Thursday, 26 June 2014

Random moments

I was in two minds about what to call this post - it was either going to be "a bit of a whinge" or "random moments" depending on how I ended up seeing the thing that it's about!

I don't know if I have ever mentioned it before, but I commute to and from work every day by train. I live in Hertfordshire and I work in central London, so I have a 90 minute journey to and from work - a total of 3 hours commuting a day.

Anyone else who does a similar journey will know, there is something totally de-humanising about train travel during rush hour. The tube is the worst -your crammed into a little metal tube like sardines, often with your face smooshed up against the back of a stranger! It's very weird. The only way I can cope with it is to basically pretend it's not happening, and withdraw into myself and day dream. A book, music on my mp3 player and looking at Pinterest on my phone all help me with this!

So, in a way, it was actually quite nice when, yesterday morning, I had a little moment that reminded me that my fellow passengers are real people too! It didn't start off nicely though. Before I go any further I must explain - one of the coping strategies that commuters employ is having their 'patch' on the platform. You always stand in the same place because you know exactly where the train carriage doors will be when the train pulls up, and you know which carriage has your best chance of getting a seat. Honestly, it's not just me that does this - everyone does! I'm always stood next to the same people on the platform each morning.

So, one of these people is rather rude. I really hate rudeness in people - it's one of my pet hates. This guy, always arrives about 2 minutes before the train pulls in, and just walks to the front of the platform to stand in front of all the people that have been there for 5 minutes already waiting patiently. He does this and then makes sure that he gets on the train first. It really bugs me, but being wary of the possibility of an outbreak of commuter-rage, I never say anything to him. Yesterday morning, he did exactly the same as he always did and pushed on in front of my self and another lady who were waiting. I must have slightly shaken my head at him in frustration because the other lady turned to me and said "he never learns does he!".

I know it sounds weird by that tiny bit of human contact and a little bit of commiseration in the face of rudeness made the journey to work much nicer! It was a reminder that even if some people are just rude most of the other passengers are human after all!

Happy Thursday everyone - the weekend is almost here - hurrah!

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Stripey love...

I think I mentioned before that I was making a stripey cushion as part of my ongoing economy drive/stash busting exercise...

...I've finished it and I love it! It's a long time since I've crocheted anything entirely made up of rows of double crochet. I really enjoyed the simplicity of making it. The cushion is really in the selection of colours for stripes - they make it.

I want to make another cover the same, but it's not allowed at the moment as it will require the purchase of more white coloured yarn! Maybe next month.

Camera practice continues - I'm enjoying practicing my new found hobby by taking snaps of flowers.

...and other pretty things when I find them:

Hope you all had a great weekend.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A journey of happiness

....I seem to be on a photographic and crochet journey of happiness this week!

 Having lots of fun taking snaps and getting the hang of my new camera. I am totally addicted!

You may have to put up with more frequent posts from me for a while, until the immediate excitement of the new camera wears off!

I suddenly have waaay more photos than I could decently post here. If you are interested in seeing the surplus, I have been uploading some of them to my Flickr account.

Tomorrow night I am off to stay at S's for a few days, as it's his birthday. Which reminds me, I still haven't wrapped his presents - must go and do that now!

See you next week!

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Learning something new

Hello everyone, I hope you've all had a lovely weekend.

I've been very lucky this weekend to have been given a new digital camera! Since starting blogging, I've become more and more interested in photography, and less and less happy with the quality of my own photos. For a while now I've been wanting to get a more professional camera so that I can learn how to take better photographs. I've just been using the camera on my phone for the past couple of years, but the more I compared my own photos to other people's the more I could see my existing camera wasn't delivering the kind of results I wanted, especially in low light. 

So, lucky me, I have been given a second hand, but in good condition camera, and I've been practicing  with it today, learning how all the manual focus and exposure settings work and trying to take good (not dark, blurry or over-exposed!) photos! I'm happy with the small degree of success I've had so far. These pictures were all taken today.

My first crafting picture with my new camera is of the components of a crochet flower garland that I have been working on this weekend. This has been a really, really fun project to work on!

I've chosen a selection of bright, very well saturated colours for this project, which I think match the colour scheme in my living room, where I hope the garland will go.

Hope you all have a great week!


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Monday, 9 June 2014

Being creative

I'm really enjoying working a little bit of creativity into my day again. I've always got a crafting project on the go, but craft seems to fulfil different needs at different times in my life. Sometimes, it's more of a relaxation thing, which I do to de-stress and take my mind off things, rather than as an end in itself. Other times, it gives a feeling or achievement, of actually being able to make something tangible with my own two hands. I find the most satisfying times to be the times when it gives me an opportunity to be really creative - whether it's by picking colour choices for a project that are all my own, or by coming up with a new crochet design. At the moment I'm enjoying making this stripey cushion from scraps. I wouldn't really say it's a pattern I've come up with as it's so simple, but I didn't follow anyone else's pattern when I started it - just my own tension square to calculate the number of stitches and my own judgement that I needed two row stripes to create the kind of look I wanted.

In May, crafting was more of a de-stress activity than anything else, but I'm happy to say that since the start of June it has become more of about creating something new again, which is nice as I haven't really had that for a while. I find it less challenging, and in a way, less stressful to follow someone else's pattern rather than come up with my own, but when you can design your own patterns, it's really special. I have also been working on some more of my own designs, writing out patterns and making swatches, but more of that another time.

I've also been enjoying the way my orange roses have blossomed and bloomed over the weekend, opening out to show a pale yellow in the centre.

Happy Monday everyone!


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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Happy things

Enjoying having colour in my home at the moment. When I saw these orange roses in a shop I knew they would look brilliant in my turquoise vase..

Single blooms in bright vases look pretty next to my Chagal picture...

Enjoying some stripey crochet - my current work in progress!

Happy weekend all!

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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Granny square patch cushion

Hello everyone!

I am very happy to be able to say that I have finished something! It feels like a long time since I have finished a project of any kind. You can see my work in progress basket above. I should point out, this is only one of my storage places for works in progress - there are more elsewhere! I keep starting things, putting them down and then going on to something new. I've decided to try and bring a little discipline into my crafting. I never find discipline a very 'fun' word, but sometimes it's necessary!

So, I have decided as part of the discipline that it is time for a yarny clear out. As well as the work in progress basket raging out of control, my yarn store is also raging out of control! I have decided I am not going to buy anymore yarn for a little while (not sure how long, it has yet to be decided - probably just until I crack!). I am also going to try and do projects that use up my existing stash - you know all those little odds and ends, and little balls of yarn that you have left over from blankets, but can't part with because you know they can be used for something?! Well, that is what I am going to try and start with - clearing out the scraps! Then I'll move on to the bigger stash piles! Yes, thrifty is the watch word for this plan!

So, my first stash busting, thrifty project is this granny square patch cushion:

Keeping with the thrifty theme, I decided to join the squares as I went along by crocheting them together rather than stitching them together - it uses less yarn! Hmm, come to think about it, that's a bit counter-intuitive seeing as I am trying to use up my stash!

It's nice to have this almost finished - I just need to stitch on buttons for the fastening. In the meantime it's on the sofa, just waiting to be snuggled into!

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Simple joys

Hi everyone, I am back in blog-land after having a month off from posting. It started off as an unintentional month off, and then became deliberate. May has been a nice month - lots of Bank Holidays and long weekends have meant I have been spending a lot more time with S. That cut into my time to blog, but after a while I thought, "Well, why worry about it?". For once I decided to resist my natural urge to try and squeeze as much as I can into not much time, and I think it was the right decision. I do feel re-freshed!

So, I've been enjoying simple pleasures in May:

A new pair of shoes - a simple joy, but sadly not a cheap one! S and I both bought a pair of brogues in May, and so now we walk around like twins with matching shoes! I really love the chestnut brown colour of my pair.

We've been on lots of walks. One of my favourite things was finding this little house with a bright yellow door! One day I would love to have a little period cottage with a brightly coloured door like this one.

Craft wise, I'm on a stash-busting mission once again. I've been making this cushion cover for my living room from the coloured scraps left over from a throw I have been finishing off. I think I've spent a lot of time in the last six months working on more complicated knitting and crochet projects. I've really enjoyed working on this little cushion this weekend. It's reminded me how nice it can be to work on something as simple and easy as a granny square cushion.

That's all for now, happy Sunday everyone!


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