Thursday, 27 October 2011

Halloween half term

Half term is almost over - it has flown by so far, lots of trips out to keep us all occupied. We made our annual visit to the local pumpkin barn to choose a pumpkin each for the kids. We haven't carved them yet - a job for the weekend. Whilst we were there, I decided to buy some gourds to make a display for the windowsill. The kids had fun rearranging them until they were happy with their efforts. Not all the Halloween decorations are out yet but I will get the rest out on Monday while the girls are back at school.  

We are planning a day out in London but the rain has arrived and I don't know whether we will get another dry day before the week is over. If the rain continues we will have to stay at home and make Hama bead Halloween decorations, chocolate chip cookies and the girls have decided to try their hand at some Kirstie Allsopp crafts from last night's episode. E wants to have a go at making an animal from newspaper and sellotape (hope we have plenty of tape as it looks like she may need a whole roll!) and F wants to attempt freestyle machine stitching onto card. Looking forward to it.

I have also been making something over the past few days. A teacher at the school had a baby boy last month so I thought it would be nice to make a small car seat sized blanket for him. Four WIP blankets at the moment, shocking! This is what it looked like yesterday morning.

It's a vintage stripe blanket and I got the pattern from Bella Dia's blog. Very quick and easy to do, so much so that I just have the edging to do and then it's finished. I think this blanket is ideal for a baby as there are lots of little holes like a cellular blanket. I did consider joining the ripple along hosted by Lucy at Attic 24 and Heather at Little Tin Bird but I only really had this week to make this blanket and I find a ripple takes quite a lot longer to make. Anyway, I will post photos of the completed blanket before it gets wrapped up and sent off to its new home.

No photos of Gerard today, he is fast asleep beside me looking cute. He has turned into a bit of a rascal recently - last week he brought home four mice, three in the space of two and a half hours! I was not happy that evening. We also have had some visits from a young ginger cat who seems to have taken a fancy to Gerard. He has come through the cat flap twice this week and was on the worktop. We are on ginger cat shooing duty now. Might have to buy a water pistol! Have a great weekend. x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Clutter busting

I spent most of yesterday sorting out piles of clutter that have collected in various places throughout the lounge over the past few months. It took a while but it was worth it in the end, the lounge now looks a whole lot tidier and is a much more relaxing place to be. Whilst squirreling away bits and pieces, I recognised certain areas that tended to accumulate lots of stuff fairly quickly. I had in mind a little ceramic pot to corral crochet hooks/pens and scissors but found this little danish stainless steel dish instead. Perfect for the task and looks great too. And at £1.50 from the new charity shop in town, very affordable.  Absolutely exhausted now though so thoroughly enjoying that glass of wine. Hope you have a fab weekend. We are looking forward to the half term break. Not much planned - best way to be! xx

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

M&S does it again

I think the person in charge of novelty biscuit tins at M&S is doing a mighty fine job. First the jammy dodger tin, then the custard cream tin and now... behold the bourbon tin. I didn't manage to get the other tins, but at this time of year with Xmas looming, I am in biscuit tin buying mode. The bourbons are nearly all gone, by the way. I don't think the kids really knew what they were, but they liked them. These are definitely biscuits of the 1970s - the special ones that your Mum would buy occasionally as a treat, rather than the mundane rich tea or malted milk. Pink wafers and party rings were strictly for birthday parties only.

There are quite a few other biscuit tins at M&S that I would love to buy but I seem to have rather a large selection at home and sadly no more will fit into my kitchen cupboards. Maybe I should just buy some and use them for storage elsewhere in the house. And enjoy eating the biscuits! xx

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Knitting and Stitching Show

It's that time of year again - the weather is feeling more and more autumnal, although we are still experiencing a fair amount of sunshine. This means that the kids start talking about Halloween - a lot, and I start talking about the Knitting and Stitching show. I went last Friday with Alison. We had a fab day, so much to look at and very pleasing that most of the stalls were in the same places. This meant that we could fairly easily find the things we were looking for at the right prices, ie. inexpensive ergonomic crochet hooks (also described as aerodynamic crochet hooks at Knitting club last!) and bargain yarns. As you can see above, I managed to get two more crochet hooks and some gorgeous multicoloured yarn at £2 per ball (I got three balls BTW). I also got some more yarn (to be mailed as they didn't have enough of the colour I needed at the show) and some really unusual buttons, which I will probably use to decorate bags.

 The choice of fabrics was amazing, I think there were a lot more there this year than last year. I restricted myself to two fat quarters, mainly because I have far too much fabric in my stash already. I really had to buy these two though. The one on the left reminds me of a 1940s summer dress fabric and the one on the right is from the Little Apples range by Aneela Hoey for Moda. With my three little tortoises, I couldn't really walk past a little tortoises fabric now, could I? Having said this, I really don't know what I am going to make with these, but they are beautiful and I am sure I will figure something out soon.

But I really couldn't wait to get going with the wool. I decided that it was high time I learnt how to cable knit, as I have been wondering how it is done for about 25 years. I was convinced I wouldn't be able to do it but someone reliably informed me that it was easy so I searched around online and found some very straight forward instructions and an Irish Hiking Scarf pattern which was recommended for beginners at cable stitch. And this is how far I have got. I have to say, it is so simple to do and the yarn is a dream to work with, lovely and soft. I would not normally choose these colours but I bought a coat towards the end of last winter which I thought these tones would go well with. I got the coat at the charity shop, quite a bargain considering it was originally from Jigsaw. I sent it straight to the dry cleaners so after spending £20 for the coat and £9 for dry cleaning, I deemed myself extremely lucky. The coat looks grey in this photo but it is actually a mixture of black and purple.

And this is what the scarf looks like with it. I can't wait to get it finished and start wearing it, although I'll be a bit sorry to finish it as I am really enjoying making it. I have an order for a scarf from my husband too so I must keep a look out for another pattern and some more yarn.

Finally, I couldn't leave you today without a couple of photos of Gerard.

I think it's safe to say he has settled in now! xx

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Tres magnifique

A little something popped through the letterbox last week. A small impulse buy - I saw it and had to have it. That doesn't often happen with me when it comes to online shopping, I am usually very careful in considering what to buy, but this was something I absolutely wanted AND needed. Once ordered, the something arrived very quickly, literally only a couple of days and it was so beautifully packaged.

Yes, this little something appeared on the dottie angel blog a few days ago and I absolutely love all things dottie angel.

How cute is that tray? Both those monkeys were bought from thrift shops in the US. Why can't our charity shops sell cute Danish monkeys? And I needed a new tray as a certain incident happened with my Ikea bird tray a couple of weeks ago (not naming any names). Now I have a perfectly dottie tray to take my tea on outside. It would appear great minds think alike as Caroline from gran plumley also ordered the tray and the book. The book is top of my Christmas list. Uh oh, I mentioned that word.  

On the crochet front, I have almost finished making all the squares for the Mollie Makes blanket. I laid them all out on the floor this afternoon and discovered there are a few more silver/parchment ones to make. I have enough squares to make a decent sized lap blanket so I'm happy with the size. So glad I only have a few more to make though as it feels like I have been making them for an eternity. Will update with photos soon. xx