::Ta-Dah!! Jam jar jacket::

So having got my studio nearly sorted and ready for the big reveal, I needed somewhere to put my knitting needes and pencils. So here you go…

Ta-Dah!!!

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A jam jar jacket to house my needles.

I'll be making some more and trying out new ideas, for the next few, and maybe even some beading and button work around the top. it's a great way to try new stitches and edgings too.

Upcycling, practical, colourful, cheery and lovely all at the same time, makes me happy, happy, happy!!!

 

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::Ta-Dah!! Meet little Owl::

So I thought I'd share my litle owl, made very quickly and on the spur of the moment one afternoon waiting for the hairdresser.

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I have to admit that I used Jacquie's tutorial from Bunny-Mummy a favourite fellow crochet and craft blogger who has lots of yummy, scrummy projects and has very kindly written and photographed them to share with others!! ( So I won't write and photograph my efforts when Jacquie's are excellent!!)

He was incredibly easy to do, the only difference with mine is that I used buttons instead of beads, but they look great too I think! 

 I'll be making a whole coup more of these little guys, for Christmas presents and for my studio when I get to the delightful decorating part. Tee hee, exciting!!

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::Busy, busy, busy – lampshade and pizza ::

Just another quick post, two updates.

::Update 1::

I have been busy, busy, busy, making my newly named Tutti-Fruity Lampshade (Inspiration from Delquilter on Ravelry) see my previous post here and I've begun to work out and crochet the circles I will need. I am going to adapt the original Apple-Cherry-Fizz-Bomb version though and add some crochet ripples into it too and maybe have a crochet bobble border. I can see it finished in my head!

I'm using Stylecraft yarn I bought from the Wool warehouse and I'll be placing an LED bulb in the shade once finished (no heat therefore safer), much to J's relief. I think he thought I was going to have a safety hazard on our hands, but he feels reassured now. Phew!!

So I've started my circles and chosen my palette.


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I'm figuring out the circles needed, and I've made the first 8 for around the top. I've started crocheting the first of 8 larger ones and then I'll make 8 panels for the sides with crochet inserted shapes. It's all a bit take-it-slowly-and-see-how-it-goes but so far (fingers crossed) it's going well. I LOVE it!!


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So I will keep you up-to-date and maybe even write a tutorial for this – depends on how transferable the sizes are as the shades may differ. It is a great upcycling project and recycling at it's best me thinks!!

Remember how yesterday I was busy, busy, busy with baking, homemade, things and homebaking? Well.

::Update 2::

…on the pizza and bread buns. Sad I know, but I'm soo impressed with gluten free homemade bread – it tastes like Bread!

Ta-Dah!! I have successfully made gluten-free bread for a pizza and it was delish!!


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As you can see I had already taken a chunk out when I took the photo – it looked too good to wait!

It was lovely and crispy on the base ( the Aga does that very well) and I topped it with tomato puree, mozzarella cheese, rocket leaves, ribbons of courgettes (freshly picked that morning) cheddar cheese, olives (green and black) and dried basil.
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The pizza was lovely with my homemade coleslaw and the bread buns turned out really well too – in fact I think they've now gone!

It's great having the time to get on and do these things, I just hope I can be organised and disciplined enough once back to school to ensure I bake, make and have time for crafty things. They make me soooo happy! :)

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::Handpicked, harvesting and homemade::

This is just a quick post – I promise I'll try – having been very happy and busy harvesting and handpicking and then homebaking.

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It was lovely this morning to go and check on the courgettes – and WOW!! There were loads of courgettes and the beans are coming along nicely too! All that sun and rain recently, and there is no stopping them, turn your back for a minute!! I also picked some of the sweet peas and other lovely flowers in the garden to brighten up the kitchen – and the sweet peas are so fragrant and sweet smelling.

_DSC0011Now to decide what to do with my lovely new crop, I'll come back to that later. Then I set about baking some gluten free scones – cheese scones are Little J's favourite so that's what i did. I must admit to being inspired and left mouth watering at Lucy's scones the other day – they did look lovely. Anyway I got them made, then plain and chocolate fairy buns, then I put some gluten free bread dough to prove. Stilll waiting on the bread buns to have their second prove before going into the hot Aga - then coleslaw and ham (as promised ) awaits. Have decided with the boys, that we will make pizza for dinner later, and use homemade bread dough, homegrown courgettes and other yummy things for the toppings. Will let you know how they turn out! 

Then I made both E and Little J's favourite – flapjack all warm, buttery and sticky, they have it on it's own or with sliced banana. And it is quite delicious. 


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I've been making flapjack for years, since I was little (about the same age as the bread, ham and colelslaw sandwiches in my last post here) and whatever variation we decide on they are always delicious. Banana, chocolate, raisins, fruity, nutty, seedy (with seeds in), there are so many ways to make it. Of course now I hahve to make it with gluten free oats. But it is still delicious.

So now for my snack, and a cuppa! I'll enjoy this.


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Ta-dah!! Kept it short and very sweet! :o)xxxx 

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::Happy, Homemade, Homegrown, Happy::

•Happy number 1•

Happy… I found an amazing picture on Ravelry on Delquilters profile, of a lampshade that she has crocheted, with an amazing selection of yarn colours,and I knew I just HAVE to make one too.

Standard_lamp_001_mediumIt gives off such a beautiful light when lit and looks absolutley stunningly, beautifully, gorgeous!!

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Isn't it fantastic!! Oh yes I hear you cry – amazingly so. :o)x

So off to the charity shop I went and I got a retro lampshade, crying out to me, yes talking to me… and so I made it HAPPY and me HAPPY and I bought it and he's ready for his new crochet covering!! (Well once I've taken off his old clothes!)


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•Homemade•

Homemade coleslaw for tea – mmm, mmm, mmm! I lurve coleslaw! Shredded white cabbage, grated carrot, spring onion, mayonnaise, (not too much!), chopped apple and pumpkin seeds! Delicious and so simple to make. I remember as a girl having lovely homemade bread, my mum used to make a batch every week, fresh yorkshire ham off the bone (from the local deli) and homemade coleslaw for a cheeky Saturday lunch whilst my Dad and brother went to watch the local football team. The smell of homemade bread, crisp fresh coleslaw and a glass of homemade lemonade, couldn't be beaten and has transported me back to being about 8 years old. Ooooh, I know what I'm going to make tomorrow, YES you guessed, gluten-free bread! Hmmmm, wonder if it will be quite the same?

Now to get the other bits ready for dinner and dig up HoMeGrOwN.


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•Homegrown•

Homegrown new potatoes, you just cannot beat them!! Now I know not every potato wants to spend it's short but worthy life in an Ikea bag, but they make for great potato grow bags!! They sit really well on my paved garden area and homegrown is always better. Great recycling don't you think? Look!


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So fingers crossed there will be a reasonably good crop, having had all that sunshine but not much rain (especially whilst we were away on holiday). So here we go…


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Quite a lot of the happy  little lovelies for one small potato grow bag, some big, some tiny, but all delicious I'm sure.


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And my little potato family…


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and they are ready, all buttered up to go with the parma ham, mozzarella, melon, coleslaw and salad. Yum, yum.


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•Happy number 2•

Happy… I went to Impact Furniture Services, a great place that take away your unwanted but usable furniture and sell it or give it to people who need it, and I got myself a retro chair for my studio that I can upcycle.


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Once it has been sanded, it will get the same treatment as my first deco patching endeavour and be decopatched. Then it will get a new seat and it will look adorable! Have some lovely new Cath Kidston gingham check and some Cath Kidston Rosali fabric to use. Will keep you up to date!

So now that I've got my classroom looking lovely ready for Septembers new year 6's, I can spend a couple of days and a bank holiday weekend getting my studio sorted. It has been painted, furniture has been bought, roman blind kit has been purchased, fabric for said roman blind has been purchased and sorting and organising has been completed. Phew!!

On tomorrows list is:

1. make homemade bread and other lovely gluten-free baking.

2. go to deli for yorkshire ham on the bone!

3. have bread, ham and coleslaw sandwich for lunch – yum, yum!

4. begin to make blind for studio.

What a busy day, when combined with the usual household chores and jobs I need to do. I'll be settling down to some more of festival granny stripe blanket  I think, as it's probably feeling a little neglected!

Sorry it's a bit longer than I'd thought, but got a bit carried away with the bread nostalgia!! Bye for now. :)

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::Summer holiday bits and bobs::

I cannot believe there is only two full weeks left and I'll be back to work, planning my topic and after moving classroom, organising, labelling and theming the book corners and displays! So much to do.

I've been plodding on with Festival granny stripe blanket and it's coming on nicely.


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•BuT• there is still time to enjoy the summer holidays that remain, visits to places that have been on my list for some time and finishing little jobs and BiTs and BoBs that I wanted to do. So here are some pictures of little things that have taken up some happy hours and have been lovely little things to pass the time, between bigger projects.

•DeLiVeRiEs•


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I was VERY happy to take delivery of my new cocoa mugs by Emma Bridgewater, having broken one of my other ones. I do love the polka dots and have a number of these already – but this time I went for a Toast option too.


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Then my lovely new Yarndale bag arrived, only 6 weeks to go and I'm excited at going along to this and meeting lots of other hooky, crochet, knitter people! Lucy @Attic24 has been a key ambassador for this festival of creativity and has worked hard at getting lots of it organised – shout out to Lucy!! Well done!


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My new-to-me printers drawer arrived – it's in need of a clean and a woodworm spray – but otherwise my threads, cottons and buttons are gong to look stunning in it. Ebay – is a wonderful thing! 99p and 2.99 postage! An AbSoLuTe bargain!


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•ALSO• my gorgeous new yarn arrived (of course I'd ordered all of these thigs so not really surpirise but still…) King Cole Merino blend DK 100% British made. It is beautiful, Sharon at Great British Yarns helped me out as some of the colours are low in stock, but fired off an email to her and she is a star, all sorted!

•PrOjEcTs•


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and it works up beautifully too, baby granny squares for a cushion…


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Going to granny stripe the back.

Visited The WoolClip and bought some grogeous yarn, Jan and Cecelia produce it from their sheep Blue Faced Leicester's I think, anyway lovely. I know just what I'm going to do with it! Will tell you later :o)


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Got the Decoptach bug.


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Made some flower bunting for my party…


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 Notice the completed decoptach 'K' on there too.


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Then the PaRtY… my lovely friends from my Stitching group and I have a party every few months or so, where the fmailies get together and we eat lovely food, drink alcoholic things and generally chat and enjoy each others company. Not a bad spread with only a few emails and gluten free, vegetarian dairy free food in abundance!!


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 Before and after….


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Empty plates. It was delish, great company, good food, some laughs some ooohs and some awwwwhs, with some lovely news too. Little girlies enjoyed Just dance and Big boys enjoyed driving on the XboX, (well so did one Extra little girly who struggled to meet the pedals so drove Capri-style!). Great night. :o)x

Decorating the kitchen with decorative stickers,…. boy did it take a while and was it tricky? YES it was tricky but I think it looks stunning. Got the kit from Achica they have some beautiful things, you have to be a registered user but it's free and they have discounts etc. 

What do you think?


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I'm loving it, and it just peels off when you decide you don't want it anymore!

•GaRdEnInG•


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So between the rain I decided to renew my outside planters, I went to the garden centre and bought lots of plants. Lovely colours and flowers and then installed them into the lovely newly painted pots.


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Trying to brighten up the garden, having been scorched in the intense sun, and now drenched in the total down pours!

Looking back over the last two weeks, I have been a busy little bee!!

All that and organising my 18 year old – A Level results day today was a sparkling success – huge sigh of relief and gush of happiness and tinge of sadness and massive amounts of PROUD!!

Trying to keep my 14 year old busy and off his laptop, Xbox and out in something called  fresh air!!

I've also been starting my studio project, reorganising the spare room- snug -hay loft into a workable space for me to use for all my crafty things and maybe even have my stitching group meetings there too sometimes. Sneaky preview on its way!


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Have chosen the paint, J is busy sanding and doing the smelly paint bit so should be up and running quiete soon. Have bought a new-to-me sofa bed from Impact Furniture and then to decorate with lovely crafty homemade textiles, blankets, blind and cushions. Ooooooooohhhhh, sooooo excited! See you soon.

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::Summer holiday – part 3 Trip to Pompeii::

It's funny – I wanted to start this blog with something dramatic and Roman, almost Gladitorial, but it won't translate without the dramatic music so there we are!!

What a lot to write about on the Pompeii trip. We got the coach – and organised trip through Viator - at 7.30am in Rome and travelled to Pompeii in a scorching 38 degrees. We had a great bus driver Giovanni, bus guide  Inger and tour guide  Carmine at Pompeii, who took us around the main sights of the huge and amazing site. Strange and unnerving  to think that in AD79 it was all buried under ash from Mount Vesuvius.


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Little J had really wanted to go on this trip – it was the highlight for him apart from The Collosuem- so it was a must do trip. It was tiring, and extremely hot but well worth it, as the history, stories of the lives of Pompeiians which are well documented and the shear scale of the site was breathtaking. So I will just add the photos and see you at the bottom of the page!!


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Pooor victims of the eruption, preserved by the ash.


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Incredible mosaics at The house of the Faun.


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Amazing frescos in the Market.


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The bath house.


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The amphi-theatre.


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The bakehouse, where they found bread that had been preserved – they could figure out the recipe, method of cooking and grain etc AmAzInG!!


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This was the local pub, the vats are made of terracotta and were filled with wine. The marble counter was where people sat and drank and maybe had some food. 


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This street is 2km long – the site is huge and you could easily spend days here and still see something new.


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So ok, I did interject and add my little comments along the way… ooops!! :o) I hope you like my little snapshot and our little holiday to Italy.

The following morning we packed up our little bags – only took hand luggage so was quick an easy, no baggage to wait for – and we set off on our way back to sunny England. I've loved this trip – Little J enjoyed having us all to himself and despite feeling sad about leaving E in the Uk, it wasn't so bad, and of course we brought him presents back. Well, we just had to visit the Ferrari store, but could only afford a mouse mat (well he needed one anyway!)

On Saturday, staying at Towcester wirh D, K and little Em, we nipped into London town and visited this amazing exhibition – artefacts straight from Pompeii and the Naples museum. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum is well worth a trip if you're in town.

End of our holidays and back to work for J on Monday – me I have lots of projects to catch up on and a studio to sort out!! Watch this space!

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::Summer holiday part 2 – Roman Holiday::