Monday, 30 May 2011

This week I've mostly been ...

Another week has whizzed by and finally I can sit down to ramble away about a bit of this and a bit of that.


Well going all the way back to Wednesday - the car booty was good fun. I bumped into a few friends for a catch up which was good, but treasure was thin on the ground. The best find was this 1950's sugar or honey pot. I love the long ladley spoon.



After the car boot I realised that even though I'm growing my hair it badly needed a sorting out. Once your children tell you as kindly as they can how rubbish your hair's looking you know it's time to get it sorted. I booked in for a cut with a man who used to style our hair in the 80's when a bunch of very tall friends and I used to model. We had a fabulous nostalgic catch up and a good laugh to boot.

By Friday I was getting itchy for half-term and lie ins. I taught crochet in the morning and then spent the pennies straight away on lunch with a much loved friend. 


Yesterday was my mum's birthday and we wanted to make her feel fabulous for the day. Bunting was strewn everywhere, handmade gifts were wrapped and after a morning baking cakes, pastries and a cooked lunch ready in the oven we started the party. I can't believe we managed a huge lunch and then a full on birthday tea too, might be why we're all groaning today.


My folks came bearing a gift too, some more of their delicious sloe gin which I might have a snifter of while I'm cooking the tea. 

I've been madly knitting away in the evenings, making up goodies to sell this weekend at Little Vintage Lover Fair.


First on the list are covered hangers as inspired by Jane Brockett. I'll also make a few hooky and fabric covered ones too.


I've been loving the colours and the soft yarn I'm using. Usually I work with cotton, but I sorted through my stash for the exact colours I had in mind and could only find merino and cashmere mixes. 

While the Bun's skipped on the lawn today I found a quiet minute to sew up a couple of Happy Hangers. I made the small bobble flowers for my first ones, but might add cherries and butterflies to the other ones.


Now I can hear the fizz fizz fizzing of a pink gin calling me so I'd best be off. Happy Holidays if you're on half-term.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Colour Happy Days

My head feels as if it's fit to bursting with ideas, colour and plans again. I've had a few weeks of having an empty creative head. My job has been using up all my creativity as I plan and devise things to engage and interest the students. I come home and can't think of a thing beyond wanting a cuddle and a laugh. This weekend the lightbulb went back on again. I have a sneaking feeling that it was buying Jane Brockett's The Gentle Art of Knitting that inspired me to get going again.

This has to be one of the most exciting yarny books I've bought in a long long while. I'm devouring each page and my head is whizzing along with all the ideas it's giving me. I've already started on one of the projects as I've plenty of wool that needs using up for a colourful project.

On Sunday afternoon Little Bun and I sat and made together. Normally I have both of the Buns wanting to make with me. This usually ends in an argument as I've still not mastered the ability to help them both at the same time. Yesterday was different. Eldest Bun was happy just being, Mr Bun was sorting out cake for us all and so a calm happy making time came about.


I have to admit I always feel a wee bit of guilt about making with my girls. I really want them to learn all the skills I have and then they can enjoy making too, but on the whole I don't have much patience with teaching my own children. I'm also a real perfectionist (poor Eldest Bun has this problem too), so I find it hard to just let the Bun's get on with it in their own way. I'm working on this though and I think I'm getting better.


Little Bun finished her embroidery with no interference from me whatsoever. I absolutely love it, she's so proud she's taken it in for Show & Tell. She drew the picture, picked all the threads and her buttons with a clear idea of where she was going. All the help she needed was threading the needle. Being left handed she's found sewing really difficult, but suddenly it flowed. Now she's excited by her new skill and is planning to make us all embroidered names for our pillowcases.


My pie slices are coming along nicely now I've got the pattern in my head. Last night Eldest Bun and I watched yet another repeat of Outnumbered while I knitted slice after slice. Later she told me that the garland in the Dining Room was too wintery and needed sorting out. I guess crochet mistletoe and baubles is stretching it a bit far for May.


So today has found me cutting and stitching up a quick bunting strand to sort the problem out.


All done and hung. I fancy I might start making some patchy pillowslips as well from all these lovely prints.



Before that late lunch beckons and a read of Mollie Makes. I finally tracked one down after a lead on Twitter.



Final bit of colourful happy to share with you is my new treat of a hummingbird top. Some clothes can just make you feel happy and right all day can't they. This top certainly does it for me.

It was lovely reading all your lovely comments on my last post. Well it's always loving reading them, but it was good to know how much you all love the gentle happy stuff too. 
Hope to see you sometime later in the week if the teaching doesn't leave me in a collapsed heap first.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Gentle Rhythm

Phew. Thank heavens it's Friday. After another full on day of stimulating teenagers I'm back in my blissful hideaway. I've put the rabbits out, collected eggs, hung the washing and all feels right with my world.

I'm planning a spot of knitting in the sun. Seems the ladies will nag me for food if I sit down first so better get them sorted out.

With sweet Pip (the mat wetter) for company and sunshine on my face I think I'll be here for a bit.


An hours knitting I think, then a few pots to fill with more car boot plants before I pop out. I have a meeting later today, a huge desire to go and check out Jane Brockett's latest book after Vanessa mentioned it and then the looming food shop as the cupboards are very very bare.


This weekend I think gardening, painting maybe and finally sewing the pieces I cut out for a bag Little Bun wants. I might even get her to help me make it.


Nothing too demanding just going at a slower pace and enjoying all that's around me. 

Wishing you a lovely weekend too.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Mostly on a Monday

Another weekend has been and gone with us merrily doing a bit of this and a bit of that. It mainly consisted of eating, just being, playing and dodging the rain. Nothing too exciting, but we enjoyed it. 
 
The sad part of our weekend was the death of Muffin Little Bun's hamster. She'd gone blind and was in what I guess was a coma for the past week. We decided to leave her to die naturally as she seemed so calm. I've now said no more hamsters, I will say yes to goats, sheep and donkeys, but no more hamsters as it's too upsetting every couple of years.
 

Today I had an illish Eldest Bun with me. We somehow ended up in the wool shop before the school run. I've been itching to have something on the go that's knitty and for her and thought she might like to choose. I gave her a pattern book, the one I wanted to buy anyways and she chose the ideal quick project. At ten and a half she really knows her style and she has it spot on. She puts together wee vintage dresses with belts and adds flowers to her hair. I get the look if I try to interfere, so I don't. I chose the colour and yarn as she'd lost interest by this stage. I loved the feel of the Pima cotton its meant to be knitted in, but the colours didn't ring my bell so I chose Milk Cotton instead. Better actually do a tension swatch for the first time ever to make sure this one fits!


No on to the excitement of our new doormat. I thought you might like to see it. It's a bit twee I guess, but then Pip our female cat always wees on it eventually anyway so I'll probably be throwing it out before I stop liking it.  


The heady smell of these roadside Lily of the Valley should cover up any nasties if need be. 

Better be off and plan tommorows teaching while I cook the pasta for tea with my other hand.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A Rosy Glow

When I got home last night our resident ducks were sitting under the cherry tree fast asleep. Then Little Bun rushed out for a hug with Alfie Blue the naughty Pug boy and he chased them off. Mind you all this kerfuffle meant I noticed how the roses have suddenly gone all blousy and beautiful. I picked the largest one and then the Bun's chose the smaller one when they fed the hens this morning.

After a day of good results at work yesterday I felt ready to attack the car boot with a vengeance. It's been pretty poor lately, but today was a bounty day. I only spent £5 and came away with coloured needles, Rosa bowls, a table, beautiful embroidered pillowslips and the loveliest babies cot sheet embroidered with a deer, bunny and fairy. I would show you the linen, but Blogger is being very bad today. Rather than beat my computer up I've given up trying to load those pictures.


I was so excited about the table I found. I've been looking for a fold-up one for ages after I lost the other one in a village hall. The man only wanted a £1 for it and it was part of his display. I felt a wee bit bad (for a second) as I would have given him more, but then more left to  buy the lemony lick of paint I want for it.

The rest of the day has passed with plans for exciting things. I'll say more when I know what's happening, just that I'm excited.

If you're interested in coming along to the crochet group I hold in Glory Days, Norwich, please email me and I'll give you the details . Be lovely to see you.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Making Monday

Morning sunlight really is the best for making me feel joyful and ready to plan a day of good things. The door is open, the birds are singing merrily away with the odd yell from the neighbours cockerel thrown in. Better still I used to work on Mondays, now I don't so I get to enjoy whatever I want for a whole extra day. 

I'm planning to get on with the cushions I'm making for the end of the month markets and I feel a big need to make and eat lemon drizzle cake.


I'm also stirring ideas around in my head about what I'm going to do with these lovely fabrics. They were kindly given to me on Friday by someone who knew I would really appreciate them and put them to good use. These are only a few as there are also gorgeous white and cream linens as well as other prints.


This weekend I managed to relax properly for the first time in months. Mr Bun announced with delight that there was nothing we needed to do. I thought about it and couldn't think of a thing either. All four of us just did whatever we wanted for the whole of Saturday and it was much needed. I even managed to finish up the jumper I started for Eldest Bun in the Autumn.



It's actually being modelled by Little Bun. Somehow my knitting speed hasn't matched Eldest Bun's growing speed. One of us needs to speed up or plan ahead better. I'm really thrilled with how the jumper has turned out and Little Bun is thrilled that it's hers after all.


It fits Eldest perfectly except in the length. I thought for a minute about picking up and knitting a deeper rib at the bottom, but I'm so glad to have actually finished it - so no. Little Bun doesn't mind the sleeves are too big for her as it's all comfy which she prefers. So now I know how to size for my gorgeous Eldest Bun better and know I need to knit a bit quicker next time.


I've promised her something stripy in blue's and creams as they're her favourite colours. This jumper was knitted from what I had in my stash so that dictated the colours I used. I'd definately use this yarn again though as it's perfect for my girls sensitive skin and it's great to knit with. I used Rowan wool cotton and if you're interested in the pattern, I downloaded it from the free patterns on Rowan's website. 

One other thing before I go. Thanks for letting me in on the frogginess of crochet. I get it now. I did a bit, but it's not fun going backwards is it.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Best Laid Plans

I'd forgotten how hard it can be keeping teenagers interested in anything. Try to get teenagers who have barely attended school and have a whole host of personal issues to deal with inspired and you get a vague picture of what my new working week was like. I came home Thursday night completely drained and ready to switch off for a day or two. 
Today I planned lots of lovely feel goody things to get into the weekend mood and relax properly. I visited the wool shop and had a coffee and a chat there to start me off just right. 

Of course I bought a few new balls of yarn while I was there. I'm getting on fairly well with the Japanese Flowers, but I keep thinking somethings not right. It might be the colours. I could be wrong, but I think they need a dash of peach and darkest blue, so some more Amy Butler came away with me.

 

The only problem with my adding new colours plan is that I'll have to unravel a load of flowers to stick a few different colours here and there. This thing I'm planning to do, the unravelling thing, does anyone actually know why it's called frogging? An odd thing to call wasting your time and not being able to make your mind up with colours.


Next up was a trip to fill my trolley full of delicious food, fizzy stuff and choc. Throw in a lovely magazine (a treat denied to me for a whole year apart from my one subscription) Dr Who's latest comic for Little Bun and some Moshi Monster cards for Eldest and that was three girls all ready to be happy.

The afternoon went by in a blur of knitting, trying to finish up the last sleeve for the jumper started a million years ago. Then I saw poor neglected Elsie Elephant waiting patiently for ears, eyes - well legs too to be fair and decided she needs finishing this weekend too.
To finish my weekend plans we bought our favourite sweets after school. Bowls of perfect puddings after a huge plate of aubergine lasagne. Blue tongues from the Raspberry Blue Sours and a game of Donkey and I felt the last of the week melt away. 

Here's to a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

All that Glitters

At the moment Alfie is a woofing and a woofing at the disco ball. I think he's seeing too many Alfies reflected in it and that's not a good thing when you don't really want to be brave today. 

I think I better put it back in the dining room before he has a seizure.

Just so's you know all your lovely words of encouragement were really appreciated before my new job started. Thank you so much for making me believe I could do it. However much I know I can do stuff really, it doesn't stop me getting the collywobbles now and again.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Skipping into May

The week's whizzed by, sandwiched at each end by two fabulous long weekends. The sun has come back for another visit which has made it even better. Blue toes and sandals have been out for an airing again.

 
There's been no time this week for coming up with colourful makes so nothing to show you I'm afraid. All my thought has gone into finishing up the 10 week course I've planned and written. Fourteen hours a week I'll be teaching and trying to inspire 16-18 year olds, starting on Tuesday.


Friends coming for afternoon tea yesterday inspired me to whizz up a colourful cake of sparkly sugar stars and fruit.  All eaten in one sitting.


Other visitors have been the new ducklings. Their mum brought them over twice this week on their long walk back to the village pond. They came right to the door and waited for us to go out and feed them.


Today was one of those perfect days when you just feel really good inside. We went for a really long walk by the river and then ended up in a field eating cake and watching really bizarre people doing a dog agility show. It was perfect entertainment, especially the dog who looked like he was wearing his owners wig.

One more day of fun and then it's back to all the usual normal stuff and short weekends again. How will we cope with the week being longer than the weekends I wonder?