craft

Tropical temperatures, tropically decorated, green leaves not green sleeves

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It’s still decidely tropical here in Kent in the UK – I think we are entering the fourth week of our heatwave now. Everyone seems to be suffering in one way or the other.  Personally, I am not sleeping well (too hot and sticky) and most of the day I feel quite lethargic (overtired, still hot and sticky). I am struggling to craft much – so my creative ‘me’ time has been mostly absent and I have little to show off here.  My New Year plans were to finish more of my knitting WIPs and to use up more of my stash.  Very slow knitting progress this month.  I have a cotton WIP top to finish, hoping to be able to wear it this summer.  The pattern was free from Tahki Stacy Charles but I am using Paintbox DK cotton from Loveknitting.com and it will be mostly spearmint green with a little white in the edging.  You may think the pattern has been scrumpled a bit! This piece of knitting too – luckily it’s rather forgiving!  Hubby thinks I will look like a Pacer sweet packet – does anyone remember those from the 70’s/80’s? They were minty treats, now discontinued, made by the makers of Opal Fruits (now called Starburst).

I love a bit of warmth but I prefer it when I am on holiday. With that in my thoughts, perhaps it’s why I recently chose a tropical theme for my hallway decorating.  This was done during the first two weeks of the heatwave.

Hopefully the next post will have more creative news.  Meanwhile I shall enjoy my green day.

 

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Decorating

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It’s been a bit quiet on the crafting front.  There have been lots of other things occupying my mind this past week or so. Choosing wallpaper is one of them. Along with the times I have wished I could name or design yarns and fabric I now add that I wish I was a better artist and could design and name wallpaper too!

Being creative includes looking at patterns and textures everywhere.  I have almost got to the point of collecting so many paper samples I could join them all together and cover the wall ‘patchwork’ style!   For any fellow Escape to a Chateau fans (tv show, Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree) remember the patchwork wallpaper?!  To die for!

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/escape-to-the-chateau-diy

 

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A snippet of my life this week.  Still not decided on what one to go for !

Scraps of Liberty Lawn

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A friend’s birthday.

She is a sewist/knitter too.

It wasn’t easy to decide what to make for her.  I filtered ideas, I poured over a few craft books, I searched through my wool and fabric stashes.

I wanted the gift to be useful rather than just decorative.

Look what I decided to make!

Liberty lawn fabric pieced together to make a beautiful needle case, then wrapped in a spare piece of lawn instead of gift wrap.

She liked it too! I love gifting a home crafted present to someone who understands the effort you put into making it, don’t you?

Sharing bouquets (not from The Royal Wedding)

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I am very traditional in many ways (though not all).  I know some people don’t like cut flowers and think sending flowers is old fashioned or a waste of money (if I ask my 20 year old what he thinks his answer is ‘I don’t see the point'(!))  Personally I just love to receive a bouquet.  I was lucky enough to get two last week as I recovered from minor surgery.  It was supposed to be just one but there was a mix up with florists so two arrived 24hrs apart sent on behalf the same person.  Each also came with a box of chocolates!  I felt very loved.

 

I favour one slightly over the other but I adore the colour choices and they are even more lovely as the closed flower heads unfurl further.

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Then a neighbour brought in some flowers freshly plucked from her garden.  How beautiful are these?  We didn’t anticipate some lasting beyond the day as many garden flowers do not last well once cut, but they surpassed themselves. These are already three days cut.

She also brought in a healthy and delicious lunch – I ate that without snapping a photo first! What a star/friend she is.

I hope you like the bouquets I am sharing with you today.  (Maybe some of you heard Harry and Meghan shared their wedding flowers at the weekend.  Theirs looked wonderful but mine have lots more colour!)

Then more chocolates arrived….

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And this is what is left.  I did share, honestly!

 

With all this floral inspiration about me and being quite well to sit quietly and recuperate,  I was actually able to craft a little.  In this case I ‘made do and mended’.  I may have mentioned on a recent blog comment that I had found a hole in a favourite jumper that I was going to attempt to repair. Having purchased this in a charity shop two years ago, my repair seems to have worked so next time not only will I be I floral but I will also be sparkly! Follow the arrows to see the hole in the first pic, the sequins over the repair in the second, and (it’s not a good photo) a selection of sequins on part of the jumper when finished. I did singles and clusters on various parts to make it look like they’ve always been there. I think it came out ok and my lovely jumper lives to see a few more wears.

 

 

I look forward to sharing more crafty successes during the week.  I have been a little slack with my WIPs but my mojo’s back! What’s everyone working on?

 

Keeping up Enthusiasm, a yarn story

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Another week into 2018.  Am I keeping up my Enthusiams?

Reiteration from last week  –

  1. Keep on track with the diet started in October
  2. Sort out craft stuff all over the house
  3. Think seriously about the next step jobwise/careerwise and make good choices
  4. Make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date
  5. Become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance

Yes, the dieting has been going well, despite eating out twice, according to my own bathroom scales I am still more or less on track.  My view is, enjoy food, enjoy company, be extra sensible when eating at home. the two counterbalance each other and life doesn’t get boring!

Craft sorting is slow but still sorting.

Another yarn project ripped back and well into the reknit. Another Drops Andes project, it was a short sleeved jacket, a DROPs pattern which just was a disaster, now it’s 3/4 of a cushion using a Sirdar pattern when gauge this time is not so important.

yarnripped   yarnrippedreknit

A little fabric project has also been decided upon – will blog pics when finished – technically this will become a fabric/yarn combi project.  Any guesses?

yarn holder fabric

Job/Career – a few prospects thought about, one visited, no conclusions yet.  Who would have thought of a coffee shop run from a horse box parked in a restaurant car park?  That was just one opportunity.  Yes, really!

Bucket list – the bucket is empty at the moment!

Household accounting – can I count last week’s decision to menu plan rather than random buy the main weekly shop?  It means I will use up everything I buy, not throw out a thing, not waste any money!  This isn’t big inroads to my ‘Enthusiasm’ but it’s a start.  You should have seen my husband’s surprise when I served up ‘cauliflower rice’ for dinner yesterday (Enthusisam 1. Diet planning, Enthusiasm 5. Using what we had, Conclusion – we both thought it delicious, it was a win/win!)

Happy crafting and creating.  Another week, another zillion projects in the making!

 

New Year Enthusiasms, a Woolly Beginning

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I am renaming ‘New Year Resolutions’ to New Year Enthusiasms.  That way, if I decide not to carry on with something then I haven’t failed to keep a ‘Resolution’. Not that I have beaten myself up in the past for doing just that, but I know I’ve felt slightly guilty when things didn’t quite go to plan and by the end of each January good habits have fallen by the wayside. So entering 2018 …

Enthusiams:

  1. Keep on track with the diet started in October
  2. Sort out craft stuff all over the house
  3. Think seriously about the next step jobwise/careerwise and make good choices
  4. Make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date
  5. Become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance

andesgreen2First woolly UFO, must be about four years since I started to knit this and about two since I peeped in the bag where I’d stashed it. Love the wool.  Loved that it knit up so quickly. Hated the stepped shoulder joins and the poor sewing up.  Put on weight since so know finished item won’t fit….

Satisfyingly ripped back to balls (remind anyone of Christmas brussels sprouts?). Enthusiasm 2, one tick.  Many more to go, craftwise, but it’s a start!

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For others with new year plans, hope they are going well and you have not given up on any yet!

 

When is a snowman not a snowman?

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Yesterday snow fell in some parts of the UK.  Many people get quite excited at the first snow of the year, though I know most of us hope it falls when we are safe at home or where we want to be, snug and warm and our loved ones are too. Here near Bromley in Kent we had a smattering.  During the morning whilst I sat in a cafe with my crafting friends there was a flurry for about fifteen minutes.  At first a few flakes, then the wind blew it sideways and we wondered if someone up the road actually had a snowmaking machine and was teasing us.

 

The snow got a little heavier but it didn’t come to much.  I watched from indoors knowing that if I dared get my camera out and run outside it would stop, plus I was warm and cosy, I had a cappuccino in front of me and my knitting in my hand. It stopped as quickly as it had begun.

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Oakley Coffee Shop Petts Wood Kent

A trip to Whitstable in the afternoon was decided on a whim. It’s about an hour’s drive away, and it could have been seen as slightly mad to consider it with the inclement weather. However, it was fun (and very chilly with a breeeeeeeze off the sea) and we found they’d had a little more ‘snow’ than we had.

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(or a little wishful thinking at the Charity Shop Relate in the High Street!)