Thursday, 22 January 2015
I have to confess a terrible sin, I am guilty of making purchases based on other bloggers recommendations.
Are you shocked or just as guilty as me?
Well this particular purchase was all the fault oops rather influence of one Abi who blogged before Christmas about a gift she had handmade for her friend. One look at that beautiful bunny had me intrigued so I went to the pattern designer Alicia Paulson's website "Posie" and there I fell in love with Juniper the cat.
She is made from felt and requires a fabric quarter for her dress and some wool for her stole which I had already in my stash. You also need embroidery thread and stuffing which again I had in my stash.
So I followed Abi's expert advise and bought my felt from a lovely shop called The Eternal Maker. I chose barnyard red felt for her welly boots and silver grey felt for the body. I also found a beautiful patchwork fabric a bit reminiscent of Cath Kidston I thought called Faded Floral Patchwork for Lecien Japan.
The pattern is very easy to follow and you don't need to know a great deal of embroidery. In general you need to know only three stitches...........
buttonhole stitch and
The designer recommended a chalk erasable pen for drawing around the pattern but I could only find an erasable felt tip pen. Sadly despite following the manufacturer's guidelines, the pen is not 100% erasable however, the main areas which I couldn't get the pen out were covered in either her boots or dress so hopefully as long as no-one undresses her, the secret is safe.
I found it really therapeutic sitting and doing tiny back stitches to form the shape of her body and then gradually see her face appear as I stitched her eyes and nose and added in some cute whiskers. Unfortunately, there is a slight discrepancy between her eyes so she looks a little lopsided by about half a centimetre but it makes her original and a bit whimsical.
I ended up hand stitching her dress because I sat in the lounge, the warmest place in my cottage, and watched Miss Marple episodes as I stitched. I tied a piece of pale blue ricrac around her waist to add something different. She also has a little stole which I made in some rose pink thread to match the roses in her dress.
Instead of green wellies I made deep red ones because I referred the colour and again I felt they would coordinate with her dress.
She is now named Kitty because I think it suits her best and she is going to sit on my bed.
I also bought the bunny pattern too and I have plenty of felt left over to make her once I've completed some other projects I'm working on.
Have you been inspired to make something based on another blogger's handiwork?
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
This is my third year of doing One Little Word with Ali Edwards. My first word was ‘Be’ and last year my second word was ‘Rebuild’. In reviewing my past choices, I feel that both those words were pretty much well chosen, especially lazy year. In 2012, I had a bad Bipolar episode which really knocked me sideways so Be was simply that, it gave me the opportunity to just live with my word and be during that year. Last year, again, rebuild fitted my year perfectly as I was rebuilding a life I had had to change quite significantly, primarily from a professional perspective but also I had to move home and build a new one.
So this year I have chosen the word
Ali always gives ideas for how to approach choosing your word and places to visit and peruse. For me it is a simple process of going to Pinterest and playing around with words and meanings. This time it was a particular image which fuelled my imagination.
I love music, poetry and words in general so this jumped out at me as I looked through the pictures I’d raised in my search. When you think about light it can be internal and external.
Internally it is the light you find in yourself and then allow to shine out like a beacon to the world a little like a lighthouse
The lighthouse shines to guide people away from danger and into safe waters. One of friends says that, for her, i am like a light that shows her what she could achieve. I would like to think that maybe in a small way i could inspire other people with mental health issues in a positive way but also to be a light for my family and friends providing love, support and encouragement to them.
Externally, the light shines onto you from others, from the sun, from candles, from love, from words, music and poetry, from creativity in general.
I am very aware of certain people’s positive influence on my own life and so I wish to build upon those experiences and learn from them so that through them I can perhaps share some of their accomplishments in a positive way to others whether that be via my blog, social media, work, private life or my faith.
As a Christian, light is used in many pieces of scripture to enlighten. Jesus is referred to as the light of the world who shines love upon us
We as God’s creations are called to be lights ourselves to spread the love of Jesus and God throughout the world. I feel that perhaps my faith has been missing from my life for the past 12 months and so I want to reconnect with that and develop my Christian life further. I was placed on this Earth to be a caring and nurturing person so I hope to find a way to use those gifts.
Light also can cast a window on your soul and for me this year I am part of a group therapy treatment related to my Bipolar so I think that this will illuminate my personal ability to cope with and live with my disorder.
My image for the year is the dragonfly as it embodies enlightenment apparently. So be prepared to see that image appearing here.
Finally I want to be light physically too. Over recent years, my weight and physical health have deteriorated and I find some things a lot more difficult to do. This year I will be fifty. Now I am never going to be a Slimcia girl as my friend Sarah used to call me, but I can try and reduce my weight, improve my health and fitness so that I am not a geriatric fifty year old woman unable to walk down the road. I know this will be a struggle because the tablets I take make weight loss harder and because I have a very strong emotional link to bad food habits. I also love sweet things so it will be a challenge, however once I set my mind to something I usually have varying degrees of success so we’ll see how it goes.
Phew this world has a lot to live up to hey?
So Light is the word for 2015 and I do hope it will be just a powerful and significant a word as my past two.
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Hello everyone, I know many people are back at school or work now and this week I am back to my routine too. Hope you're all enjoying the new challenges which 2015 is giving you so far.
For me, a new year provides the opportunity to set myself some new goals and to think about the year ahead. Primarily, these are blogging, reading and crafting goals as I have found from experience that other things can be negatively affected by my mental health. So I aim to make my goals flexible but achieveable because in 12 months times I want to be able to say that I did the things I wanted to do in the best of my ability.
So here goes with a few things I am going to be doing this year:
Somehow I managed to read all the 60 books I set last year so I'm going to go for 65 this year. That seems pretty achieveable as I got to 62 last year. I'm going to try and read more broadly this year as I tend to lean towards crime and thrillers but I have treated myself to some different books with some money I was given so we'll see how we get on.
My plan is to blog twice a week for definite and add in any extras as and when I get the chance. Again I feel that is an achieveable goal but obviously sometimes I may have some more interesting life events to share. I don't want to spread myself too thin and end up not blogging at all especially as I have been pretty well for 12 months now and there may be a depressive episode at some point.
I will be updating the blogheader as it's a couple of years since I made this one and I may alter a few other things so watch this space.
One Little Word 2015
I am going to do this project again this year as I loved it. I've chosen my word and will share it in a special post. Suffice to say I think I've picked a really lovely word this time, last years word - Rebuild- was so true for last year so I hope the new word will be equally appropriate.
I am joining in with Chantelle aka Fatmumslim on her daily photography challenge this year. The prompts come to Instagram weekly and there are lots of people, blogfriends included, who are taking part so there will be lots of support and ideas to share. I try to take picture everyday anyway so this will help me to focus my photography. Today's was ''I'm reading............'' and I chose a sneak of a lovely letter I got. You can find us on Instagram using
At the end of the day, Chantelle posts a collage of her fave pictures.
I am sure that there will be plenty of other goals to come but these are the ones I've made definite. I wonder if anyone else has made some goals so far and it would be lovely to hear what you're plans include.
Monday, 5 January 2015
Ok, ok it's not chocolate but it is a lovely warm, colourful and easy to crochet poncho reveal moment. Will that do?
Ok there may be chocolate somewhere in the post.
I first saw this particular pattern on Lucy at Attic 24s blog when I doing my reading of blogs one day. She described in great detail how she had planned and made colour decisions for her version of the Poncho. Spurred on by the beautiful colours, I managed to snag myself a copy of ''Simply Crochet'' issue number 25.
The poncho is in the bottom lefthand corner
The wool is by Drops and called Nepal and has a 65% wool and 35% Alpaca mix in an aran weight so it's lovely and warm. I chose shades in blues, pink, purples, pistachio, orange and the main grey. It also has a cowl neck but it's not a tight neck and the woll isn't itchy which I do find when working with some yarns.
I began crocheting and I have to say that the wool is perfect for crocheting with and the shades were very close to the images on the website. You may need to watch this video to learn how to do the crochet ribbing design. I'd never seen this stitch before but it's very easy to work. I did about 4 extra rows of treble crochets because I wanted my Poncho longer.
I had decided early on that I wasn't going to do the fringing on the bottom so I spent quite alot of time trying to find a pretty border, however in the end I went simple and did a double ruffle border which I saw in a Youtube video .
I went with one row of grey ruffle and one row of orange, primarily because I had the most wool in those colours. Once I'd completed the pattern I added in a row of double crochet in yellow the another rows of double crochet in grey and then worked the ruffles in that final row.
The next plan was to make a hat to match and luckily, issue 26 of Sinmply Crochet had a lovely version on the front page using similar stitches and so I made this using the remaining wool I had.
This is the hat on the model and below is my version......................
So here is my finished hat and I love it because it is so warm and covers my ears which I hate being cold.
Here is a close-up of the border to the hat.................
And a close-up of the colours................
It's been a great make and I've seen several very different versions on the web. It's great how one pattern can be so individualised.
My crochet project at the moment is a shawl so I'll let you know how that one goes too.
Oh yes and before I forget for all the chocolate lovers...............
Thursday, 1 January 2015
Tuesday, 30 December 2014
Hello readers and I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Santa brought you some lovely gifts, you ate some yummy food and had fun with family and friends. I had a lovely time on both my birthday and Christmas but sadly everyone else has a cold virus so feels yucky. Me, well I'm fine thank you for asking.
For this post I thought I'd just share a few handmade things I used at Christmas.
Firstly let's talk FIMO, something I've not used before but loved playing with. The other year I made some Xmas ornaments from salt dough which were initially a success however when you live in a damp flat, despite layers of varnish, they do not last so had to be sadly thrown away.
So this year I bought some FIMO and sat down to make some tags and small stars. I purchased White and Cherry Red shades of FIMO just because I love those colours and they match most wrapping paper I had. I used small rubber letter stamps for the names and made holes in the shapes for hanging with a paint brush.
It's all very easy to roll out on a board and I used metal cutters to cut out star shapes. Once they're cut put them on a baking tray and bake them in your oven, follow the instructions on the pack. You can get air dry FIMO I think too.
Once were hardened I threaded the large star tags onto ribbon and the small ones onto twine then wrapped them onto my gifts.
Secondly, the cake. Usually my mum makes this but as I was hostess this year I made one myself too, Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Fruit Cake. I got the recipe from her book but it is also available online here. It's very easy to bake and smells gorgeous.
To decorate, I used an idea from a magazine of a holly wreath. I bought pre-rolled icing and cut out lots of holly leaves and then rolled out some red icing for the ribbon pieces.
And here's what it looks like and it tastes divine! I added some gold baubles alongside the red icing berries and my sister had some gold glimmer spray so I gave it some glitter too.
Monday, 22 December 2014
I apologise for this post being a day late but Blogger automatic posting failed :(
So welcome to week 3 of Sian's meme Christmas Club. Hope you are all loving the wonderful stories shared so far.
Abi who reminded me from her story last week of some of the special times I have spent with my dad at Christmas time.
As many of you well know, I am a Christmas baby, not Christmas Day but Eve. Every year as a child I had to have my birthday parties days in advance as people were going off to relatives for Christmas so I although I was very lucky to have a party I felt my birthday wasn't the same as everyone elses.
Thankfully my parents had a cunning plan and my dad and I would go off on my birthday to the local cinema to see a film together. Looking back, I imagine it was also to give my mum time to get sorted for Christmas Day and also look after my baby sister and maybe have a quiet minute to herself.
Anyway, I can remember getting in the car all wrapped up warm and my dad driving us to Christchurch, our local cinema, to go the pictures. Driving to Christchurch was always lovely because you went through bits of the New Forest and also suburban areas where trees twinkled in the windows and as you came into Christchurch itself the town was decorated with lights up above us to celebrate Christmas.
I would hold hands with my dad as we walked into the cinema and he would buy the tickets to the film. There was only ever one choice as far as I remember and we would take our seats. Mum would send us off with a small bag of sweeties to eat and we would wait for the film to begin.
I remember the seats were soft and red and how the big curtain would open when the film started. It was always a Disney film as I think in those days they released them every Christmas. I vividly remember watching Mowgli dancing with bears, elephants and naughty monkeys,
singing along to the songs and even watching a Disney princess sing along while she did the housework, made 7 dwarfs dinner and eventually met her handsome prince.
But what I most remember is being with my dad on the way home and singing the songs together even if we didn't remember the words.
I hope you have special things you do together with your family at Christmas xx