:: Keep calm and breathe. It’s half term!::

Half term – longed for and needed desperatly as the cold weather and long darkness takes its toll on my asthmatic health. Soooo very tired…need sleep and crafty creative time to recharge my batteries.

So my lovely hubby and big boys decided to take me out to my favourite eatery ‘Green’s of Grassmere” on Sunday, before E returns to Leeds after being home for ‘reading’ week. (Not sure any reading was actually accomplished!!) 

We had a lovely bistro-type meal, mine of course gluten, dairy free- but so tasty and lovely. They make you feel so welcome and Grassmere is so beautiful. 

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We only need to travel 35 minutes to get there but through the most glorious scenery.

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Yes, we have a sprinkling of snow and it is CoLd!!

So after eating my fill, it’s back home to my crochet project- Little Em blanket. You might remember little Em is my best friend D’s daughter, we went to Cambridge last year, we visit them around 5 times a year and since it takes us a long, long 5 hours in the car just to get there it’s a feat of amazement that D and I have been friends for over 30 years, through secondary school, A-level college, University, marriages and babies!! Em has just turned 7 and of course wanted Aunty K to make her a crocheted big girls blanket.

Little em blanket 7It’s beautiful Stylecraft yarn in a bunch of lovely shades. Emperor, meadow, parchment, raspberry, violet, silver – Style Craft DK from the Wool Warehouse.Little em blanket 3These pics are a bit better than the other ones!

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_DSC0159So far I have hooked about 35 squares and so I have a long way to go before it is double bed sized, however each square will be bordered with two rounds of parchment, then joined with parchment and then the whole blanket witll be edged and bordered with something pretty- don’t know what yet.

THEN…

I have a number of projects on the go afterwards. My lovely kind hubby got me a blanket CAL for Amanda’s beatiful kaleidoscope blanket over at the Natural Dye Studio, you can check it out here.

My January pack, complete with pattern arrived and the February pattern update as been emailed. I’m so excited about getting started- just need to get the Little Em blanket finished and I’ll be off!

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Then…. sneaky man that he is, this arrived shortly after as a cheer me up January present! Awhhh. Cheer me up it definitely did!! A subscription to the website, magazine and two balls of delicious kidsilk. Discount on the yarns in stores and workshops! How to fit it all in! 

_DSC0154I’ve always loved Rowan yarns, so soft and gorgeous and I have a number of the books dating back about 20 years! Time to dig them out  me thinks!

So with the weather being nasty and horrid, I am loving that my tiny weeny baby narcissi are trying their best to shine and add delight to my kitchen table, although some of them have exhausted themselves!! Will be visiting the market tomorrow to purchase Tulips – I love tulips!!

_DSC0152My bundles of Lucy stylecraft arrived for my pending ripple blanket- yes I know eventuall I will get it done!! It was on 10% off so thought now was a good time to buy from Deramores – see here.

 

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As you can see my studio needs a little bit of attention with all these parcels and projects waiting patiently!_DSC0158A Well, it’s been lovely chatting but a scrummy cup of coffee and a gluten /diary free raspberry and lime muffin await (made them on Saturday – don’t know how there are any left!)- and a bit of hooky for little Em’s blanket, and a read of one my very favourite books, Ashlyn Gibson’s Creative Happy Home, you can find it here.

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Happy hooking and enjoy half term!!

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More MixTures!!

:: Tulips::
::Busy, busy, busy – lampshade and pizza ::
-A happy ending-

:: Year End Review: 2013: Part Two::

So here it is… part two. In some words (but mainly pictures). It took me so very long to get the pictures sorted I have resolved to organise my photo library for the new year!! A New Years resolution I hope to keep! Enjoy :o)xx

•∆• July

July 2013

Camping at the Cambridge Folk festival, finishing my Sunshine Granny Square Blanket, Ta-Dah post here, and new yarn arrives for Festival granny stripe blanket!

•∆• August

August 2013

Rome and Pompeii was AmAzInG!!! Amazing weather, amazing sights and history and amazing company. Our first family holiday without E was a bit emotional but we moved on and we're ok! Plodding on with new projects.

•∆• September

September 2013

E went on his way to Leeds College of Music and so so so proud we are, you can read all about it in my post here! My studio in the HayLoft was finished. School started back and the old routine of life springs back quickly. Weekends are taken up with visits to Leeds while E settles in. We all miss him. :o( However a super special trip to Yarndale cheers me up no end with my friend Fi!

•∆• October

October 2013

Tutti-fruity lampshade is finished see the Ta-Dah post here. J and I have our birthday, and we splash out on a night at the malmaison in Leeds and visit E at the same time. Half term visit to Saltaire was wonderfully relaxing and a bonus visit to E too! :o)

•∆• November

November 2013

Cold, cold, cold… wet and windy too. But beautifully Autumnal, see here for an autumn walk. Bonfire night, busy with my Autumn Wreath and the little details for that. So happy with it's completion- a new challenge having never made one before.

•∆• December

December 2013

With a deeply satisfying sigh we reach the end of the year. E home from College, end of a challenging school term and a joyous time making and creating presents for friends and family. Chilly hands dug down deep in pockets for a head clearing Boxing day walk.

It is so lovely, happy and satisying to look back over my year – finding crochet again around late spring and beginning my blog and Facebook page. It felt strange 'talking' and sharing my life with the great wide world, but that has now become such a blessing when I look back over my year in print and photos.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who has supported me, with comments, likes, and shares- they mean a lot!

I look forwards to finding new 'friends' and learning more, trying more and challenging myself to even greater heights!

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favourite MixTures from the year 

::2013: Year end review: part one::
::Transition::
-Lovely – Sunny Festival Granny stripe blanket!-
- Whilst the weather…-
::It's great to have a catch up…::

::Transition::

It seems so long since I posted anything of any wordage… it has been incredibly busy getting back to school and sending my big boy off into the world of university, but here I am back and ready to share my thoughts with you all.

What an amazing summer holiday; The Cambridge Folk festival seems like such a long time ago and the start of festival granny stripe blanket held such excitment and anticipation. I am loving still being able to pick it up and continue with the security and comfort of the stripes leading me further on and on.


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It is growing and growing…

However with the emotion of my eldest son leaving home in September for University never very far away, the summer was a mixture of feelings. Rome with my youngest was exciting and yet strange, being at home whilst the eldest was away working was diferent but ok.

So what did I do? I launched myself into lots of yarn-i-licious projects to keep my fingers, my mind and myself occupied.

Cushions…


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Bunting…
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And my ta-dah!! of the season… tutti-fruity lampshade which I still look at with total and utter delight and glee.


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and in close up…


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Little balls to decorate the lampshade…


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Little owls…


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and creating my studio space in the Hayloft at the top of the house…


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This is where I was able to organise all my lovely yarns that had been in the attic (I know really sad) for many many years, but were now free to sigh and snuggle up in their new home, ready to be plucked and worked into new projects (of which I have many planned!)

So after a trip to london with all my Y6 children, a fantastic and positive start to the school year, last weekend was the emotional leaving of my son to university.

The whole family are in transistion with him now gone (and I am totally confident that he will be absolutley fine), Little J will miss his big brother having him around to play X-box, football and bike rides and probably the odd little argument. Although on the whole they are very close as brothers which I am very proud of. J will miss the boy talk; football, bikes, F1 etc and also him just being here with us in our family. I miss having him around as he is a sensitive soul and always can tell when I am sad, down or just need a hug. 

I will and I do miss him. But my week was made this week when I picked up the phone and there he was… Do I need to thaw this frozen chicken Mum before I make a chicken curry? !@$%@!

We'll be fine. 

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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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::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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