Friday, 29 April 2011

I won an award!!

I'm so excited, I won an award!  I can't believe it - someone else not only reads my whitterings, but even thinks they're alright...  Thanks Cuckoo!  I'm just so chuffed.  It's so hard to be objective about your own blog - every one else's always looks better/sounds better/inspires more and so it's just lovely to think that somebody might be enjoying mine too.
I'm going to pass it on to Cupcakejojo.  This blog is a recent discovery for me, but it looks lovely, uses gorgeous colours and I'm looking forward to reading more... x

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Crochet update - April

If I had a watering can like this one, I'd water my plants every day, rain or shine.
Anyway, I'm getting distracted from the task in hand: a crochet update for April.  I've decided I'm going to do this at the end of every month so that you can see what I've been pootling away at, and so that I've got some sort of record to show me that, despite the chaos, I do manage to achieve some things some times!
So, without further ado, I bring you April's activities.  Hurrah!
Firstly I bring you my little stars bunting.  This was a very quick and lovely project to work on and the stars look perfectly at home on my bedroom mirror now, which is where I'd always visualised them.  I first saw these at the lovely Tales from Cuckoo Land blog - thank you for the idea, Cuckoo!
I am extremely partial to a bit of bunting, as you may have realised by now if you've been reading my blog for a while.  I think it's just so pretty and cheerful and I am in grave danger of my house being completely over-run by it (cue long-suffering eye-roll from Mr Nut).  In fact, I might set up the Bunting Appreciation Society for all like-minded flag-addicts.  
This brings me neatly on to my second April project: bedroom bunting.  This pattern came from the gorgeous Crochet with Raymond blog (with slight, unintentional alterations by me!)
It's a present for a lovely friend's daughter's birthday, which is in June and I reeeealllly hope she likes it!
My third project for April is my little flower squares cushion, which I finished today and which I haven't stopped gazing at since because I love it.
This project just came from my head (though I did follow patterns for the actual squares) and it all just fell into place most serendipitously - good karma all round!
The front and back are different:
I am going to find it very hard to let the children anywhere near this cushion for fear that they may sully its pristine whiteness.  Ugh, sticky little fingers grabbing at (shudder).  I think I probably just need to get over that though - the stress would finish me off! x
PS - springtime throw square count is up to 186!!!  Yippeee skippeee!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Granny's garden of flowery loveliness

Aaaagh, I'm having a slightly panicky moment.  I've got so many things that I ought to be doing.  There's nothing enormous, just lots of fiddly little things, but when you add them all up there's enough to make me slightly hyperventilate. 
Eeeek. Must. Calm. Down...
mmmmmmm - lots of deep breaths and some photos from my gran's lovely garden - that should do the trick.
I asked my mum if this was a willow and she said that yes, it is a willow.  A wiggly willow.  If I ever start my own company I think I'll call it Wiggly Willow, I think it's a brilliant name.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful - my gran's put so much time and love into this garden and it really shows.
Right, I need to go off and panic a bit more so I'll leave you with one last photo, because really, what blog post isn't enhanced by a picture of a ladybird's bottom? x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!

I love this little arrangement of chicks that big nut had set up on my mum's dining room table.  It makes me think of Saturday Night Fever.  They're actually wearing little flares - you just can't see them because of the angle of the photo.  Also, I love the fact that each chick is standing on the colour square that most closely matches their own colour - now that's a level of coordination that I am very proud of!
Today was another stunner - wall-to-wall sun and lots of outdoorsy fun.
Just look what the Easter bunny brought for baby nut.  Isn't he clever to know that she can't have chocolate?
There was no such chocolate-free nonsense for the two bigger nuts, however:
I was rumbled while taking the photo above.  Here's the scene two seconds later:
Hmmmm - a pretty good haul...
We spent the afternoon at my gran's house.  Her garden really is amazingly lovely and so I, obviously, went completely overboard on the gratuitous flower shots.  I took so many, in fact, that I'm going to have to do a separate post about just that! 
The adults spent the afternoon slumped in chairs in the garden, while the three nut children variously ran around like loons, played football, ate mud and grass, had battles, ate as much chocolate as they could without us noticing, and practised their new-found walking skills (oh yes, baby nut is really no longer a baby - not sure 'toddler nut' has quite the same ring to it though.)  
As we were all starting to crash down from our chocolate-induced sugar highs, we brought out high tea (a bit of a feature of Sunday afternoons at my gran's - and long may it continue):
This was a 'scripture cake', which I made from my new recipe book.  I'm not a religious person at all (nothing against it, it's just not a feature of my life), but this seemed a highly appropriate cake to be eating on Easter Sunday - it was made only with ingredients mentioned in the bible.  And despite having a slightly soggy middle (I'm not the most patient person in the world and couldn't wait to get it out the oven), it was very yum indeed!
Hope you had a lovely, sunny, chocolatey day too x

Thursday, 21 April 2011

We love Dorset

This post today comes to you from sunny, sunny Dorset (hurrah!)  Well, we had to come here for Easter because nana (my granny) has the best garden of anyone we know for Easter egg hunts and this is a really, really important consideration when you're under the age of, say, 35.  Plus, when you're (only slightly) over the age of 35, you can get a bit excited about going to Hanson's, which is the amazing haberdashery warehouse I mentioned in my 'springy things' post.  Soooo...Hanson's...well, we've been here 24 hours and already I have made a little pilgrimage.  I had some Easter money from my parents-in-law burning a hole in my pocket, so decided to treat myself to some really gorgeous yarn to make myself a little something.  I managed to persuade Mr Nut that it would be a good idea to spend some quality time with his three children while my mum and I 'quickly' popped out, so I was able to really check out all the yarns and spend a looooong time going 'hmmmmm' and 'huuuuuh' and 'errrrmmm', while stroking yarns and secretly wishing I was very, very rich.  Anyway, I finally managed to make a decision and very pleased with it I am too.  Want to see the yarn? 
Okay, here it is:
Mmmmmmm, sublime by name, sublime by nature.
This is the softest, softest yarn you can imagine - it's 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere and I cannot wait to get making!  The colour hasn't come out that well in this photo, in real life it's a sort of cream, a petrol bluey-grey and a greeny-aqua colour.  Yum, yum, yum.  I'm not sure exactly what pattern I'm going to use for this - I think I quite fancy something along the lines of loopy flowers joined together, but I haven't made up my mind yet and I am open to any suggestions anyone may have!
And as if all that yarny excitement wasn't enough, my lovely mum bought me a rather splendid new cook book:
I love everything about this book: the title, the cover, the style in which the recipes are written and also the homemade, slightly economical vibe.  I'm already getting excited about making something to take to my gran's for Easter Sunday lunch (had better make sure we don't all get too carried away with chocolate in the morning.)
I just cannot get over this amazing weather we're having at the moment, it feels like high summer.  It's just brilliant, we've been spending whole days outdoors just soaking it all up and playing with the children.  My mum's garden is always beautiful and is looking especially lovely at the moment, with everything growing at a rate of knots.
Love, love, love the colour of this beautiful tulip.
It's just possible I might have gone slightly overboard with the flower photos today, but really, you've got to love it haven't you?
Oooh, Mr Nut's just presented me with a piece of cake and a hot chocolate - he really knows the way to my heart!  Better dash.  Hope you're having a lovely, sunny Easter too. x

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Easy like Sunday morning...

Today I had one of those blissfully calm mornings that, frankly, don't happen often round here.  I was out the house before half seven to let my friend's chickens out for the day.
And what a momentous day it was - all four of those lovely birds had laid an egg.  At under 20 weeks old, this is pretty good going.  Well done girls!
My friend with the chickens (let's call her Mrs Hen) has got one of those beautiful gardens that you can just gaze at and marvel at how everything looks so vigorous and alive and healthy.  I would dearly love a garden like hers, but I'm just not sure how compatible it would be with the football pitch element of my garden.  One day, maybe...
Back at home, I enjoyed the early morning quiet while I hung out a lot of washing.  There was so much washing that I ran out of pegs.  That doesn't often happen - I have a lot of pegs.
It was just so lovely to be out in the garden on my own, enjoying the sun, while Mr Nut was inside making pancakes for breakfast and containing the mayhem as best he could. 
Everywhere I turned, I saw things bursting into life:
This lovely little bay tree had been sitting by the door, waiting to be potted up, for several weeks and I finally got around to giving it a new home:
The smell from the leaves as I rubbed against them was just lovely, as it was from my four little blackcurrant bushes when I spread some lovely compost around them.  I have high hopes for a good crop this year - I was amazed to see teeny blackcurrants already forming among the leaves (if you look carefully, you can just see them right in the middle of the top photo, at the base of the leaves):
I almost had to do a little happy dance when I saw these, but as they're in the front garden and I was therefore visible to all my neighbours, I thought I better hadn't.  I think they already suspect I'm completely bonkers though - who in their right mind would get down on their knees in the flowerbed to take photos??
These little beauties have yet to receive any attention from me, however:
Can you just see the tiny new berry in the middle of this photo?  I bought these little alpine strawberries at the local farmer's market this morning - the lady selling them told me they're especially good in jam.  And who am I to argue with that idea? x