Monday, 27 June 2011

A Princess

A Princess, ok without a crown - much to Flopsy Bunny's dismay and without shoes too!  But a princess non the less.  I might need to redo her hair but Flopsy Bunny is pleased with her.  We are still negotiating whether she is the Princess and the Pea or Sleeping Beauty.  Flopsy Bunny prefers the later and you know, maybe that's OK, as there is a bed for this princess to sleep on!

Friday, 24 June 2011

{Sigh} Bowl of Beauty

Love, love, love, love, love them!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mollie Makes: A Review

I was having a little wander around blogland recently and stumbled upon this new magazine, Mollie Makes, it had created quite a buzz amongst us crafty types.  Now I'm not really a craft magazine buyer.  The covers tend to put me off before I even venture inside, they tend to be too busy and feature projects that are just not appealing enough to make.  I'm also a bit of a stick in the mud when it comes to magazines and tend to just buy the one, Country Living, mainly because they have gorgeous covers and lovely photos . . . (can you see a theme going on here?!)  

So I thought I would give Mollie Makes a try.  When I picked it up off the shelf I just loved the feel of the magazine, a slightly stiff cover, with a mat finish and cute felt flower give away on the front too - well that sold it to me straight away!  Inside didn't disappoint either.  A good array of gorgeous photos to keep me happy, details of 7 different craft projects to make from cute felt animals to pin cushions, a couple of interviews and more.  Although I haven't made anything featured the instructions and photos looked easy to follow.  All in all I was impressed.  Some of the online criticisms I had read of the magazine were about the amount of adverts there are - and yes there are a lot, but I didn't think it distracted from the magazine at all and in fact I found them useful - a really nice looking wool shop in Bath - I feel a road trip coming on . . .!

One of the other things I liked about the magazine was how they mentioned crafty people who blog and featured items from people's Etsy shops, it really felt that talented individuals who write blogs and sell through Etsy are getting some recognition too.  I also liked the craft event calender - wonderful idea.

The only other criticism of the magazine that I read online centered around the cost and at £4.99, it is more expensive than my CL magazine.  But cleverly they have a deal where you can get three issues for £5 - well I will certainly sign up for these and see how the issues develop -  whether this magazine becomes a monthly addition to my shopping basket or an ad hoc buy well it will all depend on those cover shots!  But it is beautifully produced and inspirational and a wonderful breathe of fresh air amongst some very staid craft magazines.  Well done Mollie Makes!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Re-use and grow

It's a bit on the lines of Make Do and Mend! We bought a new BBQ at the weekend and as I drove home I started to think about getting rid of the old one and how it was going to be a real pain taking it to the tip.  Then a flash of inspiration!  I had DH taking off it's legs, filling it with compost and now we have our very own salad planter - OK not a very attractive planter I grant you but I'm so pleased we managed to find another use for that grotty old BBQ!
While I was out and about with my camera I thought I would give you a bit of an update on the state of our produce.  As you can see below the potatoes are completely out of control!
I'm pleased with my newly weeded veggie patch with deer protection!  I had almost given up hope of the garlic growing, but there it is, growing well, along with the Borlotti Beans, Runner Beans, the odd rouge potato plant and a pumpkin plant!  Ooops I almost forgot the carrots, which in fact do need thinning out.
The greenhouse has been taken over by tomato, pepper, chilli pepper and courgette plants.

Lots of courgette flowers which will hopefully mean lots of courgettes to eat soon - luckily I have a whole host of courgette recipes all ready and waiting!!  

How is your garden growing?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Love and Stories

DH told me last night that his boss had said he was a good story teller.  It planted a seed in my mind.  Then today, a day for thinking about love and marriage, I thought that's one of the reasons I love DH, he tells a good story.  Sometimes you don't always realise the many things that draws you to another and makes you choose them to spend your life with.  Then there are days like today, when you catch a glimpse, get reminded of something and it makes you smile and feel all warm inside.

Today, my friend Fiona is getting married.  When I think of what I might wish for her in her married life, it is lots of those glimpses, those moments of feeling warm and lots of smiles!

This is my small stone for Fiona and Kaspa - not a usual one, but that's what came to me!  Also I've added some sweetpeas for good luck.  Sweetpeas will forever remind me of my wedding day as I walked down the aisle holding a bunch! 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Through my letterbox

A whole pile of gorgeousness arrived.  Although I seem to have projects piling up at the moment and no real time to concentrate and get them finished I've decided to add to them!  So many projects so little time!!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Beady Bunting

The blocking has been done and the bunting is up.  I had such fun working out this pattern, making the flags just the right size to fit above this window.  DH and I have on going conversations about the windows in our kitchen and whether they need curtains/blinds.  I'm of the opinion that yes they do - any excuse for some soft furnishings!!  DH on the other hand thinks that we are not overlooked and should leave them bare.  So I thought if this is how it is going to be then there needs to be some softness around - I've got it - bunting!!!  I found this most gorgeous red wool - Sirdar Snuggly Babybamboo - which is just soooo lovely and the red is just soooo right for my kitchen.   Then inspired by other knitted/crocheted bunting, Attic 24 made some lovely little triangles, then I stumbled across Susie at the Circus on the Ravelry site and she had made the most lovely crocheted bunting and added bells to the end.  I was tempted by the bells, but then I had a quick look through my bead collection which my lovely sister had bought me for a Christmas present this year and found the most gorgeous beads, just the right colour - beads it is then!!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Tssk, tssk, tssk

I'm telling myself off at the moment.  With several projects half finished or almost finished I've launched into another new project!  So while my little ones tucked into their supper tonight, which for once they seem content to eat without my supervision, I quickly drew up a pattern for a doll.  Not just any old doll but a princess doll and not just any old princess doll but a real princess doll!  Remember this? Well it seems that now is the time to make it.  Although unfortunately I have now lost the pea, it was quite small and I'm sure I put it somewhere safe . . .

As you can see my other projects are being hampered somewhat.  Saffy has decided that the quilt is the only place she is sleeping at the moment, which does make it a bit tricky when it comes to sewing.  Particularly when she fixes me with one of her glares and hunkers down even further - if that is possible!  It does bode well that the quilt will be cosy and warm though - sadly it was needed for a rather cold and windy camping expedition and I didn't get it finished in time!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Block, block, block, block, blocking . . . .

(The title of this post needs to be sung to the tune of Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken, Lay a little egg for me - don't ask me why, it just popped into my head that way!).  After reading many posts about blocking I thought I would finally give it a go!  I love this one from Knitty, which I completely relate to as I have never blocked before or even knew how you might go about it.  But recently I read this post over at Little Tin Bird which made me think - I do need to have a go at this blocking thing.  It seems to be the thing all knitters do!

It's funny how we pick things up.  I can't even remember how I learnt to knit but as my mother, and both grandmothers knitted I'm sure one of them taught me and really I have just picked things up as I've gone along.  So as no one sat me down and said '.... and then you need to block it', it's not something I've done.  Although that is not strictly true as I do do a kind of blocking, which I picked up from my mum which involves a damp cloth, steam iron and jiggling the knitting into place as you ironed.  So I thought, now is the time for trying the professional method!!  I borrowed some foam play mats and had just the finished project that would benefit from a bit of blocking.  It also gave me a chance to use my gorgeous pink water sprayer - I ended up buying a blue one as well as they were so gorgeous.  So there we have it, blocking done, now I can settle back with a cup of tea and wait for the magic to work!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Help Needed . . . for a couple of love birds

My friend Fiona of Planting Words and other blogs fame is getting married on the 18th June - all very exciting.  She and her fiance Kaspa have asked for a special wedding present, no not some luxury item for their home, but a moment of our time, to stop and observe something carefully and write it down and post it on their Wedding Stones blog.  Now I know that you probably don't know Fiona or Kaspa but they are on a mission - here's what Fiona and Kaspa have to say;

As you know, we are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world through writing. We are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of June.

For our fantasy wedding present, we are asking people across the world to write us a ‘small stone’ and send it to us here.

A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more about small stones here.

You can find out all about our project at our website, Wedding Small Stones, and you can also read our blog at A River of Stones. If you get bitten by the small-stone-writing bug we also have a challenge coming up, when we’ll be challenging you to notice one thing every day during July and write it down.

Thank you for listening, and we hope we’ll be returning from our honeymoon to an inbox crammed with small stones, including yours.

Warmest, Kaspa & Fiona
Seems such a lovely idea and a great gift even if you don't know them.  Please go and have a look at what they are both doing over at Writing Our Way Home, you might even be tempted to write something for them yourself.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Victorian Cottage Museum

One of the things that I like about living in an old house, apart from the quirky characteristics and charm that old houses bring, is thinking about all the people who have called this house a home.  Our little cottage, the Gardener's Cottage, was built in 1890, so I would think a lot of people have lived here over the years.  I wonder sometimes who the original gardener was, a Mr Reiss, and what he would think of the garden now - oh I do hope he is not too upset with how it looks now - if only I had hours to pour into it!  So these are some of the things that I wonder about.  One day I will actually try and do some research and try to work out who has lived here.  I read a wonderful review of a book once - sadly I can't remember the title of the book - but the premise was similar.  The author had researched the families that had lived in her house and then she wrote a novel, trying to imagine the lives that these people lived.

Anyway, I seemed to have trundled off the point somewhat.  The other joy of living in an old house, inhabited by many people are the treasures we find in the garden.  I've started a little windowsill Museum in the kitchen for all my finds.  It is so wonderful to be digging away in the garden and suddenly unearth something, like that glass bottle stopper which I found in our new potato patch at the weekend.

So here is to all those who have called this house a home and I hope you loved it just as much as we do!

OK I've just done a quick search on google and found the book I was talking about Home: The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House by Julie Myerson.