Sunday, 27 April 2014

Crocheters Block

I'm really struggling at the moment with crochet block, I just don't seem to be able to settle on anything in particular. I'm desperate to start a new project but I just can't seem to mentally get myself into the right place to begin. If I flick through my iPad I have literally a thousand different photo's of items that i've come across and fallen in love with so I've snap-shotted a picture of it, with the intention of making something similar as my next project, but nothing's grabbing me. It's sooooooooo frustrating.

Something I have wanted to try for a very long time is tapestry crochet or "graphghan". Before I fell in love with crochet, my Mum taught me to knit. (Shucks! Hush my naughty mouth for mentioning the "K" word!) And I particularly enjoyed intarsia knitting, so a graphghan is something I'd love to try. It does seem to be quite a new thing (I may be wrong here) and I haven't been able to find many patterns for it, but I have watched a couple of tutorials on YouTube so I think this may well be my next project.

I found this one doing a search on Yahoo. It's pretty amazing isn't it! The hours of work that must have gone in to produce it is mind boggling.

This one too, the lady who made this is so talented

I love the colours and the style of this afghan

I absolutely love this little red cardinal, I love the Nordic style too

Another great piece of art

And this bag is really really great.

But the block is still there and I just can't seem to get past it, so for now I'll keep searching for something fantastic and for inspiration to strike!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Naughty Dog!

I hope everyone had a lovely relaxing Easter Sunday despite the awful weather. Unfortunately, we had a very expensive one, but not in the egg-citing way you'd hope. Jasper, our naughty puppy decided while no one was looking to sneak upstairs to my daughters bedroom and eat a huge bar of chocolate!!!!!! Luckily for him he was caught in the act and after a quick call to the vet helpline we discovered he'd eaten enough to give him a very serious case of theobromine poisoning and had to call the vet out.

Poor Jasper, his day really got worse! The vet had to induce vomiting to get the chocolate out of his system and then force fed him charcoal to stop him absorbing any theobromine that was left. Poor baby, he really looked and felt dreadful, but being a puppy, I'm sure he won't learn from his little misdemeanour! All I can say is "bank holiday Sunday, calling the vet out........... Thank goodness he's insured!"

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter fun

I so love having the kids home during school holidays, it gives us a kind of freedom not available during term time, free from the routine and demands of conforming to school rules and a chance to just relax, chill and have fun, a chance to just be ourselves and make decisions for just us.

We've spent the last couple of weeks caught up in a mixture of relaxing and chilling out at home and of adventures and fun. We took full advantage of the glorious sunshine we've been blessed with, some days with not even a cloud in the sky.......

Just that beautiful sky blue colour I named my cat after!

One of the days we took full advantage of living in a town right on the train line and hopped on board and headed to Weymouth, bags packed for a bit of fun by the sea. This was Jasper's very first trip on a train and although he's a pretty easy going puppy dog and I've done most things with him, this was something new that I realised he hadn't experienced before, however I had no need to worry, other than needing a bit of a shove up the bum to get him from the flat form onto the train, he was fine.

The train was really busy, with lots of people with the same idea and everyone seemed to think it was a real novelty to have a dog on board, but after 10 minutes Jasper had had enough of being the star attraction and went to sleep under the table!

It only takes about 50 minutes to chug our way along through the picturesque Somerset/Dorset countryside before arriving in Weymouth. And I have to say I found using the train far easier (and far cheaper than taking the car) The kids seem to enjoy it far more too, and on leaving the train station you meet Wenlock or perhaps Mandeville, can never remember which one is which, because of course, Weymouth hosted the Olympic Sailing in 2012

Little H was desperate to get on the beach. The thing I absolutely love about Weymouth beach is that it has a large area by the pier dedicated to dogs all year round. A lot of the times I feel like a lepper owning a dog, Britain does seem to be particularly dog unfriendly :0( but Weymouth welcomes them and its one of the reasons I visit so often.

Straight away, Little H and Jasper-Joe were engrossed in digging, building castles, dashing around and generally having lots of fun. The sea at Weymouth is very safe, you can wade out for ages and still only be knee deep, making it fab for kids.

The water was also incredibly warm for April and there was a good few brave souls taking a dip, not me though, it has to be 90 degrees in the shade on a tropical island before I'd consider submerging myself! Jasper and H weren't bothered though and had lots of fun chasing balls, splashing around and enjoying themselves.

The colour of the sky was incredible

And I love how the town comes right down to meet the shoreline

By midday our tummies were rumbling so we left the beach in search of food. We headed for the harbour which is a beautiful place, full of old fashioned chocolate box cottages, cafe's and bars. There's a little old man, who's been there for as long as I can remember, certainly since I was a child, who rows a little rowing boat ferry backwards and forwards across the harbour, taking people from one side to the other. We paid our £1 fare and sailed across, little H very excited and Jasper completely unbothered by the whole adventure.

We enjoyed lunch amongst the hustle and bustle of the harbour, hot fish and chips and cans of fizzy Coca Cola, watching the boats gently passing by before returning to the beach for more fun and games. Jasper made lots of new friends and loved the freedom to romp and play with other dogs, in particular this beautiful Dalmatian.

And after a quick dip in the sea, 

came back for a good roll in the sand before shaking it all over lovely Lady M, who I have to say was none to impressed!

We had such a lovely day, playing in the sand, lazing in the glorious spring sunshine and enjoying the freedom of the Easter holidays, before returning back to the train for a lovely relaxing ride home with sunkissed faces, sand inbetween our toes and a warm fuzzy feeling of happiness!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Fun in the sun

The kids are on their Easter Holidays and the spring sun is shining down upon us so we decided to make the most of it and headed off to beautiful Weymouth on the train. We're really lucky to have a train station on the outskirts of our little town that is on the main London line and on the line to the south coast, it opens up endless possibilities for fun!

I love Weymouth as they have an area set aside especially for woofers and Jasper absolutely loves the beach so it's great for us. I think on the whole Britain is a very dog unfriendly place, the amount of places I go that ban dogs is unbelievable. I've been a member of the National Trust for more years than I care to remember but since getting I dog, I've had to cancel my membership as most of their places ban them like some sort of lepper. It's such a shame as Jasper seems to know if Harry is going to have a seizure and fore warns us but taking the pair of them anywhere is so difficult.

Anyway, back to our day on the coast. Everyone loves the train, Harry loves to gaze out the window at the world going by, it gives Mollie a chance to read, and it gives me a chance to crochet! (It would be rude not to!) this was Jaspers first ride on a train, I was a bit worried, but other than not liking stepping over the gap he was, to my great relief, fine with it.

The train was packed and so was Weymouth, everyone seemed to have the same idea. Last year we couldn't get Jasper in the sea, this year it seems we won't be able to keep him out and surprisingly the sea was really quite warm. It is very very shallow at Weymouth, you have to wade out a fair old way even before its knee deep so maybe that's why the water was warmish. None the less little H and Jasper-Joe had loads of fun.

Playing in the sea..............

Digging in the sand...............

Meeting new friends...............

Swimming in the sea.............

And rolling in the sand and shaking it all over Mollie!!!!!!

Weymouth is beautiful, the harbour very traditional and picturesque 

You can cross over from one side to the other either by walking all the way round a going over the swing bridge, or as we did catching a little boat rowed by a lovely old gent who will take you across the water for 50p

I love how the town comes right down to the beach

And how safe, shallow and dog friendly the beach is

Just simply a wonderful day out :0)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Wonderful weekend

Wow what a wonderful weekend I've just had and after spending the last 3 months feeling really rough and battling a nasty virus and all the upset of the market debacle, I once again feel wonderful :0)

I have been organising a Charity Craft Fair event in our local town, I wanted to provide local crafters with the opportunity to sell their beautiful handmade wares at a reasonable price because everywhere I've looked, craft fair tables are sooooo expensive. The margins when selling things you've lovingly crafted are so tight that if you have to spend £30 on a table at event you've probably actually cost yourself more than you've made! 

So after lots of advertising a group of us excitedly got together for our very first fair on Saturday and what a roaring success it was, we raised £122 for our local Special Care Baby Unit and had a marvellous time selling the things we so enjoy making, and for me it was a relief to recoup a tiny bit of the outlay I'd spent on everything for the market stall that I'd been let down on last minute. All that stock and the money tied up in it, ready to launch a business that wasn't going to happen was laying so heavy on my mind.

We've decided it was so fab that we're going to do it every first Saturday of the month. More than anything else its a chance to socialise and meet like minded people , discuss methods and share ideas, we'll never make our first million from it as there's not many pennies to be made from crafting but it's fun none the less and I met some really fantastic people with some amazing ideas.

He'res my stall

Lots and lots of yummy crafty bits, plus if you look carefully, a sneaky cup of tea!

Friday, 11 April 2014


Now is it just me or has anyone else never come across C2C Crochet? I had honestly never heard of it before, or perhaps I've just been living under a bucket?! One of the Facebook groups I joined had a lot of members talking about colours for their C2C, which combination worked well, which yarns and size hooks to use etc, so I got brave and asked what C2C was, and what a revelation it turned out to be.

C2C stands for corner to corner and is a fab method that produces a beautiful blanket that crochets up really quickly. Once I got the hang of it, there's not actually really too much to master, I motored along and was really really pleased with the result. The work chequers back and forth and produces a basket weave effect.

I used a mish mash of yarns from my stash and used up a few oddsies that I'd been saving for this sort of project, a mixture of different DK's that I crocheted double strands on a 5.5 hook to make it thick and cosy and the result is brilliant.

I simply love it! It's definitely a new addiction and probably the first of many!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Just had to share

When I came down stairs this morning, (all my monsters still tucked up in the land of nod) everything was still and peaceful, so I popped my little bootie down on the sofa to enjoy it for 5 minutes and that's when I noticed this

This is Skye, basking in the window on the other side of the roman blind, enjoying the morning sun sat next to my vase of daffodils, I thought it made an extraordinary photo and just wanted to share it with you!

And once the blind was up.............

Baby Skye Blue, making the most of this sparkly new day!

Have a great day xx

Happy Mothers Day!

Mothers Day here in the UK this year was a warm sunny event but annoyingly I was still laid up in bed with this stupid bug that's been lurking about however by the afternoon and a good dosing of meds I managed to make it up to see my own Mum.

I wanted to give her something that shows I care rather than just buying her a bunch of flowers or some boring old chocolates, so I decided to make her something especially for her.  This time of year, spring, is just beautiful in the UK, the weather is improving and if you dodge the April showers, the days are getting longer and warmer. The hedgerow song birds chirp out a happy melody and the spring flowers are popping up all along the way.

I love being outside at this time of the year, the warmer air, the buzz of bees, cows back in the fields and the promise of hotter weather on the horizon are all good for the soul! And of course Jasper pup thinks so too as it means more walkies!

I think spring flowers are just beautiful, so delicate and well just "happy" but my favourite has to be the daffodil, throughout the whole of spring, I have daffy's in my living room window, they're just so bright, happy and welcoming, and my very favourite of the spring blooms.

My Mum and daffodils make me happy so I decided to put the two things together to make her something really special for Mothers Day, and with the help of Lucy's Blog at Attic 24 I made some beautiful daffodils

Very easy to make, and as you would expect from a Lucy tutorial, very easy to follow, but the result is fabulous. What this picture doesn't show (this is after I blocked the petals) is the sweet little fluted effect on the trumpet that you get on real daffodils.

I added some buttons to the insides of the trumpets to embellish them and then put the whole thing together on a white wicker heart

Her favourite colour is green so I this tied in nicely with green buttons and ribbon and it sat with the yellow of the daffodils really well, and it was especially lucky that the heart in the middle which says "best Mum" was green too. I hadn't planned it really, but it all came together beautifully and she was very pleased with it.

It's got me onto thinking about making one of those beautiful wreaths that Attic 24 is so well known for, perhaps all my favourite springtime flowers and a couple of chirping birds to remind me how great spring is when we're in the depths of a gloomy winter?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Long time no blog.............

It feels like forever since I last blogged, but I've been incredibly I'll with the nastiest bug. I realised its probably been hanging on since the beginning of the year and 4 months on I'm still doing battle with it. I am however starting to feel a little more human even if my brain feels like its full of cottage cheese and thought it was about time I updated my blog.

After the disaster with the market, I decided to turn those bitter lemons into sweet lemonade and hatched a plan. I'd consider myself a bit of a passivist and would like to consider myself as also a bit of a philanthropist. I could never be a hard nosed business woman stepping on whoever gets in the way whilst climbing to the top. I'd rather do good by good people and have a conscience I can live with. I was incredibly hurt and upset with the cut throat way the whole market business was conducted in, it felt like they had no care that a family with a special needs child had spent all their very hard saved for savings on stock before telling them 10 days before the start of the market that they didnt have a stall, and when I wrote to them explaining the whole situation they didn't even grace me with an acknowledgement, but on a positive note,  it made me even more determined to succeed in a compassionate manner.

Luckily a friend from years back had witnessed via my protestations on Facebook and also felt I had been treated very badly and offered me the function room of their Inn free of charge so I could set up a craft fair. As you can imagine I was absolutely over the moon! My initial plan was to hire a hall and split the cost of the hire between any local crafters who wanted a stall, but then Simon jumped in with his offer. It was never my plan to make anything from holding the fairs, I just wanted an opportunity to sell my items at a reasonable price as everywhere I looked, stalls were so much. So now we have a venue for a regular craft fair on the first Saturday of every month (April's is on the second Saturday as a friend is hosting one this Saturday) and as the hall hire is free, I've asked each stall holder to contribute £5 for their stall and each month am going to give the proceeds to a local charity.  This sits well with me as it helps others already trying to help the less fortunate, and gives local crafters and artists a chance to sell their goods at a reasonable price. 

So despite feeling rough, rough, rough, this week I've dosed up on meds and worked really hard, all of which would not have been possible without Skye's invaluable help!!!!!!

And I think I'm finally ready to rumble

Boxes and boxes of stock, over 100 balls of yarn, 2000 buttons, fat quarters, threads, ribbons, pins, scissors, poppers, sem rippers, stitch markers and everything else precious stashed in my tower of boxes. I'm really excited and really hoping this is the start of my dream of running a craft shop and gallery to display local crafters work, with a studio attached so I can share my skills to teach others what I love best!