Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Holmfirth, Rowan and not being able to sleep

Hello sweet bloggers. It is 1am here and I cannot get to sleep. So I have come downstairs to spend some quality time in Blogland. This post might be a little all over the place due to me being half zombified. I am not so well and I went to bed early to try and sleep it off but little man woke up coughing and so that was the end of my sweet dreams. I am not very good at the sleep thing. I am a very light sleeper and then once I get woken up I find it very difficult to get back off again. This might be a bit of a wordy post which is unusual for me as I'm not so good at wordy posts. I much prefer to let the picture tell the tale but I haven't got many to show so I am going to have to rely on my ever decreasing, since having babies, vocabulary.

Yes so I am a light sleeper. I think perhaps a glass of red wine might do the trick but I'm not allowed it. You see, since many moons ago I have been on an eating plan called Slimming World. I can't knock this plan. It is one of the most flexible eating plans I know. Unlimited food, healthy extras and then some more treats like chocolate, cake, wine or whatever is calling to you. 4 years ago I lost over 3 stone on it in 7 months. However, recently, the weight seems to not want to move and has been shifting but ever so slowly. In the last 10 weeks I have lost 8lbs which is very slow - just under a pound a week. I am figuring that my body is so used to this plan that it is no shock to my system and is taking a helluva time to go away. However, I HAVE to remain positive. It is going, albeit slowly, in the right direction and I just have to stick with it. A little bit of excercise wouldn't go amiss either :-( not so good at that one. So, hence the reason I can't have that extra glass of wine to send me sweetly to sleep. Perhaps I should do a proper post of all the lovely food I get to eat on this plan. I have spent a long time adapting recipes and really there is nothing I miss. I get to eat chips and pizza, chilli, rice, pasta and bolognaise. I even have a recipe for ice cream. Now I am speaking UNLIMITED here. Yes I think I should do a foodie post. Not now though. I have other news to tell.

Today, well, yesterday now, I met up with the lovely Lisa in Holmfirth. Now stupid eejit that I am took my camera but didn't take any photographs! So I guess that means I will have to take another trip over just to show you all some lovely pics of this gorgeously sweet little town. Oh what a hardship. You knwo I can't believe I have left it so long to take my self there as it is only 25 (if that) mins away. So I will do my best to give you a little decription of my journey. The journey takes you through the hilly areas of the High Peak in the Peak District in Derbyshire. It is very rural, rugged and beautifully stunning. There are farm animals dotted from field to field and reserviors starting to finally fill up again. After 25 mins of this scenic driving, you come into a quaint little town called Holmfirth. Yes, please click on the link then you will get to see some pictures. Pictures really do speak a thousand words don't they? So, I finally arrived and eventually found the Rowan shop and Lisa was waiting inside for me. The shop is fantastic and I will have to go back as there is so much in there to see. The lady was extremely helpful as well. It was great to meet another stitching blogger and after I took ages choosing the yarn for my next project, we had a short mooch around the cute shops and then went for a coffee, or in my case it was a camomile tea as my tum was feeling slightly off. We had our own little show and tell and I was wowed by Lisa's newest finish which was stitched on 40ct. Her Lizzie Kate Christmas ABC. You really need to go check it out. Her HAED was stunning too. I loved the bright colours. Lisa then surprised me by gifting me with this chart off my wishlist!

rak from Lisa

I taught her a little bit of crochet and showed her how to hold the yarn which she said REALLY helped. Hmmmm... maybe another crochet convert?? I'm holding out for you hun!

After that we headed off home where I got to drool over my yarn purchase. So would you like the see what I got??

Rown pure wool dk

I wanted to go for the Autumn look to go with the warm, red living room. Do you think it will work?? Well, I started some circles in squares and I did a few tonight before I started to get very, very uncomfortable.

new circles in squares

I have come down with a really sore, stiff neck and a sore throat. Lisa, I hope you are okay and haven't come down with anything. So that was when I decided an early night was in order and I headed off uptairs with a hot choc and some inspirational, Joyce Meyer words. Off I drifted. Ever so slowly. Then...... cough cough cough. Little man wakes up and here I am wide awake.

There. I think I have got it all out of my system now and perhaps, just maybe, I'll trot off upstairs and go stright to dreamyland.

Or should I do just one more row of my ripple???

Thanks for listening to my ramblings dear friends. xxx

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lovely Things

This week I got a few lovely things through the post. So I thought I'd share!

The first thing was this gorgeous pair of Gingher scissors which I won from Deb from Cranberry Samplings. I love Gingher scissors and this is my second pair of them. They are quite difficult to get hold of over here in the UK so I was really really happy when I won. Thank you so much Deb, I adore them. Deb is also doing another giveaway so get over there and have a look.


The second thing I got this week was this wonderful piece of art from the fabulous, Julia Crossland. Julia's prints are fantastic - such cheerful colours and she packaged it really well. Thanks Julia!


I have hung it in my bathroom where it looks fab blending in with my driftwood boat.

The third item I purchased this week was this:


A Moleskine recipe Journal! I saw this first on Sue's blog and fell in love with it. Please pop by this link to see some of the lovely recipes Sue holds in her journal.

Well, I did actually do a bit of stitching this week. Not much but a bit. I worked on CdC and here's my progress this month:

Sept update

I have touched the bottom edge of this design so I can see the finish line now thankfully!

And..... I did start another crochet blanket - doh! I know I know but I just had to you see. It was calling to me. Really loudly in fact. And it hasn't stopped calling me. Every evening when the children are sweetly sound in their beds and I settle down to do some stitching, this blanket really calls to me and, well, I just can't help doing another row or two, or three. Here is The Ripple, complete with furry cat tail:


This week I will be heading over to Holmfirth to the Rowan shop to drool some more over the lovely pure wool DK they have and hopefully buy some! I am meeting up with the lovely Lisa all being well so hopefully we will have a fab old time.

On the house decorating front, we have begun and have three red walls now although two of them need a second coat. We have the curtains too and the cushions but no curtain pole up yet. Oooh can't wait to have a little show and tell on that one. So you see I really do need to buy that wool to make a throw to go with it! The only problem I am having is in deciding which pattern to use. Do I go for a traditional granny square throw or do I do circles in squares? Not sure. There are so many options and so much inspires me. It really is hard to decide.

One day last week we had a massive storm - I think it was Thursday. I saw the clouds move in and took a pic as they gathered momentum. It was a real downpour. I had to pick up daughter from school with little boy in tow so we opted for wellies and just had a good old splash in the puddles.



I actually really love storms and the sensation you get when everything suddenly goes dark just before the rain comes. I don't know why I like them, I just do. I get all tingly and excited. I could sit by the window all night and watch a storm.

Thanks for the amazing response I got in my cushion post. Wow! I don't htink I have ever had that many comments before so thank you thank you. It means the world. And it is so nice to get to meet new bloggers.

Have a good week. xx

Oooh yeah eta don't forget the giveaway I'm doing at the end of the week. Not long now. Just click on link to the right ;O)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flower cushion - I love you!

Okay, remember the scraps of Stylecraft leftover from my Granny Stripe:


Wellfirst of all I made a stack of these - 25 to be exact:


I crocheted them together but realised they needed blocking. Arghhhh I have never done this before. Can you see how they all puff out in the centres. Here, the bottom row is pinned down - on a towel, onto the carpet.


So, pinned it out as best I could. A little bit of pulling here and there and I got this:


Then on went the iron, hottest setting, lots of steam, don't touch the acrylic - just steam it all over till nice and moist and then leave overnight to dry:


Will it work??? Yes! It really really worked. I'm converted. So I had crocheted lots of little flowers - with the scraps - and......

Ta Daaaaaaa!!!!

Flower cushion ta-daa!

My very own Attic24 inspired Flower Cushion.


I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!


The Back! I had to use up those scraps.


Buttons along the edge. The one on the left is red - must have been the flash made it look white:


Clever secret flap with secret picot edging.


Gorgeous buttons from John Lewis - 6 for £3!! but oh so worth it.


Home sweet home on my bed with Stripe:


Well, I hope I haven't bored you with all the blocking and all the loved up pictures but I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I feel very liberated and creative all of a sudden. Yeah I know I was inspired by Lucy but I did the back myself and the flap was my own idea too. Utterly and completely liberating. Now you'll understand why I love this cushion so much.

Thank you all so much for the ACE comments on my Granny Stripe blanket finish. Comments are getting hard to keep up with but I'm trying!! Loving all the inspiration I am getting from you bloggers. Don't stop blogging and creating. xxx

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Granny Stripe Ta-Daa!!

I have to admit that I finished this just after my last post but only just getting around to posting about it. I absolutely loved every single bit of making this blanket and am so pleased with how it has turned out. Much much better than I imagined or expected. It took less than two months to do in total and was made with total bargain acrylic in gorgeous colours. This acrylic is called Stylecraft Special and is the softest acrylic I have ever worked with. You know how with some cheap acrylics you can get a squeekyness with it? Not so with this. It is super soft and lovely to work with.

So without further ado, here is Granny Stripe:





Lovely folded beauty!!

Do you like it??? I love it! I keep going up and stroking it! And what will happen to all the spare balls??


Well, that's for another post ;-)

ETA: Linda - You have left me no way to get hold of you. I would be glad to help you out if you leave me your email. The pattern can be found in Jan Eaton's book 200 squares or you can also find it on Attic24's blog

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Giveaway!! Now Closed!

Finally, here is my humble giveaway to say Thank You to all my lovely followers and commentors. I can't tell you how much all your comments mean to me. They cheer me so much. When I have felt down or discouraged, your comments have helped me back up. To know that there are people out there even vaguely interested in me or my life or my crafting is such a self esteem booster. Every comment I get makes me smile - big or small - your words mean so much to me. So this is my Thank You back to you guys. You make me sooo happy!

So here is the first prize:




As you know, I have started a bit of crochet and I thought for part of the giveaway I would make some facecloths. The white and cream ones are 100% cotton and the green one is 85% cotton and 15% kapok (whatever that is). They are soft to the touch and super absorbant. I made one for SD and she said it was lovely to use. Included, is a bar of The Body Shop soap in Shea Butter fragrance.

The next part is some charts from my stash. Some I have stitched. Some are brand new.



From left to right - Beardie Designs' Winter Pocket, The Sampler Girl's Northanger Abbey, Periphaeria Design's Ring o' Roses Biscornu


From left to right: Hester's Needle Anne Austin Sampler, Prairie Schooler's Cranberry Christmas, My Mark's Harriet's Diamonds, Blackbird Designs Autumn Song, Blackbird Designs Beneath the Sunlit Sky (includes the RnR Reproductions linen in 28ct in Sea Fog colour to stitch the project on) bonus!.

You will also get two skeins of hand dyed thread which someone very kindly raked me with but have no uses for it so thought it would be good to pass it on to someone creative, a Yankee Candle car air freshener in cinnamon - this is amazing. It smells like gingerbread latte to me! Oh yeah and you also get some chocolate too.

How's that sound??

So for a runner up prize or if you don't happen to stitch and you win and would prefer this prize:


You get 3 lovingly created facecloths and a Body Shop bar of Olive soap. Oh and some chocolate too. :-)

So if you would like to win then I'm going to make it really easy.

1. You must be a follower

2. You must make sure I have access to your email either on the comment or via your profile page

3. Leave ONE comment saying you would like to be entered. If you would prefer the runner up prize ie if you aren't a stitcher then please specify in your comment otherwise you will automatically be entered for the top prize.

That's easy enough. If you wish to spread the love and mention it on your blogs then I would appreciate it but it's not necessary.

There you have it. I hope you like it. Giveaway will close 30th Sept midnight and I will draw 2 winners on 1st October.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The summer has ended..

Yes it is that time of year.


Sweet Daughter has gone back to school and is now is year 3!!


We ended the summer on a high note and took ourselves off to the seaside for a couple of days. We stayed in Scarborough first and visited Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby whilst we were there.





Scarborough was really lovely. I have never been there before and was pleasantly surprised. We had a gorgeous view from our hotel window and in the morning I was able to watch the sun come up over the sea. Seagulls squawking their heads off as they do at that time of the morning but it was just lovely.

View from hotel window, Scarborough

Robin Hood's Bay is a place you will never forget. On its homepage, it has as its quote, "Sea, Sand, Secret Streets and Smugglers" which pretty much sums it up. I went when I was very young and have wanted to go visit it again since. Finally, I got my way and there we went as it is not very far from Scarborough.




The Bay is a stunning place with tiny streets and alleyways leading down to the sea. The cottages are tiny and so sweet. The shops are just lovely and I couldn't help getting a little driftwood boat and a beachhut for my sadly neglected bathroom.


We spent time just mooching around and admiring all the shop windows and peering into alleys and doors.





It really is the most prettiest place in the world to me!

We went to visit Whitby as well and took a trip around the Abbey. Such a gothic feature. Really stunning. It is hard to imagine that this ruin of a place was once filled with monks and worshippers and the building was ornately decorated.



The second night took us to York. Absolutely stunning place. Lovely quaint little shops.



And what would a trip to York be without visiting York Minster Cathedral?

York Minster

I went into the Cath Kidston shop and bought a couple of teatowels and a little jug.


How good was I?? I wanted to go into Little Betty's Cafe but I did not dare to take Sweet Son in in case he broke something. I was desperate to go in as I believe they have a lot of original stitched samplers on the walls dotted round the place.

Little Betty's Cafe, York

Ahh well, that is for another time.

On the way back from York we visited Beninburgh Hall and Gardens. This is such a stunning place. The gardens are beautiful and full to overflowing with flowers and fruit. Inside the house, which was very grand, they had kitted out the 2nd floor to accomodate preschool children. At one point Sweet Son did go through the rope barriers and set the alarms off!

Beninburgh Hall



Well, I just had to didn't I???

So then it was back home via Holmfirth. I was on the lookout for the Rowan Shop "Up Country". Found it but didn't go in. I'm saving my pennies for this wool:

Pure wool dk

I was in John Lewis and they had it in there and now I can't stop thinking about it. I was drooling over it for ages. The colours are gorgeous. Think Autumn. Think Plum and Damson and Spice and Glade... I am thinking about my next crochet project of course. I have almost finished the granny stripe..


Just need to do the final edging.

I have a load of pastels sorted out for my Sweet Daughter's ripple but I am desperate to get the Rowan and do one of these:

Summer Garden

Maybe not as big...

Okay giveaway will be on the next post. I have everything sorted for it. Just need to upload pictures. Bear with me.

Hope you have enjoyed walking with me by the sea. Please please, if you are a follower, please leave a comment so I can pootle over to your blog. I know it is hard to get the time these days but I do visit many many blogs and love to see and meet new bloggers. xxxxxxxxx