well over thirty years old if not older, they made it from any scraps of wool they could lay their hands on. It’s somewhat itchy in places and it ripples all over but it’s so cosy and heavy and by far the warmest blanket I own. I think it’s a surviving testament to my mother and aunties skill as young crocheters, and the art of crochet itself, the fact that its still in one piece after years of wear and tear, washing and drying and all made up of fragments of yarn, some so short it was hardly worth the effort. It just shows what you can achieve if you have the skill, even if you have to be thrifty.

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Speaking of thrifty, I was given these pieces of fleece a long while ago and have just re-discovered them in my craft boxes. I hadn’t any ideas what to do with them and so packed them away and forgot about them. Now on re-discovering them I think I should get some practice at patch working for a quilt. I might not quilt this fleece as its already rather soft and warm but it might help get the creative process going, and seen as all the colours go so well together it would make such a nice blanket in its own right, and well . . .

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. . . you can never have too many blankets. 🙂

Hi guys, this past two weeks have just flown by and I’ve had little time to concentrate on anything crafty, however I’ve put a few pics together. I’ve been thinking about my trip to Sherwood and remembered something I made a while ago that reminded me of my visit.

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I made this ages ago but was totally surprised how it reminded me of the Eagle Owl at Sherwood Forest. Although this little character is fun and fuzzy in his own delightful way, he is very practical, apart from his felt feathers which feel lovely . . .

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. . .he is in fact a pin cushion and needle case, he flips down and has storage in his moon for pins and needles.

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This got me rummaging around in my piles of felt for other fuzzy flying felts I made and I found a long lost fuzzy. . .

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This little fella is not quite finished, and rather than becoming a needle case he is purely decorative, he was of course going to be hanging on my Xmas tree at the festive time of year until I put him down somewhere and forgot he even existed! He has the same little feathers as Mr.Owl but obviously with a red breast instead.

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I also thought you should see a little piece of memorabilia that I picked up at Sherwood; as I mentioned I fell in love with the little blue tits and couldn’t resist this lovely little china mug.

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I think it’s quite obvious what my next flying fuzzy is going to be.
On a similar note, as well as Mr.Owl, I thought I’d show you something else that I have actually completed, or rather should I say, some-one . . .

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. . .allow me to introduce Minnie! She was the first knitted doll I ever made and I needed a lot of guidance and tutoring to make her, but the end result made me ever more confident with myself and what I could achieve, she even had her own personal jewellery made for her.

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I could have cut the loops in her hair to make it long, but I kind of liked the retro curls the loops gave, even if it does remind me slightly of Sigourney Weavers hair in aliens.
Speaking of aliens, we have recently seen a ten ton asteroid hit the earth, something I think I should mention seen as it is unlikely to happen again in our lifetime. A truly unworldly sight as ever we saw, however the beautiful sunshine we’ve had the last two weekends had left me wanting more, and I couldn’t help but take a few snaps at the beautiful sky right outside my window.

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Everything seems better when bathed in a soft afternoon sunlight, and I love the way it illuminates my windowsill plants.

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One of my sisters works at a very large flower company and she brought me these lovely hyacinths which have simply shot up over the past week, here they were snuggled in their long leaves and now their just cresting the top stems.

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There’s not much colour on them yet but they almost have a tinge of blue to them, I can’t wait til they open fully.
As I previously mentioned in one of my posts, I aim to give cross stitch the attention it deserves and have taken some pics of things I’ve finished and have yet to finish. Firstly a pin cushion (I think it must have been a phase, I seem to make a lot of them) a distinctly Victorian pattern I think, from a book which I can’t quite remember the name of, but it was originally a design for a fabric Xmas cracker. . .(not entirely sure how that works?!?!)

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I had to adapt the pattern slightly at the edges to continue the stripes and I backed it with a yellowy golden felt which went perfectly with the yellow roses.

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I also recently finished a Bothy Threads kit in the Cut-Thru series by Amanda Loverseed, the Cut-Thru Haberdashers.

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It was a joy to stitch as are all of the Cut-Thru series, not only are they quirky but bright fun and colourful, needless to say I have many in my collection awaiting my needle. The first I ever completed was the Cut-Thru pirate ship, which sits in a frame which will one day be on a wall with all my other completed Cut-Thru’s.

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Unquestionably I failed to iron it before I framed it, this I will remedy when I get a frame for the haberdashers. And now I must tell you of my Cross-Stitching guilty pleasure, I am totally addicted to a website called Heaven and Earth Designs, I’d put in a link but I’m still not sure how to do it (for now you’ll just have to google it 🙂 ). I was looking for a place that had complex cross stitch patterns as I soon got used to the simple patterns supplied by magazines and bookmark kits, even the Cut-Thru series got easy. I’m not quite sure how I came across it but I know there are adverts in the back of Cross-Stitcher Magazine. I must admit, many of the fairy pictures, cat pictures and all the cutsie children and bunnies are not to my taste but the wonderful people at Heaven and Earth also transform many different paintings from many skilled artists into Cross-Stitch charts. So my first purchase was . . .

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The Astronomer by Myles Pinkney, possibly one of the most difficult charts I could have chosen. For those stitchers out there, this pattern is worked on 25 count (in laymans terms, absolutley tiny stitches!) and there are 120 colours. It’s a big job and I’m . . .

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. . . this far in. As you can see though the resolution at the end of it will be spectacular!
The reason why Heaven and Earth is my guilty pleasure is thus, I’ve already bought at least 4 more charts of this size. . . oops.

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It’s a good thing I’m so organised when it comes to bobbins. This is just one of the two boxes of bobbins for The Astronomer chart.

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Despite doing a few stitches today, night soon drew upon us and it was time to sit a bit in my rocking chair and admire the crescent glow of the moon . . . which was still there. . . Thankfully.

Well the Christmas holidays came and went and I’m back at work full-time. However I’ve been more determined than ever to keep up with the crafting and have been very busy this last week. As you know I’ve some improvements to make to this blog and fancied that I needed a better header for the blog, well I got some scraps of felt together and started a little well . . .hanger/logoey thing to have as my banner. It isn’t finished yet but I’m working on it.

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This was the rough layout of the pieces and I’ve cut out a template for the writing first as a friend of mine said she liked the handwriting effect, so I kept it in. Later on I fashioned a bow and decided to change the lettering a little.

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You can see it coming together in this photo. It’s a little shameful to say but what I really like about this photo is the mess I made, I rarely get the time to completely indulge myself in a project and I thoroughly enjoyed working on it. For effect I’m going to pad it out with stuffing especially the lightbulbs which I think turned out really well.

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The design was based on the one above. As you’ll notice it was originally Minnie’s Market which was going to be the name of an etsy shop I was going to create; however I found myself in full-time employment and just didn’t think I would be able to give it the time it deserved. (one day I’ll get round to it) Making my banner was great fun and it allowed me to use some of the beautifully coloured cottons I’ve got stashed around the flat.

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I’ve been just dying to put these to good use and finally I had the opportunity. After doing a bit of sewing I really made a bit of a schedule for myself this past weekend. It’s the bf’s (boyfriend, though he’ll chide me for not saying fiance) birthday on monday but as we’re away I thought I’d make him a birthday treat early. So I donned my apron and got to work making a carrot cake (his favourite).

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Instantly this made me happy because I got to use my new oven timer which my friend had bought me for Christmas and my retro kitchen scales which I absolutely adore.DSCN0445

I must admit, though I enjoy baking I’m not great at it and this was the first time I’d made this cake on my own. In the oven it looked fine but started to crumble a bit on preparing to ice.DSCN0448

But not to worry, the icing would cover it, and it looked so nice in the bowl I thought nothing could look horrible with this icing on.

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Two whole tubs of mascarpone went into this icing.(sigh) I’m not quite sure if I like that fact or loathe it. But with this on my cake would surely look pretty, well, so I thought . . .

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My icing skills leave a lot to be desired and I think the cake tin was a bit too big, but apart from that, if you close your eyes, it tastes quite nice, and the bf liked it so it can’t be all bad.

Setting myself with the cake challenge and completing it put my mind towards another challenge, something which, though I like to think it, doesn’t really come naturally to me. As you may have read on the little “about me” page I am a keen but not always successful amateur gardener. “how does she garden with no garden?” I hear you say, well it’s not so much a garden as a few herbs I’ve got indoors and a couple of succulents. Last year I saw the demise of all my well established little herb pots, sad yes, but entirely my own fault. This year I’ve replanted and have just got my first few seedlings. I’ve got coriander and chives so far, and hope to have basil, parsley and thyme.

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Just how long these little fellas will stay alive I’m unsure, I’m the worst plant mother possible, but this year is all about starting afresh and I will do my utmost.

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So, after a busy  weekend a well deserved cuppa was in order and I just had to use my Christmas mug. Cheers!

ayarnyrobin

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