Monday, 31 October 2011

Spookiness, 200th post and a giveaway!!

We are all geared up for a night of spooky spookiness.  The pumpkin has been carved . . .
there's also a window display . . .

and of course the old favourites - the pumpkin head banner.   The costumes are also ready, Little Roo will be going as a wicked wizard and Flopsy Bunny has chosen a skeleton costume for this year.  Pop back tomorrow to check out Flopsy Bunny's underwater creature costume that she will wearing tomorrow for her water topic day at school.  I must admit I am rather proud of it!

Also on an entirely different note - this is my 200th post!!  I'm not quite sure how I've managed that but there you go.  Anyway, in honour of this landmark I will give away a free copy of my sweetheart cushion pattern for any knitters out there.  Just leave a comment before 8pm on Friday 4th November!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Friday, 21 October 2011

Knitting Graffiti

The lovely Sarahwoodonline shared this article with me and a couple of our friends and well it has made us all giggle and more disturbingly they have decided that I too need to be a graffiti knitter - I'm meant to be taking on Oxford!!  Deadly Knitshade, the organiser of the knitting graffiti states on her webpage that the aim of
"Guerilla knitting or ‘yarnstorming’ is the art of conjuring up a piece of knitting or crochet, taking it out in the world, releasing it into the wild, and running away like a mad thing"
Well never one to turn down a challenge it has got me thinking - maybe not Oxford but I might have a sneaky go in our village.  What really did it for me was the fact you need some great assumed name - how cool is Deadly Knitshade?  I'm thinking Ninja Knitter as my assumed name and I will need a knitted eye mask - probably something in reds and pinks with stripes (obviously!).  I think the "running always giggling wildly" afterwards is what I am looking forward to the most!!!

Anyway, I have the small matter of a cardigan to finish first though . . . !

Doh! I've just read more of Deadly Knitshade's website and discovered there already is a Knitting Ninja!! Back to the drawing board on the name front - any ideas??!!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My first knitting pattern

A lovely lady on Ravelry asked if she could buy the pattern for this cushion - do you remember the Heart design one . . .
well that just made my day, actually my year!  Anyway, I've been beavering away writing up the pattern and actually having to finish the cushion because I never did sew on the button and make the loop fastening!  So that has been done, photo's taken, pattern written and made into a PDF and it's now lining the shelves of my Etsy shop - if anyone else fancies knitting it!!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Baking and Storing

Sarah Raven's lovely apple cake, and even though it didn't all go according to the receipe (my fine breadcrumb consistancy was rather more like large doughy balls!) this didn't seem to make much difference.  Very yummy and a hit with all.

I also had a bit of an epiphany over our fennel plant the other day.  When I planted the fennel about four years ago I didn't intend to eat it, I just liked it's fluffly leaves and thought it would go well in the herb bed.  Each year the plant gets bigger and bigger - this year it must have been about 6-7ft tall!  So it wasn't until I looked out of the window one day while washing up that it suddenly dawned on me - those are seed heads I was looking at - Oooo I could dry those and use the seeds!  I can't really believe I haven't done it before - lots of lovely fennel seeds. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A pickling weekend

DH has been a busy little bee this weekend and there's been a nose tickling aroma in the air in our house.  Our home grown chilli's have been harvested and pickled and then DH moved on to some pears that we had been given by his parents and they got pickled too!  I was slightly worried that if anyone stood still too long this weekend they might end up being pickled!!  Both receipes came from the lovely Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.  I just love that book and there are so many lovely receipes in it.  I think I am going to make her apple cake this afternoon for the little one's pudding.  It is good to have our annual favourites, like blackberry and apple jam but then it's also good to try something new.  I'm looking forward to some lovely cheese at Christmas with a pickled pear sliced up - delicious!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Knitting News

Well I finally plucked up the courage to unpick most of the knitting I had done, back to where it had all gone wrong.  Although it is always hard to do I'm glad I am back on track and I am just LOVING this pattern.  It is sooooo clever, knitted top down and in one piece, no seams to sew and look you can try it on as you go along to make sure it fits!!!

I feel like I'm really motoring along on it now, which is just as well as a new knitting shop has just opened up in my nearest local town.  So very exciting but also so very dangerous too (to my bank balance and queue of projects!).  I haven't ventured in yet but I did have a quick look through the window at the books and lovely shelving before it opened.  As you can imagine I have been updating my knitting wish list of knitting projects over at Ravelry . . .

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bonkers about Conkers

This year's conker display.  Last year we had step art, this year I'm going for more of a glass installation look! 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Boxy loveliness

Yes, I'm at it again, covering boxes!  This time it's a box file - it's all part of me getting more organised (hope you are liking how I've managed to bring in some craftiness into all this organisation!!).  Anyway an annoying area of my kitchen was this big pile of correspondence, the pending stuff that requires some input before filing or recycling and in the past it has just sat in a big unsightly pile next to the kettle.  I've tried several things, like putting the pile on a lovely old silver tray that my grandmother gave me, but no it still looked like a messy heap on a tray!  Then flicking through a Cath Kidston catalog I came across these lovely box files but I bulked at the price and couldn't really justify it - even if it helped me get more organised.  Then the brainwave struck, boring old box file, big bottle of PVA glue and some gorgeous Zoffany wallpaper that I really really wanted on my dining room wall but the light in that room just didn't work for the paper and I still had the sample (which I think just proves why hoarding is such a very good thing!!).  So there you have it, one lovely box file, filled with lots of papery bits and bobs and when it gets full I have to chuck something out - a perfect system! 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Belt Bag

This is a present for a friend of mine, who like me is off to New York soon (I'm sooooooooooo excited - but more on that later!)  Anyway, we were having a 'New York' chat and my friend was talking about taking a 'bum' bag but thinking that they are not very attractive - well that got me thinking . . .  So I came up with the belt bag - with pockets for your phone and wallet.  Safely attached to your belt, but your arms and hands free for shopping, sightseeing, you name it!!  DH thinks I've gone loopy (well, to be honest that happened a long time ago), but I was wondering what you thought?  Good idea?  Should I make some for my Etsy shop - I think the straps need to be a bit shorter but personally I really like this bag.  I'm also thinking it would be really useful for the school run!