Saturday, June 07, 2014

About Kitchens...

I think I may have mentioned in my last post about life being so incredibly busy right now. This last month has been no exception. Work, children, husband, birthdays, church and conferences have all woven into my time and crafting has had to take a little back seater although I have done a couple a things and started a new blanket.
One thing that has happened since my last post is that we now have a new kitchen. Before it was kind of falling apart and in the seven years we have lived in this house, we have never done anything with it so we felt it was time to give it a much needed face lift.
Handles were falling off cupboard doors and doors were falling off drawers. It really was getting a tad old and desperate. Although you can't see it in the pictures, these two rooms were separated by a rather 1980's arched wall. We got rid of the joining wall and made it into one room which has made it much brighter and more spacious. New cupboards and cooker and fridge and floor...
It looks a little cold and unlived in at the moment and that is due to it not being quite finished yet. All we need now are some tiles and blinds and a spot of colour. A few accessories wouldn't go amiss either but we will have to wait for some funds to build up again before we can get anything else.
We had a nightmare with the cooker. I desperately wanted a Rangemaster but getting one proved difficult. We ordered and paid for one only to be told a week later that it was going to take a good couple of weeks for it to get to us (problem with the manufacturer we were told). We had been without a cooker for four weeks when it finally arrived only to be dropped and broken on the way in! So another week ensued although, to be fair, the place we bought it from did provide us with a temporary cooker while we waited.
So today was the day it finally arrived. My lovely new cooker. So desperate was I to try it out, I baked a cake. I love baking but one of the things I got fed up of was that every time I baked a cake, it burnt on the top and never done quite right in the middle. Or, it would burn on one side and be lovely and golden on the other. This would never do! I think the old oven we had had really had its day.
I went with a recipe from Lucy's blog. The Lemon Drizzle.
In it went...
Ahhh look at that. Lovely, clean, brand-spanking new oven!
A bit longer.......
Ta da!!! A perfectly, golden, risen beauty!!! Mmmmmm. It tastes so light and airy and completely lemony. First bake out of the new oven... very impressive!
New oven you are my new best friend!!!
Thanks for listening to me drone on about this topic so very close to my heart. I promise you a crafty post is on its way but for now, here's a little sneak peak....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The One I Nearly Forgot..

Well here we are - a second post in less than a week! What is the world coming to?
Happy Easter everyone! We have been celebrating the weekend at our wonderful Church and making a toilet roll resurrection! The little peeps loved this activity although I found it hard and humbling to put Jesus on the cross at 12pm Good Friday. They were excited to put him in the tomb at 3pm and even more excited to roll the stone away this morning! Yay!! Jesus is alive. He is a good God.
Yesterday we headed for the beach which is over an hours drive from us at Formby. What a stunningly beautiful day. Here are a couple of snaps.
I realised that there was a blanket I finished a while back which I completely forgot to photograph and post up. How could I forget it. It is one of the most beautiful blankets I have made so far in terms of colour and simplicity. Obviously, I love all my blankets. Uh huh - every single one has its own character and feel and has a story all of its own. This one was inspired by a picture on Pinterest. This one I think it was. I adored the colour sequence and wondered if I might be able to find some similar colours here in the UK. You may remember the post I began it.  Well, here she is in her finished glory!
I really think I could make her a few rounds longer but I had kind of had enough by this point although I have left off the edging as 1) It looks pretty enough as it is and 2) I can always add later rounds. Hope you enjoy the pics!
It really is the most snuggly blanket ever. It really is a wool eater blanket though so be warned!
I think I cracked it. Don't you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stitching Spring

Hello there everyone! It has been a bit of a while hasn't it? More than a month???? Where has the time gone? Well, I have been busy celebrating my 15th year anniversary and I have been out and about like crazy but I also have some crafty bits and bobs to share too.

Due to my stitching mojo which went missing some time ago, I decided the best way to deal with it was to do a little exchange. So of to HOE I went to see what exchanges were on offer. There was a spring exchange so I signed up immediately. Unfortunately, there was a little problem as my details hadn't been sent to the moderator and so after several emails back and forth, finally my name was down and I then began the search for the bestest, nicest little spring stitch I could find. I eventually found it via Pinterest and it is a cute little freebie found on a French site. Today, my partner received the exchange I sent her so I can now show you the result of my handiwork.

I stuffed it full of lavender and made a little pillow! I sent along some extras too and so glad to hear the recipient got it safely in the post today.

My Willow Squares blanket is now all joined but I need to work out the edging. I think I might need to order more wool for the edging too as I only have a ball left so it will either be a pretty small edging or I will have to fork out for some more merino. However, I couldn't go a month and then not leave you with a few pictures of it. It looks fab even now without the edge. Gorgeous. Love love love.
This last photo really shows off the continuous flat braid join. This is a great You tube tutorial by Beth and works really well at joining squares. It is quite tricksy but once you get the hang of it, it is easy peasy. I really like the prettiness of this join. It gives it an almost lacy feel which suits this design I think. This blanket was a pleasure to make and I am quite glad I still haven't yet finished it. Now I need to find a suitable edging for it.
And that's not all...... I have got my stitching mojo back a little after doing the exchange. So I continued to work on the Elisabeth Lillie design. Now please forgive me for all the crumples in the fabric. For those who know me, know that I NEVER iron a project until it is complete. I just don't trust that the iron won't do it some heat damage or weaken the colour or something. So please don't look at the crumples. I have done a fair bit since last time and I am determined now to finish this piece soon; at the very least - before the end of the year.
Now for some non stitchy, not crochety business. School hols started for us a week ago and so we took the opportunity, as well as having lots of coffee from various outlets, to visit a place not too far from me called Cannon Hall Farm. This place is wonderful for both children and parents alike and much fun and fresh air was had by the four of us. There are lambs and piglets galore and all sorts of other breeds of animals that you can touch and stroke to your hearts content. There is a great café and wonderful adventure playgrounds for the children too so I highly recommend it for a day out if you are close.

No - that's not a real cow!
Right then I am off to look at the border of this blanket and make my mind up. Have a wonderful Easter break everyone.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Colour therapy

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I had the privilege of attending one of Lucy's workshops last Saturday at her lovely studio in Skipton. Nine different people from al over the UK came to meet Lucy and crochet up one of her Bower Birds. The studio is above a lovely cafe which served up the most amazing coffees and pastries. We were hugely spoilt and I was very very good and only had a few pieces of cake! Fortunately they were cut up into edible mouth sized bites so I thought five pieces was good going. Lunch was served - tuna/cucumber/olives on brown bread which I can only describe as being like a miniature loaf! It was huge but oh so lovely. Without much further ado, hooks were out and fingers got busy. Cappuccinos were provided to help keep up the momentum and by the end of the day, we had all completed a little Bower Bird. 

 Bowls of colour to entice and delight!
Lucy's beautiful studio. What a privilege. 
Beautiful merino yarn to make our birdies.

More studio shots.

 And here they all are. Nine little Bower Birds. Mine is third from the bottom. 
Here's yours truly with Lucy herself. 

And after that, we all went home and made a home for our birdies. Here is mine finally finished!

That was last Saturday! What a great trip. I would thoroughly recommend it. Lucy was very helpful and on hand to offer advice and tips. But get in the queue as I believe there may be a waiting list for the next one. 

Okay so that was that. I have been meaning to get these next pictures to you for some time but just have not had the chance to blog. Here is my Elmer blanket - finally!!!!!

I absolutely adore the crochet pompom edge I made for it which can be found here. I used 17 colours of Stylecraft Special DK. I am incredibly happy to have this finally finished at last. It seems to have taken a long time from when I first started it although I have had breaks from it to stitch and do other projects. I still haven't completed my Willow blanket yet as I still haven't decided on how to place them. 

Finally, my lovely friend Tracy helped me to choose some nice colours for a new blanket. I wanted to try out the new Stylecraft colours - they had a mustard and an orangey one so wanted a palette to incorporate those. Here's what she came up with:

What do you think? Starting with the gold colour at the bottom and going clockwise we have the following:


I think that's correct! 

Well that is all from me. Hope you have enjoyed reading today. I'll be back soon, hopefully with a Willow finish.