Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Signing off for Christmas

So here we are again at the end of the year. It's really been an eventful one for me. A new home, new job (sort of) more Ph.D stuff. Nothing stands still. At times I've felt like I'm racing to catch up with myself. I think this has been the busiest year I've ever lived - there suddenly seems to be so much more to do.

It's been a good year though, with so many things I am now grateful to have, and so much to look forward to next year.

It might be 2016 before I can finish this cardigan...it's coming along fine, but I'm about to go away for Christmas, and there's no way I want to cram this in my bag to take with me. It's knitted in the round, top down, and there are about 3 different circular needles attached and sticking out at different points at the moment. Not exactly portable! So instead I'm starting a smaller crochet project instead - something more portable...more on that next time though.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I'll be spending Christmas relaxing, enjoying a break from the whirligig...and daydreaming about future crafty projects!

Take care xx

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Winter solistice

...yes, winter solstice is nearly here. I actually really like this time of year, although I do find my 6 am starts in the pitch dark a little hard to take by this time. The weather here hasn't helped. It's been consistently muggy, damp and dank here in London. I've been beetling around still wearing a jacket instead of my big winter coat (which is normally donned sometime in November and then out of necessity not forsaken until March). Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the warm weather in a way. At 5 foot 1, winter coats tend to swamp me (you have no idea how hard it is to find a petite fit winter coat - trust me, I have tried!), so they are not my favourite thing. 

But, I am really missing the crisp, clear albeit freezing days which we do sometimes get during winter. I would really love to see a little but of frost, just for a day or two, just for Christmas! Ah well.

Mr Owl here isn't really a Christmassy decoration, he stays on the mantel all year round. I love him, so I thought he deserved a spot here, with his creamy-glowiness.

It's the time of year when hyacinths start to appear in the shops, which I love. I love seeing them bloom, and the amazing smell. I don't know what colour these will be, but I am kind of hoping for white to match everything else on the mantel.

I can feel my thoughts are already turning to spring. As much as I am enjoying our new home at the moment - it's still a novelty to change things around as the seasons change. I am very much enjoying having a slightly Christmassy mantel, and a tree of my very own in the living room. I am gradually sneaking in bits and pieces of decorations elsewhere in the house. So far S is not complaining, which I am surprised about!

Crafty wise, there is a lot going on. My head feels like it might burst as it's so jam packed with thoughts of things I want to make. I seem to have fallen head over heels in the last 24 hours for this crochet top. This worries me slightly though, as I have a bad track record with crochet garments. I don't know why, but they always come out too small! Clearly it must be my tension. Weird though, as I never have this problem with knitting. I must be more relaxed when knitting! 

I also want to make more cushion covers - the bedroom needs new ones, the living room does too. I have ideas for colour and pattern already. A new throw for the living too I think....Then there are the knitted garments I want to make... another version of a striped boatneck top I made a few years ago.

This is not to mention the cardigan I am currently working on. Worryingly I have issues with that too - colour related ones. I thought I was picking a nice neutral, creamy colour in the shop. But when I got home and started knitting, I realised the yarn I have chosen looks more of a dirty peach pink. Now don't get me wrong I actually like peachy pink...but maybe not to wear, not for me. I have brown hair and eyes, and am thinking peachy pink near my face may make me look jaundiced! Hmm, well we shall have to see. Maybe another version of the cardigan will have to be knitted in a different colour - because I really do love the pattern and the idea of the finished garment.....

Friday, 11 December 2015


2015...what a year. It has been pretty crazy for me. A lot has happened and I am still playing catch up. And now it's December - it's getting to the time of the year when you reflect on everything that has happened.

Well it has been a good year, but a busy one. I've sort of drifted along with everything that has happened - a little like being swept out to see sometimes, but all ok really. I think life is like this sometimes, you have to just go with the flow and wait until you are washed ashore again...hopefully somewhere calm.

Anyway, I am rambling.

It's starting to feel a little Christmassy. I am so excited about decorations this year. I don't know, there's something about having a new home, especially a new home that is more of a home because it is a home you make with someone. If that makes sense. Unfortunately because we are starting from scratch in terms of decorations I can't quite justify the expenditure necessary to justify all my decorative wanties! I guess Christmas decs are the sort of things you build gradually over the years. I keep thinking about the decorations on my parents tree, and about how we always had those same old ones year after year, ones I remember from when I was very small, as well as ones bought more recently.

I hope S and I will be able to gradually build up a store of memories like that, now we are together.

Crafty-wise I have sorted of plodded along. I sometimes criticise myself for never finishing things, but then I look around the room and think, and realise that actually, there are a few things I have made and managed to finish this year - I haven't done so badly after all!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

New things

...there have been a lot of new things for me lately.

S and I finally took the plunge and bought a place together... so a new home, a new area and a new person to live with...a new commute to work too!

In the mad rush of doing everything - getting used to travelling around a new area, unpacking, cleaning, buying furniture...well as you can imagine there just hasn't been time for much else, least of all blogging!

 We moved in mid-June so we are still very much in the settling in phase. We have a lot more space then either of us had before, which is lovely. We are very lucky. I have huge plans...well, too many plans really!

We've both spent months dreaming about this - we actually started the process in February, but it all got rather complicated and stressful, especially in the last few weeks. I've spent ages leafing through interior design books and home magazines, day dreaming - one of my favourite activities!

There are just too many things to buy and do, and we can't do them all at once! Never mind though, I love that we now have the time to plan at our leisure!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015


I think I might be on a roll. Maybe I shouldn't speak to soon though. I'm working on another project, and I have a feeling I might finish it.

It's only a little cushion cover, nothing major. It has a slightly different palette than I would normally go for. It's kind of...zesty. I don't know why, I just wanted watermelon and primrose shades, together with a sort of greeny gold... some brown and cream to balance it out. I think I like it though.

The idea for this came from one of my favourite blogs, which I first discovered through Pinterest - IDA Interior Lifestyle. I love the things she makes - they are always simple, but so beautiful. Showing that you don't need to do anything complicated to create something effective. I think the colour palettes she uses are one of the things I like the most. I love the way she pairs bright colours with neutrals, and that the bright colours are always selectively chosen, and not just the whole rainbow thrown in (not that there's anything wrong with throwing in the whole rainbow - I've done it myself!).

It was the cushions shown in this post that really inspired me: http://www.idainteriorlifestyle.com/2013/04/thursday-pics.html. I have it pinned on my Pinterest board and whenever I see it, it lifts me. So simple, but so effective. I also love the colour blocking throw seen on the foot of the bed. Hmmm, maybe one will have to made at some point.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Blanket ta dah!

Lurking in the background (and in the foreground) of some of my pictures this week there have been some hexagons. Well, now you can see what they are part of! Yes, it's time for a proper, happy, happy crochet ta-dah! It feels long over due to me. I think I had felt a bit uninspired, craft-wise for a while - like nearly a year! Maybe that's one reason, as well as just being busy, why I haven't blogged much in the last 9 months or so.

I feel like my inspiration is slowly coming back now though. And finishing this blanket has felt so good - I'd forgotten how good it feels to finish a major project, and feel happy with it! Can't remember what my last ta-dah was and I'm not going to depress myself by looking back to find out.

All in all, I'm not only happy with the finished result of this blanket, but I also enjoyed the making process. The pattern was an Erika Knight hexagon design from the book Essential Crochet, which I've made before here, but I decided to change the colours so that each shape was all one colour instead of two, and then arrange the shapes into flowers.

It's also just about the biggest blanket I've ever made, which surprised me. I didn't get fed up and have to push on for a while being fed up in order to make it this size. I just sort of finished it naturally when I felt like I was ready to, and it's still big enough to cover a double bed quite well.

So now, feeling inspired, it's on to more projects. I have a few plans - crochet garlands, and two different cushion covers...and maybe a third in mind already. My big brother is moving house next week with his girlfriend (yay! happy for him), and I am thinking they might need a crochet cushion as a housewarming pressie!

Hope you all have a fab weekend!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Favourite books

I was the lucky recipient of a booky-present over the weekend. I love reading, and I always have a book on the go. Sometimes it takes me a long time to finish (I don't get much time for reading these days), but it doesn't matter to me.

I'm not a huge fan of e-readers either. I can see how handy they are, and in fact had one myself. However, when it recently broke, I decided I wouldn't bother to replace it. There's something about the feel of a real book in your hands, and seeing them on the shelf that I love.

S and I were browsing in a bookshop over the weekend (he is a massive bookworm too). I decided I would treat myself to a couple of paperbacks, and was all set to head up to the counter and pay, when S said he would get them for me! He'd had a National Booktoken card lurking in his wallet for about 18 months - a Christmas present from a couple of years ago. He was saving it and saving it to spend on something special (he tends to mainly buy second hand books), and on Sunday he decided that he was never going to find anything to spend it on, and decided to spend it on me instead!

So, lucky me, I not only walked away with the two paperbacks I'd picked up, but also a lovely hard back edition of one of my favourite classics - Sense and Sensibility. All courtesy of S and his book token! He is so great - I really did feel guilty about him spending his money on me, but after protesting for a while, I saw that I might hurt his feelings if I absolutely refused.

Anyway, it got me thinking about what my favourite books are, and I thought I would share a list of some of my top reads:

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  2. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  3. Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  5. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Do you have any favourites that you read over and over? 

Friday, 1 May 2015

May Day

Happy 1st May everyone!

So lately I have been.....

Admiring blossoms

Making hexagons

Making plans with S.

Life ispretty good just now.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Maybe one day I will finish one of my many works in progress. For the moment, I am fickle. I keep swapping between projects - just working on whatever takes my fancy.

I have ideas, make a start, work on them for 1 or 2 weeks, and then....

Some other bright idea pops into my head, and I just have to try it, now.

It's all so undisciplined, and really not me. It's weird.

 To be honest it doesn't make me feel good. I don't achieve anything, and feel like I have the attention span of a mayfly. Must try harder!

I'm 'fessing up on here in a bid to try and shame myself. If I publicly admit my crafting shortcomings, maybe it will inspire me to overcome them!

I blame life at the moment. Big plans are afoot for S and I, but I can't say what yet here, as I don't want to jinx anything. It's all very distracting though, so I blame that for my short attention span!

Right, I'm to stare at pictures of other people's finished things online, in the hope of instilling some discipline back into myself!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Coming back

Hello everyone. Yes, I'm back after dropping off the face of the earth for a little while there. Things got hectic, overwhelming. I had to take a break from here in order to focus on other things for a while. It wasn't even a conscious decision, but time stretched on. Honestly, for most of November and December, I didn't even think about coming back here. I thought for a while that I never would.

It's funny how it didn't really take much to completely derail my time here - a bit of a PhD crisis, some people and things happening in life that I just needed to concentrate on for a while, to figure some things out. Nothing bad, just things. You know how it is.

Thanks to some great, understanding people that I have in my life, things improved by the end of December. I had a bit more head-space to think about some more self-indulgent things again, this blog and crafty-ness included.

Christmas was good, S and I have a fab time away with his family - much laughter and happiness occurred. Then I spent a day with my own folks, and that was great too.

There are big plans ahead for 2015 - exciting ones for me personally. Hopefully I can continue coming back here regularly - I think that is my personal ambition for 2015 - to get some balance in my life. It may not be easy - I need to stop procrastinating about the things I don't really want to do, in order to make sure I free up time for things I do want to do. I think it's that simple really, it's down to me.

Wish me luck! See you again soon!